So, why am I a soap maker? Actually, making soap is part of a bigger picture. I am a highly sensitive, empath and I find that makes me so in tune with my environment anything artificial can be quite challenging for me.
Being an empath is not scientifically studied or acknowledged however, I can assure you it is very real as I live with it. They say you can develop empathy and that may be true to an extent but I believe you either are born an empath or you’re not. I think compassion and empathy are often confused. Compassion is being able to put yourself in someone’s shoes and empathize with them. Being an empath is considered largely science fiction and is defined as the psychic ability to tune into the emotional experience of people, places, animals, and/or plants. Since this is a relatively new understanding in the world, many empaths have soaked up the emotional energy of the global environment, been overwhelmed and often finding themselves sick and struggling with mental health issues because they haven’t understood or learned how to navigate their experience. Now that is entering the global consciousness, empaths can find information and learn how to be more of a filter than a sponge and in doing so can tap into their innate healing abilities without compromising their own experience.
If you happen to also be a highly sensitive person, since being an empath and a highly sensitive person don’t always co-exist, you have another layer of sensitivity added to your experience. The highly sensitive person is scientifically understood and studied. This term was coined by the psychologist, Elaine Aron. She says highly sensitive people are high in a personality trait known as sensory-processing sensitivity. It is believed 15% to 20% of the population are highly sensitive and they are more easily disturbed by violence, tension, and feelings of being overwhelmed. Highly sensitive people also have four primary brain differences:
· The brain responds differently to dopamine
· The mirror neurons are more active
· The emotions of others are experienced more vividly
· The ability to be more alert and “more conscious” in social contexts
On the upside, these individuals are also known to be more creative, have richer personal relationships, and a greater appreciation for beauty.
So, how did that dive me into a world where “all-natural” is a loosely defined term slung around to hype up products and environmental awareness? I have struggled with health problems and food sensitivities most of my life. I went from doctor to doctor for answers, none were found, and I was labeled a hypochondriac. Imagine my relief when I stumbled onto the concept of being a highly-sensitive person, which is a finely tuned nervous system, and how it affected what I could eat, what I could use on my body, and environments I could live in. I become a self-taught expert at diets, personal hygiene products, and cleaning products. This led me into a journey of self-discovery and what worked for me. I also learned we are all individually wired and that requires a very individual approach. I refuse to advocate any one way is better than another. You have to find that out for yourself.
So, my empathy created a need for me to balance my time with people versus my time spent alone and my high sensitivity contributed to my journey for healthier ways to live and a creative side. Soap making was a perfect solution to intertwine all these elements. You will even find I am very limited on my internet time as I don’t have any extensive interaction with social media. This may be counter-intuitive to doing business in today’s world however, I trust and have faith this is the way I need to do it. To me, it is like the movie, Field of Dreams, “build it and they will come.”