Fascia: the mask you live in

Each and every one of us is covered in a thick, complex, tangled web of fascia. Fascia is the connective tissue that sits under your skin and on top of your muscles. On anatomy diagrams, fascia looks like the off-white strings and planes that sit on top of or in lines up and down the muscles. It provides structure and support, helps transport nutrients, helps regulate nervous system function, helps keep you hydrated, helps you maintain a healthy youthful appearance to the skin, and much much more. Some forms of fascia are also known as “scar tissue” because it is considered fibrotic tissue. 

In addition to the physiological roles fascia plays, fascia also keeps your secrets. It collects your memories. It remembers your joys, but largely it stores your traumas. It forces you to live in the pain of the past instead of being able to be present in the moment. Your fascia has kept a record of every time you misused your body, forcing it into bras and cinchers, too-tight jeans, or awkward shoes — and why you did so. It also remembers how often — and to which degree — you’ve smiled, laughed or cried, winced, squinted, questioned, tensed, quieted, forced, sat or walked. It’s the literal, tangible mind-body connection and it is the record keeper of you.

I’ve had clients ask me before, “I know everyone talks about a mind-body connection but I just can’t visualize it. How does it all connect?” I tell them the mind-body connection is the fascia, the connective tissue. Not only can you feel it under your skin with your fingers, you can also see it with the naked eye — constriction or restriction, bulges, tightness, thick skin/”big boned”, cellulite, crepey skin, and asymmetry are all likely fascial distortions. Don’t get me wrong — we need fascia. It is an integral system and structure of the human body and some kinds even support your organs. But most of the obvious fascia people are carrying around these days is full of adhesions, or thickened, jumbled, tangled fascia resultant from trauma to the area (such as accident or surgery), improper use of the area (or surrounding areas), improper diet, dehydration, infection, and in rare cases certain genetic conditions. 

It’s like we become covered in scar tissue of our own making. Let me explain. Let’s say you have an inhibitory throat response such as choosing not to speak, holding back tears, being fearful of making noise or “rocking the boat”. Well, as a result, the surrounding structures (nearby muscles, joints, tendons, etc.) will be used improperly because of the tension. Over time, this physical response becomes your go-to pattern. After years of making those dysfunctional movements, you create asymmetry that changes your fascia, which changes your appearance. It’s a way for your body to compensate and provide structure or balance in the midst of dysfunction. In theory, the more fascial adhesions (jumbled, dysfunctional fascia) you have, the greater the challenges you have faced. Or, the greater the adhesions in a certain area of your body, the greater challenges to that area, both physically and spiritually.

Fascia is the mask we all live in. And fascia never lies because you created it. 

In the case of hypothyroidism, you may notice “thickened” skin around your neck but especially near your thyroid or voice box area. If you try to gently pinch your skin but cannot grab a very small amount — getting only large thickened chunks — it is indicative of fascial adhesions. You should be able to grab just the epidermis layer of your skin without too much resistance from the dermis.

Sure you might have plenty of fascial adhesions on your neck area and be hypothyroid, but how do the fascial adhesions affect, say, your actual thyroid gland? Well, on the surface of the thyroid is a substance called thyroglobulin. It is a protein precursor of thyroid hormone and acts to collect nutrients (such as iodine and tyrosine) from your blood stream and store them on the surface of the thyroid gland. That way, your body readily has nutrients available to it any time it needs to make thyroid hormone. But now imagine on top of your thyroid/thyroglobulin, you have a thick mesh strangling the area, cutting off blood flow, oxygen, and nutrients from entering the area — or only entering very slowly. Suddenly you have a thyroid crisis because that vital gland is not able to receive what it needs to function optimally. Mind-body connection. Now imagine this happening all over your body. 

It gets tricky because fascial adhesions can also extend to other related areas in order to compensate. You see, fascia is like a spider-web sheath covering your entire body from the top of your head to the tip of your toe. It’s all connected so the neck fascia you’ve created from holding back your thoughts or emotions, which is now choking your thyroid gland, then works it way up and extends to the sides of the neck, to your cheeks and face to create the classic hypothyroid “puffy face”, and over the shoulders, creating a thickening there too. Dowager’s Hump or myxedema can develop. And on it goes. 

With fascia it goes like this:

  1. your experiences cause you to generate thoughts/feelings 

  2. your thoughts/feelings create your reality

  3. your reality determines how you are allowed to, are encouraged to, or want to move your body

  4. how you move your body determines which areas develop fascial adhesions

  5. therefore, the areas that contain the most adhesions are the areas where there is a core wound or life lesson that needs to be resolved

I try to infuse most assertions I make to you with an anecdotal story to back it up. I want you to see that the information I share with you isn’t about getting likes, recycling outdated information, repeating the same things everyone else is telling you, etc. I want to share new and innovative information that is affecting you but that you might not have heard before. I share this information with you because it changed my life so dramatically for the better, and I have seen it do the same for my clients. But it’s still hidden. So here’s the story about why I “got into” fascia and why I believe this is the next biggest thing you should know about, if you’re not already intrigued:

I was diagnosed with a “mild” scoliosis in 1997 — a lower-back curvature. I don’t remember the curvature degree at the time of diagnosis (or that anyone even measured it because I was diagnosed by a school nurse), but about 4 years ago, according to an x-ray done by a chiropractor, it was at 24 or 22 degrees. As a child and young adult, I woke up every few nights with spasms in my lower back that startled me awake and gave me nightmares. My back would consistently “go out” and I felt pressure, couldn’t bend in certain ways, and was in aching pain most days. I went to chiropractors on and off over the years since being a teenager and even did some physical therapy and massage, and saw a podiatrist to try to help my back. Though they provided temporary relief, I would always end up feeling the same as before a few days after appointments. 

Then after my daughter was born in 2012, I suffered a near month-to-month string of slipped discs. It went on like this for a couple of years — going to the chiropractor in hopes I wouldn’t re-injure myself, using a decompression table to get the discs to go back into place without surgery (it worked thankfully), trying to stretch and exercise, etc. But nothing really seemed to improve my back issues and pain. Then one day I stumbled upon information about fascia. It was a video of an expert talking about the role of fascia in our health and appearance. I was so intrigued at the idea of using myofascial release to overcome my pain that I started immediately. 

I have been using myofascial release (MFR) for over two years now. For me, it has been an absolute miracle. First, I haven’t had a slipped disc or rib go out of place since using MFR. More importantly though, I have had three chiropractors tell me they can no longer see a scoliosis curvature in my spine. Meaning, I reversed my scoliosis. I’m not saying this is possible every time. What I am saying is that no one had ever offered me another option to help my back pain and no one offered any good answers for why it developed in the first place. I learned that my scoliosis was considered “functional” meaning it could be traced back to something and, therefore, potentially corrected. I believe this is true for many modern health conditions.

That is the power of unraveling your fascia. It’s like a way to work backwards and confront every challenge you’ve stored in your body head on. As you use MFR, your fears and insecurities rise to the surface, the lies and cover-ups rise to the surface, and your true power starts to rise as you let go of the trauma. As an Intuitive, I operate through waves of insight that come to me, well, intuitively, as well as through reading and observation. This was the case with my foray into fascia: I learned the information, applied it and observed the effects, then it just “came” to me: the fascia is the record of your mind-body connection and we’re covered in fascial masks to hide or compensate for the trauma. 

As each fascial layer was peeled away, I was left with questions. Myofascial release on my feet caused my pelvis to flip up and out. I had been walking with my tail literally between my legs for decades. Why had I felt the need to do that? In order to hide. Why did I feel the need to hide? Because of learning disabilities, un-supportive environments, fear of being seen for fear of punishment, extreme religious oppression, etc. You see, fascia holds the answers but you have to ask yourself the questions. Once you start asking the questions, you then begin the process of testing your subconscious mind to see which answer is correct. Once you find the correct answer, you release the emotional attachment or stress response to the corresponding wound. That is how you know it is true. In the process of MFR, you may also clear up stagnant lymph, restricted blood flow, saggy or unhealthy looking skin, trim inches, reduce pain, and have wide range of mobility again. Mind-body connection.

You deserve to know about yourself first and foremost because self-awareness brings healing. You are so unique that no one-sized-fits-all approach will ever work. Think of your fascia like a soul blueprint. It helps to gently illuminate what your fears or weaknesses are in order to improve yourself, helps you get out of the trauma by identifying the toxic cycles in your life, it tells us about the state of your physical health, and once released, it helps you move onto a healthy future instead of clinging to the pain of the past without realizing it.

First, know that there are ways to smooth out the fascia and restore it to its proper function and appearance. Myofascial release, proper hydration (which is about way more than water), essential nutrients for collagen health, liver and lymph support, acupuncture, and more. I come at this from an informational standpoint. I educate my clients on the issues they’re facing then what they can do about it. But there are plenty of ways to do this yourself or with a trained professional. Dysfunctional fascia does not have to be a life sentence. 

Secondly, know that it’s a long process. Imagine decades of your body layering adhesion ontop of adhesion. The process of breaking this down can take years in some cases. So do not get discouraged. Also, will you likely experience detox symptoms physically and emotionally as you retrace the dysfunction, much like a game of connect the dots. But as I always say, if you want to heal, it is worth it and the only way past it is through it. Once you acknowledge what has not worked, you can release it both emotionally and physically in order to get to the root of who you really are without trauma and pain on your body or in your mind. 

If you are interested in learning about your unique fascial adhesions, core wounds, and life lessons, please read about Body Readings

Empath sabotage type 4: left-brained logic

In order for science and medicine to be at their most useful to the population, left-brained thinking must be tempered and balanced with equal right-brained activity. Research or systems that do not take the human condition or human experience into consideration are lacking. Human health and life is not a mere matter of tracking and reporting observable, demonstrable data through mass and time, it is also a matter of listening and believing the observations of humans themselves — their feelings, experiences, and more anecdotal evidence that cannot easily be measured or recreated in a laboratory setting. The things we cannot prove — or no one wants to prove — but have observed for ourselves or felt are true on a basic level are legitimate yet often ignored or silenced. 

Empaths tend to have a greater right-brained activity than most because the right-brain is largely responsible for more un-observable phenomena such as feeling, which puts us in the minority. While we may think we are endowed with the ability to engage in free thinking, mainstream sciences, education, and politics largely discounts the real human experience in all its facets for the benefit of a larger system of control — a point-A-to-point-B standardizing which makes it easier for us to be led and in powerless positions.

You have likely observed this yourself in the doctor’s office: “I understand you think you don’t feel well, but your labs look normal so perhaps you are overly emotional, depressed, need to exercise, or need to take a different dose of medication. There is nothing more I need to do” you may have been told. You have likely also experienced this in relationships where you have confided in a good friend or relative about what is transpiring in your life, only to be talked out of it, have it dismissed, be told you are dramatic, or told you need to feel differently. For example, you tell someone about difficulties in your life only for them to tell you they are “worried about you” for feeling this way, or to tell others they are “worried about you” for feeling this way. Their concern often stems out of a fear of your emotions and your ability to readily feel them, rather than an empathy for what you are actually going through. What they are really saying is, “Your emotions scare me. You feel too much. This is unpredictable and I am uncomfortable with anything unpredictable. I don’t want to be perceived as unpredictable like you.” A non-right-brained thinker may assume, “Since I don’t feel the way you do, there must be something unreliable about the way you feel. I need more proof.” A right-brained thinker says, “I may not feel the same as you about this, but I understand why you are feeling this way because I have felt that emotion before myself.”

Often, when you try to explain right-brained phenomena to others you can immediately see their eyes glaze over, their ears shut off, and their mind translate your words as “womp womp womp” or “blah blah blah”. They don’t know they are doing this and likely don’t mean to, but it is as if their brain begins overriding the data they are receiving and translating it into “this is a waste of time, this is naive and stupid, if you listen to them or take them seriously you will be naive and stupid too.” The biological brain “computer” has trained itself to override any data that would leave them vulnerable to the unknown or make them question their preexisting belief system. 

Or, perhaps you were run through an educational system where you were told your basic needs for laughter, joy, the ability to move your body and walk around, engage in stimulating social activity, have adequate time to eat lunch, posses the ability to go to the bathroom at will, have a certain level of privacy or trust by your superiors, or ask questions in order to truly understand the material were dismissed or you were punished for thinking you had a right to do so. In fact, we encounter these kinds of attitudes everyday. 

It’s like how researchers have questioned why mothers prefer to carry their babies on their left hip. The answer is because it stimulates right-brain activity which allows them to aptly understand the feelings and needs of their child. The right-brain is emotional instinct without need for confirmation. We didn’t need a study to tell mothers to carry their babies on the left side of their bodies — they just instinctively do it. The right brain is the vast collective unconscious that is available to each one of us and has no need for rote memorization. It is a way of remembering knowledge rather than learning it from a book or article. It is a way of feeling and recollecting what is true, rather than cross-examining it through the lens of tradition or book knowledge. 

Anything that is deemed too “woo”, “touchy feel-y”, “native” (and therefore mystical), “natural”, or “superstitious” immediately gets relegated as “untrustworthy”, “B.S.”, and “anti-science”. But intellectuals who worship science, much like a religion, forget that their intolerance of things deemed natural is preventing them from seeing the bigger picture in order to understand the true human experience. Left brain activity without right brain activity creates a dichotomy, not a whole. We need both.

Because Earth has largely been a left-brained planet (at least in the recent past and our present lifetime), those who think with a primary right-brained function are considered weird, eccentric, artistic, crazy, or fringe. Let me tell you this: much like white privilege or male privilege, it is also a privilege to be able to fit into a world where people are praised and respected for primarily using one hemisphere of their brain. Those who function primarily out of the left-brain do have certain unspoken and inherent rights that others do not and they are more apt to freely express themselves, be rewarded, and assume positions of clout (doctors, nurses, scientists, lawyers, politicians, engineers, and on and on). 

And so, a major problem empaths come across is the cognitive dissonance of being told we are living in a free-thinking society, yet experiencing a dismissal of right-brained activity. It is as if we have been subconsciously told there is no legitimacy in the way we feel, or in the momentum we feel behind our life experiences, and certainly not in the intuitive urges we get.

In order to access your full potential as an empath and get out of the sabotage entrapment that has told you you should tone it down, you were wrong, or you need to hide your true nature, you must come to terms with the reality of the majority consensus that is left-brain prevalence and validity. 

Please know, there is nothing wrong with being a left-brained thinker. In fact, it can be very useful. But as I said before, we need both the left and right hemispheres to be in use in ourselves and society in order to gain balance, wholeness, forward motion, progress, and peace. You are not wrong for primarily operating out of one or the other, but we can make a point to balance the two sides. If you already operate out of your right brain, work up the courage to stop glossing over it or hiding it. You already understand the left-brain system because you have lived it up until now. The world needs the right-brained thinkers to come out of the closet. Come to terms with your true nature and use it to help yourself, others, and the world.

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Empath sabotage type 3: amnesia

I created this blog post series because the brand of spirituality many of us grew up with or currently ascribe to is one of total selflessness at the expense of ourselves and our health. I lived that kind of spirituality for 32 years and all it got me was stressed beyond belief, taken advantage of, energetically drained, and sick. As an empath, I want you to live your highest potential, just as I encourage my clients to do. In order to do that, you have to accept and come to terms with some hard truths. These are the kind of truths you can only acquire through experience or storytelling, and many holy books or spiritual leaders prevent awareness of these things because their teachings make you powerless — personal power always being usurped for someone else and their interests, for the church, the tithe, or the prayer. 

Only when you have been in the trenches of narcissism and examined and analyzed the tactics much like a reconnaissance mission, can you come out the other side equipped to handle our current reality. Let me tell you this: I have been in the trenches, so deep in the muck and mire that I though I would drown and since there was no one coming to my rescue, I had to save myself. I see my clients living the same. Eternal drowning is not what a legitimate god, savior, universe, or ascended master would want for you. No matter your religious or spiritual beliefs, please know this: there is something so much better for you on the other side of the trauma. You do not have to live the pain and hardship forever. But first, you must recognize and remember that you are in it in the first place. 

Planet earth is a funny place because it can be thrilling, beautiful, tragic, sorrowful, and amazing all at once — on the same day or within the same hour. Events transpire or moods change and what was once positive now seems negative, or vice versa. The problem is that we keep trying to convince ourselves of how wonderful this place is, in order to have the hope to keep going, even when the reality is not always so great. Crime, death, immorality, war, rape, hunger, pollution, lack of ethics or justice pervade as a daily truth. So we begin to live on the excitement of hope instead of raw reality, which is why so many people have a hard time being present: “that party will keep me happy”, “getting married will bring me ultimate happiness”, “a new wardrobe will bring me everything I ever wanted”, “that sports game/team will entertain me”, “that movie will be so great”, “if I have these things, I can look past the problems here.”

In fact, much of what we interpret as “happiness” is contrived — smiles on faces of people who are being paid to be happy in order to create a good experience for the consumer: advertisements, television shows, wait staff, etc. If you have worked a day in your life, you know a number one job requirement is a good attitude, no matter your skill set. While many people are genuinely happy in their lives and jobs — or are trying to be to set a positive tone in their home or work life (which is a very good thing) — here I am asking you to see beyond the facade of “hoping” or “trying” and into the reality. 

The facade of “everything is so great here, right?” creates an amnesic state that confuses empaths and creates a high degree of cognitive dissonance. This is very similar to Empath sabotage type 2: confusion, but the difference is that the amnesia is a by-product of the confusion. By reminding you of how “wonderful” everything is, how grateful you should be, how negative you are for seeing the problems, others are reinforcing the cognitive dissonance between your conscious and subconscious mind. It is a way to make you forget the reality and live in a sleep state. The chasm will keep growing until you do something to stop it. 

As an empath, you easily see the problems. You easily see through the bullshit. People are saying one thing publicly but feeling or doing another behind closed doors yet no one is addressing it. I witnessed this over and over again in the natural health world, working for some big names. In places you would think were all about de-stressing, health and wellness, employees were sick and taxed, dropping like flies (one girl was so stressed she faceplanted and nearly broke her nose). But to the boss and audience they enthusiastically remarked how happy and grateful they were.

People need money, people need to keep their jobs — I get it and I have been there. But my point is that the amnesic state was so great in these places that no one knew up from down, left from right, right from wrong. Everything was backwards and twisted and no one trusted themselves. They sacrificed who they really are for who others wanted them to be and it was hurting them. Every experience was filtered through the amnesic state and these people were not able to reconcile the true feelings of their subconscious mind (which is what we are here to do) with their current reality. They were even lying to themselves because they didn’t know they had another option. 

What happens to people who identify the real issues at hand despite constant bombardment with false information telling them otherwise? What happens spiritually and energetically to people who see the sadness on someone’s face through the contrived smile? If you choose to recognize the truth in these situations, you wake up out of the amnesia.

And let me tell you, it is an utterly painful process because you will go at it alone and you will face all of the facades you have built your life on, but on the other side of it is the remembrance of who you actually are and your true purpose and destiny here. You have a big one — we all do. By remaining unaware, you are allowing others to control your fate, your health, and what you will become. You will be doomed to a permanent sleepwalking state. 

You see, narcissistic personalities are benefiting from you remaining in the amnesia. It is where you are your most vulnerable, most trusting, most forgiving, most mold-able, and most use-able. It is where your energy is readily available for draining. You deserve to help yourself first and foremost. “Put on your own oxygen mask before you can help others” kind of thing. Empaths have had this backwards for quite some time. 

If you are an empath or highly sensitive person, you likely are extremely loving and forgiving. You simply know no other way. It does not feel good for you to hold things against people and even when you have been severely abused, hurt, or traumatized. Your true nature is to forgive and forget — both for their benefit and for yours — even if it takes a while for you to get there. (And empaths usually hold it against themselves when they cannot easily let go of the pain caused by others). This is a positive quality and you shouldn’t give this up; holding onto bad energy causes physical and emotional illness. Forgive and move on, yes, but I want to urge you — don’t let them do it again. Once you wake up, it becomes easier to recognize when someone is hurting you and stand up to them or get out in order to become your true self and stop the energy drains.

To further get out of the amnesia, use these tools:

  • meditation (to bring up subconscious memories and release them)
  • energetic release (identify where the dense heavy energy/pain is on your body, visualize its frequency, then consciously release it)
  • do not be talked out of what you know is true
  • accept punishment from no one
  • remember what your purpose here is (despite everyone having an opinion on who you are/how you should live your life – what do you feel in your soul you want to do/become?)
  • do not be coerced for any reason
  • fix your physical health with nutrition
  • if it resonates with you, and you live in a state/country where legal, use cannabis or psychoactive plant remedies to enhance your spiritual path and intuition (I know this is controversial, but this is your decision to make in a safe, appropriate, and legal way to enhance rather than “escape”, become dependent upon, or harm. As with any substance, speak with your healthcare provider first.)
  • create boundaries in which you easily say “no” when you want to
  • get rid of narcissistic energy vampires in your life who are parasitic and draining your energy
  • activate your chakras for ultimate personal power and good health
  • fix your fascia (get rid of fascial adhesions which keep you infected, immobile, in constant states of pain remembrance and triggering, and create a density which blocks chakra activity)
  • identify abuse in your life
  • stand up to lies, even if you are the only one
  • stop catering to/being afraid of the egos of everyone around you (bowing down to their egos force you to live in the sleepwalking state)
  • question EVERYTHING you have been taught and are told (then tune into your body/soul to see what is true for you)
  • always ask yourself “why?”
  • give yourself permission to be the ultimate authority on your life

 

Read Empath sabotage type 4: left-brained logic

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Empath sabotage type 2: confusion

In my last blog post, I wrote about Empath sabotage type 1: energetic starvation. You see, empaths need and thrive on emotionally reciprocated love as their primary fuel. It’s what gives them the energy to keep going both mentally and physically. Starving them of this leads to utter psychological and physiological chaos. Because empaths operate on the assumption good energy for good energy, starving them of good energy causes existential crisis. Trust me, there are solutions to this problem (see the link above). Unfortunately though this is but one tactic used against empaths to keep us stressed and sick.

Today I’m adding onto the ideas discussed in that last post because there are many ways empathic people are hurt, used, and targeted so others can get ahead — or so that we can’t. The next big one is confusion. Mind games, misleading information, alternative storylines, red herrings, subconscious suggestion, groupthink, “abusive fallacy”, “tone policing”, “traitorous critic fallacy”, appeal to fear, Bulverism, straw man, etc. etc. etc. In other words, these tactics and many others are used by narcissists in order to confuse empaths and the people around them in order to deflect from whatever the real issue at hand is, or in order to throw a wrench in the life of an empath so they cannot be successful.

In all honesty, I wish I didn’t have to tell you these things and I wish they were not really happening. The truth, if you want it, is that is it real and it does happen very often. It will happen every time you try to “up level” and improve yourself or something big in your environment. Every time you try to shine, speak your truth, get away from the drama and trauma, heal yourself, improve the world around you, and remember your magnificence. It is truly the “crab in the bucket” syndrome. If you up level, you are going to have others try to bring you down first — or make you so traumatized it feels impossible to succeed. I know because I have lived this and because my clients live it too. It causes a great deal of confusion which can make us sick and immobilized. 

First, I want to preface this by saying that we all play mind games with each other — whether we realize it or not. The difference is some people do it on purpose to get ahead and some people don’t know they’re doing it. It’s all about intention. Until one has identified their ego (that is, the desires for control and pain) and worked to tame it, you’ll be floating in and out of your ego all the time. In one moment, you’ll be deep in the ego without even realizing it, and in the next moment you’ll be striving to be your higher self — vacillating between the subconscious and conscious mind, base and holy, holy and base. Narcissists do this on purpose to hide their desire for power and control, while everyone else does it without realizing or because they are truly trying to grow and evolve (which is a hard process). 

As I said, there are, however, people who are aware of this phenomena and purposefully hide their ego in order to throw others off, or to appear as their higher self when it is self-serving for them. They may hide behind good words and deeds but use common fallacies to serve devious desires. The people around them don’t recognize this and continue trusting them (only seeing the higher-self version they have put on display for the world), while the empaths become very confused because they see through this facade. We recognize their cognitive dissonance or hypocrisy in their words and actions; it’s simply in the nature of an empath to see through bullshit. 

I’ll give you an example. You’re part of a spiritual community promoting love and peace. Therefore, naturally, you expect love and peace from them. Maybe you even pay them a tithe, or for classes or services, or some kind of extracurricular activity. You hope it will enrich your life and the life of your family. You work hard to build community within this group and get involved. And although there are many other people in the same boat as you, lovingly being of service to the group and motto, there are others who engage in more base activities like gossip, defamation, groupthink, coercion, and negativity. While people are saying they want love and peace, their actions tell you otherwise. You can’t make heads or tails of it. 

A common scenario that creates confusion is when a group member starts asking questions or observing the baseness going on on a deeper level within the community, they are punished with isolation, bullying, threats, intimidation, etc. “They’re not spiritual enough”, “they’re depressed”, “they aren’t like us”, “they’re just trying to cause trouble”, “stay away from them” you will be told. You are observing one thing but being told another through logical fallacies — you feel utterly confused. 

As Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés writes in her wonderful book ,”Women Who Run With The Wolves“, it is as if there is a door you have been subconsciously told you cannot peek behind. In her book, Pinkola Estés tells the story of Bluebeard — a charming king figure who woos women with lavish gifts, intellectual conversation, and supposed generosity. Although one young woman has been warned about his true violent nature, she ignores the warnings and takes a liking to him anyway: “he can’t be that bad — after all, he has been so kind and generous” she rationalizes to herself. He gives her a key ring with keys to open all doors of his castle — except, he tells her, don’t use that one key. Of course, she becomes so curious that she just has to open the door that goes with that key. To her shock and horror, she finds the bones of his ex-wives that have also opened the door, that he has killed and hidden. Then he comes for her too. 

Here is the metaphor: should you open “the door” they don’t want you to open, you face proverbial death. The door leads to the truth and it is an initiation into intuition, should you follow it and seek it out — but the truth, sometimes, is horrific, which is why narcissists use tactics to confuse you and deflect the truth. The “door” is ultimately the ego of others that has been hidden on purpose. This is why Bluebeard warns the woman not to enter — only “bad” girls open the door so if you opened it, it must be because you are a bad seed and deserve punishment.

Do you see the confusion? I cannot tell you how many clients have come to me with this same scenario. Situations like these will cause empaths a great deal of cognitive dissonance, which leads to stress and physical symptoms. First you will feel confusion and stress/pain because chances are no one — or very few people — will admit to what is truly transpiring because they don’t want to be singled out or punished, so you feel alone in the pain. Secondly, it’s because you had the expectation of good energy for good energy and that was not met — and in fact, it was likely completely annihilated and then you were shamed for ever having that expectation to begin with. 

If you want to avoid the confusion that causes empathic sabogate, learn the games and fallacies others use to get their way. Remember, it is not a straight line to the truth because there is a near constant game of deflection and projection happening in groups or relationships where narcissists are in control of the social setting. While you may observe one thing and watch the trail of deflection occurring, it is easy to talk yourself out of it when you are the only one seeing it or are the only one caring that it is transpiring in the first place. Trust yourself, trust your body’s reaction, trust your instinct and intuition. Not everyone wants to be awake to these things, and some already know it’s happening but either don’t want to be singled out, or are participants. 

Once you have seen the truth, you cannot unsee it. Trust yourself first and foremost in order to avoid confusion. 

Read Empath sabotage type 3: amnesia

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Empath sabotage type 1: energetic starvation

People who are empathic, aka: highly sensitive and able to pick up on the thoughts, feelings, and subconscious behaviors of others have distinct, complex needs.

These needs are rooted in our desire for oneness and wholeness, rather than division and scarcity. Empaths crave peace, hate conflict (though as I have said before, I do believe we need to rise to the occasion to meet conflicts head on when important), want understanding, support and compassion, and we will seek the world over to find these things — and be sorely disappointed when we don’t. 

Chances are you were not given these things in childhood. As a result, you likely what what is called an “attachment wound” whereby it becomes difficult for you to open up and trust and you vacillate between wanting to be alone so you won’t be hurt or made to feel uncomfortably vulnerable, and co-dependent, thinking you’re inadequate and someone else must save you from the pain.

Because childhood is where such core wounds originate, an unawakened empath can spend their entire life trying to recreate this wound in order to subconsciously heal it. You may choose relationships or work environments in which you are never good enough, constantly “fail”, are reminded how “terrible” you are, and never receive the positive feedback you desire. You may spend decades waiting for that promotion, or years waiting for your partner to finally appreciate you. 

Attachment wounds don’t come from nowhere — they’re created systematically by the way our caregivers treat us as children. From these people, we learn we are either “good” or “bad”, “worthy” or “unworthy”, deserving of love or not. You see, the way these people treated us sets the stage for the way we understand others the rest of our lives and the lengths we will go to get those basic empathic needs for love and peace met.

If you are empathic, there’s a good chance one or both of your parents, caregivers, or close family members were narcissistic. Empaths and narcissist are like yin and yang, oil and water — opposites always attracting each other but never quite meshing, seeking to heal something deep inside. (If we allow it). 

Recreating the wound is a good thing — but only once you recognize it! Until you recognize your subconscious patterns of behavior, you will be a slave to them and wonder why things always feel so hard, why people act shitty, or why another unfavorable situation transpired. Once you recognize them, however, you will be able to learn from them to break the cycles that are keeping you stressed and sick. 

To overcome the core wound, and therefore learn the life lessons you are here to master in order to open up your chakras, you have to identify the problems first and foremost. You have to go as deep into the attachment wound as possible. And I believe the first step is recognizing the tactics that were used against you in childhood (or later in life) that keep you feeling inadequate and craving something outside of yourself. 

There are specific strategies narcissists use against empaths in order to have us groveling for their love and attention. It’s the proverbial dangling of the carrot: “am I good enough now?” “Let me keep trying to be good enough for you so you will love me.” “Which hoops can I jump through to make you happy?” The sad truth is, you will never be good enough for these people because if you were, they would lose their control over you and the whole point of dangling the carrot in the first place is to exercise control. In the long run, this will leave you feeling like you have an inherent flaw and there is nothing you can do to get the love you seek. 

So, number one — identify which tactics were used against you in childhood. The first strategy you likely experienced was something called “energetic starvation“. This is the classic “go to your room and stay there, I don’t want to see you!” Another variation is “the silent treatment”. In classical psychology a similar term is “stonewalling” which is where a loved one rescinds communication or the relationship benefits in order to prove a point or get their way. 

I grew up in Florida where one of the largest southern Amish communities thrives. It was normal to see women in prairie dresses and bonnets bicycling up and down the main streets, while men with beards rode in horse and buggy, all set to a modern backdrop of fast food and gas stations. While the sect down there is much more liberal than some up north, we still heard stories about Amish “shunning” in which community members would completely ignore and reject certain members who somehow wronged the church or committed a sin. Their families would stop speaking to them for weeks, months or years at a time, people would walk by them like they didn’t exist, and they were not welcome at services or family meals. 

Please know, I’m not here to judge anyone’s parenting techniques or religion — this is merely for you to go back through and take an inventory of the ways you were taught being alone was punishment, that you deserved to be alone, that you deserved love to be rescinded, and that you were starved of the attention of your caregivers or community when you didn’t do what someone else wanted. I have seen and experienced shunning by both atheist intellectuals/progressives seeking “world peace” and conservatives promoting “god”. It’s the same no matter who is doing it because energetic starvation is all about control and getting people into groupthink. 

The bottom line is that all people (with the exception of narcissists who feed on pain), especially empaths need and thrive on emotionally reciprocated love as their primary fuel. It’s what gives them the energy to keep going both mentally and physically. Starving them of this leads to utter psychological and physiological chaos. Because empaths operate on the assumption good energy for good energy, starving them of good energy causes existential crisis. It’s like they don’t understand the point of being here if we all can’t just get along. They don’t see how long they can go on a planet where love is a punishment or where they have so much to give but no one will gladly receive it. 

The good news is that real love is unconditional — without any strings attached. It is not dependent upon someone else giving it first, or someone else taking it away. It just is — as a universal law; nothing can alter it. We must remember this in order to break the narcissist spell and stop living the attachment wound. Others may try to control how much good energy you receive but the true source of good energy/love does not originate outside of ourselves. It is intrinsic and we can tap into it at any time, with or without anyone’s approval. We can give it even when it has been withheld, and we can generate it even when we have been told there isn’t enough for us. 

Don’t allow anyone to starve you energetically. Do not buy into the game. You don’t deserve to be punished and you certainly are capable of feeling good energy no matter what anyone else does to you.

Read about Empath sabotage type 2: confusion, here. 

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