On empathy & shielding ourselves from "bad vibes": This is a question that comes up frequently, and my take on empathy is different from some others' in the healing arts. I came to this understanding over many years through the wisdom of my own heart. I sincerely encourage you to access your own heart wisdom on this and listen what it has to say ;-)

Q: "How do I shield myself from someone's bad vibes?"
A: Nothing is more powerful than your conscious choice to receive a person's bad vibes with love. There's no need to resist and no need to protect.
When we shield, we're implying that we're in danger of some sort, that we need to put up a fight (read more about the "fight or flight Sympathetic Nervous system response here).
The truth is, most situations don't actually require us to fight or flee, and residing in a hypersymathetic state wreaks havoc on our bodies and minds.
The truth is that these situations are inviting us to awaken to deeper aspects of our own experience and our own limiting beliefs, false stories, and emotional repression. So how do we embrace this invitation?
 

→ Step 1: When you notice the "bad vibes", a sense of heaviness that's coming from an interaction with someone, go into the heart. 

Simply dropping awareness into our hearts & breathing slowly & deeply (~5 seconds of inhalation, ~5 seconds of exhalation) brings us into a state of Heart-Brain Coherence, which the rest of the body then naturally follows.

In the Coherent state, we become much more resilient and move from quick judgement to a much wiser version of discernment.  Discernment allows us to realize that the "bad vibes" and negative emotions are evidence of a person being in fear, pain, or desperation. Dropping into the heart allows us to shine the Light of Compassion on the person we're interacting with.

→ Step 2: Often we feel the negativity of others so deeply because we resonate with some aspect of it ourselves. 

Ask your heart: What am I feeling here and why? Is it simply that this person is feeling something heavy, so I'm feeling it too, or is this energy triggering something deeper here that I can heal or forgive within myself?

Approach these questions with gentle kindness. Dropping into the heart allows us to shine the Light of Compassion on ourselves as well.

→ Step 3: Often, we feel SO HELPLESS when we witness other beings suffering. Coming into coherence and residing in the heart allows access to a deeper wisdom than that of the brain alone.

Ask your heart: What can I do about this? How can I ease suffering within myself? What next step can I take to help ease this kind of suffering in the world?

The messages you'll hear from your heart may surprise you; I encourage you to write them down. While many complex situations can't be fixed quickly or easily, the wisdom of your heart will always lead you to the next step, and it's always there for you to refer to.

Tip: It's never too late to practice this, even after the interaction or situation has passed.
If you feel like you're still holding onto heavy energies, this practice allows energy to actually move and transmute. Practicing heart-brain coherence over time will allow you to more effortlessly access it while a stressful situation is playing out.
 
With love,
Dr. Arianna
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