“I can’t let go of this disappointment I feel towards my brother. Our parents taught us better than that.”

I was coaching someone who was planning a difficult conversation with her brother and she kept getting blended with the way her parents felt about him. It was in the way of her own authentic anger and other feelings about him.

When we are holding feelings and beliefs that don’t belong to us, we might feel foggy, lost and inwardly messy. Most of the time, we have no idea that this is even going on.


purple square with a gold post-it and text reading "High Perfomer Secret Messes Look Like: being unsure which feelings are yours"


The more empathy you tend to have for others, the more you’re like a walking sponge, soaking up other people’s energies and emotions. When your spouse feels anxious about a project at work, you may also be holding that tension in your body, for example.

And when you’re breaking with a family tradition, you may have anger toward yourself that isn’t actually yours. The discomfort or judgement or frustration you feel could be coming from someone else.


Image with of a comic with three panes. Title is "Carrying O.P.E. (other people's energy). The first pane has two people sitting facing each other at a table. One is crying and the other is listening. The caption reads "I hear the distress". The second pane shows a person walking down the street being sad with a small sad ghost hovering behind it. The caption reads "...I carry it with me..." The third pane shows the person at the store pushing a grocery cart with the sad ghost still hovering behind it. The caption reads "...everywhere."


In order to process your own feelings fully, it’s critical to set down everything that is not yours.

You can do this by taking a moment to go inward and ask yourself, what percentage of how I’m feeling actually belongs to me? You’ll get some kind of sense via a percentage or a visual or a sensory feeling of the material that isn’t yours.

Then, you can discharge it by sending it into the center of the Earth or visualize laying it down with honor at the feet of those it belongs to, because it’s not yours.

Take a listen to this meditation where I walk you through the steps here.

Then check in and see how you’re feeling and if you’ve got a sense of being clearer and lighter.


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