Are you an empath?
Do you tend to know how someone is feeling – or that they’re feeling “off” – before they tell you? Can you read the energy of a room when you walk in? Are you overwhelmed by crowds? Do people confide in you, even when they don’t know you well?
If you’re not sure whether you’re an empath or not, you can take this quiz that my friend Jennifer Elizabeth Moore, author of Empathic Mastery, offers on her website.
Creatives quite often have at least some level of empathic connection. I suspect that’s because when you’re sensitive to energy, as most empaths are, you’re also more open to creative inspiration. Being an empath can be intense and make life more challenging, but it also brings creative gifts.
As a creative empath myself, I’ve come to know the tips & tricks that help empaths navigate creative expression. Here are 9 ways to be a Thriving Artist if you’re also an empath:
- Accept your gifts. Because we’ve been pegged as “different” for most of our lives, empaths can be a bit, um, insecure. As a creative being, self-doubt can become a crutch that keeps us from pursuing our passions. Release old patterns of doubt and accept that your creative gifts and talents are real. How? Read on…
- Do your inner work. The best way to become comfortable in your own skin, and more secure, is to do your shadow work. See a skilled therapist or coach. Explore and release old patterns and beliefs. Start a daily spiritual practice, if you don’t have one already.
- Make your day job easier. It can take extra energy for empaths to navigate in this hectic world. That leaves less time for creative pursuits. The best thing you can do is to make your creativity part of your daily work. Do what you love, for a living. I realize that’s not accessible (or not immediately, anyway) for some of us. If you have to work a day job that’s boring or doesn’t light you up, allow yourself to “phone it in.” In other words, consider giving less than 100 percent of your energy to your work, and save some for your creativity.
- Create a space of one’s own. Having a place that’s all yours is a huge benefit for empaths. You’ll thrive without having to block or merge with others’ energies. If an entire room isn’t available to you, create a smaller sanctuary. I wrote and worked in the corner of my dining room for years, and I made that area my own. Use crystals, artwork, music, and comfortable pillows to make your space sacred.
- Find some fun “unnecessary projects” and dabble in other media. This helps you keep your creative magick flowing. There will be times when you feel stuck. When this happens to me, I switch to a different project. While writing my forthcoming book The Elements of Creativity, I also catalogued my entire personal library of books. Not for any particular reason, other than that it pleased me and kept me focused. It was a classic “unnecessary project.” I also took time to do some art journaling and make greeting cards. These activities allowed me to get my creative juices flowing, so that when I returned to my book manuscript, I could get back into the groove.
- Isolate yourself from similar works. Being an empath can sometimes make you a chameleon. You might be susceptible to copying others’ voice, style, or ideas, without even realizing it. When you’re actively working on a creation, avoid similar genres. Get your inspiration from other media.
- Enjoy nature time and Artist Dates. Taking time away from other people and recharging is key for empaths. It also helps Thriving Artists to refill our cups. Take time out in nature regularly. Get some exercise. Go on Artist Dates. Take time for solitude, just you and your journal. It will help.
- Don’t tell the naysayers during the process. You’re especially vulnerable to other people’s feelings and judgements. If you have sceptics, naysayers, or pessimists in your close circle, don’t involve them in your creations right away. I didn’t tell my Dad I was writing my first book until it had already been sent to the publisher. I knew he’d doubt my ability to do it – not because he didn’t believe in me, but because writing a whole book is a huge endeavor, and no one else in our family had done it. Later, he became one of my biggest cheerleaders.
- Surround yourself with other creatives. While you don’t want naysayers questioning you, it is helpful to have people encouraging you along the way. I find that other creative people not only understand what you’re going through as you create, but they’re especially good at cheering you on. Also, their creative energies will inspire and motivate you. You might even want to join a creative virtual co-working space, like the Parallel PlayDates – this will give you creative community, inspiration, and accountability, from the comfort of your own space.
What are your favorite ways to thrive as an empathic creator? What were your results from the empathic quiz? Share your own tips and tricks below in the comments.