Mindfulness for Empaths

Growing up, I always considered myself to be a Jedi with my emotions. The Jedi code value “There is no emotion; there is peace.” has always resonated with me. It wasn’t until my recent birthday that my emotions became increasingly harder & harder to control. If you’re an empath, I cannot stress enough how important it is to protect your energy & stay grounded.

After my Annual birthday bubble bath, but before beginning my post-bath self-care routine, I put my Apple music library on shuffle & started to cry continuously with each & every new song. I honestly cried for a good 25 minutes while I struggled to spray leave-in conditioner in my curls & apply lotion to my body. lol After that experience, I became hyper-aware of practicing mindfulness in order to keep my thoughts focused & my emotions under control.

Now that I’ve accepted that I’m an intuitive empath & with the emotions of my collective overwhelming me each day, these are the main habits that I’ve learned & adapted to help me stay grounded:

MEDITATE.

I now meditate twice a day, once as soon as I wake up & again right before bed. Sometimes, I’ll squeeze in a quick 5-minute midday meditation too. And if I wake up in the middle of the night & can’t fall back asleep, I’ll meditate to lull myself back to sleep. Meditation truly helps me clear my mind, keeps me grounded, & releases any emotions that I just can’t shake.

RECITE A MANTRA.

When darkness & hate are sent my way, I close my eyes & repeatedly recite the follow mantra until I calm down: “I reject any false & emotionally draining narratives & release them back into the universe with love.” As an empath, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by emotions & energy that are not yours. It’s important to protect your energy & set mental boundaries as needed. Feel free to create your own mantra based on what you’re feeling in the moment.

LISTEN TO NATURE SOUNDS, LO-FI, CALMING, INSTRUMENTAL, OR MEDITATION MUSIC.

Since that emotional evening on my birthday, I began to become triggered by music with lyrics. When I need to focus during work hours or during an actual workout, these are the types of music that I turn to, to keep my thoughts in a calm state. If I’m riding in a car with others or attending a social event, I also make sure to pack my AirPods, so I can listen to my own music & separate my thoughts from my environment as needed.

CLEAN, DECLUTTER, & DELETE.

This past month, clutter & even the tiniest of messes began to frustrate & irritate me. I’ve always been one to keep my space generally tidy, but when I’m feeling out of sorts, there’s nothing I love more than doing my laundry & deep cleaning everything in my path. It literally feels euphoric & dare I say… orgasmic! I am continuously removing anything in my life that is no longer serving me, whether it’s a person, place, or thing. I’m cleaning out my closet, both literally & figuratively. My phone, my laptops, my iPad, my iCloud… if I don’t need it, I delete it.

SPEND TIME IN NATURE.

I won’t lie. I am very bougie at times. I would much rather stay in a hotel with plumbing than a tent, but I absolutely love the way I feel in nature. Whether it’s the forest or the beach… it all makes me feel so alive, peaceful, & part of something greater.

MOVE YOUR BODY, EAT CLEAN, & DRINK LOTS OF WATER.

I’ve accepted that I’m only ever going to be able to be me in this lifetime. I proactively choose to listen to my body & take care of myself physically & mentally. It’s important to learn that you cannot rely on others to tell you when you’re unhappy & not taking care of yourself. Do what you need to do for your well-being out of self-love every single day!

If you’re a newly awakened empath like me, I feel your pain. It’s really hard to stay grounded sometimes. You may feel paranoid, worried, or sad at the most inopportune moments. I now carry tissues with me at all times, just in case I feel the urge to cry. Find what works best for you though. No two individuals are the exact same, so what may work for me might not work for you. Trust your instincts – you got this!

Are you an empath or just a highly sensitive person? What do you do to stay grounded & mindful every day? Let me know in a comment.

XO Denise

Hang the DJ

*SPOILER ALERT*
If you haven’t seen Black Mirror yet, I highly recommend you stop reading & go watch through Season 4, Episode 4 before reading this blog post.

Black Mirror is one of my all-time favorite TV shows. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a dystopian science fiction series that I highly recommend. My favorite episodes include “Black Museum” & “Nosedive”, but today I want to discuss “Hang the DJ”. Set in a future, dystopian world, where society has given up on conventional dating, partners are matched at random & told the exact duration of their relationship upfront. 

Just to be clear, in my personal opinion, DATING IS F#CKING HARD. Being thrown into the unknown is scary, but in order to find “The One”, you need the strength & courage to take a leap of faith. While being able to control the outcome of a relationship may seem great in theory, I will never buy into it.

I hate to admit that my dating life has never been perfect. I’ve lead people on & wasted their time knowing that I didn’t want them to be my husband or the father of my children. I’ve chased after people who made it abundantly clear that they weren’t the right man for me. I emotionally cheated on my boyfriend of two years with my TA in college. And my worst mistake of all was not telling the man I fell hardest for how much I truly loved him out of fear of another rejection, only to have my heart broken in the end anyway. 

The episode of “Hang the DJ” teaches us that being in complete control of the outcome of our dating life isn’t any better or less risky than conventional dating. Imagine meeting someone who you feel is your perfect match, only to be told that you’re restricted to a mere 12 hours together. You’re then forced to go your separate ways, to have a bunch of meaningless one night stands or end up stuck in a loveless relationship with someone else that you hate for an entire year.

Yes, the world is full of endless options. But at the end of the day, don’t you know when you’ve already exhausted your options? We need to listen to our hearts. We need to speak our truth & do what we believe will be the best for ourselves, while also taking into consideration the hearts of others. No one deserves to have their heartbroken, especially if we have the ability to be honest & prevent it. Forgive yourself for your past mistakes, & forgive others for theirs. Only then will you learn how to love with authenticity.

A reoccurring theme in “Hang the DJ” is that following their structured system will guarantee you a 99.8% love match. But what happens when you realize that you’d rather rebel against your circumstances? What if 99.8% isn’t good enough for you anymore? What if what will make you truly happy at the end of the day includes taking your chances on that 0.2%?

Even if taking that risk means losing all other options & hurting other people in the process, don’t be afraid to listen to your heart & don’t give up your happy ending because of the system & expectations placed on you by the outside world. Take responsibility for your past relationships to heal your heart. Then embrace your authenticity & risk it all, because we deserve to have 100% when it comes to love.

XO Denise

Rest

I bet you weren’t expecting a blog post from me today, huh?

On Friday, January 8th, I decided to take a social media detox. That day after work, my mental headspace was exhausted. I was working out at my apartment building’s gym when I suddenly needed to meditate. I literally stopped mid-lat pull-down & closed my eyes. I desperately tried to clear my mind & block out all of the negative emotions being thrown my way while listening to lo-fi music.

About 10 minutes later, I felt more at ease again. I then decided to delete all of my social media apps off of my phone, & I vowed to detox through the end of the weekend, which I extended through yesterday. I literally wrote this blog with a rose gold, polka dot, faux diamond pen, in a floral print notebook to be typed up at a later date.

Since starting my new Divination community, xodenisejoyce, my emotions have become so overwhelming. I decided that I needed to disconnect, relax, spend more time outdoors in nature, & take better care of myself both mentally & physically. Social media is already exhausting at times, but having to manage social media channels from nine to six, Monday through Friday in addition to the social media channels for my side endeavors is even more overwhelming. Especially with my collective now sending their energy my way, I needed to better control which emotions were mine & which ones were not.

The last time I had a true, peaceful, time away from screens was last September. Instead of being attached to my phone for the majority of the weekend, I decided to turn off my phone two evenings in a row & found my peace staring at the flames of a blazing campfire, eating perfectly toasted s’mores, surrounded by trees.

Whatever you need to do when you’re feeling overwhelmed or exhausted, do it! Self-care is so important, especially with the state of the world still in a global pandemic. Personally, I take a bubble bath with Epsom salts surrounded by candles. I also love doing a face mask, eating Ferrero Rocher chocolates, & drinking brut rosé. Today, I even went to the beach & watched the sunset over the ocean.

While I still want to be there for my collective, my mental health will always be my #1 priority. With all the progress I made during the first week of the new year with xodenisejoyce, I took my sudden exhaustion as a sign from above that I needed to slow down & take better care of myself, so I don’t burnout.

Hopefully, this is a helpful reminder to any of you who are struggling with self-care in your own life. Even if you need to push aside someone or something else that you love, you deserve to pause & take time for yourself, every now & then too.

XO Denise

Pogi: My Alebrije

Do you remember Dante from the Disney Pixar movie, Coco? He was Miguel’s Xoloitzcuintli dog that also served as his alebrije or “spirit guide”, helping him navigate through the Land of the Dead. I recently started calling my pug, Pogi, my little alebrije. While he does get into way more mischief than any other dog I know, I am constantly comforted by his watchful eye & presence around me.

When I met his litter last Summer, I was pretty convinced that I wanted a girl pug. There were six pugs in his litter total. Two boys had already been claimed, & three girls remained when I arrived to meet the litter of pug puppies. I had met & held all three girl pugs & was trying to make my final decision between them. My Pogi was sleeping in the corner of the puppy pen, & since I thought that I didn’t want a boy, I was fine with ignoring him & not even trying to meet or get to know him.

My sister, Danielle, was the one to really push me to make sure that I met all the available puppies. Even though I wanted a girl, what was the harm in at least meeting him before making my final decision. She thought it’d be best to know for sure before leaving him alone in the corner, & I’m so thankful that she did. I knew he was the one for me from the moment I picked him up. He truly was & still is my soulmate, & there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted any other pug! 

Pogi the day we met at 6 weeks old.

How do I know that Pogi’s my soulmate & alebrije?

  • I happily wake up to his snoring, wrinkly face every morning.
  • After a long day, the way he always wants to cuddle with me on the couch is so comforting.
  • He knows all of my deepest & darkest secrets & still loves me.
  • Just being around him makes me happy.
  • No matter where I go, he’s never far behind & watching over me, ensuring I’m safe. 
  • I can recognize his flaws (like the way he’s overly intrusive, loves to steal toys that are not his, runs away with papers, & tries to eat/chew on anything left on the floor when no one’s looking), but I still love him anyway.
  • When I’m feeling silly & playful, he immediately joins in on the fun.

Pogi’s love for me is unconditional as is my love for him. I may need to discipline him on occasion for getting into mischief, but at the end of the day, he’ll learn his lesson & know that I’m still his person. When I’m feeling down & having trouble getting out of bed, Pogi gives me kisses on my forehead & gently strokes my hair & face until I’m ready to wake up & start my day.

I can’t even believe that I almost missed my opportunity to meet him, because of my preconceived expectations of what I thought I wanted. If my sister hadn’t been there to put sense into me, I could have ended up with one of Pogi’s sisters. While I’m sure they’d be just as adorable & fun, I seriously doubt we’d have the same connection. Pogi & I were destined to meet. If I had been too stubborn to listen to my sister, I would have lost him to another person.

I truly believe that Pogi is my soulmate, my alebrije, & my spirit guide all in one. He was given to me as a gift from God to help me on my journey through life, & I’m so blessed & grateful to have him by my side. 

Do you have any pets? Would you consider them your soulmate, alebrije, or spirit guide? Let me know in a comment below.

XO Denise

Alchemy & Transmutation

What do you think of when the topic of alchemy is mentioned? 

At its simplest definition, alchemy is the philosophy or science of transmuting base materials or metals, such as straw, lead, or copper, into silver or gold. Don’t get too excited or ahead of yourself – I’m not going to teach anyone how to turn ordinary things into money today. lol

Personally, I believe that alchemy at its source is the concept of transmutation. Last year on a long road trip to Portland, the topic of emotional transmutation came up during the car ride. While I fully understood the idea of transmutation at that time, I never found a need to proactively put it into practice. It wasn’t until I was deeply hurt by someone who I thought genuinely cared about me that I benefitted from its purpose. 

In the past, when my emotions became heightened & uncontrollable, I was desperate to find a way to channel my emotions into strength. One day, I suddenly recalled the transmutation conversation from last year. Your emotions can be extremely powerful. If you don’t have your emotions under control, they can cloud your judgment & overwhelm your mind, keeping you in a place of anger & sadness. I’m a firm believer that your mindset creates your reality. 

When your emotions are properly harnessed & transmuted, you can change them into whatever you need. You can change your anger into healthy boundaries. You can change your sadness into creativity. You can turn your pain into compassion & forgiveness. When you’re feeling lost & desperate, you have the power inside of you to turn any negative entities into inspiration & motivation to help you find your true path. 

Your emotions & your current situation may not be your fault at all, but if you take a step back, you’ll realize that how you’ve been treated by another person is their karma. But how you choose to react to their choices is yours. You can either respond as a victim, or you can take your power back, transmute it into something positive, & become an alchemist. 

Keep your peace. Save your energy. Let them walk away, forgive them with love, & learn from the experience. Turning your pain into passion through transmutation is the closest we as humans get to performing alchemy in our every day lives. 

Reflecting on my past, I may never get the apology or love that I wanted in return from the person who hurt me, but I’ve accepted that. I am thankful for how things transpired. I am at peace with my past now because I chose to keep going & become the true love of my own life. 

XO Denise

How & Why I Learned to Read Tarot

If I lived in the Magical World of Harry Potter, I would have been a Ravenclaw, & my favorite class would have been Divination. I would love to learn all the different methods of divining the past, present, & future. Potions would probably be a close 2nd, but that’s a nerdy story for another day. lol

I’m slowly starting to truly believe that I’m an empath. An empath has the ability to understand the mental or emotional state of another individual. Even though I’m not outwardly emotional, I can easily sense how others around me are feeling. I am easily drained in large crowds, especially when interacting with negative people. Strangers & acquaintances who don’t know me very well at all, usually ask for my advice or proactively reach out to me with gratitude for inspiring them. My intuition is usually accurate. Weather easily affects my mood. And I truly feel that my purpose in life is to help others. Now knowing this about myself, I pay more attention to someone’s energy & actions, not their words.

Last Halloween, my best friend read my cards for me in a mutual attempt to help me heal my heart as well as give me clarity & guidance. While I had some relief afterward, I didn’t understand or retain the meanings behind the cards that were pulled for me at a deeper level, which is most likely why the following week I was triggered & let my emotions get the best of me. Even after reflecting on my emotional triggers & mistakes, I wasn’t able to completely pinpoint why I reacted in the way that I did. So in an attempt to learn & understand my shadow self on a deeper level, I decided that I wanted to learn how to read Tarot.

I absolutely love to learn. I’m also fiercely independent & curious. I started by buying the Modern Witch Tarot Deck & the Modern Witch Tarot Journal from Amazon. Then I simply googled “How to read tarot cards” to start learning, since my cards & journal wouldn’t arrive for a couple of days. lol One idea that resonated with me was that all the answers you seek are already out in the universe. We can use Tarot cards to help harness & interpret the answers to our questions.

I’ve always believed in looking inward to find the solutions to my problems before reaching out to anyone else. As an empath, I’m fully aware of the potential effects of burdening someone else with my problems or negative energy. While I’m sure I could have easily paid someone else to read my Tarot cards, I genuinely believed that the answers to the questions I had were meant to be illuminated through introspection. Similar to how I wouldn’t go out searching for someone to tell me what was wrong with me, I didn’t believe that I could uncover my shadow self by paying someone else to look into my Soul. This was an internal battle that I needed to venture into on my own with strength & bravery.

As soon as my cards & journal arrived, I delved in deep, learning the meanings of each card in the upright as well as the reversals. I asked all sorts of questions: Yes/No, Why, How, Who, etc. Then noted down the denotative & connotative meanings of each card I pulled then used those meanings to interpret the potential answers I was seeking. With every new Tarot spread I tried, & with my questions answered by the Universe, I was able to find balance & hope for my future. 

The answers suddenly became clear to me. I needed to let go of my expectations in Love & leave my past behind me in order to step into a new beginning. My future is now whatever I make of it. I manifest what I desire to come into my life, & I don’t let my pride blind me from being compassionate towards others. Now, I’m here, fully embracing this new spiritual journey!

Are you considering learning how to read Tarot? Let me know about your personal experience in a comment below.

XO Denise