Searching for Life’s Purpose or Destination Addiction?


A couple of posts ago, I wrote about Negativity Addiction and how it impacts the Empaths of the world. Today I’ll be addressing another unusual addiction talked about within social media circles: Destination Addiction.

Destination Addiction is the idea that happiness lies in the next job, the next relationship or location, etc. It is said that until we give up the idea that happiness lies somewhere else it will never be where we are.

When I came across the idea of ‘Destination Addiction’, it opened an inner-dialogue; was this a good thing or not? On the one hand, if we believe happiness lies outside of ourselves, do we ever find it? and on the other, does our pursuit of happiness not keep us moving forwards, onwards and upwards?

Thinking about it, I see both sides have their merits. Destination Addiction (DA) can serve us, helping us uncover our truth, but it might also prevent us from feeling complete.

Everyone is Susceptible

DA affects many people’s lives in different ways. The obvious scenario is when someone gives up something good to find something better, only to end up with something worse.  For example, in relationships: an unhappy person might break up a stable marriage with a loving spouse, after blaming them for their unhappiness; to set up with another partner, who they deem to be their ‘perfect match’, only to find they are still unhappy and in a worse situation than before.

Then there are those who have incredible experiences in their DA and search for happiness: By pushing forward, to find a place of ‘belonging’, a person might study hard, try numerous vocations, have beautiful families, visit mind-blowing locations, and meet extraordinary people.

I consider myself to be a multipotentialite. I love trying new things. But am I in the belief that the next endeavour holds long-sought after happiness? The answer is a resounding, No. Apart from the days when I’ve eaten a disagreeable food, or suffered a dose of ‘people-itis’, or if my hormones are playing up, I would say I am happy. I love what I do. But I also adore collecting new life experiences. I do it for the experience and not because I am ‘searching for happiness outside myself’. But I wasn’t always that way…

Like many twenty somethings, I also believed happiness lay somewhere else; which didn’t get any better as I moved into my thirties. Being in a profession I fell into (hairdressing), with a business that felt like a trap, and a business partner who wasn’t a fit for me or my Empath ways, I kept looking outside of myself. Believing there was something else out there, I wished it would come and find me, but deep down I knew it was my job to search it out.

Anyone looking from the outside might have considered me to be inconsistent or that I couldn’t stick to anything, because I kept studying and pursuing new interests. My adventurous spirit could have been classed as a bad case of ‘Destination Addiction’. That said, I always finished what I started, and I truly enjoyed learning. But an inner-void and a yearning kept pushing me on.  There were missing pieces, that needed to be found. I kept searching.

The search sent knowledge and many incredible life experiences to me, including some unpleasant obstacles. So, what might be classed as a ‘DA’ has served me well.

Have I found all the pieces? No, and nor would I want to. Gaining knowledge and having experiences keeps life interesting and awesome.

An Unhappy Population

According to statistics, about seventy-five percent of the workforce are miserable in their career. The cost of living traps many people. Simply paying for life’s necessities can wrap us up in debt. But even when one has wealth or ‘the dream job’ it doesn’t mean happiness is guaranteed. Sometimes the biggest void is seen in those who ‘seemingly’ have the most.

We are led to believe that wealth and positions of power are they key to happiness; but what about all those who ‘have it all’ and are still unhappy?

When someone has a void within that they don’t know how to satisfy, some of the usual fillers are drink, drugs, or shopping. Chasing a high or plugging up a lack of fulfilment with ‘stuff’, there’s a belief that the next night out, the new car, next holiday, or shiny Rolex will seal the ‘gap’. But does it ever?

What’s the Answer?

I heard a comment the other day that put a smile on my face:

If you could do one thing in life that you knew you wouldn’t fail at, what would it be…? Now, go off and do it.’

Such simple logic. But career is not always where the real problems lie. The belief that happiness is somewhere else might just be the issue.

Taking quiet reflective time to look at life objectively can help. Time to think about possible changes that could be made.

Changes don’t necessarily need to be new life experiences, new jobs or new relationships, they could be as simple as spending regular time in nature, giving up processed foods, incorporating crystals or aromatherapy oils into daily life, or drinking more water… Don’t try harder try different.

It is often small changes that make the biggest difference. They all add up, and help us see that happiness has always been within reach.

So, yes, in my humble opinion, Destination Addiction has both pros and cons. If we allow it to push us towards life experiences, growth and a career that is a fit with who we are, then it is a great blessing. If we convince ourselves that happiness lies outside ourselves, or in the hands of another, then it might never be found.

We have the potential to uncover exactly what we need. But we also have to be patient, and know every experience is serving us in ways we might not understand for some time. Roads that appear to lead nowhere are also steps of new direction, and still have purpose.

Hope this helps on your journey.

Until next time,

Diane

©Diane Kathrine

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Not Getting Results? Time to Try Something Different…?

In life, we often think when something isn’t working, we should be trying harder. But it could be the case that we should be doing things differently.

I rediscovered the above statement, ‘Don’t Try Harder, Try Different’, when reading a book by Katherine Gray, The Unexpected Joys of Being Sober. I say rediscovered because I have seen the saying before, but somehow it resonated with me more now than ever.

I gave up alcohol six years ago. I have never looked back. I’m still loving the way sober life makes me feel. However, as ok as I am with being booze-free, I find that other people seem to have difficulty accepting my lifestyle choice. Many feel uncomfortable being around a teetotaller, especially one who was once a ‘proper drinker.’  Because of this, I find it interesting to learn what brought others into sobriety, how it impacts their life and the people in it.

In her book, Kathrine not only talks about her battle with booze, and how it affected her friends when she gave up, she also discusses how it is known, that when giving up alcohol, not every approach works for everyone. One person may benefit from going to AA meetings, another will find it sets them back, one person may be able to continue socializing very soon after quitting the booze, another person may need to avoid all places that serve alcohol for months or even years. It is about finding an approach that works for the individual. Which I totally agree with, for all areas of life.

However, if you’re anything like me, you may find when something isn’t working or not giving the desired results, the inner-critic emerges. It tells you that you’re not working hard enough and need to put in more effort. But it’s often the case that when something doesn’t work, it’s not always because we are doing it wrong or being lazy, it could be that we are not doing what is right for us. We are following a recipe that was for someone else’s success.

An example of where this happened for me is in yoga. I’ve done yoga for over twenty years. I started practising to a) find inner-calm and balance and b) to help ease my ‘hairdressers back’ (after years of doing 12-hour standing days, in heels, it took its toll on my lower-back). The promised inner-calm came quickly. In fact, after one session I could feel a shift in how I felt, but my back problem didn’t go away.

Although I gained incredible benefits from yoga, over the years of trying and ‘working harder’ at yoga poses (even qualifying as a yoga teacher) my back problem did not get resolved.   Many good teachers demonstrated poses that worked for their back problems or their students. I tried them. They didn’t work. I told myself it was because I wasn’t working hard enough or getting deeper into the poses. I thought I wasn’t being accurate in my positioning or that I needed to spend more time practising. My ego mind also got involved; telling me I needed to be more bendy and work to be like all the other yogis who could tie themselves into effortless knots. It took me many years to learn that I had to do asanas differently. If something isn’t right for my body, and its imbalances, it doesn’t matter how much I work to perfect a pose, I would never get the benefit.

It is understandable why we tell ourselves we need to work harder. We are led to believe the only way to succeed at anything is through graft. And yes, hard work pays off, but only when we are doing what is right for us.

Now, I am not encouraging anyone to give up on their dreams because they are not happening quickly enough. Good things don’t always come easily. Some things take many years to manifest and the journey can be very enjoyable. But if it’s not working, a new approach may be needed.

We live in a ‘one-sized-fits-all world’. We are sold the ideas of miracle cures or easy ways of making money. ‘This worked for thousands of people, so it will work for you.’ But we are all different…

I have noted many times, in my writings, that what works for one will not always work for another. I learnt that through trial and error, and I am still learning it.

My ‘well-programmed’ brain does not always want to hear that I have to do things differently in order to succeed. To reap the benefit of some yoga poses, I might have to bend my legs where others need to keep their legs straight, when doing high-energy exercise, I might be better doing a hill-walk instead of a run, I might be better expressing myself on paper, whereas another is better doing it verbally…

The brain likes to keep us safe. It thinks that by following the crowd it’s the safest route. It likes us to follow the rules laid out for everyone else because there’s less chance of danger and we’re not as vulnerable. And for some people, this works. Some are very happy and successful by following the well-walked path. But if you’re not getting the desired results, and it doesn’t feel ‘right,’ maybe it’s time for a new plan?

It takes courage to move away from the herd. It takes bravery to step out of our comfort zone and do it differently. But trying different instead of harder could be the exact thing we need to see big changes happen.

It can apply to all areas of life too: diet, exercise, people, work, business, family life, etc. When one way isn’t working, there will always be another way to do it.

A good way to uncover ‘new ways’, other than the usual internet searches, is by tuning into inner-guidance. Spending quiet time listening to our intuitive mind, instead of the rational mind, can be incredibly revealing (see this post on how to question yourself).

Whilst we continuously do what is not a fit for us, we give our power away. So, when something isn’t working, instead of trying harder why not try different?

Until next time…

Diane

©Diane Kathrine

Should an Empath be Competitive?


I’ve always been fascinated by the many different ways of human nature. Things that set us apart or unite us. One such way being competition.

When it comes to the idea of competing, I am somewhat of a contradiction. On the one hand I think it’s healthy and on the other, it is ugly.

If there’s one thing I dislike in a person, it’s an ugly competitive streak. When someone is willing to trample all over another, just to win, this is ‘ugly competition’. It could also be seen when someone is jealous of another’s achievements, and they undermine these achievements, just to continue to feel superior.

That said, if we don’t have a level of competition, we don’t tend to push ourselves forward to become better.

Unlike me, my husband is very competitive. If the game doesn’t have a competition, there’s no element of risk and he doesn’t want to play. I used to love playing badminton. Not competitively. Just hitting the shuttlecock back and forth, over the net, without it falling to the ground. My husband also liked to play, but for him the joy was in the competition. So, playing together never really worked. He wanted to score points for fun and I wanted to have fun without the scoring.

That’s not to say he, or the many other men and women like him, have an ugly competitive streak. He’s not a sore loser and he wouldn’t manipulate another to win. If anything, he would encourage others. 

I don’t think I have ever enjoyed competition. It almost seems like winning makes another into a loser.  

When competing at school, in sports for example, I felt myself weaken physically. I now realize this was just another part of being an Empath. For one thing, if I won, it meant the other lost. Which felt wrong. And for another, during competitive sports, I was likely picking up on the others’ intention (wanting to beat me), and morphed my energy signature to fit with their intentional energy. (If you have experienced this you will know exactly what I mean).

When we are unaware, as Empaths, we can pick up on the intentions, opinions and judgements of others which can impact our behaviour. 

I go to gym classes most days (Zumba, aerobics, etc.). When there, I never like being too close to the competitive people. They give off such strong vibes.  I can feel them wanting to be better than others in the room. I don’t need to know them or have talked to them to feel this. I’m not saying this makes them bad people. I just don’t like feeling this energy when I work out.

It took me some years to understand that this was what I was feeling when in gym classes. It is often in yoga classes where I sense ‘the competitive energy’ at its worst. It’s a big reason I don’t like practising yoga around others.

Again, I understand that although I’m not partial to being in competition, it can drive people on to being the best version of themselves. But it can also do the opposite.

There is a great saying that, ‘It’s not about the winning it’s about the taking part.’ Yet some would argue that if there’s no chance of winning, what is the point of taking part? That is a mentality I don’t agree with (I told you I was a contradiction). It’s the ego talking. If you enjoy the competition, do it for yourself. But don’t not compete just because you might not win.

My opinion is that our best competition is ourself. We should always be working to become better than we were last week or last year, in all areas of life. And self-competition is something I do enjoy.

So, yes, I see competition as both healthy and unhealthy, good and bad.

It would be interesting to hear your thoughts on the subject. How does competition affect you as an Empath? Does it help you thrive? Or does it make your energy recede? Feel free to share in the comments below.

Hope all is keeping well with you.

Until next time.

Diane

©Diane Kathrine

Does An Empath Have A Disadvantage With The Law Of Attraction?

Today’s post is about an interesting comment I received on the last post I shared.

When I first read the following comment, my initial reaction was this was a negative response. It ruffled my feathers. I wasn’t sure what it was about. But I then realized there was a reference to the law of attraction in my last post. (Read my last post here).

Here is the comment:

Thinking negatively is absolutely essential if we are to change ourselves. Without negativity there is literally no driving force for change. Shame, depression, despair, sadness, anxiety, disillusionment, guilt, aloneness, self-doubt, self-dissatisfaction, feelings of inferiority etc. force self-aware individuals with a conscience to do better (‘the Theory of Positive Disintegration’, analogous to ‘the dark night of the soul’).

The ‘law of attraction’ – as it’s widely understood – is hogwash. Poor and sick people didn’t set out to be poor and sick people, and thinking happy-clappy thoughts won’t make their reality any nicer. Also, bad things happen to good people, and as well as that all sorts of low-life try to attack good people (where’s the ‘law of attraction’ in that?) There isn’t one genuinely spiritual person who hasn’t gone through an utterly miserable time from others.

Where the ‘law of attraction’ becomes even more pernicious is with new-age internet scammers who tell their victims that the ‘get rich quick’ schemes they bought into didn’t succeed because ‘they weren’t thinking positively enough’.

As I pondered my reply, I realized it would be a lengthy one. So, I decided it was a good opportunity to write a post about it instead, because a) I agree with the comment, and b) because I don’t agree with it and c) because I realize many Empaths may be of the same mind, (and d) because anything that ruffles my feathers is drawing my attention to something that needs addressing). Continue reading

The Controlling Force of an Empath’s Emotions

Continuing on from my last post, where I discussed how being in jobs that do not feel like a fit can lead to depression, as can feeling directionless or out of control in one’s life. Today, I want to further address the subject of power imbalances within an Empath and the need to control what we feel.

As Empaths, many of our emotional sensations are amplified. We react to criticism or reprimands much more than most. However, when out of balance, we become incredibly oversensitive to everyday life situations and get hurt easier than most. Because of this, we may suffer with depression and are more open to attract depressive moods from others (like attracts like).

In my post: Why do Empaths have Such a Strong Sense of Belonging, I made reference to Empaths knowing when something is wrong in their surroundings, even if they don’t know exactly what it is. The fact that so few people have control over their lives makes for a lot of unhappy people. Empaths pick up on the collective sense of dissatisfaction in the populace, whether they are aware of it or not, which can greatly affect their own moods. This can then trap them in negative thinking and thus feelings.

As Empaths, we get down when it seems like we have no control of the way we feel. Which is understandable. Getting bombarded with the emotional energy of others (on top of our own emotions) is no fun, and it can certainly influence the way we operate.

What we pick up from others can shape our life, especially when we are not aware the emotional energy we are experiencing does not belong to us. (If you struggle with defining the emotional energy of others read this.)

But other people’s energy is not the only thing that can lead to emotional instability and a sense of ‘no life-control’. Continue reading

Finding Purpose as an Empath and Being in Control

Last month, I happened across a great piece in The Guardian about depression and mental health, that really struck a chord with me.

Basically, the article said that depression is not just about chemical imbalances, as it has been touted by the scientific and medical communities for many years, but more about power imbalances and a lack of control. (Even though it was not written with the Empath in mind, I recommend it. It’s quite enlightening.) Here is a link to the article:

Most Empaths and Sensitives are prone to having bouts of depression or low moods. Although we can often link these gloomy periods to spending time with overly negative people, being around those who act as trauma triggers, or eating unsuitable foods, etc. but power imbalances, and a lack of life-control is something we should also consider.

A lack of control being linked to depression makes total sense. Not having power in one’s life also equates to feelings of helplessness and the sense of walking aimlessly. When we feel we are not in control of our life, and have no direction it might also be said that we have no purpose.

Everyone needs purpose. To have a reason to get up in the morning, to do something not only that we enjoy but that we know we are good at. But how many people can make that claim? Not many. Most are stuck in jobs not for the joy or purpose it gives them, but for the pay-check.

Anyone who is creative and or intelligent (and I don’t just mean educated) are naturally inclined to want to be in control of their destiny and have a reason for being.

Granted, some think they would prefer others to make their decisions for them – often born from having a fear of making the wrong decision or a lack of belief in self – but someone else controlling our life or purpose will never bring happiness.

Over 80% of the workforce are unfulfilled and unhappy in their work. That’s a lot of people.

If we consider many people went into professions chosen by their parents, or they chose their careers before they got to know who they were, it makes total sense. After all, who knows at sixteen what they will want to do for the rest of their lives? Not many people.

We change so much from when in our teenage years to when we are in our thirties. This, I believe, is a reason that so many people find themselves unhappy in their work in later life. They didn’t choose their vocation or they chose too young.

The lack of life-control in society means we end up living in conflict. Inside, we want to do something that feels meaningful and gives us purpose. In reality, many are stuck working to pay for mortgages, bills and children, and to fund a lifestyle.

What we are told will make us happy rarely does, because one size does not fit all. And this is why so many people feel like they are not in control.

I often refer to myself as being a ‘quiet control freak’. And that is not because I secretly want to rule others or be on some kind of ‘power trip’ with them. It’s because I want to be in control of my life… at least as much as I can. I realise we can’t control everything. But I do want to control what I do, where I go and how my time is used, I also want to be in control of whose energy I’m in. So, I tend to have a problem if others try to control me or if their energy is overbearing. The ‘quiet’ comes in because instead of being argumentative or objectionable, with those who force control, I quietly back away.

Having a desire to control one’s life is not a bad thing. We are at the helm of our own ships and it is up to us to set our own course and destination. We should be able to do this when we are ready to do so (which is rarely at the age we are expected).

Not being in control can seem like a form of imprisonment, as can feeling forced to do work we have no passion for or interest in. That is not freedom. Humans are supposed to have freewill. We also need to know we have choices, even if we don’t choose to use them.

In the early years, many Empaths were made to feel small and insignificant by those around them. In a bid to overcome this we may have searched for positions of power or wealth, in adulthood, in the belief it would make us more in control or ‘untouchable’. But we cannot always control the way other people make us feel. So, even if we achieve great status, power and vast wealth, if we do not feel in control of how we feel, or if we are not following our true calling, a void remains inside.

The article I linked to above, an extract from Johann Hari’s book: ‘Lost Connections’, suggests that the depression most experience is caused by our inner-self trying to raise our awareness that we are off-course. ‘It’s telling us that our natural psychological needs are not being met and it is a form of grief.’ Which I totally agree with.

We need to listen to our emotional signals and this is something I write a lot about:

By listening to our gut’s promptings and intuition it can save us unnecessary heartache. As an Empath, however, defining these signals is a challenge.

Because we feel everything so powerfully, it is difficult to discern the trigger of our own emotions, and those that belong to others.  But, speaking from experience, this is something we can all learn to overcome.

In the past, I have had times when I suffered with low moods or felt depressed, both of which pushed me to find the cause and make necessary changes to my life. Nowadays, if I experience a gloomy mood, I can link it back to either eating a food I shouldn’t (normally containing high levels of lectins), having spent too much time in peopled places or around excess negativity (or there’s been intense shifts in energy).

Because I have learnt to interpret my own signals and triggers, I try to follow what is right for me. There is nothing worse than experiencing low moods unnecessarily.

If we are constantly down or depressed, these are our inner-messages telling us something is not right either with the path we are walking or the way we are living our lives.

If you regularly read my posts, you may already know I am a great believer that bad things happen for good reasons. We just don’t see it at the time. Depression can be a call for change, our change. But we have to question the feelings we experience and find the root-cause. Which will be different for everyone.

We need to focus on taking back our power and that starts with getting in control of what we can.

To live happily as Empaths, staying in control is something we must work on daily, otherwise the world, and the way it makes us feel, will swallow us up.

Because this is a vast subject and an area many Empaths struggle with, I will continue the theme in my next post. Read part two here.

But if you want to look at ways to take back control here are some posts that may help you on your way.

Are You Leaking Energy? 

What is an Empath’s Purpose?

Transform Your Empath Life with This One Thing

An Empath’s Guide

Hope this helps on your journey.

Until next time.

Diane

©Diane Kathrine

Discover Your Purpose & Find Your Empath Wings

The following is an edited extract taken from the book ‘7 Secrets of the Sensitive’. I have lifted paragraphs from chapter 5 so as not to give too much of the book away. Enjoy…

‘One thing I know is the Empaths are here for an important reason. I can feel it. As I’m sure you can too. You may not know what this purpose is yet, but you are certainly on your way to finding out. Continue reading

What is an Empath’s Purpose in Life?

 

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One of the most frequently asked questions by those on the path of awakening is: What is my purpose as an Empath?

I know only too well how frustrating it is to have this question burning unanswered within. It is also frustrating to have this incredible gift and not know what it is for or what to do with it.

Many Empaths feel they should be helping others. But because they get overwhelmed, by spending too much time around people, they don’t know how that would be possible.

It is an inbred trait for Empaths to want to be of service. And, it is often the case that the more an Empath has suffered the more they want to save others from enduring the same pain. They may look for certain vocations that will help make this possible. Continue reading