being in yo’ feels: the real tea on being an empath

Flatbush, Brooklyn
the astrological wheel

It started happening more often, the bubbling over of the emotions. I would be working with a client, and I would feel nervous. Like, real life nerves that I couldn’t understand. What did I have to be nervous about? I remember having my first anxiety attack in college when I realized I was about to fail half of my classes. That was a valid reason for an anxious episode. But here I was, freaking out about a gig that was already in the bag? Why? Then it became that I would be on the phone with a friend and suddenly feel a tightness in my throat. Or an ache in my heart. Sometimes, my daughter would come in the room, and I would be awash with sadness.

Was I losing it?

As a type A personality, and a black female chef in a still very melanin lacking, old boys club industry, I learned very early on that I had to lead with the firm, unemotional face when working. When I was home, I would put my feelings to the side so that I could ensure that my only daughter had what she needed to survive and thrive. When my friends called, in need of the things, that face of friendship is what comes forward. Virgos like to be of service — and that is definitely me.

Which is why, one day, when I was at work, in the kitchen, and someone came to my office crying about something happening at home, and I began to cry with them — they were just as surprised as I was.

I say true empath because there is a distinct difference between having empathy for someone and being an empath.

The reality is that every human being has empathy at some point for another person. (Or, at least, they should.) If someone is going through a rough time and you feel badly for them, that is empathy. If you see someone crying and it makes you feel sad — this is also empathy. Empathy is natural and there is nothing wrong with it. It’s nothing to run away from.

When you are a true empath, it is really easy to become emotionally drained and overwhelmed, if you are not a. protecting yourself and setting clear boundaries for engagement with others, and b. giving yourself space to decompress and come back to center.

In the coming weeks, I will have additional resources for my budding empaths, who may just be realizing what’s been happening to them. Not sure if this is you? Take a look here and see if this applies to you. If you are simply empathetic to those around you, feel blessed in that. There is beauty in the human experience. If you think it may be more — I hope some of the resources here help you begin your journey with grace and understanding.



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Kimi Michelle

Kimi Michelle


Change agent. Soca & rap junkie. BK Girl in Queens. Mom. Chef, Writer, & Psychic Medium. Chili oil obsessed. Trinidad & Barbados stand up.