woensdag 6 januari 2010

Book Review: Empowered by Empathy

Reviewed by Cynthia Yockey

If you are aware that your empathy whether for people, animals, the environment, or whatever overwhelms you from time to time, by showing you how to harness your ability so it does not run off with you, Rose Rosetree's latest book, Empowered by Empathy: 25 Ways to Fly in Spirit, could save your life.

Definitely it will provide you with the knowledge you need to understand and unfold your gift. Even if you believe you are a very advanced empath, I assure you that Rosetree has a thing or three to add that not only will accelerate the growth of your abilities, but also increase your stability and joy in the process. And perhaps best of all, Rosetree s book gently and skillfully guides those who simply feel drawn to the concept of empathy through the underlying concepts of recognizing their own empathic strengths and then provides exercises to help them unfold their abilities.

In a nutshell, Empowered by Empathy describes ethical ways to connect with others while maintaining your own boundaries and staying grounded. Miracles ensue, as I shall explain. If Empowered by Empathy were a pop psych book, it would plod through types of people and describe how to recognize each one, with tips on how to cope with each type as a spouse, child, boss or employee.

Instead, startlingly and delightfully, Rosetree begins by turning the telescope around and defining types of empaths (!). With guidelines and little tests, she helps the reader sort out his or her own type(s) of empathy to very fine, very real, and very important levels of distinction.

For example, in the chapter, Your Gifts for Empathy, Rosetree distinguishes between intuition and oneness. Thus there isn't a broad category of physical empathy; instead Rose explains that the physical intuition form of empathy involves knowing what someone else's body is feeling, while physical oneness is feeling their feelings in your body (i.e., when you put your attention on someone with a stomach ache, you feel your stomach start to hurt).

Obviously it can be crazy-making to have feelings flood into you from others with no conceptual framework or off button, so many readers will find enormous validation in having their experiences explained to them, probably for the first time.

And more readers will find the validation of knowing for the first time that others share their experiences. They will gain the confidence to see more powerfully what they have already been seeing. For example, one aha! came for me when Rosetree described how the faces of people and animals change in your perception as you come to know them. I have known this for a long time, but it never occurred to me to say much about it because no one else seemed to notice the phenomenon. Now I feel certain I will be able to see even more deeply into how this is so.

Rosetree explains both common and rare types of empathy along with ways to recognize which of these abilities match yours. Common types of empathy include physical intuition, physical oneness, emotional intuition and emotional oneness. Less common are intellectual shape shifting, the ability to follow the maze of someone else's thought process, and spiritual oneness, the ability to experience how it is to be a completely different person. (I'd like to see intellectual shape shifting get a more accurate name consistent with the others, like intellectual intuition. ) Rare forms of empathy are molecular empathy (too hard to summarize), animal empathy, medical intuitives, gardening empaths, crystal empaths, and environmental empaths. --Pathways Magazine Fall, 2004

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