The Importance of Being an Empath

There are three reasons for my recent posts about empaths.

First, I’ve a class called the Empowered Empath beginning October 4.  Second, there is so much craptastic stuff that’s being cut & pasted into ‘facts’ about what being a psychic empath is & how to be one that I decided to address it rather than keep bitching about it.  The myth-based framework   perpetuates the misplaced ideal of empath as an overly sensitive soul, unable to move through the world without fear, hiding behind barriers to others and other, frankly, cowardly crap.   All that eyeball rolling was getting a little taxing. And, third, once we move past the fluff-n-stuff we can get to the nitty gritty of what being an empath is all about.  And the significant roles we play in leading & guiding others.

Although empaths have the capacity to do so, being an empath is about a whole lot more than feeling other people’s emotions & other energies.  It is about our connection to others, about engaging with others openly & honestly.  However, it’s even deeper than that.  Before we can connect and engage with others at something more than a superficial level, we first must be able to do that with ourselves.  Accept that responsibility first, then accept the responsibility for others.

Because that’s what this stuff is about.   Being an empath is about others, about what we emit & how we transmit as much as the manner in which we receive.   We’re not meant to feel others for the sake of the feeling alone.  And, usually, the gift of ’empath’ isn’t a stand alone.  It’s more often than not accompanied by a purpose, passion, job, direction, gift, talent, desire that allows us to turn that ‘feeling’ into life-changing connection to a person or group of people.  That‘s what this is about.

To be an empath, an empowered one–one that comes from a place of strength, compassion, knowing & readiness for action (which sometimes means not acting at all)–takes the willingness & capacity to know ourselves intimately.  To recognize aspects of ourselves that we’re often not comfortable doing–particularly those aspects that are related to emotion.  Almost always, those emotions we’re not comfortable with are grounded in relationship to another person or a group of people.   For many that has been coupled with being taught or teaching themselves not to express those emotions and there has developed a fear of both.  And it’s time to get past that.  This is where the rubber not only hits the road but moves and creates change for individuals and communities.

I’ve told this story hundreds of times the past couple of years and it’s why I push people to stand outside their current defined comfort zone.  I’ve not had this experience is quite some time but it illustrates what can happen when you decide to fully engage.  I had the same energetic interaction five times in a row, all in rather quick succession:  First in Wal-Mart, followed by Lowe’s, a couple others places I can’t remember and Macy’s at Fair Oaks Mall.  In the midst of the shopping crowds being what they are, attempting to find that perfect pair of jeans and such, I had a distinct ‘impression’ to pay attention.  So distinct that it stood out from the extraneous noise & static of other energies.  The first time, I looked around to make sure no one saw me talking to myself when I said aloud, “Show me.”  And with cart and all, I started moving, trusting that freakin’ shopping cart in the same way a dowser trusts his rods, a weaver her loom.   And I ended up at the ladies restroom.  I didn’t have to pee (I know, right?) but walked in anyway.  There was one other person in there, crying.  Her boyfriend or boss had been an ass and she was bawling.  And I walked right up to her and said, “Come here.  I’ve got you.”   In Lowes, without a cart, without looking to see who saw me talk out loud to myself, the episode was repeated.  Another ladies room, another lady.  In tears.  “Let me love on you a minute.  You’ll be okay.”     By the time the last experience occurred at Macy’s, I knew the signal received well.  I just dropped (ok, not dropped exactly) the stack of jeans I was collecting to try on and went straight to the nearest ladies room and said, “What can I do for you?  How about a hug?”

I trust this dance I do with the invisible.  It really is as easy as breathing.  It takes me to ladies rooms and Navajo & Blackfoot reservations in the same way I move to the kitchen to address my hunger.  There’s no second guessing, no being frozen in fear or allowing the stuck to stagnate.  I move with the energies, we dance–and, even if it’s uncomfortable as fuck for a bit–it resembles a well-choreographed symbiotic groove.  Sometimes sexy & fast, sometimes slow & methodical but we move.  ‘Going with the flow’ isn’t mere metaphor.  It is a real way to experience how we relate to the universe.  I highly recommend it to many.

There’s always been a mystery connected to psychic phenomena.  Ideas of what it means to be an empath have been as twisted as many other things related to the unseen and unknowable.  But, in my experience & knowing, past all the bullshit and blather, the role of an empath is very simple: it is about truly connecting with other people and creating change within ourselves and for others in our own unique way.  When you choose to do so, your world will open up in ways you’ve never had the capacity to even imagine.

Might want to give it a go.

Just might.

 

 

 

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Empath’s Need Condoms and Seat Belts like Everyone Else

Myth:  Empaths must learn to be protected or shielded

Bullshit.  And, in fact, this is the single most dangerous way of thinking for any empath.  It is a mind-fuck that will, well, quickly fuck one up. ‘Protection’ is intentional blindness.

Energy moves.  It is not static.  What empaths feel is merely energy.  ‘Protections’, be they in the form of an eggshell, pretty bubbles, shields, walls, rainbows, or spirals of light are distractions that turn attention away from what can truly effect people physically, mentally and emotionally.  Making the choice to ‘protect’ oneself puts into place a series of events that can cause significant damage.  It is a conscious decision to ignore exactly what it is we need to pay attention to.  It is putting blinders on to intentionally avoid things we’ve only made up stories about and begins interactions from a place of fear.  Generally, it’s the fear of feeling and or expressing emotions.  When that attention is blocked, the energy is still moving.  Straight to you, around you, and given the opportunity, into you.  It is still effecting you.  And you’re not doing anything about it, you’re doing the opposite: ignoring it.

I know very few healthy empaths.  Their lists of ills include chronic fatigue syndrome, a variety of gastrointestinal issues that range from acid reflux to Chron’s, Aspergers, fibromyalgia, depression, anxiety, ADD, gout, Lupus, MS and more.  Because they have not been paying attention to what is happening right in front of them, they head to a physician who will begin treating physical symptoms for which there is no organic source.

None of this comes from ‘absorbing’ others feelings and illnesses.  None of it. Yes, we feel–sometimes issues within another’s body–but we don’t develop illness, mental or physical, from another’s energy.  Germs, yes.  Energy, no.

We begin to exhibit physical & mental illness symptoms when energies that are flowing into and around us, seeking attention, are ignored. When we have either chosen intentional blindness or have no awareness of what is occurring, all of our systems are still being effected.  The body & brain don’t know what to do with the information, because this is TMI on an entirely different level. I often describe the phenomenon as having ‘your finger plugged into a light socket for decades without knowing/paying attention to it’.  We’re good at telling kids not to put their fingers (and forks and bobby pins and Barbie hair–oh, yes I did!) into electrical outlets because we know the potential outcome.  But we tend to not consider how energy effects us otherwise–unless the kids miss their nap–and don’t know the potential outcome!

Everyone reading this has either said or heard said to them, “They/she/he just sucks me dry!” and you’ve read about energy vampires but that’s where our understanding of our dance with energy seems to end.  There is no such thing as an ‘energy vampire’.  That’s a crap way of not actually saying out loud and honestly, “I can’t pay attention to them/her/him any longer” or “I’m tired of spinning my wheels with this person who won’t change despite their griping.”  No one else is sucking you dry.  You are expending (or attempting to avoid the same) your time, mental capacity, and emotional energy (or, rather, withholding them so you don’t have to be honest) in a situation or with a person who you don’t want to.  Period.

When we don’t acknowledge energies around us–our own, another person’s, technological, electrical–our body begins to speak for those energies.  If we not paying attention, it’ll make us do so.  Let’s take music.  What happens to your body if music in the background when you’re focused on a task at hand?  Even when we’re not paying attention to it, our body responds.  We sway, tap, nod, bop, hum.  Whether we’re aware of it in the moment or not.

What happens when we don’t address energies related to ourowndamnself?  What does your body do?  It responds, right?

The same thing is happening with emotional energies.  There is one critical difference.  We don’t move through life with ‘protections’ from music, though, do we? But, with our own and others’ emotions?  Yoooouuubetcha.  Pretty daft for such a smart species, eh?

There used to be a time when we did need to discuss gifts such as these in terms of protection.  We needed to be protected, not from the feelings themselves but from sharing what we were feeling.   Doing so put our lives in danger.  It led to gallows, pyres & drowning.  That’s not the case now, at least in our culture.

My premise is simple.  We are meant to feel and to express emotions & other energy, be it our own or, as empaths, of others.  The experience of being an empath is as simple as breathing when you step away from the stories and retrain the brain.

We can do this just as easily as we breathe.  It only takes a little bit of work to get yourself to the place where you can move through all energies in the same way you move through air; without a sense of permeability, ease, and grace.  There’s no attachment and the only judgment involved is related to the choice to engage.

There are a few brilliant tools we’ve got that make life as an empath a breeze.  ‘Protection’ isn’t one of them.

 

 

 

On Empaths Absorbing Other’s Emotions

Myth:  Empaths take on other people’s emotions and illnesses

Truth:  Empaths do not absorb other people’s shit.  We feel it.  Period.   The emotions of others aren’t contagious.  Any ‘taking on’ of has little to do with having a psychic gift and everything to do with being otherwise human.   There are plenty of people who choose to take on the Atlean task of holding the world on their shoulders who are not empaths.  And there are those who can’t bring themselves to empathize with another while wanting to appear burdened by others shit–projects, problems, whatever.  And, while there are plenty of bacteria & pesky viruses that are contagious, an empath is not going to develop cancer or IBS or mental illness by coming into contact with someone who does experience these things.  You need to worry more about the cook who doesn’t wash his hands than other people’s emotions.

Any attachments to what we feel from others are directly connected to mental & emotional processes fully connected to our own needs and desires.  Our need for inclusion, desire to help, thinking we should do something.  Our need for our own release, a desire for usefulness.  Our need to understand our ownfineselves, our desire to identify other as self. It’s a human condition that has little to do with psychic gifts.  We have the habit of making this kind of thing, well, habit.  Sisyphian, even.

That doesn’t mean, though, we aren’t impacted by the energy of others.  Not at all.  First, there’s the distinct feeling–be it an emotion or illness that we can judge how to deal with.  Second, there’s the intentional ignorance of those things.  That‘s what buggers us.  And,  that kids, is connected to the myths of empaths needing to protect themselves & to be grounded.  Those are next in this series.

 

Not all Empaths are Empathetic, Some are just Ath-holes

Myth number one:  All psychic empaths are empathetic.

Notsomuch.  Being an empath simply means one can feel other energies–here we’re talking about those with emotions of others (though that is an incomplete definition).  Being empathetic is a state of active compassion, an identification with the feelings of others.  There are plenty of people who can sense energies but do not have the capacity to relate to another being at the level of being able to understand what another’s feelings mean to them (them being the other person) and share them.  Empaths can be narcissistic, manipulative, & have no idea or interest in another’s actual feelings.  Sometimes though it’s a little more simple and a lot less, well, mean. It can be the simple habit of assume-ing (remember ass-u-me?) that because we sense something possibly associated with someone else that it means to them what we think it should or actually does to us.

And, there are plenty of people who are empathetic but are not or would not identify as being an empath.

Which brings me to Myth number I, subsection (a):  Projection is not the gift of the empath.  Projection is another one of those whackadoo human traits (aka ‘stupid human tricks’) whereby we project onto others what we see (or want to see or choose not to) in ourselves.

The gift of the empath is simply this:  to feel other energies–as the other experiences them–that most cannot. The Empowered Empath feels those openly, honestly, always, with distinct clarity and knows what to do with that information instantaneously–even if it’s to do nothing. They know themselves well and understand that perception is neither knowing or understanding or feeling.

 

 

 

Going to Bed with a Stranger

On June 12th, I went to bed with a dude.  A stranger.  I mean, we’d met earlier in the day but didn’t really know each other but it wasn’t one of those romantically ideal situations.   We met as I drove past a funeral and parade route between funeral service and cemetery.  The place where his body was to be laid.

So, I went to bed with a dead dude.  Not the usual Jesus freak who lives within (although he did join the conversation at one point) but one whose life had been taken violently the week before.

I don’t share with many people my relationship with all things invisible.  I generally don’t describe myself as psychic or as a medium.  Folks don’t get it and don’t believe it unless they’re in the experience with me (it happens during sessions sometimes).  And, because things in my world morph so quickly, I hold a lot close to my chest so I don’t have to dance around expectations and suppositions.  I have visitations all the time.  They occur in a variety of fashions that, generally, aren’t all that fashionable to those fascinated with spirit-stuff.   For me, there is no established hierarchy, bureaucracy, separation or predetermined archetype.   They appear in the same fashion those still alive and breathing do. Mostly.  They sometimes vie for attention, sometimes get pissed when they don’t get the attention in their own sweet time, can be a little too touchy-feely, speak loudly without saying a damn thing–just like the rest of us.

That experience has started morphing into one where communion is union.  We merge and experience each other in manner, again, similar to that I have with those who still draw breath (at this point I don’t distinguish between dead and alive–it’s all alive, no matter the appearance).

I’m not going to use this man’s name because I’ve not had contact with his colleagues or family and their accidentally stumbling across it here may not be fair.  I don’t have any words of wisdom for them and don’t know as this would bring any comfort.

When one gets dressed for work, even in law enforcement, we generally work under the assumption we’re going to go home at the end of the day.  Sometimes that doesn’t happen.  Sometimes someone else makes sure that doesn’t happen.  That was the case for this young man.

I was transitioning from one place in Vegas to the next when I happened along a place where I was supposed to be.  In fact, the whole purpose of my being there up to that point.  What I thought was a poor sod getting pulled over for speeding wasn’t.

Then I felt someone come visit.  And immediately knew who it was and where I was.  And as two became one, I sobbed.  I sobbed for him,  I sobbed for those his death effected, I sobbed for the brotherhood and the larger community and I sobbed for myself.   And I drove on to my next haven and through tears and snot, communicated the best I could our need.

When I sat without the fixative of the steering wheel in my hand and could let go in all ways, we had a profanity-laced conversation that doesn’t resemble anything pretty.  I didn’t write down everything that was said because my hand couldn’t write as fast and furious as the words were coming & moving between.  My heart cracked to hear someone who’d been murdered apologize to family for his death because ‘it’s not what I wanted for you, for us’.  I had no answers to his, “How could we let it get like this?”  and “Why do we have to be such assholes to each other?”  How does one respond to another who can clearly say, “I don’t want peace!  I want to go home!!”   I could only sit and be and, as gently as I could, respond to “Is this real?” with a “Yes, love, it is.”    And I was pissed. Pissed that this is part of my role, pissed that I can’t fix it, pissed that I was ready to go shoot somebody my owndamnself.  I didn’t want to be humbly graceful. I wanted to be pissed.  At the fuckers who shot him, his brothers for remaining silent about the larger gun issues in this country, at my own fear of doing the simple thing he wanted me to do for him.

He left soon after with someone I hope was his partner and came back to visit as I was crawling into bed.   And we just sat together.  This time he said nothing and I this time I apologized.  For his unnecessary death, for my own unwillingness to drive back to where he wanted me to be with him at the time of the memorial, for being able to do nothing more than hold the space for him to be.  With me.  Sitting on a bed in a stranger’s home.  Like two peas in a pod.

I don’t know when he left.  I do know that I woke up alone, looked around and thought maybe it really wasn’t a super-shitty reason to be brought to Vegas anyway.

 

Myths of Being an Empath

Talking about psychic-stuff is a challenge for me.  It’s been overcomplicated, mysticized, romanticized, twisted, subverted, and glamorized over the course of millenia.  So much so that addressing issues related to what many considered psychic gifts is sacrosanct.   Weeeelllll, I think it’s time to change that.  I have found that the myths perpetuated about psychic-stuff do more than create confusion, diminish self-exploration and dull individual inner-sight.  They actually cause harm.  In that vein, I’m beginning a rather random series of posts many of those myths in an effort to begin a healthy discussion about moving past mythologies and archetypes into the 21st century.  I’m often boggled by how often people will rely on false histories and archetypal paradigms to maintain an ‘orthodoxy’ similar to that of the religious dogma.  We won’t wear clothes that are four years old but will persist in not expanding our thinking beyond that of 400 or 4,000 years ago when it comes to what many think of as the supra- or super-natural.

I’m going to start with a few things related to the nature of empaths.  Generally speaking, a psychic (or energetic) empath is one that can literally, tangibly, palpably feel another’s emotions, thoughts, and illness (and less talked about: other distinct energies put off by technologies, group vibe, colors, textures, foods and more).  For a reminder, empathy is defined as: the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another (Merriam-Webster).  The reason why being an empath has been considered a ‘psychic gift’ is that not everyone has that capacity of literally feeling those things.  Which brings us to:

Myth Number One:  Not all empaths have the capacity to be empathetic.  Some are just ath-holes and some cannot connect that literal feeling to anyone else.  Some are afflicted with both being an ath-hole and allaboutmeitis.

The above is directly connected to:

Myth Number Two:  Empaths must protect themselves.  This one has probably been around humans started trying to figure this ‘stuff’ out and is directly connected to the notion that all things invisible are negative, black, evil, demonic and will suck the life juices out of you if you let your guard down.  ‘Protecting yourself’ in a bubble, eggshell, invisible super-shield of energetic deflection is both a mind-fuck, unnecessary and harmful.

Everything is energy. And energy moves.  That’s its nature.   Just as the energy carried by the wind moves in a fashion we can feel, so do other energies: some slower (like the chair you are sitting in), some faster (the electricity moving through your body right now).   An imaginary layer of Saran Wrap will not stop energy from moving.  What these ‘protections’ do, though, is create intentional blindness (not to be confused with inattentional blindness although the similarity here is quite striking).

By intentional blindness, I mean the choice to say “I’m not seeing you” (a great example is here: http://youtu.be/j0S7mDxF27M).  When we create our ‘bubble of protection’ or don our special stone, we are, in effect, simultaneously doing three things:  we are shutting ourselves off from the things that we need to be aware of (choosing ignorance),  shutting ourselves down so that others cannot be aware of us, and putting out there that there is something out there that can harm us.  Many of those who follow spiritual or metaphysical or psychic precepts talk about ‘removing the veils that separate’ us from the invisible while intentionally putting them back up.  We can’t have it both ways.

Those of us who are empaths are not really ‘hooking into’ specific energies but are an ‘always on’ active part of the invisible flow of *all* energies–occasional conductor, benefactor, transmuter, bearer of witness, interpreter, etc.    Invisible energies themselves are not harmful to us.  Annoying, distracting, ADHD-excuse givers, yes.  Harmful, no.   The harm comes when, by choosing to be intentionally blind, we cannot pay attention to what’s happening within and around us.  Often, energies seek us out for either recognition or intervention.  If we are not paying attention, that energy will continue to seek our attention.  At first like this.  Then, this.  By the time it’s reached this stage, we’re in trouble.

I know the videos are a little on the entertaining side of things but the consequences for not being aware of what is happening around and within us can be devastating.  By the time energies have reached that psycho-poodle stage, we may be afflicted with a variety of mental & physical health symptoms that resemble everything from anxiety & chronic fatigue to auto-immune & neurological disorders that are often treated medically to no avail because, while there is a distinct physical response to what’s occurring within the body, the cause isn’t readily apparent.  And, it’s a self-perpetuating cycle.  This is the body’s response to TMI –it’s been receiving data that it doesn’t know what to do with and as it tries to process it without direction, things get buggered.   If you can imagine every hair on your body being a satellite-like sensor or receptor of invisible energies (emotional, electrical, light, sound, magnetic, psychic, pranic and ectoplasmic) without an on-off switch, receiving information for decades, that’ll give you some hint of what I mean.

I’ve come across folks with everything from diagnosed mental illness of anxiety, depression & bi-polar disorders, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, MS, Guillain-Barré, lupus and more, who, once they have cleared the gunk and learned how to retrain the brain, body & psyche to work with the gift, they no longer need truckloads of medications (I mean, 31 pills a day?  Really?) to thrive physically, mentally and emotionally.  The process is ridiculously simple once you get really honest with yourself and step away from the ‘rules’ of being.  And, there is no need to reach that place to begin with.

Speaking of honesty:

Myth number three:  Empaths may feel another’s illness or emotions.  However, we do not ‘take it on’.  We neither absolve another’s prostate cancer nor take on their mental illness by bearing it ourselves. In our witnessing another’s energies or conducting them (if we’re led to do so), however, one of our stupid human tricks comes into play:  making it about us when it’s really not.   It’s similar to the martyr complex and serves us poorly.

It ain’t always all about you but for you to be an empowered, effective empath, you need to know all about you.  You need to know yourself intimately and honestly (there’s the rub).  Your triggers, issues, baggage claim stubs, foibles and innate power–you must be able to identify, recognize and separate those things from others before you can understand why you are gifted the way you are and the responsibilities inherent in your unique capacity (because, like everything else, not all empaths are built the same or for the same skills).

Which brings me to a little more about honesty:

Myth number four:  A lot (I mean a shit-ton) of what empath folks claim to feel isn’t from others or otherwise outside themselves.  It’s of themselves.  One of the common ‘themes’ perpetuated is the incapacity of empaths to watch violent movies, news coverage, engage in or observe conflict.  That’s bullshit.  That emotional response, kids, is merely a reflection of our own fears, unresolved inner issues, and, the kicker–projection.

All of these myths are grounded in rules created by someone, somewhere a long, long, long time ago who decided that this was what an empath is about and how they should (or should not) appear.  It’s been regurgitated ad nauseum (entirely intended!) and accepted in the 21st century as truth in the same way it was in the first.

And, the recycling of such is compounded by a generalized societal unwillingness to understand and experience emotions fully,  to investigate and address emotional & mental health issues in a holistic manner, and the persistence of psychic ‘experts’ spouting–errr, sharing–dogma as universal truth.

The truth is there may be some tools that suit some people.  However, there are no universal ‘rules’ to being an empath–we are unique from the larger crowd and from each other.  In fact, I think that if people will shuck the rules they’ve been trying to follow, they will find that they can move with ease through the invisible and visible.

For instance, not all of us are meant to be ‘grounded’.  I’m not quite sure how it happened that ‘grounded’ transformed from being a disciplinary tactic resembling leashing to a necessary ‘rule’ for moving through the world–particularly when it comes to those who have an awareness of & relationships with the etheric.  It’s kind of like mediation, great for some but not meant for everyone. And, the reliance on it for you, if it’s not meant for you, can create a frenetic, sanity-doubting experience of life that is unnecessary.

All of this boils down to this:   there. is. no. separation.  Between visible & invisible.  Etheric and physical.  Some of us just experience these things in a slightly (ok, okaaaaayyy…extraordinarily) different fashion from others.  That’s it.  There’s no need to keep mystifying or mysticizing it.  It’s time now to move past that into real-world, real-life application to serve & inspire others.

There is more myth-busting to come. For now, let this percolate and see what comes.  It’s merely food for thought and action.  Might piss you off,  might inspire a slightly different way of experiencing the world.  If you wanna learn how to do this, check out this course that will start February 1:  http://www.ingridoliphant.com/IngridOliphant.com/Empath_Class.html

Inspired by a new friend and following through

Funny how the electronic age and all of it’s twits, tweets, Faces and other gizmos, whatzits, and widgets have helped morph my definition of ‘friend’.   A couple of weeks ago, I ‘met’ a woman named Shea McGuir (follow her here because she’s just that cool–@happybranding).  What’s followed is an e-conversation inspired by a few questions she posed to me.  With her permission, I’ve included parts of our conversation here for a couple of reasons.  One, she asks what others don’t and the answers may help explain things for them.  And, two, Shea’s asking of just a few questions has inspired a bit of writing that I’d not had recently. Heck, I’d not had at all.  Her inspiration has led me to do something really whacky like take my own advice and do the same homework assignment I give others: Write.  Period. Just write.  Whuddathunkit?

Shea: Hi Ingrid. I just peeked at your website and am very curious about your gift! When did you discover this? Is it energy work? Psychic? Did you have a Kundalini awakening? A lightning bolt?

My first response (w/ some editing):  This week got a little nutty toward the end and making time to type just didn’t happen!  So, I’m not quite sure where to begin w/ all of this.  On that note, I’m just going to let the fingers flow and if it starts to wander, I promise it will connect back!

Anywho–you asked about a Kundalini awakening.  I’m not sure if you can call it that primarily because there are so many explanations of the experience that I’m not sure where, or, if, I fit into that. And, to top it all off, I’ve not adhered to a ‘practice’ of any kind.  Ever.  What has come to the forefront for me in terms of ‘healing’ or ‘lightworking’ or however you want to define it wasn’t in my realm of experience at all until very recently.  Eighteen months ago tops.  In fact, until only a few months ago, it wasn’t a conscious exercise at all.  That changed with my first interaction w/ Panache Desai (google him & you’ll hit his website).
Getting to him, though, and connecting to what I call the Gift began when I was a kid.  I just didn’t know it.   I’ve been an empath all my life.  Something I knew-sorta- but didn’t know how to communicate with others.  In addition to living w/ childhood psychic abilities I lived with a very brutal mother.  I was physically, mentally, and emotionally brutalized until I went to college at 17.   My first suicide attempt was as a toddler.  And several occurred after that as I grew up.  Obviously, though, I’m still here.  I also experienced a series of six car wrecks that should have put my bod in the ground.  And, yet here I am.   I began questioning sometime in that whole mess o’ crap why I was here.  I’d scream, cry “Why I am here?!”  “What the fuck are you doing this to me for?!”  But just kept plugging along. And, at each crisis would ask the same thing but life went on.  I graduated finally, began work in the mental health field, transitioned to criminal/juvenile justice, partied hard, worked harder, and then got married.
The marriage was the catalyst for the current path.  You know how folks complain about their partner changing once they got married?  That happened to me. A 180 degree turn in personality, behavior, etc on the part of the hubs.  The short version of that is that I knew I had to leave w/in a year of getting married but didn’t for 2.5 more.  My leaving was part conscious decision and part a push from something outside of me. I didn’t connect to it at the time but that’s how it played out.  When I left, I came to VA putting 1700 miles between me and the now ex.  What occurred after was the creation of a fairly clear path for me that, somehow, I knew to pay attention to.  Again, I’ve no background in spiritual anything but just ‘knew’ to pay attention.  The synchronicities around me were just blatant.  Everything from people I met to a ‘for rent’ sign in just the right place to…you name it, it happened.
I also began experiencing very odd intuitive things that were particularly acute when related to my physical safety.  For instance, I was driving a friend to a doctor’s appointment one day and just got this very strange sensation that the ex was coming after me.  Out of the blue, I just ‘knew’.  I called a couple of friends and asked for some clarification to make sure I wasn’t just making it up and the confirmed it (one a psychic and one the neighbor who was to watch his cat while he was out of town!).  Odd, no?  Other stuff like that but not nearly as dramatic.  Visits in the night  from what others might call spirits, poltergeist activity (for a few weeks, my bed would shake me awake in the morning.  Not in the TV/Movie violent way but in a gentle, “Hey, get your booty moving” kind of way.)  I had strange physical things occur that might otherwise be related to disease or mental illness but I just knew they weren’t–what appeared to be anxiety/panic attacks, mystery pains, a couple of instances of what a MH clinician would call dissociation where, while awake, I (or components of me) separated from myself (an odd way to have a dinner out!!), etc.
When I finally settled here into my first home, I went to the local metaphysical shop and asked the owner if he knew person who did readings and he referred me to a woman who gave me my first reiki session.  During that session, all sorts of things happened. I levitated, she clearly sensed and then saw St. Michael (who I’ve always associated w/ because he’s the protector for those in law enforcement (a community I worked w/ very closely for many years) and Kwan Yin with me.  At the time, I didn’t know really who that was. I mean, I’d obviously heard of her but didn’t know anything about her.  Anyhow, Patricia asked me after the session how I felt.  I just looked at her and said, “I think you just woke me up!”  And, I had no idea what I even meant.   Afterwards,  my vision changed.  Notsomuch physically but deeper than that.  I just ‘saw’ differently.  And the other stuff continued in very odd ways.  I have to add that during all of this I was never afraid.  Fear didn’t even enter my mind.
At the time I was doing intensive in-home mental health work for a local for-profit agency and also ‘just knew’ when I was going to get canned.  I was in a position to use the court system to get a local department of human services to act for a child’s welfare and my bosses didn’t like the political repercussions.  So, I got sacked.  I got fired and found myself doing the “Now what the hell am I doing?”
When you’ve got nothing but time on your hands, a lot of strange things can happen.  Mine strangeness just was more extraordinarily odd than others, I think.  At one point, while laying on the couch doing the dozing in front of the TV thing, I got a ‘ping’ at the crown of my head.  Seriously.  Like an invisible someone gently (well, not really) hit my skull.  Right at the sweet spot.
Then, somehow, a book called Quantum Touch ended up on my desk.  I mean, I had to have ordered it.  I know that.  However, I don’t know why I’d have been interested in that at all.  Again, nowhere on my radar, really.  Then, interested enough, I signed up for a class.  I bitched and moaned the entire time.  I was unemployed, how the heck was I going to cover the $250, what the hell was I wasting my Saturday for…  Silly me.    Within 10 mins I ‘got it’. Within one class, I knew that ‘modality’ and ‘rules of engagement’ didn’t apply to me, too.  I ‘just knew’.  And, I started playing w/ the energy.  Healing the dog. Working on a friend’s torn rotator cuffs and other odd stuff w/ miraculous results.  Eventually word of mouth had others trickle in to me.  Those on a similar path in many respects and those w/ physical/mental health issues.  And they’d attempt to explain to me their experiences but couldn’t.  I had no frame of reference until this summer when I went to see Panache.  Similar to the book incident, I’ve no idea how he hit my radar but he did.  I knew that I needed him as much as I needed air. I ‘just knew’.  I drove like a bat out of hell for 14 hrs, saw him, turned around and came home.  What happened in the few minutes of contact w/ him was the ‘taste of my own medicine’ that taught me what I’m to do, showed me the importance and responsibility connected to it.
And, there you have it!  There’s more to it, really, but so much of this is ‘that for which there are no words’.
Recently, the energies flowing in and around me have begun to intensify significantly.  I shimmer when still, feel as if levitating, become ‘formless’ (I don’t know how else to explain it!), become paralyzed (wrong word, but again, don’t know how else to describe it), spontaneous stuff that occurs during sessions w/ people.  I’ve had the opportunity for a second person to sit in on individual sessions and observe.  During it, I ‘disappear’–become nothing more than bright light.  When I’m really still and go to what I call ‘no think’, I sense it happening as well.  Odd, indeed.   That coupled with the things that I say that I’m pretty sure aren’t of me (either that or they are latent w/in me and just wait for the opportunity to slip out!) seem to have me in the unlikely role of spiritual healer and teacher (although the ‘spiritual’ bit of that sometimes irks me!)
So, that’s how all this came about.  Or, at least the best way I can explain it.  At this point, I just bumble along thru it and try to maneuver through both worlds w/ something that resembles gracefulness.   I’m expecting to hear, “We’ve been waiting for you” at some point (although, I do hear it in my head every now and again).
Not sure what this is really all about or why.  I’m just riding it to see what happens and trying to get this magical,  mysterious thing out of the ‘woo-woo’ world and into the mainstream!
Thanks for asking me to tell you about.  This is the first time I’ve really ever put it into words before.  It’s strange reading it back to myself.  If you don’t mind, I might add to this to sort of fill in the blanks for myself.  If I were disciplined at all, I’d keep writing in the journal but…what can I say!  I’m grateful for the opportunity this provided.
Shea: But wow. Your story is crazy. I know you said you didn’t feel any fear, but what an experience… Trying to decipher this stuff as it’s happening? And trying to figure that stuff out mostly by yourself? No wonder you were like, “why are you doing this to me!” Crap, sister! I looked up Quantum Touch. Is this the approach that you’ve been using? Do people come to you with specific problems? And, can you sense/see/feel the difference between the presenting symptoms and the root cause? Maybe that question is too head-oriented. I’m just curious. Do you get words or other information to go with your physical experience of doing work on people?
Me: Quantum Touch was just the class I took.  I got really, uber-annoyed when after the class we were informed that we couldn’t call ourselves Quantum Touch practitioners until we’d taken one other course (really, a series of) to the tune of over $1K.  That, and, during the class I realized that their ‘rules of engagement’ were bogus.  I mean, other people may ‘have’ to breathe in a specific pattern, etc, but that kind of stuff didn’t apply to me. It was one of those ‘just knowing’ things.  So, I just bagged it and started playing w/ it. 

I mean, I’d like to learn new things, but paying out the ass to do so just doesn’t make sense.  I mean,  folks want hundreds and thousands of dollars.  At one level, I get it.  I mean, I’ve chosen this as my means of income, too. But, really, it ain’t all that special.  Nifty, awe-inspiring, Awe-some, magical, miraculous, moving, transformational, and all that is Divine but it’s my belief that everyone (and I mean everyone) has access to this and can do it.  If that’s the case, setting ourselves above everyone else (in part, by charging so much), we’ve missed the entire message.
As to the ‘fear/figuring it out’, I know this is going to sound ‘tarded but…I really am not afraid.  Even the rather disconcerting moments are only just that. I just pay attention and watch (sometimes that’s not the right word!)  I think, again in part, that I’ve not been afraid in this process because I don’t feel the need to figure it out.  On the way to finding the path, at one point I had to just surrender–it was ugly and not directly related to this (or maybe it was).  That surrendering led to the recognition that everything really ‘just is’.  Trying to figure it out, define it, label it, make it try to fit in mine or others’ little ‘boxes of life’ just wasn’t going to work.  That said, I do have to say that there isn’t some level of curiosity:  why me?  why am I to do ‘this’?  What’s my larger role or significance in the world?  I have no freakin’ idea and, so far, no one else has been able to tell me. I’ve got enough on my plate trying to do what I call the ‘real world’ stuff like bring in some income, navigate moving in w/ the honey and his adult daughter, and keeping wood chopped so my feet don’t freeze!  🙂
As to the folks that come, they kind of fit into three categories:  one group is experiencing something uncomfortable physically–chronic/acute pain, diagnosis of disease, wanting to avoid or have something conjunctive with modern, Western medicine;  a second group comprises those experiencing mental health/emotional issues–chronic/acute, wanting to avoid meds/traditional therapy, or have something to work with the last two.  The third, and most interesting, is those who just show up.  Nothing in particular is bothering them, they just know they need to come.  Some don’t even know why but they’re drawn like a moth to a flame.
And, yes, I can sense the differences b/n presenting and root. In fact, given the moment to do so, clients can, too! Generally, though, we don’t even go there because I’m of the belief that despite one may be experiencing a crappy time of it, there is nothing ‘wrong’ with you.  Whatever ‘it’ is, is often released either spontaneously or over the course of a short period of time.  Physical and emotional ‘healing’ is often the most tangible, palpable, experience but…insert drumroll…the shifting and transformation that occurs within that is freakin’ amazing!  Forget shingles disappearing, knee cartilage regenerating, fibromyalgia and addictions disappearing.  That’s all neat and fine, but I can only describe it as people experiencing life differently.  For whatever reason and somehow, they become more open to ‘the good stuff’.  Life changes so ridiculously spectacularly!  Sometimes spontaneously, sometimes gradually but…Yeah, I don’t know how else to describe it!  Pretty cool, indeed!    For everyone, I sometimes get ‘messages’ to share, sometimes not.  Sometimes I’m ‘chatty Cathy’, sometimes not.  Sometimes it’s ‘me’ speaking, sometimes not (although I wonder of late how much what other people call me ‘channeling’ some Master (just plain ol’, regular dead dudes in my book) is really something just latent in me that I didn’t know about.  Either way,  I’ve learned not have any expectations whether with individuals or in a group.
If you don’t mind too much, I’d like to include our email exchange in my FB notes and in my blog.  A lot of people ask similar questions but not in the engaging way you do.  For some reason, this exchange with you has really allowed me to communicate a lot that goes on w/ me in a way I’ve not been comfortable doing before.  What do you think?  Is it okay if I use your name?
More later!  Really, I do hope so!  I’d like to learn how you got into this ‘magical mystery tour’ yourself, who you work with, and some of your experiences!