Empath-friendly Movies (good movies for HSPs and Empaths)

This post was inspired by a search on Google for “Good movies for Empaths” and the surprising discovery that a list like this, did not really yet exist.

So I would like to begin suggesting certain films that I feel are suitable for Highly Sensitive Persons (HSP) and Empaths.

Like most empaths and sensitive people,  I am not a fan of overly violent and unpleasant movies.

Empaths will indeed tend to find that movies with a lot of negativity, hatred, violence, and (to a point) stupidity, will tend to rub them the wrong way.  Often the negativity, violence, etc., will be taken (rather involuntarily) into the Empath’s energy field, and lodging there, become yet more weight for the Empath to energetically “carry around”, in addition to the general burden the Empath tends to pick up from the suffering/pain/sadness in the world around them!

So it is generally advisable, most Empaths find, to reduce their consumption of gratuitous violence, negative films, etc., for their own psychological, energetic, indeed even physical well-being.

Maybe more details should come on this later.  I would like to begin suggesting some movies.

This should be an ongoing project that should be added to frequently.  Also feel free to suggest your own!   I look forward to us putting together perhaps some kind of library or reference list (bibliography) of  Films Good for Empaths:

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Life is Beautiful  (1997):  Dir.  Robert Benigni

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0118799/

In a list of “empath friendly films”, it may seem counter-intuitive to begin with a movie that is set in a concentration camp during the Holocaust.     But Life is Beautiful is about one man who somehow finds ways to make this singularly cruel and terrible backdrop into something, dare we say, rather fun and lighthearted.

 

 

The central character, played by Benigni, is devoted to keeping his son from feeling depressed or scared in the camp, through treating the entire situation as one great game, that nobody can let on they are playing.

While that may sound absurd and a rather tenuous premise, Benigni pulls it off brilliantly, making this one of the most heart-warming and beautiful films of all time, in my opinion (and many Empaths may feel something of the same way).

The final scene may make you cry, if you are an Empath (it never fails to for me).  But they are tears not of sadness, but somewhat in awe of the great and terrible beauty, the incredible beauty and generosity human beings can show.    In any case, just a wonderful movie that everyone, (especially Empaths perhaps), should see at least once.

 

We may also take it as a commentary on the techniques Empaths can master to “make a heaven out of” what often seems a bit more like a hell, a world that may be difficult for them.   If Benigni’s character can make such a hell into a lighthearted place, perhaps we Empaths can perform a similar transformation on the more mundane hells and purgatories of our lives.

 

Adam (2009)

Adam, the title character, has Asperger’s syndrome.  Thus he is certainly not an empath.  While Empaths viscerally pick up on the emotions and energies around them,  those on the Asperger’s-Autistic spectrum have something of an opposite problem, generally having difficulty understanding the emotions of others.

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However, those with Autism-Asperger’s do have certain things in common with Sensitive Persons (HSPs) and Empaths, which is that they tend to be far more sensitive to stimuli.  Like HSPs and Empaths, they tend to feel that “the world is too much with them,”  and it is a difficult place for them to live in and to interact with others.

 

This is a beautiful story about one man with Asperger’s, trying to make his way in the world.   Many Empaths and HSPs have been mistakenly described as having Asperger’s tendencies perhaps by parents or those close to us,  and it is touching to see someone with this psychological makeup getting by in the world.

Also a beautiful film and a touching story.  Highly recommended.

 

The Perks of Being a Wallflower  (2012)

Very enjoyable film for anyone who ever felt “out of place” in high school.  Ah the weirdos, the misfits, these are the people many Empaths can relate to, since they may often have been that way themselves.

While Empaths may have been popular or well-liked people, they undoubtedly have often felt themselves, to be people who were a little odd.    The beautiful young characters of this film,  are also certainly outcasts and misfits in that regard.   A nice movie.

 

Amazing Grace (2006)

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A very nice film, providing a good piece of history for understanding the background to the abolition of slavery in Britain…   The main character is certainly portrayed as an idealist, dare we say perhaps an Empath  (he has to stop his cart every time he sees a horse being beaten, getting out in the rain to rebuke and stop the perpetrator of the violence).

 

The End of the Tour (2015)

A sweet and rather powerful movie about an interviewer spending time with the writer David Foster Wallace.  DFW is most certainly a sensitive man (and a misunderstood, rather unusual, rather brilliant one),  and one would think, very probably an Empath.

Peaceful Warrior (2006)

Not a high-budget or very slick or polished film.   But certainly an uplifting and inspirational, could we say “spiritual” film, that reminds one to live in the moment, follow one’s dreams, etc.

 

Ram Dass: Fierce Grace (2001 Documentary)

A lesser-known (perhaps hard to find) documentary,  on the spiritual teacher Ram Dass.  Inspiring for anyone with interest in spirituality, the 1960’s, or the a piece of spiritual history.    A very beautiful film in which we see the transformation of Ram Dass himself, his survival of a stroke and learning to deal with it, and the transformation of others along the way.

 

The Celestine Prophecy (2006) 

 

Incredibly corny at times, and certainly not a candidate to win any film awards.  That said, if one can look past the rather clumsy acting and execution (which, frankly, reminded me of the rather clunky dialogue of the book),   the message of one interconnected world, being open to synchronicity, etc., etc., is something that many Empaths may feel they resonate with, and can be a bit inspirational.

Avatar (2009)

OK, OK.  Yes, it is very mainstream, very big-budget,  and the ending is rather disappointingly formulaic.   But…  Could we leave out a film featuring “blue people” who are so reminiscent of weird extraterrestrial Empaths?  (forever talking about “feeling the energy,” trying to live in peaceful harmony with their environments, etc.).

A very beautiful movie, in terms of setting, story, and everything.   As noted, the end is rather disappointingly predictable (the blue people defeat the bad guys in battle! Great.)   But still a wonderful movie that everyone may as well see at least once.   Just a really enjoyable and beautiful film.

 

Good Will Hunting (1997) 

A feel-good movie about a young man realizing his potential with the help of a mentor.  A nice movie that will bring your energy up into a more positive state, rather than down. 

The Big Short (2015) 

An enjoyable lighthearted look, full of plenty of comedy, into the rather serious subject of the deception that led to the Financial Crisis.   A rather silly film, but can satisfy Empaths’ interests in serious topics, while at the same time making us laugh and genuinely enjoy the movie.

Catch Me If You Can  (2002) 

A lighthearted piece that is fun all the way through, without any heavy energy for the Empath. Quite enjoyable to watch in its completeness, and a very empath-friendly choice.

A nice movie for any night of the week, important and highly enjoyable.

Promised Land  (2012)

Empath friendly.

Groundhog Day (1993)

A great and genuinely funny (and in certain respects, definitely philosophical) film starring Bill Murray.    A certified classic.   One can take from this messages about learning to live in the moment, take the positives rather than the negatives from life, etc.  Just an all-around feel good and at times hilarious film.     Bill Murray at his best.   Feel good all the way through.

Juno (2007)

Another film about young people (kind of like Wallflower) who are out of place misfits in this world.   A good feeling film.

Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

They may not exactly be Empaths, but these people are definitely psychologically different.  An enjoyable film mostly all the way through.

Gandhi (1984)

Every Empath should see this.  One of the most beautiful biographical films ever produced, on one of the most incredible souls to walk this earth on our century.  Probably the most famous Highly Sensitive Empath in human history (well… perhaps besides Buddha, Jesus, and a couple of others.  Perhaps we should say, one of the most famous in “modern” history).Gandhi-independence-day-673x1024

Gandhi’s story is an incredible one about how a man who was once too afraid to even speak to a table of people (feeling dizzy, stuttering and stumbling, and not able to get his words out), eventually was among the most respected moral leaders on Earth, helping a nation of over 400 million people in humanity’s first ever successful large-scale nonviolence independence movement.

A truly incredible life and accomplishment, and an incredible film.

I hope to produce some articles or books on Gandhi as Sensitive person in the future.  He is really perhaps among the most accomplished and inspirational Empaths of our time.

 

 

 

 

 

Feeling Lightness of Heart

I would love to start a complete blog entitled something like,  “Beautiful Things to Make You Feel Good.”

Imagine that:  a whole compilation of beautiful things, ideas, etc., to bring joy into people’s hearts, etc.

Today was a bit of a hard day.  But, there was one thing that made me feel extraordinarily wonderful.

I was listening to something upon first waking up, a kind of audio on the “Insight Timer” app,  and it exhorted me to “… Feel freedom.  Feel a lightness in your heart, a lightness in your body, and know that you are free…”

This incredible idea:  — “A lightness in my heart?”  I thought,  “What on earth does that feel like?”   I could imagine feeling light in my body, but not feeling “lightness” in my heart.    (Maybe warmth of heart… heaviness of heart… but for some reason I could not remember ever feeling “light” of heart)

In any case, I tried then to viscerally feel what it would feel like to feel a lightness in my heart…

And, lo and behold,  what an incredible feeling!  And what an accompanying Memory!  I HAD felt this way before!   

Indeed, it brought me back to when I was in Dharamsala in 2013,  a beautiful town (home of the Dalai Lama, etc.,) in the foothills of the Himalayas (India).

That Lightness of Heart!  That was something I used to feel almost continuously and every day while I was living in India at certain times,  relatively free (studying, not working in a kind of daily grind as a teacher day in, day out).     It brought back that lightness and I felt —  I hoped, I felt, I was sure, that I could get back to there and feel that lightness again.

I hope to be recommitted.  (shall I be committed for writing this post?)    I hope to be recommitted to go back to India and to feel that lightness again.   To get out of the daily grind, and get back to a life of study and writing (more or less) at my own pace.

To be Free (again) is a goal I have.   What a blessing to be reminded, that it is possible to Feel Light of Body and Light at Heart.    Thank you.  

Purpose: If I had all the time and money in the world, What Would I Do?

Whether or not you are a fan of Deepak Chopra, I find this to be a wonderful and inspiring take on the meaning of success and pursuing your dreams in life:

“For me it is not so much about seeking ‘success.’  Rather, it is about, “How do I fit into this web of life?” What is my unique talent?   How do I express my unique talent?

In Eastern traditions we call it the law of dharma, which says there are no spare parts in the universe. Every piece fits, its like a big jigsaw puzzle which we are a part of.  And if you were to ask me, “How do I know what my part is?”, I would say:

If I had all the time in the world, and all the money in the world, what would I do?  

How would I express myself, and how would I use that expression of myself, to serve the needs of the web of life of which I am a part?

Chopra goes on to say that this has the following effect:

When I do that, I will end up having all the money and time in the world.

First, I find this to be a beautiful message and it deeply inspires me. It inspires me to start doing what is most valuable to me, not merely what I think I should do to make money, or the limited things that I can choose due to time constraints.

Frankly, when I do reflect on time, I have more of it than I appreciate. Even if I work 40 to 60 hours per week, I still have time outside of work to make good on fulfilling my dreams.

This reminds me of a message of David Deida, who suggests that you Stop Putting off your purpose to a later time.  Many of us have some great dream or goal in life, but we always think that maybe we will do it later down the road — maybe when we have enough money, or when our kids are grown up, or when we have completed x, y, or z.

Deida’s message is that the majority of human beings keep putting it off, and it usually never comes.

He suggests that right now, today, you devote 30 minutes of your time to fulfilling your deepest purpose on earth.

To give your gift fully for just 30 minutes.

No matter how busy our lives, we can all probably find 30 minutes to put aside each day to put towards pursuing our dreams or what we feel our real purpose or passion to be.  And if we can’t find 30 minutes towards it, maybe we should consider how we can make that possible.

I am curious to know what readers think.  Are you currently living your deepest purpose and passion in your life?   Or do you think that you can put 30 minutes towards it each day, and could you imagine this beginning to transform your life?

To be honest, I have not made this step yet.  But the more I think on these beautiful injunctions, the more it creates a determination in me to do what is important at least a  little bit each day.  Writing in this blog is one thing that makes me feel like I am doing some service in this way.  So thank you readers for letting me share this with you.