Honoring Your Heart As An Empath

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(Picture of me. Can you tell I was a deep child full of angsty thoughts?)

It’s one of those nights I can hardly sleep again. Many thoughts and things, my mind is a dizzy array of processing labyrinth. I can’t let go, I try, I pray, I do affirmations but I realize I probably just need to write it out and perhaps that is the gift of being a writer, thinking too deeply, feeling too deeply. And as a writer, as an artist I’m gifted to be one of those empaths I read about. 

Highly sensitive. 

Which confirms my life and previous accusations of “why are you so tired all the time?”, “why can’t you handle this?”, “why are you so weak and sensitive?”, “why can’t you just move on?”, “you are too sensitive”, “why do you need so much alone time” or the anger I get from people when I tell them I need alone time.

I can’t process, I literally break down, I need alone time. 

Try being an empath and growing up with people complaining to you, dumping their problems on you (especially your caretaker/parent). I find my physical being absorbing the heaviness of peoples’ problems, my own included. I am sore, weak, days where I feel like I can’t move but I still do, I walk, I dance, I need to express those emotions. 

Other times I pray out loud, I have to verbalize those emotions. 

But then I also know that after my alone time, I need people, I need to socialize, I need to express what I have been processing. I believe there are many people in this world that suffer in the silence as an empath, me included. We often try to overlook our need for space and time to process, thinking…”why can’t we just be like them? You know, the normal people who seem happy all the time”. 

While people seem to move on happily from disappointments or traumatic events, I find myself spiraling in thoughts of “why me” or “when will this healing end?”. I had to learn to set boundaries from energy vampires. When I was coaching people one on one I realize that it really wasn’t my thing since I am unable to listen to peoples’ problems without carrying their energy. I much prefer group settings where I speak my story and encouragement without having to counsel people one on one.

I also had to learn how to set boundaries with people in my life. And even block people out. Though after I felt a bit of guilt, I realize that I had to put my heart first. It is an ongoing learning process for me. I am imperfect. But I am learning to have grace for myself.

I am glad that I have been rescued from the lie that “I should be__________”.

You don’t have to be anything. You don’t have to pretend to be like everyone else.

You don’t have to get over it- you take your time, you process your thoughts, you need alone time, you take it, you need to be with people, you do that.

Part of honoring your heart is learning to cherish what you need and to care for your soul in ways that others may not understand, and that’s okay. You might even anger or disappoint people. People may lash out at you or take it personally…just explain yourself. Communicate your needs…or not. Some people will not understand because they are only focused on their own needs, and sometimes that means letting them go. And that’s okay too.

XOXO https://www.instagram.com/rebekkalien/

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You Deserve Happiness

you-deserve-happinessWe are all a little fucked up.

We have issues.

Even the most put together people have issues, they just don’t parade them around Instagram.

Recently I received this revelation that I was basically believing that I didn’t deserve happiness because of my past, because of bad decisions in the past, in my relationship.

So no I don’t believe in karma, I believe in forgiveness. If I believed in karma, then I really don’t deserve happiness and actually all of us are doomed. I believe in grace and forgiveness.

But see I didn’t dig that deep before, it was too painful.

I realized that my unforgiveness of self had caused me to close myself up to all potential suitors. It’s not because there aren’t suitable mates (and obviously there are plenty of unsuitable ones online), it’s because I didn’t think I deserved to be happy.

Do you need to forgive yourself for somethings in your life? 

Sometimes we do things out of our brokenness but we don’t realize we are basing our truth on a lie.

“Why won’t this part of my life WORK ALREADY!” you try to work everything out externally but it just won’t give….maybe it’s finance, maybe it’s your relationship with your parents, maybe it’s your relationship, maybe it’s your health, maybe it’s your career, you’ve exhausted all your options, you’ve tried everything….

I dare you to look within. 

Look back to your earliest or most recent memory of when you heard a lie, even if it was self-made “I’m not enough, I’m not good enough, I don’t deserve this”…..

Did someone tell you you’re not enough by disappearing, by neglecting you?

The answer isn’t outside of you, it’s inside.

It’s within your soul.

You deserve happiness. 

PS- we make decisions based on the condition of our hearts so often our decisions are fear driven because we are looking for stability. That is why it is so important to forgive ourselves and love ourselves because our actions are simply a reflection of the condition of our hearts at that moment.

 

 

A New Day: My Story of Broken to Healed

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Less than 3 years ago I was sitting in a hostel in Barcelona in a bunkbed.

I had a dream that I was to quit real estate, like not actively participate in it anymore. I had just carried a duffel across western Europe and little did I know how much that experience would change my life. It was also on that bed that I first saw Toure Roberts speak via youtube. Up until then my relationship with God was outside of institutions because well I had let go of a really closed minded institution. I grew up going to church and I didn’t realize how legalistic most churches were until I finally left 6 plus years ago.

And I saw God like I never saw Him before. Gracious, fatherly, loving, generous, slow to anger, quick to love, quick to extend a hand. 

Then like a snake, I shed everything. I shed my career, I shed my relationship, I shed some friendships, I shed my apartment, I shed my prized super comfy sofa that I really loved, I shed almost everything, the forks and plates.

I had built my life on a lie, that I wasn’t enough. 

And God would speak into those insecurities and continue to speak “you are enough right here and right now” in the next days, next year, and so forth.

I learned to love myself in the darkest places of my heart. I learned to be okay with emotions, you know the ugly ones…emotions like “Hey you hurt me” or “hey that hurt, I mind that you said that”. I learned to VALUE my voice. 

Because even now when I tell people what I’m going through they quickly remark “you are victorious” instead of being there with me in the pain. I have learned that not many people are comfortable with facing their place of pain. Reading “No More Faking Fine” has taught me to lament, to struggle with God in the pain, to be okay not being okay.  

And obviously we all hate it when people complain too much or dwell on their pain 24 hours, we hate it…yah, that’s another issue, but some of us, like me, never learned to lament.

In the months and year of feeling like “nothing was happening” God was actually healing me and replacing the lie of “I’m not enough” to “I belong, I am enough. I am loved and accepted right here and right now”. 

And in doing so, I no longer needed the attention of people…of men, or the desire to need to be wanted or chased by potential partners. I no longer needed acceptance from people. And yah, I still have insecurities here and there but I feel different, I feel at peace with who I am now. 

No longer chasing things, opportunities, friends, potential friends, potential mates…I sunk deeper into God’s unconditional love for me. 

I would no longer be defined by my accomplishments and accolades but by the tiny and still voice of “enough” and “love”.

I found God’s love to be deeply captivating, deeply protective, silently powerful. 

The breakthrough is here. The breakthrough is you. The breakthrough is YOU knowing who you really truly are.

Kismet & The Power of Growing In Grace

Today was a magical day.

I feel like a new person.
True, after years of lament and grieving over the past, after feeling numb, I went through 12 seasons of healing…or more.
Sometimes I just felt like shit for no reason. Sometimes I woke up heavy, asking what was the purpose of it all.
All of this came from broken places within me. Grief of losing a best friend, grief of a broken heart from a long term relationship, I had to let everything fall to pieces and rest in the finished work. I was pushing really hard in my career but it seemed nothing was working and God was telling me to back down. 
I had to believe God in the process. 
And even though many a times there was not a smile on my face, there was not a feeling or desire to dance, socialize or make friends…how could I when everything I had known was too good. Could I have that again? Being known without words? To be appreciated that way?
The healing process is slow and tedious, it is like having the last inch of hope, crawling, lying down.
I think when God told me to sell everything and follow Him, it was a literal and spiritual sense of letting go of what I thought I wanted.
Even though we think we have big dreams, our idea of what our life should look like often is not holistic. 
For example, we want a husband, a house, a good career yet we have broken relationships with our parents. In fact, some of us hope to build a life when we haven’t talked to our parents for 10 years or we have deep distrust of men but we hope we meet prince charming.
These are contradictory.
God will not force onto you what you are not ready for. That is why the way of grace teaches us to wait upon the Lord. 
I know as humans we want things to happen fast, but I have found the way of grace, it teaches us that healing our being is not automatic, it is a process of relationship with God. 
God will not give you what you are not mature enough to handle…..and we can hustle, push for it outside of flow and grace…..and that is when dysfunction happens. 
Trust the process.
In all the waiting I have found that God really does know better. Even though I often struggled with “not knowing”, I found peace in the rest and grace of God.
Everyday was an act of surrender.
I learned to say no continuously to the things that did not feel right. I trusted God’s voice to not pursue opportunities and doors that were opened to me, I asked God for each decision. 
It’s definitely not easy, but it is worth it. Today I enjoyed a nice dinner and cocktail, and then suddenly felt an impulse to do yoga. I have NOT actively exercised, besides walk everywhere. Even though I felt groggy, I knew that it was part of my healing and that I needed to allow myself to just be, to be okay with the process of rest (sometimes just resting in bed). 
Sometimes I felt bad for gaining weight, but then I would hear God say “it’s okay, you are perfect”. And I knew that I needed exercise to come from a place of desire rather than a place of lack.
I desire to feel good in my skin versus I’m not GOOD enough so I need to lose weight and look good.
I needed my inner glory to match my physical glory.
And so I ran, I ran to the yoga place. I didn’t think I could do it, the hot yoga, but I felt every piece of the past fall off me, sweat off me.
“I am more powerful than I know”. Even after months of rest, I was more powerful physically than I knew.
Afterwards, I was waiting for the bus and turned around….it was a friend I had met online, eating inside a restaurant with a friend. OMG.
I ran in and talked to them. This was an online friend I met via our blogs.
Kismet.
Then I talked to a hot fireman and must I say, I have not talked to anyone of the prospective male species for awhile. And it felt good. To be like available emotionally again.
So happy birthday to me, February is my birthday month and I am excited.

True Connection to Riches

“When you are inspired by a great purpose, everything will begin to work for you. Inspiration comes from moving back in-spirit and connecting to the seven faces of intention. When you feel inspired, what appeared to be risky becomes a path you feel compelled to follow. The risks are gone because you are following your bliss, which is the truth within you. This is really love working in harmony with your intention. Essentially, if you do not feel love, you do not feel the truth, and your truth is all wrapped up in your connection to Spirit. This is why inspiration is such an important part of the fulfillment of your intention to live a life on purpose.”- Wayne Dyer

I am an artist.

It is more than a job, it is a calling. It was predestined. We are all artists in some way.

I am disturbed when people talk about getting a job to survive, I used to think that way too. I used to put bills first and passion, vision, purpose second.

I am not a survivor, I am a thriver.

I don’t merely want to survive and live a get by life, I want to live a thriving life. I made a choice to GO ALL IN, no backup plan. Let that backup plan be God. Artists are prophets. If you create in anyway you are an artist. Artists have thoughts, ideas, blabbering in their mind and they put them out into the world. They mirror the creator. Growing up I had some people comment in surprise that I believe in God as though believing in God is an ignorant thing to do and also that I was too cool a person to believe in God. I’m an artist, I create shit. Why wouldn’t I believe in God. God created things. 

You know you are “inspired” or in- spirit when you have these flow of ideas and thoughts and you can’t seem to SHUT THEM UP. Like this morning I woke up to do my numero 2, and then I couldn’t go back to sleep because suddenly this thought “I am an artist….it is more than a job, it is a calling”….okay, go to sleep, but then my mind wouldn’t shut up, it was like God speaking to my mind in paragraph format and it was so detailed that I had to just turn on my computer and write it down. 

“And public speaking was not a risk; it was something I had to do because I knew that I could not feel happy with myself if I did not follow my heart. The universe handled the details, because I was feeling love for what I was doing, and consequently, I was living my truth. By teaching love, that very same love guided me to my purpose, and the financial remuneration flowed to me with that same energy of love. I couldn’t see how it worked out, but I followed an inner knowing and never regretted it.“- Wayne Dyer

A lot of people ask me this question “but how do you pay the bills as a freelancer or artist?” I find that hilarious because I’ve managed to sell most of my big belongings and live virtually very free from bills. For example I haven’t had a sim card for a year and a half, I use a google number and it also keeps me from getting distracted from living in peace. I seem to have everything I need and more all the time.

And when I feel “lack” it usually comes from believing a lie that I am not enough, that I need to supplement my being by having more clothes, makeup, things. 

Living in grace means my relationship and being with God comes first, my connection to God is my connection to provision.

He guides and leads me to places, opportunities, resources, money, things..and I don’t have to fret.

It’s like if someone asked “but how am I going to feed myself?” when her dad is standing right next to her with a consistent flow of sushi, tuna tar tar, pasta, steak, smoothies, etc. You get the idea. I’d be pretty offended if I was the dad. But most of us work out asses off in our non-inspired human way while “dad” is standing there with everything you can ever want or need and we refuse to accept his help. 

Pride? Possibly.

So that’s where Trust comes in. Belief. Believing that He is for you and not against you. Then, listening, intently, staying close to the heart of God.

I’ve been led to impossible, miraculous things and talk to people that some would be afraid to talk to…and sometimes yah I have to get over my own fear, but I remember I am safe in God’s protection.

xoxo BEX

my art: https://society6.com/shoprl/prints

 

Vows

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When you are sad I will make sure to listen

When you are tired I will let you rest

When you want to have fun I will go with you instead of forcing you to stay in

When you get scared I wont bully you and ask why you dont have enough faith, but ease the fears with my courageous truth

I will never leave you and I will fend for you, I will speak up for you because you are worth every word and every action

I will do things to make you happy, say things to encourage you. You are the brightest star around.

I wont guilt trip you to do things you dont want to. I give you freedom to have your own personality and preferences.

Vows to myself.

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Photos from a cruise to Ensenada, Mexico

 

Purple Weed Cake

My craziest, well, I’ve HAD A LOT OF CRAZY travel experiences as a solo backpacker, but the weed cake in Amsterdam was PRETTY crazy.

I am not a drug user, I’ve never tried any hardcore drugs. I’ve only drank. And smoked weed (socially). But THE WEED CAKE from Amsterdam did me in. I only planned 2-3 nights there because the hostels were really expensive compared to the rates I was paying in other cities. After a 9 hour bus ride from London (in 2014), I got picked up from the bus station by a friend I met at King King (LA), which used to play really cool house music, but it is unfortunately now CLOSED. I used to go to King King with my older friends (well, not much older…haha, like 2-3 years older). My younger friends didn’t really understand what the heck it was about, you see it was about the MUSIC and the DANCING, not instagram.

Anyways, we had a meal, caught up and I went up.

It was the cheapest hostel in Amsterdam, which meant you literally lived across a 24 hour club banging loud music….I don’t know how I fell asleep at all. 

But you know being semi- adventurous, I met some random friend in the lounge the next day, which happens to be purple, and he was like “hey, I heard there’s this really good weed cake, want to split one?” We found the cafe, owned by Armenians, I think, and we bought the famous weed cake he was talking about.

Anyways, we split it. We actually split it.

The last time I ate weed was when my friend made a cookie, I only ate a bit of it and when I was trying to drift off to sleep, I felt like there was a bug crawling in my stomach. Talk about paranoid.

Anyways, nothing happened.

But then I got really hungry and went to the only place I could afford with my budget, Burger King. Stupidly, I got a freaken coffee! And a meal. I devoured the load.

The coffee came sweeping up on me like a explosion of heartbeats and stars. I remembered my friend Munir told me not to drink coffee.

I was NOT okay.

I had to lie down fast or I was going to faint or have an epileptic attack.

I walked to my hostel mixed dorm room and climbed up to my bunk bed. I don’t know how much time past, but I literally saw my hand shaking. I called my boyfriend at the time, who I met in London, I said “I’m going to die, I’m dying”. He said “you sound okay to me”.

No really I’m dying.

I don’t know how much time past, but I kept staring at the clock scared that I would miss my bus tomorrow. I climbed down once, threw up, stared at the mirror, my eyes bloodshot. Was I dreaming? I climbed up again, how did I manage not to fall. I was not used to be out of control. I was a control freak really, I mean how else could I backpack on my own and not get kidnapped?

I projectile vomited a few times, one time I couldn’t hold it in and sort of sprayed into some of those Australian mates’ massive pile of stinky clothes and bags, there was even a doll in there. Like what?

The worse was when the purple swirly Victorian style wallpaper turned into Buddha. My heart was racing and this nice Samaritan gave me a drink of her water. 

Later we would bump into each other in Berlin. 

It was in the afternoon. I found myself playing worship music and praying in tongues. I forgave all my enemies and asked God to forgive me for hating on people.

I got my heart right somehow, I don’t know why, but I felt that if I died in that Amsterdam bunk bed, next to filthy stinky shit that belonged to these filthy mates, I’d be okay. Apparently, I even talked to some people, but half way I’d stop.

“where are you from?” – said stranger.

“I’m from LA”- Said me.

“How long are you traveling for?”

me- “uhhhh”. Blank out, I’m dying, I think.

Ran to bathroom, throw up, stare at mirror, ran back to bunk bed, am I alive, am I in some sort of Tom Cruise movie? Everything was like seconds of a film, it was a movie.

This is what came of that day.

download

You can order your own print here: https://society6.com/product/amsterdam-wz8_print#s6-2691391p4a1v45

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The sketch, the cafe, and the hostel cat and I recovering.

I’ll always have stories to tell. Moral of the story, some good art might come from a horrific experience, and sometimes they wake us up to a spiritual reality.