Ep. 154 Q&A- Dark Nights of The Soul & The Empath Experience - theuncensoredempath.com

Ep. 154 Q&A- Dark Nights of The Soul & The Empath Experience

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In this episode, I discuss:

  • Learn what the dark night of the soul is
  • Discover what happens when an empath ignores their abilities
  • Ways to unblock your chakras and intuition
  • The power of your life experience when choosing healing modalities

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Episode Transcript:

Welcomed the Uncensored Empath, a place for us to discuss highly sensitive energy, illness, healing, and transformation. My name is Sarah Small, and I’m a life and success coach for empaths who want to create a thriving body, business, and life. Think of this podcast as your no B-S guide to navigating life health and entrepreneurship. You’ll get straight to the point, totally holistic tips from me in real time as I navigate this healing and growth journey right beside you.

This is a Soul Fire production.

Today’s episode is another like last week. That’s just going to take a little bit of a different tone, a little different direction. And as many of you know, because you’re in the Uncensored Empath Facebook community, I put out a thread every Monday morning that allows you to ask me whatever you want and get free coaching on whatever you want. And I give some suggestions of different topics like illness, emotional roots of illness, building a business, all the different modalities that I use, like NLP and Oracle and intuition and subconscious reprogramming and so on and so forth. But also personal questions around grief or now, how I’m dealing with pregnancy.

And as you heard in the last episode with my husband, Andrew, it has been a really rough now 12 weeks. We recorded that episode at 10 weeks. And now, here we are just a day before 12 weeks. So I’m recording this and it’s been really challenging. My energy has been really low. The Type 3 Enneagram, super achiever in me has been super triggered around, not getting everything done that I want to get done. And there’s a sense of guilt. I’ve had my podcast production team, bless their hearts being like, Sarah, are you putting out an episode this week? And my assistant being, are you going to do that still? My Pinterest management team is, are you, are we going to post more this week? And a lot of my answer has been answers have been, I don’t know, I don’t know because I’ve been taking it so day by day.

And I do feel that my energy is starting to come back a little bit. And so, I just wanted to take today’s episode before I get too off onto a tangent. I wanted to focus today’s episode on catching up on your questions and really dedicating this episode to you. If you’re not already in the Uncensored Empath Facebook community, I encourage you to join. There are over 2,100 amazing, amazing souls in that group. And again, every Monday I offer free coaching. The last month and a half has been slow. And so, this is my gift back to you to make sure I answer all of your questions and we do get caught up. And these are really well thought out questions. So I just want to take the time to honor them and acknowledge them as well.

And just before I jump into the first question, I want to say thank you because so many of you have been patient and then, reaching out with love. Because not only have we had a lot on our plate with pregnancy and other things that I haven’t shared publicly. But one thing I did share publicly last week was that Grand Lake Colorado and the surrounding areas very much so as well, there was a fire. There is a fire. It’s still active, actually called, ‘The East Troublesome Fire’. And this fire broke out initially along Troublesome Creek and we didn’t think it was going to affect us. And then, one night the fire swept a hundred thousand more acres at a rate of 6,000 acres per hour and came right up to our house, the entire town, and community of Grand Lake, that we love so much.

It was a mandatory evacuation. And for the last seven days, I have been pretty glued to the Grand County Sheriff, the Grand County Emergency Management, and each Troublesome Fire Official info page watching these two to three times a day briefings, and trying to figure out if our house is okay. If it’s still standing, what the damages are, was very, very tragic. And this is now the second-largest fire in Colorado history. There was some threat of it actually connecting to another fire in Rocky Mountain National Park. That is the largest in history and becoming a complex fire where they would join in. The thought of that is just terrifying and it doesn’t look like they’re going to connect now, but it has been something we’ve been watching so closely. And all of our friends and neighbors and business owners in the area have just been on our minds and on our hearts. We’re totally safe, but I’ve been just bringing my hands to my womb a lot lately, just reminding my womb that it’s safe.

We’re not up there right now. We are down here in the front range of the Rocky Mountains and totally safe. But sometimes your body, your nervous system, when you get so consumed by news like that and trying to get the updates, it acts as if it is in danger, acts as if it is a threat because you’re just so in it. And so I’ve had to remind my body that it’s safe, that we’re safe. And regardless of the state of our home, it’s all going to be okay. And so, hopefully, next time I jump on, I’ll have more clarity of an answer. Right now, we still do not know. So we’re waiting to get more details and have our fingers crossed, and just have the whole community in our hearts.

So I want to say thank you because a lot have you, many, many, many of you have reached out and just sent your love, and your prayers, and your thoughts and that means a lot to me. So thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. And again, thank you for your patience. So let’s dive in, shall we?

Learn what the dark night of the soul is

Let’s start to go through some of these again, really well thought out amazing questions, and get you some guidance today. So our first question is about the ‘dark night of the soul’. It reads, Can you explain what the dark night of the soul is? I used to think that it was when you reached your rock bottom, but recently I’ve learned that it’s much more than that.

Yes. So this is something that I’ve experienced. I think we can have more than one dark night of the soul. And that has been my experience. There have been multiple dark nights of the soul and people describe it in different ways. So some people do describe it as a rock bottom. The term, ‘dark night of the soul’, goes back into history. And oftentimes it’s described as a spiritual crisis, spiritual upheaval, questioning everything you believe in. And I love Eckhart Tolle’s description and answer to this question. He said that one could call it a collapse of a perceived meaning in life. An eruption into your life of a deep sense of meaninglessness.

And it can feel similar to a depressive state. And usually, it is triggered by something, whether it is a big ‘aha’ realization in your belief system, going back to how some people describe it as this spiritual awakening/crisis of what does that mean? Who am I? These big, big questions. It could also be triggered by an event that has happened in your life or a loss. Or for me, the death of Jordan was a huge dark night of the soul, that triggered a dark night of the soul. And then again, with my brother, Joe, and then I would argue again, with miscarriage. So, this is my belief. It can happen more than once.

And it’s when you start to question, well, everything. My career, my path, where am I going? Who have I been up until this point? What have I given meaning to, does it deserve that much attention and meaning? One of my very best friends, Tina lost her dad about a year, I believe, before I lost my brother Jordan. And I feel actually, that we were called to be together during these losses to learn from each other. I learned a lot from witnessing her grief that while you can’t be prepared for grief. I do feel like it helped me to some extent with the grief I experienced with Jordan. And she told me afterwards, and this is something I couldn’t really relate to at the time. And I totally got what she was saying later. She said, it’s like, the world has become more black and white. Like the color has been kind of sucked out of it, but not necessarily in an ugly way. More in a this is what truly matters to me. And this is what doesn’t. This is what I want to put my time, energy, attention, love, passion towards, this doesn’t matter anymore. And I really felt that with Joe’s passing and being able to filter through the bullshit that I was allowing into my life, versus the things that have true meaning.

So in a dark night of the soul, so many things can happen. There’s no one definition, but often, it is like this ‘death’ that leads to rebirth. Death of who you thought you were, who you thought you wanted to be, what you believed in, how you identified as a human. And then rebirth into something different, something new. Maybe a new you, maybe a new way of seeing the world, maybe new spiritual beliefs. So oftentimes, the dark night of the souls come parallel with spiritual awakening, which I know many of you have experienced, maybe are experiencing.

Maybe that’s why you listened to this podcast. And in Eckhart’s example, or his answer to this question, I love that he brings up a Course in Miracles. And there’s a lesson in the Course of Miracles that says, “Nothing I see in this room means anything”. And according to this lesson, you’re supposed to look around the room that you’re in and whatever you happen to be looking at. And you just say, this doesn’t mean anything. This doesn’t mean anything. This doesn’t mean anything. And the purpose is recreating what can happen during a dark night of the soul? Where, and this is Eckhart’s words, “it’s the collapse of a mind-made meaning, conceptual meaning of life, believing that you understand ‘what it’s all about’. It’s a voluntary relinquishment of the human mind-made meaning that is projected. And you go voluntarily into saying, I don’t know what this means. This doesn’t mean anything. And you wipe that board clean.”

So that’s the death that then, leads to rebirth in a dark night of the soul. A crumbling, a deconstructing then starts to lead into something anew, a change, a shift. In what area of your life or what I’ve found is, even if it’s one area that sparks the dark night of the soul, it tends to affect and have a ripple effect on all areas of your life. But what triggers that dark night of the soul can be so different. I think illness can absolutely trigger a dark night of the soul, where you start to ask yourself these big questions. Maybe you do go through a spiritual awakening. Maybe you do start to rebuild who you are, and your identity, or your values, or what really means something to you in your life. So I hope that’s been helpful in explaining what the dark night of the soul is because it can mean so much, but it is more than just reaching a rock bottom. And if anyone has any dark night of the soul stories to share, I’m always a listening ear.

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Discover what happens when an empath ignores their abilities

All right. So let’s move on to the next question. This question is from Macy. Macy, thank you for your question. And she writes what happens when an empath ignores their abilities? Like what side effects might they experience?

Well, I can speak intimately to this because I did this for a large chunk of my life. And I can live to say and tell that it’s very uncomfortable when you completely ignore this, and push it to the side, push it down into a box. If you first, aren’t aware that you aren’t an empath and what that means for you in your life, then there can be lots of confusion. That would certainly be a side effect, major confusion because you don’t realize that you’re picking up the energy, not only of people but the environment, surroundings, animals, objects at anything and everything around you. And so that can be very confusing. The confusion can also spark a ton of anxiety. When you ignore your empathic ability. And therefore, also, do not create energetic protection and boundaries. Then it’s going to likely feel like an assault of energy.

And that assault of energy is way too much for your nervous system to process, digest, integrate all the things. So that can create lots of anxiety and everyone’s anxiety can manifest in different ways. For me, it was feeling like I was gonna blackout. It was a loss of sensation feeling in my extremities, my limbs, especially my hands.

And it really felt like I was being taken over by something outside of myself, which then, made me feel like I was dying, which then sent me into major panic attacks. The more energy I was around, the more anxious I would get, the more panic attacks I would have, until eventually they were once, if not twice or three times a day. That can happen if you ignore what it means to be an empath, but yet, you’re experiencing all this and you’re letting it into your energy field. So you’re letting all that energy in, probably unknowingly and you’re going to feel it. You’re going feel it. So anxiety, panic attacks, immense confusion, which then also leads to a hard time making decisions. How are you going to make a clear, grounded, confident decision if you don’t know how you’re feeling? Or what’s yours and what’s not yours to carry? Or as an empath, maybe you take on the responsibility of others. And therefore you’re always thinking of others before yourself. And you make decisions based on what they need versus what you need. Unaligned decisions and just basic rubble, making decisions in the first place, can definitely be a side effect of this.

We can also talk about it on a physical level, where there can be extreme exhaustion, fatigue, even chronic fatigue syndrome. Where it’s hard to get out of bed in the morning. Especially, some empaths experience, astral travel, or just lots of clear visions and dreams and exchanges of energy during their sleep, in their dreams, whether they remember it or not. And that’s something that you can then wake up and feel exhausted from, that may not be the case. It may just be exhaustion unrelated to the dream state, and instead, just exhaustion, being a human, navigating your way in this crazy world.

And so, that can create lots of exhaustion, fatigue as well. I also noticed for me personally, that emotional inflammation was a huge side effect because I took all these emotions into my being into my heart, into my body. And then, I just let them fester there, so there wasn’t any healthy release. And so those emotions just became more inflamed and more inflamed and more inflamed and more inflamed. And oftentimes empaths tend to be people-pleasers as well. And if you’re not expressing yourself, your own emotions, and you’re also taking on other people’s emotions that builds and builds and builds until you might literally have inflammation in your body and your joints, each manifesting in each person, in a different way.

So those are just a few, just a few. I’m sure I could go on and on about more, but I hope that you guys have gathered and gleaned the point, which is that if you ignore this or push it down or don’t have releasing rituals or tools and are constantly a sponge or feel like you’re being assaulted by energy, that’s going to build up. And one instance, maybe it doesn’t feel like a lot. It doesn’t feel like a priority to try and change in any way. But what I notice is, oftentimes, people are unaware of the building effects of this. Like a block you would play with when you were a kid. One block doesn’t feel too heavy to carry, but if you don’t drop it and let it go. It’s like the backpack in the analogy. You put the block into your backpack. That’s not so hard, but then you never empty the backpack. And so then, more and more and more and more blocks get added to the backpack. And all of a sudden you’re going, Oh my God, why do I feel like this? Holy shit, this backpack is heavy. And that can happen over time in a way that you’re not conscious of how it’s built and built and built. Seems like you would notice? It does seem like you would notice, but that’s not always the case. And I am an example of that. All of a sudden I went, Holy shit, this backpack is heavy.

What if I had a choice? What if I had free will? Oh my gosh, I do. And I can release some of this. I can sort through this. I can commit to my healing journey, my shadow journey, my inner child work. Looking at limiting beliefs, looking at who I feel responsible for, looking at my people, pleaser Type A tendencies. I can empty the backpack. I can empty the backpack. I can let it go.

So, if you are an empath who’s been ignoring your abilities, or just ignoring the sensations of being an empath. There are certainly things you can do to move through this. Absolutely.

The last thing I’m going to add here is just that what I noticed in more of my business coaching clients is, if they ignore the empath abilities, often that’s related to their soul’s calling or life’s purpose or Dharma as well. And so what I see in these clients is recurring themes, recurring situations, recurring relationships, recurring signs that keep coming up and up and up and back to the surface. And Oh, why is this guy just like the last guy I dated? Or why am I keep getting this? I continue to get this draw to start my own business. And I keep getting these signs, the signs, the signs to start my own business, but I ignore them. I ignore them. I date the same kind of person. I stay in my comfort zone and don’t start the business. And so, what I see as a side effect there, is just the lesson trying to present itself in as many ways as possible until you finally get it. And once you get it, it goes away. So notice if you are resonating with any of this. Notice if there are any sort of recurring things in your life that maybe you haven’t just drawn the full lesson from. And once you start to do that, things start to change actually quite quickly.

Ways to unblock your chakras and intuition

All right, let’s go on to the next question. This question is from Kirsten. She says, I want to take my understanding and knowledge of energy healing to a whole new level. I’m a beginner. I want to learn how to become more accessible and how to help others with energy work. I’ve been exploring the ideas of schooling with ayurvedic practices, energy healing, and crystals. I would love to learn your insight on how to achieve these goals.

Absolutely. So many of us, this goes actually right back to what I was talking about. Our soul’s calling. This, yearning to study to immerse ourselves in energy work, energy healing, or whatever that is for you. Maybe it’s nutrition or something. And then, we keep seeing these themes and we keep seeing maybe these opportunities to be able to invest, and to learn, and to dive into this deeper. And I find that if that continues to come up for you, then listen to it. And also, don’t just sign up for the program that you see first or the program that your friend took because while that may end up being amazing. It’s not to say that that can’t be amazing. But my advice to you Kirsten is to try all of these personally.

Before I got trained as a breathwork practitioner, I did a lot of breathwork. Before I became a yoga teacher, I took a lot of yoga classes. Before I hired my Ayurveda doula for pregnancy. I experienced a lot of our ayurvedic medicine. Before I got my Reiki training, I did a lot of Reiki healing sessions with an energy healer. And what that allows you to do is make sure that that’s something that you can speak to you personally. This has made a shift and an impact on your life, and therefore you’re going to bring not just the passion of whatever is in that certification or training to the work you do. but you’re going to have this whole passion behind it that drives, drives you. That continues to fuel your why. Like why, when things get hard? Why when no one signs up for a program? Why when you have to take a test, you keep going? Because you’re so in love with this modality or this tool, or the way that this thing has impacted your life.

So I don’t think there’s like one, you wrote ayurvedic versus energy healing, versus crystals. Those are all beautiful things. I’ve experienced all of them, but there’s not one that’s better than the other. It’s going to be so unique to what you feel most called to do. And if you’re somebody like myself, who truly feels called to more than one modality, because you love to have a bursting full toolbox. That is also why I created Illuminated, my coach training program. Where we go through, now it’s 11 modules. I’ve actually added a breathwork module. So you become a breathwork practitioner, an EFT practitioner. You learn how to read Oracle cards. You learn vibrational medicine, which is crystal healing and beyond. You learn how to heal the nervous system. How to work with people through trauma, to be trauma informed. You learn how to open your intuition and get energetic, intuitive readings. You’ll learn all of it.

So that’s certainly an option. If you are somebody who, who wants to have that full breadth of knowledge. Other people dedicate all of their learning to aryuveda for example. One is not better than the other, but listen to what your heart wants to learn. And also again, what your personal experience has been. Because if you just sign up for a training, because it sounds cool, and you end up not loving it and not having the personal transformation from that modality. Then that passion, that fuel that drives in your heart, maybe begin to fade out. I’ll use breathwork as an example, it has changed my life in so many ways that that drives me to bring breathwork to other people in their life. Even though yoga is something that I do not do as my business, I have experienced so many benefits from yoga that that has what has kept me teaching for 10 years, even when it’s not part of my business.

And it’s just another side job I have, but I absolutely love yoga. And I haven’t been able to give it up for 10 years because I just love it that much. So I want you to just consider what are you going to have the most fuel passion and drive behind? And then, go test out some of these. If it’s a practitioner who you want to get trained from in Ayurveda or in crystal healing. Do a session with them, make sure you resonate with them before that investment, as well. Because half of more than half, probably 80 to 90, maybe even 95% of my students inside of Illuminated, have worked with me in programs, group programs, membership, one-on-one, somehow before they invested in Illuminated. Maybe one to 5% I had never worked with before. Very little, because they experienced this with me. They knew they enjoyed the style of coaching and healing that I teach, and that I use in my business. Therefore and they had their own personal experience, shift, and transformation with it, which then gave them the fuel, the passion, the desire to do the Illuminated training.

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The power of your life experience when choosing healing modalities

Let’s move on to the next one. I think we’ll do one or two more for today’s episode. This next question is from Wendy. She writes, I’d love to learn the best way to go about unblocking my chakras and intuition. I was at a job that I loved. My boss literally drained me. Ever since then I don’t feel like myself and have struggled.

So there are so many ways to approach this. And I’m just going to give you my opinion since you asked. So, when our intuition is blocked, the first thing I do, regardless of what I know about you or how well I know you, is to start with the nervous system. If you don’t feel safe, for whatever reason, conscious or unconscious, then it’s going to become more challenging for you to tune into your energy body and your intuition as a whole. If you live in a survival state, an up-regulated nervous system, or have experienced trauma that affects you, especially on a daily basis, again, conscious or unconscious. And that’s an important component here, because you may not be aware of it yet. This is a good time to reflect and maybe ask yourself some of those questions. And if that is the case, if your body is living in this, I need to protect, protect, protect, keep myself safe, survival mode. Then unblocking your chakras and opening your intuition is not going to feel like, even though consciously, you can declare, I want to do this. Unconsciously or subconsciously that’s not a priority for your body. It’s not.

And so your body’s going to focus on digesting, sleeping, making sure you eat and drink every day. Your basic human needs, before it feels accessible to go into the energy body or to open the intuition and receive messages from your intuition, from the superconscious. And I think it’s interesting, Wendy wrote that she was at a job, that she loved, but her boss drained her. And so, that could also be related to being an empath, and not having the energetic protection that can come in many forms. And what I found is that there are so many different ways to protect your energy. Some work really well for people. And then, I share the same method with another client, and they’re like, that didn’t work for me. That doesn’t mean that that method is broken or dumb or doesn’t work. It just means that for each person, different methods of protection are going to work differently.

So trying out, for Wendy, trying out different methods of protection, it sounds like you’re not at this job anymore, but this is just in your life in general. Or maybe for a future job, or maybe you’re in a new job now, but using methods of protection and trying out which one works best. Especially if it is a job you love, but it’s just this one person who was like, Ugh, bad, toxic energy, draining energy. I would hate for you to sacrifice a career that you love because of this one person. So being able to implement methods of protection, especially as an empath who has spongy, sticky, absorbing energy, it’s going to be really helpful.

And oftentimes this is something that you want to focus on your lower chakras first. So root chakra, rest safety, survival, basic needs, financial security. And then start to work your way up towards third eye, which is intuition.

But if you don’t have that root chakra stability, then again, the intuition, your body’s not going to prioritize that. And if you feel like, you mentioned, I don’t feel like myself and I’ve struggled. That could also be, and this is just a hypothesis, but that could also be a result of being so spongy as an empath and not realizing it. That’s the thing, so many empaths don’t realize how spongy they are. Meaning they take on the energy of their surroundings and people. And then it’s like I mentioned in the previous question, that backpack where you block, block, block. So it’s every day, you go into work and you put three more blocks in from your boss’s life and whatever’s going on in his or her life. And maybe, you add a block of your own and three blocks of theirs. And by the end of the week, you’re feeling it, energetically or physically. Probably physically through the exhaustion like you mentioned. So being able to discern what is yours, what is not yours could help bring you back home to yourself. Can help bring you back home to your being, your truth, your needs, your desires, your passions, your likes, your dislikes, so that you can feel more like yourself. What may make that cloudy right now is everyone else’s stuff that’s still in the backpack.

So if I had to summarize that, I would say, focus first on, down-regulating your nervous system, getting safe in your body, maybe addressing any inner child wounds, or trauma, or shadow work so that you can work your way up to that intuition and the different chakra centers. And then, allowing yourself to get quiet enough that you can begin to discern what is yours? What is not yours? This could be journaling, this could be meditation, this could be literally just closing your eyes and getting quiet with yourself. If it feels really confusing and you don’t know, this is when it’s time to reach out to a coach practitioner, or healer to support you through the process. It will exponentially speed up this process. And let me know how it goes, because I’m super curious, what’s resonating with within this answer. And also, since this question is not from this week, just how you’re feeling now, what has shifted for you, and if there’s any way, other ways that we can support you.

All right, that’s what we’re going to wrap up for today. Thank you to everyone who submitted your questions. We’re also going to continue next week with even more questions from the Uncensored Empath community.

And if you aren’t already in our Facebook group, go onto Facebook, simply search The Unsensored Empath community, it’ll show up. You can join for free and you can submit your question that may be read and answered on the show in the future. And if you are loving the show, I would so appreciate if you can simply go over to rate this podcast.com/empath. It’ll give you really simple instructions on how to leave a five-star review. And again, as a small business. I so, so appreciate your love and your support. And we’ll see you next week.

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November 5, 2020

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