Sunday, February 10, 2013

Empathy 101: A Basic Understanding of Feeling Others Emotions

Have you ever walked into a room and felt tension in the air? Have you ever become angry with someone because they were yelling at you? Have you ever felt like crying because someone else was crying? Have you ever been hugged by someone giving you their love and felt warm and full of love? Have you ever laughed so hard that your sides were hurting because everyone else around you was laughing that hard?... Congratulations, you have experienced empathy.

Do not confuse being sympathetic with being empathetic; there is a difference. To be sympathetic to someone means you have a general understanding of what they are experiencing and you show them compassion, providing comfort and reassurance. To be empathetic means you feel their emotions, literally. If you have had a similar experience then feeling their emotions will probably be even stronger. It is the ability to feel other people’s energies, or energies of a particular environment.

What I hear most from people who are aware of their empathic abilities is, "Ugh! I can't take it! I can't stand being around all this negative energy from everyone. I've had it!" Hold on now. Do you realize that right there is sending out more negative vibes? First and foremost, you must be able to take control of your own emotions. You can not shut down your emotions, you only ignore them. What happens when an animal in a cage that has been ignored and it gets out? You feel something. Recognize it. Know it. Own it. Control it.

Once you can recognize and control your own emotions, including your outward reaction to situations, you can learn to control your empathic gift. It starts with creating a "shield" (for lack of a better term). The armor of light you can surround yourself with like a bubble that can not be physically seen, only felt. It is your "personal space" that only those you allow to penetrate can get through. 

Creating the "Shield"
Calm your mind and center yourself. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth; taking long deep breathes. Much like what you would do in meditation. You can do this with your eyes open or closed, which ever you are most comfortable with. See the light within you, that little glow that is the essence of your soul and push that light outward. Surround yourself with your light. You can make the shield as thick as you would like it. After doing this, pay attention to how you are feeling. I bet you are already feeling calmer and more relaxed.

The shield can be used to control what you feel from others. It does not have to be "full shield" or "no shield." You can extend your shield out to others like reaching your hand out to touch them; all it takes is the thought. You can receive emotions as well as send out emotions. Be careful what kind you send out; you certainly do not want to create more negativity. I have created some practice exercises to help you learn how to control empathy.

**NOTE: You can choose who you connect with. You are not invading their privacy. If they do not want to be felt, they will be shielded. We each feel others emotions without realizing it. With these practices, you can learn to control and how to recognize where the emotions are coming from, along with sending out.

Practice Exercise #1
  1. Center yourself, calm your mind and shield up.
  2. Choose one person and extend that shield out to them. Feel that one person’s emotions. Pull your shield back to you.
  3. Extend your shield back out to that person and send them a “virtual hug,” positive vibrations. And watch the expression on their face.
  4. Pull your shield back to you and choose another person.

Practice Exercise #2
  1. Center yourself, calm your mind and shield up.
  2. Walk in to a public place. Push your shield outward. Fill the place with positive vibes.
  3. Put a second shield up around you by finding the light within you and push it outward, keeping it close to your body.
  4. Anyone who is giving off negative vibes, put another shield around them with mirrors inside towards that person; their negativity will reflect back to them.

Practice Exercise #3
  1. Center yourself, calm your mind and shield up.
  2. Stand still and focus on energies in front of you. What do you feel? Sense?
  3. Focus on energies to the right. To the left. Behind you. Focus on one area at a time.
  4. Practice clockwise, counterclockwise, random-wise ;)

If you realize you have this gift, which I believe everyone has the capability, then you can use empathy to help others and raise the vibes on the planet. Here is an example of what I have done with my own empathic gift:
One night we (my Love and I) went out to dinner. Near the end of our meal I was overwhelmed with emotions with a part of me that wanted to cry. I realized it was not me. I was fine, it was someone or more than one person in the restaurant. At first I looked around, connecting with different individuals, feeling their emotions. But then I decided to just "send it out" and fill the room with good vibes. I sat there quietly humming a little tune, pushing out "happy vibes" in all directions around me. My Love touched my hand and asked me if I was ok because I was so quiet. "I'm working," I told him. With him holding my hand, it was a boost of energy and I was able to send out more. When we got up to leave, I walked past one of the waitresses sensing that she was the one who wanted to cry. I wrapped her up in a "virtual hug."
Most often, when I go out into public, I make a mental effort to send out good vibes. I will walk around smiling, giggling and humming under my breathe as I feel my energies spread out. By the way, smiling, laughing, singing, and dancing are a few things you can do to raise your own vibes. You can help make a difference just by keeping your own vibes up and help to raise others.

The last time I went to a street fair, I walked against the main flow of the crowd sending out the vibes. It was very cool to watch people's expressions soften and many of them smile as they passed me. If you don't believe this is possible, go out and experiment with it. All I ask is that you keep your heart and mind in a place of joy and love. Spread the love and raise the vibes.

Part 2 of Empathy has been written: "Using Empathic Abilities in Your Daily Life"

To learn more about grounding, centering and clearing negative energies, I recommend the book "The Indigo Child's Survival Guide" Co-authored by Baker from bakerthebrand.com, Sim1 Indigo from healingsoulstice.blogspot.com and myself. Everyone can learn from this book, we wrote it to help.