• Erin

Survival Guide for Empaths

Updated: Sep 16

During a fantastic online Meetup the other day, one very beautiful and courageous soul shared her struggles with the emotion she puts into the world and reciprocation. It became very clear to all quite quickly that she is, like many of us drawn to the spiritual studies, an empath.


Empathy is one of the greatest tools we have in the fight against pain. It is an amazing gift that the world desperately needs more of in order to heal itself from its collective trauma. It is also a double-edged sword. The more you give of yourself, the less you have to attend to your own needs.



Like a battery, there is only so much energy that a person can spend before they need to recharge. Empaths fiercely struggle with this balance daily. They are not only consciously but often unconsciously expending their own reserves to heal others’ wounded psyches.


I, like many Empresses, am also gifted with empathy. Mostly I’m able to harness this effectively. But occasionally, it has a mind of its own. I’ve picked up on the stronger vibes, energies and intentions from people like a sponge, even in simple passing. I ventured to the grocery store a week ago and left before I made it through the door as I was overcome by the energies of a man who walked past me headed to the entrance. I’ve also experienced times where I’ve felt as though I was literally hemorrhaging energy through my leg and down into the ground without any idea who was on the receiving end. It can be overwhelming and even a little scary!


As such, like many Empresses, I have a strong need to control my environment. That doesn’t mean that I am not adventurous, but rather that I require the freedom to be able to step away from or exit a situation on my terms. This stems from a deep desire to regulate the flow of energy. I don’t want to take on too much emotionally from others that I find myself struggling, nor do I want to see my tank run low. Those who know me best can attest to this fact, and I have come to try to live in relationship with my shadow, “controlling” nature. They also have come to deal with my Aquarian aloofness that I will (seemingly randomly) activate if I start to feel a temporary dip in energy levels. I’m fairly convinced my friends and family are saints.


Unfortunately, life does not always allow us to control our surroundings or forces us into situations out of our hands. Sometimes, empaths just need to be able to flip the switch and shut off their natural inclinations to give to and heal others. It’s a protective measure for venturing into toxic places. It can even be a necessary move during the day-to-day if you are already feeling diminished in capacity. You can’t be there for yourself or your friends and family if you are running on fumes.


Get ready to "Suit Up!" so you can use your energy effectively to be the superhero you are!


Much as I shared with the incredible woman at the session, I want to share the following psychological trick for any other empaths in need of emotional shielding.


Ever hear that famous Hollywood action film call to action to “Suit up!”?


There is a meridian of energy that runs down our body where we normally find zippers on jackets. First, set an intention to protect yourself and your energy. Next, imagine you are “suiting up” and pull an imaginary zipper from your navel up to your chin. Think of yourself zipping up a turtleneck jacket (or a superhero costume!). As you come to the neck, pull your head back slightly and stop zipping when you reach your chin.


Congratulations! You are now ready to face the day.


This little exercise should help you keep your energy closer to you, both guarding you as well as in proximity to you so that it is there for your use.


I have seen this “zip up” exercise performed and have performed this exercise on others and have found it to be quite effective. Once social distancing is over, I’ll try to create and post a video demonstrating the concept, but here is a quick overview of this technique in practice. I hope you will test it out and see if it works for you!


  1. You need two people, Person A (our empath) and Person B.

  2. Person A holds their arm raised parallel to the ground and Person B attempts to force the arm down. Result: Person B should be relatively successful with little effort.

  3. Person A then zips up their energy and raises their arm once more.

  4. Now Person B struggles to force the arm down. Result: Person B will either exert more energy trying to push Person A’s arm down than in the previous attempt or will be altogether unsuccessful.

Our minds are powerful tools in our arsenal, so the simple mental act of mustering one’s reserves can have profound physical manifestations.


Fellow empaths, let me know in the comments below what other tips and tricks you use!

 

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