How To Build A Beautiful Intentional Life

Amma is a living enlightened Being. Learn more at Amma.org

 

How To Build An Intentional Life


As a coach, clients and friends will often seek my counsel. While each of their challenges appears to be unique, I believe many of the problems, especially the recurring ones, stem from one simple idea: We have yet to release the past, forgive everything, and construct new, durable personas (temporary self-identities) – ones that can establish and sustain an enjoyable, stable life.

Instead of plunging into forward movement, we tend to repeatedly reaffirm the past and go in circles.

We can change this. We can recreate our lives with the purest, clearest, and most focused intentions. Living an intentional life is not for everyone, but it’s the only path to liberation and peace.

Even amid being pummeled by karmic repercussions that stem from prior lives, if we establish a strong and deeply rooted self-concept, we can withstand any storm.

Let’s Dive In!

From the moments of our births, we begin to build temporary self-identities or personas to maneuver through our lives. These personas are most often born from outdated beliefs, confused family dogma, codependent social paradigms, and limiting religious doctrine. Along the way, we weave guilt, shame, and regret into the fabric of our personas to the point of imprisoning ourselves in loops of repeated behaviors, decisions, and addictions.

Because of this, most of us live as if we’re strapped to rollercoasters, whereby we continuously react to external stimuli as if we have no control. In the short term, we enjoy the results of our impulses. In the long term, we find ourselves in complex situations that erode our senses of Self and peace.

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Over time, consequences and complications emerge. We cope, medicate, and try to assemble a quick-fix response to it all. 

We try everything but eventually find that quick fixes do little to address the deeper issues. We look at every aspect of our lives and realize that our marriages, jobs, and environments are not aligned with who we know ourselves to be. 

In a moment, we understand that we are not self-aware, and therefore, we are not free.

This is the moment of decision. 

Do we continue to shrink and hide or do we choose the road less traveled, finally embracing our true Self?

If we choose the latter, we begin to wake up!

We soon feel or sense deep-seated emotions and regrets. We might feel anxious or panicked, feeling unable to source remedies. We finally see the weight that we’ve amassed atop our souls. We remember the stories and justifications we used to keep our outdated personas in charge and in motion for so long.

In a pure moment of delight, we decide enough is enough!

Intentional Spiritual Living is a decision and commitment of the mind and heart to live a fully conscious, pre-meditated life according to our deepest values, ethics, and beliefs, without story or excuse. 

We build an intentional life through self-inquiry, ritual, ceremony, and forgiveness. We own and acknowledge every aspect of our choices amid our tumultuous lives. We own it all – from every teensie bit of minutia to every decision we’ve made.

We take responsibility for EVERYTHING. 

We blame NO ONE.

Beginning an intentional life often comes with a year or more of crying a few hours every day. It requires complete transparency with our core Self, God, and the eternal consciousness. We can no longer hide. We refuse to hide. We are now on a mission to unearth every truth about ourselves and the nature of the Universe.

We begin to imagine a new persona, one that is built upon virtue, transparency, vulnerability, and truth. We no longer carry regret or shame. We no longer blame. We own it all – every molecule of every instant.

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We process it all, pounding the earth in anger and crying for every lost moment. We cry to God and the Universe to nurture and save us. We do this until we are drained of all projection, attitude, and ego. We realize we know nothing and we are nothing. 

From there, we build our new, more durable, more holy persona – not from the rubble, rather, from the truths we’ve uncovered and become.

We grow our personas into emotionally, psychologically, and financially stable warriors – through whatever means. With meditation, mantra, and Divine grace, we begin to strengthen and stabilize. 

We continually release emotions, attachments, and the past. 

“The past is a canceled check. It no longer exists.” – Amma

After some time, we realize that we’ve become warriors of self-care, self-responsibility, and self-awareness. 

Having built an intentional spiritual persona, we can now build an intentional spiritual life.

How Do We Do This?

      • We are careful welcoming people into our lives
      • With a new friend, we are careful when choosing to engage in sex. While sex is certainly wonderful, it can be distracting and harmful. Get to know your friends before jumping into bed with them.
      • We are careful before solidifying a marriage. According to the rishis, it is best to know and live with someone for 3 years prior to committing to a marriage.
      • We carefully research and plan job and home changes
      • We don’t “jump” into anything, instead, we pause, reflect, and consider
      • We refrain from feeding our addictions
      • Less screen time and more prayer time
      • We pray as often as we can
      • We continuously have faith hope
      • We forgive everything
      • We own everything
      • We do not dwell on our negative feelings
      • We remember that we are never a victim
      • We work to completely dissolve our egos
      • We choose our food carefully (organic, grass-fed, no chemicals, lots of greens and vegetables)
      • When we are able, we strive to find the balance between western medicine and naturopathic medicine, knowing that pure food is our best medicine
      • We realize our thoughts sustain us, so we choose them carefully
      • We learn to place our attention on aspects that truly serve and uplift us because we know what we contemplate is what we become. Mediate on the rose and you become the rose.
      • We realize that our self-esteem can only come from ourselves
      • We decide to be happy because happiness is a choice
      • We say goodbye to people and events that do not serve our liberation and peacefulness
      • We say goodbye to deep attachments, except GOD & THE DIVINE
      • We have boundaries
      • We only speak lovingly about ourselves
      • We stop all projection
      • We maintain a healing attitude
      • We find ways to selflessly love and serve others while also not hurting ourselves
      • We root ourselves in self-inquiry, honesty, and love
      • You might enjoy releasing processes and modalities like The Sedona Method (search it, it’s awesome)
      • When we’re ready, we can seek out living enlightened masters like Amma, Karunamayi Ma, and Mother Meera
        • We can ask to receive a mantra from one of them
        • We can ask Her to be our guru or spiritual master which can expedite our pathway to liberation.
      • If we feel so inclined, we honor the purest and most non-judgmental tenets of our birth religions
      • We enjoy our birth masters, including Jesus, Buddha, Mohammad, and others

IN ALL THINGS, PLEASE KNOW …

You are more than you realize. You have resources far beyond your wildest imagination. It’s time to commit to a more eternal game. It’s time to release it all and become your most vibrant, eternal, and empowered Self. SURrender!
As you reach toward liberation, you might want to explore having a coach, guide, or therapist to help you along your path. In the meantime, meditate, pray, and chant with loving attention toward the divine.


 

Other articles you might enjoy:

Helpful Ways To Inspire Rebirth During Challenging Times

Amma: The Loving, Hugging, Humanitarian Saint

Seek Enchantment and Transformation through Prayerful Ritual and Ceremony


Check out Paul’s EMPATH OATH.

H.I.I.T. Exercise (HIIT): Short Spurts To Improve Your Heart, Mind, And Body

Fit woman completing a H.I.I.T Exercise
Fit woman completing a H.I.I.T Exercise
Working out every day with HIIT. A Shutterstock Licensed Image.

H.I.I.T. Exercise (HIIT): Short Spurts To Improve Your Heart, Mind, And Body

Exercise is one of the best ways to love your body. When we love our bodies, we improve our vibrations and we make better decisions. With a healthy and loved body (from head to toe), we have fewer health issues, better emotional and psychological health, and improved energy, resilience, immunity, and productivity.  

Are you ready to take care of your body and LOVE your body?

Be honest: What is your main excuse for not getting your daily exercise? For many people, it’s that they don’t have time. With a HIIT exercise routine, you’ll no longer have that excuse! HIIT can help you feel peaceful, less stressed, more empowered – and it can help you take control of your self-development and wellness.purchase-the-personality-cards-oracle-tarot-deck

With HIIT, or “high-intensity interval training,” exercise can be invigorating and productive without being time-consuming or tedious.

As the new year begins, consider gifting yourself a new healthy resolution you can stick to beyond a few weeks: check out this guide to HIIT and how you can personalize it to your lifestyle and needs!

What Does a HIIT Workout Mean?

High-intensity interval training is a technique for exercise that combines short, intense sets of exercises with recovery periods. HIIT workouts take your cardio routines to the next level, turning up the heat on your body while still allowing it the time it needs to recover safely. Busy professionals or stressed parents love this technique because it delivers a powerful workout in a very short period so that it can fit it into even the tightest schedule. 

HIIT workout routines are very safe and effective, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach, either! HIIT can look however you need it to look, whether you’re a beginner or an expert. If you aren’t used to exercising regularly or doing cardio, you can start with very short periods of intense exercise with a low-impact technique like the elliptical. If you’re already at an advanced stage in your exercise routines, you can push your body to endure much longer bursts of intensity with higher-level techniques. 

No matter where you are currently on your exercise journey, HIIT is wonderful because it evolves with your needs at whatever pace makes you comfortable!

How Long Is A HIIT Workout?

Let’s get right into it. HIIT is a favorite technique for busy people because it can last as little as 20 minutes! If you like exercising in the morning before your shower, waking up just 20 minutes earlier to fit in your HIIT workout will start your day right. 

If you can’t wake up earlier, try ending your workday with a quick session or burning off those dinner calories at night! Only have time for it on your lunch break? Why not take 20 minutes out of your hour lunch to give yourself that much-needed second wind for the afternoon?purchase-the-personality-cards-oracle-tarot-deck

Most HIIT lovers will keep their workouts to 20-30 minutes long. Many experts say that if you feel like your workout needs to go beyond half an hour, you aren’t working hard enough during your high-intensity intervals.

How Long Should HIIT Intervals Be?

HIIT workouts are highly customizable, so setting up your workout is entirely up to you and your abilities! If you’re just starting to explore this workout routine, you can try to keep intervals at just 30 seconds long. As your body warms up to this technique, you can lengthen your intervals to 3 minutes long.

For example, if you’re just starting with HIIT, you might want to try doing only a few high-intensity intervals throughout your workout. You can choose to make your intervals equal in length to each other or make your recovery intervals longer than your high-intensity intervals. No matter what you do, the idea is to push your body a little harder every time to improve your performance slowly. 

Listen to your body! Do not cause yourself pain or any injury, as exercise should be a routine of slow improvement. Regardless of the exercise technique you choose, you’ll never see results right away. Exercise is a journey in which you check in with your body, pay close attention to your health, and build a relationship of respect and growth. By building a healthy relationship with your body and exercise, you’ll start seeing results without obsessing over achieving them.

Do I Need Equipment for HIIT?

No equipment is necessary! HIIT is about working with your body to build stamina and strength through interval training. You don’t need any fancy machines, a gym membership, or weights. Anything you choose to add to your workout is entirely up to you and your goals.

HIIT focuses on cardio, so it doesn’t necessarily help build muscle or improve flexibility. To focus on these goals, you’ll need to choose exercises for your high-intensity intervals that work on these areas.purchase-the-personality-cards-oracle-tarot-deck

For example, you can choose to add weights to your workout to build muscle. If you’re looking to improve your legs and glutes, you can choose to add cardio exercises that target those areas, such as stair-climbing. There are so many resources that will help you choose the right activities for your goals, but the main point is that almost anything can be achieved with your personalization of HIIT!

What are the Benefits of HIIT?

HIIT is high-intensity cardio training, so you can achieve the benefits of cardio workouts within a shorter time. Cardio exercises, especially HIIT, can help improve your oxygen consumption — your body’s ability to use oxygen.

Further, in many studies, HIIT has proven to help lower blood pressure and heart rate for overweight individuals. In addition, it can improve insulin resistance while lowering blood sugar. Including high-intensity intervals in your workout also boosts your overall metabolism and increases your metabolic rate for hours after your workout!

However, many people who begin working out in the New Year are most interested in how a workout can help them lose weight. Thankfully, HIIT can do just that! Along with the many health benefits above, HIIT has also proven to help people lose weight by reducing body fat and the waistline, even without any dietary changes.

Should I Do HIIT Every Day?

Ultimately, your workout routine depends on what feels right to you. HIIT is absolutely a routine you can institute daily, but it is also a routine that doesn’t demand daily commitment. If you haven’t previously followed a daily exercise routine, committing to HIIT every day might be too stressful. Start with a comfortable routine while still being consistent, such as three times a week.

For those who already exercise but are looking to improve their routine, doing HIIT every day can help boost your health and get results faster. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you need to listen to your body and only do what feels comfortable while still challenging!

Ring in the New Year with HIIT!

Ready to commit to your development and wellbeing? HIIT can help you see results in a few weeks, helping you to keep the exercise habit throughout the year rather than dropping it by March! It is also highly customizable and a great routine for any experience level, all while only needing 30 minutes or less.purchase-the-personality-cards-oracle-tarot-deck

Further, HIIT can be an incredible addition to your self-development journey. As you reflect on your goals and set intentions for the next year, keep this option for exercise in mind. You might even choose to add it to your meditation routine, allowing the repetitive intervals of physical exertion to help you delve deeper into your thoughts and prayers. You might also choose to use your yoga practice as a cool-down period after your HIIT workout. This routine could help increase flexibility and prevent muscle injury while you reflect on how your body feels. Get in touch with yourself as you stretch, breathe, and pray.

The opportunities for your self-improvement journey are endless!

REMEMBER!

You are a beautiful Living Being filled with light and love, born from stardust. You are unlimited potential in every direction. With a focus on discipline, virtue, and your own goodness, you can become as expanded and liberated as you desire. 

Pray for others and the Universe prays for us. 

LOTS OF BLESSINGS TO YOU!

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There is no “Other.” There is only you experiencing yourself.

 

12 Habits That Harm Your Immune System

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habits-that-harm-immune-system-health
Avoid habits that can harm or weaken your immune system. A Shutterstock Licensed Image

What does your immune system do?

Your immune system is an expansive, complicated network of organs, tissues, and cells that work together to fight harmful germs and other invasive antigens that can make you sick. 

It’s your immune system’s job to protect you, but it can only do so effectively when it’s healthy. There are plenty of ways to protect against viruses and strengthen immune responses, such as introducing probiotics and antiviral herbs to your diet. 

We can also cause damage and weaken the body’s defense if we expose our body to unhealthy life and eating habits. Being more mindful of how we treat our bodies can lead to less sickness and increased longevity. 

So what are you currently doing that interferes with normal immune system activity? Here are some of the more common reasons our immune system might be out of balance.

1. Excessive Amounts of Sugar

We’ll start with an easy one. If you’re like me, you’ve probably heard “sugar is bad for you!” hundreds of times in your life. People are quick to point out that it can lead to diabetes and obesity, but the truth is that it can also reduce your immune system’s defense.

Leukocytes, or white blood cells, are the immune system cells that fight all kinds of foreign invaders like bacteria and viruses. So it’s scary to think that your immune system could be ineffective for any amount of time–but that’s exactly what a study conducted by Loma Linda University found could happen. They found that with as little at 100 grams of sugar (roughly equivalent to a liter of soda) your immune system could be 10-50% less effective at fighting off invaders. For up to 5 hours after ingesting it! 

In that time it would be so much easier for a virus to slip by and get you sick. And to make matters worse, sugar competes with another vital component of your white blood cells–Vitamin C. 

Vitamin C in these cells are necessary for the destruction of bacteria and viruses. However, it shares a similar chemical structure with sugar, so they end up competing for space in your immune cells. More sugar means less Vitamin C, leading to a crippled immune system. 

2. Cigarettes & Marijuana

When your immune system isn’t working at its best, you’re more likely to get sick,  suffer more severe symptoms, and have longer-lasting illnesses

Smoking can throw your immune system out of balance. Along with all of the other health risks associated with smoking, nicotine is a known immunosuppressive. Just like sugar, it inhibits your body’s ability to fight off microscopic pests. It also reduces antioxidant levels in your blood.  

Marijuana alters immune cells found in your blood. The question around whether or not this change is beneficial or harmful is still being debated, but animal studies show marijuana suppresses inflammation and immune system function. If this is the same for humans, all of the issues surrounding poor immune health we discussed before could start to affect you. 

3. Caffeine

You may be surprised to find out that when consumed in moderation, caffeine helps to regulate the immune system. It also contains antioxidants that help prevent disease and cancers. 

But don’t go reaching for that guilt-free soda quite yet. 

If you drink caffeine in excess, it will have an opposite, harmful effect on your immune system. How do you know what qualifies as “too much”? According to the Mayo Clinic, 400 mg is around the safe average for healthy adults. If you need a visual to help compare, they equate it to 4 cups of coffee, two energy drinks, or 10 cans of soda. 

Straying from these levels can lead to major issues. High caffeine levels make your body release increased amounts of cortisol. This stress hormone is designed to give you physical energy to exert in times of high stress, so it dumps your body’s store of fat and sugar. Immune suppression, high blood pressure, higher cholesterol levels, skin breakouts, and weight gain. 

Excessive caffeine can also cause anxiety, insomnia, stomachache, panic attacks, nervousness, and addiction. 

If you feel like you can’t let go of your 12 daily coffee refills start by moving to drinks that naturally have less caffeine or set limits on how much you’re consuming. Try an herbal tea or another healthy alternative. You can also meditate if you’re feeling off or imbalanced to strengthen spiritual, emotional, and physical health.  

4. Red Meat

As with several other items on this list, there is a nutritional benefit to eating moderate amounts of red meat. It provides a source of proteins, vitamins, and iron. The issue arises when you eat too much of it, and over a long period of time.

Red meat has been linked to increasing cancer growth for as long as most of us probably remember. The cause is thought to be a sugar molecule found in lamb, beef, and pork skin called Neu5Gc. It isn’t produced by your body naturally, but it’s found in cancerous tissues. Red meat has incredibly high levels of the molecule while poultry, fish, fruits, and vegetables didn’t have any.  

Neu5Gc sparks a reaction from the immune system when consumed and it sends antibodies to get rid of the foreign invader. The inflammation that results from this response, if chronic, contributes to cancerous tumor growth. An animal study proved that the mice receiving Neu5Gc developed 5 times as many tumors.  

5. Not Drinking Enough Water

Drinking water flushes toxins and waste materials like sugar and salt. Otherwise the body has trouble eliminating the debris and it starts to compound, making you more susceptible to infection and sickness. 

Being dehydrated reduces energy levels too. Without energy you’re more likely to skip important exercise and experience a sluggish immune system. 

Drink more water! It’s easy to accomplish and you can set reminders throughout the day if you’re worried you’ll forget. Your body will thank you and you’ll feel so much better. 

6. Lack of Electrolytes

We routinely get all the electrolytes we need from the food and drink we consume. Which is great because these slightly charged particles play a key role in quite a few functions. They help maintain hydration levels and carry electrical impulses all around the body.

If your electrolytes get out of balance, you can experience a whole slew of nasty effects like:

  • Weakened musclesbook-live-intuitive-reading-with-paul-wagner
  • Muscle spasms, cramps, or twitches
  • Joint and bone disorders
  • Insomnia or other sleep disorders
  • Incorrect hydration levels
  • Less effective immune system
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue

An electrolyte imbalance could be a sign of underlying medical conditions, but we also need a boost after strenuous exercise or prolonged heat exposure. Our digestive systems slow as we age, which can make it more difficult for our bodies to maintain a proper balance. 

Maple, coconut, and birch water are naturally high in electrolytes, making them a healthy way to replace the missing molecules. Especially for long-term electrolyte replacement. Don’t rely too heavily on other common solutions like sports drinks because they usually contain a ton of unhealthy sugar.

7. Skipping the Workout

Regular exercise is a common health recommendation, tied to a wide range of benefits throughout the body. Heart health, lower blood pressure, weight loss, and immune system defense are just a few.  

A sedentary lifestyle interrupts this natural flow and hurts you as a result. Working out improves circulation so immune cells can travel faster and work more efficiently. If you’re sitting down for most of the day, every day, your circulation could suffer, resulting in blood having a more difficult time maneuvering around the body.

You don’t have to throw a bunch of money at a gym membership you’ll never use. Home workouts are easy to find online and include almost any topic you can think of, from yoga to dance routines. Take a stroll through a nearby park or even your neighborhood if you really don’t like exercising.  

8. Sleeping Too Little

Everyone requires different amounts of sleep to allow their body to fully recover from the day before, but 6 to 8 hours is typically recommended. Any less than this, especially over a long time, can cause negative reactions in your body. 

Sleeping too little increases the chances of getting sick and the risk of chronic diseases. It’s believed this is directly connected to the fact that not sleeping interrupts immune system functions. 

Short-term sleep deprivation makes you more likely to catch a cold or flu, increases your chance of infection, and can even slow the speed of healing. If it becomes a long-term problem, people can also find themselves at risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and depression.

Despite what some people believe, your body can’t just “get used to” surviving on little to no sleep. In fact the continued inflammation caused from little sleep can create more issues for long-term health.

9. Skipping the Naps

Who put the idea in people’s minds that naps are only for kindergarten? So many adults find themselves fighting off the urge to nap during the day, even after a night of poor sleep. But it’s important to listen to the signals your body is sending–it needs that sleep to perform efficiently and keep you healthy. 

A short nap is a healthy way to make up for that crucial sleep you missed the night before. One study compared the levels of cytokines (inflammatory molecules) and norepinephrine (a stress hormone) between two groups. Both were limited to only two hours of sleep on the night of the study, but only one group was allowed to take 2 thirty minute naps the following day. 

Both levels are typically higher after a poor night’s sleep, but the nappers tested normal when the cytokines and norepinephrine levels as if they never lost that crucial sleep.

10. Vitamin Deficiency

Proper vitamin and nutrient levels are absolutely crucial for overall health and an efficient immune system. Nutrients like iron, folic acid, zinc, copper, selenium, and Vitamins A, B6, C, D, and E are all vital to give your body a proper defense against infections and viruses. 

A single deficiency is enough to throw off your immune system and change its response. So the risk of viral, bacterial, and infections increases for those with a poor diet and no additional supplements. 

Fresh, quality food is the best way to ensure ongoing immune health. Frozen fruits and veggies are a great substitute if there’s no fresh produce near you or you’re tired of forgetting things in the back of the fridge until they’ve rotted. Companies freeze them at their peak ripeness so they retain nearly the same amount of nutrients.

Multivitamins and supplements shouldn’t be used as a full substitute for a healthy diet, but they’re great if you’re unable to frequently eat meals that contain the nutrients your body needs. It’s important to remember that taking a supplement once isn’t going to do anything to change your vitamin levels. It’s something you have to stick with for a while to see results, just like you need to maintain a healthy diet over a period of time to notice a difference. 

Stay away from megadose supplements. They contain far more than the recommended dietary allowances which can inhibit immune system efficiency and cause other harmful side effects. 

11. 5G Technology

Some scientists say that we need stronger exposure limits in place to protect us from the effects of radio frequency radiation (RFR). Over 500 studies have found negative biological and health effects caused by RFR exposure and  long-term radiation is also possibly linked to cancer.

5G technology will be combining the older technology of microwaves with the new tech, millimeter waves. The amount of cell antennas required to maintain the service will expose people to this new millimeter wave radiation for the first time. 

There is still research being done to find the extent of risk when it comes to 5G technology, but limiting exposure will help you protect yourself and your immune system from potential harm.

12. Drinking Ice Cold Water

It’s important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, but how we consume it can be just as important. 

Icy cold water may sound delicious, but it can slow your body’s digestion and hinder its ability to absorb nutrients. As your body tries to correct this imbalance, you can experience water loss that leads to dehydration. Chilled water too soon after finishing a meal can solidify fats from the food and make it difficult for you to break down the unwanted substances. This extra energy being exerted may have a negative impact on your immune system and make you more open to sickness.

Ancient Chinese medicine believes that mixing cold water with warm food creates an imbalance in our bodies. To combat this, room temperature water or hot beverages like tea often accompany meals.

If you’re feeling under the weather, warm drinks are also good at fighting congestion by making it easier to breathe. Cold water, on the other hand, has been found to thicken nasal mucous and makes the congestion feel worse.

You should also skip the cold water if you suffer from migraines or achalasia, as it can trigger or worsen symptoms you’re already suffering from.

Summary

These are just a few simple changes that can make a world of difference in your life. No one likes getting sick or feeling run down, and by avoiding bad habits and unhealthy substances you improve your ability to fight off viruses and bacteria.

It’s wonderful to work on your physical health, but make sure not to neglect other aspects of yourself like emotional, mental, and spiritual wellness. Finding the perfect balance can be difficult at first, but over time you’ll find that as you start to feel better these things will come more naturally to you.

Good luck on your journey to a healthier, happier you!

 

Empaths: Intuitive, Emotional Warriors

Emotional

Empaths can be warriors – if they choose. A Shutterstock Licensed Image.

As an open-hearted and whimsical little boy, I wish this question had dawned on me sooner, “What is an Empath?” Given all the experiences that sensitive children tend to endure, I wish someone had taught me about my nature during childhood, instead of plopping it into my lap when I was a meandering adult. My boyhood battles were hard fought and rarely won. The lessons throughout the years seemed to point to one thing: I had no idea I was an Empath.

Are You An Empath?

I remember the day someone asked me that question. I was 30 years old, sitting on a beach in California, holding a friend’s hand. I felt so badly for her broken heart that I cried with her. When she asked me that very potent question, my tears turned inward, where I immediately found a beautiful and profound clarity. At that moment, I knew I was an Empath. I was free.

In the years to come, I could not only feel the feelings of others; I could see the possible trajectories in their lives. On several occasions, I took on my client’s physical attributes, including the temporary appearance of track marks on my arms when doing a session for a former heroin addict.

Yes, being an Empath can be intense.

Check out Paul’s EMPATH OATH.

What Is A True Empath?

Over the years, I’ve seen the definition of Empath morph. It used to refer to being able to imagine feeling what other people are feeling. It grew from there to reference people who are deeply and actively compassionate, and in the face of danger or drama, can readily extend warmth and kindness to those in need.

As factions of society became more conscious, the definition of an Empath narrowed and crystalized. It’s clear now. An Empath is someone uniquely open and highly sensitive, to the point of being able to embody and process the emotions that someone else is experiencing. It turns out that Empathy is the older, wiser brother to compassion.

Not only do Empaths grow and heal by processing the emotions of other people, but they can also learn to be inspiring advisors and powerful healers. They can build schools of thought and heal nations. Nelson Mandela was an Empath.

What Does It Mean To Be An Empath?

If you can feel, from head to toe, what others are feeling when they are having a tough day, you might be an Empath. If you feel overwhelmed and personally afflicted when someone else is hurt or broken, there’s a good chance you’re an Empath.

It all starts with a traumatic event for another person and the immediate feeling of being completely overwhelmed, yet unable to describe it. Somehow your voice is shackled, and your energy is restricted. You don’t feel depleted, but you feel limited, maybe oppressed. As your mind fails to land on a clear thought, deep in your heart, you realize something’s wrong. But, what is it?

At first, you try meditation, exercise, therapy, dance, essential oils, crystals, herbs, jogging, sex, tantra, mountaineering and adventure travel, plus every other modality that might help you shed inhibition or come back to life. While some of these things help you find yourself again some of the time, most of them don’t work most of the time. Empaths tend to spend 50-70% of their lives somewhat emotionally restricted, confused, or depressed.

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While most now agree that an Empath is a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) who feels and absorbs what other people are feeling, there are different degrees of Empathic abilities.

Some Empaths can feel what an object is carrying, and possibly the energy of the person who once held it. The most intensely intuitive Empaths not only feel emotions and energy from most of the people in a room, but they also feel the residual energy and can intuit the personal circumstances surrounding the people who recently inhabited that room. Some Empaths are downright spooky. I’m one of those Empaths, and I love it.

Types Of Empaths

As you can tell, there are varying levels of Empaths. Some can carry collected energy their entire lives, without ever being able to relinquish it. The reason that an Empath might be stuck in this way is that they never learned how to set boundaries, release collected energies, and reinvigorate themselves. This points to one painful fact: most Empaths have no idea how to care for themselves.

An Empath doesn’t have to be a professional clairvoyant, intuitive reader, or life coach. Some Empaths are artists, politicians, or teachers. You can even find Empaths in the military.

We tend to be bright, compassionate, and proactive, although there is also a slight tendency to over-dramatize emotional situations and events. Empaths are not perfect; we’re just open-hearted and absorbent.

Empath Traits

You might be an Emotional, Medical, Intellectual, or Spiritual Empath. Regardless, the traits of an Empath can vary. Here is a list of potential characteristics, according to the newly emerging category of Empath psychology:

  • Often considered a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)
  • Materially, energetically and spiritually generous
  • Absorbent to the point of having to shed the emotions collected from others
  • Highly intuitive, telepathic or clairvoyant
  • Sleep is filled with potent dreams that are easily remembered and interpreted
  • Appear to be slightly sad or depressed, more than most
  • Come off as mystical or spiritual
  • Tend to be shy, introverted or avoidant of conversation
  • Able to heal others of physical, intellectual and emotional challenges
  • Easily manipulated or coerced
  • Easily overwhelmed
  • Can quickly become the dumpster for every else’s negativity
  • Energy can be rapidly drained
  • Equally helpful to friends and strangers
  • Often feel better in solitude
  • Feel as though they can deeply and genuinely relate with trees, plants, and animals as if they are kin to human beings
  • Able to pick up the disease and physical symptoms of the sick
  • Able to quickly parse the emotions and thoughts of others
  • Attractive to narcissists and energy vampires
  • Attuned to the moment someone is lies
  • Tend to give far more than is required or necessary
  • Tend to have a tipping point where the individual cuts cords with others
  • Might temporarily hate themselves, and as a result, get stuck for a while
  • Might be seen as a doormat or sucker
  • Sensitive to smells, sounds, and tastes to the point of being immobilized
  • Feel full of love and light when they are surrounded by nature
  • Feel replenished during thunderstorms and snowstorms
  • Shocked by event crowds, cocktail parties, and busy department stores
  • Loves to write, paint, sculpt, color, dance or play music

Empath And Narcissist Romances

If you’re an Empath, you’ve probably spent some time in a relationship with an extremely needy person or a narcissist. The Empath-narcissist pairing is alluring because the Empath is always absorbing something palpable from the emotion-addicted narcissist. With their hearts full of light and love, this can be exciting or energizing for an Empath.

With each projection that extends from the vampire-like partner, the Empath will find ways to reflect healthier versions of the projection, with the hope he or she might save the narcissist from yet one more drastic rise or fall.

It’s the Empaths throughout the world that tend to act as the psychic receptacles of emotional and dramatic events. Yes, Empaths can save the universe.

Are Empaths Real?

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Once in a while, I bump into people who reject the notion that Empaths are different from others. They say things like, “You’re too sensitive” or “Why do you choose to feel that way.” As an Empath, you eventually learn to tolerate these statements, without reacting to them. I will often respond, “If I wasn’t feeling things so deeply, I might never have seen your immense value.” Or “If I wasn’t truly Empathic, how could I have seen that subtle event that broke your heart and told you what it felt like.”

It’s an honor to be an Empath, yet it takes time to learn how to maneuver through all the emotional and energetic fascia throughout the environments and relationships that we encounter.

Famous Empaths

There are millions of Empaths around the world. If you’re on the Meyers-Briggs scale as an INFP or INFJ, you might be one, too.

Here is a list of a few of the more popular Empaths throughout history. There are many more.

Look around at your family and friends. Chances are that 10% of them are empathic in some way. Be gentle with these folks and nurture these relationships. At some point in the future, you might need a deeply loving friend to come to your rescue.

Check out Paul’s EMPATH OATH.