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ASK A WITCH-Intuition

Two complimentary questions today- too much intuition or not enough? Of course, balance is the answer. Strengthen your intuition, but don't let it run wild. There is a time and place to tune in, just as sometimes it is better to protect yourself.

I'm coming to realize that I am a deeply sensitive person. It feels it is both a superpower and disability-- I can read a room in a profound way, but I can also be torn apart by the feelings in a room in an instant. I would love to strike a balance with this where I can rise above feelings, sort of harden myself to my surroundings, but not overdo it and become a cold hard person. Is there some kind of exercise or practice you recommend for this? -All the Feelings

Dear Feelings

I feel compelled to remind you that being overly empathetic is not helpful to you or anyone else. I say this as someone who has needed to rein in my own empathy for years now. While compassion is wonderful, and important, deeply feeling the emotions of others doesn't actually solve anything. Those of us with profound intuition need to protect ourselves, and others, from crossing inappropriate boundaries. This is because being torn apart by the feelings in a room in an instant is unsafe for you and unfair for the others involved. IT IS ONLY APPROPRIATE TO READ OTHER PEOPLE WHEN SOLICITED. Otherwise, you're inviting danger. I say all this not to chastise, but to help you to begin to construct a wall of protection around yourself. The more you understand this, the more you can use your gift for good when needed, and turn it off otherwise.

Start by grounding. Imagine roots growing down from your legs and torso and sinking into the earth. From this place of support, set a clear intention to turn off your over-active empathy. As other people's feelings come towards you, let them move through you and down into the earth. It will take practice, but the clear intention is key. Decide that you aren't going to absorb or hold anyone's emotions, and let it be so. From experience I can say that this actually helps to make you more compassionate; when you aren't overwhelmed by the bombardment of feelings, you can hold space with more clarity.

Another useful tool is finding a stone or stones that are good for warding off or absorbing energy. Personally, I love my ruby, amethyst, rose quartz, malachite, and black tourmaline. There are many other options available, I suggest reading a crystal guide or simply letting yourself be drawn to a stone that calls you (as an empath you will surely pick one that can assist you in this way specifically). You can wear these as jewelry or keep them into pockets (if you are someone who wears a bra, I recommend finding a comfortable piece to tuck in next to your heart!) Again, use your firm intention when choosing and using these stones-state clearly that you are employing these stones for protection.

Salt water baths are good to release anything you may have picked up (we all lapse from time to time), as are fire ceremonies and smudging (use sage or paulo santo). It is always helpful to revisit your grounding exercise and let anything unwanted drain away through your roots and into the soil. If you find that these steps aren't enough, find a witch or energy healer to weave further protection into your energy field, and don't give up. You will find balance.

Hi Jenna! Wondering what pointers you would give to strengthen your intuition? Thank you! Fruity Pepples

Dear Fruity

Our intuition is just like any other skill, you have to practice it to get better. We all have a latent ability to be guided by our inner voices; think of your intuition as an extension of your animal instincts. A great place to start is to take some quiet, meditative time to yourself, close your eyes, and remember a time that your intuition spoke to you. It can be a time that you listened or ignored it, just try to find a memory that’s strong. When you have it, imagine yourself back in the moment, just before your intuition kicked in, and play through the scene. Do it a few times if you need to. Notice the moment your inner voice spoke- what did it sound like? Where did it come from? If you can begin to recognize it, you can pay more attention.

Now, with this new understanding, take it for a walk. Step outside and let yourself be guided-is your first instinct to go left or right out your front door? Don’t question it, just follow it. Every time you have a choice, instead of thinking about it, just trust your gut to lead you. If you want to stop to smell the flowers, pet a dog, or notice a tree, do it. If you want to walk down that overgrown alley, do it. Exercise everyday. Walks are a good, low stakes ways to practice. When you feel more confident, try it on your commute home from work and see if your intuition takes you on a new route. Weekend plans? Dinner menu? Netflix choice? Don’t think about it! Trust your very first response. Our intuition starts as a whisper, but the more we pay attention, the louder it gets.

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