The term empath comes from empathy, which is the ability to understand the experiences and feelings of others outside of your own perspective. To be an empath goes a little further than this though.
Empaths are highly attuned to other people’s moods, good and bad. They feel everything, sometimes to an extreme. They take on negativity such as anger or anxiety, which can be exhausting for them. If they are around peace and love, though, their bodies take these on and flourish.
For me personally, when I practised as a holistic therapist offering reiki and reflexology, I had to be extremely mindful of cutting the ties with clients as they left. Not doing so could leave me with their energies, good bad, high or low and result in Compassion Fatigue – which is often felt by therapists, hairdressers, counsellors etc.
There are different types of empaths and Heyoka Empath’s have the ability to subconsciously feel other people’s emotions. They often have psychic-like abilities when it comes to people’s feelings and emotions. They are great people to confide in, and they are wonderful at giving advice too.
I first really realised I was an empath in my early 20’s, I owned my own house and mum had a key, she would sometimes pop over when I wasn’t there, do a bit of cleaning or gardening to help me out. The minute I returned home, on walking into my empty house my mood would change – I realised after a short time that my mood was switching to match that of my mum, who had been there hours before. Mum was known for strong feelings, in whatever direction, I was picking them up.
I’m fairly certain that as a young child I would pick up on these things too, from her and my friends also, I was too young to understand and ended up just being fed up of feeling different to everyone else.
It has its upside, if a ‘friend in need’ is suffering in silence, I can pick up on it and tease the feelings out them to help, without them knowing what I’m doing. In my day job with Busy Women Networking I experience the success of the members almost as vividly as they do, which is why I love to help them succeed. Obviously, there are downsides too, and this is why I write today….
2020, it’s certainly been a challenge to us all! At the start there was a lot of anxiety in everyone. I work from home and don’t travel abroad for holidays so much of my day to day life stayed the same. The lovely summer sun was great for gardening, and once we are allowed to, spending time in the countryside aboard our boat was lovely. My anxiety levels and clenching of neck and jaw were sky high though – simply because I was picking up the mood, not only from friends but the general population too.
Again, once the feeling and the reasons are identified then the empath can effectively shield from it in certain ways. Just recently I had begun to feel very down, unlike any feelings I had had before, I wondered whether it was depression. I posted on Facebook asking for some suggestions on how to ‘bounce back’. Suggestions ranged from chatting to friends to hugging a tree – I am quite open to all sorts of suggestions, although must add, I got really bitten by midges when I walked in the woods!
After much deliberation I have concluded it’s Zoom! Zoom is my doom…
I’ve realised how much I enjoy and actually need interaction with people, socially and when working too. I pick up emotions, I read you subconsciously and this is pretty much impossible when I can only see a 5cm picture of you on my screen. Zoom is fantastic for all our meetings, but the little nuances, facial twitches, partial smiles and frowns are missed by the technology – I’m no longer connecting with you all as much as I was and a little black cloud was following me around because of this.
I will add, now I’ve defined what it is the black cloud has moved on somewhat, as I can ensure now that I have some real person interaction.
Let’s hope that soon we can start to meet and run our businesses again in person, so for empaths everywhere, it’s not so much of a challenge.