Spoken word is often difficult for me. I gravitate towards writing, where I have more time to articulate my message. Many of you reading this can probably relate to this. We have so much empathy for others. There are so many feelings all at once and it can be hard to process. But that means, there are so many feelings for other people that we don’t ever stop to practice our own self-empathy. In fact, many of you are probably wondering, “what is self-empathy?”
Before we get into that, let’s chat a bit more about empathy. I am sure you agree that there were times we wish we could just turn our empathy off for a few minutes. Sometimes it hurts so much to feel so many things.
But, over the last year, I have realized that empathy is my superpower. I could not imagine my life without being empathetic. I don’t want to not be empathetic. Ever. Not in this life or my next.
If you look up the definition of empathy, you may find it defined as:
“…the ability to sense other people’s emotions, coupled with the ability to imagine what someone else might be thinking or feeling. Also refers to our ability to identify and understand other people’s emotions.”– The Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley
Pause for a moment and think about that last sentence…
…”the ability to identify and understand other people’s emotions.”
What about your own emotions though!? This is self-empathy.
Can you say that you can fully identify and understand your own emotions and what they are telling you? What your body is trying to tell you?
Two years ago I would have said “heck no.” But the more I come to know my feelings, not just the feelings of others, the more I enjoy life. And the more I get out of life; the more clarity, focus, and ease I have. I am much more content with all parts, the good and the bad. If you were wondering what is self-empathy? This is exactly what it is…. having empathy for myself and getting intimate with my feelings. With the good and the bad.
I am not saying it is all rainbows and unicorns. It can suck so much sometimes.
Now, I am not just talking about the bad feelings, but the good feelings too. This is where we can unlock a superpower.
We are all used to ignoring pain, finding a way to get out of it. You know, by turning to social media, scrolling through Netflix, finding a snack in the kitchen. Maybe it is picking a fight with someone you love, turning to alcohol, drugs, or anything else.
But when was the last time you relished in the good feelings. It is not just pain our bodies try to turn a blind eye to. It is the good feelings too.
When was the last time you felt something so raw, something that lights you up from head to toe, where you feel like you just might explode? Something so wildly in tune with your soul.
And, when you felt this, were you able to continue to fully feel it and experience it to its full potential? Honestly think about this.
Feeling these good feelings can be just as hard as feeling the pain. The explosive, raw emotion in our bodies is tough to fully feel because our minds and our egos step in. “But don’t forget, this might happen and blow it all to shit.” Remember that one time you did this stupid thing? Yeah, see, you are not worthy of this or anything”.
Holy crap our minds can be so manipulative.
Honestly, I am feeling it right now. There are several things I am so wildly passionate about, top of my list is running, second is exactly what I am doing now, sitting with a candle in a low-lit room, writing my heart out.
Several times I have reached for my phone (I had to stop myself). Several times my “to-do” list popped into my mind, trying to distract me or get me to stop. This post has been a practice for me, a practice to stay in the feeling good, the wildness of it all.
I say wildness because that is exactly what it feels like.
Why does it feel wild when it is something so good and something that you actually want to be feeling?
If we could practice self-empathy and allow ourselves to feel our emotions, to experience and live them out, especially the good emotions that light us up and motivate us, imagine what we could do. Imagine finally ending our own self-sabotage.
Sadly I self-sabotage when it comes to thinking about creating a coaching business. I get so lit up with happiness, with excitement, and this knowingness, this intuition that it is exactly what I am meant to be doing. But instead, my mind finds a list of other things to do. “But you need to make your website look this way, you need to create a content calendar, you need to go live on IG, you need to create this and that freebie.” It can be never ending.
Our superpowers are hiding underneath all of this, and if we could learn to relish in the good energy, harness the good pain, and welcome it all in, imagine where would it take us? What could we accomplish?
Fortunately, there are tools and practices out there to help harness our superpowers.
I go so deep into this and so much more in my 1:1 Coaching Program. But I do want to teach you one tool that I love to use to help drop into my body and to fully feel the emotions and sensations that are currently active in my body.
This tool is called a Feeler.
In real life, feelers are done between two people. A timer is set for 3-5 minutes and one person has that amount of time to fully express their feelings to the other person. The listener does not say or do anything, they are there to hold space and to allow that other person to feel heard and seen. Then the roles are reversed.
For an example, I am going to do a feeler with all of you right now, except I am going to be typing.
Disclaimer, skip down to the next paragraph if you don’t want to read about what I am feeling right now.
I feel an achy type of energy in my heart right now. Not a bad ache, but a good ache, a wanting more, ready for more. I am noticing tension at the base of my head, tiredness in my eyes, and a swirly type of energy in my head. I feel activation in my solar plexus, or the area right below my sternum. It is coming in and out like waves. Okay, now I can tell that this sensation in my solar plexus is the one traveling up to my heart and powering my heart with that deep intense ache and longing. This energy traveling between the two spots is rhythmic, not a steady continuous stream. And I can tell there is excitement in it, but a part of me so badly wants to shut off that feeling and not to be with it. As I sit with it and breathe into it, the ache is spread out into my whole chest and my arms like it is becoming a part of my whole body, and that makes it feel good, not so concentrated. It feels like it is fueling my body towards working on my desires. I am noticing my root charka, or the energy center at the bottom of my hips opening up and excited, and I feel grounded on this chair. I feel complete.Adria
Hopefully, this gives you a good idea of a feeler, but also a glimpse into what it can be like to sit with your emotions and your feelings. A time to take a sip of self -empathy.
As a practice for the both all of us, start to notice:
When you have that good sort of feeling, the feeling of being in flow, feeling of joy, happiness, or excitement, see if you can be with that feeling a little longer than normal.
Where do you feel it? Can you describe it? As you are allowing yourself to be with it a little longer, does it transform into something bigger? What does it fuel you with?
Love you all,
Questions or comments? Leave me a message below!