The unskilled empath takes in whatever energies are coming their way and holds onto them. Over time, many empaths absorb others' energy to the point that they start to identify with what they're carrying. The unskilled empath can even be diagnosed by Western medicine as having a pain or illness, but one that was never theirs to carry! For the unskilled empath, empathy is a burden and can be a major factor in unhappiness and illness.
The skilled empath allows themself to experience the energy of the pain of others in order to express compassion and create deep connection. This is the modus operandi of many empaths, but the skilled empath knows that the incoming energy is not theirs to carry. Instead, they can have a momentary experience of the emotional state of whoever is in front of them without needing to fix it, and can therefore let that energy go through them. The skilled empath sees their abilities as a gift.
Once you have the tools, it's only a matter of practicing them until they become second nature. And even if you don't get to the level of mastery, an empath at any skill level can benefit greatly from the techniques in Empathipedia. Please know that you don't have to master anything to get results!
Think of the tools for being a skilled empath as being more like brushing your teeth than painting your home. You brush your teeth a few times a day, right? Do you ever say, "I wish I didn't have to brush my teeth after meals?" Of course not. Because you know that brushing your teeth works. It's logical. And so are the tools for excelling as an empath. As far-right-brained as much of this is, the tools are linear and can appeal to even the most ardent of logical and reasoning left-brainers.
Most empaths are heart centered, and therefore take in life through that chakra. But because of the belief that we need to hold onto energies from others, we close down the back of the heart chakra; we take in energy through the front and keep it. Keeping what's coming your way creates major energetic restrictions that can lead to pain and illness, and of course, leave you more susceptible to keeping what everyone is sending you, unconsciously or not. Typically, we try to prevent this overload via energetic or physical separation.
What are some of the best-known techniques to prevent incoming energies? The technique most people have heard of is to employ some form of "walling," meaning that you create a blockage or separation between you and the difficult person(s) or situation. Specific forms of walling include encapsulating yourself in an energetic bubble, imagining a mirror between you and the difficult person reflecting their energy back to them, or even moving thousands of miles away.
While walling may be a logical method of prevention and may work short term, I compare it to holding up your arms to keep others at bay. How long can you keep up those arms before they get tired? In fact, everyone I've worked with who was suffering from any form of fatigue has been walling off in this way for a really long time. Sadly, walling separates us from the flow of life. On a specific occasion, walling may be the tool you need, but if it becomes the go-to, the repetition forms a new habit. Habitual walling decreasing the chances of receiving intuitive guidance, healing, and vivacity, and it further reduces our ability to truly connect with others. Walling tends to be more fear inspired than the open, welcoming technique of receiving all forms of energy I'm about to share with you.
"Welcoming all forms of energy? Why would I want to open to what I don't want?"
I understand this concept may sound scary for some of you at first. If you have had a long history of people, or entities, crossing your boundaries, you may want to read through this first and try it only when the timing feels right. And please note: If this frightens you more than it inspires you, please do not attempt this on your own.
Most of us have been taking everything in through the front and keeping it. This creates major energetic restrictions that can lead to pain and illness, and of course, leaves you even more susceptible to keeping what everyone is sending you, consciously or not. Keeping what's coming your way is the bane of the empath's existence!
Walling is a form of fighting what is coming your way, and fighting increases tension, which in turn creates more tension! The Keyhole Version 2.0 works with the flow of life, not against it-even if you judge what's happening as bad or painful.
Opening to all of life may trigger a fear of being energetically overwhelmed. It's important to note, however, that we are (1) opening the chakra, not the heart, and (2) opening both the front and the back of the heart chakra to allow energies to enter, be sifted, then let through and out. We're moving from being a sponge to a funnel while still being able to use our superpower, empathy.
Why not just sidestep incoming energies? Because to do so is to sidestep life. Life itself is always sending us what we need, so it's better to be open to the flow and work with life rather than sidestep-or for that matter, attempt to jump over, or under, or block-what's being sent our way.
While reading or thinking is a great way to begin to understand a new concept, experiencing something activates more neurons. The more neurons that are fired, the better the chances that a thought will become an embodied reality.
The Keyhole V2.0, described below, gives you more than a one-dimensional, linear understanding by invoking movement, visualization, visceral sensation, vocalization, vibration, sound, and hearing in addition to conceptual awareness.