I’m a part-time empath. But let’s back up and define what empathy and empath mean. Then we can get to the part-time bit.


Empathy and Empaths

Empathy is the ability to understand the feelings of others. We need empathy in the world – we let others know they aren’t alone; we listen without judgment. An empath is someone who experiences what another person is feeling whether physically, energetically, or both, at a very deep emotional level. The downside of being an empath is when we prioritize other’s emotions over our own, which can result in anxiety or depression.

Although science is divided on the existence of empaths, researchers have discovered what are called “mirror neurons” in the brain, which may help us mirror the emotions of others. I fall into the “empaths exist” category and I believe empaths do more than mirror others – it’s much deeper than just reflecting. Physical empaths take on others’ physical symptoms, where emotional empaths take on others’ feelings.

I fall into the emotional empath category, but why do I call myself a part-time empath? Lots of practice. Thanks to my Deep Spirit Medicine teacher (Deborah Kremins), my qigong training, and my (sort of) consistent meditation practice, I am continuously learning to protect my energy body and filter instead of absorb what’s going on around me.

What’s an Energy Body?

While no scientific tools exist (yet) to measure the human energy field, we know that all living things radiate a very low electricity known as an electromagnetic field. In Hindu scriptures, this energy field is known as the aura, and in Traditional Chinese Medicine, this energy field is known as wei qi, or protective qi. Not surprisingly, much of our immune function falls under the aura or wei qi. It protects us from negativity including illness and helps us stay in harmony with ourselves and the world around us.

What Does an Energy Body Have To Do With Being an Empath?

As we become aware of this energy body, whether through meditation or qigong, we can start to build and strengthen it, and in turn, protect ourselves from absorbing all the energy that surrounds us. We can filter out the emotion and respond to our environment in a calm, neutral way.

Circling back to the part-time empath, recall that I’m not perfect. (See my blog on Unattainable Perfection.) Some days, I may take on the emotion of someone else or I may get really bogged down by the news. As I start to notice an increase in my emotional state, I pause and do some deep breathing. This allows me to move back into a relaxed awareness.

Put Up Your Shield

In my family, we call awareness of the energy body, “putting up your shield”. Visualize a force field surrounding you, complete with some Star Wars sound effects, and you’re on your way. The phrase originated as we would go into cold and flu season, and it quickly developed into protection from drama or negative people. Just like your skin adds a layer of protection for your internal body, your energetic skin provides a layer of protection for your external body.

Even if you don’t consider yourself an empath, having an awareness of and strengthening your energy body is crucial to maintaining your mental, emotional, AND physical health. There is way more I could write about this subject, but I’d much prefer a chat with you. If you want to know more about what strengthens or weakens your energy body, let’s connect with a free . This is your last chance to take advantage of the and 50% off your first private or session.

“This, my dear, is the greatest challenge of being alive: to witness the injustice of the world and not allow it to consume our light.” ~Unknown

Love and light,