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Boundaries

How to Implement Boundaries without Changing who you are!

How to Implement Boundaries without Changing who you are!


You are not here to save anyone or anything!

This is a topic that I have noticed showing up in private sessions with my clients, a big fear for empaths is “if I put boundaries in place I will lose what I feel is me, my need to help others, how do I do that if I have boundaries?”

When I see these themes occurring I know it’s something that more than just my clients are experiencing, so felt it was an important topic to talk about.  I would love you to consider this for yourself, when you think about putting boundaries in place, what do you feel?  Do you worry about having to change who you truly are by putting boundaries in place?

Many empaths logically know that they need to put boundaries in place but on a deep core/soul level they feel a sense of obligation and even guilt to continue to be an open door to help people.

I get this completely as this was me, I was told so many times, you need to put boundaries in place and I was like nope not doing it.  I too felt that to put boundaries in place I would need to change who I was, I am a caring and kind person, I help people, with boundaries I can’t do that……Sound familiar?

I came to a place where I no longer had a choice, I could not continue to be a door mat, to have a revolving door for people.  They would come in dump everything on me and feel so much better and then walk back out my revolving door, leaving me feeling exhausted, drained and overwhelmed.

Then the next time would come, again walk in, dump, walk out and I wouldn’t hear from them again until the next time and the next time and the next time.

I had to finally put a stop to it realising I could no longer be the door mat, and have the revolving door to these people.  Whilst it was not their fault, I had allowed them to do that, always being there for them, dropping everything every time they needed me.  Putting a stop to it was important, both for me and for them, constantly fixing things for people is not doing them any favours, it was in actual fact dis-empowering them.

boundaries

An important thing to understand is, as empaths and as sensitive souls we have an innate need within us to serve others.  We are here to help people and the thought of putting in boundaries mean I won’t be able to help them anymore and then I won’t get to feel fulfilled because I can’t do the one thing that my soul craves and that is to help and serve.

For a lot of you I know that it can feel selfish and what I learned about that personally was, if I didn’t put boundaries in place I then wouldn’t be available for anybody.  As a mum to two teenage girls, my medical warriors as I like to call them as they have both been through some pretty dire medical emergencies over the years.  They are the ones that deserve my energy more than anybody else.

Being a revolving door or a door mat meant I didn’t have the energy for the people that truly deserved it.  The people that are the most important to me, not only the ones that are there for me, but the ones that continually show up, they prove themselves over and over and over again.  They are the ones that deserved my energy.

Not the people that would come and go only when they either needed me for something or needed something from me, then they would leave and I wouldn’t hear from them again till the next time.

I then learned that I could actually be more powerful and have more influence, one because my energy was higher as I was no longer being a door mat, not been the person that they would come to and I would fix it for them or save them from something.  This was a big lesson I had to learn, I am not here to save anyone or anything.

“You are not here to save anyone or anything”

I am here as a place where people can start to unload but then find the power and healer within them so they can help themselves.  So if you can go from saying I am here to help people, to save people or to fix people to I am here to empower people.  You will have so much more influence on people, the people in your life and people you don’t even know, you are going to have more power in that, more influence in that if you choose to work to empower them.

I’m not going to save them, I am not going to fix it for them, I am not going to do it for them, I am going to empower them to do it for themselves.

They are then going to be able to go on in their life been able to take care of themselves, empower themselves and be more independent.  It was a time of reminding myself by saying “Nicole remember where your power is, remember your power is within empowering them to do it for themselves, in holding the space for them to find all they need within them”.

As empaths and sensitive souls we do that very well, I am sure you have noticed in your life that people, strangers even come up and just unload, telling you their life story and usually without any prompting.  That is because that is your power,  your power to allow people to feel like you are their safe space to finally let go of what they have been carrying around.

The mistake we tend to make and I made it very early on as well, is that we don’t feel like that is enough.  How is just listening enough, I have to do something about this, and that is a human need, feeling we need to fix it and make it better.

But if we can start to understand just how powerful that is, just listening.  If you have ever had an experience where someone just listens to you, not listening to respond but really listening to hear you, focusing wholly on you, not distracted by anything else, you would know just how impactful that is.

That is the gift you give to other people, just listening, focusing on them and them only and that in itself is enough, you are enough.  You don’t have to do anything else, you don’t have to fix anything and you don’t have to have all the answers.

boundaries

I know when I first started in my Counsellor studies that was my biggest fear, that I wouldn’t know the answers, what the right advice to give would be.  The first thing my teacher said to me was “being a Counsellor is never about giving advice, we don’t give advice, we help our clients to find the answers for themselves”, boy was that a huge weight off my shoulders.

It is the same for you, you don’t need to have all the answers, you just need to listen and care and as an Empath my love, you have that in the bag.

Now within that an important point and something I really want you to understand is, the process is:

  1. You listen
  2. Allow them to release what they need to let go of
  3. You also let it go, you do not absorb it, you do not carry it

As empaths we can have a bad habit of feeling that if someone is sharing it with me then that must mean I am supposed to carry it, or I am strong enough to carry it.  No, that is not the reason, the reason is like I said before you are the safe place for them to unload, not to absorb and not to carry.

An analogy for you:  When you are going on a trip and you take your bags to the departure desk at the airport, you don’t give the bag to the customer service officer do you, you put it on the conveyor belt.  The person serving you and getting you booked in, isn’t going to then carry your bags for you, are they?  Of course not they are just the safe place for your bags to go, knowing that they are in the right place and will be boarded onto the plane.

It is the same for you when people unload, it’s not because they want you to carry it, it’s because they just need to stop carrying it themselves.  So you allow them to unload and as I said that is a huge service you are providing right there and then you allow the baggage to be on its way.

Remembering:

  • You are not fixing
  • You are not saving
  • You are not giving advice
  • You are not absorbing

You are allowing that person to feel freer, to feel lighter, to feel heard and to feel understood and that is such a powerful gift you can give to people.

Now to bring all of this back around to the idea of boundaries, you are going to see that implementing boundaries is actually two fold:

  1. We are implementing those boundaries so people don’t feel that they can walk all over us, or they can’t take up all of our time.  They need to start to respect us and respect our time.
  2. It is also a boundary for yourself, you also do not step over that line.  You hold the space for them, but you do not absorb and you do not step over that line into their energy field and try to fix or save them.

I hope you can start to see that if we do it in that way, that we are not changing who we are, we are still the same person you don’t have to be different.  You don’t have to stop being who you are or fulfilling that innate need of wanting to help people.  It is changing what helping people means, changing what serving people means.

It is changing what helping and serving people means.

What you are now doing is just holding that container, that allows people to feel safe in unloading and letting go of what is just too damn heavy to continue carrying around, emptying it into the container, you are closing the lid and then its done.

boundaries

Instead of being completely open and having no boundaries and allowing them to step over that, then feeling they are telling me this, so it must be my job to fix it.  It must be my job to save them, NO it is not!

If you continue to do that, continue to not have any boundaries, continue to be the person that fixes everything for people or having to save people all of the time.  You are actually doing them a dis-service, we are all here to have our lessons, for our soul to grow but if you are continually going out of your way to fix and save people you are removing that opportunity of growth for them.

If you can think about it in that way, that by putting these boundaries in place I am actually helping them, I am empowering them for learning and growth the boundaries will no longer feel like you are doing something wrong or being selfish.

You are not losing your ability to help people, you are helping them in a different way.

You are going to help them to grow and a great example of this is when our kids start to grow, when they are little you are leading them along their path but as they become older, teenagers and young adults its time for us to step off their path and walk along side them.

Another great way to look at boundaries from an empowered place is to look at the role of our guardian angels, if you have been with me for a while you will know that your guardian angel can not step in and help you unless you ask aka boundaries.  So if you start to see yourself as an Earth Angel just walking along side people, guiding and helping them without stepping over yours and their boundaries, you are going to be one powerful earthly being.

Put your boundaries in place, Be their Guide and watch both yours and their lights start to shine like never before.

If you are having trouble putting your boundaries in place and are noticing you are feeling guilty or selfish and left feeling exhausted, drained and overwhelmed. I can help you to heal those emotions and allow you to become that powerful earthly being.  Click here to book your appointment.


Nicole Ivens | Empath Counsellor

Which Moon Phase is Your Friend?

Which Moon Phase is Your Friend?

Contrary to popular belief the full moon phase is my friend.

I am sure you have heard all the bad things about the full moon phase, like all the crazies are out or it is hard to sleep during the full moon phase.  Whilst I am sure these things are true, they just aren’t true for me.

Would you like to know how I found this out?

I remember before I really knew much about the moon phases or cycles, it was all about the full moon and believing the hype about it and what other people had experienced.

So what happens when you take on the beliefs of other people?  You start to see that happening in your life too, because your brain is very good at always proving to you that you are right, that what you believe is true.

So yes you would of seen some crazy people about or you would have had trouble sleeping.  Why?  Because that is what you believed.

But what if you could actually truly learn about each of the moon phases from an individual stand point, not what other people have told you, not what popular belief is but what you truly experience through each moon phase or cycle.

This is exactly what I did, I could no longer fool myself into believing what I was been told I should feel or experience.  So I went to work and charted out the moon cycles for 30 days and paying very close attention to my thoughts, feelings, experiences, energy levels and moods.

Moon Phase

Each day I would journal about how I was feeling, what I was experiencing both internally and externally and I used a system to indicate my energy levels.  So for low energy medium energy and for high energy.  I also noted what moon phase or cycle we were in, this gave me a good indication of which moon cycles were my friend and which were not.

Once I learned what was good for me and what wasn’t I was then able to plan my schedule around it.  For example I learned I am super energised on the full moon, very creative and can get so much done and yes I sleep very well.

Whereas on the Gibbous moon cycle, this one is not my friend, I would feel exhausted, low mood, low energy, low everything, so this was my time of rest where I would lay low.

So as you can see if I went on the popular belief on each moon cycle I wouldn’t be doing myself any justice, trying to do things at the wrong times and wondering why I wasn’t getting anywhere.

I challenge you to do the same, get yourself a book and chart out the moon cycles for the month and just start to see the pattern and gain a deeper understanding of the moon cycles as they apply to you and your energy.

Have a listen to the podcast episode where I briefly share with you each of the moon cycles.

 

I can promise you it will start to make a big difference in your life and help you to start to understand your own cycle too.


Nicole Ivens | Empath Counsellor

If you need extra support in understanding the moon cycles and how they apply to you, book a free call with Nicole.  You can book in here.

how to help your sensitive child

How to help your Sensitive Child

How to help your Sensitive Child

 

Looking at this image can you pick or feel the energy of the child that is more sensitive than the others?

Let’s break it down, the older child on the left is exuding confidence and the youngest feels like she has a real mischievous spirit and the middle child she is the beautiful sensitive soul not really sure what she is feeling, or why this is uncomfortable for her.

 

As a sensitive soul yourself it is very likely that one or more of your children are highly sensitive or even an empath.  For me I have two girls, one is a highly sensitive soul and the other one is an empath, no surprises there.  So it has been challenging to raise them in such a way that their sensitivity isn’t something that they feel is wrong with them, but instead a powerful part of their spirit.

So I felt guided to share with you some ways how you can help your sensitive child:

  • Understanding

Starting to understand your child is the first step, becoming an observer of how they react and behave in different social settings and environments.  How do they cope at parties?  What happens for them in large gatherings, such as shopping centres?  Take note of their energy levels, their mood swings and behaviour that is unacceptable and with no real cause.

This is going to help you to determine where it is that they need extra support and guidance, they are not going to be understanding either why they feel the way they do and this is where you can offer so much support and guidance to them.

I am sure you know for yourself growing up as a sensitive soul, it was not easy and if you had support and guidance it would of made your childhood a whole lot easier and fruitful.

  • Explaining

Now that you have a deeper understanding of your child and how their sensitivity is affecting them and expressing itself in their life, you can explain it to your child, to help them to understand why they feel the way they do.

It is important when explaining it to them that you never preface sensitivity with “it’s just because you are sensitive”, that can be construed as something bad, that there is something wrong with them.  We want to make sure that all sensitive beings kids or adults understand that their sensitivity is their gift, not a curse.

You can start out by asking them questions, depending on their age of course.  When you go to a party with your friends, how do you feel afterwards?  Do you notice you feel tired?  When we go to the shops, how do you feel when we are there?  Does your tummy start to hurt, do you start to feel tired?

These are all great questions to help them to start to get to know themselves better and what a powerful gift you are giving your child.

You can then start to explain to them why it is they feel this way.  Check out this article “The Traits of an Empath” which will also help you to determine their levels of sensitivity and what areas of their life are affecting them negatively.   I also talked about this topic on “The Nurtured Empath” Podcast – see below.

 

 

How to help your sensitive child

  • Shielding

Now you have a deeper understanding of how your child’s sensitivity is affecting them you can now help them to cope in those situations and environments.  Shielding is one of those ways, it is a great way for your child to feel protected from the energy of other people that has been affecting them probably throughout their whole life.

When my girls where younger we used to play this fun game on the way to school and we called it “Shields Up”, they were both into sci-fi shows so this was an easy sell.  I taught them to envision a big bubble surrounding them from the top of their head all the way down and under their feet, whilst they were inside this bubble none of the energy that made them feel sad, angry, anxious or tired could get to them it would just bounce straight back off.

To invoke the energetic shield of protection, we would just say “Shields Up” and they would put their hands up on either side of their head – see image of my youngest daughter showing it in action.  This is enough for their energy shield to be protected and reducing the amount of energy they are absorbing from other people around them.

 

 

  • Body Scan

This is a very powerful exercise to put your child back in charge, allow him/her to know their body and their energetic system so well that when any other energy comes close they will be aware of it. (You can do this for yourself too)

It is a very simple yet powerful and effective technique.  It is an envisioning exercise, just like an x-ray machine, you are going to get them to scan their body from head to toe and noticing any areas of tension, tightness or pain.

What this does is allows your child to then know what is theirs and what is not, so for example if they are feeling completely fine at home and then leave the house to go to school and start to feel pain or tension anywhere in their body, they will know it doesn’t belong to them.

how to help your sensitive child

The action then becomes:   “This isn’t mine, I let it go”

Arming your child with this simple yet powerful technique is going to help them so much in embracing their sensitivity and will see them through not only their childhood years but through adulthood as well.


 

Are you feeling more prepared now in how to help your sensitive child?  I would love to hear your experiences in raising a sensitive child, comment below and let me know.  I respond to every comment.

 

Nicole Ivens | Gold Coast Counsellor

The Traits of an Empath

The Traits of an Empath

The Traits of an Empath

Have you ever wondered why you feel different to those around you?

Noticing that you experience the world in a different way, feel more sensitive to the energy of your environment and people around you, well you may in fact like me be an Empath.  I am going to take you through 27 different traits of an empath that will explain to you why you feel they way you do.

 

1. Knowing

Have you felt like you just know things without being told?  You just know something when you probably shouldn’t know it, and I feel this goes even deeper than intuition, it is just a real knowingness, deep in your core.  Coming from our ability to sense energy and being highly attuned.

2. Being in public places can be overwhelming

This is a big one for empaths, it can feel so overwhelming.  When you think about going shopping, attending sports event or concert, you feel all the energies coming at you at once.  This can feel so overwhelming and confusing, as  you have so many different energies and emotions coming at you.  You may find yourself feeling extremely tired and exhausted after only a short time in the space of other people and energy.

3. Feeling the emotions of others

You feel how other people are feeling and this can lead to confusion once again because it can be hard to determine and differentiate between your own feelings and those of other people that you are picking up.  You are absorbing the emotions of others and thinking that they belong to you, so think about a time where you have really noticed your mood change for no apparent reason.  This is due to you absorbing the emotion of another person and taking it on as your own.

4. Watching violence on TV

This one affects me as an Empath on quite a deep level.  Have you noticed when you are watching TV, it may be the news or just a drama, thriller or horror movie and start to feel the affects of what the actor is experiencing.  This is another sign that you are an Empath, as you are literally soaking up the emotions of the person on the TV be that real or fiction.

The traits of an empath

5. You know when someone is being dishonest

As an empath you are like a human lie-detector, you just know when someone isn’t being truthful with you, whether its a white lie or a big whopper they are trying to pull over on you.  This can be a challenging one especially in relationships, is this something that you have noticed?

6. Picking up physical symptoms off others

You may notice when you are around other people all of a sudden you notice a physical ailment, such as a headache or stomach pain or any physical pain really.  This is you absorbing the energy off others and taking on their physical pain.  This is one to be aware of and learning how to release that energy aka physical pain back to its owner.

7. Digestive disorders and lower back problems

As we pick up the energy of emotions of others, it can really cause you to suffer with these issues due to your system being weakened.  Lower back problems are connected to you being ungrounded and that’s why as an empath its super important to have a routine of keeping yourself grounded, allowing you to cope with the energies and emotions coming at you from others.

8. Always advocating for other people, especially those in need.

Empaths can sense those in need, zone in on those who are in need of your support and protection.  It really comes from our strong compassion and we can’t help but step in and help and advocate for them.

9. Others will tell you their life story

You may have noticed that people just open up to you really easily, even strangers, you may be at the supermarket and next thing you know the cashier is telling you their life story and you now probably know way more about them than you needed to.  We tend to become a dumping ground for others problems, as we are very compassionate and with our open hearts people just feel comfortable off loading on us.

10. Feeling tired and exhausted all the time

Feeling fatigue constantly comes from taking on the energy of others all the time, as an empath you are like a sponge, just soaking up all the energy around you.  This is why its so important to take time for yourself, away from others, having that quiet time and that is ok.

11. Addictive Personality

To cope with absorbing the energy of others we turn to a drug of sorts to help protect us against the pain we are experiencing, especially when we don’t know what it is they we are protecting against.  The addiction may be food (my drug of choice), alcohol, drugs or even shopping (which can be a double edged sword with shopping equaling people), each of these distracts you and protects you from all the energy and emotions coming at you.  Good news is once you learn about being a empath and learn the coping skills you can become reformed on your drug of choice, such as emotional eating for me.  I am now a recovering emotional eater.

12. Healing and Holistic Therapies resonate with you on a deep level

You may feel you radiate towards energy healing in different shapes and forms, this is all part of your path as an empath being drawn to and resonating with healing modalities that are going to support your gift as an empath.  For me I was very drawn and resonated with the Law of Attraction, oracle cards and Emotional Freedom Techniques.  What do you feel drawn to or resonate with?

13. Creative Flair

Empaths tend to express themselves in a creative way and even more than that it is an important outlet for the energy they have absorbed, as I was talking about in trait #11, this is a more healthy way of releasing energies and emotions from others.  I know sometimes when I say creative, people feel like no I am not creative at all, but the fact is, we all are in one way or another.  You have the obvious creative paths like dancing, singing, painting etc but then there are other not so obvious ways such as thinking in more creative ways about a problem, re-organising your space (empaths love this).

14. A love of nature and animals

Nature is a real solace for empaths, it is where we go to balance, ground and rejuvenate our energy.  You may notice you just feel so calm when you are in nature and whilst you’re there notice animals are attracted to you.

15. Need for alone time and solitude

As an empath it is so important to have your down time, you may notice if you don’t get alone time you start to feel exhausted, overwhelmed, confused and lost.  Taking time out is #1 important task for an empath.

16. Get bored very easily

You may notice you get bored very easily if you are not doing something that really stimulates you.  When an empath becomes un-stimulated that is when you may find yourself daydreaming or doodling and really not paying attention, not the best thing at work or school.

17. Find it hard to do things you don’t enjoy

I have noticed this one within myself, its a real struggle to do things I don’t enjoy and one of those things is small talk.  It just really doesn’t do it for me and feels like a waste of time and energy.  Have you noticed that within yourself?  Bring me a deep conversation and I’m all in, just don’t talk to me about the weather.

18. Truth is so important, a real deep core value

As empaths truth is so important, honesty for me is a top deep core value, I don’t cope well with people that are not being truthful.  As in an earlier trait #5 we know when people are being dishonest and this explains why we find this so difficult.

19. Always on the search for more knowledge, wisdom and answers

An empath is always on the search for answers and if they are not given a good explanation they have to keep searching until they feel comfortable with the answer or it resonates with them on a deep level.   As I mentioned in an earlier trait #1 when an empath has a knowingness they will search for confirmation on what they know to be true.

20. Adventure and travel is an empaths soul food

Travel, freedom and adventure is so important as an empath, we need to have a lifestyle that allows this to happen on a regular basis otherwise it can start to feel like in trait #15 no alone time, a sense of overwhelm, exhaustion and a bit like a trapped animal that wants to roam free.

21. A dislike of clutter

This is something that empaths really can’t handle, clutter, we need to have a nice clean, organised and crisp space that is cleansed of any negative energy.  I know for me I am always de-cluttering and re-organising our home and I just love that feeling when our space is clear of clutter and cleansed of any negative and stuck energy.

22. A love of daydreaming

Does this sound like you?  Finding yourself off with the fairies, daydreaming the time away.  Yes me too, my husband used to call it “she’s zoned out again”, this is a great sign that you are an empath, a love of daydreaming.

23. Great listener

As empaths our sensitivity makes us great listeners, we don’t just hear the words, but we notice the body language and of course sense the energy behind the words.  Making us great listeners and explains trait #9 why others tell us their life stories.

24. Struggle to cope with narcissism

This is something that unfortunately empaths have to deal with quite a lot, as people that have narcissistic tendencies actually seek out those that are empaths.  Yet empaths detest narcissism, so it can be a real challenge to deal with these people when they are craving you and you just want them to get out of your space and take their narcissistic energy with them.

25. Antique furniture is a no-go

Like in many of the traits above where I have talked about the absorbing of energy, this is no different, we tend to not like antique or pre-owned furniture because we feel what the previous owner was feeling when they were in contact with the furniture.  For me I also avoid library books for the same reason otherwise I am flooded with the energy and emotions of the previous reader/s.

26. Sense the energy of food

Have you noticed some foods affect your body in strange ways?  This can be a sign that you are an empath and picking up on the energy and emotion of the animal, especially if it is a meat product.  Pay attention to this and make adjustments if needed.

27. Appearing moody, shy or disconnected

Like I mentioned earlier in trait #22 my husband thinking I was zoning out, this is how we can come across due to different reasons, maybe we are daydreaming or maybe we are distancing ourselves as a form of self-protection and this can come across as us being in a bad mood, or shy or sometimes even arrogant.  A cross we bear as an empath and trying to have a balance between protecting ourselves and still being available for others.

Well done on getting to the end of our 27 traits you are an Empath!  So how many did you resonate with?  I would love to hear, you can comment below.


Nicole Ivens | Nurtured Empath Academy