Care for Yourself as an Empath

Are you an Empath? Do you pick up and feel the emotions and feelings of others?

Because I’m an empath too, I’m including three easy energy tips for empaths in this blog post. All three exercises have helped me set energetic boundaries with others and keep myself from taking on their emotions. I hope they’ll help you too!

First a story…

While walking through a beautiful wooded park, observing wildlife and listening to the birds, I felt the calm and peace of nature. Later my route took me past a high school parking lot. There I noticed lots of trash and bits of refuse littering the ground, some of it in the woods closest to the parking lot. There were fast food wrappers, dirty cups lids and straws, smashed plastic bits, unrecognizable items, dirty COVID masks, plastic bags…

Feeling angry about the clutter, I started picking up these items, one at a time. I held them in my hands, as I hadn’t come prepared to carry such a large volume of refuse back to my own garbage can.

My peace and calm of earlier dissolved into frustration. Thoughts flashed through my mind …“How could someone be so thoughtless? How could this trash continue to pile up week after week…? Why don’t people clean up after themselves?…”

Eventually I couldn’t hold any more trash in my two hands, so I had to leave most of the debris behind, and make my way home. I felt angry about having to clean up after others who should know better… frustrated by my walk being weighed down and cut short by the junk I picked up.

All this dirty, useless, and smashed stuff I carried home in my hands diminished the quality of my walk and my time in nature. When I got home, I felt more frustrated, even after I threw away my two large handfuls of non-biodegradable waste.

Later I realized, as much as I wanted to, it was not my job to clean up the woods and and parking lot single handedly. I could come back with a box full of 12 garbage bags, clean up, haul them home to my garbage can, then come back the next day to even more debris. This was not my problem to solve. Clean up has to be the shared responsibility of those who generate the trash.

How does picking up litter and trash thrown out by others relate to living as an empath? Bear with me for a bit…

Emotions are energy! Our thoughts and feelings are all energy that can be picked up by sensitive people and empaths. The auras, or energy fields of empaths seem to be more porous than the general population. In this way, empaths pick up the energetic debris of strong emotions others toss out into the world or deny in themselves. (Like litter in a parking lot others don’t even notice.)

We pick up the energetic imprints of unexpressed emotion and strong feelings, and are weighed down by them as we carry them with us through life. (Like me carrying others’ refuse home with me.)

It’s difficult to know how to release them once they’re in our energy fields. Some of us may not even realize the feelings weighing us down belong to others. Even if we know these are not our feelings, we may feel it’s our responsibility to carry them with us. We may feel that we’re helping others by picking up and feeling their strong emotions. But this is not the case! More on that in my next post.

Try these easy exercises for empaths.

Ask two questions: When you feel a strong emotion that seemingly came out of nowhere, ask: “Is this mine? Does this belong to someone else?” Notice and trust your intuition about the origin of these feelings.

Ground with Earth Energy. For best results, Make this a daily practice. You can walk barefoot on the lawn or beach, massage your feet, top, sides and bottom, or rub your soles with a stainless steel spoon. These will open the energy vortexes in the soles of your feet and help you draw in Earth energy. When you are grounded, you can also discharge energy that you discern is not yours through your feet. It helps to visualize this unwanted energy draining into the Earth.

Strengthen your Aura. To keep your aura more “tightly woven” and less porous, build energy in your hands by rubbing your palms together. Then, begin making figure eight crossover patterns with both arms, as wide as they can reach. Let this be a rhythmic motion, allowing your body arms and hands to swing in arcs back and forth in the soothing figure eight motion.

Then you can do smaller crossover figure eight patterns with your fingers and hands, paying special attention to the energy field surrounding you, close to or on the body Let your intuition show you where. I always feel better after tracing figure eights on my upper chest and heart area. Once again, it helps to do this daily.

More Resources:

If your empathic gifts feel overwhelming, book an appointment with me, either in person or distance, and we’ll go over easy energy techniques to help you discern what is yours and what belongs to others, and to set strong boundaries to keep your energy clear, grounded, and resilient.

From time to time, I offer a Self Care for Empaths Class. Watch my class page for upcoming dates.

For more on living well as an empath this is a great book: The Empaths Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People by Judith Orloff, MD

More wisdom from Fox

Dear Fox, What do you want us humans to know?

Please – get out of your heads, into your heart and body. Try getting out of your cars too, now & then. Park them and walk! Skip off work! Walk under the trees, mute your phones, and listen to nature.

Observe the beauty, the life all around you. Listen deeply, observe everything in your world through a state of silent awareness. Feel the energy around you. Try this every day.

Photo by Daniil Silantev on Unsplash

Your phones and devices rule your world, implanting ideas and thoughts into your heads, creating an alternate un-reality, meant to distract you from your inner knowing, wisdom and your higher self. This is meant to keep you off balance…

Why do you put up with this?

You must own yourself and your power, not give others the power to distract you and steal your precious life moments that can never be recovered.

Note from Betty: If you silence your phones, you may notice your thoughts racing, anxiety growing, and come face to face with your own inner being, your heart, and feelings.

When you go inward, when you observe and attune with nature in silence, your mind may try to distract you and may fill the quiet spaces with worries, fears, and anxieties that have no basis in what you refer to as reality.

This may be uncomfortable. Try to sit quietly and notice your fears and feelings. Allow yourself to feel them in your body as you breathe. Notice them as they shift and change and move through you. This practice will diminish their power over your life.

When you have mastered the art of managing your life from the inside out, acting as your own authority, you can open your view and learn how you fit into the larger web of life on this planet. Your place in the cosmos.

Restore Your Energy With This Simple Technique

When you’re feeling anxious, frustrated, unsettled, or lethargic try doing figure 8s large and small. Move your arms, hands, fingers, hips, or body in the 8 pattern to calm, soothe, and reweave your energy patterns.

I first learned about the figure 8 energy pattern in Donna Eden’s book, Energy Medicine. Eden describes the Celtic Weave, (figure 8 patterns) as both an exercise and an energy system. The system “laces through all your other energy systems and creates a resonance among them… It holds your entire energy structure together… As an exercise, it connects all your energies so they operate as a single web.” (Eden p. 200)

One big benefit of the Celtic weave/figure 8 is that it helps a person’s “energies cross over from each hemisphere of the brain to the opposite side of the body.” Where “energies are not crossing over properly in a person, such as in dyslexia, and learning disabilities, severe immune dysfunction and almost all illnesses” doing figure 8s can help. (Eden p. 201)

I worked at a public library for many years, doing hours of cataloging daily. When I was feeling out of sorts, tired, or depleted, unable to concentrate, when I needed to restore my energy, I would go into the restroom and spend a few minutes doing figure 8s. I found the large pattern using the full reach of my arms to be an ideal exercise to wake me up and energize mind and body.

To do the large eights, like I did at the library, extend your arms fully, make wide sweeping figure 8s, crossing the pattern over the center of your body, letting your legs and hips sway in an 8 pattern, like a dance.

Smaller 8s over the heart and high heart area (between heart and collar bones) on or off the body help to calm and soothe. Tiny figure 8s are called “fairy flows” and some find them helpful to ease grief when traced over the heart. It is as if you are stitching your energy back together.

When you or your child feel confused or fuzzy or seems to have scrambled energy, try horizontal 8s on your forehead, starting at one temple and crossing over to the other. You can do this directly on the skin or a few inches off your forehead in your energy field. This can help bring clarity to the mind when focus is needed.

Figure 8s large small, up, down, sideways, are good for you and your energy! Teach your kids to do them too. They will love it.

Resources: Eden, Donna; Energy Medicine:Balancing your body’s energies for optimal health, joy, and vitality; 2008.

5 Calming Energy Tips for Parents and Kids

Have you ever noticed that when you are anxious, upset, or unsettled, your little ones, even your tweens and teens are often fussy, upset, and anxious too? There is more than a little truth in this pearl of wisdom – ‘When Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.’ ( You could substitute ‘Daddy’ in this old saying too.)

In a household, everyone lives within a sea of energy. Everyone’s personal aura (or energy field) overlaps and picks up information from everyone else’s energy fields.

Mom and baby

Because of this, children sense the energy of the emotions, thoughts, and feelings you are radiating. Sensitive children may also absorb them and take them on as their own.

Children sense the mood of each person around them picking up on impatience, joy anger, fear, depression, unhappiness. In this way they are learning from the adults and other children around them.

Energy doesn’t lie! You can’t pretend to feel something you don’t feel on an energetic level in order to protect or shield your children from these emotions. If you try to put a happy face on your sadness, anger, fear, or other emotions you might not want to share, your kids will see right through that. They will be able to sense the disconnect between what they are experiencing about you and what you are communicating to them on an energetic level.

Great uncle and grand niece

Ways to help…

If your kids are nervous, anxious, upset, fussy, first take stock of your own energy and take care of yourself. How are you feeling?

Where do you feel your emotion in your body? Is your heart tight, your throat constricted, your stomach full of butterflies, your gut unsettled? Are you nervous, anxious, stressed, unable to sit still or focus for any length of time?

Have your kids do this too. This can help them develop emotional literacy skills.

First, bring your awareness to your body and locate your emotions (throat, heart, etc). Give them loving attention while breathing deeply. If you don’t have time to do this practice, move on to some of these calming exercises and try the emotional processing when you are ready.

Do these yourself, then teach these easy exercises to your kids! They can help you calm stress and anxiety so you will be more on top of your game, more present in your body, and your children will react more peacefully to your calmer energy.

Getting Grounded

Pretend to be a tree with deep roots. Breathe in the Earth’s energy through your imaginary roots. Let it fill your feet legs hips and trunk, then reach your branches up to the sunlight. Take several deep breaths pulling the air from your deep roots to your stretching branches over head. Imagine soaking in the sunlight through your leaves to fuel your growth and pulling water up through your roots to nourish you.

Heart hold and tone:

When feeling stressed or anxious, hold your heart chakra with both palms on the center of your chest. Let your awareness drop down into your heart. Take a few deep breaths while holding your heart. Now continue holding and make an AH sound at a pitch that you can feel in your heart. Keep going until you feel a shift in your energy, or mood.

Figure eights:

Make figure 8s with your arms, swinging them out and around and crossing the center-line of your body. Swing your hips too if you like. Draw them in the air in front of your head, your neck, your upper body, lower body, legs, feet. Make them any size you like.

for areas of pain or tension, try Tiny figure 8s directly on the body using your fingertips. you can also draw them large on a chalkboard, whiteboard or sidewalk, using your whole body and getting your arms into it. Kids love this! This also helps strengthen your aura. (Eden)

Calming head hold:

When the fight or flight response kicks in; when you feel panicky or fearful, hold your forehead with one palm, and the base of the skull with the other. Hold and breathe for several minutes until you feel calmer and able to think more clearly. (Eden)

Self hug – two variations:

Put the fingers of your right hand in your left armpit. Hold your right bicep with your left hand. Hold and breathe while for a bit until you feel a shift in your energy. Switch sides and hold again. (Levine) Another variation – hold the outside of your elbow with one hand and with the other hug your opposite side under breast level about midway between your waist and armpit. Switch and do the other side. ( Eden)

Dad and daughters

Sources: Eden,Donna; Energy Medicine: Balancing your Body’s Energies for Optimal Health, Joy and Vitality; 2008.

Levine, Peter A.; Healing Trauma: A Pioneering Program for Restoring the Wisdom of Your Body; 2008.

A fun way to energize yourself and your kids!

Do you want to get everyone, children and adults lined up to clean the house or rake the yard?

Are your kids out of sorts because they’ve been sitting down too long?

Are you feeling low in energy, lethargic, or dull after a big meal?

Try taking a family drum circle break to get everyone energized, their sense of humor restored, and back on track.

Buffalo Drum

One Thanksgiving over twenty years ago, several extended family members came to visit my home spend time together and share a meal. An hour or two after our big holiday feast, everyone hit the wall, with low energy levels. The conversation lagged. Nap time seemed to be upon us.

To stir things up I brought out my stash of rhythm instruments; tambourines, clappers, drums, rattles, maracas, and a guiro, and let everyone choose.

Collection of rhythm instruments

We started our make-shift drum/ rhythm circle slowly, one person beginning, then everyone finding their way in, weaving and blending their rhythms with the others. Some stayed seated, some stood and began to move. This seemed to wake everyone up again – some were dancing, marching and singing to the beat as they rattled, drummed, or shook the tambourine.

This was so much fun! We laughed and enjoyed ourselves and each other.

As a bonus, you might do a project to make your own rhythm instruments.

Make an easy rattle by partially filling a plastic bottle with rice or dried beans. then Tape the lid shut. You can click two pencils or short dowels together. Click two stones or pot lids together. Turn a bucket or large sauce pan over and use as a drum with a wooden spoon. You won’t need any fancy gadgets or electronics!

Try making a kazoo from a toilet paper tube with a hole punched close to one end and a square of wax paper or parchment paper rubber banded over the other end. Hum your favorite tunes into it!

Cheap homemade kazoo

Even if you’re alone, you can raise your vibrations by making rhythmic beats in fun and playful ways. Create a rhythm that feels good in your body and continue until your energy has shifted and you are feeling lifted up.

You might also find a drumming track and try some dancing and moving around in ways that feel good to you and express what you’re feeling. Do this for yourself and no-one else. Sing if you like!

Remember, you and your family don’t have to be great dancers or drummers to energize yourselves and have fun. Everyone from babies old enough to hold a rattle to great grandparents can join in the fun!

The interconnected rhythms with unique beats and movements contributed by each person can tie us together, feed our spirits, anchor us in the present moment, and energize our bodies.

Let the rhythm sound and movement carry you and your family to the place you want to be.

Are You An Empath? 3 Self-care tips

You are probably an empath if…

…you absorb the and take on the feelings and emotions or physical symptoms of others, making it hard to tell what’s yours and what’s theirs.

…you feel drained and/or anxious in big box stores, noisy crowds, hospitals, libraries, etc.

…you get sick or exhausted, depleted, anxious or angry after encountering certain people.

One beautiful summer afternoon I sat on my front porch reading. A delivery truck pulled into my driveway near where I was sitting. Immediately my body was flooded with high anxiety!

As I tried to make sense of this sudden shift in my emotional state, My logical brain decided the anxiety could be explained because I didn’t know the truck or the driver, hadn’t ordered any services or furniture… It was an unexpected intrusion into my peaceful day. Then the driver got out of the van, took a bouquet of flowers to my neighbor’s house and drove away.

The anxiety stayed with me even after the van left. After a few minutes of this, I decided to do some discernment and energy testing. I stood up, tuned into my body and stated “This anxiety is mine.” My body responded by falling toward the back, which in self energy-testing terms is a “no”. Now the anxiety made sense. As an empath, I’d picked up the high anxiety of the van driver.

Now that I knew the anxiety wasn’t mine, I asked this energy to drain through my feet into the earth for recycling. I had no more need to feel this feeling. It was detracting and distracting from my peaceful day. Draining the energy away works when you are well grounded, in other words, plugged into Earth energy.

This method of clearing yourself works because emotions and feelings are composed of energy. Each of us holds our thoughts feelings and emotions in our auras, otherwise known as energy fields. The stronger and more charged the emotion of another person, the easier it is for a nearby empath to pick it up. Our auras also seem to be more porous than the energy fields of non-empaths, allowing in energies others would easily filter out.

As a life- long empath I’ve learned some easy ways to keep myself clear of the moods, emotions, feelings, and energies of others that I have not specifically invited in. Here are 3 of the most helpful techniques I use daily.

Three ways to keep yourself clear as an empath.

1. Stay grounded

Two easy ways to get grounded are rubbing the soles of your bare feet with a stainless steel spoon, and walking barefoot on the Earth. When you feel agitated or nervous, when you can’t settle, ground yourself. Getting grounded allows you to plug into your power source, Earth energy, and pull this energy into your body.

Think of an electric lamp. If the lamp is not plugged in, it can’t light up, no matter what you do. When you are plugged in, your energy is more coherent, you feel anchored to the earth in a healthy way, and you can discharge excess energy through your feet.

2. Strengthen your aura

An easy way to keep your aura strong and less porous is to make figure 8 patterns with your hands, fingers, arms, body. First rub your palms together for a few seconds. Now, make the eights tiny, make them huge, on or off the body, in your aura, up and down, sideways, diagonally. Let your hands go to areas that need extra attention. (This technique is from Donna Eden)

Have fun with this! Kids love it! Think of this exercise as reweaving or sewing your loosely woven aura together again with the electromagnetic energy of your hands. This will help your aura filter out the energy of others and draw in the energies of health, well being, and harmony. Figure eights are also very calming!

3. Set boundaries with other people, your life energy, your time.

You may need to set boundaries and withdraw from large events, big crowds, or stay away from certain people. You may not want to hug Grandma or a church acquaintance. It may be in your best interest to stay home from a big family holiday or reunion and wait for a time you can meet your favorite relatives one on one.

Trust your intuition and give yourself what you need. Taking care of yourself as an empath is vital! Please don’t judge yourself for needing to set boundaries in ways others might not understand. Be kind and loving to yourself and tell others no when that is in your best interest.

If you do not take care of your needs, you may get resentful, energetically depleted and perhaps even sick. Take ownership of your life and your energy so you can focus on your own projects, your own life without getting sidetracked by the strong emotions of family and random people.

Gifts of empaths

We empaths can bring great sensitivity and caring into a world that needs our gifts. We are often the healers, therapists, clergy, the spiritual advisors, teachers, the plant and animal whisperers, the artists in our communities.

Tune into your purpose as an empath. Take care of yourself. Own and honor your gifts! Share them when you are ready. You are needed here!

It is not easy to go through life as an empath! But it is possible to live your life in a manner that will truly honor your gifts, your needs for boundaries so your life experience is truly your own!

Dear Friends, I offer a two hour Self care for Empaths and Sensitive People class several times a year. Contact me here for the next date.