• serena.willis

An Empath's Guide to New Places

Updated: Apr 26

Have you ever been somewhere and you just couldn't wait to leave? No matter what the reason might be, as travelers, we don't always have the luxury of booking a flight back "home" (wherever that is). I am a highly sensitive Empath, so each new place I visit has the ability to knock me off me feet, if I allow it.

Below are three SUPER important ways we can use our own body and energy to help us integrate new places, people, and scenarios while traveling.

1. Take 3 VERY deep breaths.

Especially if you are like me, and going to a new place makes you feel anxious and uncertain.

What happens when we are anxious is we shorten out breathing cycle which essentially cuts us off from our connection to ourselves. So it is VERY important to remain focused on our breathing and taking big buoyant breaths. As you take each breath: notice the air coming in through your nose. Does it smell like anything? Try not to judge if the smell is good or bad, just accept it for what it is. What is the air temperature? Is there humidity in the air? What about a breeze? Notice the quality of the air in this new place, but try not to compare it to where you were before. Just notice it.

2. Ground into your environment.

Most often when we dislike a place, especially a new place, it is because we are resisting the energy of the place. Maybe it's different or we are perceiving it as scary and we don't want to let it in. Whatever the reason is, it is VERY important to ground yourself into the environment. A lot of times on my travels, for whatever reason, I don't have a lot of control to be in the location that I am so grounding into my environment helps me accept the place that I am without feeling uncomfortable. Grounding not only helps you understand a place, it also connects you deeply to the energy of that place and allows you to integrate your own energy into it, which allows you to become one with your environment rather than feeling like an outsider.

There are a few grounding techniques that I like to use, here are two:

Literally ground. A.K.A. take your shoes off and put your feet directly on the earth. This can be done in so many places! Water, dirt, grass, sand... Keep in mind, if you are in a developing country or somewhere you are worried about injury, this may not be the best method. (Although I have done this all over the states and Europe, I have not done this in a developing country). When you place your feet on the earth there are almost instant physiological effects including lower stress which is a main source of pain for Empaths while traveling. Grounding also helps lock you in to the grid system of energy produced by mother earth which helps your body sense things in the environment that it otherwise may not have picked up. Pro tip: one thing I love to do is put my finger in a nature element (dirt, lake, ocean, puddle, rock, clay, grass, flowers) of the place that I am in and place it on my third eye. This is another way that I help "calibrate" my system to the system that I am in. It has helped me in the past sense danger, recognize landmarks without getting lost, and connect to the earth spirits as well as the people of that particular place. It is a very powerful practice that I highly recommend is done with respect.

The second way I like to ground is to find a comfortable place to sit for a few moments. It doesn't matter where. When I first started doing this I used to have a hard time if it wasn't quiet, but I quickly realized it is actually even more powerful and helpful if done in chaos. When you find a place to sit, close your eyes. First notice everything you can hear, taste, smell, touch... etc. Just notice your environment without judging or comparing it. Next, imagine you have a root system coming from your tailbone or feet and going into the ground. Does it go through a floor? Basement? Walkway? Dirt? Grass? As it moves deeper into the earth imagine it going through all the layers until it reaches the core of the earth. At the core is a bright ball of energizing light. Allow your roots to extend around it and soak in all the energy of the earth. When you feel connected you can bring your roots back into yourself and open your eyes. This is an amazing technique if you are unable to have direct contact with the earth. I have done this many times at the dinner table, in hostels, my tent, the car... ANYWHERE! To me, when I have done this in many different places it feels like I am a dot on the map and by connecting the core it's like turing on the light in a lighthouse and saying "hi I'm here!" To mother earth so she knows to take care of me.

3. Accept the emotions!

Being an Empath on the move is very stressful, and one of the most important things is to accept whatever emotions you feel about a place as valid. You DO NOT have to love every single place you have visited, and it IS okay to feel overwhelmed by being somewhere new. It is okay to express your emotions. I cannot tell you how many times I have been doing one of the above exercises and just started bawling out of nowhere. Part of accepting your environment is accepting YOURSELF in your environment and that can be a very emotional and healing process.

When you can be your authentic self and allow others to witness this you become a beacon to everyone else out there wishing they could fully embody their true self. So, do not be afraid to open your heart to people and places that are potentially frightening. Amazing things happen when you allow yourself to be fully yourself! Good luck Empath! Keep on truckin'!