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Hey y’all. It’s been a while since last we spoke. There’s a lot that has happened in my life. Some good. Some decidedly not so good. Such is life, eh? I struggled for a long time about whether I wanted to share any of this publicly. I started and stopped writing multiple blogs along the way. I just couldn’t bring myself to lay everything out in the open about what has been happening in the last eight months. The first time I wrote out that it had been eight months since I let anyone in on things, I shuddered. I’m not an open book by any means, but I’m also typically not that closed off.

I realized that not only was I cutting myself off from potential hurt from others not understanding, but I was also denying myself potential support. Additionally, I had to deal with some internalized stigma around being an energy worker and not being able to control what has been happening.

So no more vague nonsense. Since late November of last year, I have been in steadily increasing amounts of pain. During the holidays, it got to a degree that I could no longer ignore. I stopped working out, riding my bike, and spending time outside because of the amount of pain I was almost constantly in. I now suspect that I know what the culprit of all this pain is, but I have no official diagnosis yet. I just had an appointment with a rheumatologist who will hopefully identify what on earth is wrong.

What does that mean? Well, my joints and the muscles around them hurt like someone is regularly stabbing me with something dull just trying to bore directly into my joint sockets. When this pain lasts for too long, the muscles around those joints harden like rocks and hurt like bruises when touched. Super fun, right? This is not limited to my lower body. I also experience this discomfort in my shoulders, back, and neck. It isn’t as noticeable in these areas because I can just not pick up heavy things, or bend awkwardly, or turn my head too fast. Except when I forget that I shouldn’t do these things and wind up wanting to screech because I did the thing I ought not to have done.

It took months for me to allow myself to entertain the idea that this wasn’t temporary discomfort that would resolve itself. During that time, I berated myself for not being able to energetically move the perception of the pain out of my body and I denied myself mobility aids to help me move more easily. I was miserable pretty much all the time. I tried to hide from anyone, other than my wife, how uncomfortable I was moving around in public.

I first got a foldable walking stick. My vanity prevented me from getting a cane right away. I just couldn’t bear the thought that I needed an actual cane to move around, so I tried a walking stick. It helped, but not fully. I couldn’t disperse enough weight to fully move around without winding up just as tired as if I hadn’t been using it at all. About a month later, I finally broke down and got a foldable cane. (Again, I keep trying to hide my need for mobility assistance. Yikes.) The cane better dispersed my weight so that I could move with more ease. I found, however, that my gait was starting to get a little bit funky from constantly leaning to one side or the other. Switching the cane from one hand to another every time one leg or shoulder started to hurt more was tedious and tiresome. Fast forward one more time to last week and, after much research, I finally got some inexpensive forearm crutches. Yes, they are still foldable (listen, I have to at least feel like I could hide them if I wanted to) but they are also PINK. I need, what is called, an ambulatory mobility aid. That just means that I don’t need it all the time, but I do in certain situations and on bad days.

I glossed over my internalized judgment about energy work. There are those energy workers who claim that it is the be all end all of cures. They believe, and proudly proclaim, that energy healing is all you need to be whole. That’s not at all how I feel and honestly, it took me developing a disability to fully own and embody that fact. Energy work is not a replacement for your doctors, for your therapist, for your interpersonal relationships. It’s a supplement. It’s a support. In recent days, I’ve become very well acquainted with braces for different parts of my body. Energy work is more like a brace than THE CURE. The point of the brace is to support a part of you that isn’t functioning in the way that you need it to, or it’s hurting and needs a little something extra for you to accomplish your goals.

Braces are meant to be used in addition to medications your doctor prescribes, workouts that you might get assigned by a physical therapist to strengthen the muscles so that you can stop wearing the brace as much. It is meant to be a tool that you can use when you are in need and the other things that normally help aren’t working. They aren’t meant, aside from extreme cases where that is the prescribed most beneficial intervention, to be the forever answer to all your problems.

Energy work is similar. Sometimes we need an extra hand to put ourselves back into energetic balance. Sometimes we need to learn new tools to help us navigate our lives and balance our energy ourselves. Sometimes, we need to look at what past life lessons might be shaping the way we interact with the world right now.

Like any good therapist, or doctor, the goal of an energy worker/psychic/intuitive healer should be to provide support and education so that you can live your best life in service of your Highest Good. It’s my goal, at the end of the day, to work myself out of a job.

Stay tuned for next month’s post: What is Energy Work and How Does It Benefit Me?

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Last week’s title was taken from a text message that was sent to me. The intention behind the comment was to cause me harm. Someone did not like that I had set up a boundary with another person and said that to cut me at my core. I chose, last week, to reclaim my power by using that sentiment in a new way.

I wasn’t going to talk about that situation. I was just going to let it stand as an internal knowledge, but then I realized that there is a lesson we can all learn in reclaiming those things about ourselves that others use to cause us harm. For a long time, I thought it was mostly just a me thing that I focused more on the negative things that have been said to me than the positive. I can hear ten positive things, but inevitably, I will only remember that one thing that I consider to be negative. We all do it to some degree apparently. I’m actually not that special. MAJOR SHOCK!

That said, one of the first things we learn as intuitives is to call back our energy every day. We envision a giant gold sun over the top of our heads and allow that beautiful sunshine to draw all of our energy back to ourselves from everywhere it’s gone. From conversations we’ve had with people, from time we’ve spent reminiscing about the past, from dreams we’ve had, from work and social media, and everything that we pour our energy into. We let that sun get large with our energy and we just crack it open like a giant egg and let ourselves pour back into us. We breathe in our essence. That which makes us, us.

It was one of the first meditations I learned when starting the process of learning about intuitive healing. We don’t realize how much of ourselves that we give away over the course of one day. Just in our normal lives our energy scatters all over the place as we accomplish tasks, work on assignments for our jobs, and complete household tasks. We pour pieces of ourselves into each activity. We even give ourselves out to compliments we receive from others. Our appreciation, our embarrassment, and our egos live a little bit in those comments.

The same, and perhaps more so, is true of insults, slights, and injuries we experience. How much time do you spend thinking about that thing that someone said that hurt your feelings? You are giving yourself away to that comment. All the energy you put into stewing on that statement. All the energy you spend nursing hurt feelings, holding grudges (and I am the queen of that one), and lashing out at the people that hurt us. We are giving them pieces of ourselves. Pieces that we could instead be nourishing. We could be nurturing those parts of ourselves that ache and pinch when we are insulted. We could be teaching ourselves to replenish. We could learn that insults are often (barring examples of when we have actively hurt someone and they are expressing that to us) another person’s issues manifesting at us. That the hurt they cause is more about them than it is us.

But we don’t. Instinctively, we latch on to the hurt. We rage internally, or externally, we cry, we yell, we turn it over and over in our minds. We do everything that keeps us pouring our energy into the hurt. If I had a nickel for every hour I spent focused on something someone said or did that hurt my feelings, I’d easily have thousands of dollars. I’m an expert at wasting energy on those kinds of things.

When I became more aware of what all I’m giving my energy to, I became more aware of my propensity to hyperfocus on the bad. Either by beating myself up, or mentally bashing the other person, or venting to anyone who would listen, I gave away pieces of myself that I never even thought I was giving away.

Now the beauty of calling back your energy is that you can bring all those pieces of yourself back home. With intention, you can just say that you want all that back. And tada, like magic, you’re replenished. But what if, instead of having to call ourselves back to ourselves from these things, we didn’t waste our energy in the first place. That’s not to say don’t hold people accountable for being hurtful sometimes. That act can absolutely be self-affirming and healing. But we all know that we have those moments where it’s futile. We’d be better served screaming at a wall for all the good it would do us to hold some people accountable.

So, what if, instead of fixating on the hurt, we spent some time giving to ourselves instead. I was called pathetic in the initial example. I gave so much of myself away in that hurt. I didn’t once stop to take a moment to nurture myself. I kept looking for someone else to do it for me. God bless my wife, she was supportive and kind and loving through this particular incident (as she often is), but I never extended that same kindness to myself. I never once thought to say, “Nikki, you absolutely did not deserve that and I’m sorry that was used to hurt you.”

It was an opportunity to parent myself and I missed it, in my desire to receive it from someone else. So, I kept giving my energy away to people looking for something specific that only I could really give to myself. Every person failed to give me what I was looking for. In the example of my wife, she came the closest to giving me what I needed, but it still wasn’t quite right. BECAUSE she, like me, didn’t know what I actually needed in that moment. I heard her say the right words. “Are you okay? It’s not right to talk to someone like that.”

I never asked it of myself. My wife and I have this beautiful agreement. When we are hurt with one another and arguing, at near the end of the argument, we will ask one another “What do you need from me in order for us to move forward?”

It’s so healthy it’s gross, right? I know. But I never ever think to ask myself that when I’m in these hurt spaces. I never say, “Nikki, what do you need in this moment to be okay? To put this behind you?”

Well, I need an apology. That’s not going to happen. Well, I need someone to tell me that wasn’t okay to say the things that were said to me. Well, I got that from my wife and it wasn’t enough. Well…I don’t know. And I didn’t know for a long time in this specific case. In fairness, I didn’t know what I needed in this case, until I used it as the title of last week’s blog. I needed to take back my power from the words that were thrown my way. I needed to literally sit down, and call my energy back from that hurt place. I needed to shift hurt into something productive and hopefully helpful to someone else.

I needed to find a new way to bandage that wound. And yeah, at the end of the day, have more hurtful things been said to me than that? By miles and even worse things were said in that text message. But that was the sentiment that I latched onto. That was the sentiment that I gave all of my energy away to, and that was the statement that I needed to bring myself back from.

So, I leave you with this. Make it a practice to start calling your energy back at the end of the day. Give yourself permission to be refilled from all the busyness every day demands. And in those moments where something hurts you, ask yourself, “What do I need in this moment?” And be honest with yourself. You may not get what you need from someone else, but you can give yourself that space to say, “I will not give my power away to this. I will be kind to myself where they were not.” Practice some reclamation of your own self.

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I’m an empath. I experience other people’s emotions as if they were my own. For the majority of my life, it has been difficult to differentiate between which emotions were mine and which belonged to someone else. In my adult life, I have processed the energy of others largely as anxiety. It’s a jittering in my solar plexus that sits just above my stomach. It feels like that moment when you think you’re going to fall. That catching of the breath and quickened heartbeat.

Anxiety that I experience as myself, is not the same. It took well into my thirties before I was able to tell the difference. My own anxiety is a pinch of adrenaline high in my chest and a settled fear that sits squarely in my sacral chakra. It feels like dread, impending doom. Like the quiet in a horror movie and the sudden crash of something into a garbage can simultaneously. That thing that makes you sit bolt upright in your bed when you mistake a pile of clothing for a monster come to get you. That’s my anxiety.

When California’s “Safer at Home” guidelines took effect, what was once a nuisance became debilitating. I’ve been a happy housewife for the last several years. Home was my safe haven. When people went to work, my body would relax. I could breathe freely as myself, safe from most of the influence of other’s emotions.

I’ll never forget that first week of “Safer at Home.” I was, in fact, not safer at home. I was bombarded by everyone’s fear, anger, frustration, annoyance, and quite frankly burgeoning hate. It sat in my stomach like a clenched fist. I had to contact my doctor. I needed something to ease the panic. I started taking Celexa for anxiety and depression (the latter is a story for a later date) and Klonopin as I needed it to stop major panic attacks that were happening with more frequency.

I felt pathetic. I was overwhelmed in a way that I had not been in years. I broke down with my therapist. I told her that I couldn’t continue like this. I was at a breaking point of some kind, and I didn’t know what would be left of me on the other side if I finally cracked. She suggested that I get in touch with a friend of hers who was also a therapist and an intuitive healer. Much to my therapist’s chagrin, I often don’t follow up on her recommendations. I did here though.

I scheduled an energy check. I knew that my energy was well out of sorts. I debated on warning the woman that an hour would likely not be enough. I wanted to give her the heads up that someone SUPER messed up was on the way and that she needed to prepare. I refrained. The appointment was lovely. I was reminded of some things I already knew but had forgotten. I felt recentered. I felt grounded. I hadn’t realized that I was an untethered balloon about to get wrapped in the power lines.

Prior to this reading, I had never had one before. I was raised in an evangelical cult (more on that later) and brainwashed to believe that energy workers/intuitives/psychics were evil. As such, no matter what my own intuition told me was true, I never sought training or readings as a means of healing. Until life forced my hand. After the reading, I knew that I needed more. I asked and was given the names of several people who could teach me. I spent months “vetting” these potential teachers. I researched, meditated, and sat with the energy they put into their social medias.

In January 2021 I began this journey of self-discovery, reflection, and business. It’s not even been a year yet. It feels like I’ve been on this journey my whole life. In many ways, I have. If you would’ve asked me a year ago if I saw myself on this path, I would’ve answered with a definitive NO and a secret hope that but maybe. Owning your whole self is freeing in a way that I never expected. And the beauty of this journey is that it’s never complete. We get to continually get to know new parts of ourselves.

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