As I sat in careers lessons at school all those years ago, I would never for one moment have imagined that decades later I would have selected the words ‘professional sensitive’, amongst others, to try to describe, just a little, what I did for a peculiar living. Two words to summarise how I have learned to use my body as a kind of barometer to feel into people’s emotional and mental states, so as to help them identify and unpick the beliefs that are keeping them stuck. The word ‘empath’ comes close, but it falls slightly short. I’m an observer who has trained herself to pay close attention to the sensations she feels and who then tries to find some sort of language with which to accurately describe them. I spent my estate agency years translating from French to English to help people buy their homes in rural France, yet somehow, I’ve inadvertently become a translator of vibration, the language of the psyche. This is not a unique skill. It's something we are all expert in and are doing constantly, but most of don't pause to notice.
I have been mesmerised by the way that the vital force (qi/ki/prana/aether/quintessence/insert your own terminology) moves, how its motion is simultaneously influenced by and influences our mental and emotional state, and how this, in turn, impacts our physical body and our collective energetic environment ever since I first became aware of my ability to sense it. I know there is much that is destined to remain beyond the reaches of our cognitive knowing, but that has never stopped my curiosity about why one energy felt hot and excited beneath my hands with a fast vibration and an upward, outward movement, while another felt cool, heavy, dense, contracted, closed off and lifeless. What were the unseen processes that made the atmosphere around one person feel unstable, chaotic and electric, whilst the ambiance around another might only be felt very discretely, but could instead be observed as a diffused state away from the body, much like the heat the comes off the road on a hot day; a change in the texture of the vibrational environment?
The Art of Compassion by Alex Grey
Over the past years, I’ve succumbed to this insatiable curiosity and immersed myself in all manner of ancient and modern studies in order to acquire some sort of frame of reference by which to better understand these processes, combined with ruthless self-awareness, relentless self-examination, and close scrutiny of trends in the wider community.
One of my favourite early morning pastimes, strange creature that I am, is to lie in bed asking myself “What do I feel right now?” or “How am I feeling?” With practice, I was surprised to learn that I was able to distinguish between the sensation of an incoming solar flare from that created by the brewing of a great earthquake or volcano. I was even more surprised to find that such electromagnetic fluctuations could be accurately cross-referenced with verifiable data from NASA’s space weather website or geophysical sources. As I paid closer attention, I realised that there were times when Mars was in a certain geometric relationship to the earth’s horizon that I felt stimulated, the energy I sensed coursing through my body was active and demanded to move, and if that process was restricted in some way I felt irritable, angry even. Saturn’s presence often felt weighty, responsible, depressing even, whereas another planet in close proximity to the earth’s horizon might bring some wise nugget of insight. Some of these sensations are distinctly disharmonious and chaotic and have the ability to leave me feeling oddly out of kilter, without a real sense of why.
How does this work in practice? I might wake to a very specific, fine, sensation vibrating within what feels like the molecules of my body, or a sense of energy moving. Typically, my mind will then grapple to make sense of the sensations I feel. Often it will then start offering some sort of context via images, colours, words and symbols that have meaning to me. Minds love to seek meaning and have a wonderful knack of interpreting vibrational data in ways which are as varied and diverse as we are. This could be a word, a sentence, an astrological symbol, a colour, a feeling, a mathematical formula, a musical interpretation or a different language. The possibilities are endless.
As the mind scrabbles to make sense of the initial sensations, random words may quickly start structuring themselves into short sentences, beliefs, judgments, and emotions. Sometimes thoughts seem to emerge from the vibrations. A particular vibration may stimulate memories of a past experience, to which we have inadvertently cultivated and anchored a belief, as well as a corresponding emotion associated with it (disappointment for example). The movement of thought invariably produces some sort of e-motion (energy in motion), even if it is not necessarily highly charged. If we are attentive we can respond consciously, and begin to ask ourselves questions such as 'Where does this belief come from?’ and enables us to challenge the truth of our beliefs. If we are not attentive those subtle sensations hold the potential to influence our feeling state behaviour throughout the day.
I stumble across unconsciously held beliefs, judgments and emotions in my client work over and over again. Often, they are anchored in some past sense of inadequacy, of not being ‘enough’ in some way. They may stem from trauma, fear of failure, or from a sense of disconnection. Many times, they are not even beliefs that have been formed from personal experience but have been learned from family during our formative years. They have a 'feel' to them.
Collective energies, those of a mass of humans thinking and behaving in a like manner, humanity’s collective consciousness, can move energy and trigger us in a similar way. Because collective energies are amplified, they often inspire a more powerful response. More often than not we react to them instinctively, instead of sitting with them for a while before choosing a more constructive and nurturing response.
Sometimes, these energetic sensations are heightened in the hours preceding a significant event. Numerous sensitives attest to their precognitive quality. For example, in the hours immediately preceding the Charlie Hebdo attack a few years ago, whilst I was doing nothing more strenuous than lying in the bath, my heart began pounding as if was out jogging. Or the time when I felt a peculiar, non-physical but nevertheless crushing sensation in my heart centre and a great deal of discomfort when breathing that later prompted me to go to the doctor for a check-up. Within hours thousands of people had poured onto the streets in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, chanting ‘I can’t breathe’.
What has all this oddness taught me? It has clearly demonstrated to me that there are cosmic and collective influences at play; energetic, push-pull dynamics between the celestial bodies and the earth, provoking sensations within and around us, in our inner and outer atmospheres, that we describe as feelings, as thoughts and emotions. Grasping for a language to describe them we tell ourselves, without reflection, ‘I am feeling angry’ or ‘I’m fed up’. The mind then makes up stories through which it tries to make sense of the sensations and the patterns of sound and light it is interpreting. We each react to such vibratory stimuli in unique ways, dependent upon our particular elemental constitution, our environment (season, climate, atmosphere, geological constitution, altitude, the people around us etc) and our individual life experiences which have provided the filters through which we view life.
We don’t have to react to these sensations. As we become more aware, we realise we are able to just witness them and allow them to pass through us like cosmic weather, sometimes quickly, sometimes more slowly, without necessarily needing to engage with them. We can let them inform us, we can work with them to gain insight, we can use them to move us to something more comfortable and agreeable, and we can always choose more measured responses. Most people don’t even notice, they just get triggered. Nor do I much of the time. I’m still learning to pay attention and lighten up on myself when I forget and get all reactionary too. Most of us were never taught this.
Do we have total control over all of these processes? No, evolutionary dynamics are far more powerful than we are. There are certain energetic corridors along which we will inevitably be required to walk. The manner in which we walk them, however, is entirely of our choosing and the level of our individual and collective consciousness will determine how these energies manifest.
Some self or collective-generated processes have simply gained too much momentum and it’s often better to accept them and let them run their course. But to some extent, I suspect that large groups of humans in mental and emotional coherence have considerable influence and may impact upon the energetic environment in ways that in turn have the potential to provoke atmospheric, chemical and physical changes. Do I believe our collective energies have the potential to stabilise or destabilise the electromagnetic activity upon the earth or the weather? Yes, probably. Make of that what you will.
Why is all this important? During periods in which energies are at their extremes, intense, erratic, and it is all too easy to react, rather than to consciously respond to cosmic and collective triggers. Historically, certain planetary combinations have triggered great revolutionary movements and brought in sweeping changes. Such periods of crisis and chaotic breakdown are often marked by a clearing away – of structures, governments and systems that have become unworkable. They are often accompanied by great battles, trauma, loss of life, disease, geophysical events, or such destitution that those impacted have no option but to evolve.
This is a gentle reminder that transformation doesn’t have to involve the guillotine, disaster or a third world war. It can come about in softer, less radical ways. Through technological advances, by thinking outside of the boxes we’ve created for ourselves. Through a deepening of compassion and by cultivating an increasing awareness of our interconnectedness. We’ve forgotten how to feel, how to truly listen and how to break the patterns of behavioural dynamics. We do everything possible to distract ourselves from uncomfortable sensations, or to numb their effect. Collectively we can make a difference, but that only becomes possible by each individual beginning to cultivate self-awareness.
It’s time to allow ourselves to feel again. Feel more and judge less.