Energy, empathy and emotions – are you an empath?
This week I wanted to talk a little about being an empath. What it means and how it can affect your life. And in particular, how you can differentiate what energy and emotions belong to you – and what is someone else’s. It is inspired by an experience one of my students had recently where they picked up on some very specific energy and felt it in their body.
A question from a student
This week’s episode is inspired by a question from one of my Level 2 Reiki students. They emailed me after experiencing something rather strange. I have changed a few details to maintain client confidentiality but the general gist is this.
They had started to experience some cold and flu symptoms. Initially they put it down to the time of year. But then they started choking and feeling their throat was blocked up. It got so bad that they started to think they had throat cancer. A few days later they were working with one of their own clients and it turned out that the client had experienced throat trauma recently relating to a cancerous condition and was full of anxiety about it.
My student emailed me to ask “Is this just a coincidence or is something else happening? How do I differentiate what is mine?”
What a great question! And what an experience to have.
What belongs to me?!
So how can we differentiate what is ours and what belongs to someone else? And how can we, as healers, protect our energy so we don’t pick up on a client’s condition – before, during or after a Reiki session?
Let’s begin by understanding why this might have happened. How on earth can we possibly be affected by someone else’s medical condition?
It is because we are energetic beings. You are more than just your physical body. More than what meets the eye. Not only do you have a full electrical system inside your body (like your heart and brain – medicine measures these with electrodes). But you also have an electro-magnetic field emanating from your physical body. You have chi – energy running through your body which keeps you alive. And that chi also emanates from your body – it is your aura.
No matter where you go or what you do each day – your energy impacts those around you. And their energy impacts you.
You’ll notice this if you walk into a room where someone has just had a fight. You can feel the tension. Or if your work colleague or boss is in a bad mood – it infiltrates the office. Likewise if you are amongst friends who are laughing you will feel the buzz of that positive energy.
We are all naturally empathetic
It is totally natural and normal. We are energetic creatures and we naturally tune into the energy around us. And that energy impacts our emotions and feelings. Empaths tune into this energy easily. And often feel other people’s emotions and energy as their own.
Everyone is an empath. Some people are just more aware of it than others. And some people find it really hard to differentiate between their own emotions and those of others.
The Spooky Effect
So what happened in this case where the two people concerned weren’t even in the same room when the experience happened? How is that possible?
Energy is not constrained by time or space. Studies have been done so show that cells taken from a person can be affected by that person’s emotions no matter how far away they are. In one study, cells were placed in a petri dish and flown thousands of miles away to another lab. Research was done to see if these cells reacted to any emotional changes from their “owner” – the person from which they were taken. Under the microscope changes could be seen when the person laughed, cried or felt fear. Einstein called this phenomenon “the spooky effect.”
So in this instance with my student and their client. A connection had been made at the time of booking the appointment. The client had set an intention to receive healing. And my student had created a space in which that healing could take place. Energetically they became linked.
My student is very sensitive to energy. Able to pick up nuances of feeling that other people may not. It is a gift. But it can also be seen as a curse. After all would you want to feel other people’s pain and discomfort all the time? Especially nowadays with so much fear and angst in the collective energy field! And imagine if you didn’t even realise it belonged to someone else! If you thought it was your own pain and your own discomfort or upsetting emotion.
How can we shield ourselves from this?
Energetic hygiene is vital. Just like we wash our bodies physically, we need to look after our aura. It needs care and attention to remain in its optimum state. Using intention and ritual you can keep it clean. For example, one of my favourite things to do is to use a quick 3 step process while I am in the shower in the morning.
Step 1 as I stand under the water I say “I wash off anything that I have picked up that is not mine”. And I intentionally visualise any energy that doesn’t belong to me washing down the plughole to be recycled by the earth or sent back with love to its owner.
Step 2 – “I call back to me any energy or power that I have given away”. I visualise my power and energy being restored so that my energy field is full again.
Step 3 – “I fill myself with Reiki healing energy and protect my energy in a bubble of light”. I usually do a Reiki shower at this point or simply visualise myself in a bubble of white light that protects my energy for the day ahead.
You can use this technique or come up with your own. For Reiki practitioners I suggest doing a daily dry bathing ritual and the a Reiki shower. That alone is enough to protect your energy with the light of Reiki.
How can we differentiate what is ours and what isn’t?
This comes down to practice. And self-awareness. Personally, I meditate and journal every morning before starting my day. This is my quiet time where I get to check in with myself. With my energy and to seek guidance from within. This helps me understand my thoughts and my energy. It helps me know my body.
So then if something pops in that isn’t in keeping with my mood I know it isn’t mine. If I begin to feel tired for no reason, or drained -I notice. And I can work out if I simply need a break or if I have picked up someone else’s stuff.
Over the years I know that if I am in a bar or place where there are lots of people, my energy will be impacted. So I put extra shielding in place if I am there. If I am in hospitals or places where people are sick, again I put extra protection in place. I might carry black tourmaline or smoky quartz to fend off the energy.
It is all about self awareness. Mindfulness. Knowing yourself. That is how you differentiate what is yours and what isn’t.
I hope this has given you some food for thought today. I will be diving in deeper with this in my Reiki community, The Reiki Solution, and will be working with this student and others to help them understand this energy a bit more. Remember to get yourself on the waiting list for Soul Food Circle and you will be able to join in on a deeper dive in this subject.
I’ll be back next week with an episode about our need for control and certainty – and why that always leads to disappointment. We will look at surrendering to the flow instead for happiness and peace!
Make sure to follow the pod, share it with your friends and leave a review to help other people find these little soul food nibbles.