Back in the fall, I had a great session with a good friend who is also an astrologer. In fact, it was my birthday present from him. He gave me a personal forecast for the coming year, and in the process he listed several dates when the energies of each transit or conjunction would "peak."
This past week, I was looking through my notebook for something and I came across my notes from the session. The first "peak" for this calendar year was January 20th - which is the day when baby Ember was born! And it certainly was a powerful experience, being present for her entry into this world.
When Ember's Mom asked me to be with her during labor and delivery, she said "I'd like to have your calm, positive energy in the room." I was so very touched and honored, and of course agreed to help my friend. I'd never been a birth coach before, and since the process started sooner than her due date, I didn't have as much time to prepare as I would have liked. At times during the labor, I doubted whether I was helping much. I didn't really know what to say to encourage her. So I focused on things like bringing her juice and breathing and holding the space. I did what I could physically, which didn't seem like much, but I also focused on being present for her and the baby. I did a lot of energy work and, in retrospect, sort of a projecting of my own centeredness, though I wouldn't have known how to describe it at the time.
After the birth, my friend and her midwife both complimented me on the aid I provided. They felt my calm presence really helped with the whole birth process. Apparently my practice of presence and mindfulness helps others besides just me - quite a revelation!
This past week, the homeschooling co-op I'm a part of was having a big meeting. The group just started in the fall, and there have been some recent growing pains as we figure out how to effectively run things with over 60 families. There was some heated discussion over e-mail, and it was stated that everyone should come to the meeting and get involved. Up until now I've been teaching and helping out in practical ways (like cleaning, helping with a special event we had, donating food for a food drive, etc). I felt reluctant to enter the world of meetings and conflict and committees, but I felt it was important to attend and be a part of it. I went to the meeting reluctantly.
While I was in the meeting, though, I realized what my role was in this setting. Again, being a calm, positive presence was something I could contribute to this group, whether or not it was acknowledged as such. I left the meeting feeling inspired and called to get involved. Yes, I'll be meeting with a committee and taking notes and offering ideas, but I'll also be bringing to bear my own connection with the eternal, as best I can in each moment.
While I was trying to describe my realizations to my family, Ocean said "well, it makes sense, you always pick up on other people's emotions, why not use it to share yours?" Quester added, "oh, kind of like a reverse empath." That's it exactly! Now that I know how to center myself and be present even in a sea of feelings, I can then reverse the flow and radiate those peaceful energies.
It's not that I'm always perfect at being a shielded, centered empath. I'm still practicing that, and I've only just begun to work with this new way of using my energies, or perhaps it's a new awareness of something I've been doing unconsciously. I'm not even sure my current description of it will make much sense to anyone besides me (not that it has to, but I like to share).
This weekend, I woke up with some back pain centered between my shoulder blades. Right in the back of my heart chakra. Just where my faerie wings are attached. I was trying to figure out what was up with it, and Quester said "it's okay, it's just that your heart is opening up more." In a rush, the connection was made - opening up, emanating love and peace, being myself and sharing my gifts (even the intangible ones), with my community and the world. My heart is bursting open once again. I'm expanding. I'm excited to see where it takes me.