Posts Tagged ‘spiritual growth’

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Veganism – a step towards a more compassionate world

December 11, 2012

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The human race in the 21st century seems to pride itself on its sophistication and civilisation. My belief is that we’re far from civilised and are, as Bill Hicks pointed out, only half-evolved:

 Folks, it’s time to evolve. That’s why we’re troubled. You know why our institutions are failing us, the church, the state, everything’s failing? It’s because, um – they’re no longer relevant. We’re supposed to keep evolving. Evolution did not end with us growing opposable thumbs. You do know that, right? There’s another 90 percent of our brains that we have to illuminate.

In the same way that we can now sneer at our ancestors for believing the sun was a god and that the earth was flat, and express horror at the fact that kids were hanged for stealing apples and women were burned as witches for being different, so our descendants will deride us for our primitive behaviours. Fighting over territory, satisfying lusts for sex, blood and power – behaviours which are occurring, albeit in small and often petty ways  on a daily basis in each of our own little worlds, not just on a global level. We may be able to walk on two legs, communicate using a complex language system and create some amazing stuff, but underneath all that we’re still just driven by base animal instincts and ruled by those lower chakras.

 So how is this relevant to veganism? Here are some quotes from people far more eminent than myself who articulate this far better than I ever could:

 * “For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love.” Pythagoras, mathematician

 * “The time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look on the murder of men.” Leonardo da Vinci, artist and scientist

 * “To a man whose mind is free there is something even more intolerable in the sufferings of animals than in the sufferings of man. For with the latter it is at least admitted that suffering is evil and that the man who causes it is a criminal. But thousands of animals are uselessly butchered every day without a shadow of remorse. If any man were to refer to it, he would be thought ridiculous. And that is the unpardonable crime.” Romain Rolland, author, Nobel Prize 1915

 * “If a group of beings from another planet were to land on Earth — beings who considered themselves as superior to you as you feel yourself to be to other animals — would you concede them the rights over you that you assume over other animals?” George Bernard Shaw, playwright, Nobel Prize 1925

 * “What is it that should trace the insuperable line? …The question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?” Jeremy Bentham, philosopher

 * “In their behavior toward creatures, all men are Nazis. Human beings see oppression vividly when they’re the victims. Otherwise they victimize blindly and without a thought.” Isaac Bashevis Singer, author, Nobel Prize 1978

 * “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” “To my mind, the life of a lamb is no less precious than that of a human being.” Mahatma Gandhi, statesman and philosopher

 And finally, my original point summed up beautifully:

 * “Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages.” Thomas Edison, inventor

 The reason I feel there is a connection between the way we treat animals and our evolution is this. For many years I was a very strict vegetarian, then briefly I lapsed – not a lot, but enough. And with hindsight I can see that the reason I had this lapse and lost sight of the truth for a short while was because I was temporarily ‘asleep’  due to being in a very dark place in my life, and therefore living through my ego, my life ruled by fear rather than love. As I reawakened, opened up my higher chakras, and rediscovered my authentic self, I found myself naturally drawn to total vegetarianism again and the final turning point came when I stumbled upon a video online similar to this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeJfY5CXTM0

The actual video I watched, which is no longer available, was entitled ‘If you eat meat, you can watch this’. Now, I am one of those highly sensitive types who can’t bear to witness violence of any kind, so I tend to avoid this kind of thing as I know it will literally haunt me for the rest of my life. But I thought the challenge was fair enough, so I forced myself to watch it (though I had to have the sound turned down, and keep scrolling up and down). What I saw was so horrific that it was enough to convince me that I would never touch any meat product again. It seems abhorrent to me that an animal should suffer such a terrifying and violent death – and in many cases, an entire lifetime of suffering –  just so that a human can eat a meal which he or she probably doesn’t even appreciate that much anyway. When you grab a burger in your lunch break, your only concern is to satisfy your temporary hunger, and then it’s forgotten about. Yet in order for you to eat that meal, a sentient being gave his or her life. I could never again eat something knowing that in its original form, this food was a creature who lived a miserable existence treated as a commodity and spent his/her last few moments on Earth shocked, frightened and in pain. (And on a purely energetic level, is this really the kind of energy you want to be ingesting?)

I’ve since extended this to all animal products, having researched more on dairy and egg production and been horrified at what I found. I also no longer use cosmetics, toiletries or cleaning products which use substances such as glycerin taken from animals, or any product which is tested on animals. This also extends to my clothing, shoes, bags and any other object I purchase. Becoming vegan has been a really exciting life choice for me (and it IS a lifestyle choice, not just a diet) and is the only logical step for anyone wanting to lead a compassionate and ethical lifestyle. Plus, the food is yummy – since becoming vegan I’ve eaten a wider range of delicious and healthy foods than I ever have in my life – and I’ve really surprised myself with my cooking skills!

 As you cut through the swathes of negative conditioning and beliefs which have masked your authentic self, achieving inner simplicity and enjoying the fulfilment, harmony and serenity which come from opening up your higher chakras and finding meaning in your life, you will probably also find yourself gravitating towards a cleaner, purer and more ethical diet in other ways. As well as becoming vegan, you will probably find yourself naturally rejecting such things as nicotine, excess alcohol, recreational drugs, too much sugar, salt and caffeine and processed foods. Most addictions to these substances are due to a lack of meaning in your life, so it makes sense that an improvement in your emotional, psychological and spiritual wellbeing will result in these habits naturally falling away. Where the mind and spirit go, so shall the body follow.

If you are interested in committing to a compassionate lifestyle and becoming vegan then there are now many great resources on the internet  – type ‘vegan starter pack’  into your search engine and you will find loads of interesting material to get you started.

I can also highly recommend Liz Cook’s book ‘So what do you eat?’  for some fabulous vegan recipes. They’re really simple and yummy and the book is beautifully illustrated, and it’s a great introduction to vegan cooking. It really helped me and my family to make the transition.Check it out here.

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Ten Signs of Awakening

July 7, 2012

How do you do it and how will you know?

Awakening can be sudden or gradual – sometimes it happens as the result of a trauma or upheaval in our lives, other times it happens entirely spontaneously with no obvious trigger. You just know that life, the Universe and everything appear very different and that the truth about all this is perhaps not the same as the story you’ve been told by your parents, your teachers, your peers, society etc. However your awakening occurs though, you can guarantee you’re in for a bit of a bumpy ride.

But why is such a wonderful life-changing experience seemingly beset with difficulties?

It’s due to the healing and shedding of our ‘stuff’ which is a necessary part of the process, to make ourselves a clear channel for the Universal Energy (akin to what Jung termed the ‘collective consciousness’, though perhaps more amazing than even he realised) which is the most powerful – but underused – resource in the universe.

Pain is also a good indicator that something in our lives is out of balance and needs to change. Like the pain we feel in our physical selves to alert us to potential damage to our bodies, emotional and psychological pain alerts us to those areas in our lives which need healing so that we can tune into the energy of the Universe and of our own authentic soul-selves, instead of having our signal distorted by the chatter of egos – our own and those around us.

The process of awakening has a number of emotional, psychological, physical, spiritual and social implications, which are listed below (with some links for further reading if you’re interested in finding out more):

1) You see the bigger picture on a personal and global level.  And become very clear about where we’ve lost our way and what needs to be done about it. This can create feelings of anger, frustration and despair as we feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of the task which seems to stand before us. If you feel this way, remind yourself that you may only be one person, but you are still powerful enough to create great change – think of the ripple effect. Your efforts will reach way further than you can possibly even imagine. Just follow the path which together the Universe and your soul are leading you towards – the path of your true life purpose.

2) You feel good in your own skin and enjoy solitude and leading an authentic, uncomplicated life. And you become aware that to feel like this on a more constant basis, you need to ditch your baggage to discover and strengthen the authentic core you.

https://empathicguidance.wordpress.com/2009/06/01/time-to-de-clutter/  (There are five parts to this article)

3) You recognise that inner peace can only come from within, not without.  Once you recognise this you begin to lose your unhealthy attachments to material things and to people.

4) Due to the mindbody connection, you may also experience unusual physical symptoms. Often repressed feelings get stuffed into parts of our body. Use the ‘bodyscan’ to keep yourself in tune with your physical and emotional self. (The ‘bodyscan’ is a straightforward exercise where you simply mentally  scan through your body and verbalise what is going on in there, and why you feel it might be happening eg churning in stomach area (solar plexus chakra) due to power issues; menstrual difficulties (sacral chakra) due to relationship issues; pain in left hand side due to problems with your feminine energy or a female in your life, and so on.)

5) You begin to understand how our energy systems affect us all. The basic seven chakra system (mentioned in point 4) is a really good place to start if you want to find out more about how you and the world operate.

https://empathicguidance.wordpress.com/2009/05/05/the-chakra-system/

6) You become a clearer channel for Universal Energy. This is due to simplifying your life and digging beneath the layers to reach your authentic core so your energy is no longer blocked by your ‘stuff’. Try the ‘white light’ breathing exercise to increase your connection. (Visualise  white light (universal energy)pouring into your crown, flowing through every cell of your body and into the ground, then back up round your body and out of your crown again. Do this any time during the day to keep the connection fresh and clear.)

7) You become increasingly uncomfortable around lower vibrating energy. And therefore find it harder to be around certain people. You will feel repelled by anyone who is ‘toxic ‘ to your energy. If possible, simply choose not to be around them. If there are people you have to interact with, then at least minimise contact and try the shielding exercise to protect you during that time. (Visualise yourself protected and surrounded by a cloud of white light – again you can do this any time of day, quickly and easily, and can add to it too, by visualising drops of whilte light feeding into it. There’s no limit to how big the cloud can be so keep feeding it!)

8) You become intolerant of lower vibrating and overstimulating environments. In particular, environments you know to be embodiments of the wrong path. Because of this, you may also find yourself increasingly avoiding the media, especially certain news items.

9) You crave a more healthy, serene and compassionate lifestyle. You recognise how the mindbody connection works and begin to take care of your body as you appreciate it as your means to interact with the Universe. Bad habits fall away as your fears diminish and you may want to live and work in a different place. Increased empathy may also mean a vegetarian and more eco-friendly lifestyle too.

10) You start noticing nudges from the Universe. One of the fun aspects of waking up! As you become a clearer channel for the Universal Energy, you begin to receive messages from the Universe to nudge you in the right direction. These can take a number of forms, such as:
Synchronicities
Signs and symbols
Dreams
Telepathy
Intuition

https://empathicguidance.wordpress.com/2009/06/24/so-what-is-synchronicity/

https://empathicguidance.wordpress.com/2009/06/16/dreams

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On Being An Empath (part two)

May 30, 2012

Part Two – The Delights

Empathy: the state of identification of personalities in which one person feels into the other as temporarily to lose his or her own identity. It is in this profound and somewhat mysterious process of empathy that understanding, influence, and the other significant relations between persons take place.  – Rollo May

In part one of “On Being An Empath” we examined the difficulties of being an empath. In this second part, we’ll now explore how to take care of yourself once you’ve recognised you’re an empath, and the delights which being an empath can bring.

TAKE GOOD CARE OF YOURSELF

Now you’ve recognised that you’re an empath, the most important change you can make is to take care of yourself by minimising the number of negative influences in your life. As discussed in part one, as an empath you are susceptible to the detrimental effects of negative energy, whether it’s surrounding energy or your own.

This susceptibility affects your life in a number of ways. Firstly, you will be unable to tolerate an unhealthy relationship at any level. Some people are able to exist in such a relationship for many years, perhaps by operating as though it were simply a business arrangement, but as an empath you are unable to do this. Indeed, if you do attempt to follow this course of action, you will end up becoming physically, emotionally or mentally sick – I have know more than one empath who has become suicidal when stuck in a loveless marriage. I have also known other empaths who have ended up becoming completely numb – unable to cope with the negative energy, they simply cut themselves off from ALL energy and feel nothing at all. What a horrible (non) existence. Consequently, the aware empath would rather remain single than be in a negative relationship.

You will also be unable to tolerate work which is meaningless – what Barry Jaeger in Making Work Work for the Highly Sensitive Person calls ‘Drudgery’. Though many people are able to tolerate a dull job purely for the money, you are not one of them and if you make such a sacrifice, you will ultimately pay for it with your emotional, spiritual and physical health. The aware empath values their time, their well-being and meaningful work far more than they value money and consumer goods. Sadly, our society revolves around the masculine principles of economics whilst the more feminine attribute of empathy is often derided and neglected. And whoever dreamt up the work ethic certainly did not have people like us in mind – and was definitely not an empath.

The empath’s preference for meaningful work means that you will find many of us working in creative fields – the writer, the musician and the artist will often have this trait to some degree. Creativity is food for the soul for the empath and I personally find it vital to my well-being to use creativity in my work. I’ve done many jobs over the years but this is the only work I’ve truly enjoyed – even the more stressful and tedious aspects are easier to cope with when your work means something more to you than just a way of paying the bills.

As an empath, you will also benefit from periods of solitude to recuperate after any energy bombardment. In part one I discussed the difficulties for the empath of being in an urban environment. As I’ve got older (and empaths often become more sensitive to energies the older they become) I find that if I spend the day in a nearby town, I can only last a few hours before I have to get the hell out of there.

I also used to have what I call ‘brain in the jar’ moments. Before I recognised my trait, I would spend too much time amongst other people and become so overwhelmed, that it literally felt as if my head would explode. I would also find myself becoming overwhelmed by stressful situations or issues in my life. Whenever I felt like this, I would comment that I wished I could ‘take my brain out of my head and put it in a jar’, as a way of giving myself a break. At some subconscious level, obviously I knew what I needed – complete and utter sensory rest.

Fortunately I eventually recognised this need so I now make sure that I regularly recharge my own energy by spending time alone, meeting my need for time to contemplate, read, write and generally take care of myself – and my ‘brain in the jar’ moments no longer occur. I also realised that, for the same reasons, empaths need more sleep than most people. If you have commitments such as work and family, this can be easier said than done, but at least try and take half an hour to nap or lie in a dark, quiet room during the course of the day to revitalise yourself.  Some empaths are so unable to cope with energy onslaughts that they become recluses or hermits, but for most of us there is no need to go to this extreme, although time spent in retreat for a few days can be a positive thing now and again. This can be particularly useful for urban empaths, as time out in a tranquil rural environment can really give you a boost as well as indulge your passion for nature, which occurs naturally for many empaths.

Finding a pastime which absorbs you is also a good way of giving yourself a break. My personal favourite used to be jigsaws – you’ll find that  ‘geeky’ pastimes like model-making or stamp collecting are particularly good for this, as are creative pursuits such as gardening, painting, sculpting, or cookery. So long as it takes you out of your conscious mind for a while to give you time to balance your energy, any pastime you choose will do.

Basically then, the rule is to be your own best friend – take care of yourself, eat and sleep well and give yourself little treats now and again. Time spent relaxing with a good book in a local friendly coffee shop is my idea of bliss and is a really cheap and simple way to give yourself a lift and recharge your batteries. And remember to talk kindly to yourself – empaths tend to analyse everything and can end up being hypercritical of themselves. Whenever you catch yourself judging yourself harshly, ask yourself ‘Would I speak like this to my best friend? Would I tolerate my best friend saying this stuff to me?’ If not, then perhaps you need to reconsider.

Ultimately, self care is crucial. The more you nurture yourself, the more you will be open to the following benefits of being an empath.

 UNIVERSAL KNOWLEDGE – TELEPATHY, SYNCHRONICITIES AND DREAMS

Because of your high level of resonance, you will probably be tuned into the ‘universal energies’ or what Jung called the collective unconscious. This gives you a deep sense of knowing – you just ‘know’ things despite there being no rational explanation as to how you know – as well as a strong feeling of connection, which can lead to the spiritual belief that separation is an illusion and ‘we are all one’. This connection and knowing also opens us up to the ‘universal guidance’ which is contained within these energies, which is why many empaths are natural problem solvers, able to resolve any issue which they put their hearts, souls and minds into.

I mentioned in part one how my daughter and I are so close that as soon as we’re in each others energy range, I start to feel her physical symptoms. This energetic connection with others, often referred to as telepathy, is one of the fun aspects of being an empath. As well as those little tricks which many of us do such as thinking about someone just as they call you, or bumping into someone you haven’t seen in years the day after you thought about them, you may also find yourself connecting energetically with people in other less obvious ways. I find that I often tune into people I’m close to through my dreams, perhaps because my mind is more relaxed and therefore more receptive. For instance, if my daughter wakes before me in the morning and reads a book, I often have a dream which reflects the contents of that book in some way. A recent example was a dream I had about Glastonbury music festival one morning shortly before I woke. When I asked P what she had been reading, it turned out that there was a character in her book that had the nick-name ‘Glastonbury’! Even more bizarrely, I have even on occasion had the same dream as my daughter or my partner.

I also have prophetic dreams which you can read about in my blog entry The Magical World of Dreams. Empaths are often fascinated by dreams and we are natural dream analysts, due to our ability to see the deeper meaning in things and make lateral links using subtle details. This ability also works in the waking world too and helps us to interpret signs, symbols and archtypes, as well as synchronicities. Aware empaths delight in synchronicities and as our understanding of ourselves and our connection to the universe grows, we find that the universal guidance which appears in the form of synchronicities becomes ever more fluent and clear. You can read more about synchronicities in my blog entry So What Is Synchronicity?

PEOPLE AND OTHER ANIMALS

The aware empath is often described by others as ‘a beacon of light’. You will find that people are drawn to you and babies in particular will adore you – I often notice little children staring and smiling at me from their pushchairs when I’m out and about.

A similar thing can happen with animals. Empaths have a deep connection to animals and love to be around their energies. You may even find you prefer their company to that of people, as you feel animals – and their energies – are simpler and don’t have an agenda. Perhaps those ‘crazy cat ladies’ who prefer to live alone surrounded by felines are actually misunderstood empaths.

As an empath, you will also be able to resonate with the emotions of animals and unlike most people, you will view them as sentient beings who should have the same rights as humans. Because of this, many empaths become vegetarian or vegan at some point in their lives.

As far as people go, the empath makes a great friend for life, as we are loyal, warm and, humorous as well as very loving and affectionate. We are also good listeners, who are unembarrassed by strong emotion as well as being pretty much unshockable. However a healthy empath will have no tolerance for drama queens who seek attention through emotional behaviour. Though we are highly expressive about our feelings and ourselves, with the ability to share openly and honestly, we are also natural peacemakers, so prefer calm discussions to overwrought emotional spectacles or aggressive confrontations.

If you befriend an empath, then they will probably be your greatest champion. Empaths recognise your inner potential, so are able to identify your positive attributes and will remind you of your strengths when you forget you have them. (Paradoxically though, they often find it hard to take a compliment themselves.) They may also subtly alert you to any negative patterns in your life in a helpful and non-patronising way, as your empath friend has the ability to sift through all the confusing emotions you are experiencing which may be clouding the issue, to help you achieve clarity and find the root cause of your problem. And should they ever feel angry with you, you can rest assured that they will express this without attacking you personally – empaths are not judgmental and they recognise that just because a particular behaviour is bad, it does not mean that the person is bad too.

YOUR BODY SPEAKS YOUR MIND

Being an empath means you have the ability to sense the truth behind someone’s facade. You intuitively know when someone is attempting to mask a negative emotion. One theory is that when we are in the presence of an emotion we have personally experienced, we recognise it and feel it within ourselves, due to our high level of internal resonance. The empath is also able to read body language, mostly at a subconscious level – you will pick up on things like tone of voice, body movements, the words people choose when they speak, the words they avoid, the logic they use – all factors which help you to tune into others and know things about them which other people probably miss. This also makes you very difficult to lie to! Not only are you able to detect a lie, you can also tell whether the intent behind that lie is malicious and selfish, or whether it’s a white lie, told in an attempt to protect someone else.

Empaths are also highly expressive themselves. They project an incredible amount of energy releasing their emotions, with many gesticulations, and as they are so open about themselves, the empath is usually the person of whom it is said that you can ‘read them like a book’. We also delight in using our bodies in a sensual way – empaths can literally become ‘lost in music’ when they dance, their bodies becoming one with the music to create one wonderful mass of  flowing, sensual energy.

NATURAL HEALERS

As you become aware of your empathy, you will recognise more and more how sensitive this makes you to the energies around you. The fact is that as an empath, energy is literally absorbed by you far more easily than more thick-skinned folk (hence the expression) so by increasing your awareness, you will be able to be more selective about which energies you allow yourself to absorb. This also means you will be able to experience a high level of resonance with another, without being overwhelmed by a multitude of outside influences.

When you have achieved this level of balance and awareness, you will find that all your empathic qualities as discussed above – your deep inner knowing, your connection to the universal energies and so on – make you a natural healer and counsellor. Indeed, for an empath a good way of sublimating the energy we talked about in part one – which attracts the energy vampires and lame ducks – and drawing boundaries around your own propensity to give of yourself to others, is to channel it into training in a helping or healing profession.

Being counselled by an empath is an amazing and life-changing experience. After just a few hours of conversation, you will feel as if the empath knows you inside out. This is due to the afore-mentioned ability for high emotional resonance, which allows the empath to tune into your energy and emotional state, giving them an uncanny ability to pinpoint what you most need and want. They will also ask the questions others may be afraid to ask – if you’re willing to face up to some possibly uncomfortable truths about yourself and your life and recognise your negative self-destructive patterns in order to grow and be true to the real you, then working with an empath will change your life.  An empath will not shy away from talking about feelings of loss either, and will help you to gain perspective on your issue as well as heal from emotional wounds, past and present.

In addition to helping you to heal, the empath will point out strengths and abilities you perhaps never realised you had. Personal empowerment is very important to the empath so they will always respect your courage and sense of determination to survive and will trust in your ability to heal and take care of yourself. All this creates a very safe environment with a high level of trust and a strong intimacy. The relationship between an empath and their client is more than just a business transaction – an authentic and caring relationship will be formed between you as the empath helps you to be your best self and to live the truth of who that best self is.

Empaths may also find themselves being drawn to other types of healing work directly involving energy, such as Reiki. With our natural ability to tune into the universal energy, learning to channel this energy through ourselves to help others is a path which many empaths naturally gravitate towards.

I do hope this article has helped you to understand your trait a little better. If you feel that anything here resonates with you, do please leave a comment – I would love to hear from you!

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How I’m trying to change the world

March 26, 2012

So far I’ve shared with you the story of my awakening and the transformational process which followed.  In this post I’m just going to briefly share with you the causes I support and the little bit that I do to try and make a difference to the world.

My main reason for running this site and Facebook page and writing my blog is to promote empathy and equality and help others to find inner peace. I believe in equality for all regardless of age, gender, race, sexuality or species and I think the way to achieve this is through increased empathy and compassion for others. Empathy and compassion increase in people who are content within themselves and are in touch with their authentic selves, having healed their emotional baggage. The flip side of empathy and compassion are injustice and abuse, and I do my best through my internet communication to promote the former and counteract the latter.

I am particularly concerned about the way humans exploit animals and consequently live a vegan lifestyle, which has proved to be a lot easier than I thought it would be. There are many resources out there now for those of us wanting to commit to a completely compassionate lifestyle – just put ‘vegan’ into your search engine and see what comes up.

I also support an animal sanctuary with regular monthly donations. I decided that I wanted to give my support to an animal charity but didn’t just want to give money to one of the ‘giants’ – I wanted to support a specific cause and to see what happened to that money. Last year I visited the Animal Sanctuary in Wilmslow and was really bowled over by the warmth and compassion I felt as we were shown round. The animals are so well cared for and all the staff clearly love what they do. I also like their ethos –  the sanctuary is part of the Humane Education Society,  a charitable organisation working for a more compassionate society through education and practical work with children and animals, and as such offers permanent and temporary homes to animals in need of some loving care, including cats, horses, hens, rabbits, ferrets and pigs.

However, probably the biggest way I’m currently doing my bit to change the world is through my work with young people as this is actively working with the next generation to prompt lasting and positive change. I decided to offer Empathic Guidance sessions to schoolchildren after discussions with my daughter and her friends about many of the usual issues which affect young people such as bullying, body image and sexuality. The support and guidance which I gave them seemed to make a huge difference to their self-esteem and what I found particularly heartening was the fact that the coping techniques which they learned soon became second nature to them. This resulted in a positive increase in their intrinsic self-worth and in their ability to deal with difficult situations and ultimately (and delightfully),  in significantly happier children.

I strongly believe that it really doesn’t matter how gifted and talented or academically successful someone is – if their emotional well-being has been eroded and consequently their  core sense of self is significantly diminished then chances are they’ll end up leading dysfunctional lives. I also feel that the emotional well-being of our young people isn’t given enough attention within our current educational system, so I thought it might be a positive contribution to our society to offer a service which might redress the balance a little.

A school Empathic Guidance session offers support, insight and guidance to the pupils  and is  a safe place for them to share any issues which they feel they cannot discuss with parents, teachers or peers. I began a year ago working on a one-to-one basis but am now working with Panda, the school’s youth worker, on group workshops covering topics such as assertiveness and confidence-building.

My dream is that Empathic Guidance will prove popular enough for us to offer sessions and workshops to other schools and that eventually emotional well-being will be recognised as an important part of our children’s upbringing and education.

Finally, like the famous Gandhi saying, I do believe that we should ‘be the change we want to see in the world’. So as well as the above, I do my best to be pleasant, amiable and polite to everyone I meet during the course of the day – little things like saying please and thank you  and hello and goodbye to people who serve you in shops, leaving tips in cafes, holding doors open for people can make a huge difference and hopefully has a ripple effect, so that the recipient of the amiable and courteous treatment will then treat the next person they encounter in the same way. It’s a really simple way of ‘spreading the joy’ and making a difference.

So that’s a little bit about me and what I do – how are you doing your bit to try and make a positive difference to our world?

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Welcome! Wake up, change yourself and change the world

March 20, 2012

Welcome to the new-look Empathic Guidance site! 2012 is going to be a highly significant year for many of us, so I decided that now was the time to relaunch the former ‘Inner Simplicity with Empathic Guidance’ site and blog. Over the coming year, we’re going to see a lot of historic changes which will affect us personally, socially and globally (more on this in future posts), and I hope that my words on here will offer you support and inspiration to guide you through the months ahead.

To give you some idea about the theme of this new-look site and blog, here’s the blog post which prompted this change. It’s a piece I wrote a few years ago now and have published previously on myspace and on my Inner Simplicity blog where it has resonated with many readers, and I feel it’s still relevant today in terms of offering a succinct summary of my theories.

Wake up, change yourself and change the world

Ok, so the first thing I want to make clear is this is MY reality, no-one else’s. What is true for me may not be true for you, and I wouldn’t want anyone to mindlessly take on board everything I have to say. The whole point of this stuff is ‘personal empowerment’ and giving your power away to anyone or anything, be it a bearded man in the sky, a bearded man in a kaftan or any type of self-proclaimed guru, or even false gods such as ‘mammon’ is simply counterproductive. So have a read, explore the parts that interest you and reject the bits that don’t.

The second point to make is that the basis of this theory is energy. I’m no physicist and this is a brief summary of my ideas, so I’m not even going to attempt to explain the laws of physics, though I can tell you that there is plenty of scientific proof of my basic belief if you want to check it out. For now, in a nutshell, my belief is that everything is made of energy and that all this energy is connected, hence ‘one consciousness’.

So the whole planet is energy and the whole planet is currently living in a state of ‘duality’. This duality causes people to become judgemental and afraid, judgemental of things they label ‘bad’ and afraid that they may themselves be labelled ‘bad’.  Everyone is competing to be the best or certainly better than the next man. And as most people are never going to achieve this, they end up feeling bitter, disillusioned, disappointed, and often looking for someone to blame as to why they did not receive the promised treasures. As for those that do ‘succeed’, they too are afraid – afraid they will lose it all tomorrow and no longer have their ‘power’, hence using this ‘power’ to keep the little man down, be it through creating fear or creating apathy .

The reason for this is that the energies of the planet are currently imbalanced in favour of the masculine. This is why there is so much emphasis on acquisition and aggression; why sex and ‘stuff’ are overrepresented in the media. Masculine energy, in its positive state, is a ‘doing’ energy – but for it to be used for the good of all, it needs to be balanced with the feminine energy, which is nurturing and creative. When I talk about moving away from duality, I do not mean that there will be no more ‘black/white’ ‘happy/sad’ etc – I am talking about finding balance between two apparently opposing states. So an ideal state for the planet, in my view, would be using the masculine energy to manifest the creative and nurturing ideas of the feminine. So far masculine energy has been used to manifest more ‘stuff’ but only to satisfy the ego – the development of technology should have worked as an agency of freedom, allowing us time and energy for ‘giving’ using the feminine energy, but instead people have become focussed on the ‘getting’. This is why I think we have lost our way. Everything has become a commodity, how ever well-intentioned at the start (the Green movement is a prime example).

So that’s the overall picture. How does this affect the individual? The individual is like a microcosm of the planet, and at the moment most of us are being ruled by our masculine energy, in the form of our ego. The ego is also the basis for the ‘inner child’ – imagine the ego as a toddler in the throes of the terrible twos and you get the picture. As well as the tantrum-ing toddler, there is also the ‘critical parent’ – that voice that tells the toddler that s/he’s never going to get that flash car/gorgeous figure/ great career/hot lover because s/he’s a piece of shit and doesn’t deserve it, and anyway, everyone is better than her/him. So this is the battle – or some variant of this – that most of us have going on in our heads at some level on a daily basis.

But one day something happens to us – we realise that we have been sold a lie and that the things we were told would fulfil us – the job, the house, the car, the holidays and gadgets –  are just traps to keep us compliant. In fact, everything in our lives has been about raising us to maintain the status quo – our education has quashed our individuality and turned us into obedient drones and society tells us that the only way to be a ‘good, respectable’ citizen is by working your arse off 40 hours a week to pay for all the stuff that you good respectable citizens are meant to have, otherwise you’re simply not good or respectable enough. Either we come to this realisation slowly or we undergo a major crisis or some kind of positive spiritual experience which is the catalyst for this change. For me, it was losing my job and, after the initial panic about how I was going to survive,  realising that I didn’t want to take yet another boring, underpaid/overworked job just to satisfy some work ethic drilled into me by the powers-that-be. This was the summer when I caught a glimpse of how life could be, a little taster of how it feels to be awakened, and the true beauty of recognising that we are all one consciousness. This seems to be something that many people experience at the beginning of awakening,  perhaps so that we stick to the path when it starts to get bumpy.

Because it does get bumpy for a while, really bumpy. That ego/inner child/critical parent combo is not disappearing without a fight.  Depending on how much shit you have to work through, the next few weeks/months/years will be spent understanding and placating this part of yourself – notice I don’t say obliterating, because this is about balance. A healthy ego, a playful inner child, a nurturing parent – this is what we are aiming for. The ego is there for a reason – it’s the ego which keeps us alive and safe and well – but it needs to know that it is not the centre of the universe. So treat your ego in the same way you would treat that petulant toddler –  let it know that  you are willing to respect it, so long as it respects you – give it boundaries, listen to its stories and acknowledge its pain, but don’t allow it to use the pain as an excuse for negative behaviour, either towards itself or others.

While you are working through this stuff, be it alone or with a counsellor/guide (I would recommend both ways), you will also experience some physical symptoms. This goes back to what I said about everything being energy – everything is connected, and that includes the mind/body connection. As you begin living through your heart/soul instead of your mind/ego, our thoughts change to those of a higher vibration which impacts our feelings, and our body is also affected by these changes. An example of this is the stress reactions our body has – who hasn’t felt sick with nerves, at some point? Or found themselves physically shaken by bad news? Or on a happier note, felt your heart soar when someone you love tells you they love you back?  The body is full of energy points (the chakras) and you may feel some of the changes most strongly in these parts. I’m working on a comprehensive list of all of these changes, but probably the major ones are fatigue and various aches and pains which appear in some part of the body only to mysteriously disappear and never return. Many of the symptoms also sound like the menopause – hot flushes, memory loss etc – but as these are appearing in men and also in people of all ages, it’s actually a sign of hormonal changes taking place, as hormones regulate just about every function in your body including emotions, weight, body temperature, libido, mental activity concentration, sight etc.

And meanwhile there are other changes taking place. Your excitement at recognising this new way of being could lead to you reading everything you can lay your hands on to make sense of what is happening to you.  As you begin vibrating at a higher level, you will also find your tolerance level for things of a lower vibration diminishing . You may find yourself feeling angry at the world for a while. You become increasingly isolated and your home becomes your sanctuary as you feel out of step with everything and everyone ‘out there’.  Your senses become more highly tuned and you may find yourself craving foods you never wanted before and turning your nose up at previous favourites. Loud noises, bright lights and heaving crowds become unbearable and you may want to spend more time in natural surroundings. You no longer value material stuff anymore, as you realise that you already have everything you need (and more – you may even begin to give stuff away). As you become increasingly sensitive to energy, you may also find yourself having what people consider ‘psychic’ experiences – you know things you couldn’t possibly know and your intuition becomes more efficient. Some people feel that this is the voice of your Higher Self, or your spirit guides – my personal view is that we are tuning into a higher frequency and becoming more aware of the subtleties in the environment. Synchronicities increase as you tune into these energies more and more and life begins to ‘flow’. Your relationships change – some may even end as you realise you are on different paths and simply have nothing in common anymore, or you may become less tolerant of the ‘energy leeches’ in your life, as your self-respect increases. You care less and less what other people think (a major sign that the ego is losing its stranglehold) and instead of wondering what people can do for you, you start to look at what you could do for them – and do it.

It’s at this point that you know you are ‘awake’ as STO (service to others) rather than STS (service to self) is the cornerstone of spiritual awakening. You recognise that you are powerful already, that it was only your ego (and the egos of others in the collective unconscious) that gave you the illusion that you needed something more to prove your power, and that the divine spark, what people have labelled ‘God’, is something within you, within all of us, not just ‘somewhere out there’. You take responsibility for yourself and you no longer just want to talk the talk (or read the books), you want to walk the walk. And underlying this is a feeling of ‘all-rightness’. You feel all right in yourself – you’ve accepted yourself for who you are and embraced your ‘shadow side’ – and you feel all right in the world. You change what you can and accept what you can’t, be it in you or out there. And so what began as an individual change, begins to change the world, like that proverbial butterfly flapping its wings.

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What goes on in an Empathic Guidance session? Pt 2: A dream is interpreted

March 8, 2011

In part two of ‘What goes on in an Empathic Guidance session?’,  (part one here) Matt reveals in detail the empathic dream interpretation I did for him which proved very enlightening for him with regards to his personal development and potential stumbling blocks within his psyche…

Inner Simplicity with Empathic Guidance

by Matthew Fry

 

So, let me introduce you to Sharon, the brilliant, the fabulous, the very insightful Empathic Guide….

Here are some notes for you from our session on Monday which may be useful for you to look back on. I’ve particularly concentrated on the dream which we discussed as I think there was a lot of useful insights into your psyche in there, which I hope you’ll find useful.

In the dream, you are sitting by an indoor swimming pool, practicing yoga. You are aware of a man being there who you have a flirtatious interaction with, and you know there’s a sexual attraction between you, but you cannot remember any details about him. You are also concerned because you think you haven’t got enough money to pay for the yoga session. However, a song is played and this helps you to relax and recognize that actually everything will be fine.

The dream then cuts to you being chased by a man – again, a shadowy figure who you can’t actually describe, other than you feel that he’s about your age. As you’re running from him, you jump over some people who are giving out yoga leaflets, before rushing into a house. Your dad and younger brother (aged about 5 or 6) are in the house, and you say that your dad either ignores you or doesn’t see you. You go into a room – which has a dog in it – and you hide in the room. Once in the room you feel safe.

I feel that the first part of the dream is about your spiritual self (the yoga) – maybe something about you successfully integrating it with your emotional self? Water in dreams represent emotions and though the water in the dream is ‘safe’ (an indoor pool) and calm, suggesting serenity, it is also in a manmade environment, which implies perhaps that emotionally you are still being influenced by society to some extent – feeling how you think you should feel rather than allowing your authentic feelings to show? You’re also sitting by the pool rather than diving in so maybe there’s also a fear of taking the plunge in terms of integrating the spiritual and emotional aspects of your self. Do you also maybe have concerns that a sexual partner may struggle to accept your spiritual self? That a superficial relationship would be ok but that anything deeper – more emotional – might lead to rejection? (hence the flirting at the side of the pool but not in it).

The man who you have a flirtation with is also interesting, as you were unable to describe the ‘shadowy’ male figure who was chasing you. You said in our session that you are nervous about speaking to men – that you’ve chosen to work with women as you are wary about speaking to a man. I think this perhaps signifies an ambivalent relationship with men, perhaps due to your distant relationship with your father and maybe also related to your feelings about your sexuality.

The concern about having enough money to pay could signify two things – 1) your concerns about being able to pay your way if you follow a spiritual path and 2) your concerns about actually paying for things which will help you progress on your spiritual path. However, when a song is played (did you know what the song was?) you relax and you realise that everything will be ok, which correlates to something I said to you in our first session about  ‘the money will come’. And of course, you have resolved the problem about paying for mentors to help you on your spiritual path 😉

It’s also interesting that it’s a song which relaxes you – this could relate to your dream of being a DJ or could mean that it’s through creativity that you make your living. It would be great to know what the song actually was, as this could reveal even more about this!

The dream then skips to you being chased by an unknown man – you do know that he’s your age though, so I wonder if he’s your ‘masculine’ self which you feel uncomfortable with and are trying to flee from? You have to jump over the people giving out the yoga leaflets, which ties this in with the first part of the dream. Again, perhaps something about a struggle integrating the masculine side of your self with the more feminine spiritual aspects of your self? Male figures are a dominant feature of this dream so there seems to be a strong message that this is about your masculine side fighting for attention, despite your attempts to avoid it.

Houses represent you and different rooms represent different aspects of yourself. I’m not sure if you specified any rooms, though I think maybe you said you hid in a bedroom? When you ran into the house your father and younger brother were there. You say that your father either ignored or didn’t see you, which reflects the ambivalent – and mostly absent – relationship you have had with him. Your internalised father (we all have internalised versions of our parents who offer judgments on us – for example, many people have a ‘critical parent’ voice offering negative judgements on their actions) seems to be a distant figure, similar to the other shadowy male figures, showing a disconnection with your masculine side.

If we look, then, at how you relate to the men in this dream, they reflect how you relate to different men in the waking world – sexually, with fear and feeling invisible around them.  However the positive aspect is the appearance of your younger brother. I feel that he represents your masculine self in its burgeoning form – that this side of you is beginning to develop. As I said on the phone, the masculine side of yourself is the ‘doing’ side, the side which interacts with the world in an assertive, active way, and the logical, analytical side whereas your feminine side is the nurturing, creative, spiritual side. In other words, as an example, your feminine side dreams up the ideas but you need to have an active masculine side to get them out there!

In the last part of the dream, you run into a room where you say you hide and feel safe. You’re hiding from a man yet you’re doing this in a house which clearly already contains men – so you feel safe with some aspects of your masculinity, just not enough to put them out there yet, perhaps? I think you mentioned that there was a dog in the room too, which represents loyalty, friendship and is therefore possibly another symbol of feeling safe, welcome, reassured (although I don’t think we discussed much about the dog and what type of dog it was, whether it was a dog you knew etc).

Was it a bedroom you hid in? And did you go upstairs? Downstairs represents your baser urges, the more animal aspects of yourself, and also aspects of the unconscious (the ‘unconscious’ parts of your masculine self, perhaps) but upstairs represents your higher self (no prizes for guessing that!) so if you felt safer upstairs, this is of course because you feel more comfortable with the more spiritual aspects of yourself. A bedroom could also represent the fact that you do feel reasonably comfortable with your sexuality but still feel the need to hide parts of yourself relating to this from the outside world. (I know you said that you went to Australia to feel completely free about your sexuality in a non-judgemental environment).

So I think that perhaps due to the ambivalent relationship you have with your dad, who you described as very masculine and mostly absent from your life, and because you were brought up by your mother, a very independent woman who manifests a number of traits usually (unfairly) associated with men (eg she’s the breadwinner, lives alone and does not need to live with a partner, very assertive), and because you are a sensitive, spiritual person who is sexually attracted to men (all traits traditionally(but again unfairly) associated with women and the opposite of your dad), you have become confused as to how to express the masculine aspects of yourself. I think this dream is representative of that struggle. Your inner ‘man’ is still in ‘child’ form – but he’s still there and just waiting for you to give him the chance to grow up!

When we spoke about your father, there was a lot of vagueness around his role in your life and your understanding of how he feels about you, and why you didn’t see much of him.  As I said, this correlates with the shadowy, unclear and distant male figures (including your dad) in your dream. So maybe we could do some work around healing your feelings towards your father – or perhaps uncovering them, as I’m wondering if your positive spiritual outlook on life is preventing you from accepting or acknowledging any negative feelings you may have? It’s really important to be aware of and embrace our shadow side as otherwise it will manifest itself in other ways, perhaps in other people’s attitude towards us or our own negative behaviors. If we embrace it, we can then change the bits we don’t like and channel the bits we do in positive directions – for example, anger can be used as fuel to achieve all kinds of things, or grief can be used to make positive changes in the world (I wrote more about this in my meaning of life blog). Ultimately, though, I think for us to live an authentic life, it’s really important for us to deal with our past emotional and psychological ‘baggage’ as we can then see ourselves and the world much more clearly, without the influence of parents, peers or society. (more on this in my de-cluttering blogs – link is to final part of this series as I feel this is most pertinent, but might be worth reading the other parts too.)

I’ll leave it there for now – I hope these notes have been helpful for you, Matt, and I hope they make sense, there’s quite a bit of ‘stream of consciousness’ stuff in there! But lots to reflect on too, I think 🙂

*WOW!!* I was speechless!!! Yes, LOTS to reflect on. Phenomenal!
Sharon’s analysis of my dream is heartfelt, all-embracing, perceptive and meticulously detailed. It offered me the invaluable gifts of an immense dose of clarity triggering profound and far-reaching expansion of my consciousness and awareness, inevitably leading to a greater freedom, deeper healing and a heightened sense of Inner Simplicity.

You can always find the sun within yourself if you will only search.

~ Maxwell Maltz

As she writes on her charming website, “Never before has there been a better opportunity for you as an individual and us as a society to embrace a simpler and ultimately more positive way of life. Inner Simplicity is about freeing yourself from all your internal and external baggage – the way you feel you should be, those things you feel you should have – and living the life you were truly born to live.”

Sharon is the Empathic Guide, being the developer of the Empathic Guidance approach. She has over eleven years experience as a qualified counsellor (BACP), certified dream analyst and advice worker, with over two decades of accumulated personal development knowledge. She is also the owner of the wise and wonderful Inner Simplicity blog, ‘Soulful Musings’, a soulful yet grounded blog which offers a variety of personal development and emotional healing tips, advice on how to improve your relationships and live a simpler and more fulfilling life, insightful quotes and anecdotes to revitalise mind, body and spirit, reviews of useful books, websites, services and much, MUCH more. I highly recommend bookmarking it now for your regular dose of Inner Simplicity inspiration – Sharon is simply a fountain of knowledge and wisdom.

If, like myself, you are yearning for greater clarity in your life, or perhaps have a dream that is calling out to you for deeper interpretation, then sincerely I encourage empowering yourself with Empathic Guidance by beginning the journey of transformational, lasting and positive change with Sharon. She is amazing, fabulous, and a pure joy to connect with. As you can see she is incredibly gifted and her services are also very affordable. I truly believe you would come to view the experience as a miracle and an extraordinary blessing in your life, as I have :))

Live the life you love, love the life you live!

~ Bob Marley

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What goes on in an Empathic Guidance session? Pt.1: A client reveals all…

March 7, 2011

Recently I’ve been working with a wonderful young man called Matt who I first encountered on Twitter. Matt went through an awakening experience back in July 2006 and after going through the ‘dark night of the soul’ which so often follows an awakening, he transitioned quite naturally to a more authentic and positive place. However, he still felt that there were a couple of areas which he needed to gain clarity in and so to this end, he put out a request to the Universe for a coach or mentor who might be able to assist him on his journey of discovery.

I was more than happy to oblige and have been working with Matt now for several weeks. I have to say that his positivity and enthusiasm for the work we do is infectious and I really enjoy our weekly Skype conversations. And as is always the way of these things, I feel I’m probably learning as much through him as he is through me!

As part of his learning curve, Matt is documenting his progress and part of this involves writing about our Empathic Guidance sessions. Here is the first of these which he published on his own website and which I thought may be of interest to anyone considering investing in a few Empathic Guidance sessions themselves. This particular session focussed on a dream which Matt had – we discussed this during the hour then I added further insights in the follow-up notes which I always send after the session has taken place, as I feel they’re a positive additional aid to the client’s personal development.

In this post, Matt talks about our introduction and in part two, he reproduces the notes which I sent him containing a detailed dream interpretation.

Inner Simplicity with Empathic Guidance

by Matthew Fry

For anyone who has joined me on this awesome adventure of awakening and has been following my journey thus far, you would have been aware that in January, around the time I celebrated my 24th birthday, I wrote a post titled “Infinite Possibilities” exploring the idea that there might be someone within my amazing social network whom would like to coach, guide or mentor me. The response to that post was astounding and I am deeply humbled that so many people came forward showing interest. One of those incredible people was Sharon Simpson “The Empathic Guide” and WOW, to say that Sharon has been a blessing in my life is a massive understatement…

As Sharon writes on her Twitter bio: “Empathic Guidance creates empathy and equality in our lives through increased self- and other-awareness. Join me and help to make our world a better place.”

Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other’s eyes for an instant?
~ Henry David Thoreau

In my first chat with Sharon I experienced the great miracle that Thoreau proposed. We seemingly picked up from where we had left off in some other lifetime, because the openness, sharing and deep sense of connection was so profound it truly felt to me as though we had known each other for a very, very long time. There was a high level of resonance and intuitive intimacy between us as well as a recognition of many parallels between our lives and awakening experiences which allowed for an exciting and thoroughly enjoyable unfolding. As our conversation came to a close I will never forget the Skype call-time clocking in at 44:44 – a synchronistic shout-out from the universe that there was something magical brewing. I was ecstatic when Sharon shared her mutual delight and recounted her own experiences with number sequences, at which point we both felt the tickling shiver that comes with goosebumps – or godbumps as I like to call them hehe – another awesome confirmation that we were at the right place at the right time. I came away from our first conversation literally bouncing around the house bursting with energy and enthusiasm. In an email the next day Sharon pointed me to a wonderful post she had written about number sequences, adding that:

“444 can relate to mastery and empowerment and there’s also this explanation by Doreen Virtue:

444 — Thousands of angels surround you at this moment, loving and supporting you. You have a very strong and clear connection with the angelic realm, and are an Earth angel yourself. You have nothing to fear—all is well.”

And so with universal blessings, we adventured on together, holding hands in the heart, setting out on a deep and wonderful healing voyage of discovery for which I am eternally grateful…

Empathic Guidance is a unique intuitive healing approach which can transform your life and empower you, leading to lasting positive change. As an empath, Sharon is very sensitive to energy, giving her the ability to intuit thoughts and feelings, and allowing her to fully experience, support and understand each person she works with. When she works with you, she tunes into your energy directly and guides you using the empathic feelings and thoughts which arise from the connection.

My first empathic guidance session with Sharon was in early February. During our previous connection Sharon had asked me whether I dreamed, to which I responded that I do dream, but not very often, and that I hardly ever remember my dreams upon waking. She then assured me that after becoming conscious of this and discussing dreams with her, it was highly likely that I would now begin to remember my dreams. The seed was planted in my consciousness and it was a prophetic moment; ever since I have been waking up each morning remembering many more details about my dreams and on one occasion, still half-asleep, I tapped in a dream-stream of ‘unconsciousness’ saving it as a note on my phone. Unbeknownst to me at the time, that dream was going to form the basis of our first session. Sharon is a phenomenal dream interpreter, just one of the many gifts that she has to share, and after a thorough and inspiring dialogue I had uncovered many aspects of myself and was able to elevate my awareness and to shine light into some areas of darkness, recognizing imbalances in my energy field, discovering much about my psyche, meeting some inner orphans who want to be loved and given a chance to grow up, as well as many other personal insights and awakenings, which I hadn’t previously been aware of – it was incredibly liberating to explore my dream with such an aware and empowering guiding light. A few days later I was completely in awe when the notes from our session arrived in my inbox. I’m going to share those notes with you now because I feel they serve several important purposes: one, I am able to reveal what an amazing guide Sharon is! two – it presents me with an opportunity to be totally authentic and share some deeper aspects of my self, my psyche, and other awarenesses and personal revelations 🙂 and also, someone else reading this post might have had similar life experiences and thus, the healing potential in sharing the notes I feel is quite profound ♡

So, let me introduce you to Sharon, the brilliant, the fabulous, the very insightful Empathic Guide….

Part two tomorrow

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