“How long will it take to become a Skilled Empath?
The woman who asked might well have been tapping her foot. Definitely, “Alana” was impatient. If I remember correctly, even while we talked, this gal had my book in her lap and she was flipping through the pages just in case it would give her a faster answer.
“Just tell me how to do it.” Alana said, busily multitasking.
She didn’t want to read all the way through Empowered by Empathy. And she certainly didn’t want to buy it. Alana wanted to be given the super-quick version.
Becoming skilled as an empath can be moderately fast, but it won’t be instant. Here are the different skills, broken down step-by-step. Why does each step matter? And how long does it take to master.
Step 1: Bird Watching for Empaths.
It’s important to learn the names for different empath gifts. How are they defined? What are their names? How would you recognize someone who has Emotional Oneness versus a Crystal Empath?
Personally, you may find it easier to log the empaths than to log birds, as a birdwatcher. One plus is that people are generally larger than birds. Still, the recognition factor isn’t instantaneous.
Why it matters: Most people in the world have not had a single intelligent conversation, yet, about what it means to be an empath. Most people have no clue, other than some vague notions.
How long it takes to master this skill (approximately): Less than one hour, unless you are multitasking like Alana. Knowledge retention is permanent, like any set of new concepts that you make your own.
Step 2: Watching for More
After you have learned to identify different empath gifts, your next step is to define them with more nuance and greater compassion.
If you were a bird watcher, you might begin by distinguishing a yellow bird from a blue one. You might be able to name a “Chickadee.” But you would still need to flesh out the definition.
- How does the birdcall sound? (What fun to recognize that “Chicadee, chickadee, chickadee-dee-dee.”)
- How does a chickadee fly?
Even for the sake of making entries in your bird log, you would benefit by knowing more than one simple label. A simple name like “Chickadee” isn’t terribly informative, is it?
Why it matters: Empathic gifts are mixed blessings, until used with skill. The way I define them, every one of these gifts has some wonderful aspects. Yet there are inconveniences. To connect both sides of the story, you will need to own a fuller definition, not just a quick label.
Simple example: Physical Oneness is the empathic gift where you effortlessly receive information about what happens to another person’s body. Without skill, you may be perceived as a hypochondriac.
How long it takes to master this skill (approximately): You might do this in one hour, too. It might even be the same hour as learning Step 1. Developmentally, however, Step 2 is significant, so give yourself credit.
Knowledge retention may take extra time. For days or weeks, you may find yourself going aha! Observing other people and yourself, things that used to annoy you will be understood with a new perspective.
Step 3: Who Isn’t an Empath?
Why it matters: Unskilled empaths can’t tell the difference: We assume that everyone is, to some degree, “just like me.”
Being able to tell who isn’t an empath–and who is — and which kind of empath–this matters a lot when you start out.
But after you have progressed further as a Skilled Empath, it will stop being terribly important.
By analogy, do you remember back to your first math classes? Maybe your kindergarten teacher had you handle pennies, as you learned to count and add and subtract. Do you still need to count out those pennies?
How long it takes to master this skill (approximately): Oh, you might be in shock for years. But probably you can master this step in a few hours or a day.
It can be hard to tell who is an empath. Behavior won’t necessarily show you. Way later, when you have mastered Step 7, you will be able to do a Skilled Empath Merge aura and find out for sure.
Step 4: Self-Knowledge as an Empath
Once you understand the different empathic skills, you are in a position to figure out which one(s) you have. You also can re-evaluate life events, both good and bad.
Why it matters: Changing your life requires personal aha! experiences, not mere theoretical concepts. Back at the bird-watching example, Step 4 corresponds to finding out that all along you have been a chickadee.
How long it takes to master this skill (approximately): Some Aha!s will come right away. Others may take years. What matters here isn’t mastery so much as that you are starting to make certain important distinctions.
Knowledge brings self-compassion, forgiveness, and more. In the words of that marvelous writer Marcy Calhoun, “Are You Really Too Sensitive?” In the words of Rose, “No, but you may need some training to balance your sensitivity with your other strengths.”
Step 5: Use consciousness to Turn Your Empath Gift(s) OFF
Empaths can have a lot of resistance to turning their gift(s) off. In Empowered by Empathy, I do what I can to motivate readers. In workshops, we have discussions as needed.
Why it matters: Unless you are willing to experiment with turning your gift(s) off, you cannot become a Skilled Empath.
How long it takes to master this skill (approximately): Most people can’t wait. Once they are presented with the notion that gifts can be turned off, they are totally ready to learn how.
Still, some people need a lot of hand holding. They need to explore the psychological and social aspects of self-protection, learn about boundaries, etc. In my opinion, this kind of “work” is not going to help an empath significantly. Sorry. Why do I think this?
Anyway, knowledge of Step 5 goes along with Step 6, and can be developed simultaneously.
Step 6: Use Consciousness to Your Empath Gift(s) ON
A simple definition of consciousness is “Being awake inside.” You can direct that inner awakeness very easily, once you have an inner Aha! about who you are as a knower. Understanding the role of consciousness is required to proceed further in your training as an empath.
Not to worry, I’m not saying that you must walk around in a cosmic state of enlightenment. Having served as a spiritual teacher since 1970, I can tell you that regular people do much better with consciousness now. World events may sometimes be distressing but I can assure you that humanity is evolving spiritually at a very rapid pace.
Why it matters: Until you are ready to use your awareness as a tool, you cannot become a really Skilled Empath. Instead you may gain a fair amount of psychological knowledge, e.g., You might practice watching behavior in a detached manner or otherwise use variations on the everyday waking state of consciousness.
Once you start really using your consciousness, however, you can achieve great results: Empath gifts are turned off or on with consciousness.
How long it takes to master this skill (approximately): You may already have become aware of your consciousness through previous experiences with meditation, mindfulness exercises, classes in psychic development.
If you understand the difference between consciousness (experiences that show in your third eye chakra) versus ideas about things, including consciousness (which I read off the solar plexus chakra), then you have a head start with Step 6.
Some people aren’t ready yet. If that is your situation, not to worry. You could be just as evolved spiritually (even more evolved spiritually) than some people who have done spiritual exercise for years.
Knowledge varies, like the gas mileage you get with your car. Agreeing to use your consciousness is plenty, in terms of Step 6. But if you get stuck on Steps 7 and more, you might need some help. One resource is my personal sessions, which can include a “Third eye opening.”
Step 7: Do advanced exercises with your consciousness
Techniques in Empowered by Empathy to turn your Empath gift(s) OFF include “Coming Home,” the “First Aid Affirmations” and experimenting with how you “Hold a Space.”
Become The Most Important Person in the Room: Your 30-Day Plan for Empath Empowerment offers… a simple plan, where you read one short chapter per day and then have about 10 minutes of homework.
Why it matters: No matter which gift(s) you have as an empath, only consciousness can really turn your empathy off.
How long it takes to master this skill (approximately): Many of my students have full results instantly. Others have full results more gradually. Others have less impressive results because they aren’t doing the techniques.
I should mention that the techniques are neither instant nor obvious (nor difficult). But there are plenty of people like Alana, who want to become a Skilled Empath… only if it takes five minutes or less.
Knowledge retention depends on two things.
- Learning how to do the techniques at Step 7: You may go through a learning curve, but every bit of learning is delightful, and the results will encourage you.
The state of your mind-body-spirit system: This is the other variable. Pain, fear, etc., lodged in a person’s aura can temporarily limit results. No worries!
I offer other aspects of Aura Healing and Transformation, as well. Plus there are also some other healers out there, as you may have noticed!
Step 8: Accepting yourself as a human being.
Grounding matters, and Chapter 13 of Empowered by Empathy brings a perspective on grounding that readers rave about. Basically, grounding means having a good, strong connection to objective reality.
Accepting yourself also means being able to make contact with yourself as a person in many ways: Body, mind, intellect, emotions, soul, and spirit.
Why it matters: Empathic skills help you accept yourself. Then, with more self-acceptance empathic skill grows. Please, think of it as a healing cycle, not a catch 22. (I could certainly help you if you get stock on either side of this cycle and, again, there are other resources as well.)
How long it takes to master this skill (approximately): Must you have to accept yourself perfectly to accomplish Step 8 as an empath? Are you kidding? Remember, the context for this self-acceptance is consciousness, not psychological analysis. Step 8 is one of the most life-changing aspects of becoming a Skilled Empath.
Knowledge develops over time. This is really juicy knowledge about me-me-me. You won’t get tired of it, I can guarantee. For assists along the way, I recommend Let Today Be a Holiday and Cut Cords of Attachment. You might also enjoy doing Aura Reading Research into what Thrills Your Soul.
Step 9: Use consciousness to turn gifts on, purposely
Skilled Empaths don’t just ooze into having their empath gifts turned on. This isn’t smart, any more than it is smart to ooze in and out of aura reading or psychic research or healing people or anything else really powerful that can be done with human consciousness.
Why it matters: If you are wired as an empath, you can effortlessly do empathic merges, full force, with a huge (though abstract) experience of otherness. Interested in service to others? Interested in learning? Then learn to turn your empathy on, safely and purposely and purposefully.
I do call it “The biggest fun you can have with your clothes on.”
How long it takes to master this skill (approximately): I have developed techniques to jet-propel you into turning your empath gift(s) on big-time.
Most empaths have results right from the very first time doing any one of these techniques. But experiences do develop over time, with more intensity, more joy, more service, more knowledge.
Should there be a glitch, reread what it said at Step 7 about “The state of your mind-body-spirit system.”
Knowledge that you gain by turning your gift(s) on can be a major thrill for your soul. (When you get to Step 9, send me an email, if you are so inclined, at rose[at]rose-rosetree.com. I would love to hear your success story.)
Step 10: Develop the Lifestyle of a Skilled Empath
Yes, being a Skilled Empath is a way of life. Basically, you turn your gift(s) off most of the time and then, sometimes, turn them on full force. Throughout all of this, you keep your life in balance.
Why it matters: No longer do you pick up people’s pain unnecessarily (and usually unconsciously). No longer does that pain get stuck in your aura, limiting your life (even if you aren’t aware of the full extent of this consciously). No longer does your empathic feel like a hardship. It is sheer delight. And your service to others can really move forward.
How long it takes to master this skill (approximately): As soon as you have experienced Steps 1-9, you will own the basics. Greater mastery comes with free will, refinement, and each day’s fascinating discoveries.