Recently, I had a bit of a Body Image break down when I was preparing to go to a Wedding Shower that had a ‘cocktail theme’ – as I shuffled through the closet, I found a dress I hadn’t worn in some time, and as soon as I saw it a voice in my head said ” It’s not going to fit you, you know this, don’t take yourself there” – sigh….“whatever voice, I’m sure it will be fine, I’m going to try it anyway” – I slipped it over my head, and before I could even TRY to zip it up it became horribly apparent that I was not going to even get CLOSE to closing the zipper as my breasts appeared to be fighting the tight prison and exclaiming their liberation from such things very avidly. ” Ok, Whatever – I already knew this”. I took off the dress, but before putting it BACK on the rack ( why do I do this? As if this place I am is only temporary and I’ll find my way back to whatever size I have been before – a disturbing lack acceptance if what is right now methinks) I lifted it up and looked at it and thought ” Boy it would be great to look like that again, I would be so much hotter” – BAM – there it was, that damn thought process that I spend a lot of time dismantling and breaking down so I stop torturing myself with it. It only needed a second and there it was – A FLOOD, actually no, a TORRENT of negative thoughts came in through that open door before I could even grasp what was happening and shut that damn door.
You know this place? Most of us do,very well. It is a crowded metropolis full of all sorts of cultures, ages, skill and experience level. It’s pretty crowded there in Body Image Issue town.
In the middle of this battle of epic proportions going on in my head I had a thought – a completely unrelated thought to all of the abusive self flagellating thoughts – so it stood out. It actually WAS related, but it was one of those thoughts that offered a wiser perspective, one that would pull me out of the war pits long enough to reset and reground myself. This thought isn’t new, I was able to find information on it from trusty Google right away. But, the thought was new to ME as a possible reality and definite reason for my inner conflict and frustration with myself.
I am an empath. It took me years to identify myself as such, since I was never taught as a child. But, when I did a lot of things started to make sense, especially in my business and in working with clients. There are many reasons that we become empaths, some are just born this way, and others develop this skill from being in abusive situations as children. If you are unsure if you are an empath, read this article and see if you identify with the traits I wrote there.
More recently, I have started to dive deeper into what that means for me personally. Exploring boundaries, both energetic and physical. Understanding the power of NO, and that NO is a complete sentence. Letting go of my people pleasing tendencies and learning how to be more committed to my own well being.
The topic I googled was: ‘Weight Gain and Empaths’ – I was immediately delivered a whole bunch of perspectives on this topic and wondered why the heck I hadn’t REALLY clued in before.
If you are an empath, you are constantly absorbing other people’s energy, emotions and sometimes even thoughts. Depending on how skilled you are, or what stage you are at in your awareness of this way of being, you will have tricks in your toolkit to manage BEING this way. One of the ways that the body helps protect you ( because it loves you, you know) is it will add a barrier of weight on to act as a buffer to the constant energy assaults you deal with daily. Your body will do this even if you are not aware, or not at the place where you can consciously protect yourself from these energy overwhelms.
This is certainly true for me as I have just started working with what it means to BE an empath and how to manage it and work with it. This was a revelation for me of sorts. Not something that I have totally been unaware of, but something that finally sunk DEEPER down into that place that takes longer than the head to adjust and merge. This is the source of my frustration much of the time. Having a head that can grasp many concepts and ideas, but my heart and spirit are slower to the uptake and integration. I lose patience and start to berate myself – never a good thing.
For many more advanced and aware empaths – the extra weight and ‘buffer is a natural state. They protect themselves with it and comfortably embrace the shelter as a warm and inviting place.
Just as with everything, this isn’t the RULE – different people process different ways. This is just one way of developing coping mechanisms that are true to some of the empathic population out there. You may be very naturally skinny, but throw up defenses in other ways psychologically, or with social masks. This is a very complex subject and can be explored so many ways. For this posting, we’re going to focus on those of us who eat well and healthy, exercise, and rarely take part in toxic food or drink cultural practices – we are exquisitely sensitive, so we know that the food we eat and the liquid we drink has to be nourishing, or else we pay for it badly – and we STILL have extra weight and have to deal with society and ourselves stating that we are FAT or LAZY. Which is so far from the truth.
Its those of us, who just don’t understand WHY? Why is my body so stubborn in holding on to weight that I know I didn’t really PUT there with food or diet?
So, for you lot, the ones newer to this reality like myself – there are some fantastic tools that you can throw into your toolbox for dealing with life day to day as an empath to assist in shifting weight energy CONSCIOUSLY – even if you love your curvy and luscious body and are very comfortable there. It’s important to LOVE your body just as it is and for what it does for you every day. Be aware of this as you work through learning how to manage energy drains.
5 Tools for Empaths to Release Emotional Weight
- EMOTIONAL RELEASE
This one is my first ‘go to’ because I can never think straight until I release energy – either mine or someone else’s – that is rattling around in the cage of my body. Punch pillows, scream into them, dance wildly, journal with abandon, cry, cry and cry – those lovely, messy, choking cries that toddlers do so well. Do whatever you need to do to release those emotions from within. These times are so important. As we go about our days we keep a ‘stiff upper lip’ and hold everything in. As part of self care we need to allow these feelings out. Feelings are normal, they are healthy. They are ALWAYS the vehicle to deeper understanding of yourself. Embrace them and enjoy the #messymagic moments that they are. I took a video of myself RIGHT after one of these moments ( see below), and then also posted pictures from BEFORE emotional release and AFTER – here is the result:
These are energy boundaries, ones that you draw in your imagination that energetically place walls around you so that you can deter more unwanted energy spill from around you from those who don’t own their own STUFF. Imagine an orb all around you. Give it a colour that feels right, but allow it to spread out from you as a force field. If you are more visual, draw this image on a piece of paper with you in the centre, or journal it with words. Whatever you need to do to imagine this protection. Do it. This also applies to real physical boundaries too. Saying NO when you mean it. Being more selective with who you give your time and energy too. This is a skill and needs to be practiced. ESPECIALLY for us empaths.
3. ENERGY DETOX
We all get excited about physical detoxes and buy juices and herbal supplements and so on to put our bodies through rigorous ‘cleansing’ rituals. I personally don’t think they are the healthiest, and the motivations are suspect since weight loss seems to be the primary desire when doing these crazy things to our bodies. What we could be trying to do unconsciously is detox the energy fields around us. As empaths we absorb all sorts of ‘garbage’ and ‘toxic’ floating energy out there that is not owned or taken responsibility for by others. We need to constantly be cleaning ourselves of this overload. There are a few ways we can do that:
Take a Shower or Bath – water is healing, our bodies are made up almost entirely of water. Imagine the water washing away all the energy that is not yours and sucking it up the drain. Add some epsom salts for added benefit.
Smudge – Smudging is a Native Cleansing ritual that I have loved forever. Get a Sage Wand, or Smudge Stick ( or even better, make one yourself if you have access to Sage) or a stick of incense ( aim for naturally fragranced) and allow the smoke to run over your body and drift around your home as a full cleanse.
Breathe – Take deep, deep breaths. Stop and focus ONLY on your breathing. Count as you breathe in; one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, then count as you exhale; one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. Breathing is the quickest and most accessible way to ground, cleanse and ‘reset’ and it can be done anywhere.
Earthing – walk around outside on the earth with barefeet. There is some amazing benefits to doing this regularly. It is fantastic for grounding and cleansing – earthing.
Any other way that you believe in that helps you to cleans and ground.
4. SPEAK YOUR TRUTH
This is another one of my favourites. How many times a day do we withhold what we really feel? Especially as people pleasers. You CAN and WILL express what it is you need, and how you feel truthfully by being honest with yourself, and then communicating that. It doesn’t have to be a negative experience if it is a potential conflict situation. You can actually diffuse any conflict by standing in your truth, owning what is yours to own and communicating with love and respect to all involved. This one element is POWERFUL. ALWAYS speak your truth.
Ah, this pesky one. Always coming up. Forgive what has been done unto you. Forgiveness is not for those who have hurt us, it is for us so that they can no longer hurt us. Let it go. Holding onto resentments is so incredibly damaging to body, mind and spirit. Practice forgiveness regularly as a self care tool.
What this all means for me is I want to become even more accepting of my body, more respectful and to cherish it more for all that it does for me. It saddens me so much when I witness others, and myself abuse and misuse our bodies to try and fit them into a template of ‘beauty’ that is so archaic and just bloody stupid. God knows we all have enough pressure to BE something that we aren’t. As we dismantle the shackles one by one, may this one be your most liberating. LOVE your body for the protection it provides for you. LOVE your body for the way it filters and absorbs so much energy and still works very hard for you. CHERISH those round hips, ample breasts and strong legs. The Body Image movement isn’t about one ideal over another, ultimately it is about loving YOUR ideal. What makes YOUR body beautiful.
If you are an empath, offer yourself an extra amount of compassion.
If you have your own energy release tips that you use, please share with me! If you use any of these tips above and put them in your tool kit, let me know! I would love to hear about your journey to loving you as an empath.
Here is the Video I promised RIGHT after processing all this stuff that resulted in this blog post. #JUSTREAL – Because Perfection is a Pathology.
Join me on Social Media to connect – I will always follow back and engage, cuz social media is social, right? 🙂