These are tough times for empaths. In a world hammered by tsunami and nuclear disaster, political unrest and economic crisis – feeling the feelings of others can be super overwhelming and painful. (I say this with the deepest respect for people who have directly experienced these disasters, whose suffering is in a whole different class.)
I believe that what’s going on in the world right now is one of the reasons why the field of coaching has burgeoned. It takes a conscious act to stay in balance in these times. And coaches remind people to stand in their power, hold their center and direct their actions with integrity.
Empaths, who have empathy in spades, have naturally gravitated to coaching as a career. I’m in that subgroup and attract a lot of clients who are too. If you are an empath, chances are you lose track sometimes of where you begin and end.
Even if this never happens to you, I bet some of your coaching clients can relate and it’s helpful to be aware of the unique challenges that empaths face.
It’s More Critical Than Ever to Regain Your Center
The world needs empathy – and here’s the paradox. For empaths, when the world is most in need is exactly the time we most need to take care of ourselves. We need a strong daily practice to recover our center, boundaries, and vitality. Then we can serve from strength.
Here are 6 ways to recover your center:
Go on a media diet. I’m not just talking about the news. Turn off anything that has an on-off switch. Give yourself a rest from all that frenetic input. If possible do this for a few days or weeks, or at the very least have sacred times to be completely unplugged every day while you’re awake.
Go outside. Become a cloud, bird or plant watcher. Spring is a great time for this, but nature calms your nervous system anytime you tap in there. Cultivate an appreciation for natural beauty and let it influence your mind, body and spirit.
Laugh. Break your media fast with a movie that makes you laugh out loud. Or better, book some face time with a grounded friend and laugh out loud together. Find the humor, even if you feel more like crying.
Keep the best company. Seek the most grounded people you know and hang out with them. Let your best allies remind you of who you truly are.
After connecting, disconnect. Every connection with another person, whether on the phone, in person, or on Facebook, creates a living energetic line of connection. When you’re done connecting, disconnect consciously. Ask your mind and heart to lovingly release the stories connected to people as well.
Reconnect with yourself. Look in the mirror to check in without the critique. Simply reconnect through your eyes with who you are. Then ask yourself what are truly your own emotional and physical feelings.
Be alone on purpose. There’s a difference between solitude and isolation. The purpose of solitude is to rest into your self. Rediscover the infinite spring of resource within you.
As human beings we have a responsibility to care about what others are going through, but it helps not to take it personally. Calling someone “detached” has a whiff of insult, but for us empaths, detachment is just what the doctor ordered.
The trick is to keep your perception and understanding of the other’s experience, but stay with your own separate experience at the same time. That’s called compassion.
What about the rest of you empaths out there? What are your favorite techniques to keep yourself sane and centered in trying times?