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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Listen To Your Heart

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I grew up going to church, Baptist to be precise. About 12 years old I encountered God in a divine, weeping way, I experienced unconditional love from the depths of my heart. My journey though had begun when I was young…in those wee hours where I was home alone and afraid of the dark. Somehow I knew that the Devil was as real as the darkness and as a 5 year old, I prayed desperately for God to save me from the hollow fear.

Since I had lots of time of solitude, growing up with a busy working single mom and lots of time alone, I developed an inner life that was rich and real. I was drawn to the holy spirit and basically “following my intuition”. I would tell stories about being led to talk to homeless people, miracles, hearing God- this was strange for a very legalistic baptist church.  Eventually I left. Later on, I learned that what I experienced in my life was called being led by the spirit. 

You don’t need to label it to know that your intuition is God speaking to you. When it feels peaceful, right, you feel urged on, you have little fear. Perhaps yes there is apprehension, but that is the ego speaking.

What I noticed though is that in the institutions of “God” many people still don’t understand the concept of the Father. The concept and being of the Father God is basically the loving, unconditional, light who embraces and loves to hear us talk even about our sadness, feelings of anger, and grief. He is not judgmental and treats us better than the best father on this earth. Because few of us have had good earthly fathers, we often feel that God must be the same way. 

In addition, people are very scared when they can’t label something.

There were times where I followed the Spirit and I did very spontaneous things….sometimes Spirit led me to places where I met the right people at the right time. Before I was to be selected for a TV show to go to Cebu, I kept hearing Cebu over and over again. Sometimes of course I doubt what I am hearing, but as the stories in my life unfolds, I am assured once again that what I was hearing was accurate.

Trusting yourself- now growing up in the church, the only thing I heard was “put yourself last”. Self-sacrifice. I think this led to many people growing up deprived of self love.

The truth is since God already sacrificed all for us, “everything that has to be done is already done”. This is the concept of grace. The holistic way of thinking is that we are born a reflection of who God is and each of us have glory within ourselves. So our whole lives is really about getting to know God, but also the holy place within our own hearts which says “I am an heir, I am royalty, everything about me is brilliant, my heart radiates light and I am filled with love and I am complete because God within me has completed me”. 

So while some institutions believe that all power is with God, the truth is if God is within us, all power is in us so that all power for change is cultivated once our spirit self accepts and has the capacity to embrace that truth.

In short, I have been on a journey of learning to trust my truth in every moment and to speak those truths even if they are “negative”. God loves all of who you are now, not in the future or the past. Yes, with all the things that seem negative. 

So instead of living by a set of rules, Jesus sets you free to live in relationship.

So there is actually no right or wrong, but that which sets you free, the truth.

There are many things that are good for you, but if you feed yourself a bunch of sermons or motivational books when your heart needs space to heal, it can become destructive. For example, your heart may need solitude but a friend offers to hang out with you (she wants to help you)…in those moments I listen to my heart and ask myself what it is I actually need…even a “good thing” like hanging out with a friend can deprive you of what you actually need, time alone. 

Good works, volunteer work might seem good- but if you are doing it as a way to redeem yourself or perhaps free you from the guilt of all the wrongs you’ve committed in your life, you will not be freed. Like I said, only God sees our heart. He says “I will free you if you allow me to give you the love you need, just receive it”.

When we open our hearts to receive the love that we do not need to work for, it is liberating.

What is practical and productive in the world may not be productive to your soul. More in the material sense is not more to your soul. You may continue to crave more and feel even more empty inside. For some reason, the more you buy the more lack you feel. That is your soul asking you to look within. The emptiness is a feeling and the feeling is always telling you something. 

Slow down and ask yourself where that feeling is coming from. 

Slow down and ask what during the day annoyed you so much that you started feeling pain in your neck. For me, I have pain in the left side of my neck when I am emotionally distraught, bothered or believing a lie, or perhaps I am trying to control my emotions instead of expressing them.

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Rules of Engagement

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Pic from google

Hello. I don’t have a blog schedule, I just write when I feel like it.

I realize that most of us don’t grow up being taught how to make friends or what is normal, healthy in a relationship. I’ve learned some things over the years that have helped me to have healthy boundaries. First, I read the book Boundaries by John Townsend. That changed my dynamic with my mom because I realized that I could say no to my mom. Also I grew up going to a baptist church where they taught you that loving people meant listening to them, or serving them. What a recipe for a fucking place mat, or door mat. I meant.

I don’t think Jesus listened to everyone when he was walking this earth, I think he wouldn’t have accomplished everything he needed to do.

Here’s a few things I came up with : 

  1. Close friends are your inner circle that you share your problems with, confide in, pray with. It’s a mutual relationship where you better each other.
  2. There are different types of close friends, some friends you talk to more often than others. Some you talk to about certain problems.
  3. It is okay to separate from friends that are going different directions. I have broken up with a few friends that due to beliefs and differences, it was healthier for both parties to basically stop talking or fade off. You don’t necessarily have to “break up”, you can just distance yourself.
  4. As a wise sage, many people have requested to “hang out with me”. Hey WE HAVEN’T talked forever, we should hang out! 

I found out the hard way that it meant I was their therapist and they would dump a shit load of problems into my ears and psyche and mess with the positive flow I was in. 

Which is why I have started asking people “what do you want?”.

Here’s a way to filter out people:

  1. What are you hitting on me?
  2. What’s up?
  3. What’s going on?
  4. What’s wrong?
  5. What’s right?

Which sounds kind of awful, but it has helped me clarify so that I am not getting fooled.

You might be thinking, “well maybe you are the answer to their problems!” Well, most people who use manipulative ways to “spend time with you” actually won’t listen to any of your advice. They will continue to brood, complain to anyone who will listen. 

5. The key is to say no. Say no when your heart says no.

6. If you ARE on the other end, you see someone that is maybe wise, as an acquaintance, approach them by asking “hey, can I get some advice from you?” Come out right in the beginning and say what it is that you want. “Hey I need help, I’m in a pit right now and was wondering if you had any advice for me”. Don’t manipulate others by pretending you are wanting to be their “friend”. Friends are people who actually want to contribute to another person, not just TAKE from them.

7. What does that mean? Your circle will decrease in size. As you get older, you will learn to discern who has your best interest in mind. You will maybe have a best friend, and a few close friends….

8. What is a true friend? Someone who you can be yourself with. Not just a therapist all the time.

9. If you do want to do something, do it. 

If you don’t, don’t. There is nothing worse than a obligated life. 

 

Stop Pimping Yourself Out

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(that’s a really ripe banana)

Wisdom always comes descending into my mind in the most inconvenient times like at 2am, 4 am. But then I am an alien so I have to be mindful of these downloads and know that this is why I’m on earth, to spread the wisdom of light.

This time I am confronted with the fact that I have let things distract me.

Which makes sense because God even spoke to me through a tattoo a few months ago. The tattoo said “focus”. 

Which brings me back to the fact that yes, I can blame people or specifically for my mom for being a distraction, always asking me to go out, go eat, go shopping, go somewhere with her…or I can simple learn to say no….that for once, in this time of INSPIRATION, this season where I don’t need to MIND anything but CREATION, CREATING, WRITING, DRAWING, CREATING as I have set my mind to do for the last year.

Originally my dream was basically to have non-distracted time to focus on my dream, which is the dream to create and do what I was born to do. 

So my logic started to beat myself up “dude, remember you wasted so much time putting others first?” I’m like SHUT UP.

Anyways, grace.

Then it dawned on me, I must VALUE myself and my time first before anyone else can VALUE ME. I must MASSIVELY value my talent and skills so I can massively impact the world for change. Don’t mind the money, don’t mind what’s going on in the world.

OUR JOB as artists, writers, musicians, creators is to create out of that secret place only we can….to bring fresh perspective, to be a vessel for which God creates through and with us. 

We must be creators….not constantly consuming the random streams of entertainment on facebook or social media, we must be INTENTIONAL about how we spend our time….because as creators, WE are the change. 

Living an intentional life seems to be impossible. Everyone is just responding to messages, staring at their phones, glued to present events instead of forecasting the future, dreaming, going about their dreams.

That is why I’m committing myself this day 8/18/2016 to be intentional about putting MYSELF first in this creating process so I can CREATE out of a space of health and freedom, instead of submitting to the urgency of other people around me. 

Sign- me.

Some people are so weirded out about the term “love yourself” but really it is just “valuing yourself”. Value your time, value your time.

Stop pimping yourself out. You don’t need to fix peoples’ lives, focus on creating so that you can have greater impact in this world. Sometimes codependent people are just a distraction so that you won’t write that book, create that podcast, write that article that millions and billions of people can be impact by.

I realize that by putting myself first, choosing my own well-being, health, sanity, I am loving the world at the same time. I am choosing the best for the world and I.

How about you? 

I would like to value myself more by: 

Fill in the blanks. Such as, “by not picking up my phone when I’m creating art” 

“Not taking on opportunities that don’t pay”

“Saying no and I don’t want to”

“Saying yes to my soul and what makes my spirit sing!”

PS- I’d like to add that the term starving artist has a connotation. Only when we are willing to starve as artists for the uncompromising truth of our soul will we then have massive impact. Because it is basically saying “I am SO passionate, I’d do anything for it”. When is the last time you felt that passionate about something? I believe it’s there, you have it within you.

2016 Love Blog

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OK, I’m starting a new segment and this one is called the love blog, so if you search categories on my blog search “love blog” for all the relationship related blog posts.

I just got out of dinner with my aunt and uncle.

And well, they told me how they met, basically it was an arranged marriage. Now their 3 kids are also married with kids. I was like omg (to the arranged marriage part).

Here’s a picture of my aunt on her wedding day. She did not look happy.   
Anyways, she went on this whole rant about how I should not have really high standards but I shouldn’t have really low ones either to which I reply, “I’m not at all worried, I just haven’t met the right person and it’s not like I have to marry 10 guys…geez”. Plus I believe if it is the right time, God will bring the right person into my life. Like the whole concept of when you’re happy being single, the right person will come along.

Let’s just say her rant got me kind of annoyed so I said goodbye and came back to write this blog post. Because she was kind of implying that if you are old then you have less chances of finding a mate…which I replied, “what’s the point of marrying just because you are old..like for what?” Basically you’re day old pie that nobody wants, is what she’s implying.

I straight up said “whoever marries me is lucky as fuck”. Minus the fuck part, because I don’t know how to cuss in Mandarin.

Because I just have standards and I only need one man, not a million. So yes, I’m an amazing and awesome woman and I don’t need to stoop down to appease societal standards of when I should marry.

So there’s your first love blog post. Enjoy!

Moral of the story- don’t give into societal standards just because you’re the last one in the family to get hitched. You have to know your own worth. 

I think she was just jealous that I had a choice to pick.

I can live without a man now, but I can’t live without a female friend.

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If I told my younger self that my life would look like what it looks like today, I would proudly look at myself and say “yah right”. In my mind, I would have imagined “success” as the typical goal…but I still remember that thought in my mind “I don’t want to live a boring life”. I saw too many adults slumping away in their dead end job and I knew I wanted something more.

One thing I would suggest to younger women is….

It is an absolute necessity that you find women you can feel safe with.

I am so strong on the inside because of the women in my life.

What does emotional safety look like?

When you are honest with your fears and vulnerability, the women in your life will choose to love and not judge.

I have lost many women friends because of their impatience and ego. Wisdom comes from discerning whether a moment is right to say what you think. Life is not about being right, it is about love. Love is not black and white, love is choosing to shut up when you see fear in someone, and learning to speak up when you know that’s what they really need. Love is wisdom.

Over the last few months, I have been hemmed in with amazing women. To be honest, I had lost so many friends that I closed my heart off to friendship. Losing a best female friend is worse than breaking up with a boyfriend, losing a best female friend feels like trust is lost forever.

When I walked through struggles in my life, I found myself surrounded by women who had gone through a lot more than I could have ever imagined walking through.

In front of me sat powerful women….not because of success in their careers, but because of their inner strength.

In front of me sat a dear friend who was homeless, who had gone through divorce…and a single mom of 2.

In front of me sat a heart disease surviver who was domestically abused by her very family, homeless at a young age for 5 years….yet somehow survived and continue to thrive.

In front of me sat a woman with beautiful dreams to start her own business, at the expense of being rejected by her friends and family.

These are some of the strongest women I know, not the CEO of big corporations or the billionaires…

These souls need to be celebrated and today I write about the women who gave me strength when I needed hope.

My mom is one of them. A single mom who immigrated to a new country, barely able to pay rent, yet here I am today, the best work any women can put out into this world. Perseverance, patience, strength. These are qualities we overlook but need to be celebrated.

You are beautiful and successful because of your spirit. Thank you for making me stronger everyday, thank you for giving me space to be me, to be free, to make mistakes and to love. To all the female friends that allow me to fail yet is always there to lift me up again.

Love, BEX

Love IS Not Ho Hum Fear, But Vulnerability Exposed

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I reached a breakthrough yesterday, this was better than any worldly increase, any publicity, getting on TV, being validated by a news channel, Vogue, Forbes, nothing like that…it wasn’t a man kneeling on his knees and telling me how much he loved me, no no no….this was way bigger than that….this was LOVE.

Well, how could it be love if it wasn’t with a romantic partner?

My heart was seen and I was heard, and I was loved anyway. That is love. 

Yesterday I sat on the floor spilling my guts to my friend….as we talked about all the people we needed to forgive, especially family members that never gave us the love we needed, I realized that we both needed to feel accepted and LOVED…and most of all to feel safe. Without safety there is no trust, when there is no trust there is no freedom to be yourself, to express your true feelings. 

We prayed and I also gave my burdens to God. You see, if God is love then love is God. Love is supreme.

The world tells us that LOVE is LUST, Love is not lust, physical attraction wanes BIG TIME. LOVE is not attraction either, because I can be attracted to a thousand guys, LOVE is not exclusive within a romantic relationship…

Here are the things I believe love is:

Love IS:

1. Forgiveness, knowing that we are not perfect and others aren’t

2. Vulnerability, having the freedom to open your heart to someone and trust that they will not judge but accept you (with someone that you have known and built trust with).

3. Communication, believing that connection is KEY and that your goal is to connect and not disconnect.

4. Service, having an attitude of “how can I help you” and be a support for you in this tough time.

5. Patience, having the patience to love someone when they are like porcupines, purposely hurting you out of protection for themselves.

Even though we stayed up until 3am drinking fine whiskey, I found myself awake at 10am desiring to POUR all of what I learned into this blog…I hope that our world will start to see what love really is. I’m tired of seeing friends suffer and young people strive for the type of “counterfeit love” that is conditional.

I have gained the whole world by knowing that I am loved and that I can feel secure in a friendship. Relationships mean the world to me especially since I never felt safe to express myself in my own family. How about you? Do you have that kind of friend, do you have that kind of family (even non-related ones)? I hope you do, and if you don’t, know that the first step is to forgive anyone that has hurt you in the past and to know that you are loved unconditionally by the God who created you.

I know this season of my life is preparing me for my life partner because without the ability to communicate well with a friend, I wouldn’t be able to communicate with a partner. I have also been learning how to reject guys with grace and honor. This isn’t always easy when they are persistent and wanting to cross your emotional boundaries…that’s when you set a line and perhaps block their numbers, because you should never feel unsafe.

This is also training for my big international business…whenever I’m traveling or going anywhere, men hit on me wherever I go. I have to learn to politely decline their consideration without hurting their ego or make them feel like they’re not good enough…since there’s only one person I’m going to be with, it’s a matter of “you’re not that person”, and my purpose is fulfilled together with “that person”, not you.

To love, may you find friends, family and people in your life that you can lay the shit out and still know you are loved.