The power of empaths in an increasingly harsh world, by Anita Moorjani (a summary by Pat Evert)
Have you been told you’re “too sensitive,” “too emotional,” “weak.” The likelihood is that you’re an empath, a highly sensitive person who feels and absorbs the thoughts, emotions, and energy of others. Criticism and disapproval hurt us more than most. We can become people-pleasers and what I affectionately refer to as doormats (both are just phases, not who you are). Every decision we make, every choice, either takes us a step forward, toward expressing and accepting our most authentic selves, or takes us a step back, toward losing ourselves, toward being small, and ultimately toward dis-ease. Empaths uphold the traits we as a culture have gradually lost in past years: sensitivity, empathy, kindness, and compassion. If we hide behind walls to protect ourselves, we’ll never go out into the world and shine our light. This book is about expansion, liberation, and connection with your own divinity. You’ll realize your strengths, and find guidance to help you rise from a place of victimhood and doormat-hood into a place of power. Imagine experiencing yourself and the world in a whole new way, from a place of love rather than one of fear, expansion rather than retraction, connectedness rather than isolation.
Part I – The World of an Empath
- ARE YOU AN EMPATH?
MANTRA: “I am a soul, not a role.”
Very different from other people – When we embrace our differences—and others and their differences—we’re honoring the multifaceted consciousness of the all that is. Through our life circumstances, we accumulate layers of fears, anger, and social conditioning that bring on a sort of amnesia, both individual and collective, about who we truly are. My husband, Danny, is super intuitive. He’s a natural caretaker. However, he’s not an empath because he doesn’t seem to absorb their energies into his own field. He doesn’t need everyone around him to feel good in order to feel good himself. This is another reason why empaths are prone to becoming people-pleasers—they need the people around them to feel good in order to feel good themselves, so they’re constantly rescuing and helping people. We empaths are rescuers, givers, and healers. It deeply hurts us to see others suffer. We literally feel what they feel. We give our power away and exhaust our emotional and physical resources—the end result being that we can be the best healers for others, but the worst for ourselves. The NDE made me realize that as an expression of the divine, I was here for a purpose, and to deny expressing myself meant denying a facet of the divine from expressing itself in this reality.
You, too, may have had an experience that blasted open your sixth sense. It can occur because of a necessity (someone needs help, or you need help yourself), or a trauma, but sometimes people just wake up and realize it’s back, or they begin to feel it for the first time. So now that you’ve made this discovery, imagine that you go around telling people, “Open your eyes. It’s amazing! There’s a whole sixth sense that we have, which we’ve suppressed since we were children. We’re six-sensory beings who’ve been conditioned to believe that we’re five-sensory beings.” Intuition is every bit as strong as our other senses, and every bit as real, yet we’ve been conditioned to treat it as our imagination if it rears its head and ignore it. Step into your true self—your six-sensory, empathic, magnificent self.
MEDITATION: “I allow myself to recognize the subtle voice of my intuition. Whether it comes to me through words or visions, I pay attention to it…
- EMPATH: BLESSING OR CURSE?
MANTRA: “My sensitivity is my superpower!”
Being an empath comes with many powerful gifts, but it can also be extremely painful. Our downfall, or our curse, is our inability to distinguish other people’s needs and emotions from our own, and our need to make everyone else feel good before we can feel good ourselves. We have an Aversion to Criticism and an Addiction to Approval. Negative thoughts—I’m bad, I’m not enough, I’m not good—echo in your mind, over and over. When others criticize me or even when I judge myself, I experience a physical reaction. It’s no wonder we’ll go out of our way to avoid any corrective or disapproving comments. Yet in doing so, we can become people-pleasers. You start to give your power to everyone else around you. Being a doormat causes us to go to great lengths to avoid conflict, take on things we don’t want to just to please others, and maintain relationships with people we just don’t jibe with.
Freedom, my unapologetic self-expression—was the antithesis of the type of young woman I was “supposed” to be. My own empath nature made it increasingly difficult for me to say “no” to them without feeling guilty. Trying to please my parents made it hard for me to maintain clear boundaries between what I wanted for my life and what they expected of me. I couldn’t deal with disapproval from anyone. Here’s the good news, though: You don’t have to be a doormat any longer.
We’re also prone to taking on a victim mentality, where we feel as though we’ve been mistreated by society. By everyone. No one needs to stay a victim forever, and the goal always has to be to take back control over our lives. Victimhood becomes a tool for people-pleasers to get their way with others while remaining passive, but you will end up trapped. As empaths, our senses are easily overloaded, which can lead to our being reclusive. Empaths so often experience sensory overload in crowded, noisy places. Empaths seem to absorb the energies of those around us into our own field, you’re unable to differentiate between their emotions and thoughts and your own, causing you to lose your own sense of identity. Relationships get messed up because we don’t learn how to work through conflict peacefully. It’s a skill that needs to be learned, and we have to start by making friends with conflict, instead of avoiding it. The beauty of your sensitivity is our connection to our higher world— it’s stronger than someone’s who isn’t as sensitive or empathic. Our intention to follow that guidance is stronger. And that is our strength. And who feels more internal pain than anyone? It’s the empaths. If you block your sensitivity you block what’s coming in from that other realm. The thing is to be aware that you’re giving your power to the outside world, and to start giving it to your own inner world or to your higher self. What if your sensitive self is actually that angel inside the marble, struggling to be set free? What if the real solution to staying in touch with your inner mystic is to chip away at the layers you’ve accumulated.
MEDITATION: “I see my sensitivity as my strength and superpower. I no longer need anyone else’s approval to accept me or my sensitive nature.
Part II – Your Relationship with Yourself
- HOW TO LIVE LIFE MORE OPTIMALLY AS AN EMPATH
MANTRA: “I am like water, both gentle and strong.”
Embrace your sensitivity, and discover your strength. The first step in honing our powers is learning to deal effectively with sensory overload. And that involves turning the volume down on the outside world so we can hear what’s going on inside. We just need to streamline our so-called “media diets” and make room for silence. The next step is to get in touch with your inner guidance, or what I call your “inner mystic.” Often, we don’t even realize that the fears and stresses we’ve taken on in our minds and bodies aren’t ours. Your inner mystic is an internal guidance system that helps you weather the storms of the outside world by connecting you to Spirit and to your soul’s purpose. Accept that your inner world is real. It’s real, and you have to empower it. It’s available for everybody, but in order to tune in to it, you have to do the work. It’s there all the time, but it’s our choice as to how much we want to tune in. My experience with death taught me that our natural state is one of freedom and liberation from the torment of loneliness, guilt, and other burdens that we take on during our lifetime. We can release or transcend these emotions that shackle us to our dramas. As empaths, we need to learn to work through conflict in a nonconfrontational way, so that we don’t become conflict-avoidant. Wu Wei in action— is the feeble overpowering the strong. We remain connected to our inner strength and guidance system while still nurturing our sensitive natures.
MEDITATION: “I visualize a ball of light filling my heart space. The ball of light expands until it encompasses my whole body… The field expands so that it comes into contact with the fields of others.”
- TURNING UP THE DIAL ON YOUR EGO
MANTRA:“I love and accept all of me, and that includes my ego.”
The ego is not the nemesis to the true self. It’s the key. It gives you the strength and insight to stand up for yourself in situations where you feel vulnerable or exploited. So if our ego is suppressed, we suppress our self-worth, our individuality, and our self-esteem. We end up feeling unworthy of attracting or receiving positive things, including love. All the while, we’re absorbing everyone else’s feelings and emotions. It’s truly okay to embrace our ego. As empaths we tend to drain our energies by trying to fulfill the emotional needs of everyone around us. It’s not what you do—it’s what that activity does for you. Everything that nourishes your soul and recharges your light is a spiritual activity.
Ego gives you the courage and foresight to remove yourself from a situation that’s detrimental to your emotional or physical health. To be truly healthy spiritually and emotionally, we need both our dials, self-concern and others-concern, turned way up. When you have a weak sense of self-identity, low self-esteem, or an inferiority complex (ego dial turned down to zero), then you have all the makings of a people-pleaser or a doormat. You’re more susceptible to being bullied and exploited. Such a woman lost herself without even realizing it. She was living a life that was inauthentic, that wasn’t her own, a life based on what she thought was expected of her. Dr. Edith Eva Eger, Auschwitz survivor and psychologist said, “To be passive is to let others decide for you; to be aggressive is to decide for others. To be assertive is to decide for yourself.” When you allow yourself to receive, you’re turning up your ego dial, and when you allow yourself to give, you’re turning up your conscious awareness dial. A weak ego causes us to worry more about other people’s opinions of us than about our own needs and happiness. Following your own heart without constantly worrying about the opinions of others helps to strengthen your ego.
MEDITATION: “I imagine my awareness and ego knobs turned all the way up. I can feel my energy expand, filling me with strength, vibrancy, possibilities, and joy. I love myself, every part of me, including my ego.”
- BEING SPIRITUAL MEANS BEING YOURSELF
MANTRA: “Being an empath is a gift. It’s my connection to all that is!”
I needed to forgive them and learn to love them unconditionally, but I didn’t realize that I had to learn to love myself first. Because we don’t want to seem difficult, we can suppress or doubt our own inner voices, as I did. In the end, misguided or misconstrued spiritual messages can actually erode our trust in our inner guidance system, sending us spiraling downward into doormat-hood. A true spiritual teacher, however, sees your greatness and teaches you how to see it in yourself. They show you by example how to trust your own guidance system, and thus help you awaken your own inner mystic and set yourself free from fear and dogma. Good teachers help you believe in yourself rather than cultivate a belief in them. Ultimately, they teach you to connect to the divinity that lies within you. Death taught me that I had to recognize my own divinity first before I could be or do anything of value to others. I began taking more positive actions that circumvented my tendency as an empath to diminish myself. Performing these actions was the first step to integrating the power of self-love. What we need to understand is that it’s more important to love and value ourselves first. Without self-love we remain doormats no matter how much spiritual work we do. For example, if someone hurts you or tries to walk all over you, the first step is not to try to love them unconditionally if it doesn’t feel right to do so. It isn’t to blame yourself or force yourself to love the other unconditionally if it doesn’t feel genuine, You need to take care of your emotional well-being first. To love others unconditionally does not mean letting others walk all over you. Instead of forgiving people, you’re releasing them. Simply change the question from How do I forgive them? to How do I release them? And then consider yourself, love yourself, and value yourself.
- Do I judge myself too harshly?
- Do I allow people to walk all over me, and exploit me?
- Do I feel tired and drained often?
- Do I fear disappointment?
- Do I make time for others but not for myself?
If you answer yes to any of these questions, it means there’s plenty of room to love yourself more. I will only engage with those who are loving and appreciative toward me.
MEDITATION: “I am a facet of the divine and always connected to it. I am powerful and have access to everything I need. I am a spiritual being and I am loved. Love is my birthright and not something I have to work for.
- WHEN THE BODY REBELS
MANTRA: “My body is smart! I choose to listen to my body.”
1. Ask, “What can I say ‘no’ to?”
2. Learn to open your receiving channels.
3. Get passionate and excited about life.
4. Ask, “How can I support my body? What are my treatment choices?”
Are you lonely? What are your current relationships like? Are there people in your life whom you love, and who love you? Do you feel that your life has purpose and meaning? Do you feel that your life has joy? What sort of things bring you joy and make you happy? What makes you feel fearful? What causes stress? When you think of your family, what do you feel? (Love? Warm and fuzzy? Drained and fearful?)
MEDITATION: “I visualize a beam of light coming down from above and entering my body through my crown… It swirls all around the inside of my body, flowing down my arms and legs, as it washes away all the tension in my body.
Part III – Your Relationship with the World
- DYING TO BE YOU!
MANTRA: “I am more than my physical body! I am an eternal being!”
This stage is about integrating what we’ve experienced into our daily lives. A transformative experience temporarily lifts you from the marinade, and gives you a divine overview of life and your place in it. After such an experience, you don’t quite fit into that dish of marinade anymore. I use the keys I offer in this book—focusing on self-love, connecting with my inner mystic, listening to my intuition, and keeping my life force energy on high. I had to be myself fearlessly. I understood now that I had always taken the victim role, but had I known to do so, I could have stepped into my own power at any time and become the creator of my own life. That power had always been there for me. I just couldn’t see it because of the marinade I’d been soaking in. My marinade, or cultural conditioning, was one of victimhood, gender disparity, and believing I was inferior. So the bottom line is being true to the new you. Be yourself fearlessly.
We’ve been conditioned to believe that our perception of external reality is the real world, and that our internal conditions are merely responding to what’s happening on the outside; whereas in actuality, it’s the other way around. Since our perception of reality is skewed by our filters, we’re reacting to a skewed reality, without even realizing that our external reality is mirroring our inner self. When I had my near-death experience, it felt as though all the filters just dissolved, and I saw myself for who I truly am. I realized I wasn’t my body, my image, my race, my culture, my gender, or anything else I felt set me apart. If we don’t like the condition of our lives, we have to look at our inner world, and perhaps work on loving ourselves more. Imagine taking off your glasses and seeing the world differently! Literally, when we remove these filters, life could actually be heaven. Heaven is actually here, because that connection to our infinite, magnificent self is available to us all the time. I perceived life was: I am a victim of my circumstances. Your old filters are starting to slip back in. This is the signal to pull back and consciously dissolve them. Whoa, I thought. There’s no way that someone would be in awe of me! I’m the small doormat person. You have to rise above your filter to the frequency of the guiding voice. And that voice will surprise you because it will say things about you and to you that you would never imagine for yourself. Your life without these filters can open up opportunities and ways of seeing that you never would have imagined. To develop a stronger connection to your infinite self and our spiritual guidance system, I’d like to first invite you to your filters—the filters that prevent you from reaching the frequency at which divine downloads occur. You will find that filters can be most often identified by the negative thoughts they tell you about yourself. You want to listen to the messages that make you feel as though you’re cared for, protected, and loved. The more you trust the messages coming through your higher self, the more such guidance you’ll receive. My higher self communicates with me continuously. It’s continually guiding me about what to do next, what to turn down, and what to say yes to. Following your higher voice feels very light, and recharges your batteries, whereas following your fear-based mind drains you. Your fear-based mind makes you feel less than as well as inadequate. Look for joy in the things around you. Feel gratitude. Tune in. All these can help you lift your frequency. I visualize my aura getting bigger and brighter, until I’m feeling like a ball of light, bright and powerful! I invite you to open up to your own transformation by dropping your filters and living fearlessly.
MEDITATION: “As I sit quietly, I tune in to my inner guidance. I hear its still, small voice, not audible to human ears… I breathe them into my heart and soul. I feel protected. I feel loved.”
- OPENING TO ABUNDANCE WITHOUT GUILT
MANTRA: “It’s as important to receive as it is to give.”
A proportionately high number of empathic people struggle with money and have trouble making enough to live. Money is required for pretty much everything we need to live. We can’t survive in the modern world without it. Yet we who live in developed countries have taken our dependency on money to the next level, nearly worshipping money and those in this world who control it. If you throw into this mix the belief that it’s unspiritual to charge money for spiritual or heart-based work, it’s no wonder that the people whose very nature it is to do spiritual work sing the anthem of “I want to be of service to others, but I’m struggling to make money doing what I love!” This thinking just opens the door to empaths being exploited. You must meet your own needs so your light doesn’t dim, so you can share it with others. I was letting my dad down if I wasn’t following my heart and living fearlessly. More important, I was letting myself down. I realized that if I bought into the belief that it’s not spiritual to receive payment for work that’s done from the heart.
Once I saw how damaging the belief that money isn’t spiritual was for me, I was able to release its hold. I then made the commitment to myself to do only work that came from the heart, because it was important to follow my purpose, to do what energized me, and when I was energized, I was giving my best to others. The more you love yourself, and believe you’re worthy, the more money actually comes to you, and the more you have to share with others. When you charge what you deserve, you attract people who are happy to pay for your services, and people you enjoy working with. Open your receiving channels by knowing you’re worthy and deserving to be rewarded for following your purpose. Love yourself enough to allow yourself to receive. Love all of yourself. As Wayne Dyer wrote, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” It’s my belief and hope that as empaths start to earn money they deserve and take positions of power and leadership both in the workplace and in society, we’ll begin to see more financial equality in the world, a balancing, and a shift in the way we view money. It’s crucial that we stop waiting for others to approve of us, or give us “permission” to act. We need to claim our sense of worth, with the knowledge that our own permission is enough.
Meditation: As I share my gifts with the world, I open myself up to receiving, knowing that I am worthy of abundance. I allow myself to be a channel for abundance to flow through me…
- SAYING “YES” TO SAYING “NO”
MANTRA: “It’s okay to love myself enough to say ‘no.’ ”
We empaths seem to think we’re doing a service when we sacrifice our own needs by saying “yes” when we’d rather not. Being in a relationship can be tough for both partners. Empaths need a lot of alone time, our own physical space, and a quiet environment. When two empaths come together, the heart connection, mutual understanding, and ability to feel what the other is feeling can result in a soul-deep, profound relationship. On the downside, each partner picks up the other’s emotional and physical distress. We attract needy people and make them feel so comfortable that they have no incentive to change their situation. We avoid confrontation because we fear that it’s going to deplete us. But if we can become fearless about standing up for ourselves, and do it in the kindest way possible, it will become easier, and we’ll feel a strong sense of self-love that comes from taking care of ourselves. I now know that when I say “no” to unhealthy relationships, I’m actually opening the space for healthy relationships to come in or, as sometimes happens, for the person with whom I have the unhealthy relationship to realize the value of our relationship and work at making it healthier. Ask yourself, Am I doing all these things for my friend/colleagues, boss, partner because I love and care for them? Or is it because I feel I should do it, to be a good person, and I don’t want to be judged by them and deal with the guilt later? If it’s the latter, then you’re not being honest with that person. Ask yourself, Am I afraid to talk to them about my feelings of guilt and obligation? So you aren’t being totally honest with them, nor with yourself within this relationship.
Empaths feel guilty when we create boundaries to protect ourselves. Stop judging yourself for feeling guilty, or wanting to please, and learn to accept these traits as the flip side of your gifts. You’re trapped between taking care of yourself and feeling guilty for letting someone down—feel into both situations. Visualize both to see which one feels even slightly better, or more authentic. Develop some gentle language that works for you when you want to say “no.” Love yourself through this. Don’t beat up on yourself! Love yourself more, and laugh at yourself. A sure sign that you love and accept yourself is when you can talk about these traits and they’re no longer hot-button issues for you.
MEDITATION: I allow myself to say no without guilt… Letting go of all that is not me allows me to set myself free, and fully embrace the me who finally emerges.”
- BREAKING THROUGH GENDER NORMS
MANTRA: “I embrace my gender.”
In the United States, until 1973, women couldn’t apply for a credit card or a loan without their father’s or husband’s signature. They could be the top wage-earner in their family, but it didn’t matter. Scratch the surface, and I don’t believe all that much has changed. We still make $.80 on the dollar, and closer to $.49 if you factor in what we lose in raises and promotions because we take more breaks to take care of family and loved ones. Women obey their fathers until they get married and then they obey their husbands—for the rest of their lives. When I died, I realized that there’s no gender in the other realm. There’s no gender because we have no biology. We’re just pure spiritual beings. We’re magnificent beyond belief. There’s absolutely no judgment in that realm. Period! The more you can accept yourself without judgment, the less you’ll fear judgment from others.
MEDITATION: There’s a reason I am who I am. I am perfect in my gender. I allow myself to express fully and authentically. I embrace my strengths unapologetically.
- LIVING FEARLESSLY
MANTRA: “I live my life fearlessly!”
Living fearlessly is the expression of our true selves. This means accepting our thoughts, both negative and positive. When we try and suppress our thoughts and emotions, the message we send to ourselves is I’m not good enough, so I need to annihilate this part of myself. Loving yourself for exactly who you are is the key. When you love and value yourself, you no longer have to watch your thoughts. I know from my own experience that when you allow yourself to be who you are, you accept even your negative thoughts without fear. They’re just thoughts, and all of them contribute to making you who you are. It’s not just my thoughts that are responsible for creating my reality, it’s also honoring and loving who I am. The only thing I need to do is to be myself. Fearlessly. It means knowing you’re worthy and deserving without having to prove yourself. You always want to bring yourself to a space where you’re feeling more loved. Always.
The key is understanding who you are—recognizing that your physical self is not all that you are. Leave it open-ended. Your only job is to express fully in this moment. To be fearless in this moment. To find your joy and your expanded self in this moment. The reason you don’t feel you love yourself is because you’re neglecting 80 percent of yourself. Become aware that you’re so much greater than you were previously aware, you could get in touch with that part of yourself. Yes, there’s so much more to me. Yes, that part of me is trying to guide me all the time. Yes, it knows my calling and why I’m here. It knows what’s in store for me in my future. It’s trying to call me to my future self—it talks to you, and you stop feeling lost. You understand that you’re part of this eternal self, part of the greater entity, which is the whole iceberg that’s connected to the entire Universe. That’s when you really start to listen to who you are, and do what you’re here to do.
MEDITATION: “As I move through each day I allow myself to be who I am without judgment. I allow my thoughts to flow without condemnation. I embrace who I am in each given moment. If I feel fear, I lovingly hold and assure myself without suppressing the thoughts until the fear has dissipated. I allow myself the space to be me.”