Today I am interviewing Julianna
Muthu, Shamanic Counselor, Energy Healer and Mystic. It is through Julianna
that I have gathered some of the information in my soon-to-be-published book,
"My Spirit, My Journey-A Beginners Guide: How To Discover, Decide, And
Delight In Your Spiritual Journey".
Julianna, tell us about your first
memory of empathic feelings.
Great question. Before I even
answer that, I think its important to clarify the difference between “empathy”
and being an “empath”. Thanks to Caroline Van Kimmenade for her clear
When we experience empathy, we are
able to “relate” to the experience or situation of another.
As an empath, we shift into more psychic experiences called
clairsentience - “clear feeling.” An empath senses or feels the
information she receives, rather than thinks her way through.
The clearest experience I had of
understanding myself as one who feels the emotions of others was when I
was having dinner with a friend who was sharing about a recent breakup. I felt
a pain in my heart that I was clear was her pain, not mine. Or, at least, my
interpretation of her pain.
We must be very discerning in our
interpretations of our feelings as empaths; My body will speak to me in a
way that has meaning for me that I have had to discover. It is important
to be very careful about interpreting what we are feeling, and putting that on
another person. Just because my heart was hurting, didn't necessarily mean that
my friend's heart was hurting, it may only mean there is high probability
that some part of her was hurting about this breakup. What I can say for sure
is I experienced a pain in my heart that wasn’t mine.
So you were able to tell right away
that it wasn't your feeling, it was hers?
Did it take you by surprise?
It really did. In fact, I think had
I not had some previous awareness through reading or listening to other people
or some basic understanding that this was possible, I think I would have
thought I was having a heart attack.
It was momentary, but it was sharp
and intense. I think I could have gone into a place of fear if I hadn't had
some understanding of what was occurring.
"I couldn't differentiate what was mine and what was somebody else's."
It was the very first clear
experience I had of feeling something that was not mine. I had grown
up in a family with a lot of people so there was just so much happening, I
couldn't differentiate what was mine and what was somebody else's. This was my
very first experience of understanding that all I was feeling wasn’t just me!
An astrologer looking at my natal
chart validated for me I had this level of sensitivity and that it was
imperative I develop what she called at the time "psychic
boundaries". I didn't understand what any of that meant, but I felt
the resonance of truth in what she was saying.
When a similar situation happened
to me, I was just overcome with emotion. I didn't know why, because I wasn't
sad, but all of a sudden I just had all this..."stuff"-I was filled
with it. I didn't know what it was, or what I was supposed to do with it, or
how to get rid of it...
The way I understand what you're
saying is that you're also a ground for the expression and movement of that
emotion. That's a lot of what empaths do as well. There's a lot of people who
don't have a clear relationship with their feelings and emotional bodies. Those
of us who are empaths will become the grounding rod for it.
It does take us by surprise unless
we understand that this is possible. It is surprising because we recognize
"Wow, I'm not actually feeling sad but I have all this sadness moving
through me" and so to come into an understanding of that and cultivating
your compassionate heart is really a big piece of understanding that you're the
container, you're kind of a gift, an offering to this person and that in the
moment you can really feel your feet on the ground. The energy needs to be able
to flow. That is what it is seeking, a place to flow. If you are a
path of least resistance and you are standing next to someone who is resisting
feeling, you very well may become the conduit for the flow of that energy, that
feeling or emotion.
As an empath, differentiation is
imperative. We must have some understanding of our own wounds and
vulnerabilities, and the idea of projection. Were you an empath for
another’s unfelt feelings, or did what was being said, light up your own tender
vulnerabilities and hurts? It is imperative one develops an understanding
of their own inner emotional geography and have tools to do the clearing and
healing that is required. It takes training to become a clear empath, to clear
your own channels so one can differentiate what is theirs, what is another’s,
and notice when something gets stuck and have the tools in place to clear your
own energy and physical body.
"Emotion wants to move..."
You can be a very supportive tool
when someone is dealing with a lot of energy themselves, or dealing with a lot
of energy in response to somebody. Breathing into my heart, feeling my feet on
the ground and just breathing. Emotion wants to move, and when we don't acknowledge
it, it gets stuck and jammed up. So people who are empaths are going to be the
ones who are helping it move.
Please explain about breathing
through your heart.
What I mean about breathing through
the heart is simply putting my intention
on my heart and breathing. I
can sit here right now and put my attention
on my nostrils and I might
feel the sensation of the air moving in and out. What does that feel like? Does
it feel warm? Maybe I open my mouth and feel the sensation of that. When I'm
with somebody or in a situation where there's a lot of energy and a lot of
emotion, I simply put my intention
into my heart. And put my intention
of moving my breath in and out of my heart. And that's really it. So I might be
more aware of that part of my body that moves with each breath. It is kind of
holding dual awareness. I'm listening to the person, I am also feeling an
intensity in the environment of one sort or another. Could be my own-I could
just be reacting to somebody so that I'm doing it for myself. Ultimately,
that's what you're doing.
We go to people who call themselves
healers-certainly for support, but it's really up to us to show up and do our
own healing. When in a situation where's there's an intensity of emotion, it
could be mine, and it could be that I'm in service to this other person, I
don't always necessarily know and I don't need to know. But I am feeling
something so I need to feel my feet on the ground and put my attention
into my heart and feel my breath moving in and out of that heart space.
Do you find the more you work at
this it gets easier or is it a case by case basis sometimes being easier and
sometimes more difficult?
It absolutely does get easier. For
me, that's where meditation and the journey process comes into play.
At times I may have what one of my
wonderful teachers calls "resi-do-do" (and I think we can all imagine
what that means). If I've had an interaction with someone and I go home
and I'm perseverating about it or I have stories in my mind or judgments,
like "Oh, I wish they would have done 'this'", or "I wish they
wouldn't have done 'that'", that kind of thing is a story that I'm going
into. That, to me, that's "resi-do-do". That's where I find
having a meditation practice, or a journey practice or some relationship with
guidance or spirit, helps me then tend to that-clear it, or see what it's
pointing to so that I can have a different understanding of it.
"I think that's the piece that's really valuable, is we don't have to know."
When I had that experience of
feeling my friend's feelings that hurt my heart, I wasn't coaching at the time.
I didn't know what to call what I was experiencing. But I had an
understanding that it ran me, and that there was an invitation there for deeper
understanding, so I was curious. I think that's the piece that's really
valuable, is we don't have to know. We're not going to know everything.
What are we curious about? Follow
the path of curiosity that has you wanting to move forward and understand
things more deeply. Because when we do that, there's something called
providence-I love that word! Providence
steps into that place of curiosity and points you to the places you need to go
in order to understand what you are wanting to understand.
Neither my coach nor I knew what
that was, or what to call it, there wasn't a language at the time we knew of,
but I had this very clear pure experience and so I could ask friends. I shared
with a very good friend and she said, "Oh, you might want to check out
this school". I checked it out and it resonated. I had some judgments
about the name. I wasn't prepared to understand psychic energy, being that I
had a lot of fears around the idea of “psychic”. Part of me wanted to
just pooh-pooh it, but when I looked at the courses they were offering, it
They were teaching me tools to
clear my energetic body of anybody's energy that wasn't natively mine. I love
the tools! I don't know why, but I'd visualize the Tasmanian Devil character
spinning around my energy field picking up everything that wasn't natively
mine. I will still use that tool if I've gone to a place where I've picked up a
lot of psychic residue. It doesn't happen so frequently anymore, but if it
does, I still will use that tool.
"I call all of my energy back to me whole and complete."
Sometimes when I would travel, I
was leaving energetic parts of myself places. I didn't know I was doing this.
So what I learned to do was call back all my energy to me whole and complete.
It's such a beautiful thing to say-"I call all of my energy back to me
whole and complete." My whole body just wants to take a deep breath, you
know. I'm calling all of my energy back to me whole and complete.
As an empath, you really are often
a conduit for feelings and emotions, found in people and in spaces.
And you don’t usually have control over when this channel of
perception gets turned on. You just have to be able to flow with it and
find tools that assist you staying grounded and centered.
Cultivating the element of
compassion is also very important. I think that we can sometimes help by just
stopping and asking "Are you OK?". Or tuning within and asking,
"What is wisdom here right now?" For me to just be quiet and
breathe through my heart or to go a little deeper with this person? It
depends on the relationship and if appropriate saying, "Wow, I'm
really aware of feeling this in my body right now, Are you OK?"
Thank you, Julianna, for sharing
your experience and knowledge! It's been a pleasure.
To learn more about Julianna, visit
her website, JuliannaMuthu.com.