the relationships we keep with us affect our live in powerful ways
as you look at how you’ve orchestrated your magical life, it may feel nourishing to explore where you’re putting your precious time and lifeforce in relationships. after all, the friends, colleagues, family, and beloveds you walk with this year are going to affect you and the flow of your life (or lack of it) quite a bit.
below, the first of a two-part article to help you bring more harmony into your life via ‘pruning’ or ‘nourishing’ relationships in your world. in part two, a bit about why relationships might have showed up in the first place (especially the ‘tricky’ ones), and how you can work with spirit to tend what needs healing in them.
for now, part one. let’s noodle on ‘pruning’ and ‘nourishing.’
part of being a sensitive, empathic, magical being is that EVERYTHING affects us more than the average bear. that slightly rude or thoughtless thing someone said can stay with us for months (or years)… just like that uplifting moment seeing a stranger helping an elder can heal our flagging faith in humans and help us keep going.
in the same way, the people we choose to keep in the ecosystems of our lives affect us a lot.
I notice that most of my clients would rather do just about anything than hurt someone’s feelings, much less end a toxic relationship…even if it leaves the sensitive or empathic person exhausted, irritable, and upset.
with gentle tending, we can learn to adjust draining relationships into healthier interactions, without getting rid of people who feel important in our lives entirely. even so, because we feel everything so very deeply, we imagine everyone else does too. sensitives can often put up with a lot of nonsense to avoid causing hurt.
I see this show up a lot for my clients when it comes to who they spend time with.
is there someone in your life (or several) who feel draining or exhausting to you?
some things we can’t avoid – the coworker who has turned complaint into a high art form, or the nosy family member who has an unwanted opinion on everything…more in a future article about how sensitives can learn to turn these poisons into medicine.
for now, let’s look at relationships we can more easily do something about – folks in our inner friend circle or who we engage with regularly. just like a skillful gardener, we can prune away what needs to go, or carefully nourish and tend what we want to flourish and bloom in our lives.
‘the elevator exercise’
an exercise I like to lead my magical and sensitive clients through is ‘hours in an elevator.’ it’s simple, and eye opening. this easy condensed version could take you 2-3 minutes, and some folks like to spend more time with it.
magical life mini exercise: hours in an elevator
STEP ONE: choose and write down the name of one person in your life you love being around, and a second person who’s in your life but feels complicated to be around (partner, friends, family, community, other parents, colleagues, etc)
the key is not overthinking this – let your magnificent instincts and intuition speak up and be unfiltered. no one sees this but you.
STEP TWO: for each of your two people, imagine spending 8 hours stuck in an elevator together. how would you feel at the end of those 8 hours?
next to each name, write how you’d feel on emerging from the elevator. miserable? furious? dissociated? happy? uplifted? inspired? nourished?
STEP THREE: look at the person you chose who doesn’t make you feel so super, after all those hours in an imaginal box together, and write a small action you can take to start pruning toxic energy out of your life (shorter visits, longer breaks between calls, sharing that you need alone time, etc)
STEP FOUR: now look at the other person you chose, who makes you feel wonderful in your imagined elevator, and write a small action you can take to nourish that relationship (call them with an appreciation out of the blue, mail a card, ask them out for lunch, etc)
STEP FIVE: put your one small ‘pruning’ adjustment and one small ‘nourishing’ action into your calendar. voila!
doing a little bit of pruning often feels initially safer for sensitives than chopping down a whole tree in a garden. it’s a gentle experiment – how do you feel when you gently ‘prune’ and safeguard your energies? when you nourish what feels warm and wonderful?
‘one size fits no one’
each of us is different, and this isn’t meant to be a ‘one size fits all’ article, but instead invite attention to unconscious energy leaks that spring up in an effort to be kind to everyone – which is a trait most sensitives share.
if you notice most people in your life are draining and you struggle with feeling exhausted all the time, you’ve got some information. if you notice most people in your world leave you elated and this chapter of your life is going smoothly, you’ve got some information. hmmmm!
simply, who we spend our precious time with informs the flow of our lives…especially for sensitive and empathic people.
in one of our sessions, a client I’ll call ‘sarah’ wanted to work on feeling tired and angry. we did an expanded version of this exercise, and she discovered that she had a friend she saw once a month, adored, and felt great around, and another old friend she saw almost daily who dumped all over her and felt exhausting (ergo the tired and angry).
‘sarah’ noticed anxiety about letting her old friend down, and also yearned to have more time to spend with people who left her feeling uplifted.
instead of lopping off the branch (and history) of the old friend, she ‘pruned’ and communicated that she’d be visiting once a month instead of daily to maintain the friendship. this cleared up more time for the adored friend, who she ‘nourished’ by asking for a twice monthly walk. later, there will be evolution in both friendships (and ‘sarah’ is working on what’s keeping her from speaking vulnerably with the old friend)…for now, this was a gentle way for ‘sarah’ to explore the real impact of these relationships.
a next step, if you’re feeling curious and want to dig deeper, is to connect with your concept of the divine and ask for guidance and help. that’s part two of this article (we’ll go one gentle step at a time, here).
a big part of living a magical life, where you feel into your own magic and what makes your heart sing, is inviting more of what you love into your world, and getting clear on what doesn’t nourish you.
the larger flow here is more than ‘pruning and tending’ – this small practice is a doorway into supporting your heart, connecting with your divine heart-spark within, and living in a way that authentically feels right for you.
beautiful sensitive one, is there a relationship you’re ready to gently prune so you can feel happy and at peace? is there a relationship you’ve been gifted with that you wish to nourish and celebrate?
small, gentle steps informed by curiosity hold a lot of power here.
have fun with this one, and please be gentle with you no matter how sensitive you are, as you prune and nourish. these are powerful, small steps in the larger adventure of living your one wild and precious life…and a new chapter of it can start today.
ps: in part 2, we’ll explore how you might work with your concept of the divine to learn how to bring understanding and healing to your ‘prunable’ relationships, and why they’re with you in the first place.
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