What is an Empath
Empaths are deeply sensitive people who can easily feel other’s emotions and energies. They just know what the other person is feeling and can even experience their feelings and pain as their own sometimes. Psychologists may use the term empath to describe a person that experiences a great deal of empathy, often to the point of taking on the pain of others at their own expense.
- Have you ever felt an emotion or feeling that you could find no reason for?
- Do you feel drained when you spend time around certain people?
- Can you tell when people aren’t telling the whole truth?
- Do you feel anxious in crowded areas?
If your answer to these questions is a yes, then you are an empath.
As an empath, I have faced this problem many times. I would feel sad and depressed when there was no reason to be. Later on, as I became more aware of my empathic abilities, I would realise that I had simply picked up someone else’s energies who was experiencing sadness.
I have been called a sensitive person all my life. In fact I have been called too sensitive because I could not tolerate violence or pain or even raised voices.
But the fact is as an empath, we tend to feel the emotions of the person in front of us. It does not matter whether they are physically present or we are watching them on a video or TV. This was the reason I stopped watching news and reading daily newspaper because the emotions were overwhelming.
Dr. Judith Orloff, author of The Empath’s Survival Guide, offers this short quiz to evaluate whether or not you are an empath:
- Have I been labeled as “too emotional” or overly sensitive?
- If a friend is distraught, do I start feeling it too?
- Are my feelings easily hurt?
- Am I emotionally drained by crowds, require time alone to revive?
- Do my nerves get frayed by noise, smells, or excessive talk?
- Do I prefer taking my own car places so that I can leave when I please?
- Do I overeat to cope with emotional stress?
- Am I afraid of becoming engulfed by intimate relationships?
According to Dr. Orloff, “If you answer ‘yes’ to 1-3 of these questions, you’re at least part empath. Responding ‘yes’ to more than 3 indicates that you’ve found your emotional type.”
Pros and cons of being an empath
- Too sensitive to external environment — sights, sounds, smells etc. This can easily cause a sensory overload for the empaths causing them to withdraw from social situations.
- Empaths are sponges. They can easily pick up other’s emotions and experience them as their own. So other’s sadness or depression will be experienced completely as their own sadness. Other’s joys and sorrows are experienced as their own joys and sorrows.
- Crowded places can feel overwhelming for empaths. So going to social gatherings and parties are stressful rather than enjoyable for them.
- Many healers are empaths. They also tend to absorb their client’s pains and problems which, if they are not careful, can cause pain and health conditions for the empaths.
- Empaths can change their tone of voice, conversation style, body posture and even general outlook to make others feel at ease. Because they do it so often and so unconsciously (it is their defence mechanism), they tend to forget or lose touch with who they really are and what they are like. This can cause them to become inauthentic.
- Empaths avoid confrontation because doing or saying something that may cause someone to feel angry or sad is extremely uncomfortable for empaths.
- Empaths don’t have healthy boundaries because it becomes difficult for them to understand where the other ends and where they begin.
The more I understood my empathic abilities, I realised that it also comes with many blessings. Empaths are naturally good listeners and healers. People tend to feel comfortable with them and also easily open up about their life issues, experiences and problems.
- People become easily comfortable around empaths. Empaths tend to be very good counsellors or healers.
- Being too sensitive, they can easily gauge the environment and read the subtle undertones of conflict or comfort. It is not easy to lie to empaths especially if they have accepted their empathic abilities and are comfortable with it. Also they can easily understand and feel what others are feeling. So friends find them easy to talk to and be understood.
- They are introverts but they are also the most creative people and have great insights and ideas.
- They tend to absorb other’s pain and feelings. They are great healers if they can learn how to handle their empathy and clear their energies regularly. Most healers are empaths. They can sense and even feel the pain of their clients — both physical and emotional. It makes them extremely intuitive and capable as healers because they can get to the root cause of the problem much sooner.
- They can easily adapt to their environment because it is easy for them to change themselves. They are like chameleons. It is their defence mechanism but when used well, it makes them extremely adaptable.
- Because they feel too much, their capacity for love is also magnified. It helps them understand the need of their partners and also enables them to love truly and completely.
Tarot readers who are Empaths
Tarot reading is not just an exercise in reading the cards as most people perceive. There is so much that goes into a tarot reading session. A tarot reader is a channel for energies and guidance. Tarot reading is a form of energy work.
A tarot reader who is also an empath can literally step into their client’s shoes and experience their situations and pain as their own. This gives them the advantage of really knowing the root cause of the pain and problems and being able to provide solutions, guidance and answers that will genuinely help their clients.
But this also leaves them vulnerable to clients’ energies. They can absorb their clients’ pains and sorrows like a sponge and feel drained at the end of a session. Clients feel better after a tarot session with an empath because the empathic tarot reader has literally absorbed all their pain, sadness and dense emotions making the client feel lighter at least for some time.
Over time, if the empath tarot reader does not clean their energies or protect themselves during the sessions, their life force energy diminishes and they experience muddy readings, disinterest in tarot sessions, inability to be completely present for the client, emotional overwhelm and this can even affect their personal life.
Therefore, as a tarot reader and an empath, it is important to protect your energies from draining as well as from taking on the pain and emotions of the clients and holding on to it.
How to protect and cleanse your energies
Techniques like grounding, energy cleansing, aura protection etc. are life savers during Tarot reading sessions and sometimes even during situations that are negative or when you are surrounded by toxic energies.
Essential practices for an empath
1.Protect and strengthen your aura
Aura acts as your natural shield between you and your environment. It is the most important and effective layer to protect you from outside influences and energies. Keeping it protected and clean is absolutely essential for an empath.
You can simply imagine your aura around you in the form of a bubble making sure it is clean and intact without any holes or gaps. You can also imagine a coloured bubble. Each colour has a different significance and role. Best thing to do is go with your intuition when it comes to colour. Most people imagine it as white or golden.
Make sure the aura is flowing and not static. You can keep checking into your aura before and after a tarot session to make sure its intact and whole.
You can learn more about the aura and protecting it here.
2. Protective crystals
You can keep protective stones and crystals with you to protect your energies. Clear quartz is the most versatile protective stone. Besides this, you can use amazonite, labradorite, black tourmaline and black obsidian.
Best way to know which crystal to keep with you is to listen to your intuition which you empaths have in plenty — loud and clear.
3. Silence the Inner Critic
Empathy is a response to an uncomfortable environment during the childhood. Also when you showed your empathic side, you were either called too sensitive, too emotional or weak. Gradually, these messages are internalised and we start saying this to ourselves.
Also we have been gaslighted too often that we learn to shut down or ignore our intuition. Empaths are naturally highly intuitive.
Therefore it is important to become aware of this inner critic whenever it raises its head when we are about to listen to our intuition. A good guide to differentiate between intuition and the inner critic is that intuition is a gentle soft nudge whereas the inner critic is usually loud, offensive and criticising.
Becoming aware of this inner critic is the first step towards silencing it. Every time it raises its head, ignore it or sternly ask it get out. If you find that it is an inherent part of you, then EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) also known as Tapping can help you find the root cause of it and uproot it from within.
4. Have some “Me-time”
Empaths are not very fond of social gatherings. Even if they are, they love moments of solitude and aloneness as well because in social gatherings their energies tend to get scattered. They need solitude and aloneness to gather their energies, revive and refresh themselves.
Aloneness is soothing and acts as a balm on their frayed nerves. Being close to nature or spending time alone doing what they really enjoy is rejuvenating for empaths.
Alone time also helps you as an empath to get in touch with your real feelings and thoughts and sort out what’s your and what has been acquired from others. Take this time to gather your energies, cleanse them and just be with yourself.
5. Practice meditation
The goal of meditation is not to get focussed but to become quiet and aware. Awareness is the muscle which builds when we practice awareness and meditation on a daily basis.
Awareness helps you become conscious of your energies, how and when your energies are getting affected and what is your aura like in each moment. It is an especially useful skill when during tarot reading sessions, if you become aware of any energy shift within or around you, you can take corrective action and not end up feeling drained or exhausted after the session.
6. Set healthy boundaries
Empaths avoid conflicts and confrontations as much as possible. But it also means as an empath, you end up doing things or being in situations that you don’t like or are unhappy or uncomfortable. It is necessary for you to set your boundaries. It is okay for you to be the bad guy by saying NO.
Setting healthy boundaries will ensure your energies are not scattered or drained easily when you least suspect it. It is also essential to have good strong boundaries with people who tend to drain you, even if it is family or someone in the family. Healthy boundaries will make sure you are protected from emotional vampires which empaths tend to attract a lot.
It will also mean learning to say NO to responsibilities that are not yours. If you take on extra work of your colleagues or even of your boss, you will have to learn to stand up for yourself and strictly or sternly refuse it.
7. Develop your Throat and Root chakra
Throat chakra helps you speak your truth, say NO when you want to say NO and refuse to let emotional vampires hog on your energies.
A healthy Root chakra helps you stay grounded, not feel spacey or spaced out in crowds, keep your energies intact for longer.
Practice Chakra meditation, Chakra Cleansing and use aromas that help balancing particular chakras. Sandalwood, Cinnamon, Ginger is good for root chakra. Geranium, Jasmine, Eucalyptus are good for throat chakra. Lavender essential oil is great for all the chakras.
8. Regular cleansing and smudging
Smudge your aura with incense smoke regularly. It is great at releasing any negative energy attached to your aura. Use Sea Salt in baths, foot soaks and in bowls by your bedside. Salt is well known for breaking apart negative energy and clearing it from the system — physical, energetic and emotional.
Salt baths have always been recommended as a great remedy for tiredness and soar muscles. However, it doesn’t just heal muscles, it also releases stress and negative energy from the body.
Being an empath is a blessing
Regular cleansing of the energy system, aura and body is essential for empaths. Self-care becomes utmost important for such people.
Being an empath comes with many blessings as I have discovered over the years. I have seen being sensitive and an empath become a boon rather than a curse. It has been a journey but an interesting one at that.
Being an empath helps me understand my clients better, understand their needs, their fears and their strengths. It helps me be completely present for them. Initially, I used to pick up their emotions like a sponge but the more I worked on myself, healed the underlying reasons of why I picked up their emotions and energies, I can work with them without getting intensely affected.
Empaths are great at making friends, at understanding other people’s world, adapting to their environment and listening to their intuition. You cannot have superficial conversations with empaths. They feel deeply about the world around them though they may have tuned themselves out for now with indifference, drugs, alcohol, tv, or other mental pursuits.
Being an empath is a gift because you feel deeply and can help others feel deeply as well. An empath who has seen the journey from being condemned as “too sensitive” to accepting the label and embracing it can help humanity to embrace their human qualities.
Stuff or external awards don’t really inspire them. It is the deeper stuff, the emotions, the internal satisfaction that really makes the world go round for them. In today’s world of materialistic consumerism, it the empaths that can shine a light towards a different path of humanity, spirituality and love.
I run courses and workshops on developing your intuition and learning to protect and clear your energies on a regular basis. If you would like to know more about such workshops, sign up here to receive updates directly in your inbox.