Ellie Clarneau

Wow! So I honestly was not sure I would make it to this point. I have been a nervous wreck the past few days trying to figure out what I was going to do. Or even where to start. Like many in this program, I feel that I have a lot of strengths and a lot of experiences to draw from. I am smart and capable but there are just so many directions I could go in… At the end of the day, that wasn’t really true. I knew I had to focus on ONE THING that felt right, one thing that I deal with every single day of my life. It has been so obvious and yet I did not see it before now.

I recently discovered that I am an empath. This might mean nothing to some people but it could mean a whole world of something to others. All of my life I’ve been plagued by worry and fear and all these FEELINGS. I absorbed the feelings of everyone: family, friends, and even people I do not know but it happened to be when they were in close physical proximity to me. I remember one time I stood next to a lady in the elevator and all of a sudden I felt a stabbing pain in my shoulder. As she and I began to chat some, I found out she was going in to get surgery on a torn rotator cuff in the same shoulder where I had felt the pain. As a massage therapist for the past 15 years, I absorbed a myriad of pains and problems from my clients without even realizing it. Once I had a client go into the room to get on the table and as I waited outside the door. I suddenly had a pain in my abdomen so severe that I doubled over and needed to sit down nearby. A minute later the lady came out of the room and apologized that she had to use the restroom because she had started her period suddenly. This isn’t info I could share with everyone, but I think my audience will understand and relate. I haven’t been able to watch the news for years, because of how the events would cloud my entire day with a dark sadness of how awful the world is. I am obsessed with wanting to help victims of human trafficking, yet whenever I hear a story I am suddenly transported into their world and what they have gone through. I can feel it all, the pain, the terror and the hopelessness. It has seemed like a curse my entire life. Some days I can’t even muster the energy to get out of bed. Since the age of 12 I have often asked myself, “What’s the point? Who would even care or notice if I wasn’t here? Death has got to be better than living with this constant pain everyday of my life.”

Counseling and therapy helped somewhat temporarily. Medications were never exactly what I needed. It was difficult to open up to people about what I felt because it just seemed like something was wrong with me and no one would understand. They would just think I was crazy.

Then about a year ago I heard the term empath. I assumed it meant someone who felt empathy toward others but didn’t associate with it much beyond that. I had joined some online groups and began to converse with people who I felt I could trust and discuss some of my worries and issues. The word empath came up more and more. And I knew I had to find out exactly what this was. As I learned more about it, it was like looking in a mirror! All of the symptoms I had, from feeling ill at seeing or hearing about violence, to getting worn out after being around people too long. The constant fatigue, worry, and just general un-ease. It all made sense. And to find out I didn’t actually hate people was very reassuring too, as I had begun to fear that I did hate humankind and barely wanted to leave my house anymore because of it.

I actually really love people! I literally bleed for the world. I had never understood that term until recently. I am able to feel things on a whole different level, and as I learned to embrace and use my gifts to better my life, new paths opened up and opportunities came along to show understanding to other empaths. I have forever been the person others could trust or come to with problems or needing advice. I never realized it was because of my open, caring and kind nature. I let myself be drained and depleted by it before, but now I realize I can set boundaries and take care of myself BECAUSE I care about others. I can do much more good in the world if I am good to me, first and foremost.

And so, as I have learned to manage my feelings and mood swings, and to realize that there is nothing “wrong” with me, I have also discovered that I want to give this feeling of freedom to all empaths! I have learned to center and ground myself, distinguish my pain and discomfort from that of those around me, take time to replenish and rejuvenate myself, and feel more comfortable sharing my story with the world. Now I look forward to giving this feeling to all empaths! What has felt like a curse for so so long is actually the best blessing in disguise. We are here to bring love and light to others and I am excited to lead the way for those who need it like I needed it for so long!

When I saw an ad for Start With You, I felt like my prayers had been answered! Here was a way I could discover my true calling, find something I loved to do and get paid for it! I was crazy excited to get started. Then, the work began. I had to try and discover what I liked, what I was good at, what experiences had shaped me and made me who I am… So tiresome! My old comfort zone called out to me: you’re ok! You don’t need to go through all this. Sure, you don’t make a killing at your job but it pays the bills and you’re good at it. Why stress yourself out??

I considered quitting. The comfort zone made a tempting point. But the more I thought about it, I realized that my comfort zone really wasn’t all that comfortable! I was tired of playing small. I owed it to myself, my daughter, and all the people I could potentially help to see this through. This would not be another program I bought with high hopes and then shelved when the work got tough.

To be honest, I agonized over my decision today. The eternal procrastinator, I waited as long as I could for the sudden spark of an idea to hit me. All day long I batted around different options, none of them feeling like the right fit. I knew I could start anywhere, but I wanted something that felt truly authentic to ME. Then I went to the movies with my daughter. It was a scary movie, the kind that usually makes me uncomfortable, and I did feel ill during a few scenes. But then I reminded myself that I was ok, nothing was happening to me, it was just a movie. The drive home was anxious for me until I used my new tools to talk myself down. I worried about what we would have for dinner, but then decided to let my partner and teenage daughter figure it out on their own. I dealt with each situation with more comfort and ease and suddenly realized I could help other empaths do this too! I was struck with the idea just like I had hoped I would be! And now here we are. There were times I was frustrated with the process and even with Marisa, but I realize now that was reluctance and resistance to doing the necessary work to find my True North Business. Now that I had this idea in front of me, I am excited at all the possibilities to help and be a light to this world!

And all because I started with Me 🙂