The 10 reasons Sense8 changed my life (and it will change yours, too!)

sun3Sun.

I have an apology to make… to all of my friends and family who I talked to about Sense8… I’m sorry. I have become all enthralled and totally enthused by this show. And so I thought I would write a post to explain myself… here is why I became so god-damn obsessed with this show, and you should, too.

1. It made me feel less alone.

I have been very lonely of late and have found myself huddled away behind my canvas, my notepad, my meditation and the shadows of trees in the sunlight. With only my cats to talk to, I found Sense8 to be a lifeline.

Sense8 is a show that gave me a new perspective on my loneliness. It helped me to realise that even though I was on my own here, I am connected to other people in the world, perhaps in ways I don’t know yet and that have not been revealed to me.

The story line is about eight people joined by their own emotions and senses. The idea that I can be connected in this empathic way to people I haven’t even met, reassures me. It puts new hope and faith in humanity, that they are out there, my close friends, just waiting to be met.

2. It reminded me of empathy and life purpose.

Well, as you know from my post about how to empathise, I was already into empathy. That said, I sometimes am human and forget all about it and my passion for truly hearing people.

The sensates themselves can already feel everything the other person is feeling instinctually. This level of effortless understanding is something not attainable by us humans so easily, but is something to aspire to – a oneness that many of us are thirsty for. It reminded me of the beauty of true human connection in which everyone is transparent, authentic, and connected to one another.

beaut intro sense8 the tubeSense8 intro. Source: The Tube

3. It reminded me of the beauty in the world

In this time of difficult times, it is easy to forget and to focus on the negative side of everything, of humanity. But Sense8 reminds us through the amazing and beautiful (emmi nominated) cinematography, that the world can be and is, a beautiful place. Shot in eight different countries for each character, this is true dedication to diversity and sharing what each place has to offer.

Not only is it beautifully shot, the message of hope and strength that runs throughout each storyline is clear. -The emphasis on celebration and the positive side of human nature reminds me that it is not all bad in life. And the open appreciation of the LGBTQ+ community and relationships is an added bonus.

4. Knowing that I’m weird just became a strength

If you’re one of the weird ones on the outside looking in, possibly a Lady Gaga fan, you will relate to this show. It takes self-acceptance to another level.

Birthed by trans sisters, Lana and Lilly Wachowski, their original take on being an outsider is clear through their writing.

The theme of each of the characters being different but this being a strength as they bring something new and essential to the table, is a message that is highly needed in this often hostile political climate.

The messages here give representation to those who do not feel heard in a world that slowly seems to be going to shit!

you did it will riley giff .gifWill and Riley. Source: rebloggy

5. It helped with my trauma

This will likely not have the same effect on others as it did me, but the story about one young woman’s trauma, and how the writers made sense of this on a spiritual and emotional level helped me to understand a little more, my own.

This is the purpose of all art, I believe. Particularly in good and talented writing, it is to pose our own questions and to delve deep into what we might find as our own personal understanding of what once posed a problem or a psychological curiosity. It gave me a reason to fight past the trauma, for the people we love.

This was the Wachowski’s two cents. And for me, it proved very very insightful and transformative.

6. It is the perfect show for INFJs

This show is based more around the character’s development than anything. Being a show already primed for empaths of the world to unite, the ‘feeling’ personalities will eat this up. My life and brain works this way. Logic often is lost on me.

And so seeing a show that also shows my own perspective, was freeing to me. And seeing an introverted character be one of the most badass superheroes I have ever seen, was refreshing in itself.

lito beauty gay manLito, the beauty. Source: tumblr

7. I saw real women, real trans people, real gay people … I saw myself.

The best kind of art makes you connect with the characters, but also to see yourself clearer than you had before you saw it.

Often we see women as superheroes who are just a hot body in a tight suit, with no real personality, no real humanness to them. They are perfect and they kick ass. And yes, when I watch them, I do want to be them. But I also feel ‘less than’ them.

The difference here is that the female characters here are all beautiful, but I can SEE MYSELF within them. They show weakness, they love, for real, they are tender, for real, sexual, for real, and if they can be this strong and passionate, smart and fiery.

Then so can I.

9. It teaches that courage is courage.

Kind of in opposition to the last point I made. -Whilst I find it highly beneficial to see ‘strong’ female leads, I also value the point made here which loosens up the boundaries of what we think we need in order to feel courage, or to be strength. The point is made that it doesn’t matter who is being courageous, it the intention and the act, rather than whether it is a man or a woman. That ‘who we are’ is an abstract construct when you consider yourself one in eight different people, or one in a million. If courage is represented only by men but you are female, in a way, it does not matter, because you can still be inspired by the qualities you like, no matter what your gender. (I believe this is true, along with representation of all walks of life being highly valuable to all.)

love is art twitterLove must be free. Source: twitter

8. It makes me want to create more art

This series is heart and soul defined. It is the new chicken soup for the soul. It has spiritual teachings scattered around beautiful scenery, scintillating chemistry, hot sex scenes (that embrace this side of human nature), humour and strong connections and empathy throughout.

The one liners are never ending in this piece of art. No line is wasted.

It’s like Hemingway on crack.

I could eat these lines up the same way a Woody Allen movie fills me with inspiration; it gets me up off of the couch and to my typewriter. It just works.

10. It calls for revolution like a ‘whisper’

This show encourages people to do better and be better than they already are. To think for themselves, to not accept the status quo. This is exactly the kind of message we need for people to be free again. To remember our true power; to fight for what is right and for what is ours.

I believe this fighting spirit is what gave the Sense8 fans the tenacity to petition and rally together for a month upon its cancellation and to succeed in getting back a two-hour special for the series completion. Not only that, thousands of us are still fighting for a full third season, and more if we can get it.

sense8-sun hugCluster love. Source: google

This is not only a fight for us, it is for ‘we’ – it is for all – so that more people can see this show and have the same ‘aha’ moments and chills we have had, the same amount of joy in its humour and love for the human condition; the love of the ‘mess’ of all of us, the strength and power each of us have, and how, when we are different, we are #strongertogether.

Like Almanita says, ‘I am also a ‘we”. This I believe to be absolutely true, more than ever. Let us not forget it.

Lilly. Source: The Tube

“While the ideas of transformation and identity are critical components in our work… the bedrock that all ideas rest upon is love.”

I would like to say a personal thank you to Lana and Lilly Wachowski, you do not know how you have changed my life and touched my soul. I aspire to be exactly like you lovely ladies as I grow as an artist.

You are my benchmark. # I am we. ❤

What do you think? Seen the series? Want to?! Let me know in the comments! Thanks in advance for any gifts you might want to give, they are most appreciated.

Buy Now Button

Advertisements

How to Empathise

We all need empathy. Someone to listen to us and understand what we are feeling, where we are coming from. Yes, if you are an enlightened being, you might not feel the need to connect.

(Check here for more posts on growth.)

But there comes a point when most gain a thirst to connect with others. And this article is all about connecting empathically- that being, when someone is feeling something and they want you to connect with that. With this short guide, you will be able to see and feel that on a deeper level than before, just by trying out some of these ideas.

What Is Empathy?

How to Empathise surfer dude

Source: Pinterest

This is the best description I have heard of what empathy is, and it inspired me to try it out:

Have you ever been surfing? Imagine you’re on your surfboard now, waiting for the big one to come. Get ready to get carried with that energy. Now, here it comes. Are you with that energy right now? That’s empathy. No words – just being with that energy.

Marshal Rosenberg

Let’s Start by Saying What Empathy Is Not

Here are a few common misconceptions of what empathy is, that do not serve connection, but take away the focus from the person needing empathy, and their feelings:

empathy is not

Source: Pinterest

Taking Care of Yourself – When NOT to Empathise

If someone seems like they don’t need empathy or it just isn’t their bag, drop it. Only empathise if you’re getting more connected to the person, not less.

Otherwise, there will be times when empathising is not a fun thing for you to do. Usually, when someone is asking for it, but you yourself really need some empathic connection, this will be a time you simply cannot give it. In this case you are probably best trying to find someone else who can hear you better.

How to Empathise -the Basics

Simply being there with the person in front of you in the moment, not intellectualising their experience, and not judging their feelings, is a consciousness that will serve you when riding the wave of empathy.

Being Aware of Feelings and Needs

If your intention is to connect with the person, to understand their feelings, then this will come across. You don’t even have to say anything, they will sense your sincere wish to connect with them. This can be the most precious gift in the world at a moment of crisis.

For example, if you are stood at a bus stop and someone began repeating the phrase to you, ‘the bus is late’, you could guess that they mean they are stressed out, because they perhaps have a need to get home and rest. If you seem open to hearing them, they will likely tell you.

Begin by Listening

How to Empasthise friend listening to friend source- emergent visions

Source: Emergent Visions

Don’t do something, just be there.

Old Buddhist saying

This one is the most simple of them all, and if you’re feeling at all uncomfortable with the idea of empathising, this is probably your safest bet.

Keep your focus on the feelings and needs of this person. And while maintaining the intention of  connecting, you can simply listen and nod when you feel appropriate.

Reflecting Back Feelings

How to Empathise mirror reflection

Source: Shamans Collective

This is something you might find useful if even when being listened to, the person in front of you finds little relief, and perhaps is emphatically repeating themselves, perhaps telling a long story over and over again.

If the moment feels right, try reflecting back what they seem to be saying: ‘Are you feeling worried about that?’

If they answer yes, they will tell you about another feeling or concern. Or, if the answer is no, they will think about what it is they are really feeling. This focus allows feelings to be acknowledged and expressed.

For a guess at what they might be feeling, check this out:

How to Empathise feelings inventory source- Pinterest

Source: Pinterest

Reflecting Back Needs

Once you have considered their feelings, it can help to guess at what the person is truly wanting: ‘Are you feeling sad (feeling) because you wish you had more love (need) in your life?’ for example.

Check the full list of needs below if you aren’t quite sure of what to guess:

How to Empathise Needs inventory Source- pinterest

Source: Pinterest

Knowing When Someone’s Had Enough Empathy

It is easy to spot when someone has had enough empathy because you will see them relax. Their speech will slow down or stop, and even their breathing will slow down. Often they will thank you for your gift in being so attentive. They are often much more likely to see a solution to the problem, or feel hopeful that they will now find one.

A way of being sure is by asking; ‘Is there anything more you wanted to say?’ It’s good to be sure, because when pausing for a long time they may simply be getting up the courage to go even deeper with their feelings.

 

So, there you have it. I hope that this skill will enrich your lives as it has mine. I found people opening up to me in ways I had never seen before, and expressing gratitude to me, and I found deeper levels of connection with the ones I love. I wish the same for you.

 

P.S. If you’d like to find out more about NVC (Non-Violent Communication) where a lot of my understanding of empathy came from, head over to cnvc.org. (nb, I am in no way affiliated with this organisation, but my life has been touched deeply by learning about this concept, and practicing it in my everyday life).

What do you think? Ever had someone hear your feelings in this way? OR have you tried this out yourself? What happened? I’d love to know, let me know, in the comments below.

 

If you liked this article, you might also like:

How to let go of relationship cravings (when you’re desperate)

PTSD: Getting to healing

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=S6KZQCXBBMPB2