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Empowered by Empathy: 25 Ways to Fly in Spirit


Body Language (along with facial expression) represents the most obvious level for reading people. If you’re really good at this, you’re already starting to drift and shift from Hidden Layer #1 into reading the deeper layers. Here’s a summary of the other layers Rose’s publications can help you to open up, culminating in Empowered by Empathy.

Hidden Layer #2 is Face Reading, where you look at the physical face to learn about character. For thousands of years, face detectives ...

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Body Language (along with facial expression) represents the most obvious level for reading people. If you’re really good at this, you’re already starting to drift and shift from Hidden Layer #1 into reading the deeper layers. Here’s a summary of the other layers Rose’s publications can help you to open up, culminating in Empowered by Empathy.

Hidden Layer #2 is Face Reading, where you look at the physical face to learn about character. For thousands of years, face detectives have investigated how character shows in the shapes and angles of the physical face. Rose’s system of Face Reading Secrets ® will clue you in to a wealth of data at this level. You’ll find it in The Power of Face Reading.

Hidden Layer #3 involves noticing people in an intuitive way. One minute you’ll be watching Body Language or Face Reading and zap!, you’ll become aware of something much deeper. For instance, it dawns on you that the man you’re watching is happy or frightened or lying like crazy. You see/feel/know this even though his Body Language reveals nothing of the kind. If anything, he has learned to use Body Language to hideit.

Well, instead of thinking that you need to learn more little tips about Body Language, here’s a what if. What if Body Language serves as a mask at least as often as it reveals an inner secret? This happens to be true. If this frustrates you, maybe it’s time to start reading Hidden Layer #3, auras—the human energy field.

Auras have far more to them than the popular notion of “seeing the colors.” It’s a spiritual level that reveals deep human secrets. And you need not be a certified mystic to read them, just someone who is curious and willing to learn something genuinely new.

Aura Reading Through ALL Your Senses can help you to appreciate spiritual gifts that you’ve had your whole life, but probably not used yet in a conscious way. Exciting thought, isn’t it? That means your people watching skills could quickly become far deeper and more rewarding. Consider becoming an aura reader with the 100+ innovative techniques presented in this book.

To enliven your readings of Hidden Layer #3, an exciting supplement is Rosetree’s how-to video, “Thrill Your Soul: Inspiration for Choosing Your Work and Relationships.”

But, for the truly adventurous, there’s one final frontier. Hidden Layer #4 is Empathy, where you find yourself aware of what it is like to BE the person you’re studying. Like Aura Reading, true empathy is spiritual and subtle... you’ll find yourself slipping into it as easily as Cinderella fit into her glass slipper. Because of Rosetree’s pioneering work with training skilled empaths, Empowered by Empathystands out as America’s first book for empaths.

Bout the Author:
Rose Rosetree pioneers techniques for using deeper perception in everyday life. She’s a Brandeis graduate and a teacher of personal development for the past 30 years. Media interviews have brought this award-winning teacher’s work to Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia. In America, she’s been featured on ABC’s “The View,” USA Today, The Washington Post, Ladies Home Journal, Redbook, The Catholic Standard, and Country Weekly.

Announcing America’s first book ever for empaths. Learn how to turn empathy off. And how to turn it on, stronger than ever before. Bring your gifts to a new level.

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Editorial Reviews

Las Vegas Sun
Rose Rosetree can spot a potential fibber a mile away. Or, in this case, 2,400 miles away.
The Washington Times
“The stuff I teach may seem far out to people, but it’s not,” says Ms. Rosetree….When giving a reading, she doesn’t immediately seek feedback on her accuracy. She sits back, confident that she’s at least partly on target. When she does ask, it’s with a flat sense of curiosity, like someone peering out of a rain-splattered window to check on a storm’s progress.
The Bookwatch
Empowered by Empathy is the first book written for empaths and provides a unique perspective on empathy which tells how to turn off unwanted empathy and how to make it stronger. From holistic knowing to lifestyle adjustments, this provides an excellent primer on empathy’s pros, cons, and how to manage it for best results.
Explains how to improve the quality of life by turning off unwanted empathy as well as maximizing its potential.
Cynthia Yockey
If you are aware that your empathy—whether for people, animals, the environment, or whatever—overwhelms you from time to time, by showing you how to harness your ability so it does not run off with you, Rose Rosetree’s latest book, Empowered by Empathy: 25 Ways to Fly in Spirit, could save your life. Definitely it will provide you with the knowledge you need to understand and unfold your gift.

Even if you believe you are a very advanced empath, I assure you that Rosetree has a thing or three to add that not only will accelerate the growth of your abilities, but also increase your stability and joy in the process.

And perhaps best of all, Rosetree’s book gently and skillfully guides those who simply feel drawn to the concept of empathy through the underlying concepts of recognizing their own empathic strengths and then provides exercises to help them unfold their abilities.
Pathways Magazine

From The Critics
Empowered by Empathy is the first book written for empaths, and provides a unique perspective on empathy which tells how to turn off unwanted empathy and how to make it stronger. From holistic knowing to lifestyle adjustments, this provides an excellent primer on empathy's pros, cons, and how to manage it for best results.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780965114585
  • Publisher: Women's Intuition Worldwide
  • Publication date: 1/1/2001
  • Pages: 38
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Part One: Empathy 101 Empathy on Purpose
Skeptical Interlude
Your Empathic Gifts
Service with a Smile—or a Frown
How to Switch Empathy OFF

Part Two: Switch on Empathy
Naked and Glorious
How Do You Speak Empathy?
Plug in, Switch on
Travel Techniques
And There’s More

Part Three: Lifestyle Matters
The Lifestyle You Deserve
How to Parent an Empath
The Power of Empathy
Annotated Bibliography

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First Chapter

Chapter 1

Empathy on Purpose

Malled is one word for it, that strangely mutilated psychic state some of us suffer after a trip to the mall. Emily always gets malled. Returning home after a shopping trip, she feels like an emotional basket case. No wonder she usually stays home instead.

"How can kids hang out at the malls for fun?" Emily sighs.[1]

Actually she isn't so much curious about how kids handle the malls as she tries to divert attention. It's hard for Emily not to blame herself. Millions of people-most people so far as she can tell-don't find shopping a major ordeal. So what's wrong with her?

Empathy is the problem, empathy that Emily hasn't yet learned to use on purpose. Many unskilled empaths interpret their talent negatively, calling themselves names like "over-sensitive," "neurotic," or "co-dependent." Ridiculous! Empaths have a gift. You can you purposely use that gift to fly in spirit.
Joyce first discovered empathy one lovely spring morning in 1994. She woke up feeling suicidal.

"Don't get me wrong," she told me afterwards. "I have my ups and downs like everyone else. But this feeling was different.

"For years Greg has been my hero at the newspaper where both of us work—you could call him my mentor. That morning, a friend of ours called to say that Greg was in bad shape. The day before, I wasn't at work. Greg was. Apparently the pressure got to him. He walked into the newsroom and absolutely lost control. You know those things you can say to people, the things that are true but unforgivable? Well, he said them.

"The morning after, Greg didn't know how to go on. The suicidal feelings belonged to him, not me.

"Glad to say, he managed to pull himself together. The feelings passed for both of us. Well, that episode served as a kind of initiation for me. Ever since, I've been aware of my empathy. On a daily basis, I connect to other people's pain. I've learned to accept it. But I sure wish I could use my empathy for happy stuff, too."

That's where empathy techniques come in. First, you'll learn how to turn off unwelcome empathy. Then come the techniques to turn it on—at will—deeper and bigger and better than ever before.
Harvey has suffered from a problem related to a different form of empathy. Until recently, he thought he was a hypochondriac.

"I'd go into a business meeting and come out with weird physical ailments. For years I thought I was making this up. Eventually I realized the aches and pains were real, only they belonged to other people, not me.

"A woman where I work suffers from migraines. But when they first start to hit, this woman, Ellen, is in such denial about her body, she has no clue. By the time she notices something wrong, her headache has become a full-blown migraine and she has to go to the emergency room.

"Finally I connected this with me. When we're together at work and her symptoms start, who else gets a headache? Me. It's her headache but I'm sharing it. Sound crazy? Then get what we do now! At my first sign of a headache, I call Ellen and say, "You have a headache. Go take your medicine. Now it never gets to the point where she goes to the hospital.

"Great, I'm glad to help Ellen. But she never pays me to be her doctor or headache wearer... whatever. How can I stop taking on people's physical symptoms when I don't want to?"

Many so-called "hypochondriacs" are really volunteers who connect empathically with people's health problems. Having a gift for this kind of spiritual service is much more enjoyable when you learn to use the on-and-off switch.
The desire to have control over empathy is healthy. Just because you have an empathic gift doesn't mean you must be a slave to it, on call 24/7. The solution is to learn to use empathy in a way that empowers you.

Most empaths don't have experiences as extreme as those of Harvey, Joyce, or Emily. On the other hand, you may be misinterpreting equally pesky and solvable problems that arise in your own life due to unskilled empathy. And undoubtedly you're underestimating the joys of using empathy on purpose.

Empathy can also be your ticket to experiences of higher consciousness. Techniques in this book will show you how.

Whatever makes you curious about being empowered by empathy, there's one thing you have in common with my other students: talent that needs to be nurtured.
Welcome to Empathy 101
Whether you're a Ph.D. or a high school dropout, one class I bet you've never taken is Empathy 101. Come and learn the importance of becoming a skilled empath versus a natural empath.

Skilled empaths know enough about their gifts to use them on purpose. They taste the great personal freedom, the joy. Also, these empaths can consciously appreciate the hidden spiritual ways their gifts help others.

Natural empaths have the same gifts as skilled empaths except they don't know how to use empathy on purpose. So they suffer unnecessarily.

* What are the six major types of empathy, and which do you have?

* How can you switch your empathy off or on at will?

* How can different techniques enhance your empathy?

* How can you best protect yourself?

* Empathy can be a basis for important kinds of spiritual service. Could you have been making a contribution all along, something more individual and far reaching than you ever dreamed?

* What will happen when you consciously use empathy to fly in spirit?
One thing's for sure. If you're reading this book, it's a little late to choose whether or not you want to be an empath. Assuming that you're reading of your own free will, chances are that you qualify-though probably not yet as a skilled empath. That's where Empathy 101 comes in. You'll explore a sequence of information and techniques that has proven effective with my students, bringing results that have ranged from merely satisfying to downright transformational.
Why Study Empathy?
Personally, I wish Empathy 101 had been part of my formal education along with reading, writing, and arithmetic. Today's elementary school children may be taught more about empathy than I was. As you can read in Daniel Goleman's Emotional Intelligence, being taught that Dick and Jane have feelings, just like "mine," can help kids form intellectual concepts about empathy. This is a good kind of training. It improves manners, which is nothing to sneeze at (especially without covering your mouth). However, the deeper kinds of empathy we'll explore in this book go much further than psychological self-knowledge or social adjustment.

Empathy, as discussed here, involves experience, not just concepts. Empathy, real empathy, is an experience of true otherness. Yes, that means transpersonal knowing, going beyond your usual boundaries to explore a completely different way to be. When you activate empathy by using techniques like those in this book, your gifts pull you out of the box of your personality, pour you into another person's reality, and eventually plonk you safely back home to your everyday energy presence. This journey is a far cry from mouthing schoolroom ideas about showing consideration for others.

Mind you, trying to be a "nice" person is fine as far as it goes; it just doesn't go very deep. The six different forms of empathy we'll explore together lead you to experiences that are either spiritual, intellectual, physical, or emotional in nature. Emotional forms of empathy are the easiest to confuse with relatively superficial ideas like good manners. By contrast, true empathy is the call of a soul's[2] deep striving, a motivation that no schoolteacher can magically bring into being. Either your soul invites you to empathy or it doesn't.

And, sooner or later, the souls of those who are natural empaths cry out for training. An inner discomfort prompts the realization that having a gift doesn't mean the same thing as knowing how to use it. That's what teachers are for. (You needed help learning to read, didn't you? And that was no reflection on your ability.) Teachers save us time and vexation. For those who need the knowledge, Empathy 101 is as essential as reading, writing, and arithmetic.

In a way it's more essential. As millions of illiterate Americans can attest, it's frustrating not to know how to read-also inconvenient, limiting, even humiliating at times. Situations come up where you wish you could read but the ability just won't switch on. Empathy, by contrast, is always switched on.

That's right, empathy comes to us plugged in and switched on. Apparently the only way God can give it to us is for us to have it installed from Day One. As we'll explain in more detail later, empathy could be compared to Christmas presents. That wondrous machine your kid finds under the tree requires that Santa (or someone you, personally, know) will read the operating instructions, assemble the toy, and put in the batteries. Unless you set up the toy to run, it won't work. Mysteriously, our Christmas gifts of empathy come in a different manner—fully assembled, batteries included. The trick is to learn how to switch the gift off. Maybe you've already noticed: If you don't know how to use empathy on purpose, your empathy is going to use you.

When you can switch a gift off or on at will, that could be called having control. However, I'm not crazy about using the word control in conjunction with empathy. Control has two connotations, doesn't it? One is skill, which applies very nicely to an empath's training. But the other connotation is exerting your will over other people or yourself, which definitely doesn't apply.

A more useful understanding, I think, involves freedom. When you can fly into another person's mind or heart—whether to give a gift of service or to learn something outrageously new-control is too heavy a burden to bring along. It's better to travel light, with innocence. Just as skilled empathy helps you to use your free will, one requirement for using your gifts is that you respect the free will of others. Freedom all around!

Freedom also describes the relief you will feel when you learn to switch off your inner Tickle Me, Elmo™— or whatever else you name the empathic toy within that keeps on mechanically doing its thing (even when you feel like it's driving you nuts). Considering how little most empaths today know about their gifts, no wonder it takes some doing to recognize how empathy works in the first place.
Recognizing Empathy
Unskilled empaths suffer. It's that simple. Ironically, these days you can go through school and learn more about computers than about your own psychic and spiritual software. Knowledge of empathy sure wasn't taught to me. Even on the college level, there was no elective on Empathic Development. At Brandeis, my favorite classes initiated me into the wonders of literature, motivation and social psychology, even secrets of nonverbal communication. I'll be forever grateful. But for the purpose of empathy education, it was like preschool.

After my B.A., I did graduate study in education and social work. These academic pursuits were interspersed with years of training as a meditation teacher plus impassioned study of many religions and techniques for personal development. Unfortunately all of them taught me the same amount about becoming a skilled empath: zilch.

In fact, my first class in Empathy 101 started quite by accident and didn't even take place until I was 45 years old.

Picture the scene: It's a Christmas party at the home of Steve and Birdie Piecezenick, where I've been hired as a party entertainer to do professional Face Reading.

At first I think this gig is going to be pretty routine. Stationed at a table, I am giving guests private readings about the talents and tribulations that show in their face data.[3] Although my work at this party is typical, the host is not. For the entire time I do my readings he observes me and my subjects with rapt attention. Guests may come and guests may go but this guy goes on forever. After the first two hours, the gig is extended for another couple of hours and my host, Steve, keeps on observing, quiet except for occasional exclamations of "That's exactly right!"

When the party is over Steve Pieczenik tells me why he finds my work so interesting. (By the way, don't let this tongue twister of a last name make your eyes glaze over. Just pronounce it pih-CHE-nik.) Dr. Pieczenik is a best-selling novelist, sometimes co-authoring with Tom Clancy, sometimes on his own. Pieczenik's thrillers make use of his rare background as a Harvard-trained psychiatrist, a Ph.D. in International Relations, even four assignments as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State. What does Dr. Pieczenik do professionally, when he isn't writing? He psychs out international leaders, helping our security advisors and politicians to figure out the best way to handle them, especially the weirdly dangerous ones like Saddam Hussein or Muammar Qadhafi.

What an awakening! In the first place, I had never considered myself particularly sensitive, let alone gifted. After all, there's no version of an IQ test for that. As we've already discussed, there aren't even classes. So I had no clue. Thank you forever, Steve Pieczenik, for calling this undefined thing about me a gift! I hope to do unto others as you have done to me.

Dr. Pieczenik also brought up a concept that was totally new to me: The more sensitive you are, the harder it is to handle.

Gee, the very idea made me want to cry. For years I had denied this sensitive part of myself. Whenever it showed up, I called myself neurotic, unstable, weird, embarrassing, fussy, moody, or weak. I blamed myself for every social situation where I reacted in a way that made me seem different. Not once had I framed the sad parts of my life story in terms of exceptional sensitivity.

Could this chronic condition turn out to be a talent? Wow! I started paying attention to this sensitivity stuff. What was it? What did it help me to do that, maybe, wasn't as automatic for everyone else as I had assumed? Empathy was its rightful name, I discovered. For there are many ways of being sensitive that don't involve the kind of gift that Steve Pieczenik noticed.

It has now been seven years since this perceptive man gave me the gentle equivalent of a Zen master's whack on the head. I entered empathy class, self-taught, and began to explore my gifts.

Recognizing these gifts can be tricky. Inadvertently, we empaths play a form of Pin the Tail on the Donkey. Remember it? The picture of a donkey hangs on a wall in front of you. You're holding an essential part of it, ready to pin it where it belongs. But before your turn to do this ridiculously simple thing, someone blindfolds you and spins you around until you're dizzy. Then you lurch forward-or sideways-and usually miss the mark.

That's life here on The Learning Planet. All of us born as natural empaths must learn to recognize what would be spiritually obvious if only we weren't too blind and dizzy to tell. Empathy, for us, is like the tail that belongs to that donkey. How satisfying to put it in place! That includes becoming clear about the difference between empathy and sensitivity.
Empaths are driven to constantly seek more spiritual truth. We're fascinated by those aspects of reality that are the least obvious, the most secret, sacred, and tender. One tool for our search is sensitivity.

Sensitivity means a way of being neurophysiologically wired to be extra-responsive, as described in Dr. Elaine Aron's groundbreaking book Highly Sensitive Persons. Her research has shown that 1 or 2 people in 10 can qualify as a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP).[4] If you're an HSP, things bother you that don't bother others. You notice more, consciously and physiologically. Overstimulation happens. Hurt feelings happen. So do exceptional abilities-if you let them. Nevertheless, as noted by Dr. Aron, American society, on the whole, is prejudiced against those who are sensitive.

Empaths are a special group within the HSP category. When it comes to social problems, we get a double whammy: problems related to being sensitive, then problems related to empathy. Ironically, you may be the last one to know you're either empathic or sensitive. Why? Even the world's most talented empaths aren't sensitive to absolutely everything. Remember what Thoreau said about some people marching to the beat of a different drummer? Whatever kind of information you specialize in receiving, your empathy causes you to tune out other kinds of information. This doesn't make you insensitive, though sometimes it may seem that way.

An extreme example of specialized sensitivity is Alex Mont, a high-functioning autistic 9-year old who also happens to be a math genius. In minutes he masters the same concepts that his father's students at Cornell University took days to comprehend.

But Alex forgets the non-mathematical rules. A profile in The Washington Post illustrated how inconvenient this might be. Shopping for clothes at J.C. Penney, for instance, Mr. Mont pulled some pants off the rack. He asked Alex to try them on. Oops, Alex started to take off his clothes right where they were standing.

"Alex!" his Dad exclaimed. "You need to go to the dressing room."

"Oh, I forgot," Alex apologized. "You're not supposed to take your pants off in public. I forgot that rule."

This boy's talents are probably more lopsided than yours. And they move in the opposite direction. While his numerical sensitivity can be measured on tests; your empathic sensitivity cannot. Alex tops out on tests like the national math Olympiad. What intellectual or psychological test can you take to tell how you rate empathically?

Myers-Briggs may be the best test currently available, since empaths often share one score on one of the variables (N for intuition rather than S for sensing). However, Myers-Briggs was designed to type personalities, not to discern the scope and specialties of empathic gifts.

So here you are, empathic and anonymous, in a society loaded with hype for just about every other kind of ability that exists. Anything from math Olympics to mud wrestling, be it a skill or a hobby, can rate tests, competitions, awards, maybe also songs or demonstrations or parades or conventions or websites or celebrities and, undoubtedly, some kind of support group.

Empathy, however, is not a club. No big deal! Don't let the lack of outer recognition cause you to belittle your gifts. They are part of the distinctive beauty of your spirit.
Recognizing Empaths
When you're searching for your fellow empaths, how can you recognize them if there is no official standardized test, no way of dressing the part? For clues, you'll have to look inside. And what I'm about to say may come as a surprise but it's important: Forget about facial expressions of concern or other ways that people act sympathetic. Acting means nothing.

Once I was interviewed by a TV talk show host with a flair for this sort of acting. On screen she comes across as highly sympathetic, even verging on saccharine. Person to person, I found that her lack of human feeling made her about as huggable as a packet of fake sugar. Immediately after asking me questions, she would withdraw so completely that my empathic self had no way to merge with her. Golly, was that ever scary!

Watching the broadcast later, I saw how my face froze into a mask of fear. This was no mere stage fright. I'd given hundreds of media interviews before. This was The Twilight Zone. When my interviewer refused to accept me empathically, I was utterly unprepared.

Most of the techniques in this book would have made it possible to predict this kind of behavior. But no technique will work if you don't remember to use it. Because I forgot to pay attention to the empathic level, my strength became my weakness. Empathy doesn't necessarily show in a person's expression, although often we're fooled into thinking it does. Whenever we assume that the presence or absence of empathy will show in external behavior, it's a mistake.

If you were to take one of my seminars in person (rather than joining a virtual classroom via this book) you might be shocked to meet your classmates. Who are they to think they are empaths? That woman? That guy? Are they kidding?

Turns out, the usual ways we've learned to read people are misleading when you're looking for empaths. It has nothing to do with having an expressive face like my aforementioned talk show host. Expressiveness in itself shows neither the presence or absence of empathy. All it shows is a person's comfort level with the kind of communication where you let feelings show through your facial expression. Other factors are display rules[5] about how much emotion we're taught to show, e.g., girls who are taught that it's okay to act hurt, just not angry; and the everyday slips of face called micro-expressions, short bursts of emotion that flicker by fast and are read mostly unconsciously. Psychologist Paul Eckman trains people to read them by showing videotapes, then using the pause button to catch moods that otherwise flash by unnoticed. You can do something similar at home, using your VCR. Reading micro-expressions is fascinating. Still, it won't necessarily show you who is an empath. Nor will reading the micros help you become an empath.

Although anyone can become an expert at reading facial expression, not everyone can develop the gifts of an empath. In general, it's a mistake to imagine that you can tell empaths of any kind by their personalities. Sure, some remind you of fluffy, soft critters, like kittens. But turtles have bodies that are even softer and more vulnerable-empathy alone can show you what lies beneath the protective shell. Techniques in later chapters, like The Heart Journey, will bring that deeper truth within reach.
What does being an empath have to do with psychic ability? Information from the psychic level is what people call a sixth sense. It involves specifics, like flashing on the location of your lost suitcase or predicting that tomorrow it will rain.

By contrast, empathy belongs under the category of spiritual experience, something that contributes to the evolution of consciousness. As discussed more fully in the next chapter, whenever you work or play as an empath, your consciousness shifts. Consequently your way of experiencing life is forever altered (even if the changes are so subtle they are routinely overlooked). Thus, every step in the direction of empathy moves you forward spiritually.

Therefore, a simple way of distinguishing psychic experience from empathy is that the former adds to your collection of information whereas the latter irrevocably changes the knower. Another difference is timing. Psychic experience pops like a photo flash. By contrast, empathy dawns. Gradually. Even when you're skilled, sometimes you'll slowly wake up to a feeling of "There it goes again." Only then will you recognize that you have been traveling. Either you wake up to someone else's experience in terms of your body-mind-spirit package or else you awaken inside another person's package entirely. Well, that's interesting....

The more slow-motion timing for empathy comes with one delightful advantage over a quick psychic flash. Skilled empaths have the choice to linger.

Another difference between psychic and empathic abilities involves practical usefulness. I may as well break this to you now: If there's a competition about usefulness, psychics win hands down. Laura Day, for instance, makes a point of how useful psychic information can be for making business decisions.

Well, empathy doesn't necessarily help you pick winning stocks. Accuracy (truth that you can test) is a non-issue. Genuineness (truth that resonates within you) matters far more. Empathy reveals the deepest truth that you can hold and, like virtue, is its own reward.

Service is yet another point of difference. For a psychic, service is optional-desirable, prudent, definitely wise, yet optional. I think of Betty, a friend who used her considerable psychic gifts in a way that may surprise you. She was a madam. Betty would use psychic abilities to tip her off when calls for her "girls" came from detectives. For years Betty's accuracy prevailed, helping her to foil the police. Eventually she sold her business to a non-psychic. Within two weeks, police raided the joint.

Ethically mixed situations like these are perfectly compatible with psychic development, even if not ideal. Empathy, however, demands that you be scrupulously ethical. The style of knowing is so personal that consequences of questionable choices will come back to you fast and hard.

Perhaps the most fascinating difference between psychics and empaths is detachment. When it comes to giving service, psychics help others best by staying neutral. The crystal-clear quality of their information is what counts. In Anatomy of the Spirit, Caroline Myss explains, "For me, a clear impression has no emotional energy connected to it whatsoever. If I feel an emotional connection to an impression, then I consider that impression to be contaminated."[6] Her impeccable record as a medical intuitive and teacher demonstrate how a psychic can work with the utmost effectiveness without descending into the mushy, gushy, and vulnerable realms of empathy. For some of us, however, that mode of work is inescapable, even preferable.

Fortunately there's enough work for us all, those who are talented as psychics and those who happen to be empaths. Were you to train yourself to fit Myss's mold, after great struggle, you could probably rid yourself of the "contaminated" perception that comes from sharing energy with the people you help. In doing this, you'd also lose about 80% of your effectiveness... and even more of your joy.

This prediction isn't just theoretical. I've seen this kind of numbing happen to several other empaths who've wound up as my students. Before finding me, they made heroic efforts to force their soul-level gifts to match up with those of their famous psychic teachers; to their detriment, they were trying to turn apples into oranges.

Surely, though, the orchard of God's helpers has room for us all. Some of us are psychics, others empaths. How about being both? Sure, some are gifted at both, even if they don't make a clear distinction between them. For instance, psychotherapist Belleruth Naparstek has written a brilliant how-to about intuition, Your Sixth Sense. In discussing terminology, she implies that those who call themselves "empaths" are using a euphemism for the more controversial term, "psychic."

Later in her book, however, Naparstek gives personal examples of both the "pop" of psychic experience and the slower dawning of empathy—as though they were one and the same process—misnaming what I call Physical Oneness so that it can conveniently fit into the category of psychic perception. In one anecdote, for example, Naparstek describes that she felt a lump in her throat while talking with a client. "How did her lump get into my throat?" she wondered. Later the client's lump left, mid-session, and so did her therapist's.

How did this happen? How, indeed! That was empathy. When you give service as a psychic, transmitting information to others, you may bring important knowledge. Joining empathically doesn't seem as flashy; you may have relatively little knowledge to report; yet by the very act of connecting, you bring healing. And that's just part of the beauty of serving others as an empath.
Awakening your empathic gifts means being initiated into techniques where, effortlessly, you can touch another person at a deeper reality. In fact, effortlessly is the best way to do it. Don't expect struggle to be your proof that you're accomplishing something. Techniques in this book are meant to be done as effortlessly as possible. When incomparable knowledge flows to you, that is a better proof of your skill than the sweat of your brow.

Empathy can be an exquisite way of serving others. Until you can use empathy on purpose, however, your service will be about as exquisite as a monkey, dressed in a tutu, trying to dance. Your highest and best service will become available only when you can move as a skilled empath. Yes, for the sake of service you want to be skilled. With skill you'll find that, though others may use words like "strength" or "clarity" for what you do, empathy is surprisingly easy. Compare it to lifting a two-ounce barbell. (Don't compare it to trying to find a two-ounce barbell.)Consciously using your gifts links you up to your spiritual Source and so, paradoxically, surrendering to your gifts will increase your power for being of service.

One of my students, Olivia, also needed to learn to surrender for the sake of her mental health. Here's the story she told towards the end of one of my seminars. "By training, I'm a nurse. But whenever I'd work, something would go on that they never covered in Nursing School. I knew when people were ill. It was as if I could feel what was going on in their bodies.

"I'd walk by a patient and smell something at the head or the legs or the feet that would tell me which part of the patient was sick. As part of this, I could tell who was getting better and who wasn't. It was uncanny.

"Altogether I knew so much that it began to overwhelm me. I made the mistake of telling other nurses and doctors. They convinced me I was crazy. I even spent time in a mental hospital. Needless to say, I got out of nursing. Until today, I felt ashamed of that part of myself that knew things. Thank you so much for giving me permission to know what I know."

Fear of going crazy is a secret shared by many an unskilled empath. Fighting or denying your God-given gifts, however, will not add to anyone's sanity. And rich though your vocabulary may be in words that belittle empathic sensitivity, now's the time to add new concepts, new language, new techniques. They will make it safer for you to be who you already are: someone with a destiny for service as an empath.
This is the first book to present empathy as an assortment of gifts, complete with techniques to alter your reality for the bigger and better. Here are suggestions for best results:

Part Two takes you on a spiritual adventure. I'll challenge you to search for your personal language. Then come the mind-bogglers—each travel technique will help you taste a new flavor of empathy.

With experience, you'll discover that being a skilled empath amounts to more than techniques and adventures. It's a lifestyle. Part Three presents vital information for keeping yourself in balance. Pay special attention to the chapter on grounding-and not just because of the controversial Aha!s about weight.

Each of the three parts concludes with a set of affirmations. These are power words that can help you to transform yourself, both subjectively and objectively. Choose your favorite affirmations from each set, alter the words until they fit you like a glove, and repeat them aloud several times a day.[7]
So much for HOW to use this book-how about WHEN to use it?

* When you feel more-or-less stable: that's the best time to develop empathy.

* When you feel rotten, confused, worried, angry, and so forth: Surprise! This is not a good time to explore the techniques in this book. Avoid doing any technique except for the one to switch empathy off (that's in Chapter 6). You know the impact of a cool shower when you've been out too long on a hot summer day? Empathy switch-off can be very soothing.

* When your life is in crisis: Don't aim for more active forms of empathy until your life settles down. Otherwise you're apt to distort the techniques, come up with inaccurate information about others, even waste time trying to escape from reality. Social workers have found that people resolve crises within six weeks, one way or another. It's worth waiting that long until you can begin properly. Your career as a skilled empath is going to last a lifetime.

* When you're in urgent need of healing, if you're a not-yet-recovering alcoholic, or if you take non-prescription drugs: do yourself a big favor. Wait a while. Techniques in this book are for what psychologists call the worried well, people who can function okay but want to become more self-actualized.

* When you are suffering from serious co-dependence: Watch out! (Mistakenly interpreting your empathy as co-dependence doesn't count. Serious co-dependence means being obsessed about controlling another person's life and depending on others to make you happy.) Heaven forbid that someone who is actively co-dependent should fool around with more empathy! Taking care of ourselves is plenty. Otherwise we're likely to coerce others rather than help them, which is harmful for everyone concerned. When you are ready to learn about others without trying to control them or use them, or to anxiously escape from yourself, that's when you're ready to fly with your empathic gifts.

* When you're ready to honor your empathic journey as something spiritual. Mistakes can happen to anyone, so you may find it important to know from the outset that the techniques in this book come with built-in ethical protection, which you'll read about in Part II.
When, above all, is the best time to fly with your gifts for empathy? For some of you, it might be when you're curious, or ready to explore higher states of consciousness, or determined to get this empathy part of life right for a change.

Any answer that speaks to your deep sense of truth signals your best time. But let me tell you when, for me, has been the best time. I became empowered by empathy when I was ready for the experience of true otherness.

Otherness means jumping out of the box of being yourself. You gain direct experience of another person's body or mind or heart or soul. People talk about knowing others "in the Biblical sense" as a euphemism for sex. But maybe knowing in the Biblical sense really should be understood to mean the spiritual experience of otherness, regardless of whether physical intimacy is involved.

Sex can be a gateway to otherness. Conveniently, though, empathy offers many alternatives that can be just as profound. Maybe not as much fun-you'll have to decide for yourself. But don't make up your mind about sex as the best form of otherness until you've had the privilege of experiencing many kinds of otherness, several times, and uninhibitedly.

Otherness is a special kind of spiritual experience. Before discovering it, personally, I'd done decades of psychological work and daily mediation, using a variety of techniques. I'd even had a modest share of transcendent experience, the kind where you breathe the breath of God and your life is changed forever.

Without meaning any disrespect, however, the breath, the hand, even the heart of God are not "other." God is at your core. Supposing that you follow your religion perfectly, you can go for years, even an entire lifetime, without once consciously getting outside the box of your human personality. It's constantly my thinking, my feeling... even my own opening up to God. But how about empathic travel within someone else's box? How about an entirely different way to think or feel?

* What would it be like to live in a body that is taller, heavier, with a different sexual energy, older, calmer, etc.?

* What taste would you have in your mouth?

* Would you trust life as much?

* Imagine how it would be to visit someone else's soul, consciously, assuming that you have full permission to learn all you can and serve all that you can.

Otherness sets you free from the silly habit of being boringly, only, and unconsciously yourself.

Otherness is humbling and mysterious. But, as you'll discover, it's also very, very simple. With all the practical benefits you gain as a skilled empath, simple otherness may be your greatest reward.

Footnotes to the book excerpt follow: ——————————

[1]Quotations throughout the text come from my memory. Anecdotes are true, just not reported verbatim. More confessions: First names in this book are fictitious, unless paired with last names. And dialogues in upcoming Q&A Sections are either reconstructed or fictitious. Bottom line: I'm a teacher, not a scholar.

[2] As described later in more detail, your soul expresses your spirit in its complete human form-it's an earthy, here-and-now part of you. By contrast, your spirit is the unique spark of God that makes you an individual. Thus, your spirit offers wings; your soul demands roots.

[3] Face Reading Secrets© is my version of the age-old art of physiognomy. It's a system to interpret significant physical face traits, like ear position and lip proportions. You can learn to do it from my how to, The Power of Face Reading.

[4] When I read Highly Sensitive Person by Dr. Elaine Aron, what shocked me most was her finding that 42% of the people she surveyed at random "said they were not sensitive at all." And apparently they weren't ashamed to say so, either. At first I couldn't compute this. How could someone not feel shattered, embarrassed, at least reluctant to admit not being sensitive? America's cultural bias against sensitivity (even among psychologists, Aron points out) makes this easier to understand. Aron's research shows clearly that only 15-20% of the population are highly sensitive. I have come to believe that empaths are a minority within this minority group.

[5] Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence (New York: Bantam, 1995), p. 113

[6] Caroline Myss, Ph.D, Anatomy of the Spirit (New York: Harmony Books), 1996, p. 39

[7] For more effective techniques that have the side benefit of developing your Celestial Perception, see my companion work, Aura Reading Through All Your Senses (Sterling, VA: Women's Intuition Worldwide, 1996), pp. 184-192.

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