I’m an empath. I’ve always been one. But I haven’t always known it. I grew up thinking the walls I built around me meant there was something wrong with me. That and growing up shy, I kept myself secluded, unavailable. And practicing yoga for the past 20 years has made me even more sensitive. It’s why I became excellent at verbally assisting when I teach, not needing to do hands on when I felt over-stimulated by an increasing sensitivity to energy. That and back when I learned to teach yoga while living at Kripalu Center, it wasn’t possible to do hands on assists in a room with 60 students.
Because I’m an empath, I used to take on other people’s stuff. Then my mind would create a story for why I was feeling the way I was-crazy! I’ve watched this very carefully over the years. Wisdom has taught me how unhealthy this is-I instinctively knew this, which is why the wall was built in the first place. I had enough to deal with in my own emotional world, my container wasn’t big enough or strong enough then to process anyone else’s stuff.
I’ve worked hard over the years to build a healthy container, and my capacity has grown exponentially. Yoga Nidra taught me this depth of self-awareness. I can work one-on-one with clients, feel what they themselves have yet to discover about their own nature, their samskaras, and hold the space for them with very specific guidance to begin to uncover their truth in their own time and own way. This is exquisite to witness. And such a blessing.
I’m still uncovering my own truth. I’m still an empath. Only now when I feel someone’s pain, and sadness, my energy body physically responds. It’s noticeable, it’s powerful, but when I presence myself about it, it’s generally accepted, but sometimes it creates confusion. I’m still in the infancy stages of this powerful energy awakening process, but I’m learning to work with it, to be a conduit, and to not be so obvious with the external manifestations of energy, which can come in dramatic forms called pranakriyas.
The depth of this authentic energy is working with me-increasing my capacity to hold more space, expanding my awareness, increasing my empathic sensitivity. Sometimes it means I can’t go to community events, other yoga classes or meditation group gatherings. In fact, what is occurring is the innate sense that this intelligent energy is asking me to be secluded. The irony is beautiful and such a blessing.