Empathy 101: What Does it Mean To Be An Empath?
What is an Empath?
The Merriam-Webster dictionary definition for empathy is defined as: “the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner; also : the capacity for this”
Said in a more simplified way, an empath would be defined as: “A person with talent and-or skill in the ability to experience the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another.”
Step one, if you have a heart you are already able to describe yourself as an empath. Everyone can focus on their heart and tap into a wide variety of sensations, feelings and experiences. This is the talent of empathy, and regular practice of tapping into the sacred space of your heart can continue to develop your skill of empathic understanding.
Most people don’t always know how to pay attention to the subtle tugs of emotions they pick up on from the people around them because they’ve never noticed the correlation. The difference for those who practice empathy is having a conscious awareness of the perceptions their picking up on. Once someone points it out or you notice it the first time, it gets easier and easier with each attempt to listen to the emotional projections of others around us.
Lack of awareness or attention in discerning what is their own or another’s emotional energy can lead talented and even skilled empaths to an impaired state of being where they can often have strong emotional swings, inability to cope with crowds, confusion of personal needs, irritability, aggressive behaviour, insomnia, oversleeping, lack of appetite, binge eating, drug abuse or other forms of escapism, and mental instability.
The best method of dealing with an impaired empath state is by practicing grounding and cleansing by sitting in nature. Aversion to grounding and cleansing activities includes making simple excuses not to do so, and is often a good indication of negative energy possibly feeding on your energy system.
This would be the perfect time to truly ask yourself why you don’t want to take the time for yourself to ground, connect with your inner being and dive into the depths of your consciousness.
Though help from energy healers, witches, shamans, and others skilled in spiritual cleansing and healing will be able to assist you in clearing negative energy and replacing the energy it drained with high vibrational source energy to help you rebalance your internal systems, but mother nature is still the simplest and greatest of all spiritual healers!
Empaths tap into the electromagnetic field generated by the heart that projects outward from the body between 5-15 feet according to Heartmath Institute and Russell Targ. Gregg Braden also claims the field is layered and each layer becomes more subtle and thin as it reaches greater ranges extending well beyond 15 feet.
I would suggest that much like Yoda’s suggestion that size mattered not, I say the distance doesn’t matter. My theory is that the field they are picking up is entangled with a morphogenetic field that weaves all beings together like “the force”. I believe this is the real means of action that empathy follows.
An Exercise to Develop Skill with Empathic Ability
Heart’s Anchor Technique
A good exercise for empaths trying to learn to harness their ability is to learn to focus on a memory of a strong positive emotion like love or gratitude. It can be anything as long as the memory makes your heart react and you can feel it’s reaction just by remembering it. Make that memory an anchor you can mentally project yourself into, and relax into like a second skin.
Imagine the memory wrapping around you, settling into it so deeply that it almost asserts itself over your surroundings. Allow the feelings of love and gratitude to fill you more and more with each breath while maintaining focus of your awareness on the memory and how it feels in your body.
Doing this exercise creates a simple method for realizing you have the ability to change how you feel regardless of what others around you are feeling or doing. This exercise cloaks your aura in a field of high vibration energy that will transmute and ground any negative energy that tries to enter your auric field.
And lastly don’t forget the importance of remembering to breathe! Deep breathing helps ground your hearts field and naturally helps bring our fields back into harmonic resonance, then take a nice slow walk through a park and send some love back to mother nature!
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