survival tips for radical empaths

“Being an empath is when you are affected by other people’s energies, and have an innate ability to intuitively feel and perceive others. Your life is unconsciously influenced by others’ desires, wishes, thoughts, and moods. Being an empath is much more than being highly sensitive and it’s not just limited to emotions. Empaths can perceive physical sensitivities and spiritual urges, as well as just knowing the motivations and intentions of other people. You are always open, so to speak, to process other people’s feelings and energy, which means that you really feel, and in many cases take on the emotions of others. Many empaths experience things like chronic fatigue, environmental sensitivities, or unexplained aches and pains daily. These are all things that are more likely to be contributed to outside influences and not so much yourself at all. Essentially you are walking around in this world with all of the accumulated karma, emotions, and energy from others.” – traits of an empath

loves, i know many of us are empaths who are dealing not just with our own despair, but the collective weight and tension of this moment. some of us rush to blame, some rush into action. i definitely feel the pull to “keep myself busy”.

some of us move into cynicism – the spilled milk was spoiled anyway.

some of us just go numb.

as we move through protests or airports or jobs where the energy is multitudinous and intense, we must remember that as channels of truth we are not cursed, but gifted.

we feel underneath whatever our split society is trending as good or bad, and from the deep well of emotional connection we have to each other and the planet, we feel a way forward.

we don’t have to pretend not to feel this moment, we don’t have to be cool, cynical, strategic, DOing, or pleasant.

or, we can cycle thru all those things, and still feel rage and hopelessness.

grief and fear and anger and sadness are sane responses to fascism, and can be great teachers.

to grow from here we need the complexity that comes from our felt senses, our emotional alertness. we are walking amongst millions of people who love neither us nor this living planet, and have now made it official, committing our country to intellectual and spiritual regression.

a new low? perhaps. but the pendulum is spinning in wild circles, the mystery is afoot, our work is elegant adaptation with our eyes on revolution. and change is the only constant. we will feel our way to a new high.

practices that help me:

breathe deeper.

sleep longer.

hydrate more often.

slow down.

eat food with detoxing properties: dandelion greens, ginger, turmeric.

look for silver linings and opportunities for collective resistance.

keep flowing all overwhelming energy down to big mama earth, and drawing up solid ground in your center. which each exhale i flow it down my back, down my legs, out the soles
of my feet. which each inhale i remember i am dirt, humble and solid.

in the shower/bath, i invite water to cleanse me, i honor its sacredness. water is life. i remember i am water, i am not stagnant, i can flow.

i put on my current happy place playlist: solange, frank ocean, moses sumney, james blake, drake, nao, rihanna, beyonce and chance the rapper.

spend time with people who don’t tell me how to feel, or not to feel, or who try to repress my feelings with facts, oversimplification and/or cliches.

and if i find myself crying in public, or screaming even, i hold my head up – i don’t owe anyone the protection of my pretense.

trust my feels, trust my dissociation, trust my woes, trust my commitment to liberation.

armor up: nasty woman sexy ass power-fit, headphones, scarf, hoodie, black band, all my turquoise.

chants and mantras:

even though i am scared, i will keep unveiling injustice.

breathing in i make room for miracles, breathing out i release hate.

my people survived slavery/genocide/jim crow/tuskegee/the holocaust/assassinations/state-murders – and still we sing, dance, strategize and rise up for our divine humanity.

“my people are free” – harriet tubman


“we are our ancestors wildest dreams.”