Sunday, February 19, 2012

Empaths Amongst Us

There is so much to this topic that I thought it was important to get a view from each of us.

My first truly notable experience as an empath {as opposed to just internalizing things with no recognition of what I was doing} came when I was sixteen years old. I was a member of my high school pompom squad, and believe me when I say, sixteen to eighteen year old girls can be Cut. Throat. The leader of the squad, shall we say a "high maintenance" and very popular {although goodness knows why} girl, began to nitpick another, younger member for kicking too high. The poor girl was a dancer and flexible to the max, she was just doing what came naturally to her. Two by two, the rest of the squad began to chime in against this poor, unsuspecting girl, and while at first she tried to defend herself, soon she recognized the futility of defense and just closed her mouth, her eyes growing wider and shinier. I was not one to speak up -- despite having the previously unrealized audacity to try out for the team, I was a major introvert -- but the longer this went on, the more uncomfortable I became. I was growing antsier by the minute. And before I knew it, I began to feel for her. Inside of myself. Like a deer being hunted by wild dogs, trying desperately to stay out of the way of the snapping teeth. Heart pounding, breath coming faster and faster. The next thing I knew, I was hyperventilating, I couldn't catch my breath, I couldn't draw any in. Which, thankfully enough, drew enough attention that it stopped the attack on the other girl. Another girl pulled me away and made me walk with her down the hall. Oddly enough, shortly after leaving the others behind, I began to feel better.

At the time, I had never heard of empaths or empathery {my preferred term, and I likes it! :p }. I chalked it up to an anxiety attack {something I had had zero previous experience with} and went on with life, albeit with one more thing to make me feel "different."

By the time I did hear the term and began to think, "Hm, this kinda sorta sounds like me . . . but that can't be . . .", it was the late '90s and I had was deep in the throes of busy momhood, working full time, writing, raising 3-and-soon-to-be-4 boys. I scarcely had a moment to breathe, let alone investigate further. But my Guides decided enough was enough. The time had come to raise my awareness. And so I began to experience things more and more often, whereas before it had been random occurrences, oddities here and there. Enough that I could no longer chalk it up to coincidence or brush it off as imagination as easily as I could before.

And then someone whom I considered "in the know" about matters metaphysical, a cool chick I looked up to for many reasons, happened to mention in passing that empaths were the rarest of all the sensitives/intuitives in the world . . . and instantly my inner doubt struck up a duet with my low self-confidence. I couldn't be an empath, then. I wasn't special. I just knew I wasn't psychic, because I didn't have visions. Maybe I was just imagining things . . . and that made me feel even worse. I didn't want to be imagining things, putting on airs to make myself feel better! What the heck was wrong with me?

Lesson Number One: You alone know the details of your experience. Don't let anyone else create your reality for you. You are a creator. Step up to the plate and take responsibility for your life!

Even though my first instinct was to shove all of my experiences back into the darkest closet at the back of my mind and go on with life, making careful attempts to be as normal as possible . . . somehow I didn't. And even better, I allowed myself to study further, which allowed me to go on to discover even more about myself.

But it wasn't until I met Kristy and began tentatively comparing notes that I discovered that my dreams, as I had only recently allowed myself to consider might possibly be . . . gulp . . . spiritual contact, were definitely in fact . . . spiritual contact, and not just a personal weirdness.

Confidence, as you might have suspected, has been a major obstacle for me to overcome. I can laugh at that now, but I really have struggled with it over the years.

I've learned so much more in the last six years than I was able to hesitantly come to accept in all of the previous eight. Little by little, I am coming into my own. Slower than I would prefer, but I can be patient when I have to. The last two years took a toll on me, but I am beginning to come back into my own, mentally yes, but even more important to me, spiritually, and I am so thankful for that. Having come this far, I don't feel like myself when I am not dreaming and feeling. I have also discovered there is more to what I do than I considered before, which I have no doubt I'll be exploring soon.

Because now's the time, dearhearts. Now's the time for all sensitives, no matter what their level of experience, to step up to the plate and learn more about themselves, to see the world with new eyes. Don't you feel it? The call? The sense that something big is coming up? Something important? We all are.

Jen and Kristy have both talked about shielding, but just as important for any sensitive but especially for those with empathic tendencies is to learn how to release energy.

One thing that is so, so important is to be very aware of yourself and to learn how to release as you go through your day so that it doesn't build up, because it really is exhausting and can manifest into other physical symptoms, just like Kristy describes. Emotional tension is a big clue that you are holding on to too much. Simple things that help you to let go rather than hold on to emotional energy include anything that make you smile, laugh, breathe deeply, be at peace,feel love, etc. All the good stuff. Your aim is to let go of the negative and to feel your spirits lift.

Learn how to be physical again! So many of us, in our busy lives, forget how good we feel when we actually get out there and move! Walking every day in the great outdoors is so beneficial, and not just for burning off the day's indulgences. But even just going outside and sitting on your patio, feeling the sun pour down on you, the wind in the air, this will do so much. Any time I start to feel the tension build up, I step outside.

Remove toxic people from your routine as much as possible. You won't be able to fix them. They have a journey of self-discovery they need to make as well.

Hug someone! But make sure you're not transferring your stress. A mutual hug, deeply felt, also helps one ground.

Conjure an image in your mind's eye of someone you love. FEEL IT. Your love for them.

Be love, be light, in as many ways as possible. By paying attention to this, you will build it into your world around you. And with more and more of us consciously doing that, the larger world starts to change for the better, a piece at a time.

Love to all,

Mad {madly!}

P.S. No longer are empaths the rarest of all the sensitives/intuitives out there! The numbers are growing by leaps and bounds. I find that interesting . . . and fitting. This world needs a lot more love, don't you think?


  1. Words to live by Madly... hard to believe you ever doubted your specialness :) I find myself in "pressure cooker" mode from time to time. Greatly needing an emotional steam release! It's good to pay attention to your advice about getting physical, for me either yoga inside or walking outside. In the warmer months I like to stand under my fave tree, barefoot, and imagine all the energy in my body flowing down through me, out through my feet and down into the earth while new clear energy comes down through my head from above :)

    1. Pressure Cooker mode -- perfect description, that!

      I do this method, too -- not barefoot, because I'm a little afraid of the fire ants they have down here, but yeah. :)

  2. Thanks Madelyn for the wise words. I believe walking and being surrounded by nature is one of the best releases of negative energy. While in nature we tend to get out of our heads for a bit and forget the everyday pressures in life. Nature is a great inspiration and to take the time to watch a sunset, smell the flowers, look up a the stars, and just listen to the sounds around us such as the birds singing, can often and does send you inspiration and epiphanies. Most importantly it helps you live in the present moment, instead of being stuck in your head and depressed about the past, or full of anxiety and panic thinking about the future and what might happen. Living in the moment present time is the secret to freeing your mind. I love lesson number 1!
    Jennifer, thanks for sharing, my form of release is so similar to yours. During my meditations I imagine myself standing tall like a tree and picture roots shooting out of my feet reaching to the core of the earth and I ask that all negative thoughts, feelings, and energy be released from my body so that Mother Earth may recycle them and turn them back into positive energy. I then picture branches protruding from the top of my head reaching into space to absorb new pure positive energy. I can actually feel the tension being released from my body.
    Thanks again to you 3 goddesses for conjuring up such a unique site. It's like breathing in a breathe of fresh air!!!!

    1. Nature is one of the best meds out there. ;> Thanks for sharing, dearheart!

    2. P.S. I really liked the image of the branches reaching into space.

    3. I actually learned this technique from an article in a yoga magazine.

  3. Madelyn, I sent you a message on facebook a while back telling you that quite simply...your books make me happy. This site is the same makes me happy. Seeing that all of you have traveled a path so similar to my own in coming to grips with my abilities has been amazing. It helps and makes me happy. I still have a hard time thinking of myself as special in any way but work on that daily. Being an empath is not easy due to the lack of 'verification' for what we do most of the times. Reading how each of you deal with this gift has been helpful. I already practise a lot of the techniques that all of you employ as I am a HP...however I am constantly looking to learn and have definitely found both validation for what I already do as well as some new things to utilize myself and to pass onto my own students. Thank you again for sharing your insight Ladies. I love it and it makes me happy!

    1. Aw, Annette, thank you so much. It means more than I can say to know that the characters touch others the way that they move me.

      And you're right -- validation for an empath is sometimes long in coming, and one of the reasons we tend to doubt for far longer than those with more concrete abilities.

      Thanks for the kind words, and thank you for sharing here, too! We all learn from each other. I don't think that ever stops, do you?

    2. Thank you for writing and letting us know we are not alone. First reading your series, then asking questions help me to understand that my "strangeness" was not a curse to keep me alone. Like you I'm an introvert but even introverts need friends; however, it seem that I felt too much for those around me and soon it became easier to think something was wrong with me that I was imagining that I felt others pain. I look forward to slowly reading over the rest of the posts.

    3. Madelyn, I know that to stop learning is to stagnate and to become hard and umcompromising.I try to ALWAYS keep an open mind, knowing that even if what I learn doesn't resonate with me as something I can incorporate into my own life, at least it will give me a better understanding of where others are coming from. The more I learn...the more I know that I have left to learn lol. So ladies...please keep the insight and lessons coming...I yearn to learn!

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.