Not an Empath’s World

It’s recently come to my attention that it’s really not an empath’s world. It’s also not easy for the highly sensitive person, or HSP. I fit the criteria for both of these categories, and it’s been challenging to navigate for as long as I can remember.

Lately I’ve been a bit flabbergasted by the amount of people who seem to be completely smacked out on their smartphones almost all the time. Every single train, tram, bus, public street, cafe or workplace is crawling with people frantically texting, emailing, calling or just scrolling mindlessly through their instagram and facebook feeds.

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I often walk away from a busy train feeling drained, frustrated, angry or just plain annoyed. I realised that the empath in me struggles in this scenario, especially in this day and age where increasing numbers of people seem to be endlessly yapping away about every last triviality of their day.

I understand that sometimes you just need to talk to someone, but I just don’t really want to hear about most of the things people discuss on my daily commute.  I’m also well aware that we live in a free society in the West, and that the onus is on the individual to look after themselves. So if someone wants to chat away on their phone for the whole train trip,  they have every right to do so, and those of us who don’t like it better invest in some noise cancelling headphones, or end up feeling like this..

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This is all very well and good, and I am truly grateful for the standard of living that we enjoy in the West, including access to fundamental human rights, adequate health care and an abundance of food and water. I feel extremely fortunate to live in a society where I feel safe the majority of the time, and I have access to education and employment.

We are are also fortunate to have increasing levels of awareness around diversity  including a greater understanding of the LBGTI and CALD communities, people living with an intellectual or physical disability and people struggling with mental health issues. We definitely still have some way to go in terms of providing adequate support in these areas, but overall, there is an increasing level of recognition and understanding.

This brings me back to the empath issue. I was sitting at a previous workplace one day, and couldn’t help but voice my frustration around a particular staff member in the adjacent office who slammed the door loudly every time he left the room. The sound was so jarring that it sent shock waves through my system, and he completed this exercise in excess of fifty times that day.

Another staff member insisted on pacing up and down the corridor whilst he spoke loudly into his phone. Meanwhile, the girls in the lunch room screamed like hyenas while bragging about their drunken Saturday night antics. Hard to stay sane, let alone focus on work  with all of this going on..  And how is one supposed to make work calls with all that commotion? Ahhhhh! Where are those noise cancelling earphones again??

When I made note of this to the girl sitting opposite, she looked disapprovingly at me and told me how judgemental I was. It got me thinking that the lack of understanding a lot of people have for sensitive empaths and HSPs is not just a woo woo concept, it’s a real thing, and it can be really hard to deal with. I feel shamed every time I recieve a comment like that in regards to my sensitivity. I have lost count of the number of times I have been blamed in this way for something that is not of my choosing.

Highly sensitive people are too often perceived as weaklings or damaged goods. To feel intensely is not a symptom of weakness, it is the trademark of the truly alive and compassionate. It is not the empath who is broken, it is society that has become dysfunctional and emotionally disabled.

– Anthon St. Maarten

There are several different methods that have been recommended for empaths and HSPs to help protect them from excessive noise, light and negative energies. Some of these include carrying crystals for protection, epsom salt baths, sage smudging, energy shielding visualisations and burning essential oils. All these things can be great, and different things suit different people (I am partial to sage smudging and salt baths), but all the techniques in the world won’t change the dominant attitude towards empaths.

I am not suggesting that non empaths are at fault for these frequently painful empath experiences. It really comes down to a big difference in the lived experience of human beings, and, in particular, a general lack of awareness and understanding of the empath’s experiences. And who could find fault with the non empath’s responses? Our society does not shed light on this essential difference. Not only are we not encouraged to develop our empathic nature, but we are not taught to recognize these gifts in ourselves and in others. The huge potential positives of the empathic experience are essentially neglected and treated as though they did not exist.

As part of my service, I will offer support and encouragement to those experiencing empath related issues. My sessions will provide support, awareness and understanding of the empathic experience for empaths, their loved ones and their families. An intimate understanding of the differences between empaths and non empaths is the essential first step. My service will also offer face to face appointments for clients in the Melbourne metropolitan area, as well as counselling via Zoom, Google Hangouts or phone. Stay tuned for further developments.

In the meantime, I hope that this article has provided some comfort for empaths who are feeling isolated in their sensitivities. You are not definitely not alone – I have walked a similar path for many years, and I know how it feels to be slighted for having a trait you did not consciously choose. Please don’t beat yourself up beautiful empath, this world is a much better place because of your heartfelt sensitivity.

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Transform the Distorted

Recently I attended a great workshop about integrating the wounded masculine and feminine run by Krystal Alexander Hille. It inspired me to write a follow up to my previous article Oompa Loompas and He-Men to take a closer look at these archetypes and see if we can work towards the embodiment of our true nature.

When looking at the wounded masculine and feminine, it is important to keep in mind that both energies exists within all of us – we are all comprised of both masculine and feminine elements regardless of our biological gender. So without further ado let’s start with the wounded masculine. The wounded masculine energy is insensitive, shaming, controlling and immature. He is competitive, sexually aggressive and promiscuous.

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The wounded masculine has a distinct air of righteousness. He constructs emotional walls and withdraws when feeling threatened or challenged. He is stoic, uncommunicative, overpowering, physically aggressive and avoidant. He feels a deep inner sense of insecurity and unworthiness. The wounded masculine is emotionally vacant and refrains from expressing vulnerability.

 

Self-improvement is masturbation. Now self-destruction is the answer

-Tyler Durden, Fight Club

The wounded feminine energy is jealous and withholding. She plays the martyr and is overly emotional. She is manipulative, nagging and passive aggressive. She is dissatisfied and blaming. She is erratic and often feels powerless. She is indecisive, panicky, joyless and smothering. She is indirect and feels under appreciated by those around her. The wounded feminine suffers from a deep sense of not being seen and of feeling discarded.

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You’re the worst thing that ever happened to me

-Marla Singer, Fight Club

Now before you go thinking that there is no hope and it’s all doom and gloom, let’s look at the other side of the coin – the divine masculine and feminine.

The divine masculine energy is strong but sensitive. He is protective of those he loves, a good provider and organizer. He is grounded and practical. He is emotionally intelligent and assertive. He is decisive, direct and a natural thinker. He is a giver and holds space for those in need. He is intelligent and a strong defender. He is energised and explorative. The divine masculine is the embodiment of the true warrior archetype.

The divine feminine energy is nurturing and assertive. She is joyful, strong, wise and emotionally intelligent. She is playful, maternal, grounded, creative and expansive. She is flowing, accepting and receptive. She expresses unconditional love while standing in her own power and giving to those in need. She is graceful and powerful. The divine feminine is the embodiment of the true sovereign queen archetype.

Sounds pretty good doesn’t it? Like a beautiful utopian universe filled with nothing but sunshine, rainbows and lollypops. Now you may be thinking, ‘how the hell can we ever become that?” I totally get it, it’s a big ask. There have been many times I have felt really disheartened and hopeless about things ever changing on my own awakening journey. But it’s not all lost. Obtaining the true embodiment of our divine masculine and feminine nature can be a difficult and daunting task but it’s certainly not impossible.

We can start by taking a good look in the mirror and examining our own behaviours and reactions. What makes you feel triggered? How do you respond to certain triggers? Did you react from your wounded masculine or feminine? What is the core fear or wound behind this trigger? Is it the fear of not feeling good enough? Of not belonging? Or perhaps it is related to the fear of not being loved? We all have had one or more of these three main fears at some point in our lives.

Breaking through our limited conditioning is no minor feat. It takes discipline, hard work and the willingness to face our biggest fears. But if we can start by working on ourselves, it will have a colossal impact not just on the happiness of the individual, but the continued awakening of the entire planet.

 

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That Capitalist Trap

It seems like the capitalist powers that be rack up big time in the lead up to Christmas, during the Christmas period and well into the new year. For up to four months before the actual big day we are bombarded by Christmas advertising online and on TV. Additionally, we are faced with the onslaught of Christmas carols, decorations and photos with Santa in every shopping complex across the western capitalist empire.

We are then encouraged to overindulge from Christmas even right through to the new year on a wide variety of hedonistic treats- pudding, chocolates, alcohol, roast meats and anything else we can lay our hands on.

This often leads to a self critical spiral of shame and self loathing when the new year begins, and we start the frenzied hunt for a suitable gym membership to shed those ghastly Christmas pounds. We vow that this year will be different, this year we will attend that spin class three times a week without exception.

 

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When we inevitably ‘fail’ to live up to our new years resolutions, we spiral once more into a viscious cycle of self imposed shame and self deprication. This is especially the case when we realise how much money we have wasted on pricey boutique gym memberships that we never use, pottery classes that we fail to attend and cooking classes that we largely neglect.

The continual bombardment of advertisement we recieve on a daily basis only serves to reinforce the message that we are not good enough as we are and that we ‘need’ something external to ourselves to be worthy of love, recognition and financial abundance. Thus we beat ourselves up even more for not living up to a socially sanctioned set of standards that is almost impossible to achieve.

Of course there are always ways that we can improve ourselves – life is a continuous journey of self discovery and improvement.. But we are taught from an early age that we must achieve things in the physical material world – jobs, education, money and relationships in order to be considered accomplished and successful.

 

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The reality is very much the opposite. The more we focus purely on the achievement of these external sources of ‘success’, the more we are sending the signal out into the universe that we will never be good enough, and this is what we continue to attract and manifest. The universe does not punish or reward us for our thoughts, actions and behaviours. It simply reflects back to us that which we are from the inside in our external physical environment.

The only true way to reach that goal of internal fulfilment is to realise first and foremost that in our true divine nature, we are already good enough. To return to our authentic humanity we must shed that which doesn’t serve us- our wounds, fears, social conditioning and illusions. At our very core, we are pure love. In our very essence, we are powerful and beautiful beyond all measure.

 

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Oompa Loompas and He-Men

​Whether we are consciously aware of it or not, there is a lot of cultural and societal pressure to look, dress, feel and behave in certain ways.

​Whilst this is certainly not a new observation, it seems that  there is not a lot of literature around which draws a direct link between the influence of gendered conditioning and the challenges we face in recognising and becoming comfortable with our true authentic selves. ​

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Instead of encouraging us to embrace our own unique nature and  the beauty of the collective oneness that we all share at our very core, society  underhandedly enforces a plethora of limiting beliefs: men and women are vastly different, women must conform to a certain type of sexy, men aren’t allowed to show vulnerability, we are incomplete until we are “taken” and  betrayal in romantic relationships is unavoidable.

The picture is pretty clear when you look around and see the vast numbers of women wearing orange foundation (colloquially referred to as oompa loompas), and the equally large numbers of he men (I suspect the metaphor probably speaks for itself). The selfie age has well and truly taken over and contributed to a culturally approved vanity and narcissism that seems to reinforce the aforementioned limiting beliefs that are ultimately so damaging for us.

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Now I’m certainly not trying to have a go at anyone by writing this article. I’ve definitely done my fair share of compromising on my core values and wearing masks in order to ‘fit in.’ Not everyone follows the league of oompa loompas and he men.. there are many brave folk who  allow their individuality and authenticity to fly loud, proud and free.  It’s more so that even for the more consciously aware of us, there seems to remain a strong undercurrent of conditioning that is really hard to completely break free from. It often takes a high level of discipline, conscious  effort, courage and consistency to break away entirely from the pressure to conform in some way, shape or form.

I’m not suggesting that we attempt to overhaul the evil cruel rein of our oppressive society by force (although the idea of organising a social revolution via Facebook invite does have a certain appeal). But in all seriousness, ​I truly believe that the key lies firstly in conscious awareness  followed by active pursuit. The more people that consciously choose to seek out and follow the path of their true highest potential, the better things will be for the collective.

This may or may not mean actively choosing to pursue jobs, goals, lifestyles, philosophies or hobbies that others and/or society see as stupid, crazy, embarrassing or just plain wrong. A heterosexual man harbouring a secret yen to study ballet should have the freedom to pursue his goal without fear of judgement or reprisal. A woman should feel free to look/act/dress in an androgynous manner without being regarded as ‘unfeminine’ or ‘unsexy.’

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Whilst these are fairly obvious examples, sadly these kinds of gendered restrictions are still at large in many areas of the world. At the end of the day the real truth, the real essence of our humanity is that we are all one and the same regardless of gender, sexuality or any other defining category of separation.  Of course there are biological differences between us.. but at the risk of sounding all new agey and wishy washy,  we are at our core,  in our very essence, all one.  We all have both masculine and feminine energy within us.


​The next step for humanity is to truly recognise this truth and embrace the oneness that is present in all of us. It is a big ask and a big task, but everyone has the capacity to take a conscious look inwards and observe whether they may be  aligning with falsehood and ignoring what their soul truly wants. Harmony, balance, acceptance and a genuine commitment to following the path of their highest good.

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Not That Scared Little Girl Anymore..

​There comes a time in life’s journey when you take pause, sit back and reflect on how far you have travelled from whence you came. I have had several moments like this recently and I’ve realised that I’m just not that scared little girl anymore.

It’s a powerful moment when you recognize that the inner work you have been doing is starting to reveal itself on a conscious physical level. You can see clearly that the vulnerable, scared, demanding inner child who used to call the shots is no longer predominantly in the driver’s seat.

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The wounded child consciousness operates from the viewpoint of:  ‘my needs were denied or dismissed by others in the past so someone needs to fix it for me.’ It doesn’t accept responsibility for itself, nor does it ensure that it’s own needs are taken care of.

My wounded inner child was in the driver’s seat for many years. Whenever I was scared, angry, tired, desperate or frustrated she would come out often in full force and start demanding support and attention from those around me. Surely it was up to my mum, my friends, my boyfriend or the latest internet guru to make me feel better when shit hit the fan, right?

It might seem like a strange concept to some that one would look to others to soothe, nurture and care for oneself. Not so for the wounded child- it does not want or know how to take responsibility for it’s own self care. The child who experienced some form of abandonment or rejection in life often ends up abandoning themselves in times of need.

The wounded child operates in a different way for some, causing a withdrawal into oneself rather than a reaching out. In this case, the wounded child is so afraid of being hurt by others that it recoils in isolation. For this wounded child, the ability to soothe and nurture oneself is often sought through external validation via casual relationships and sex or bingeing on unhealthy things such as junk food, substances, excessive shopping or computer games.

I’m certainly not trying to put everyone in these categories. There are instances where elements of both types of wounded inner child reside within one individual. There are also many who have been diagnosed with a mental health condition where the inability to regulate mood and tolerate difficult emotions is at a higher level. This is serious stuff and every case is different requiring careful consideration and professional treatment/support.

I guess I’m more so speaking to those who have experienced some difficult experiences usually around abandonment and/or rejection but don’t fit the criteria for a particular mental health condition. These are the people who are sitting in the middle ground, often repeating the same patterns in their personal, professional and interpersonal lives usually without realising the underlying wounds buried within the subconscious mind.

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We can begin to recognise that in the absence of the love and  support we didn’t recieve from those in our past, we can start to re-parent ourselves. In times of desperation, sadness, loneliness, distress and frustration we can guide our inner parent to take our inner child by the hand and say, “it’s okay, you will get through this. I will keep you safe and give you what you need. I’m here for you.”

With enough careful, compassionate discipline and practice  one can learn to recognise the signs of feeling helpless, triggered or abandoned and be there for their inner child when it is most in need of comfort, guidance and protection. Day by day it will emerge awakened, stronger, capable and compassionate towards every living thing, especially itself. ​​

 

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Own Your Weirdness

​Have you ever noticed those eccentric people who embrace their weirdness and wear it with pride and confidence? I love those people. They are often captivating, magnetic and unapologetically charismatic in a weird and wonderful way.

In a society that largely conditions and pressures us into the realms of conformity, seeing someone own their weirdness in this way is such a comforting breath of fresh air.  In my opinion, there is nothing worse than being stuck in a soul deadening conservative world of forced pressure and expectation to look, act, and present oneself in a certain way for fear of committing social suicide.

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​I think there are several elements that determine one’s ability to own their weirdness with confidence and pride.. I suspect that the younger we are, the more likely we are to shy away from individual self expression and air on the ‘safe’ side of conformity. I remember being a teenager and desperately wanting a pair of jeans so I could blend seamlessly into the spotty faced herd of post pubescent adolescents.

I also recall struggling with a brutal form of social anxiety known as Erythrophobia, a disorder in which the sufferer is prone to blushing in social situations and thus develops a fear of the blushing itself, creating a vicious cycle of fear and embarrassment.  For me, the fear became so great that even exchanging a few friendly words with the chick at the checkout became a battleground of social anxiety.

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I remember that earth shattering anxiety I used to feel proceeding any social event… even having a cup of coffee with a friend became a crimson nightmare. It was all consuming, and not being that ‘weird awkward’ person that caused people to stare and whisper derogatory comments under their breath was impossible to avoid.. Well that was certainly the ongoing dialogue running through my mind in any social situation.

I’m still prone to blushing on occasion but it is generally much less often and much less extreme than it used to be. Now I am well on my way to embracing my own unique brand of weirdness and owning it with confidence and pride.

This is why I want to encourage everyone to own their weirdness. In fact I would even go so far as suggesting that it can be helpful to announce your anxiety when you rock up to a social do or shin dig. Turn to the person next to you and with humour and eccentric confidence disclose, “Geez I’m socially awkward this evening. If you see me going to the bathroom a lot, you’ll know why”  *insert big cheezy grin and belly laugh.* You’ll be surprised at how many people will admit to feeling the same way.

There are many people who have sought out successful careers by being their weird awkward selves.. actors, comedians, filmmakers, musicians. Let’s get specific and name a few: Johnnie Depp,  Zooey Deschanel, Michael Cera, Flight of the Conchords, Weird Al Yankovic, Darren Aronofsky and local Australian comedian Lisa Skye.

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​At the end of the day we are all weird, we are all unique in our own way. Let us step forth in our weirdness and allow our authentic selves to sparkle and shine for all to see. We were not put on this Earth to wear masks and be oppressed by third dimensional cultural and societal conditioning. We are here to bring our unique gifts to the world and inspire others to do the same. Own your weirdness and shine you big weird crazy diamond.

 

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Pornosexuality

Have you ever noticed that the majority of people having sex sound very similar? It seems to follow a certain forumla.. a consistent moan, a repetitive squeak and a rhythm with the consistency of a pneumatic drill.. There might even be the odd audible, ‘oh my god,’ or ‘keep going, faster harder..’ These might sound like outworn stereotypes, but it still seems to be at large, particularly in heterosexual couplings.

I’m not trying to come off as some sex starved weirdo who purposefully sits around waiting to overhear the bedroom antics of an unsuspecting couple. This is certainly not the case at all.. it’s more that when I have been in the vicinity of said bedroom activity by chance (typically due to share house or apartment living, and ) I can’t help but notice these consistencies.

I’m also not excluding myself from this picture either. In the spirit of transparency, I have felt the pressure to sound and look a certain way whilst performing the good old horizontal mumbo. It just makes you wonder where does this pressure come from? Why do a lot of us look and sound so darn similar in the sack? And is this something that is being carried out on a conscious or subconscious level?

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The answer is mainstream porn. I would definitely have to say that there is just way too much of it and it’s way too accessible.  This is certainly not a new notion by any means. Many people from note able academics to stand up comedians have made this point, like my favourite Aussie comedian  Kitty Flanagan..  And  of course there are alternative porn makers or erotic filmmakers that seek to present and explore a more realistic version of human sexuality on screen. Production company Permission 4 Pleasure is one example of this.

Despite this, a lot of us, particularly in the West are conditioned by pornography to think that sex has to be a certain way: women need to look and sound like they are enjoying every single touch, thrust and pump, men are supposed to have big throbbing erections that last for hours, both sexes are supposed to love anal sex (and a variety of other adventurous/degrading acts) and what’s more arousing than having someone ejaculate all over your face, chest and stomach right?

Obviously there is nothing wrong with anyone freely choosing these things if that is what they truly desire and enjoy, but I would argue that a lot of people don’t truly enjoy these activities or consciously choose them. It seems like many people (particularly young women) engage in these activities with their male counterpart because they think they need to in order not to come off as a ‘prude’ or ‘frigid’..  Alot of men are conditioned to become aroused by these acts and think that this is what women want through watching countless hours of degrading mainstream pornography.

No wonder a lot of relationship and intimacy issues arise as a result of this insidious addiction to mainstream porn. I’ve truly lost count of the amount of times I’ve overheard a woman saying things  like, “he does these things that I don’t really like but I do them anyway because I don’t want him to be offended or think I’m not into him.”  Or overhearing a guy ‘bragging’ about all the different sex acts and positions he has done whilst secretly longing for a deeper and more meaningful connection.

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​It seems like what we secretly want, what we secretly yearn for deep down despite any differences in race, gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation is a sacred sexuality. A sexuality that is based on respect, trust and real intimacy;  A physical expression of real love and unity with someone we truly care about. One where we feel safe to engage freely without fear, embarrassment, pressure or self consciousness. divine sexuality: the sacred union that paves the way to enlightenment.

 

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Is the Law of Attraction Even Real?

​I spent a long time on my awakening journey reading about/contemplating the law of attraction. I read countless articles, books, listened to podcasts and watched documentaries. However, I was still not convinced that this whole thing even really existed.

How could a principle that is not based in scientific evidence or taught in mainstream psychology have any validity? Doesn’t this very fact render it illogical and place it in the realms of wishy washy ‘woo woo’ crap?

On self reflection, I began to realise that a big part of my resistance around accepting it was a massive fear of somehow royally fucking it up… Surely nothing bad would happen if it was all a load of BS right? It’s that whole thing of becoming super anxious about something problematic in your life once it is brought more into your conscious awareness.

I spent countless sleepless nights tossing and turning, worrying that I was sending shitloads of negative energy into the universe and that I would therefore inevitably be attacked and devoured by something evil or a terrifying slimy creature like the Demogorgon from Stranger Things.

 

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The truth is that it very much exists and it is really really real. Contrary to my doubts, the law of attraction actually does have a strong scientific base. I really started to see the evidence of this as I began to do my healing work and released more and more negative emotional baggage, fears, wounds and illusions for good. The more crap I shed, the more room opened up for my happiness and my higher self to shine through.

Consequently, I started to attract more positive people, experiences and opportunities in my life. The shifts were more subtle at first like recieving a random compliment from a stranger at the bus stop or stumbling upon an  inspiring Netflix documentary. As I progressed, I started to see bigger shifts like landing a senior role at work and speeding through my Masters course with confidence and ease.

​The more I started to see positive results from all the internal work I was doing, the stronger my faith in the law of attraction became. I started to grow in confidence that I could use it to my advantage and that I could trust that my efforts would pay off in some positive way, shape or form even if it didn’t look so positive initially.

 

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​​It is truly a wondrous thing when you realise that you are in fact not just a lump of flesh,  but an eternal soul in a human body and you are connected through higher consciousness to the powers that be. Amazing things can happen when we allow ourselves to trust and surrender to the process.  If we can believe in the caveat that everything does happen to help guide us to the path of our highest good, the magic can really start to happen.

 

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