Most people would probably agree that our world needs empathy.
The dictionary defines empathy as the action and the capacity of understanding, being aware of, and being sensitive to the feelings, thoughts, and experiences of another person.
As humans we are wired to be empathetic because we can feel our own pain, thus the pain of other human beings or animals. We can deeply understand their distress. But if we are wired for empathy, why so many people lack empathy?
One might argue that our culture – with its emphasis on mental and technological progress – has cut us off from our emotions and our bodies. We spend most of our time thinking, analyzing and not really listening to the silent messages of the heart and body. Because we spend so much time on our computers and at our desks, we can easily become isolated in our heads, and that means less time in person or within real life communities.
Psychologists talk of three types of empathy. Cognitive empathy is when you can put yourself in somebody else’s shoes. We cognitively understand what they are going through. Though this is important, it is not enough.
Emotional empathy is when you feel and sympathize with the feelings and emotions of others. We need this capacity to maintain relationships and friendships. But emotional empathy can be treacherous for sensitive people. Taking in, into your body, somebody’s else emotions and pain – can cause you to become ill.
I heard a radio host yesterday apologizing for not talking about the tragedy in Texas. She explained it like this… “I feel too much pain. I am in an overload of pain after months of tragedies. I can’t go there.”
Feeling the pain of others is an essential component of good health. But it is important to be able to separate one’s emotions from other people’s emotions. And this can be difficult for a lot of people.
To have healthy empathy, we must transition into Compassion. With compassion we understand and we feel for someone else, but we also understand that we need to stay whole in order to be a healthy and helpful resource for others. Compassion is felt more in the heart. It is an invisible silent thread that is felt between people. We are extending our heart to someone else’s heart.
Compassionate people are in control of their emotions. They can be very helpful in bringing about wise solutions. They are helpful with their sheer and trustworthy presence.
So to increase empathy and compassion, I would suggest to start with yourself.
Ask yourself how much empathy you have for yourself? Are you hard and unforgiving of yourself? Do you feel a lot of guilt all the time? Self-reflect and meditate on yourself often.
Also, remember episodes where you lacked empathy for others? Were you afraid or unware? Always ask why and wait for the answers to emerge from deep silence. There is no need to go into the past. But by remembering your aha moments of your past, you can illuminate your future.
Changing ourselves is a process. The most important thing is to be committed to transformation and to realize that your most important task on this planet is to become more human and to be of service.
I heard the famous author Caroline Myss say many times in her lectures that people are hungry for the sacred.
Once, people in masses went to churches to reflect and to connect with a force stronger than themselves, one that brought them relief and peace and hope. Now we have yoga studios, where we go to connect to a force inside of ourselves.
“Religion is part of the human make-up. It is our first attempt at cosmology, making sense of where we are in the universe, our first attempt at health care, believing in faith healing,” writes Christopher Hitchens.
Whatever the Gods represent for you, quantum intelligence or a divine intelligence, we often need the humility the sacred brings into our lives to make sense of our illogical human existence. I heard one of the victims of the California fires say “only gratitude matters going forward.”
Collectively we need more inspiration, more beautification and purification of our characters, our personalities, our souls, and our energies.
We are a sacred temple, and everyone on earth is a sacred temple. Together we make one sacred tribe. We walk on sacred earth, and we desperately need to accept ourselves as sacred beings. No shift in collective consciousness will ever happen if we don’t welcome back this basic truth.
We need to respect the sacred each one of us has decided to pursue; it is the right one for you at this point of your human evolution.
The true sacred inside of us doesn’t wage wars, doesn’t wish bad things to people, doesn’t look down at other sacred beings.
When you are feeling stressed, bring to mind the image of a sacred space, feel the peacefulness and the tranquility of sacredness inside of you. Respect, devotion and faith are a part of who you are.
In my yoga class this morning, blessings were sent to my body, my friends, the people all over the world who are suffering and lacking peace. Send blessings to your own body, and your own friends, and all other places you wish to send some sacredness and healing.
I felt that August 21th, the day of the Solar Eclipse, was an extraordinary day in the U.S. I bet that almost everyone was able to step out of their worries and dilemmas, and look up to the heavens for magic. So many people were feeling happy thanks to the moon hiding the sun, thanks to a natural phenomenon that excited our imagination, vision and hope. I felt the happy vibes myself, and I am sure than many people did as well.
These events are glimpses of how interconnected our minds are with other minds and objects in this holistic reality. Or as Dean Radin says in his book, Entangled Minds: “It is as though we live in a gigantic bowl of clear jello. Every wiggle-every movement, event, and thought-within that medium is felt throughout the entire bowl.”
Many scientists measure our subtle human entanglement through the coherence of the frequencies we emit. This is called global coherence or field consciousness research. I refer you to consult the Global Consciousness Project conducted at Princeton. On their first page one reads: “Coherent consciousness creates order in the world. Subtle interactions link us with each other and the Earth.”
That is partly why people meditate together for peace, or we have group peace or climate marches… the happy feelings of togetherness and joy experienced by us seem to amplify and spread, and this can be measured.
This could explain why when we are surrounded by happy people, we feel happier. Their vibration entrains coherence to our own less coherent states.
So the more we bring change to our consciousness, and the more we direct our attention to common goals for the betterment of all, we elevate our collective consciousness and influence the consciousness of others.
One piece of wisdom to take from this is that nature makes us feel happy, and that fascination with heavenly natural forces move us to a childlike joy. In rare moments such as solar eclipses, we realize that our lives are small pebbles in an infinite universe. So the question for everyone to ponder after this is that our own pebbleness matters, that the way we carry ourselves in the world, the joy and the happiness we emit, affects everyone around us and contributes to the subtle changes in the consciousness of our cities and the world. So let’s continue this happy project, chirp about it and create positive waves of change.
It is a beautiful summer outside and most of us will see our parents and relatives during vacation. These happy moments might awaken within us some deep and uncomfortable unconscious issues. It is possible that some of us might feel a bit unbalanced after our times with family. It is because it is very hard, for most of us, to stay in our personal power in the presence of family.
I would like to share with you a small meditation to reclaim your personal power after you see your family. If you feel apprehensive even before the visit, you can use this meditation as medicine to prep for the visit, and also to stay centered, while you are there and afterwards.
I suggest that you trust the first insights that come to you during this quick meditation. Sense, perceive and feel the symbols, the images, the colors and the textures that might come to you during this relaxation. Also, use intentionality to make changes in perception.
CLOSE YOUR EYES AND START BREATHING. Relax your shoulders, your neck, and drop your emotional energy from your whole body towards the earth, and start sinking under the pull of gravity to mother earth. Drop a connection from your lower body to the earth and feel interconnected with the vastness of the earth.
Imagine that you are sitting on the beach and the waves are coming and going. Feel the peaceful energy of the summer air and bring that into your body. Slow down your body with the shimmering blue of the ocean. Use intention to entrain with the color and the vibration of the ocean.
Sink in even deeper. Call your life force energy to you. See it as a color or a symbol, and gift your body with your life force energy. Be full of your life force. Be in your power.
Now put your awareness on your heart and ask your heart where and to whom you are losing personal power. Take a moment to identify the experiences and people that weaken your life force energy the most. Notice the type of exchanges you have with them. If you feel like you have been losing your power, ask yourself why you are giving permission to that event or person, to take your power away.
Ask your heart what you need to do to always feel your full power when you are with these people.
Use your intention to separate your person power and agency from the power of the people draining it. Feel free to sense that separation in your own way. Just intend for it to happen and create healthy, nurturing boundaries.
If you need to forgive anyone, do so right now. If you feel the need, have a silent conversation with your parents or relatives. Tell them how you would like the relationship to change going forward. Just state your wish, and present it to them in silence, let them know your new vision for a happy relationship.
Now recall a moment when you felt in your full power. Remember how it felt. Go back to that moment and try to bring that feeling to awareness.
Be a balloon full of your best self. Draw a healthy boundary around your body. Feel the excitement of this new you, and show it to the people you love.
Become grateful for bringing more acceptance and understanding into your life!
Having integrity is what makes everyone of us an exceptional human being that is trusted, loved, valued and appreciated. Integrity is a rare commodity, and having integrity makes life healthier, easier, and honorable for everyone. We all desire to be associated with people in integrity, so why not become one of them!
Let’s play and see how much integrity we use in our lives! I am inviting my readers to take this short test! The higher your score, the more integrity you value and practice in your life.
1. I speak my truth and I am not afraid to communicate it to others
2. I respect the opinions and beliefs of others
3. I am compassionate
4. I do not ghost people
5. I listen to what others have to say
6. I forgive easily
7. I am secure in myself and I do not need to lie
8. I value and respect the time and feelings of others
9. I know my boundaries
10. My word is my bond
11. People trust me
12. I do not manipulate people
13. I have humility
14. I recognize my mistakes
15. I apologize easily
16. I strive for clear communication
17. I do not mislead people
18. I am polite and kind
19. I do not criticize people
20. I love and honor myself
Reflect, laugh and enjoy!