Being empathic can be a beautiful gift that helps us engage in the world in a rich way, it does not have to feel like an overwhelming curse. As a culture, we generally do not recognize the gift that empathic children and adults carry. We often squash and label them as- too emotional, too hyper, too quiet, too different- because they often don’t fit inside the pretty little box that school systems and society want people to conform too. In my experience, both as an empath and working with other empaths, not fitting in the box may contribute to a person feeling like they are crazy/different, getting easily overwhelmed and sometimes feeling misunderstood.
One of the most beneficial things I’ve found with people who are empathic, or with a highly sensitive nervous system, is teaching healthy boundaries and how to manage their own energetic(auric) field. The energetic field is like a bubble that surrounds each person. It’s our protection and where we start the process of taking in/processing information from the environment, the collective consciousness, the spirit world and the people and animals around us. If you’ve never considered the field around you, different people have different ways of perceiving it. Some people feel it, some see it, some hear it and some may just know that it’s there. For those who are visual, you may see it by closing your physical eyes, and view it more with your inner eyes, or your imagination. For those of you who are feelers, you may be able to just sense it, or you may use your hands to reach out and feel where the outer edges are. Some may use a combination of ways to perceive it.
We have the ability to expand and contract the field, and our body/nervous system reacts when we do. Often times, when we are attempting to protect ourselves, we may unconsciously pull the energetic field in close because it’s like wrapping ourselves in a snug, comforting blanket. Unfortunately, it is not necessarily helpful to do so. It may seem counter intuitive, but we can actually benefit from making our energetic field bigger, and taking up more space!
When the field is close in, we do not have as much time to react to the things going on around us. It’s like standing right behind the door, and someone opening the door and smacking us in the head with it. A compressed field may cause our body/nervous system to tighten up, we may become more overwhelmed and we may lash out with our words or our energy, and we can be more prone to wanting to withdraw because we may not feel safe or comfortable around people.
When the energetic field is expanded, you are literally giving yourself more space, and allowing the field to filter out some of the information rather than our nervous system having to process all of it. It’s like standing across the room, so when someone opens the door, we are able to see who it is, and have time to react. It can help create a feeling of more room to breathe, and a sense of ease. If you’re used to being small and compressed, this is an invitation to give yourself permission to take up space!
If you are reading this in a location/environment where you feel safe, play with expanding and contracting your field. If you’ve never experienced the energetic field around you, it’s ok if you think you are just using your imagination. Pay attention to how your body responds when you change the size of your field. Does your body tense up, or soften? Does your breathing change? Do your senses go more into alert mode, or do they soften? If it feels scary, or uncomfortable to expand out, expand it out just a bit, and see how your body reacts. There is usually a balance point between too compressed and too expanded; and that place may change based on where we are emotionally, who we are with and what is going on in our environment. The more we play with our field when we feel safe, the more we can learn to adjust it quickly when we find ourselves in a stressful or difficult situation.
When the energetic field is expanded, it does not mean that everyone is now going to be in your field. If your field is whole, it will be just you in there. In the next blog post, I’ll talk more about the wholeness of the field.
If you have questions or comments, please share them below. If you would like to schedule a phone session or an in-person appointment to learn more about working with your energetic field, please fill out the Healing Request Form on the website.
Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoy taking up more space!