I’m happy to feature Lorna Tedder, today. Publisher for Spilled Candy Enterprises, Lorna is author of over 20 books, and she’s an all-around amazing person to know. Much love.

An empath is someone who is sensitive to the energy of other people.  If you’re an empath, then you may literally feel the physical pain of someone else, particularly if it’s someone you care about or you are in close proximity to.  More likely, you will feel others’ emotions and may even confuse their feelings for your own.

For example, if your boyfriend is having a bad week, you may feel unexplained anger or hopelessness of your own, even when everything’s going great for you.  Another example is when you’re out shopping on Christmas Eve, when you’re happy and have plenty of time, and yet you suddenly start to feel jittery and stressed, just like all the other shoppers around you.

Turbulent emotion and discordant energy from other people can be overwhelming at times.   The best way to protect yourself against having your emotions hijacked is by learning to shield.  Here are three of my favorites that work for me in different situations:

#1 – The White Light Purge Technique

When I have an empathic bond, also known as an energetic connection, with someone I care about, I probably don’t want to shield from them, but I may need a reprieve from their darker emotions.

For example, if my best friend and her mom are fighting, I want to be the person she can lean on, but after listening to my friend vent on the phone for two hours, I’ll find that while she might feel better, her emotions have transferred to me and now I, for no obvious reason, feel mad at the world.  The White Light Purge helps me to get rid of those discordant feelings fast by replacing someone else’s emotions with positivity and serenity in my own body.

The White Light Purge is one of several “chakra-breathing” shielding techniques I use and is the simplest because it involves only the crown chakra, or energy center,  at the very top of the head.   It’s best if you can find a quiet spot, alone, but if you must, you can use the White Light Purge with your eyes open, even in a crowded room, and no one will know—unless you’re expected to talk.

Begin by breathing through your nose.   In through your nose, out through your nose.  After several slow breaths, imagine that you have a mouth on the top of your head where your crown chakra is.  This will seem a little strange at first but you’ll get used to it quickly.   Imagine that you are inhaling through the mouth on the top of your head, through the crown chakra, drawing in white light of love, or happiness, or protection (your choice).  Inhale for the count of five, then hold two beats.  As you breathe out through nose for the count of five, imagine that you are pushing the white light down through your body,  all the way down to your toes.   With the next breath, breathe out white light all the way down to your knees.   Keep inhaling white light and then exhaling it into your body until your entire body is full of white light.  This will displace any negative energy or overwhelming emotion from someone else, and you will feel calmer and more relaxed.

#2 – The Florida Sun Room Technique

Where I live in Florida, a lot of houses have porches or patios that have been closed in with windows and blinds to keep out too much sun.  These rooms are usually air conditioned and sometimes heated in winter.  In the summer, when the sun is hot and bright, the blinds are closed so that the room stays cool.   In winter, the blinds can be raised so the resident can enjoy the view and let the sunshine heat the room.  In spring and fall, the windows themselves can be opened to let in the breeze and smell of flowers.  These rooms are called Sun Rooms or Florida Rooms.

The Florida Sun Room shielding technique is easiest when combined with meditation or at least with your eyes closed.  It’s my favorite technique to use in a romantic relationship because there are times when you want to feel the other person’s loving feelings for you and other times when emotions are too turbulent and you need to protect your own oversensitivity to others’ emotions.

Begin by closing your eyes and breathing through your nose.  Visualize your body from head to toe, from shoulder to fingertip, as a Florida Sun Room.  You have four walls of glass windows around you, each covered with heavy, thick blinds.  Allow yourself the time to experiment with the windows and blinds to find the right combination for the situation that needs shielding.

Start by having all blinds down and tightly closed so that no light can come in.  The room is light-tight, and you are in utter darkness.  This phase of the technique is meant to shut out all emotion around you so that you’re alone with your own emotions.  What you feel is your own feelings—not someone else’s influential emotions.

Slowly open the blinds enough to let a little sunlight into the room.  This will give you a chance to become acclimated to whatever emotions you feel through an empathic bond.  Continue to open the blinds until they are fully open.  When you’re ready, raise the blinds to the top of each window.   Can you still feel the emotions coming through?   What’s the bare minimum that you need to shield from heavy emotions?  Lighter ones?

Now open the windows all the way and feel the difference.   If you’re in a healthy, loving relationship, this is most likely how your visualized Florida Sun Room will look.   If the emotions are more difficult or the relationship becomes unhealthy, closing the windows and blinds will help you to deal with your own emotions without the added “overwhelm” of your partner’s emotions.

#3 – The Candle Life Technique

If you’re an empath, it’s likely that you get too close emotionally too fast to new people.  You can’t help it—as an empath, you may be inclined to see the world emotionally through someone else’s eyes and understand that person and all his or her quirks and darkness as though they were your own.   You may fall in love with or become best friends with someone you just met because rather than taking months to get to know someone, as non-empaths do, you feel that you already know them through the emotions and energy you sense from them.  You feel you know them at “soul level” in a matter of days rather than months or years.

One way to keep from getting too close to someone too fast—marrying them in three weeks or going into business with them without researching their past—is the Candle Life Technique.  The first time I mix my energy with another person’s or risk bonding emotionally with them, I light a candle.  I prefer to use a 3-inch by 3-inch pillar candle because the burn time is long enough to know where I stand in the relationship.  I choose a color that reminds me of the person I’m forming a bond with and then etch that person’s likeness or name into the wax.

As the friendship or relationship grows, I light the candle and burn it regularly (sometimes daily but at least a few times a week) to keep from getting too caught up in the other person’s emotions and influenced in a way that’s not good for me.   For example, I once formed a partnership with a new friend who was excited about a particular project.  I had no business sinking money or time into that project but when I was around her and all her enthusiasm and confidence, I felt just as emotionally attached to it as she was.  This is where the Candle Life Technique is helpful.   I don’t make any major decisions about the other person or our relationship as long as there is wick left to burn, and I limit the candle burning to no more than an hour at a time, much less if I feel intensely about the other person.

The Candle Life Technique gives me time to not rush into anything.   If the relationship turns out to be something that’s not good for me, then the end of the wick will be the end of the line for that relationship.   As the wick burns out, the flame and energy of the relationship will dissipate with it.

Saying goodbye to a relationship or friendship may not be something you want when you first light the candle, but this technique will help you to sever the energetic bond much more easily.   If the relationship is a good one, you’ll know by this point if you want to pursue it.

If you’re new to shielding, try one of these three techniques to see which works best for you.  Feeling other people’s emotions when you don’t want to can seem like a curse, but the good news is that most empaths who research and experiment with different kinds of shields usually find several that work for them.

Lorna Tedder writes about empaths and energy at The Spiritual Eclectic Blog.   Her next book will be a guide to shielding, including more chakra breathing techniques.
Teen Spirit Guide to Modern Shamanism by S. Kelley Harrell
Available worldwide, Teen Spirit Guide to Modern Shamanism.