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(Judith Orloff) The empath's survival guide - life strategies for sensitive people

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OF
THOSE	WHO	STRIVE	FOR	TRUTH,	BEAUTY,	AND	JUSTICE	HAS
PREVENTED	ME	FROM	FEELINGS	OF	ISOLATION.
Albert	Einstein
THE	PATH	TO	INNER	PEACE
In	 your	 own	 growth	 process,	 remember	 that	 the	 path	 to	 self-acceptance,	 inner
peace,	and	spiritual	growth	is	not	a	straight	line.	It’s	a	spiral.	We	keep	returning
to	issues	we	thought	we	had	healed—but	this	time	around,	more	profound	truths
are	 revealed,	which	 enhance	 our	 self-knowledge.	 It’s	what	makes	 this	 path	 so
exciting	for	me.	I	yearn	to	move	closer	to	the	light.	Delving	more	deeply	into	the
spiral	of	my	life	and	the	consciousness	of	love	takes	me	there.	Empaths	embrace
depth.	Though	self-awareness	often	makes	us	stretch	beyond	our	comfort	zone—
it’s	painful	at	times—the	result	is	that	we	become	more	radiant,	compassionate,
and	 solid	 in	 our	 connection	 to	 spirit.	 There	 is	 no	 human	 attainment	 more
precious	than	this.	Every	morning	upon	awakening,	I	inwardly	ask	to	re-enter	the
kingdom	 of	 spirit	 and	 the	 heart.	 Then	 I	 know	 I’m	 in	 my	 right	 place	 in	 the
universe	to	start	the	day.
Using	the	techniques	in	The	Empath’s	Survival	Guide,	you	can	conquer	 the
challenges	of	being	sensitive	and	enjoy	the	journey.	Reflect	on	the	changes	that
you’ve	experienced	already	since	you’ve	started	reading	this	book.	Notice	how
your	 life	 and	 relationships	 have	 improved	 when	 you	 embrace	 yourself	 as	 an
empath.	Celebrate	your	progress	 every	 time	you	 listen	 to	your	 intuition,	 assert
your	needs,	or	center	yourself	 in	 the	midst	of	chaos.	Celebrate	 that	you	are	no
longer	 willing	 to	 deny	 your	 feelings	 just	 to	 make	 other	 people	 comfortable.
Celebrate	 your	 ability	 to	 love	 your	 beautiful	 self	 today,	 without	 conflict	 or
second-guessing.	 Be	 grateful	 for	 your	 progress.	 Baby	 steps	 are	 golden.	 Don’t
worry	when	 you	 backslide.	We	 all	 do	 sometimes.	 In	 every	 circumstance,	 treat
yourself	with	compassion.
As	 an	 empath,	 you	 are	 part	 of	 a	 countercultural	 revolution	 to	 put	 what	 is
humane	 back	 into	 humanity.	 I	 applaud	 you	 for	 being	 a	 path-forger,	 willing	 to
venture	off	the	beaten	track.	I	applaud	your	courage	to	face	yourself,	to	express
your	authentic	needs,	and	not	to	give	up	on	the	world,	with	its	many	failings.
We	are	all	part	of	the	empath	family,	connected	by	our	sensitivities	and	heart.
So	let’s	draw	on	each	other’s	strength	and	loving-kindness.	Let’s	feel	comfort	in
the	 simple	 knowing	 that	 we	 each	 exist	 and	 that	 in	 our	 hearts	we	 support	 one
another	from	near	and	far.	Even	though	many	of	us	have	not	yet	met,	I	send	you
all	blessings	and	thanks	for	being	brave	enough	to	be	authentically	you.
In	 closing,	 I	 offer	 this	 final	 affirmation	 for	 you	 to	 honor	 your	 sensitivities
again	and	again	on	this	journey.
EMPATH	AFFIRMATION
I	will	treasure	myself	and	vow	to	have	people	in	my	life	who	treasure	me
as	well.	I	will	use	my	sensitivities	to	better	my	own	life	and	the	world.	I
will	celebrate	the	adventure	of	being	an	empath.
R
PROTECTION	STRATEGIES
A	Quick	Reference	Guide
efer	 to	 this	summary	of	protection	strategies	whenever	you	need	to
easily	 access	 a	 range	 of	 options	 to	 protect	 yourself	 from	 exhaustion	 and
overwhelm.	The	key	 to	 self-care	 is	 to	 recognize	when	you’re	 experiencing	 the
first	signs	of	sensory	overload	or	when	you	start	absorbing	negativity	or	stress
from	others.	The	sooner	you	can	act	to	reduce	stimulation	and	to	center	yourself,
the	more	balanced	and	protected	you	will	be.
Also,	with	 all	 of	 the	 visualizations	 and	meditations	 I	 present	 in	 this	 book,
remember	that	it	may	be	helpful	to	read	the	directions	into	a	tape	recorder	with
appropriate	pauses.	Then	when	you’re	ready	to	practice	the	meditation,	you	can
simply	play	it	back	for	yourself	and	relax	into	it.
1.	Shielding	Visualization
Shielding	is	a	quick	way	to	protect	yourself.	Many	empaths	rely	on	it	to	block	out
toxic	 energy,	 while	 allowing	 the	 flow	 of	 positive	 energy.	Use	 it	 regularly.	 The
minute	you’re	uncomfortable	with	a	person,	a	place,	or	a	situation,	put	up	your
shield.	Use	 it	 in	 a	 train	 station,	 at	 a	 party,	when	 you’re	 faced	with	 an	 energy
vampire,	in	a	doctor’s	waiting	room,	or	anywhere	you	feel	uncomfortable.
Allow	at	 least	 five	minutes	 for	 this	exercise.	Find	a	quiet	and	protected	space.
Make	 sure	 that	 you	 won’t	 be	 interrupted.	 Loosen	 your	 clothing	 and	 find	 a
position	 that’s	 comfortable,	 perhaps	 sitting	 cross-legged	on	 the	 floor	or	maybe
upright	on	a	chair.	Begin	by	taking	a	few	deep,	long	breaths.	Breathe	in,	really
feeling	 the	 inhalation,	and	 then	exhale,	 really	 letting	out	a	big	exhalation.	Feel
the	sensuality	of	the	breath,	the	connection	to	prana,	the	sacred	life	force.
Let	all	thoughts	drift	by	like	clouds	in	the	sky,	returning	to	your	breath	over
and	over	again	to	find	your	center.	Feel	a	core	of	energy	running	from	your	toes,
throughout	your	body,	and	up	through	the	top	of	your	head.	Focusing	on	this	will
keep	you	centered.
Now,	as	you’re	breathing,	visualize	a	beautiful	shield	of	white	or	pink	light
that	 surrounds	your	body	completely	and	extends	a	 few	 inches	beyond	 it.	This
shield	 protects	 you	 from	 anything	 negative,	 stressful,	 toxic,	 or	 unwelcome.
Within	the	protection	of	this	shield,	feel	yourself	centered,	happy,	and	energized.
This	shield	blocks	out	negativity,	 though	at	 the	same	time	it	allows	you	to	still
feel	 what	 is	 positive	 and	 loving.	 Get	 used	 to	 the	 sensation	 of	 the	 shield
protecting	 your	 body.	 You	 can	 visualize	 it	 at	 any	 moment	 when	 you	 suspect
you’re	 absorbing	 someone	 else’s	 energy.	 Inwardly	 say	 “thank	 you”	 for	 this
protection.	To	close,	 take	a	 long,	deep	breath	in	and	out,	and	then	slowly	open
your	eyes.	Come	back	to	the	room.	Be	in	your	body	completely.
2.	Grounding	and	Earthing	Visualization
When	 you	 feel	 overloaded,	 create	 some	 quiet	 time	 alone	 to	 lower	 your
stimulation	 level.	 Being	 alone	 to	 recharge	will	 help	 you	 decompress.	 Practice
this	visualization	to	return	to	your	center.	I	use	it	for	at	least	five	minutes	daily
and	teach	it	to	my	patients.	Close	the	door,	and	turn	off	the	computer	and	phone.
Then	 sit	 in	 a	 comfortable	 position	 and	 take	 a	 few	 deep	 breaths	 to	 relax	 your
body.	 Start	 to	 feel	 still	 and	 at	 ease,	 as	 tension	 melts	 away.	 Nothing	 to	 do.
Nothing	to	be.	Just	breathing	and	relaxing.	When	thoughts	come,	let	 them	drift
by	like	clouds	in	the	sky.	Do	not	attach	to	them.	Focus	only	on	slowly	inhaling,
and	 then	 exhaling.	 Feel	 stress	 leave	 your	 body	 as	 you	 connect	 to	 a	 sense	 of
serenity.
In	 this	 tranquil	 inner	 place,	 visualize	 a	 large	 tree	 with	 a	 strong	 trunk
extending	down	the	center	of	your	body,	from	head	to	toe.	Take	a	few	moments
to	feel	its	power	and	vibrant	energy.	Then	visualize	the	tree’s	roots	growing	from
the	bottom	of	your	feet,	rooting	down	into	the	ground,	making	their	way	deeper
and	deeper	to	create	a	wonderful	feeling	of	solidity.	Let	the	roots	anchor	you	into
Mother	 Earth,	 stabilizing	 and	 centering	 you.	 Know	 that	 this	 “inner	 tree”	 will
provide	 an	 inner	 strength	 to	 keep	 you	 safe	 and	 protected	 when	 life	 gets
overwhelming.
3.	Tips	to	Relieve	Adrenal	Fatigue
Overcoming	 adrenal	 fatigue	 requires	 some	 basic	 lifestyle	 and	 diet	 changes	 so
that	you	can	effectively	manage	your	energy	over	the	long	term.	Along	with	the
following	tips,	refer	to	many	other	strategies	I	share	throughout	the	book.
• Eat	a	whole-food	diet.	Avoid	processed	or	junk	food,	sugar,	gluten,
and	white	flour.	You	can	learn	more	in	chapter	3.
• Add	Himalayan	Red	Salt	to	your	diet.	Eliminate	low-quality	salts.
Always	check	with	your	physician	if	your	blood	pressure	is	high.
• Exercise.	Practice	gentle	exercise	and	stretching	to	build	up	stamina
and	energy.
• Meditate.
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