Welcome to the first empath interview in this series of “Empaths R Are Us”! I’m so excited and thankful to have so many empaths sharing their personal experiences. Our first empath interview is with Patti Foy, who has the wonderful site Lightspirited Being.
Patti is an empath and intuitive who works with you to help you shine authentically as “you”. She works with you to get down-to-earth, practical results, by working at the level of energy and consciousness. She uses Jyotish (Vedic astrology) and her abilities with Channelling to help you do this.
Thanks to Patti for participating. Enjoy!
Empath Interview with Patti Foy
Empath means “becoming one”. Empaths have the ability to become one with something (humans, animals, crystals, environment, etc.) How would you describe the kind of empath you are?
Hmm, I never really thought about different kinds of empaths. I usually think of empath as connecting with people but since you put it the way you did, I would have to say I can “become one” with all of the above, mostly humans, animals, and the natural environment I’m fortunate enough to live in.
Sometimes I notice its been imposed upon me, or sometimes I open to it intentionally and when I do that I can experience it even more fully.
How would you describe your most dominant empath skill?
Mostly, I pick up on others’ emotions and as empaths do, I proceed to make them mine. Or at least this is how it worked before I became more aware of the dynamics of this trait.
I also pick up on physical sensations fairly often, but only with those emotionally close to me (that I’m aware of — gosh, who knows, maybe this happens more than I know). For example, my cat and I would often have the exact same physical ailment going on at the same time (of course, animals are empathic, and for all I know my cat was processing for me!) This happens with my son, too, who lives about 1000 miles away from me.
At what age did you consciously become aware that you were more sensitive than others?
Hmmm, consciously? I’m not sure… Perhaps not until I was about 30 yrs. old.
How did this empathic ability affect your childhood?
Oh, I learned at a very young age how to shut down. I’m a fairly intellectual person to begin with but I became more exclusively that way. It didn’t take me long before I hooked into the abundantly available drugs and alcohol.
How did your parents or family reaction to your hypersensitivity?
There wasn’t much tolerance for it. They were both busy raising a family of 6 kids, and I was treated the same as my other siblings. In retrospect, a few of us were especially sensitive but you wouldn’t know it at the time. Emotions were not discussed, much less sensitivities in general. In fact, even expressing our emotions wasn’t tolerated much unless it fit into that grouping of “positive” emotions, and was restricted to polite expressions of it. (Of course, when I was out playing with other kids, anything went. I think that was my saving grace.)
If anything, I was taught to be tough and always pleasant. No wonder I so enthusiastically embraced the escape of drugs and alcohol. I didn’t know how to deal with what I felt.
Did you view of your empathy change as you became an adult?
Not until I got clean and sober at age 29. Then I thought of it primarily as an acute sensitivity. It was a challenge to learn what to do with that, and I’d have to say that very issue was the predominant lesson of my recovery.
I still didn’t know about empaths, per se.
At what age did you fully realize what being an empath meant?
I was probably in my early 30′s. During my early recovery I went to a famous psychic, Kathlyn Rhea, for a reading. It wasn’t long before I was taking classes from her. It was during that time that it hit me how much I absorb other peoples’ moods. (Probably because we used an exercise to open ourselves.)
We had just done a class, and when I got into my car to go home, I just sat there and sobbed. I knew there was nothing going on in my life to justify the feeling. Because it was so exaggerated and so strong, it became obvious that I was getting this from somewhere else.
At the next class, I asked the woman who’d been sitting next to me the week before if she’d been in an especially difficult place during the last class. I forget the details now but it turned out she had been mourning a death or major loss of some sort that had just occurred. I was kind of blown away at how blatant it all was.
A few years later, I had a past-life reading done by Marcy Calhoun (also an exceptional intuitive.) She just flat out told me I was an ultra-sensitive and that one of my main reasons for incarnating this time was to learn how to work with my empathic abilities. I finally acknowledged it was a part of my everyday life and began to give it its due.
What did you feel like when you realized that there were other empaths in the world?
Good! I would be able to learn from them.
How would you say this empathic ability shaped your life overall?
Profoundly, considering my attempt to cope with my depth of sensitivity led to addiction and recovery, both of which had a major impact on how I experience(d) life.
Now, as I open to and embrace my sensitivity, my empathic ability is something I enjoy and want to continue to develop. Now it’s very positive.
Do you consciously use your empathic skills in how you make a living?
Yes. When I first began to practice jyotish (Vedic astrology), I thought I had to keep it “pure” and did not allow my own intuitive impressions into the mix, as if they would pollute the analysis. But when I learned to channel, that just blew the lid off all my intuitive pathways, including my empathic skills. I almost can’t exclude them anymore, as if I would still want to.
So of course, I do incorporate them when I do a channeling/intuitive session, but even during jyotish readings I share what I sense now. Usually when I look at a chart I just get some “knowings”, unrelated to the astrological indicators. My clients confirm these and often the information I’m able to share around that insight is one of the more important and helpful elements of the whole reading.
What are the best techniques that you have found to keep your emotional boundaries intact with others?
Oh, wow, this could be a whole, huge article in itself. I’ll try to be brief…
In general, keeping my own energy field clear and uplifted is of utmost importance. It’s similar to how living healthfully keeps you from being susceptible to temporary environments or whatever might be going around.
Other than that, my techniques vary widely depending on who those “others” are.
- With clients, I do a deconnecting/cleansing exercise after a session, and sometimes after a simple contact. I often do an exercise to strengthen my aura before a session as well.
- With acquaintances and friends, simply being aware who I’m thinking of or in contact with and what’s going on with them allows me to keep my own space intact — for the most part. Sometimes I do a process similar to what I do with clients. I’ve gotten selective about who I become friends with, and I don’t engage with or enter friendships with energy vampires, no matter how nice or interesting they are.
- With my immediate family, physical distance (even going outside for a walk) can provide some relief. But I’m only half-joking when I say that my best bet there is to do what I can to support him/them in being happy, healthy, and whole. When that’s not working, crossing my arms over my solar plexus really does help a lot.
- With groups, well, it’s not an accident that I live in remote canyon and am essentially a hermit. I am usually able to choose if I want to be around a group. Spending a day “in town” exposed to all the disparate energies can be exhaustive. But oddly, when I make a decision to open to each individual I interact with, my experience is much more pleasant.
- With the world at large there is a constant connection whether we know it or not. When an unexplainable mood takes hold that I can’t attribute to me or the influences I already mentioned, often it’s due to what’s going on in the world. Just knowing this provides a lot of relief.
Finally, I’ve found that the flower essences walnut and yarrow work very well in any/all situations. Walnut is a Bach remedy you can find at most health food stores, and I get yarrow through Flower Essence Services.
What is your favourite thing about being an empath?
I love all aspects of being intuitive and psychic. It gives me access to a whole world of information. And especially now that I can more reliably use it at will, it enhances not only my life but I also use it to help guide others.
What is your least favourite thing about being an empath?
If I’m not paying attention, it can throw me off-track. But I think the worst is simply that it doesn’t always feel so good!
What is your best piece of advice for other empaths?
Once you know you are one, you’ve got it half licked. It does take some learning to know how to detach, etc., but it’s doable. There are lots of good resources that can help you. There are numerous books and even lots of great, free information on the web. Just use your own common sense and intuition when choosing which methods to experiment with. You’ll find what works for you.
Do you believe there is any difference between empathic skills and intuitive/psychic skills?
There aren’t always clear boundaries, especially because just about everyone has their own definition of what those terms mean.
I’m partial to the term extra-sensory perception, or ESP, because all of the skills and abilities we’re discussing fit into that description. The only problem with that term is that most people think it refers to something extraordinary that only a few people can do, instead of knowing that we all can sense beyond our bodily senses. In fact, we can’t help it!
But more to your question, I think being empathic is just a specific type of ESP or intuitive/psychic skill, in that it’s just a specialized way of making the connection with another being. I also think it has some similarities to psychometry (sensing information from touching an item) since it has such a physical/emotional element to it.
My experience is that all of these abilities overlap and work together in a beautifully synergistic relationship.
Thanks so much for sharing your empath experiences Patti! Check out Patti’s site here.
Think you might be an empath? Want to know what the first step is on your intuitive path? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a reading!