In a society that values noise, sells us devices for constant connection, and honors the title “busy”, I struggled with silence. From the time I was first living on my own I felt the need for continuous stimulation. It made me feel better to have something on all of the time. I’d have a show playing as I folded laundry or made dinner and played happy music while I bathed or drove. Time alone with my thoughts was avoided at all costs as I packed my days outside of classes and my work schedule with social gatherings and events. After years of distracting myself from solitude, finally the question was considered… why did I feel such a strong inclination to do so?
If I was never alone with my own thoughts I didn’t have to feel so deeply. The overwhelming emotions of the extreme highs and lows that came along with being a highly intuitive empathic individual who didn’t fully understand her gifts was simply TOO MUCH. By distracting myself with the storylines of predictable shows, music, or continuous communication with friends and family, I was handling the overwhelm of emotion the only way I knew how. Connecting with my inner self at the time was a confusing endeavor as I repressed the emotions I did not yet have the tools to understand and work through.
The voice of our mind is hard to quiet and is sometimes even confused with our inner self or intuition. As Michael Singer wisely said in his book, The Untethered Soul, “There is nothing more important to true growth than realizing you are not the voice of the mind- you are the one who hears it.” Let’s repeat that one out loud, perhaps jot it down a few times in your journal, and really let it soak in.
By practicing regular mindful stillness you train yourself to separate from the noise… the noise around you and the noise within you distracting from your connection with your higher self, who is completely in tune with your inner empath. Many (like my younger self) have preconceived notions of what meditation looks like and how to do so successfully. While calming instrumental music and candles or incense may be helpful, they are most certainly not required. All you need is a peaceful environment, a small amount of time, and dedication. As a busy Mom, I’ve personally come to relish my meditation time in the peace and quiet of the early morning. Though building this habit takes consistent effort, once you’ve established it within your schedule it is hard to turn back. I’ve found myself feeling more rested, centered, and ready for the day than if I’d slept the extra hour I “sacrificed” for meditation, gentle yoga, herbal tea and journaling.
Often, as empaths, it is not our physical bodies that are too tired. Our minds are exhausted from continuously working to process the bombardment of information we are receiving not only from ourselves, but from everyone around us. Allowing our body to be still provides it with time to complete the necessary rest and repair cycle, but quieting our mind allows us to heal on a deep level. By softening our mind we are able to gently observe the thoughts and emotions that rise to the surface, inquiring within (without judgement) the reason for their presence. If we never take the time to sit with our emotions and truly allow ourselves time to feel them, we are unable to take the next step to identify or heal the root cause of them.
Develop a new habit this week of dedicating 10-20 minutes (or more) to quieting your mind and allowing your intuition to speak uninterrupted. Then sit back in amazement as you’re led down a path filled with greater peacefulness and joy!