I knew I needed help, but I wasn’t sure where to start. So I did what I knew how to do: share what I was feeling with as many friends as possible and see if anyone could point me in the right direction. Eventually two friends suggested I try Reiki energy healing, saying it sounded to them like I might be struggling with an energetic block—or multiple ones.
I was referred to a healer in Brooklyn's Williamsburg section who would go on to help me in more ways than one, starting with my first Reiki session. Upon first meeting Rebecca Conran, her calm demeanor took me aback. She embodied the sense of peace and serenity that I had always craved. I sensed that I was in the right place.
We talked about what I was experiencing and, more important, the heaviness I had been feeling for quite some time. She got it all right. And then she mentioned a term that I had never heard before, but would catalyze my healing and transformation and help me carve out an entirely new future: empath.
An empath, as I’ve learned, is someone who has the capacity to feel what other people are feeling—sometimes to such an extent that it actually can be hard to discern other people’s emotions from their own. Empaths can also absorb emotions and energy from others, albeit subconsciously. So, being an empath can sometimes feel like walking around with an open heart that’s like a sponge, absorbing everyone else’s old emotional and energetic baggage—in a way, healing everyone else without even having the intention to do so.
I had been feeling this way my entire life. Like I was a sponge. I was regularly exhausted by social situations in which I felt like people were draining my energy. Later, I learned that it wasn’t really their fault. For my whole life up to that point, I had been unconsciously walking around like an open sponge (with such an open heart, wanting so badly to connect with everyone) that I was open to absorbing everyone else’s emotions—the good, the bad, and the confusing.
Finally, I found some relief. After my Reiki healing session, I felt a lightness and clarity I had never experienced. The weight I had been carrying was lifted off of my shoulders and out of my body. Whatever blockages I had been trapped by, which were numerous and long-standing, were cleared, and my overall energy felt much more balanced. I felt like myself again. What a gift!
In that moment, I knew that my life would change forever. I also knew I had some serious studying to do—not to mention some major practice in learning how to protect myself and become empowered in my newly named ability. It was like my hidden superpower had finally been revealed to me—something I had always misinterpreted as a burden because I wasn’t aware of how to wield it confidently and intentionally. With that small seed of knowledge, so many doors started to open.
Someone directed me to the The Aquarian Empath by Irma Kaye Sawyer, an incredible thought leader, healer, teacher and creator of Cosmic Weather. Next on my reading list was Your 30-Day Empath Empowerment Program by Rose Rosetree. As soon as I read these books, I knew I was not alone. In fact, I learned there were actually many other people around the world who share this experience. This pivotal insight offered me connection, hope, and possibility. I was about to embark on a fresh start—a wide-open path full of new beginnings.