While teaching a series of classes on opening to intuition, I received a psychic hit to provide more specific information about clairsentience, which means "clear feeling." All participants in the class were women, so they were naturally nurturing and tuned into the emotions of others. This was working for them, by helping them understand how other people feel. But at times, it was working against some of them, leaving them feeling drained and exhausted, as a result of "taking on other people's stuff."
In between classes, I was Googling something unrelated, and happened upon an article about empathy on a website called psychicbutsane.com. As soon as I began reading the article I knew this was the information I was to share with my class. And even though I practice techniques to energetically protect myself, to release unwanted energy, and to call my energy back to me, this information was for me too!
Empathy is a gift that helps us feel and perceive from another person's perspective. It helps us connect with others and be more compassionate, often motivating us to help. But when we don't know how to turn it on and off, the disadvantages of empathy can be devastating. Empaths often take on other people's emotional and physical pain and have difficulty letting it go. This can be debilitating and can keep us from fully living our own lives. Additionally, in Anna Sayce's article, "Is Empathy Ruining Your Life," she reminded me that when we interfere in people's lives, we sometimes keep them from taking responsibility for themselves, learning their lessons, and creating their own positive change.
In her second article, "How to Turn Off Overactive Empathy, Anna Sayce recommends three steps: getting centered, recognizing your empathy triggers, and moving from unconscious empathy to conscious choice. “When you suddenly notice yourself getting swept along by what’s going on around you, you can bring centeredness into that moment of empathy out of control – and turn it to empathy under control.”
I teach and practice a daily routine of grounding, releasing, replenishing and shielding your energy field. This is in essence what Ms. Sayce recommends when she suggests you "center yourself." Below is my daily practice to help you get "empathy under control."
Ground, Release, Replenish, Shield (Protect)
Additionally it is important to be aware of your empathy and what triggers it. Notice when you are "over-identifying" with someone, then consciously call your energy back. Often the events on the news, emotional movies, or people who are in need or distress will trigger empathy. Pay attention to what triggers you, and stop your empathy from getting out of control.
Remember that you are in the best position to help others when you are strong, grounded, and focused. If you are energetically in their distressed world, you will not be in a healthy place to provide the best support. Remember what they say on the airlines, get your own oxygen first.