Living as an “empath” and what you can do to protect yourself from negative energy (Energy series part 1)

Are you someone who lives with a heightened ability to feel what others are feeling?

Are you someone who’s mood can change by who you surround yourself by?

If you answered yes, then you are someone who may be an “empath”.

The definition of empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others.

What I’ve found, is there are people who do this at a much higher ability than others (often labeled “empath’s”) as well as those in the world who lack it, and often find that those who are able to fully empathize with others, are the ones that get hurt more in the process. If you are someone who is empathetic, this article will provide you an important tool to protecting yourself from unwanted energy. If you aren’t empathetic, I encourage you to continue to read on as you may also learn a tool that can also help you.

What I’ve learned from various research among books, articles, and following spiritual and natural healers on social media, is that about 15 percent of people classify as highly sensitive. Usually, we label these individuals, “empath’s. But that isn’t entirely true. These people are really good at showing empathy yes, but it’s their sensitivity to feeling everything so vividly and deeply, plus at a more intense level than the norm that separates them from everyone else. Often these people are the ones who are always being drained of their energy. They take on the energy of other people, often at the expense of their own harm. Doing this, mostly without fully recognizing it, is harmful to the body also at a physical level. It’s no coincidence that there is a correlation to empaths developing some type of health disorder or auto immune disease in life because of the stress of feeling so much negative toxic energy from others. That is why I became so interested in this topic during the last few months. Learning about myself, understanding I classify as being highly sensitive, and learning how to deal with toxic unwanted energy has been a life saver that I want to pass on so you too can start to heal and protect yourself.

One of the problems is not being fully prepared to “shield” oneself from toxic negative energy. I know you know what it is. For example, have you ever walked into a room where you could sense there was a argument or fight? How did that room feel? Heavy? Weird? Awkward? Sense of unease? Yes, all of that is correct. That is your body’s ability to read energy.

(Sidenote: Without getting too far into left field, the science is that we’re all made up of matter and this matter is simply energy. The words we say and even our thoughts are made up of this energy. Speak positive and thinking good thoughts will have you living life at a higher frequency. Speak negative, complain, and thinking negative thoughts will have you living at a lower frequency. Those people who are living at a higher frequency generally have good health and live a great quality of life. The opposite can be true for those living at a lower frequency. People fluctuate between the two energies all the time. The key is realizing what frequency you are at, change it to a higher frequency, and consistently trying to maintain that.)

So let’s say you work or live in an environment where it is surrounded by people who are living at a lower frequency. (These people can be easily pointed out, they are often the ones that you feel suck the energy right out of you”.) Going into this environment on a daily basis is harmful to your health, but there is a helpful tool that can protect you from this energy!

I’m going to give you a solution that I learned through a book I read, “Energy Healing” written by Kris Ferraro. (She wasn’t the originator, this tool has been around since ancient times and can be found in various books about eastern medicine.) She states that this simple tool to equip you is called “shielding”. Yes, a shield like a spartan warrior would use to protect them in battle. (Or the one Captain America uses.)

What you need to do is imagine a 3 foot bubble forming around your entire body. You really have to visualize it and imagine the shield is building around you. This can be done by first closing your eyes for one minute, and relaxing the body by focusing solely on your breath. Once you are relaxed, on each exhale, start the shield or bubble first extending from your heart. On each next exhale, visualize the bubble getting bigger and bigger until it is fully formed into your protective shield. (I like to think of mine as the ones Wakanda uses to protect their land. Second marvel movie reference in case you’re counting).

Once you’ve done this, the next thing to do is to repeat an affirmation consisting of resisting negative energy, and allowing positive energy in. An affirmation is the state of affirming, or using words to state something exists or is true. Using an affirmation like, “This shield will protect me from unwanted negative energy, and it will only allow positive loving energy in. Thank you for your protection” helps strengthen the ability of your shield.

When you get good at this, you won’t need to breathe and relax and make it a huge process. Saying in your mind or out loud but quietly, “shield up” or whatever else comes to mind will do the trick.

Teachers, this also works with challenging students! Once those students realize they can’t get through YOUR shield, you can start actively attacking their wall with love and guidance that they’ve resisted. But that’s an entirely different topic.

What I’m still learning through this practice is it will take time for your shield to develop its strength. The more you practice and better you get at visualizing, this will greatly enhance the effectiveness of your shield.

Now that you are equipped with this knowledge and skill I sincerely hope that it helps you and that you pass it on to anyone else who may need it.

Look for my next post, where I will write about effective ways to restore and even improve your energy to help you live and maintain that higher frequency.

Have a great day, and happy shielding. 🧘🏻‍♂️😎🤙

When it’s time to be selfish

This summer has been amazing.  It’s been relaxing, exciting and fun, with some small periods of stress sprinkled in the mix.  Two bachelor parties out of state, two stags I helped throw, one wedding including the best man’s speech for my twin bro (yes, I have a twin, and yes, my speech was phenomenal), and to top it off, some serious improvements on myself.  Oh yeah.  BIG TIME improvements. To the naked eye, they may not be as big, but to me, they’ve represented a shift in my viewpoint of what being happy truly means.  And you know what that is, being God damn selfish (sorry Mom I know you hate when I curse). Let me explain.

My entire life I have been a people pleaser.  I am a “go with the flow” type person, super laid back, the type to want to just have good vibes and avoid conflict.  Growing up this turned me into a “Yes man”, always wanting to do the right thing, to never let the other person down, to seek that sense of approval.  I think this view also represents the current state of a majority of people who use social media.  We are always seeking some type of validation for our posts, whether its on our main feed, our stories, whatever the case may be.  I myself also fall into this mix, and throughout my adult life, I’ve restrained from some of the posts I may or may not have put because I was afraid that it wouldn’t get that “approval” I was subconsciously seeking.   I don’t know what finally switched, it could have been a variety of factors, but sometime during the last few months, heck even the last year, I started being selfish.  Selfish with my thoughts.  Selfish with my communication.  Selfish with my time. Selfish with what I would say “Yes” too. Selfish with what I would post. Everything.

Here’s what I started to notice.  Freedom.  Freedom from the people who would take advantage of me. Freedom from my thoughts of any self-doubt.  Freedom from the opinion of others.  Freedom from the forced validation and competition of social media.  I started actually LIVING for me. No fear. No competition. Just doing what was right and best for ME. And in doing this, some of my passions that have been “dormant” or almost “hiding” have started to reemerge.  New passion and career paths have started to motivate me to new goals. I’m excited at everything I plan to accomplish within the next five years.

Heck, even in writing this, I feel back to my true creative self. I started this small blog because one I always wanted to help people, but two, because I LOVE TO FUCKING WRITE (sorry again Mom but the “f” word was needed in that sentence). So here I am again, being selfish in not only this blog post, but in how I’m spending my Sunday afternoon. I’m eating a salad, I’m drinking a seltzer, and I’m sharing my thoughts with the world (or to the 20 people who actually decide to read this), and yes, I couldn’t be happier.

Peace be the journey,

-Derek

(Always have to throw in a movie reference) 🤙

Just a normal Sunday, or so I thought…

But if you push that anxiety and fear away for just a few minutes, the universe can surprise you with something special.

The universe works in mysterious ways.  It can truly work in our favor if we let it, and this morning was a perfect example of that for me.

Sunday morning is one of my favorite times of the week.  I sleep in, (which for me, and many other teachers, is to about 8:00 a.m.), then get up and drink a big glass of water.  I perform some light stretches to get my body up and moving then head to the gym where I dedicate a couple hours to mobility work, a full body workout, foam rolling, finished by a quick session in the sauna and hot tub.  This time is amazing for me.  I blast my music and get lost into another world.  Anyone who works out consistently can attest to the addiction of finding and staying in this zone.  What sets today apart is what happened and who I met after my workout was over.

Walking into the hot tub at a gym can be a scary experience for some.  The anxiety of sharing a tub of water and jets with strangers can be pretty intimidating, and I understand that.  But if you push that anxiety and fear away for just a few minutes, the universe can surprise you with something special.

Today as I was walking in the hot tub there was a man already inside, who smiled and greeted me, “hello” as soon as I entered.  I greeted him back with a hello, and a routine, “Nice and hot today!” before sitting down next to one of the jets.  The man continued to talk to me, including telling me his age, 75 years old, and how it wasn’t fun to be old while stating how much pain he is currently dealing with in his back.  If you don’t know me or my story, (scroll up to read “Heart of a Lion”, my first blog post about my health journey), I am also a person who has struggled and still deals with chronic pain.  Instead of writing this complete stranger off, I opened up to him and briefly summed up my health journey.  I then told him about chiropractors, physical therapists, massages, trigger points, mobility exercises, breathing, dry needling, cupping, anything I knew off that helped with back pain I was listing it off to him.  He was very receptive to my advice, and asked questions about people and places I would recommend to get these treatments done.  He went on to state that the only care he is receiving for his pain is from an orthopedic doctor, who is currently prescribing him pain relievers and possibly surgery.  I offered him more advice about seeking these natural treatments first before getting surgery, as I am a big believer that surgeries ultimately cause more harm than good.  (I’ve had four surgeries in my lifetime and two on my knee and shoulder that could have been avoided if I didn’t fall into the hypnotic spell of the orthopedic surgeon and sought other options myself). He was receptive to my advice and assured me he was going to try some of these treatments in the coming month. What he went on to say next is what led me to write this post about this experience.  He looked me dead in the eye, with a huge smile, and thanked me for talking with him.  He told me that countless times in this gym he has tried to start conversations with people and they wrote him off.   We shook hands, formally introduced ourselves with our names, and exited the hot tub.

The entire conversation lasted roughly 10 minutes.  It could have easily been 10 minutes of silence, two men just relaxing in the hot tub, completely oblivious to the world and each other.  But it wasn’t that.  It was 10 minutes of two people being human.  It was 10 minutes of two people connecting.  It was 10 minutes that I am so deeply and incredibly grateful for experiencing today.

As you go through the rest of your day, week, month, I simply ask you to be a little more receptive to what or who the universe drops in front of you.  As I learned today, there are no coincidences.

Arm me with ______.

Arm me with a voice.  Arm me with support.  Arm me with books.  Arm me with love.  Arm me with a broader understanding of the countless stressors these kids face in today’s society.  Arm me with politicians who are intelligent enough to realize guns are not the answer.  If arming me with a gun is your solution to the “mass school shootings epidemic” we are now living and teaching in, than you are part of the problem.

What recently transpired in Parkland, Florida was tragic, every mass shooting is.  But the answer politicians are proposing is seriously flawed.  There WAS a trained resource officer who was working on site that day at the school in Florida.  He WAS armed with the weapon that politicians suggest teachers should someday carry.  How that person reacted in that situation however is something that CAN NOT be predicted.  Seventeen people still lost their lives that day.  Who knows if the school resource officer would have been the 18th? That is not for me or us to say.  I will and cannot judge or criticize his actions as I have never been in a position similar to the one he was thrown into on February 14 of last week.  It is solely unfair to him or any of the school resource officers and security personnel across the nation who simply work hard day in and day out to help make our schools better and safer places.  But this is unfortunately a prime example of why arming staff in the Schools CAN NOT be the solution.

Countless reports have come out exclaiming the numerous times that the shooter exhibited “warning signs” prior to committing his heinous act. There were various reports from the schools he’s attended, different write ups from doctors, police reports, social media posts, and even threats that all showed signs of him venturing down a path of unspeakable violence. Even the FBI had a warning about him, and they did NOTHING! Doesn’t that anger you? It makes my damn blood boil. They had all the evidence to prevent this massacre from happening but did nothing to stop it. Or they simply did not take it serious enough but regardless, they could have. They should have been better. They need to be better. Everyone needs to be better. Teachers included.

We need to be better at recognizing the early signs of depression in our students, better at greeting and keeping positive relationships with them, better at teaching empathy and compassion in the classroom, better at working together with counselors and support staff when seeing at risk students. All of it needs to be better! Don’t we see that future lives depend on it?! I don’t need to sit around and wait for the next school shooting to happen to understand that this problem will keep continuing if we keep doing what we have always done! When will our nation’s leaders realize that more emphasis needs to be placed on improving our young students’ mental and social health far more than the current emphasis of receiving specific scores on these outdated standardized tests? All of it needs to change. And it starts from the top.

Arm me with a gun?

Nah,

ARM ME WITH CHANGE.

The Intro

The ability to help people has always provided me with a sense of accomplishment that few things in life can deliver.

::Cue beginning to Jay-Z track, Public Service Announcement::
“Allow me to reintroduce myself, my name is HOV, H to the O-V…”
No, no it’s not. It’s Derek, or “D-rob” for short. But you should know that already. And if you don’t, please stop reading now, and go on over to the “Menu” and click “Who is D-rob”. This will give you a better insight to my backstory and who I am as a person.

Ok, back to the original program. Excuse the music lyric. My mind is 80% movie quotes and song lyrics. If you love both movies and music, there is a great chance of you enjoying these references. If not, well, um, I don’t know what to tell you but you’re seriously missing out.
The reason I started this blog was because of this incredible passion and drive to write. I began to formulate thoughts and opinions and ideas that are simply too illustrious to be shared in the 280 characters Twitter now allows, or for the ever unpopular and scrutinized long “Facebook status rants”, that only opens yourself to comments from people who you haven’t talked too since 11th grade Chemistry.
My second and more important reason I started this blog was to help people. Helping people has been in my blood for as long as I can remember. Helping others was the reason why I became a teacher, and will be sharing with you in posts later down the road some wild and crazy stories I have that will bring you a broader sense of appreciation to what us educators encounter on a daily basis. The ability to help people has always provided me with a sense of accomplishment that few things in life can deliver. (Well besides great pizza, that always delivers).
My next post, “The Heart of a Lion”, will be my most challenging to write. I am going to take you through my past journey through the Health world as a series of illnesses led me across a path I thought I would never had to travel. That path transformed my body physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, and I strongly believe that path was given to me so I could help other people who are facing similar battles in their own lives. Remember, we are all in this together and…
::Cue end of the track::
“…Only God can judge me, so I’m gone, either love me, or leave me alone” – Jay-Z.