We all hear the benefits of meditation - how it calms the "monkey mind" and aids us in clearer and less reactive thinking. We hear how it calms the physical body as well, and gives us a fresh start to our day. It helps us sleep better, stay centered in ourselves and our truth.
Even agencies like the National Institute of Health are looking into meditation and it's benefits, and noting what science is discovering about the benefits of a practice.
If we consider Webster, it defines meditating as:
It doesn't really matter how others define meditation. As an Empath and Highly Sensitive, a regular practice of meditation can have even deeper benefits because we are so very sensitive. So it's important that we develop a practice. I think it's important that we don't put ourselves into a box in our thinking when it comes to how to meditate. We need to define a practice that truly supports us and works for us. It doesn't mean we have to sit in a corner and chant "ommmm" for a certain amount of time.
It does mean that we need to have regular practices that help us clear our mind, reduce our stress, and have an inward focus.
Here are some "out-of-the-box" ideas to help you:
I hope this gives you some useful and different ideas on how to meditate. As Empaths and Highly Sensitives, we really need to forge our own trail and find ways that work for us. An estimated 20% of the population according to Dr. Elaine Aaron's research, the mainstream ways of living don't often serve us well.
So how do you define meditation for you?
My dad, an avid reader and life-long learner, brought the book I'm OK--You're OK by Thomas Harris into our household in the 1970s, when I was in junior high. I remember it sitting next to his recliner and on his adjacent bookcase as he read it. I thought it was a funny name for a book, especially back then. I read it in my 20's.
According to Wikipedia, the book hit the New York Times Best Seller list in 1972 for about two years. The publisher estimates that it sold over 15 million copies so far and they translated it into more than a dozen languages. It's talks about Transactional Analysis, a form of conventional psychiatry.
What its popularity and longevity means to me, is that we humans have wrestled for years, maybe hundreds of years, with the concept of whether we are okay or not. And if others are okay.
I believe that this is particularly true of Empaths. We Empaths are a sensitive breed loaded with intuition. No two of us are alike. Some of us sense feelings to a very deep level. Some sense the earth energies and its distress and joy. Some sense physical sensations of others - they feel them so deeply, it's often confusing as to who owns the physical sensation. There are Empaths that see colors and auras around other living things. Many Empaths can connect with spirits that have crossed over. Then we have the animal Empaths that can talk to and "feel" inside animals. And the Empaths that can see into the future, sometimes through dreams. We have Empath energy healers. The list goes on and on.
I believe, way back when when humans were more primitive, that we needed these Superpowers of intuition to survive. Bible stories talk of humans receiving intuitive information in dreams and through conversations with saints. Hunter gatherers needed to know if a predator, like a saber toothed tiger, waited for a meal in the adjacent field or valley. They had to have a strong sense of where to hunt, and what plants to eat and not eat. They used these Superpowers without realizing they were an intuitive power.
As consciousness grew, there came a time when people with Superpowers, like healers and witches, were intensely feared. And it wasn't that long ago. Wikipedia compiled a list of people, men and women, executed for witchcraft. The list shows how witches were convicted and executed in cruel ways all over the world for their Superpowers, considered evil, from the 1400's to as late as the 1800's.
Take the story of Joan of Arc, a devout saint of God, who burned at the stake in May of 1431 for charges of heresy. After a long trial that lasted over a year, the courts convicted her of three major indictments. The first of these was that she used magic when she proclaimed to hear voices from St. Michael, St. Margaret, and St. Catherine. Today, she'd be considered a Medium.
I don't know if these people did evil deeds or not. I do believe, that to have these kinds of Superpowers, they were Empaths and/or highly sensitive. And their Superpowers, if displayed, got them tried and executed in cruel ways.
Fast forward to 2018, and it's understandable that Empaths and highly sensitives are having difficulty embracing their intuitive Superpowers.
It's time we take a courageous leap and truly be okay with ourselves. Stand up and say "I am an Empath and I am Okay."
Yet, I see Empaths looking outside of themselves to ask if they are okay. The answer is not outside of us. We need to change our thinking. Being an Empath is okay. Being an Empath is more than okay, it's an honor and a privilege to have this Superpower. Being highly sensitive is a Superpower; information is power, and we pick up more information. So being a Highly Sensitive Empath is a magnificent honor.
Ask yourself. AM I OKAY WITH ME? When your unique sensitivity arises, do you shame yourself? Do you tell yourself you're odd, that you don't fit in? Do you wish you were different? What are you telling yourself?
This is such an important question. For if you don't accept yourself fully, than nobody will. Yet when you do accept yourself, you find like-minded people that love you for who you are.
So dear Highly Sensitive Empaths, your time has come to shine.
Take a moment right now to breathe in and out a few breaths. Slow and long and deep. And then ask yourself, "Do I fully accept myself as an Empath?" or "Do I fully accept myself as a Highly Sensitive Person?" If you get a no, you've got work to do!
Go to a mirror, look yourself in the eyes and say "I am an Empath, and I am okay!" "I am Highly Sensitive and I love myself completely." Say it over and over until you believe it. Let the self-doubt, criticism, and negative thinking float away. And watch the magic unfold!
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