Today I want to welcome a friend and colleague, Bingz Huang, to my blog. She recently published a beautiful book that might be especially valuable for sensitive souls. I had a few questions for her after I read this gentle gem.
You’re an Empath. Many of my readers will identify with that. Please tell us a bit about the journey you had that brought you to write the book?
The first time I realized I might be an Empath was when I first learned about energy healing in 2006 through Usui Reiki. I felt a strong urge to explore more about energy healing, so I went on to learn many more other energy healing modalities during the weekends. Even though all I experienced was more gentleness and kindness through simple breathing and visualization exercises, and I think of myself as more of a happy-go-lucky person without much tragedy in my life, I just kept on crying in every healing workshop. It seemed that I had unknowingly absorbed quite a lot of emotional stress over the years that needed to be released.
The first time I felt the impulse to write this book was after I decided to withdraw from a sponsored course in Physiotherapy (also known as Physical Therapy) eight years ago. I was doing pretty well academically in the course and in the practical sessions, but whenever I had to do my internship in hospitals with actual patients I felt nervous, stressed and depressed. I felt so depressed and overwhelmed during this particular internship that I just broke down in front of my teacher when she was about to assess me. On the very next day, I told her that I wanted to withdraw from the course.
After attempting to write a book for a few months, I became pregnant almost as soon as my husband and I decided to grow our own family. The first few years of motherhood was very challenging for me, especially as an Empath who feels her babies’ energies strongly and yet cannot bear to be apart from them. I share more about my insights as an Empath New Mom here on my blog.
When my first two sons got old enough to be placed in childcare, I started to spend more time on building my online healing practice and on unwinding painful memories and releasing limiting beliefs from my past. The theme of Gentleness returned again as I continued learning and practising energy healing on my clients, family and myself. I gained new tools such as therapeutic grade essential oils, and learned to apply the principles of Authentic Marketing to my healing practice. I even took a book-writing course that uses the power of scent to help release procrastination in writing! However, I was still not confident of writing that book and began interviewing other holistic practitioners on the theme of Gentleness instead.
Finally, while in the midst of compiling research materials for my book, I found myself unexpectedly pregnant with a third son. More drama unfolded and it took more Gentleness to realign my family and I back to peaceful joy again. That was when I decided to birth this book again, but this time I committed to writing about my own experiences and sharing my own insights about Gentleness. I am so glad that it is finally born at least as a Kindle book for now!
What an interesting title! A combination of two words that we might assume are somewhat opposites. How did you choose this title and what does it mean?
My initial working title for this book was: “Healing with Gentleness”. The word “Healing” was not ideal to me as it was too generic. After the book was almost completed, I asked my audience for suggestions on book titles. One of my friends who is also a wonderful healer suggested using the word “Empower” which I love! After reflecting on this word, I realized that being gentler on myself did made me feel less like a victim and more empowered.
I want to share with my readers that we do not have to keep pushing and struggling all the time.
We need to be okay with who we are now so that we feel safe to own our innate power. This, to me, is Empowerment. And Gentleness does not mean being slack and giving up on life. It means being balanced in the way we see ourselves now and how we react to the changes that are constantly showing up in our lives. Sometimes we need to start taking action and moving forward, and sometimes we just need to take a break and reintegrate the changes slowly. This, to me is Gentleness.
This is how I see Empowerment and Gentleness go hand-in-hand so perfectly!
For many of the sensitive clients I work with, their gentleness or kindness have been judged or criticized…. So they think they need to grow a thick hard skin or become stronger. They might even have learned to suppress their feelings as a result. Is suppressing or denying our feelings helpful? And how can we start feeling them again?
I think it is natural to feel unsafe and to feel a need to put up our shields against people who have criticized or judged us before. However, it is important to be aware of how often you feel a need to shield yourself against others and not be your authentic self.
Is there a large proportion of your life where you don’t feel safe to be yourself? If that is the case, how do you feel about that? Can you allow yourself to feel what you feel in not being able to be yourself most of the time? What is the one word that best describes how you feel? Stick to simple feeling words, such as “mad”, “glad”, “sad”. Feel how that emotion is being stored in your body. Is it mostly in your head, belly, chest, arms, or back? Start breathing through the physical sensation of that emotion in your body for a minute and notice how that might shift. Is the intensity still the same, less or greater?
When you feel like you were feeling your feelings in that little exercise, you can then start to explore other feelings that may start to spontaneously arise.
This is just one of the ways to feel your feelings. I share about a few other ways in my book too. And if it is difficult to start feeling your feelings even if you tried, be gentle on yourself and start asking for some professional help through a therapist, counsellor, or healing practitioner.
You’re a Human Design specialist. Can you say a bit more about how this system can help empaths and sensitive souls?
Sure! Human Design can be incredibly complex as there are so many layers and details to it!
I like to just focus on the nine energy centers that show up in every Human Design chart. Each center carries and manages a certain frequency of energy and relates to specific themes in our lives. When you receive your Human Design chart that is generated according to your place, date and time of birth, you get to see which of your nine energy centers (represented by shapes) are defined, or undefined.
If a Center is colored in, then it is called Defined. A Defined Center has a consistent way of operating and is part of who you are. This is the energy that you radiate out into the world. It operates the same way energetically and thematically.
If a Center is white, then it is called Undefined or “open”. Open Centers are where we take energy and information in from the world around us. Not only do we take in energies in our open Centers, we amplify them.
As an Empath, it is helpful to see which centers are defined in your chart. Can you relate to them as being undefined where you do sense energies in these centers in an amplified manner that changes according to the people you are with? Having this awareness can help you realize that these energies do not represent us. You can choose to interact with these energies, and let them go as your environment changes. If you are feeling overwhelmed in certain energy centers, such as feeling unclear in your thinking (head / ajna centers), or you are not sure how you really feel emotionally (emotional solar plexus center), it might be good to spend some time alone so you allow those energy centers a chance to become clear again.
The interesting part comes when you actually relate to some of your undefined centers as being defined! This is where you see how your undefined center might be conditioned by a specific person in your life for many years, such as your mother. You might have thought this is part of your personality, when in fact you have unknowingly “adopted” your mother’s personality through this energy center. Having awareness of how you are conditioned by certain people in your life can help you greatly to release that conditioning so you can become more of who you really are.
You made a few career choices that didn’t fit in for your sensitive energy. Can you say a bit about that? Some of our readers might feel very relieved that they’re not the only ones with career trouble.
As you ease into your career, it is always important to check in with yourself how happy you are. We usually spend most of our waking time at work and so we deserve to feel happy and fulfilled at work. For me, I realized that my body posture would change most dramatically entering the office on a Monday after a weekend of rest. My shoulders would become heavy and I would slouch. I started looking forward to any kind of breaks such as restroom breaks, tea breaks, lunch breaks and when the work day ends! This was an obvious sign letting me know that my work and / or work environment was draining for me.
It is also important for me to know if my work felt fulfilling enough for me. My first job at a huge aircraft engineering maintenance company did not feel fulfilling for me at all. I constantly felt like I was just wasting my time and the company’s resources by staying there. My second career in healthcare felt a lot more meaningful for me because I was making an impact on people’s physical health and it gave me an opportunity to administer practical care for them. But in this second career the environment was too stressful for me to do what I needed to do as a physiotherapist. Having more clarity on this helped me move towards exploring energy healing as a career again.
Some of us are able to take that leap and just quit our jobs before we find a more suitable career. Some of us need to be able to form some new foundation, such as a new job, or new course or community so we feel safer making that shift. Trust your own instincts on what is gentler for you. It is always safer to follow your intuition than to ignore it and trudge on. Even though I made those career changes way too late by trying to push away my intuition, making those changes still brought a lot of relief to my life. I feel much more comfortable in my life now, and I am so thankful to my early self for having the courage to stop tolerating and start building my ideal career.
Sometimes quiet people think that being gentle means: “Hiding all their own opinions, or keeping quiet and letting others take advantage of them”. Can you give us your perspective?
I used to think that way too, I even felt apologetic for breathing loudly in a room shared with others!
Through exploring my Human Design chart, I now realize that I was simply reacting too much to the external energies that felt too strong and too loud for me. I am also a natural peacemaker because it is usually easier to sacrifice my own needs then to feel anger and sadness that is amplified from others. I now realize that the bigger problem in sacrificing my own needs for the sake of harmony is that I would feel drained and it became more difficult to know what I really want in life.
Learning and practicing energy healing (mainly through The Wonder Method and Aroma Freedom Techniques) has also helped me realize that the more I relax into my own being, and the safer I feel to express my real thoughts and feelings, the more I tend to allow the people around me to feel safer in expressing themselves authentically. The reverse is true too!
It feels much better to be honest and authentic, so that others feel safe to be authentic with me as well.
Sometimes we’re very harsh with ourselves about the vessel we live in – our bodies. Tell us a bit about body gentleness?
I believe that even though we can mentally ignore our feelings, our bodies cannot ignore them and tend to store these feelings till they are ready to be processed.
Similarly, processing our feelings does not need to be done through our minds too. We can process them gently through our bodies by touching our bodies intuitively, moving intuitively, singing and speaking intuitively, and drawing / painting intuitively. There are also some body-specific modalities that usually require a trained facilitator to guide you through, such as CranioSacral therapy (CST) and Tension / Trauma Release Exercises (TRE). Mind-Body based exercise modalities such as Yoga and Taichi would help as well. These are all gentle ways to release emotional and physical tension through our bodies.
Could you share 3 tips about how we can bring more gentleness into our lives?
#1: Lower your level of pain tolerance. This will help you be more aware of how you might be experiencing physical / emotional / mental / spiritual pain in your life which you can start to release more of. For example, when I become less tolerant of my back pain due to prolonged baby-wearing, I started to explore more ways to not put further strain on my back and encouraged more independence in my toddler.
#2: Focus on trusting and following your intuition. Your voice of intuition is subtle and gentle so you need to be gentle enough on yourself to be aware of it.
#3: Focus on bringing more fun into your life! Feeling safe and light enough to have fun regularly in your life automatically helps to infuse more Gentleness in your life. I love using essential oils to indulge in my sense of smell and to make little DIY gifts with them. Taking weekly K-Pop dance classes also helps to put a smile on my face and smiling is a sign of Gentleness!
Thank you for the opportunity, Liesel!
You’re welcome Bingz, thank you for sharing your wealth of experiences, tips and methods to be gentle with ourselves.