How I Realised I’m an Emotional “SPONGE”

What is an Emotional Sponge? And how can you deal with it, both spiritually and psychologically.

Empathy is a term that’s being going around a lot lately, along with its side-effect, “emotional sponge”. I can explain it best by a personal experience.

This will be both a spiritual (energy) and psychological investigation into the phenomenon. Keep reading!

I recently got into the morning practice of clearing my energy, and the results are so amazing, that for hours to follow, I continue to feel very light and peaceful. (Yes – I will talk about these energy clearing practices in another post)

But one morning, I made the mistake of checking my phone too soon.
Phone, Female, Lady, Black, African

I had received a message from an anxious and flustered friend, that was dealing with a problem. Though my friend is sensible and was only bouncing the problem to get a second opinion about it, I immediately felt my energy become heavy. I was annoyed and angry too, now.

I became an emotional sponge. In other words, I was so empathic towards the person’s problems, that I absorbed some of their emotions and made them my own!

I immediately became alert and stirred by what had happened, because the dip in energy level was significant. So this time, it didn’t go undetected and I was able to look at it from a more conscious and critical view.

This is where psychology pops in to say hello! We have just experienced a sign of an unhealthy Emotional Boundary.

In being the good listener, I am holding TOO much space and as a consequence, it is getting into my own space.

Face, Head, Empathy, Meet, Sensitivity

Ofcourse I never write without solutions, so here it comes.

In dealing with other people’s problems, we need to create a safe space for us to comfortably listen from and be in – and remind ourselves mentally that we can remain detached and still help others.

Detachment being the key word, lets walk our way back to the spiritual side.

Detachment to me, means to be able to hear a problem, and advise a solution or see a better outcome of it without being shaken by the problem itself. It means operating from a higher frequency.

This, thus, means always choosing a higher frequency until it becomes second nature – that I am AWARE I am able to make this choice freely and voluntarily every time.

What are these frequencies I am talking about?

I love the Nicheren Buddhism philosophy that suggests, each being holds 10 different states of mind within themselves. These are called the Ten Worlds.

It is believed that our behaviour fluctuates between each of these states. Well, it fluctuates as long as we are unconscious and operating on auto-pilot. But we can choose the frequency by repeatedly staying aware and growing gentle in our ‘reaction’ in situations.

The Ten Worlds are, in ascending order of the degree of free will, compassion and happiness one feels, the worlds of: (1) hell, (2) hungry spirits, (3) animals, (4) asuras, (5) human beings (6) heavenly beings, (7) voice-hearers, (8) cause-awakened ones, (9) bodhisattvas, and (10) Buddhas.

As explained on the Sokka Gakkai website

Operating from higher frequencies becomes our way to experience detachment.

But how can we still be compassionate, if we are detached?
Empathy, Person, Human Waves, Compassion

True compassion can be understood when we hear stories of enlightened Masters such as the Buddha that would become teary-eyed in seeing another’s pain, in seeing the plight of the world around.

Compassion may not necessarily mean attachment – it means sometimes, to be able to experience the emotion by letting it pass through you. What does that mean? It means not holding back, understanding that is a byproduct of humanness and simply holding the space for yourself to process the emotion out of your system.

Yet at the same time, we are staying rooted in the knowing, that we are not the emotions we are experiencing and that we are holding space for another person to share their load.

This led me to think – is THIS why we feel better when we share our problems? Because we literally share our problem?
Empathy, Head, Brain, Wave, Compassion

I don’t want this to scare the empaths of the world. I want all this to empower you, by showing you that yes, you are a being of great capacity, that has immense love and care. The skills that you need to work on now, are detachment and healthy emotional boundaries.

All the empaths reading this, give me a holler and let me know if this changes things for you! 🙂

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I also include exclusive content such as e-books, guided meditations and numerous other resources – all of which you get access to as soon as you sign up!

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10 Ways to be Spiritual Everyday, WITHOUT Meditating

You may want to bookmark this one – I’ve loaded the post with as many spiritual ideas, recommendations and tips as I possibly could. Try them all atleast once!

So many of us, no matter how hard we have tried, have failed miserably at sitting still to meditate. The usual complaints are – my thoughts are all over the place, I can’t concentrate, I just can’t sit still, etcetera, etcetera.

We still want to try, and probably give it a shot annually when anyone ‘recommends meditation’, but we begin to resign from spirituality assuming that meditation is the only way to approach it.

Also, at times, even when we know how to meditate, we may not have the time or the emotional availability to sit down for it.

The good news is, spirituality is unlimited and there are countless ways to experience a more soul-enriching life!

So here are 10 things you can do in your daily life to experience peace, even if you can’t sit still or don’t have enough time to.

#1 – Music (Chanting)

You don’t need to close your eyes to experience peace.

And, even if you can’t understand the chant due to a language barrier, there are some incredibly therapeutic creations to listen to while driving, before bed or at any time of the day when you need to cool down your mind quickly. I often used to listen to these while at work – it helped me stay calm and focused.

Here are my top 5 recommendations for chants :

1) Buddhist Monks – https://youtu.be/cDCS19EOsrA
2) Om Namah Shivay Chanting – https://youtu.be/htoKhJySUFo
3) Lotus Sutra (Namyoho Renge Kyo) – https://youtu.be/OBgN849_nOs
4) Om Chanting – https://youtu.be/8sYK7lm3UKg
5) Morning Prayer – https://youtu.be/Hx8c50vUi4I

#2 – Mindfulness

While meditation is associated with sitting still, mindfulness asks you to focus on your reality, whilst engaged in other activities. It isn’t as challenging as it sounds! Start small, as small as 1 minute everyday, and let your mindfulness expand in duration, as well as the activities you do.

How to be mindful?

To summarise the practice, when you’re involved in any mundane task in which you are so good, you are not paying attention and your mind is wandering, such as brushing, eating or walking, become fully aware of doing this activity. Feel yourself being involved in the task at hand. Appreciate the effortlessness you have developed in doing something – enjoy it!

#3 – Minimalism

Minimalism has been quite the ‘trend’ lately. It not only appears tidy, classy and overcomes the ‘hoarding’ psychology, minimalism is another way of saying “I am a mindful consumer”.

While there are multiple philosophies on how to practice minimalism, I think we should all start with the basics :

  • All future purchases should be what you immediately need.
    When you purchase less, you can still upgrade your wardrobe and appear stylish, by spending more on the quality of what you’re buying. This allows you to maximise the use of what you have, and thus a NO-WASTE policy.
  • Scan your existing purchases and remove items you haven’t used in 6 months or more.
    If you keep stocking up, or refuse to let go of old possessions, you’re basically a hoarder. That word is not to be taken lightly, simply because it is a psychological problem, a fear of ‘lack and insufficiency’ that as a conscious being, you MUST overcome.
  • For every new item you buy, try to remove an old pair.
    The effective consumption stays constant, and you are able to recycle your wardrobe. Preferably giving away your used items to charity.

When we evaluate how many gallons of water is wasted in making a simple piece of cloth, or that our natural resources are outrageously being depleted, minimalism is the LEAST we can do to start curbing the explosive consumption and lack of appreciation.

#4 – Grounding

It’s simply reconnecting with nature and allowing your excess energy to balance into the Earth.

Woman, Young, Rain, Pond, Cambodia, Girl

Dance in the rain.
Walk barefoot in the grass.
Take a hike in the nature.
Play with your pets outdoors (keyword is outdoors).
Hug a tree.
Walk in the sand and let the ocean waves crash against your feet.

These are all just some examples, and just 5 minutes a day can make all the difference!

#5 – Absorb Wisdom from Around

Surround yourself with spirituality. But, how? Keep reading.

  • Since we spend an awful lot of time on social media, the quickest trick is to follow pages and channels that keep reminding you of soulful messages. Slowly and steadily, these thoughts will penetrate into your way of living.

    Speaking by personal experience – on the days when you don’t have enough inner light, it is these messages that will lift you, NOT the images of people getting married or going on a Euro-trip.
  • Second, listen to spiritual teachers. Here are some of my personal favourites :
  1. Sadhguru
  2. Caroline Myss
  3. Eckhart Tolle
  4. Oprah Winfrey’s Soulful Sunday series
  5. Hay House podcasts
  • Also, to nurture your Soul straight from the wise horse’s mouth, read more intriguing books. If you haven’t picked up book from this genre yet, you can check out my recommendations for 5 spiritual books everyone should read.

#6 – Morning Pages

A suggestion that has been around for a few decades, but I only got to, this year myself. Morning Pages is like a mindless rant, it’s venting everything that’s on your mind, onto a piece of paper (or typing it in Word, if you’d like).

Pencil, Sharpener, Notebook, Paper

This is the brainchild of Julia Cameron found in her book, The Artist’s Way. I will come forward and say, that what meditation sometimes doesn’t do for me, morning pages does. How?

Because you are taking a few minutes to actually channelise your thoughts, you are able to finish the thought and move on. Sometimes in meditation, the mind will jump from one unfinished thought to another like a kid high on sugar, so writing slows down the process and really lets you vent.

And you may even experience some wisdom seeping through! This is what manifested the page, Messages from the Universe, on my blog.

#7 – Reliving your pain (Therapy)

Anything that brings you back to the present moment is a good thing. And what is more effective, than a bad memory which reminds you that you’re safe now, in this moment? Counter-intuitive, I know.

As someone said, “in the exact moment, we are all, always alright”.

When we actively pursue our pain, or ‘darkness’, we are able to realise the lessons behind our suffering, and appreciate our ‘now’.

On to the ‘how‘, three suggestions –

  1. Regularly talk to somebody you trust and feel safe opening your wounds around.
  2. Second, write about it for yourself or for a bigger audience (this is how my page on Instagram began). You’ll be surprised how liberating it is to speak your truth. The world is really a more receptive place today, and vulnerability is welcomed.
  3. Attend therapy sessions. Though this isn’t the path for everybody, but if you feel like you might benefit from it, trust me, YOU WILL!

#8 – Do What You’re Meant To : LIVE a Little (or a LOT) !

Not everyone is made for the same 9-6 job or other stereotypes like getting married and having kids, but there’s no doubt that every creative cell in your body deserves to be fuelled. No matter who you are!

Remember from the Trolls movie, how the characters withered away, when they weren’t allowed to dance or sing? That’s precisely how we humans are, too. Just not as cute.

Image result for troll movie

Surprised this even makes it to the list? It’s true. The more spiritual you become, the more creative and in touch with your ‘inner child’ you will be. and vice versa.

Also, as the analogy goes – as food is to the body, creativity is to the soul. You need to feed yourself regularly, generously!

#9 – Healing

There are a number of wondrous healing techniques – using crystals, practising Reiki, Pranik healing, etc which can really up your spiritual game and might even become a profession for some. Explore them, give the practices a chance, you might be surprised!

Crystals, Stones, Healing, Mystic

NOTE: For Indians interested in Reiki, the Reiki Healing Foundation offers free Reiki Level 1 classes every month, for the masses in Delhi, India. I have personally attended the session too, and learned a lot! Would definitely encourage that those that are in the area and can attend, should.

#10 – Spiritual Cleanse

This is an abundant and magnificent topic of its own. Given how exhaustive this list has already become, my post on my favourite cleansing practices will have to find its own space and time! Stay tuned.

-*-*-*-

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I also include exclusive content such as e-books, guided meditations and numerous other resources – all of which you get access to as soon as you sign up!

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7 Things You Need to Know to Master Your Karma

No more fearing Karma, it’s time to start working with it!

Karma is misunderstood more often than appreciated. Simply because the information spread about this Universal-governing law is usually half-baked.

So, here’s my attempt to redefine your perception and hopefully help you develop a high regard for this mystical law.

#1 – Clear your debt with grace.

Any hardships are not the time for you to ask “why is this happening to me”. Instead, start seeing problems as your opportunity to clear your Karmic Debt rapidly. If you’re asking for God to ‘slow down’ on you, it’s like saying you want the band-aid to be ripped off slower and with longer-lasting pain.

Paper, Low, Photoshop, Rip

#2 –You can’t be ‘jinxed’ out of something you deserve.

I want to emphasise on the fact that you need to trust your own destiny, the rewards you will be reaping, and free yourself of superstitious ideas of jinxing. Worst comes, something you deserve will be delayed, but it will be rerouted to you, and never deprived.

#3 – Karma isn’t always the bad guy. It is infact, absolutely unbiased and balanced. Set yourself free from this myth.

I’ve said this before when talking about the Divine Laws of the Universe, and I say it again. Karma is a neutral law.

Yin And Yang, Fire, Water, Hand

We, as humans, are the ones that make it seem good or bad. But the truth is, you get what you deserve, and that’s THAT.

The Universe doesn’t indulge in favouritism, doing more good for one soul, and worse for another. So, you won’t get any more troubles than you deserve, and you won’t get more happiness than you deserve either. If you keep holding onto the fear of Karma, you can never work with it.

#4 – Fill every moment from NOW-on with good Karma.

EVERYTHING you do in the present, is always building for your future. And if you can do good enough in the present, you don’t need to worry about the future, because you’ll start to override the consequences of your past too!

Grass, Pavement, Brick, Poetry, Stone

#5 – Don’t try to even the score, chances are you’ll make it worse.

We are already assigned Spiritual contracts (if you are curious to know what that is, read this) with the people around us, and we have debts to clear with them. Anything that is happening to you is either this person clearing their debt to you, OR them creating their own hard fate for the future.

DON’T GET INVOLVED.

Get out of toxic relations or limit yourself from people that bring out the worst in you, but do NOT take Karma in your own hands.

#6 – Don’t wait for Karma to hit somebody.

While we’re talking about getting even, let’s also talk about wasting our time wondering when we’ll get to sing ‘what goes around comes back around’ to our misdoer.

Concert, Singer, Singing, Stage, Lights

It all comes crashing down some day, but while you’re policing it, the law will not be set into motion. You have to EXIT that loop, that confining energy, for the law to generate the ‘bill of debts due’ in this ‘transaction’.

#7 – If you want big Karmic changes, take big steps.

Instead of fearing or succumbing to the law, WORK WITH IT.
Go all-out on taking control of your present moment actions. Don’t act from a small place, it won’t bring results fast enough. Afterall, the harder you spin the wheel, the faster it will go.

Steel Wool, Fire, Sparks, Cirle

Karma can you teach you detachment, acceptance, present moment awareness and help you connect the dots over, and over again. It may not make sense in the moment, but in retrospect, everything will always be more appreciable.

If you can see yourself as a student of this law, the more practical and useful it will be in consciously transcending the many nuances of life!

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Once a month, I send a Self-Love and Spiritual newsletter containing highlights from the month.

I also include exclusive content such as e-books, guided meditations and numerous other resources – all of which you get access to as soon as you sign up!

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