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Self-healing Self-preservation


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Hello all, my first post so apologies if this is already covered (I have had a brief look!) or not appropriate for this section.


My family and another are in a period of great stress and turmoil.

My friend and her three children (2 of whom have diagnoses, both of my kids have these too) are to be homeless at the end of the month.

I'm therefore moving my family out of the top floor of our (not very big) house and her family in ....

This involves plumbing in a kitchen upstairs in what was my bedroom and sacrificing the use of our bathroom as Social Services insist that they have entirely separate facilities. My family get to use the downstairs 'cloakroom' and a currently un-used cold water shower in the outside cellar .....


Obviously stress levels are a bit high, and there is a huge amount of lifting shifting, moving and re-organising to be done for my own family, let alone for J and her children.


J is extremely stressed, distressed and depressed. She has Bi-Polar and Fibromyalgia and is really struggling.


My problem is that I am an empath (to all extent and purposes - not as a new agey "Aren't I cool! I can sense moods!" sense) in the case of suffering headaches, stomach pains and nausea whenever J has had a bad day, or spending the afternoon suffering at work and then meeting J and suddenly understanding - aah, that's why I've been feeling so rough ....


Another friend is sending me some sage via her mother, and yet another friend said "I need to teach you banishing" .... but in and amongst the fact that we are trying to half move house, whilst living in the other half, and move a friend's household into this one .... I don't really have the opportunity to meet with either the 'sage' lady or the 'banishing' lady to learn whatever it is I need to do to protect myself and keep the strength and clarity needed to support J (and my family, and her kids)


Any advice for keeping myself safe and capable whilst supporting others?


Thanks, Helen

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Hello Helen,


That does sound like a very stressful situation. My go to practice for many things concerning recovering strength and clarity is the simple but powerful Recapitulation Exercise here: http://www.shamanscave.com/self-healing/the-recapitulation


If you don't have time to read the full article, scroll down to the exercise section. I would set aside 15 minutes per day to practice recapping. It can be used in many different ways but for your situation, I would simply use it to recap your day, go through your day and recap your experiences. What the recap will do is help you to release what is not yours and recover the energy you've invested in it. For an empath, the key to not taking on other's 'stuff' is in being able to recognize what is yours and what isn't. If you use it to go through your day and take back what is yours and release what isn't, it should help give you the strength and clarity you are looking for.


Best wishes,



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Hi Helen,


I second what Lorrie said, besides recap here's an article on grounding: http://www.shamanscave.com/practices/grounding- there's an exercise titled "grounding movement" which is something that doesn't take a lot of time and can help you in the moment to regain your balance.


It's difficult when you don't know what is yours, but the fact that you've recognized this is something that is happening is a good beginning and if you do the work to truly know yourself inside out, it will help tremondously because you gain an understanding of what is yours and what is not on a level that's not easily explained in words. Being an all out empath is a difficult way to live your life, it's become something of a buzz word lately and in the more new agey articles it seems something that is praised. But to live life like that, there's nothing awesome about it, and it doesn't make you a better person, or worse for that matter. It's a challenge but one you can overcome and eventually turn into a strength.


I hope you are able to navigate the stressful situation and reach outcomes that work as well as possible for you and your family.



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Thank you both.


I was very hesitant about describing myself as an empath because of the 'modern' 'fashionable' 'buzz word' aspect.

I don't usually have much of a problem with reflecting or imitating or just 'feeling' the moods, worries, feelings of others though it is fairly often that I have an insight into something or someone that I am pretty sure I haven't been told. I have to really think things through to work out whether I am projecting or whether I actually am sensing something.

This 'my body is giving me physical reactions to someone else's stress' is not pleasant though ... and not helpful either!


I'm going to start with the Grounding exercises and see how that goes.


The Saturday before last I was in such a bad tempered, uncomfortable, queasy mess that I just had to drive into the forest and park there for a couple of hours (with my knitting!) before I was fit to be in human company once again.


Thanks, Helen

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"Real" empaths - that is, people who deal with the consequences of empathic feelings they can't control or turn off - know it's a very tough issue to deal with. They'll never be at the party all, like, "ommggggg I'm just soooo empathic, y'all." More like huddled in a dark corner. smile.png


With some hard personal work it can get a lot better, and even become a strength.

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