Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Highly Sensitive Men.....

I was contacted by an Empath Connection reader and am gladly re-posting his wonderful article about Highly Sensitive men.....

Michael Smith

I am a Highly Sensitive Man
By Rick Belden

Editor’s Note: Research tells us that high sensitivity, discerned from a pattern of observation before action, affects 15-20% of individuals of many species, including humans. Rick Belden, a poet, writes about the experience of being a highly sensitive person. 

A few years ago, I was attempting to get closer with a woman I liked. We’d been working together for several years and knew one another solely on that basis, but I wanted something more personal with her. I’d been feeling a powerful sexual and romantic attraction to her for a long time, but given our relationship as peers in a work environment, I was being very deliberate in my attempts to gauge her interest in me and careful in my efforts to move things forward.

When I’m attracted to someone, I tend to move slowly and gradually anyway; in this case, having lived through my share of work-related romantic entanglements, rejections, and disasters, I was eager to avoid any situation that might turn awkward for either of us.

Things seemed to be progressing in the direction I desired, albeit slowly and with frequent yellow flags, but nevertheless, I finally felt confident enough to share something more personal with her than our daily chitchat about our lives in and out of work. She knew I was a writer and that I’d had a book of poetry published because I’d spoken about it during our many visits. I decided to offer it to her and find out if she was interested enough in me to read it. I asked her if she might like to see the book, and she said she would, so I brought a copy to work and gave it to her.

I didn’t want to appear too eager or overly invested in her opinion of the book, so I didn’t bring it up again after giving it to her. One day, while we were outside walking during a break, she mentioned she’d finished reading it. Doing my best to appear as cool as possible and not betray the anxiety that had been building ever since I’d first offered her the book, I said, “Great. What did you think?” And she said:
“I think you’re abnormally sensitive for a man.”

Obviously, this was not the sort of response I was hoping to hear. It’s not the sort of response any man ever wants to hear, any time, from anyone, most certainly not from a woman to whom he’s attracted and with whom he’s just taken the supreme risk of showing his vulnerable side.

It was a painful experience for me, to be sure, but not the first. I’ve heard variations on this theme all my life:
“Don’t be so sensitive.”
“You’re too sensitive.”
“You need to stop being so sensitive.”

To read the full article, click here.

To visit Rick's Facebook page, click here.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Ascension Symptoms vs. Ascension Experiences

As each of us engage in our own individual spiritual healing, we also collectively move and let go of past wounds and traumas together.

When this happens, we may experience what are known as 'Ascension symptoms.'   

I personally prefer to call these Ascension Experiences because symptom has a negative connotation.  I believe that even though many of these experiences are challenging, it ultimately is all for the greater Good.

There is always a divine order and a divine plan, we just may not always be aware of exactly how our insomnia at 3 am is contributing to it!   :)

(For more on this subject, there is much more in my book Navigating The Shift: Awakening Your Spiritual Gifts in Earth's New Age, available in paperback or for the KINDLE.


Below are some of the major experiences that some are reporting (see below for source):

1. Feeling as though you are in a pressure cooker or in intense energy; feeling stress. Old patterns, behaviors and beliefs are also being pushed to the surface.

2. A feeling of disorientation; not knowing where you are; a loss of a sense of place. You are not in 3D anymore, as you have moved or in the process of moving into the higher realms.

3. Unusual aches and pains throughout different parts of your body. You are purifying and releasing blocked energy vibrating at 3D, while you are vibrating in a higher dimension.

4. Waking at night between 2 and 4 a.m. Much is going on in your dream state. This is also the 'cleansing and releasing' hour.

5. Memory loss. A great abundance of short term memory loss and only vague remembrances of your past. You are in more than one dimension at a time, and going back and forth as part of the transition, you are experiencing a 'disconnect'.

6. 'Seeing' and 'hearing' things. You are experiencing different dimensions as you transition, all according to how sensitive you are and how you are wired.

7. Loss of identity. You try to access the Old you, but it is no longer there. You may not know who you are looking at in the mirror. You have cleared much of your old patterns and are now embodying much more light and a simpler, more purified divine you. All is in order, You are okay.

8. Feeling 'out of body'. You may feel as though someone is talking, but it is not you. This is our natural defense mechanism of survival when we are under acute stress or feeling traumatized or out of control. Your body is going through a lot and you may not want to be in it.

9. Periods of deep sleeping. You are resting from all the acclimating and are integrating, as well as building up for the next phase.

10. Heightened sensitivities to your surroundings. Crowds, noise, foods, TV, other human voices and various other stimulation are barely tolerable. You also overwhelm very easily and become easily overstimulated. You are tuning up.

11. You don't feel like doing anything. You are in a rest period, 'rebooting'. Your body knows what it needs. In addition, when you begin reaching the higher realms, 'doing' and 'making things happen' becomes obsolete as the New energies support the feminine of basking, receiving, creating, self-care and nurturing. Ask the Universe to 'bring' you what you want while you are enjoying yourself and having fun.

13. A loss of desire for food. Your body is adjusting to a new, higher state of being. Also, part of you does not want to be here anymore in the Old.

14. A sudden disappearance of friends, activities, habits, jobs and residences. You are evolving beyond what you used to be, and these people and surroundings no longer match your vibration. The New will soon arrive and feel so-o-o-o much better.

16. Days of extreme fatigue. Your body is losing density and going through intense restructuring.

17. A need to eat often along with what feels like attacks of low blood sugar. Weight gain..... A craving for protein. You are requiring an enormous amount of fuel for this ascension process. Weight gain with an inability to loose it no matter what you do is one of the most typical experiences. Trust that your body knows what it is doing.

18. Experiencing emotional ups and downs; weeping. Our emotions are our outlet for release, and we are releasing a lot.

19. A wanting to go Home, as if everything is over and you don't belong here anymore. We are returning to Source. Everything is over, but many of us are staying to experience and create the New World. Also, our old plans for coming have been completed.

20. Feeling you are going insane, or must be developing a mental illness of some sort. You are rapidly experiencing several dimensions and greatly opening. Much is available to you now. You are just not used to it. Your awareness has been heightened and your barriers are gone. This will pass and you will eventually feel very at Home like you have never felt before, as Home is now here.

21. Anxiety and panic. Your ego is losing much of itself and is afraid. Your system is also on overload. Things are happening to you that you may not understand..... This may make you feel vulnerable and powerless. These patterns and behaviors you are losing are not needed in the higher realms. This will pass and you will eventually feel so much love, safety and unity. Just wait.

22. Depression. The outer world may not be in alignment with the New, higher vibrational you. It doesn't feel so good out there. You are also releasing lower, darker energies and you are 'seeing' through them. Hang in there.

23. Vivid, wild and sometimes violent dreams. You are releasing many, many lifetimes of lower vibrational energy. Many are now reporting that they are experiencing beautiful dreams. Your dream state will eventually improve and you will enjoy it again. Some experience this releasing while awake. My mother commented one day that she believed I was having nightmares in the daytime.

24. Night sweats and hot flashes. Your body is 'heating' up as it burns off residue.

25. Your plans suddenly change in mid-stream and go in a completely different direction. Your soul is balancing out your energy. It usually feels great in this new direction, as your soul knows more than you do. It is breaking your 'rut' choices and vibration.

26. You have created a situation that seems like your worst nightmare, with many 'worst nightmare' aspects to it. Your soul is guiding you into 'stretching' into aspects of yourself where you were lacking, or into 'toning down' aspects where you had an overabundance. Your energy is just balancing itself. Finding your way to peace through this situation is the test you have set up for yourself. This is your journey, and your soul would not have set it up if you weren't ready. You are the one who finds your way out and you will.

Universal copyright(2003)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Building a Personal Relationship with Color Energy:

This month, I am honored to present some wonderful information by Empath Academy graduate Colette Pellissier, who shared this exercise with us during our annual summer retreat in Colorado last August.  (FYI, the 2013 Empath Connection summer retreat will be held on Aug. 15-19, 2013. Click here for more info on the Summer Retreat and so you can be invited this coming spring) - Michael.

Building a Personal Relationship with Color Energy 
By Colette Pellissier

Today, color therapy is a recognized healing modality in energy medicine where specific color frequencies invite the body's energetic process to come into resonance by speeding up (when deficient) or slowing down (when excessive). Think of it as an invitation at a cellular level to remember what vibrant wellbeing looks or feels like, with a magnetic pull to adjust as needed to experience it.

The use of color energy for the purpose of healing and personal transformation is not limited to researchers or trained practitioners. As an intuitive, sensitive or empath, awareness of color energy can be a very valuable asset in the everyday toolkit.

Is a certain color showing up over and over again for you, either in your field of vision while you are awake or while you are meditating or sleeping? Do you find yourself attracted to certain colors of clothing, and have you noticed if there is a pattern related to the kinds of activities or interactions you are doing / having and the colors you choose to wear?

What if the dance of color through your lives, every day, is not random but instead is intended as a divinely crafted communication that contains valuable guidance?  Just by starting to notice color in our day to day experiences, we can gain access to a new stream of intuitive guidance.

Exercise: Acknowledge your Color Awareness 

Close your eyes, center yourself in your heart. Take 2 or 3 deep breaths in and out. Allow yourself to drop into a state of inner stillness.  From that place inside, clarify your intention to co-create a supportive & curious relationship with color.  Send forward a blessing of gratitude to the color or colors that will reveal themselves to you during this process.

When you are ready, take a moment to allow your inner guidance to support you in identifying the color that you will be working with for the next short while:

a) Ask Spirit to show you a color that is meaningful for you at this time. You might glance around the room and see if a certain color "glows" when you look at it, or notice the color of an object that grabs your attention, or the color might just pop into your awareness.

b) Or, if you are aware of a color that has been making itself known to you recently, bring that color into your awareness now.

Remember, there is no right or wrong way to do this, and it is not an efforting. It is more of an allowing.  With the color you have identified, take the next few minutes in a solo process to simply 'be' with it:

Interact with the color as if it were a person, either in your mind's eye or sitting in front of you; treat it like you would a good friend, having a heartfelt conversation.

In the spirit of unconditional positive regard, ask the color what insight it holds for you at this time. What does it want you to know or be aware of? 

Notice the form of the color. Does it have a shape? 
Is it solid or transparent?   Shiny or matte? 
Smooth or textured? Ask it about the relevance of its shape or form. 
Is it accompanied by a scent? Does the scent remind you of anything? 
What emotion does it bring forward for you? 
Does it have a temperature? 
Is the color connected in any way to a memory, either recent or past? 
Does it evoke any imagery in your consciousness? If so, how do you interpret it?

Ask it, does it represent in any way, or is it coming forward to reveal to you something inside of yourself that can be lifted and healed at this time?   

If so, in whatever way is meaningful for you, take some time now to clarify what that might be and with a light heart, full of gratitude, place that thing, that experience, that emotion, that memory, whatever it is, in the palm of your hand, lift your hand to your mouth and gently blow on it, like blowing on a feather and watch as it rides on the current of air and dissolves into the nothingness from which it came. Ask that the space where it used to reside be filled with Light and Loving, and just notice for a moment what that feels like.

As we bring this exercise to completion, take a moment to greet the color once again and express gratitude for the way in which it has been of service to you today. Say thank you, thank you, for coming forward to teach you and support you on your spiritual journey. And send it off, for now, with Love.


(Advanced techniques for working with color are explored in detail in the Complete Empath Toolkit.  FYI, also included in the Toolkit is a procedure that will allow you to physically see an 'aura' or colored energy field emanating off of a person or object.  The procedure works in about 75 to 85 percent of the individuals who attempt it).

Monday, November 5, 2012

Our Exceptional 2012 Empath Scholarship Winners!

UPDATE:  Download the ONGOING application form with all the details on how to apply.


I am absolutely thrilled and excited at the quality and number of applicants!  We had a record number of applicants this year for the Empath Scholarship program, and the 3-person panel of judges has chosen 5 exceptional winners.

I hope you enjoy reading portions of the essays of the winners.

Syracuse, Utah

Growing up I didn’t know what an empath was, but I did notice that I was more affected by life than my friends were. I tried to keep my feelings to myself and would shy away from crowds for fear of tearing up for no known reason.

Years later a psychic lightworker told me I was an empath. I started reading everything I could about the subject and soon found The Empath Connection and Dr. Michael Smith. I can clearly see now that both of my daughters, whom have been diagnosed with autism and anxiety, are in fact empaths

I pray often for guidance in the form of books to come my way, and 
that is how I found books by Doreen Virtue, and Kelli Jansen. I have noticed a calm sense of peace using help from angels. I often call on angels to help my daughters with sleep and keep calm in crowded places. Recently angels have helped my family with the passing of our pet. She had a tumor and I could sense that she wanted to pass but was having trouble. I called on the angels to help her, and also to help my daughters to feel comforted and to understand the process of death.
Twice I have been the first on the scene of an auto accident. The first time was just past midnight. Our family was driving home from Las Vegas when the car in front of us got clipped and flipped, sending all of the passengers out of the vehicle. While my husband was on the phone with 911, I checked on the injured teens and kept them calm. Without even knowing what I was doing, I slowed my energy and tried to create a calm environment until help arrived. The second time was by my house. A head on collision happened, and I held the hand of the elderly woman who was injured. This time I had been learning about energy, and tried to run healing energy from my hands into hers.

I am a stay at home mom, and I home school one of my daughters, and we are not able to pay for the at course.  A scholarship would make this dream possible.

North Carolina

As a yoga instructor and personal coach, I am very aware of the challenges of being an emotionally and psychically sensitive person.  Through the physical, emotional, spiritual and psychological work that I’m engaged in on a daily basis, a lot of the focus is on being open, aware and available.  However, Michael’s work is ground breaking because it helps us bring awareness to the things we pick up from others and gives us strategies for how to let that energy flow through instead of getting stuck.  We are all psychic antenaes; magnetically attracting the things around us.  Its important that I personally stay clear – on every plane, in order to be most effective with the students that I work with. 

Also, many of my clients are highly sensitive themselves.  I’d like to add new strategies to my toolbox for them to use to be happy and healthy empaths as well.  Ultimately, this training will make me better at the work that I’m already doing.

I am also in constant contact with other practitioners in the healing arts and the arts.  I am a performing artist myself – I sing, play the violin, act and dance.  And I believe this work is super relevant in the arts as well – helping us to remain clear, open and present.  This training will enable me to be an even greater resource to these amazing artists and healing arts.

The interview Dr. Michael Smith did with Deborah on New Transformation Strategies, really spoke to me.  His background and experience with yoga made his meditations and tools even more potent and personal to me and my experience.  I know I’m supposed to work with him, not only for my benefit but for the increased happiness, joy, peace and transformation of those around me.

Finally, the timing on this could not be more perfect!  I am launching a new business called The Breathing Room in Winston Salem, NC in January 2013.  It is a space for the arts and healing arts.  We are doing everything from yoga, to personal development, to acting classes and dance parties!  Our mission is to bring greater joy, peace and transformation to our lives and to the people in our community.  I am hoping that my training with Michael will contribute to me, the practitioners I partner with, and the clients we serve.
This training will empower me as an instructor, healer, artist and leader in my community. 

New York

I’m longing to participate in the November 2012 Empath Academy with Michael Smith, Ph. D. With my situation so drastically changed, I’m looking toward the best use of my skills in my own future. I deeply miss my connection with other healers and other empaths from my former life. I’m feeling rudderless in these new, more conservative waters of Upstate New York.

The Empath Academy would be a great way for me to re-center my own energy and re-enforce my own boundaries. The energy around family (treacherous waters indeed) is so different from the energy that I felt in Virginia with friends and collegues.  I would love the tools and emotional support to re-enter my public healing career.  Participating in the Academy would help with my fear of “going it alone” here in my new life. And soften my ever-present conflict between wanting to venture out and wanting to stay home.

The Empath Academy would help me also expand my healing. I often thought of and researched energy healing on animals. I have seen visions of myself working on horses. I see the steam coming off their husky bodies and I have smelled the sweet, sour smell of winter hay in my day dreams.

My new life is in a richly green rural setting as opposed to my former very urban, oceanfront living.  I need to learn what I can do to take care of myself in this lovely “snow-belt” that I’m now calling home. The Academy would prepare me for the winter here which is long, cold and serious.

Now that Dr. Smith has given me the courage to “come out” as an empath, I’m constantly going back and forth between joy and sorrow. I’m a better healer for being an empath, but I’m also sometimes a crying dish rag. It is better to understand this gift, but important to better manage it. As I learn to better manage my sensitivity, I will become a better healer as well. A win-win!

12-3-2012 UPDATE FROM RUTH:   
It is a pleasure to write about my academy experience.  First of all I learned that I was not alone!  Next I learned that I was not crazy. Both of those are huge lessons by themselves, but Michael did so much more.  He shared tons of practical tools, taught me how to honor my gifts, manage my gifts,  and offered me an empowering way to ease into the day-to-day empath journey. 

Jennifer Puerner

    I currently practice psychotherapy both in a primary care medical clinic, for an agency, as well as in my own private practice on the side, which I am working to grow. I feel I bring natural gifts and strengths of compassionate presence, insight, light, sensitivity and intuition to the work I do.  I am also a certified yoga instructor and Reiki Master.  I have been feeling some confines to the agency work I am doing, following the standards of practice set by the State and using the traditional array of theoretical orientations. I feel there is much more that I am here to do and I believe this is spiritual in nature.  I feel drawn to movement/energy work and being a part of people waking up to themselves, whether by teaching, therapy, or energy work in some way. 
    I feel I am being called to move into something new and bring that to my work. I am listening and allowing myself to be guided in what direction this seems to be at this time.  I believe that Colby’s work will deepen my sense of Self, deepen my trust in my gifts and intuition and heighten my energetic and spiritual awareness to take me to this next place along my work path.  I believe what I gain from working with him can only enhance who I am and what I bring to any of the work I am doing in whatever capacity. The gifts of my intuition and empathic sensitivity are a part of how I attune to my clients, allowing me to help them feel seen.  My compassionate presence, which people feel, often opens and moves people within their process.  I am highly aware of people’s emotional states and have intuitive cognitions I offer up to clients and these often seem a just right “ah ha” moment for them.  My presence has a calming affect as well as uplifting affect.  This is some part of how I am here to help in the world! Using my gifts brings me alive and feels juicy!  

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Empaths: The Power of NOT Knowing WHY you are the way you are!

This year is a magical time. The illusions of Western societies, which are primarily based on the illusion of separation, are crumbling. This crumbling of what we thought we knew is causing both individual and collective crises. Just as certain governments are falling, what we thought we knew about ourselves as empaths is also falling away, and thank God for that! New realities and new futures are being created at this very moment.

If you feel that your own ideas of what you thought were 'true' are crumbling around you, then you are not alone. It's happening for all empaths.  Spirit is 'sprinkling' us with it's Divine magic right now. One of the ways this alchemical process happens is through the experience of being surprised, awed, and sometimes shocked into seeing the Truth of spiritual existence. Sometimes it takes chaotic and unpleasant situations to propel us forward into dramatic spiritual transformation. If this is happening to you now, please congratulate yourself for continuing to make the choice to breathe and remain in your human body.  It takes courage and bravery for you, as an empath, to do this.

Even though we may think we know what's happening, the reality is that we don't. One of the wisest man I have ever known, a Lakota elder, is fond of saying, "I don't know nothing." The act of vocalizing this is a precursor to gaining spiritual wisdom, and in his teachings, is one of the top five attributes of spiritual warriors, which could very well be an accurate definition of an empath is.
Some of you might be thinking 'why would I want to affirm that I don't know anything?". To certain ways of thinking, this affirmation might seem counterintuitive. And yet consider the larger picture. The truth is that very few of us, if any, are privy to the details of what's happening in the BIG PICTURE. Very few of us, if any, have any idea of what REALLY happening in the moment-to-moment changing energy of humanity and the World. Do we have an idea of what might be happening, broad scale, in the spiritual age in which we live?

Many of us would say yes, we do. We believe, as have cultures for hundreds of years, that we are all engaged in a magical time that presents opportunities to create new ways of thinking, being, and actiing. YOU, as an empath, have a huge role to play in this co-creation.

Is it scary for the human ego to not know what's going on? Absolutely! The human ego's job is to make things understandable for us, to make things smaller and 'digestable'. The ego is what gets us through the daily grind of paying bills, realizing which road to turn, and making otherwise mundane (but important) decisions to keep us safe and grounded.

And yet in all of my coaching work with empath clients, and in my books; there is one important message that rises to the top, and that is the following: none of us have any idea of Who We Really Are. If we did, it would be too much for the human ego to handle. Thus, the ego serves an important function. It protects us. It is NOT our enemy, and any attempt to make it into such is only doing us harm. Many of us would like to turn that mental chatter off, and rightfully so. However, getting 'rid' of the human ego is not a worthwhile endeavor. Not only is it impossible to do because the very fact that we are in a body necessitates it, but even if we did actually override it, we very well may become schizophrenic.

As much as you might want to get 'rid' of all that mental chatter, do you really want to wind up in a mental ward? I hope your answer to that question would be in the negative! Regardless, there are three very powerful words that you can speak at any given point in time, and they provide instant relief to the ever-inquisitive and sometimes demanding human ego.

Those three words are: "I don't know."

As an empath, begin to EMBRACE the act of saying and vocalizing those words. They provide instant relief. And when you add another phrase on top of it "I don't know, and I don't need to know," you become ever more empowered.

Paradoxically, by giving away the belief that you have some powerful knowledge, you become more powerful! And so the great Mystery continues....the great 'cosmic joke' continues. Not only is it OK not to know, it's actually an empowering state of being.

So take all those unanswered questions that have been nagging you.....'why am I the way I am?" - "what is my karma?" "why must I suffer as an empath?" - and begin to make friends with the uncertainty. ENGAGE the UNKNOWING, and you'll find that your life, and the perceived burdens that you carry, become less and less of an issue. Then you can move forward with the knowledge that we are all connected to something MUCH greater than we think we know. And therein lies the MAGIC, the mystery, and the beauty.

Until next time, may you embrace those three powerful words, vocalize them to yourself and to your friends. You may be pleasantly surprised that what you thought was an uncomfortable state can actually be the greatest bliss imagineable!
Michael Smith