We live in a world currently where the term Empath is thrown around as if everyone should magically know what it relates to or means. I’ve always just “known” things and up until recently I assumed everyone knew these kinds of things. The examples I use are: when I walk into a room, I can tell what mood is the dominant mood in the room, or knowing who is calling before looking at the caller ID. These abilities have just always been a part of me. Its how I know if my bonus children are where they are supposed to be, or what my husband is getting me for a birthday present. It wasn’t until I met my husband and we started talking about these things, that I began to understand that not everyone is an empath.An empath is most commonly described as: A person who is capable of feeling the emotions of others despite the fact that they themselves are not going through the same situation. The key here is empaths feel the feelings of those people they are surrounded by without any separation. When this ability hit the height of its performance for me, I was working in a residential drug and alcohol treatment center. I can remember the overwhelming sensations I experienced and it was absolutely maddening. I’ve spent a lot of time in my life focusing on controlling my empathic abilities. Not because I’m invested in what anyone else thinks, but because it caused physical exhaustion in my life. For many empaths physical exhaustion appears to others as depression. But there’s a big difference. Unprotected empaths are equivalent of energetic sponges. Without training, protection, or education many empath’s do not have a clue how to not absorb every feeling, emotion, ache, pain, or hormone from their environment. This Blog is designed to empower People who have empathic abilities in how to protect themselves from absorbing other people’s stuff. Below are the skills that I have utilized in my life which keep me safer and allow me to notice what the energy is saying, without absorbing it. 1. Declaration/Mantra: For the longest time this was the only skill in my empath toolbox. It’s one of my favorite things because I believe many things in the world are based on intent. I simply repeated to myself: I am willing to notice the energy without absorbing it. This was a game changer for me. In such a simple statement I had taken my power back and allowed myself the freedom to acknowledge and feel what was actually and inherently mine. 2. Visualization: I don’t remember where I learned about this powerful visualization but it’s one of the strongest memories I have. The visualization was described to me as imagining a rock in the river. Does the rock absorb the water? Is the rock heavier when it’s been in a river versus on dry land? No. Our goal is to be like the rock. What I mean by that is allow the energy to flow past you (possibly even through you) without taking on any of it. The rock is not changed by the water, it allows the water to simply pass by it. 3. Boundaries: When all of this hit the height of where it was a few years ago, I had horrible boundaries. In fact, when one of my bonus kids were not feeling well, I would help them through it and fairly quickly they were feeling great. And I was feeling horribly. Why? Because I hadn’t actually helped them, I had absorbed whatever they were experiencing from them. That wasn’t fair to them or to me. After I began exploring my boundaries, I discovered that there were some substantial gaps. Today, my boundaries state (fairly clearly) that I am willing to notice the energy but not absorb it. 4. Does this belong to me: I was taught this technique many years ago. What she taught me was to ask if I had a feeling, pain, thought, sensation “Is this mine”. And if the answer was no (or if the feeling dissipated even slightly) I was to send it to the center of the earth to be transformed to positive. For the first few days of doing this it’s somewhat overwhelming, but extremely powerful! It allowed me the distance I needed to discover what is mine and what belongs to other people. 5. Grounding: People have different names for this technique. Some people refer to this as earthing. In its most basic sense it’s connecting with the earth and allowing the excess energy you carry to leave. Some recommendations include: standing on grass (or dirt, or sand) barefoot, touching trees, planting flower or other things in dirt, taking a bath, connecting with some of the elements (earth, air, fire, water) in whatever way works for you. 6. Intuition: I trust my intuition over everything else 98% of the time today, and it’s never inaccurate. I’ve spent a lot of time fine tuning my intuition because I recognized that it was a key to controlling my empathic abilities. I recommend people spend some time silencing their mind, and getting comfortable and in touch with themselves. 7. Willingness: For me a significant part of this process was the willingness to understand that there might be some lesson’s in this for me. And not all of the lessons were going to be happy, amazing, and wonderfully positive. But if I had the willingness to experience them and allow them to pass without getting caught up in judging them, I would be that much freer. 8. Trust: The biggest disconnect for the empath is that what they sense many times does not match what other people are saying or the way it looks. This creates a huge disconnect when you are trying to figure out if you should trust what you feel or what the person you love and trust is saying. Many things in life are not so black and white as to have an absolute correct or wrong answer. In this case, I suspect the decision has to be in the effort of internal peace. 9. Protection: Find a method that works for you. My methods vary depending on what my environment is. Sometimes I imagine I’m encapsulated by protective and loving clouds. Other times I bubble wrap myself in white light. You need to find a method that works for you.
Jenn Bovee, LCSW is a spiritual life coach and psychotherapist. She offers in person session as well as distance session. Learn more about her here: www.JennBoveeLCSW.com.