Hello again! Life has been very busy, but I guess that is as it supposed to be – in alignment with spring and the energy of beginnings – both of which are here. I am happy to back on my blog to post another empath interview for you, in the “Empaths R Are Us” interview series!
Today’s interview is with empath Nicole Chayka, co-author of ‘Fringe Dweller on the Night Shift: True Stories from an Afterlife Paramedic’, which can be found at her site here.
Nicole writes paranormal articles for ‘Coming out of the Psychic Closet’ on the Fringe Dweller website here.
I want to thank Nicole for sharing her personal experiences as an empath, and I invite you to visit her site and read more about her experiences.
Enjoy the interview with Nicole.
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?
Since childhood I’ve been able to connect with other people and feel what they are feeling, however animals seem to respond to my energy as well. I recall a particular incident when I was explaining to a rather high strung friend of mine that her energy was exhausting. To illustrate my point a puppy was jumping up and down next to her like it was on a trampoline (bing-bing-bing) yet when it crossed the room to me it settled down immediately putting its head on my lap and mellowing out.
How would you describe your most dominant empath skill?
People. Definitely people. I can sense the underlying emotion that is driving a person’s behavior even when they are trying to hide it from others or worse, themselves.
At what age did you consciously become aware that you were more sensitive than others?
It is so innate to my being that I didn’t recognize myself to have abilities. I thought it was natural and so paid little attention to it. It wasn’t until a psychic friend of mine who can see ‘auras’ decided to reveal to me that my aura changed with each new person I met (essentially mimicking theirs) and what that meant that I came into fully understanding it. That would have been sometime in my early 30’s.
How did this empathic ability affect your childhood?
Oh yes childhood. I knew things I shouldn’t have which constantly got me into trouble. No one wants to be confronted on what they are feeling until they are ready to own it. Often times I knew what a person was feeling deep down before they themselves recognized it. That spells trouble. Nonetheless my highschool years were I’m told ‘unique’ in that I was part of, and accepted by every peer group in the school be it the nerds, the jocks, the metal heads, the punk rockers to the pop crowd, religious folks to atheists, guys, gals, the party crowd to the keeners and everyone in between. I didn’t think it unusual at the time but now I know why. I could ‘relate’ to everyone and find that ‘commonality’ between us all.
How did your parents or family reaction to your hypersensitivity?
My folks weren’t the touchy feely type and children were to be seen not heard. I learned to reign myself in and control my feelings. Life in a rural setting is busy. I don’t think they noticed much of anything.
Did your view of your empathy change as you became an adult?
Yes. I learned to have separation from other people as a survival skill. It’s exhausting to ‘feel’ all the time, especially when those feelings don’t belong to you, yet you feel them in your body just the same. I learned about chakras and how to ground myself.
At what age did you fully realize what being an empath meant?
I’m a late bloomer. I discovered fully what being an empath meant in my early 30’s when a psychic friend who sees auras followed me around at a party I was hosting. They said that my aura changed with each new person I greeted at the door. Later we had a little ‘discussion’ about everyone’s aura having it’s own frequency like radio stations on the dial, as did I. However, as an empath I could slip down the dial to anyone’s frequency ..to be in synch with them and thus ‘tune into them’ and receive information from them. I think of it as a form of telepathy but instead of thoughts it’s feelings.
What did you feel like when you realized that there were other empaths in the world?
Not surprised at all..I could feel them. Of course other people are empathic. It’s really the degree to which we are willing to let ourselves recognize that we are all part of the whole and thus connected. It’s more like some people are ‘awake’ while others are sleep walking. Those who are sleep walking are still part of the collective but don’t realize it- so they feel intensely alone and lonely. On a funny note I can usually tell when I am in the presence of another empath. It struck me that whenever I couldn’t ‘read’ someone they were usually like myself. It was a terribly uncomfortable feeling when my senses couldn’t pick up any information, and in some ways it felt like a handicap to me…like being blinded or deaf for a moment. The absence of that sensory perception that feels natural to me was like having one arm tied behind my back. Of course the visuals are hilarious…both our auras zipping up and down the dial searching for one another..too funny.
How would you say this empathic ability shaped your life overall?
It allows me to have greater compassion for others, to step into their shoes emotionally and feel an event from their p.o.v.
However, I have noticed as I’ve grown older that I seek solitude from people as it is too exhausting to be in the presence of ‘high strung’ emotional people. Maybe it is the Taurus in me that is so grounded that I am becoming less patient with people then I was as an adolescent -who just wanted to help everyone I met, and make them feel better.
Do you consciously use your empathic skills in how you make a living?
When I worked in sales I probably had an advantage that I wasn’t aware of but no, I have never consciously used my skills to make a living. I did debate for a brief time in high school if I should pursue a degree in psychology and work in counseling. I think that may be a common theme among empaths..to want to help people heal their emotional wounds. If we can ‘separate’ ourselves from others to the degree that we remain neutral and professional I think we can be of service. The danger lies of course in getting far too involved and doing them a disservice. I’m glad I didn’t go into clinical psychology…that would have been exhausting.
What are the best techniques that you have found to keep your emotional boundaries intact with others?
I tell them to leave the house. (only kidding)
A good meditation to start with is to consciously decide to ground yourself and have separation from others unless you want it. It’s one thing to intentionally connect and another to be bombarded with information all the time. To that end I visualize my chakras grounding into the center of the earth one at a time, and then reaching forth to the sun and creator to connect me to spirit. I say aloud when I enter a public setting…’All that is not mine please leave.’ for the spirit world that also walks among us. My favorite technique if you are in the presence of ‘negatively charged individuals’ incarnate or not…is to intentionally send love. Imagine white light surrounding yourself as though you are inside an egg of energy. Then imagine extending that energy emanating both from your heart chakra as well as streaming down from creator (the sun if that will help you visualize it) filling the entire room. You would be amazed how negative people avoid you or leave the room altogether b/c the frequency you have raised the room to is incompatible and therefore uncomfortable for them to be in the presence of.
What is your favorite thing about being an empath?
There are two fold things that I enjoy about being empathic. One is the ‘inside scoop’ to be able to communicate with others in a way that makes them feel so comfortable that they are able to open up and be authentic with me. I enjoy the intimacy that comes when two people are honest and trusting of each other. The other aspect that I am grateful for is that I know when I am in the presence of a sociopath and/or in danger. It is hard to explain the place that sociopaths live in their heart. It is almost as if they were born missing an invisible appendage, and so the intellect rules their being..not their heart. It is a very dark and scary place. It is like walking into a cold abyss with a total absence of light. These people are the complete opposite of empaths who haven’t the ability to feel compassion or empathy for another person whatsoever. They live for themselves. Only for themselves.
What is your least favorite thing about being an empath?
Knowing too much. You can’t unknown what you know…you know? Oh and public places like a large concert. Talk about taking a hammering if you haven’t prepared yourself.
What is your best piece of advice for other empaths?
Don’t wear other people’s emotions.
Learn to differentiate between yourself and others.
Learn to ground yourself and take a breather when you need to or you will become saturated, exhausted and over stimulated with a constant bombardment of emotional energy.
Also learn the difference between compassion vs pity.
Don’t try to mend every broken heart. You don’t need to ‘fix everyone’s pain-that’s not your job.
Offer love to those you meet and pass in life, but also recognize that their journey through suffering may be leading them somewhere karmically. That they may have written this into their script when they reincarnated this time around. It is not for us to intervene in what could be a very huge ‘learning opportunity’.
Do you believe there is any difference between empathic skills and intuitive/psychic skills?
No. I would say that there is a huge umbrella of psychic skills and being empathic is merely one of them. I have also experienced clairaudience, clairsentience, telepathy, and have had lucid dreams of visiting dead loved ones on the other side as well as the living. These are all part of the package of ‘tuning into’ one another in various ways. There is a lyric line from a song I didn’t finish a long time ago that went…
We are all drops of water in an endless sea
A forgotten divinity.
We are all part of mass consciousness which in turn is connected to the consciousness that holds reality as we know it together. God, Creator, or whatever name you wish to call it by….is us…collectively. Our collective memories, feelings, thoughts is an ocean that we can all take a swim in and fish out information from. The 100th monkey effect? Naaa, just mass consciousness.
Thanks to Nicole for sharing of yourself!
An insight I got from Nicole’s answers, is that I realized why I was also good at sales. When I was young and needed a job, I found out accidentally that I was very good at sales, even though I hated it. I could only do sales for a short time when I was young, for purely economic reasons, but it went against every fiber of my being. I now realize it was because I could unconsciously read each person’s energy to know what they needed to hear, in order to buy whatever product I was pitching. While I was good at it, it went against every fiber of my being if the product wasn’t 100% in alignment with what I believe in, stand for.
After that, I realized I couldn’t do this to myself or others, no matter how desperate for money I was. Now I know that it was because it was out of energetic alignment with who I am, and it was exploiting the energy of others, and that just felt “bad” to me. (I guess that is your guarantee that whatever I “sell” I totally believe in, and that it aligns with who I am!)
Do your own experiences resonate with Nicole’s? Please share in the comments.
I’m still here and available to do readings. If you want to figure out what to do next, email me here at firstname.lastname@example.org, for a reading.