JOYCE: What is an empath?
YVONNE: As you know, “empathy” is the term used to describe putting ourselves into the situation of another person in order to feel for them or to empathize with what they are going through. Some people are so empathetic that they actually feel with or on behalf of another person. We call these folks empaths or highly sensitive people. Empaths are often found doing volunteer work and may serve others through emotionally demanding careers as childcare givers, medical professionals, hospice workers, midwives, and such.
Thoughts, feelings, and beliefs are a subtle form of energy. Empaths are so energy sensitive that they easily become over stimulated by the energy of other people. Many are unable to be in public without feeling drained because they take on the burdens of complete strangers.
When a tragic world event occurs, empaths may feel the sorrow, loss, and despair of those in another state or country as if it their own family had been affected. Some empaths sense the physical pain, and even the illnesses, of others. Feeling too deeply can cause depression, fatigue, and unexplainable mood swings. Therefore, this intuitive ability is life disrupting for some empaths.
JOYCE: Why do some people have this gift if its side effects are so damaging?
YVONNE: The true purpose of this gift is for humans to be able to transform detrimental energy into beneficial energy and keep the planet in balance. If we continuously live aligned with our ego instead of our higher self, we have a problem. Rather than transmuting negative energy and allowing it to flow through us, we absorb it and it sticks to and combines with lower vibrating frequencies (anger, resentment, shame, guilt, codependency, etc) that we have within us. Thus, we collect stuff in our field, which can cloud our judgment, cause mood swings, and even make us physically sick. Many times the fields of empaths are so cluttered they are unable to identify or separate their own energy from that of another person.
You’ve been around beings who spread cheer or “light up a room” so to speak. If an empath is clear and living in alignment with spirit/higher self, they are filled with Love and Light, and can act as a filter. Any detrimental energy around them is automatically transmuted and darkness is exposed as an illusion of the ego. The unwanted energy moves through in the auric field and subtle bodies a non-resistant manner. If any low-vibrating energy does get stuck, the trained empath can quickly clear it before it become a problem.
From birth to death to afterlife, we are mysteriously connected. Because we are connected, everything we think, say, or do affects all of humanity and ultimately our planet. The awakened empath who employs a practice leading toward spiritual ascension will find their intuition stronger and more reliable. Most empaths also have some healing abilities that become keener as the gift is developed. Without even realizing it, a conscious and clear empath is constantly releasing the karma of others by bringing in and anchoring higher frequencies in the Earth plane.
JOYCE: How common is this empathic gift?
YVONNE: We are seeing more and more people—especially children—awakening to this gift as the Earth is shifting into a higher realm of consciousness. Between fifteen and twenty percent of the population have an excess amount of sentient ability. They tend to become overloaded with the psychic energy of others to the point of compromising their own well-being. Yet, most of them do not know they are empaths, much less what to do about it. Currently, most medical doctors and counselors do not recognize empathy overload or know how to treat people who are suffering with this energy-related condition.
If an empath does not understand what is happening he may think he has some form of mental distress or disorder—especially if he hears, sees, and senses things that other people do not. Some empaths have been misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses.
JOYCE: Please tell us about your book, Whose Stuff Is This? Finding Freedom from the Thoughts, Feelings, and Energy of Those Around You
YVONNE: This guidebook has more than two dozen proven and effective ways to clear your energy field of clutter. This is very important to energy-sensitive people, who have been unknowingly carrying energetic burdens that belong to someone else. The book teaches empowering, proactive techniques to manage your personal energy and the energy coming to you from other people. It also contains a list of resources that includes books, classes and groups, practitioners, quizzes and tests, radio shows, videos, CDs, and DVDs to help empaths take the next step in developing their intuition.
In the book you will also find the following:
• Tips to distinguish your own energy from another person’s
• Practices for raising your personal rate of vibration
• Ways to shield yourself from the detrimental energy of others
• How to have compassion without allowing external energy to wear you out
• A fresh perspective on the psychological aspect of empathy and intuition by Dr. Caron Goode
• How to use your intuitive ability as a tool for guidance without paying a personal price
JOYCE: Why did you write this book for empaths?
YVONNE: Like most empathic people, I have always wanted to help others avoid suffering. As strange as this may sound, the one way empaths do this is by taking on the problems of others and suffering on their behalf—kind of like a surrogate for affliction. The other person feels better, but the empath feels worse. This is done in ignorance. Empaths have no idea why they feel so bad or have such emotional mood swings so much of the time. Many are diagnosed as bipolar or having some other mental illness. Medication is often prescribed rather than dealing with the underlying cause, which is energy-related.
I had been an intercessor at church for many years; I was the one people called when they needed prayer, and soon I found myself praying for hours each day. I didn’t realize I was picking up the burdens of others and carrying them as a way to release their karma. I knew nothing about staying clear.
I was at the point of mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion when I turned forty. My life as I knew it fell apart and I was circling the drain about to go under with depression. I intuitively knew my condition was spiritually related because when I prayed for others, many times they got well and I began to feel whatever discomfort they had been struggling with. Something had to change.
I had no idea where to start, but I knew that my marriage and my religion were not the answer. They were causing me even more distress so I left both of them and began searching other belief systems. I was drawn to Earth-based healing and energy medicine. Thankfully, I found herbal remedies, as well as visualizations, meditations, prayers, etc., that brought me to a path of emotional maturity (using the gift of empathy wisely without paying a personal price). I ended up getting a bachelor’s degree in metaphysics as I researched and tried all kinds of things to alleviate empathy fatigue—not really knowing the term for the kind of “backlash” I was dealing with.
It occurred to me last summer that I needed to share what I had learned about being an empath. Since writing is my forte, I started writing a blog (http://weareoneinspirit.com) about some of the spiritual practices and protection tips that I use to keep my energy field clear and balance my chakras. However, it wasn’t until a psychotherapist friend of mine, Dr. Caron Goode, suggested I write a book that I decided to gather all this information into a guidebook that could be used to help the millions of energy-sensitive people set boundaries and manage the overload of energy they pick up. Caron provided insight on the psychological aspect of empathy and I wrote about my personal journey through the empath wilderness and how I learned to psychically protect myself as I moved toward wholeness.
JOYCE: Where is your book available?
YVONNE: The printed book is available at http://tinyurl.com/EmpathAmazon. The electronic version is now in Amazon's Kindle Store http://tinyurl.com/EmpathKindle where it may be downloaded to Kindle Readers, iPads, iPhones, and other digital book readers.
JOYCE: What other books have you written?
YVONNE: The Sid Series ~ A Collection Holistic Stories for Children was inspired by my grandson, Sidney, who started demonstrating spiritual gifts at an early age. As a toddler he was clairvoyant (seeing in the spirit realm), but as he matured, he began getting psychic information through dreams. He still hears in the spirit realm. I was concerned that he might also be an empath, and I wanted him, and others kids like him, to avoid the needless suffering I had endured.
The Sid Series is a collection of stories that emerged during the adventures Sidney and I had together, but the stories also deal with topics most adults tend to avoid with children: death, afterlife, ghosts, healing, racial diversity, caring for others, meditation, and spiritual insight. The book is entertaining to children, but it also teaches parents how to open a mature dialogue with them. http://theSidSeries.com
More Than Meets the Eye, True Stories About Death, Dying, and Afterlife (http://deathdyingafterlife.com) is designed to provide comfort for those who are dying, as well as for the caregivers and family who are left with questions when their loved one passes. When I wrote that book, I had a lot of disembodied spirits coming to me. I didn’t know why ghosts were visiting me, but I felt I was supposed to help them. Writing that book helped me find answers not only to know what the ghosts needed, but for protecting my energy field as an empath. So, the book not only deals with spirit visits after the passing of a loved one, it also covers many aspects of the dying and grieving process and sheds light on euthanasia, suicide, and near-death experience.
JOYCE: What other project do you have going?
YVONNE: I am currently planning an event, “Empaths Shifting into 2012: A Telesummit to Help Energy-sensitive People Understand Their Spiritual Role on Earth.” There will be a panel of eight experts who will speak about how the Earth is shifting to bring in more divine feminine energy and how this is affecting lightworkers and empaths. Our counselors, well-trained empaths, and holistic practitioners will help people develop the gift of empathy and give tips for getting free from detrimental energy. We will teach how to become empowered as an empath walking in oneness with all creation so everyone can help facilitate the Earth’s shift into higher consciousness.
This free telesummit will be conducted by phone as everyone calls a specific number and enters a pass code to join the conference. People will be able to ask questions during each of the four calls, which will be offered all four Tuesdays in September. I will present a session titled “There are No Victims! Helping Empaths to See Themselves as Empowered Beings of Light” and speak about why forgiveness is so important to empaths who want to stay clear of negativity and align with higher frequencies in order to accomplish their life’s mission. These calls will be recorded, so if you can’t make all four calls, you can listen to the replays.
People can register now so they will be sure to get a reminder closer to the date of the telesummit. They can go to http://dld.bz/aaK6e and comment with their contact information so we can send them more information.