Empathic

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“I’m a what? An Empath? What’s that?” That’s the response I often receive when I tell my clients they are empathic. My standard response is that you feel other people’s emotions; you just ‘know’ a person/animal’s emotional state.

According to a definition search on Google, an Empath is, “(chiefly in science fiction) a person with the paranormal ability to apprehend the mental or emotional state of another individual.”  (Insert a derisive snort, eye roll and for good measure, let’s throw in a chuffaw)  Chiefly in science fiction’ my lily white bum.

The word “Empath” comes from the word “Empathy,” which Google tells me is “the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.”  This form of the word “empathic” must be more acceptable as there isn’t a ‘chiefly in science fiction’ disclaimer attached to it.

How do you know if you’re Empathic? Well, according to The Healers Journal, there are 30 signs to look for. Here are five of them:

1.    Knowing

2.    Overwhelmed in public places

3.    Taking on the emotions or physical ailments of others

4.    Intolerance to watching (or reading about) violence or cruelty

5.    Excellent listener

As long as I can remember, I have had issues dealing with large crowds. I’m talking weddings, funerals, graduations, award ceremonies, even watching little squirts play hockey.  Anywhere there is strong emotion, I’m bound to tear up even if I don’t have a vested interested in what’s going on.

Years ago, YEARS ago, I was one of several students giving Reiki to my (now) bestie and (then) mentor, Susie, during a Reiki Gathering. Susie is an imposing figure (she’s over 6 feet tall) and she is, in my opinion, responsible for forging the path of Reiki/intuitive work in Fargo. I tell you this because, for me, all of that – her stature, her intuitive gifts and her knowledge – was very intimidating to a newly practicing intuitive such as myself.

I was working over her heart area when I was overcome with sadness. Before I could even register what was happening, I opened my maw and said (sighed, really), “Oh Susieeeeeeeeeeee.” She, who had been trying to hide her feelings and the drama that was going on in her personal life, looked up at me, clutched one of my hands and burst out crying.  She felt ‘seen’ and that, she later said, was reassuring and comforting. Because of my empathic skills and the cojones to not let intimidation stop me, a deep and trusting friendship began.

One of the biggest issues of being an Empath is dealing with the ‘energy vampires.’ You know what I’m talking about; the leeches who suck the (energetic) life right out of you. The constant and eternal Debbie Downers who thrive on drama and negativity. These people are infinitely unhappy in their own lives and like a moth to a flame (the flame being you, my empathic friends), flutter about you until they either burn or you manage to shoo them away.

Back when I didn’t know how to protect myself from these psychic attacks, I constantly felt drained and I found myself trying to avoid certain people. As I spiritually learned and grew, I embraced a couple simple protection techniques that saved my proverbial bacon. They are as follows:

1.    The Bubble of Protection: Imagine yourself inside a “Glenda the Good Witch” bubble and nothing but the energy for your highest good can penetrate it.

2.    Purifying White Light: Imagine yourself bathed in a beam of pure white light. It cleanses you and keeps out all that is not for your highest good.

3.    Mirrors: Imagine yourself behind a large, unblemished mirror.  All that is not for your highest good will be repelled.

Those are three of my favorites. I’ve even created a meditation about them. I used these techniques a lot before I built up energetic ‘calluses’ which naturally protect me (somewhat) from those that seek to syphon my energy.

As I find myself on our way to my father-in-laws funeral, my mind turns toward this subject. He is a man whom I’ve never met and yet several times this week I have been moved to tears. I must be picking up on the energy of those he has left behind; the wife who stood by his side for over 25 years, the hired hand who worked tirelessly for him for over 30 years and, I suppose, for the granddaughter who will never know her grandpa. I think his death is also triggering emotions from my own dad’s death.

I know I’ll be bawling at the funeral and it has nothing to do with my personal feelings. I’ll be picking up on the emotions of loss, sadness and grief.  But I’m good with crying. Totally.  I also know I’ll be seeking some quiet time (another empathic need) to help me unwind from all of these emotions.

Being an Empath is a gift and it helps me see what my clients try to hide. It allows me to be a far more effective Healer and a more compassionate person.  Clearly, this empathic stuff isn’t just for Deanna Troi of Star Trek: The Next Generation (yes! I’m a TREKY!).

Teacher

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Years ago, I was walking on a treadmill next to an unknown woman with beautiful long silver hair. The energy emanating from her was of peace, serenity and composure. I kept sneaking glances at her and trying to figure out what it was about her. Finally, I gave in to my inner voice and told her how beautiful her energy was. She turned, looked at me and said, “Thank you.  And you are a beautiful teacher.” I stammered, “Oh no. I’m not a teacher. I’m an ex-banker.”  She smiled tenderly and said, “No. You are a teacher.”

I’ve thought about her and her statement quite often. It occurred to me that yes, I AM a teacher. I’ve been teaching for most of my life. Early in my banking career I trained the new hires, then created manuals and then taught people the correct way to adhere to those manuals.

When I found Reiki, it never once occurred to me I wouldn’t teach this beautiful healing craft. In fact, I knew within minutes of experiencing Reiki that I would someday teach this to others. My banking career allowed me to know what I wanted (and didn’t want) in a curriculum and in my teaching style.

Now, it seems, I’ve accepted the responsibility of a different type of teaching. This ‘job’ will be full-time for at least 18 years. It’s funny that I never really thought of being a mom as being a teacher. I didn’t view my parents that way and I’m not sure they viewed parenthood as being teachers either. Maybe this is a knowing you get when you are an older (much older) parent. I’m positive I wouldn’t have viewed my role as a teacher if I would have had a baby in my 20’s or even my 30’s.

As parents, we unknowingly teach our children our bad habits as well as our good ones. We do this by just living our life. If we have been doing something the same way for most of our life, it comes naturally to us. It IS us. We may, while in the presence of our children, swear a blue streak at a slow driver (or the Minnesota Vikings) or pitch a huge fit complete with foot stomping and slamming of doors. We may also use derogatory slurs we learned while growing up. 

We will be teaching our little ones so many things including how to deal with anger, jealousy and resentment. We will be teaching our babies how to deal with losing, aggression and general meanness. We will be teaching this sometimes without saying a word. They will closely watch how we react and then that’s how and what they will learn. If we are prone to drama, I bet they’ll be prone to drama. If we feel it’s acceptable to make fun of others, then they will feel it’s acceptable to do the same.

Are you getting where I’m going with this? We, as the adults, have choices and most of us have fully functioning minds that understand what WE do, they do. We, again as adults, do not have to be like our parents even if they were the only role models we had. We do not have to pass on the silent treatments, the swearing, the spanking, the yelling and the ‘change your attitudes’ to our children.

Trying to be my mom didn’t work for my starter marriage (see Abuse blog). But it was the eye opening experience it took for me to understand I didn’t have to be her.  I have been weaning out the old and embracing the new ever since.

As far as my daughter goes, I knew I would not spank her. To me, spanking didn’t teach me a lesson. Hurt or pain didn’t help me understand why my behavior wasn’t acceptable. What it did was cause me to fear my dad (he was usually the punisher dole’r out’r) and to keep my emotional distance from him. That fear affected me well into my late 30’s.  

If we yell and swear at our children, we are teaching them to yell and swear. In reality, yelling and swearing are both ways to try to get the other person’s attention. So why not choose a less abusive and more respectful form of communicating? Perhaps one that may yield positive and nourishing results instead of fear, dissension and anger.

I wish my parents would have utilized a different form of punishment, but the forms they used were what they knew. It was how they were raised. But I’m telling you, I want something different from myself and for my daughter.

I don’t EVER want to see fear in her eyes when she makes a mistake or has an accident or even intentionally misbehaves. I want her to know her dad and I aren’t the only role models in her life. I want her to know how to resolve her upsets without being verbally, physically or emotionally abusive. This, in part, is the legacy I want to leave behind. Then, God willing, I can watch how my daughter adapts and changes that legacy for her own brood.

I vow to sincerely try to break the cycle of abuse. I do not want to teach abuse and I do not want to be abusive. Will I succeed? I don’t know but I’m really, really trying. As the Virginia Slim cigarette slogan goes, “You’ve come a long way baby.”

 

Communication

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Effective communication was not my strong suit. My way of dealing with uncomfortable or scary things was to stick my head in the proverbial sand and ignore them. I prayed they’d go away or miraculously resolve themselves. It never happened. Not once. In fact, if I didn’t deal with the issue, it blossomed into something even bigger. Stephen King should write a novel about that!

The saying goes that you deal with some of your biggest fears while you are within the safety of a committed relationship.  Boy howdy, blog readers. Boy howdy!

When we were in the early days of dating, my husband would spout things like, “I don’t want to get married again” or “I think we should just live together.” These statements, seemingly said to gauge my response, were deal breakers for me. There was no sticking my head in the sand on this one. I said, “I want marriage. I want the safety, the security and the commitment that comes with marriage. Tell me now if marriage is off the table and we’ll end it right here.”  

He stammered and got all bashful and said, “Well, I guess I can think about it.” I said, “There is no thinking about it. It’s yes or no. Are you open for marriage?”  We locked eyes and he said, “Yes, with the right person.”  All righty, then. Moving on.

I wasn’t so confident when it came to the ‘having children’ talk (see ‘Vasectomy’ and ‘Miracle’ blog). That topic had a lot of fear around it. I knew we were supposed to have children together but he was adamant he was done. I was beside myself with fear. I wasn’t sleeping; I was barely eating and I knew I had to talk with him about this. If he wasn’t at least the littlest bit open to having children, I’d be forced to end our relationship. As distasteful as that thought was, I wasn’t willing to compromise my lifelong dream of having children. I would accept he wasn’t The One and move on.

I have my bestie Susie to thank for helping me through that very difficult time. She spoke in a language I’d not heard before. She took out the anger, the manipulation, the blaming, the threatening and the yelling. She taught me I could effectively communicate without those lower, denser emotions and energies. She spoke with love and respect and clarity. She told me to speak honestly and from the heart. You mean I have to open my heart to rejection AND deal with my fear? At the same time?! Uh, yes (gulp). Damn it!

Susie encouraged me to say things like, “I’m very afraid. I need you to help me understand why you are feeling the way you are. I don’t understand and I want to work through this. Will you help me?”  I’m paraphrasing but you get the idea. I wasn’t attacking or hurtful or even manipulative. In return, he wasn’t defensive, angry or shut down. But let me be clear, while I was trying to find the words to say to him, my heart was racing, my palms were sweaty and my mouth was dry. I kept praying my Guys (Guardian Angels) would help me, guide me and keep me calm. I kept praying they would help me with the exact wording because even though I’d rehearsed it, I was scared out of my wits.

Trinity had the vasectomy. So, evidently using my voice in a new way had more to do with me than with him. But, as you all know, there’s more to that story and it had a happy ending.  😉

As I’m typing this, I’m having an epiphany. It seems fear has a LOT to do with how we communicate (or don’t communicate). For instance, I have a friend who recently became engaged. Her sweet, gentle, loving fiancé picked out the ring without her knowledge but with some guidance from her. When he proposed, he went into a long explanation as to how he went about deciding that ring was ‘it.’ She, however, had envisioned a different ring. She didn’t want a bigger diamond; in fact, she didn’t care if she had a diamond at all. She didn’t want something fancier or shinier.

Does she (lovingly) tell her fiancé what she’d really like or keep the ring because of the beautiful and thoughtful manner in which it was conceived? My personal feeling is that she’s going to wear the ring for the next 50 years (or longer!). She should wear something that she finds true beauty in and is reflective of her. Again, that’s my own feelings and that was the reason I picked out my OWN engagement ring.

But what if, say, 50 years down the road she finally tells her husband that while she loved how much thought he put into the engagement ring, it never really resonated with her. I wonder if he would say, “Why didn’t you tell me! You were quiet all these years and now I feel badly about that. What else haven’t you told me?”

What if this is a spiritual growth opportunity for her? Or maybe for HIM?! What if she chooses to put her head in the sand when he’s really wishing (on some level) that she’d say something? I, I, I! So many, “what if’s” it’ll make your head spin but such is the way of this enigmatic spiritual stuff.

If you are one of the ‘sand people’ and want to change your communication style, there’s no better time than the present. Trust me, it’s not going to get easier the more you procrastinate. Take the lower, denser emotions out of your speech and talk with openness and honesty.  It just may be you’ll find yourself in a stronger relationship because of it. I know we did.

Crying

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Do you apologize to others for being happy or for being afraid? Sounds odd, right? But how many times have you apologized for crying in front of someone? Aha! I’m willing to bet almost every time.

Why? Why do we do this?? Crying is a human emotion. It’s no different than anger or fear or even joy. And yet we don’t apologize when we’re feeling happy. I mean, how many times have you heard, “Oh gee, I’m so sorry. I can’t seem to stop smiling. I’m SO embarrassed!” Uh, like NEVER!

I was raised by a dad whom I never saw cry. He certainly may have but he didn’t do it in front of me. My mom was just the opposite. When she was sad, frustrated or hurt, she openly cried.  I was a momma’s girl so it’s no surprise I cry openly, too.

If you’re lucky enough to have two parents as a child/young adult, you had two role models in which to create your emotional behavior. If you related to the ‘unemotional’ one, then the one who cried is going to be perceived as a baby or weak. If you connected with the ‘emotional’ one, then the other one is going to be viewed as unfeeling or cold.

I can’t tell you how many times over the years I’ve heard, “She’s such a strong woman” or “I’m trying to be strong.” Both of these statements infuriate me as they imply that crying makes you weak. Quite frankly, I’m fed up with this archaic and untrue line of thinking.  It doesn’t matter what gender you are, either. Crying (emotion) does not discriminate. Both genders should feel empowered to have a good ol’ crying jag without fear of being viewed as weak. Oye!!  

When I’m seeing a new client, I cue them that they may have an “emotional release” while receiving Reiki. I let them know that they shouldn’t be embarrassed by the tears or hold them back. I tell them that crying is therapeutic and by crying it often triggers the healing process to begin.

The most common reason we cry is due to stress, sadness, grief, anxiety and frustration. But we also cry tears of joy or when we feel overwhelming relief. Is there a difference between the tears? Yes. According to several websites including 5 Health Benefits of Crying, there are more toxic byproducts in tears that are shed for emotional reasons than say, in response to an onion or the birth of a baby. Oh HO!  

Something else I found interesting was if you were to compare crying to say sweating while exercising, the same detoxing and destressing process occurs. If you hold back your tears, you can increase your stress levels (duh).  This can lead to health issues such as high blood pressure, depression and fatigue.

Crying helps your mood. Plain and simple. Studies show a good cry can elevate your mood by releasing endorphins which allow your emotional and physical body to feel calm again.

It can help with cold and flu prevention, too. Tears contain natural antibacterial and antiviral solutions that work to fight the germs we get in our eyes. Our tears are capable of killing up to 95% of all bacteria that enter our eyes within minutes. What the WHAT?! WOW!

Last, but not least, tears literally enable us to see. Kind of a biggy, don’t you think? Tears moisten our eyes and prevent dehydration. You don’t say! Well then, how come every time after I cry my eyes feel like a sand pit?!

Crying is essential to healing grief as it helps us process loss. Tears are a sign of courage, strength and authenticity. I couldn’t agree more. Please remember that the next time you’re feeling embarrassed or ashamed of an emotion whose very purpose is designed to help us grow, heal and cleanse.

 

Abuses

(This blog is a continuation of my previous blog entitled, ‘Abuse’.)

And take back my Power I did. It wasn’t easy though. Don’t be fooled into thinking it was. I had opted for divorce over suicide. Good decision, don’t you think? But you have to understand, when you’re in something that is so harmful and most of you is gone, you think you don’t have a choice. I was caught between strongly wanting to honor my marriage vows (I did marry for life, after all) and not wanting to leave a marriage that wasn’t ‘all that bad.’ Again, when sober, my husband was everything to me. Why couldn’t he see that? Why couldn’t he change?!

Well, maybe it was because he wasn’t ready to change or maybe it wasn’t for him to change. Maybe it was for ME. I don’t know. You can only change yourself (I learned that in counseling, too).

As any woman who has been in an abusive relationship knows, there is a ‘cycle’ or a rhythm that happens.  This cycle will not change until one person decides to do something differently. For me, the cycle was: drink, fight, sober, apologize. Then, one month, one week or one day later, it would all begin again.

I’d tell myself, “This is the last time. If it happens again, I’m filing for divorce.” And then it would happen again and I wouldn’t be ready to take the next step.

When I was ready, I did break the cycle.  I told my husband I wanted a divorce and he laughed at me. He said “don’t threaten me with that.”  I leveled my gaze and felt 90 feet tall. I said, deadly calm, “Do you honestly think I would joke about this?! I. Want. A. Divorce.”

Either his laughing or thinking I was bluffing was all it took to get a little bit of the Melissa I used to be to assert herself into the Melissa I had become.

Listening to the women’s stories the other night triggered some powerful memories and emotions for me. Out of those memories/emotions came these blogs.  I know there are so many of us (men and women) who are suffering abuse. Abuse can come at the hands of another or at the hands of ourselves. Sometimes I think the abuse we heap upon our own shoulders is the most insidious.

Who hasn’t thought, “I’m worthless. I’m a failure. I’m fat. Nobody will love me. I’m stupid.” If you’ve never had a thought about yourself like that, then I applaud you.  At times, thoughts like those plagued me and sometimes still do! Told you I was a work in progress. But, as with external abusers, you don’t need to put up with that.  As with anything, if you want it to change, then change it yourself.

One of the things I did to combat my negative self-talk and heal from the death of my marriage was to find things that were empowering to me. I hired a personal trainer to help me feel physically strong. I broke the ties of most of my old friends and found new ones that supported and encouraged me. I found fabulous spiritual mentors who helped me see the World through different eyes.

How? I’m so glad you asked! I believe we incarnate to learn lessons. Some are powerful and some are gentle. Sometimes we learn them and sometimes we don’t.  For me, I think I came back to learn I had the power inside of me to help myself and I didn’t need to give that away to anyone else.

I’m fully at peace with what happened during my first marriage. I forgive my ex-husband and myself. Sometimes though, I really want to ask him if he can forgive me. You see, I believe he and I agreed to come together in this lifetime in order for one or both of us to learn powerful and profound lessons. I love him for the part he played in my spiritual/emotional growth. That sentence took a whole lot of healing on my part, but that’s where I am. For all I know, he saw a glimpse of what I’d become if he did this or that and he decided to give up some of his own happiness so I could become radiant. I don’t know. But there are no coincidences in life. That I DO know.

I will not stand for abuse in my life. I’m by no means the authority on it, but I know what I deem as abusive. Remember, abuse takes many forms. If you are belittling yourself and calling yourself names, then I’m telling you that’s a complete travesty to your beauty. Stop it. Stop it right now. You do not deserve to see yourself as ‘less than’. You do not deserve to treat yourself so poorly. Ever. You are a child of God, no less or more important than the next person.

Choose your internal/external words wisely or you may be unknowingly teaching this kind of abuse to your children.  I’m betting the legacy you’d like to leave is filled with positive, loving and uplifting words.  I know that’s the legacy I’m trying to create for our daughter.

If you’ve glimpsed yourself in these two blogs, do what you need to do for you. You are just as important as the next person. Believe it. Own it. Know it. You DO have choices. What will be your catalyst for change?

Abuse

Last night I was privileged to sit in on the last session of an 8-week Wellness program. I wasn’t expecting the reaction I had. When the group was asked what progress they had made, one beautiful fighter said, “I’ve lost 190 pounds. This morning, after years and years of trying and struggling, I asked my husband to leave.”  Gahhhh.   It wasn’t her words that got me; it was the energy coming from her. It was the fact she was finding herself again and had the courage to start taking back her own Power. It awoke some pretty powerful personal memories for me.

Two other women shared their stories and I had similar responses to them as well.  Then I focused on the moderator. I know her personally and professionally and I know what she’s had to overcome. The fact that she was taking a piece of coal and turning it into a diamond by supporting, encouraging and empowering these women, moved me to tears again.

Super. I’m there to do a meditation and I’ve teared up four times already. In 15 minutes. How professional!   But, I do have a blog forming in my mind on crying so I’ll save my thoughts on that until later.

Whenever an emotion hits me so strongly, I’ve learned I need to examine what it’s triggering inside of me. This one was rather easy. I did survive an abusive marriage. I did find the courage to walk away. I did find the strength to examine my part in the abuse and the death of what I now call my ‘starter’ marriage.

Let me take you a little deeper into my old life. I won’t go too far as the pain is, even now over a decade later, still achy.

I married for life and I loved the beautiful man I’d married, when he was sober. When he was drunk, he became a man that scared me. I used to call it the ‘Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde’ syndrome. Again, this man was larger than life to me when he was sober but when he wasn’t? I was afraid of his temper and the man he would morph into.

Was he like this when we dated? Yes and no. We both drank a lot. I just thought he’d ‘outgrow’ the drinking part once we were married.  My thought about his drinking was this: going to the bar is a social thing you do when you’re single and looking. I thought once we were married there wouldn’t be so many nights spent at the bar and more nights spent at home.

Well, I was half right. I spent more (lonely) nights at home and he spent more nights at the bar.

Yes, we went to counseling and while that was a disaster for us as a couple, it did help me personally.

A one point, probably one of the lowest points, I remember sitting on our stairs thinking, “I’m either going to kill myself or I’ve got to leave this marriage.” I wasn’t sure which would be easier or which one I would choose. I didn’t believe in suicide but…. When you are being mentally/emotionally abused, your self-worth/self-esteems goes right into the crapper. You start to believe what you’re being told (‘you’re the reason I drink so much’ or ‘if you wouldn’t have said that, I wouldn’t have drank so much.’). The person you were slowly fades to a mere shadow of your former self.

I tried to find ways to cope. Those ways usually involved alcohol, trusted friends and avoidance. I blamed him for everything when in reality I held an equal share of the blame. I didn’t discover this aspect until years later when I had forgiven him and myself for so many horrible things.

Back then I wasn’t spiritual. Not at all. I didn’t even know I was intuitive or I had the support of God. I felt all alone, as most abused women do. My mom was gone and my family was not a huge source of support for me.

One night after a particularily horrible fight, I curled up in a tight, protective ball in the corner of our walk-in closet. All the doors were shut and if they could be, they were locked. I was so damn afraid. I was shaking and crying uncontrollably. Counseling later taught me you NEVER engage a person who has been drinking. NEVER. But I didn’t know that then.

I called my sister who, being 18 years older than me, had literally helped raise me. My mom was sick most of my childhood and teenage years so my sister stepped in even though she was a state away and raising her own family. I trusted her. I needed her. I relied on her. She was, essentially, my second mom. Unfortunately, this conversation did not go well.  Or maybe it did, depending on how you look at it.  I had made the call when I couldn’t get a hold of myself. When I apologized for calling, she responded, “Well, Mom’s gone now and I guess this shit falls on my shoulders.”

Whaaaa? I’m bleeding out here and that’s what you say?! I felt like I’d been slapped in the face. Hard. But that little sentence was the catalyst that started the change within me. And change me it did, deeply and profoundly. Something (fear maybe?) started to die inside of me and something that felt cold (determination, maybe?) was replacing it.  I wasn’t angry with my sister and the cold feeling had nothing to do with her. Even back then I could recognize that this was all about me. It was as if, after all my life of depending on others to take care of me, I stopped being the child and became the adult in that instant.  Or if you’d like to look at it a different way, I stopped being the victim and started being the survivor.

I don’t believe in coincidences. My sister, saying what she did WHEN she did, was divinely inspired. I didn’t think so at the time, but looking back, that ‘tough love’ sentence was exactly what I needed. To this day, I believe that was the turning point for me to start taking back my power and getting control of my life.

And with that, my friends….you’ll need to wait until the next blog entitled, “Abuses.” Awww…I know, I know. But, as my friend Ganesh says, “I’m not worried about a happy or sad ending…it’s the story leading up to it.”  😉

Michelle

I really try hard not to do my energetic or intuitive Work outside of session. I really, really do. In my early days, prior to me opening up my business, I found myself giving Reiki to anyone and everyone. It didn’t matter if they’d asked for it. Reiki is just such a beautiful gift to give, I couldn’t imagine why anybody would NOT want to receive it. Standing in front of me in the grocery store? Here, have some Reiki. It’s on the house. Stuck in traffic? Here you go, blue Toyota, you might like a little burst of energy.  But, as I became more knowledgeable about Reiki, I became more respectful of it. I came to accept that giving Reiki without permission took away a person’s power and thusly, I stopped.

Sometimes, SOMETIMES though, there is a person whom I can’t quit thinking about. I call it my ‘spidey-sense’ and it usually means this person has been thinking about me, on some level, as well.  This person is someone I know either from my Work or on a personal basis. It’s never a stranger and it’s usually someone’s energy that I’ve felt or worked in before.

About two weeks ago, I was sweating and grunting in my gym’s Group Power class. I happened to make eye contact with one of my friends and fellow sweater/grunter. I knew in an instant something was wrong. Her energy was just off.  I, trying to remain true to the values I hold so dearly, didn’t say a word to her. There have been a few cases where I’m literally so shocked by the information I hear, that I have to open my yapper and ask the individual about it NOW.  But, for her, I left the gym without saying a word.

The next week the same thing happened again. I didn’t even have to make eye contact this time to know. I saw her energy and the feeling I received was stronger this time. Something was off. It was as if she had a lot of troubles on her mind or was dealing with some heavy personal issues. I, again, didn’t do anything about it but I thought about her constantly that week.  That, in itself, told me something. When I can’t get you out of my melon, I must be tellin’. 😉

Today, I decided I had to approach her. I’d sat with it long enough and still felt the pull to reach out. She is familiar with my Work and has known me, personally, for years. I mean this woman and I have pumped iron together side by side. If that doesn’t qualify as knowing someone, what does???

I told her I really didn’t like to do my Work outside of session, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that sometime was wrong. I just felt like she needed a hug. I asked her how I could help or what I could do.  She shut the office door and told me a little bit about what had been going on for the last couple of weeks.  I apologized for the energetic intrusion and she told me she was thankful.

The feeling that someone is in emotional/mental/physical distress doesn’t always happen to me. I’ve been in one group fitness room or another for years (check out my biceps! Gun show, anyone?!) and the need to reach out, without permission, has happened a handful of times. I’m learning to pay more attention to when it does happen, as either I need to help someone or someone needs to help me.

The thing is, some of us are really good at hiding our feelings or emotions from others. Some of us do it in order to be perceived as professional. Some of us do it for self-preservation. Some of us do it to be thought of as strong. Some of us do it because we can. I get it. I know. Whatever the reason, there’s always someone who is willing to help you.  The question is, will you find them or will they find you?