How to Protect Your Energy with Dr. Judith Orloff’s Empath Survival Guide [Episode #733]
This week’s topic is: How to Protect Your Energy with Dr. Judith Orloff’s Empath Survival Guide
I am so excited to have my very special guest, Judith Orloff, who is a NY Times best selling author, a psychiatrist, an empath, and is on the UCLA Psychiatric Clinical Faculty. Listen in as she shares how empathic abilities are developed, boundaries and tips to find balance in the self versus with others, when you are in your power and what to do when others drain you, and so much more!
The definition of being an empath…
How empathic abilities are developed…
Boundaries and tips on how to balance self-care and care for others…
When you are in your power as an empath…
Distinguishing thoughts and feelings as an empath…
What to do when others drain you…
Weight and health in relation to being an empath…
About Judith Orloff
Judith Orloff, MD is the New York Times best-selling author of The Empath’s Survival Guide and Affirmations for Empaths. Her latest book Thriving as an Empath offers daily self-care tools for sensitive people along with its companion The Empath’s Empowerment Journal. Dr. Orloff is a psychiatrist, an empath, and is on the UCLA Psychiatric Clinical Faculty. She synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality.
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Note: The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate. This is due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
Kimberly:: Namaste loves and welcome back to our Monday interview podcast. I have a very special and very interesting show for you today with our guest, Dr. Judith Orloff. She is an incredible psychiatrist. She is the New York Times bestselling author of many books. The Empath Survival Guide is one of them. And she has been featured on Oprah. The Today Show, many different outlets. She is also called the Godmother of the Empath Movement, which is really coining this term around highly sensitive people that can get drained by different energies and this more intuitive way of being. And so I actually talk, I took Dr. Orloff’s quiz and realized that according to her work and her research, I am an empath myself. So I think you’ll be really interested in the show today. Chances are you may be an empath if you’re in our community or you may have an empath in your life. And today we talk about self care. We talk about healthy boundaries. We talk about many different aspects of this fascinating field. So I’m very excited to get into our show today with Dr. Orloff.
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Kimberly: 01:52 Thank you so much Dr. Orloff for being here with me today. I am very excited to talk about this whole topic that you’ve covered so much in your fabulous books, Empath, which isn’t even a term that I knew about a few years ago, but I went on your site and I took your self-assessment quiz, the 20 questions, and I think it was over 15. You’re, you’re really an empath and I scored a 12. So I’m somewhat of an empath as you mentioned. And I always thought about myself as being more introverted sensitive, but I didn’t really know about this whole classification, this whole way of self-exploration. So can you give us a broad stroke overview, Dr. Orloff, what is really the definition of being an empath? And I know you’re called the godmother of the empath world. Is this a term that has been talked about a long time or is this something you stumbled upon in your work?
The definition of being an empath
Judith: 02:58 Well, I’ve actually actually been writing about it for a really long time, but it was also on Star Trek where they had Deanna Troy who was an empath actually. She was really wonderful. I always loved watching her <laugh> quite a few years ago. And so somebody, I’m an empath psychiatrist with a practice in Los Angeles and I combine my empathic abilities with my connection to traditional medicine and everything. I’ve learned traditional medicine along with being an empath. And empath is somebody who is very sensitive and intuitive and loving and generally giving, but tends to take on the sense of the world into their own body, like an emotional sponge. And so they can tend to get stimulated, exhausted, too much coming at you too fast if they don’t practice the self care techniques that I teach in the Empath survival guide. So you need to learn the self care to take care of some of the challenges of being an empath.
Judith: You feel like a wire without installation in the world and it’s really, it’s too much. But if you learn how to meditate, how to set clear boundaries, how to visualize being in a bubble how to protect yourself from negative, draining people so you don’t try and help everyone or take on the suffer of the world. Those are the challenges. The beautiful part of being and which is the beautiful part of being <inaudible> is learning how to deal with the challenges, but learning how to develop your intuition deeply, connect to people, connect to nature, water the moon, the earth know Yes universe. Having that global cosmic connection is something we do know how to do that.
Kimberly: 04:59 Yes. Also, why are you saying doctor, that some people are really just born being this more sensitively attuned human, It’s not. Or we can all develop more intuition and more empathic abilities or is there really a category if you’re an empath or you’re not, would you say.
How empathic abilities are developed
Judith: 05:17 Yes, there actually is and people to be born in. I seen little babies, they come out and you can tell how sensitive they are. They put their little hands up and they’re feeling the energy of the world with their hands and it’s just so sweet. So people can be born with that sensitivity. Others, if they have a lot of trauma in their early childhood can be brought out by just battering down all their defenses because of, if you were raised by alcoholic or narciss defense, it can really batter a non empath to become an empath. Cause it takes away all your defenses. So you’re very open and you’re kind of stripped bare without the nurturing. Yeah.
Kimberly: 06:03 Have you seen doctor in your work any sort of crossover? I come from a lot of umic tradition yoga tradition where we talk about the divine feminine, the non-linear, the accepting. In the Dow day they talk about this real nurturing quality of the feminine energy. Is it people that have more of that energy are more empathic or it’s not so direct? The correlation
Judith: 06:30 I think direct. But what it’s interesting is I have a group on Facebook, it’s called Support Community and there’s about 22,000 MPAs on there. Wow. Yeah, no it’s great. Oh my gosh. But they’re mainly, it’s interesting, they’re mainly women who often, and they wonder if there are any men in this group. And so the women ask, Are you men out there? And then they all answer. They say, Yeah, we’re listening, we’re taking it in. We feel ashamed to express our sensitivity. We were put down as children, we were bullied being a crybaby or being the boy who doesn’t wanna go on the football team or do video. So they’re, a lot of men are, not all but a lot are very reluctant to come out in public about their sensitivities. Even now the women are just out there talking about it as a group. And the men are much more reluctant, much more thoughtful, careful. And they all appreciate the candidness of all the women, but they don’t share as much.
Kimberly: 07:36 Do you think it’s because in our culture is being seen as sensitive, could be seen as perhaps a weakness or more susceptible to other people
Judith: 07:46 Or they’re not masculine? Right. Overly feminized, which isn’t true. You want people, women and men who have a masculine have a balanced fem. You don’t need somebody who’s hyper feminized or hyper. If we tap into all the energies in our body, we can be both at various times. And with the moon and the feminine energy and as you said in your V tradition, the feminine is very radiant. The feminine is connect to everything. Without that rigidity, it’s more of a flowing, radiant energy. I always love the video of the sperm and the egg to show the difference between the masculine and the feminine. The sperm, it’s just swimming, swimming, swimming, aggressive and millions of them trying to compete with <inaudible>. And so it gets to this loom and this white egg just kinda radiating there. And then finally one sperm penetrates the egg and gets dissolved in the egg and the life is formed. But that fear, so many fears that maybe some man had being absorbed in the feminine might not.
Kimberly: 09:02 Wow, I’ve never heard of it described that way. That’s really beautiful. This oneness that comes and then the feminine is there. Accepting, just allowing, Receiving. So in your work doctor, there’s like this aspect of we’re taking in, we wanna be caregivers, we wanna be nurturing, but you use the word boundaries, which I think a lot of us struggle with. I know I struggled with it and I don’t know if being empath is related at all to being a perfectionist. I think I saw that in some of the writing here was thriving as an empath. But this idea that boundaries can feel really blurry between us and how we care for others and self care. Can you explain a little bit about that as an empath? Some of the tips we can give.
Boundaries and tips on how to balance self-care and care for others
Judith: 09:53 It’s very important that you set boundaries in this. Well on this book you probably won’t see it but anyways, it’s called affirmation empath. And there are many boundaries. One of the affirmations I love find that I don’t have to be constantly on call for friends in need is a form of self care. That’s a boundary. Knowing that I don’t have constantly on call for friends in need is a form of self care because MPAs are on call for everybody,
Kimberly: 10:27 Right?
Judith: 10:28 Well they don’t know anyone they’re on call for and it’s not healthy and they’ll never have a happy life as an empath because they won’t build or restore their own energy, which is important. But
Kimberly: 10:44 Then how do we know the line doctor? This word balance, I notice you use a lot in your affirmations for empath’s, books book and the other one, this balance, how do we know if we’re an empath, if we’re balanced, if we’re giving too much or not giving enough? Because naturally we’re more caring people. How do we know
Judith: 11:05 If your energy feels good?
Kimberly: 11:07 Okay, so it’s a feeling, it’s like a checking. It’s an intuitive qualitative analysis.
Judith: 11:15 If you’re exhausted and you dread the phone ringing, cuz as you had another friend with a problem. But if you’re feeling good and you’re feeling able to not pick up that call because you want some quiet time, call back later. S don’t have to be on call that very minute I answer the phone right away, answer text. And MPAs have to learn not to do that and to really learn to do other things rather than take care of people all the time.
Kimberly: 11:47 And so one of the things you talked about, and I know this one is thriving is an empath, this concept of mirror neurons. And so what do we do doctor? If we have had a traumatic childhood or we’ve witnessed, we’ve taken on different things do you think we have to process all of that and sort of see the patterns? Or do we just decide today, okay I had all these things happen, I’m sensitive, but here are the tools that I can use today.
Judith: 12:16 Probably both.
Kimberly: 12:18 A bit of processing, understanding more.
Judith: 12:21 It’s having a lot of understanding and compassion for the suffering that might have motivated the parents that were traumatizing.
Kimberly: 12:31 Yeah,
Judith: 12:32 It’s not forgiving them for any abuse or anything like that, but it’s having compassion for yourself and also seeing if you believe in destiny. Is there a destiny to why we have certain parents believe, Right? Spouses do you believe in the integrity of life? I mean no one in the right mind would ever choose certain parents. And I know many of my empathic patients have horrible parents. Oh my god, really unfit for parenting. And yet these were their parents. So what do you do with that? You learn and grow from everything. Some people are darker teachers, more difficult. But what I’ve seen difficult parents teach my patients eventually is to how to come into their own beauty and have uniqueness.
13:27 They’re not their parents and they don’t have to identify with them and it’s have, so it’s a process of letting go and coming into your power. That’s what you don’t wanna do is give your power away to these parents who are narcissistic, alcoholic. You don’t wanna do that. You need to come into your own power as an empath, as a sensitive, loving woman and man who’s proud of yourself, who might have had unfit parents. In my book Thriving as an empath, there’s me where I say to you, I am on behalf of all the people who ever hurt you. I’m sorry you were hurt. I’m sorry there was no one there to advocate for you. I’m sorry that you had to go through that and that I, I’m sorry. And please forgive me. No on behalf of the mother that was absentee and the father who was Abu on behalf people, I apologize for them cuz somebody has to
Kimberly: 14:38 Right? <affirmative> <affirmative>. Wow. When you talk about taking back your power doctor, is it, it’s such a powerful term, but sometimes we say, well what does that mean? Does it mean we’re not living in the past? We’re not replaying these patterns. Does it mean we’re using our voice? Does it mean we’re keeping healthy boundaries? How would you say we are in our power as an empath
When you are in your power as an empath
Judith: 15:05 Standing up, Look at your posture. That’s
Kimberly: 15:09 A good place to start. How gets
Judith: 15:12 Right
Kimberly: 15:13 Up a little here. Yeah, exactly. <laugh>,
Judith: 15:15 Are you standing up straight? Are you reaching up to the sky? Are you feeling the connection with the earth in the heavens? How are you doing with that? Are you breathing or are you holding your breath shallowly? Are your eyes open? Do you really see Yeah. Are you able to say no to what’s unhealthy to you? These are all steps for mpa. Fatigue factor or I’m sorry, I can’t talk to you today and you need to go to a therapist. I said yes, here’s a good therapist to go to cuz I’m not the therapist to talk to. If you’re the friend, you say that.
Kimberly: 16:01 Yeah. So it kind of feels like you’re talking also about self care, really just knowing your limits. Knowing your needs. But also it sounds like when you can see out of your eyes are you connected to the earth, there’s this sense of aliveness. We’re here, we’re not just kind of crawling through life, but there’s a worthiness. I deserve to be here ness,
Judith: 16:26 There’s a worthiness and there’s being in the now, I know so many of us have talked about that, but it truly is your powers. And now us being together here on your podcast Emily, us, we’re all we, yes universe now you and I talking. And to be a hundred percent with that, it’s really fun. It’s really empowering to do that. To not be thinking about whatever else. A lot of things are happening today but you’re not thinking about them and you’re with me and that’s power and that’s being in your power is simply being in the know. But you lose your power if you get into sharing about the future or making up stories, which many people do scary stories about, well what if you know, right? Or drifting in the past and getting mesmerized by the trauma of the past. You don’t wanna do that either. You wanna work with it but you don’t wanna keep thinking about it.
Kimberly: 17:26 Do you think doctor, that is an empath, an emotion that a lot of empaths are holding? Is it sadness? Is it anger that’s not processed? If you would say there’s like emotions inside that keep us from creating those healthy boundaries and just relationships. What do you think is what some of the common sort of energies or is it all across the board?
Judith: 17:50 No, I think each person has one of a specific thing more than other people. Some people might have anger and rage more than depression. It just depends what you’re given in this life. And emotions are energy. So impasse to learn how to work with the emotions. So you learn how to bring yourself back to center with them or you’re not just swirling all around or you’re not sinking or you’re not just depressed all the time. I wrote a book called Emotional Freedom <affirmative>, which chapter is devoted to transforming a different emotions. So if you have a lot of depression, go to transforming depression chapter. If you have a lot of frustration, you can go to the frustration chapter. But it’s a program to deal with emotions specifically and learn how to work with them as energy and transform them. But it take the mindfulness and it takes some desire to do that. So if you look inside yourself really and say what is the main emotion that I have maybe towards my past, You can start with that one. Oh
Kimberly: 19:01 Yeah,
Judith: 19:02 Just start and don’t do more than one at once. It’s too much. Really spend some time with the energy of one emotion and learning how to transform it rather than getting stuck in it.
Kimberly: 19:15 Well I like how you say this word transform transformation because this is energy, right Doctor, It’s not static. It’s doesn’t have to be this unmovable thing. We can shift it, we can move it out of our bodies, we can work with it. So that’s exciting.
Judith: 19:38 You can get help too to work with it. You don’t have to do it alone. Sometimes you need to have the support of a therapist or a coach or a body worker or something to help you along. And one of my wonderful points is that I know how to reach out to get help when I need it. So I’ve had so many helpers over the years in my life as an empath to clear emotions from my body so they don’t stick around. So I’m able to be present so I’m not carrying around all this baggage from the past. And body work is very useful with that. And sometimes along with talking and insight work and even energy work, if you get somebody to work on your body and push those tense muscles. Yeah. See what’s in there is I, I’ve had memories from 10 years ago, come up with somebody working on a particular part of my body because wow, we hold past experiences and energies in our bodies. So the actual body work is very useful in the release process. If you want, you’re in empath and you wanna free up old traumas, whatever has happened. I mean one time was in Turkey stuck in this horrible traffic jam and I was getting some body work done and suddenly out of the blue I remembered the frustration of being stuck in that horrible traffic. The other, Where did that come from? I’m not thinking about it. It just suddenly bam. And then thank goodness cuz then it gets released.
Kimberly: 21:18 So funny about that doctor, I had similar experiences when I was constipated for years and I started doing cleansing and I did a couple colons and I remember the second one I did all this physical matter came out, but then I sat in the therapist’s office for an hour and I was crying and it was just like all this stuff had been encrypted somehow in this material. So then I started cleansing. What I found is that it could release a lot but then it gets to a point where you kind of deal with things and patterns. But a lot of the old stuff has left. Do you see that in your work doctor where it’s like where’s the balance of we keep trying to release or do body work and get rid of all the old stuff versus some of it is just dated moment to moment decisions and choices we make in our behavior.
Judith: 22:11 Right. Well one main theme I work with on my patients, my stress in my books is learning to tune into your intuition.
Kimberly: 22:18 Yes, I love this.
Judith: 22:19 Listen to your gut feeling when a process that’s coming to an end, you feel it winding down. So it would be overkill to keep doing that same therapeutic when you’ve released whatever you need to release, at least for that moment. So you say thank you complete and you’ve stopped that particular therapy. You don’t go on forever with these therapies, it’s just to help you to a certain point. But you always listen to your intuition and your body and empath are so good at that. Just saying how does this feel? Does it feel like I’m forcing myself to go, do I need now or do I really feel like I need it? Is it really helping me? So with any relationship you have to really ask yourself that how relationships last forever.
Kimberly: 23:09 Well one thing we talk about in the community here, doctor, is really distinguishing thoughts and feelings. And sometimes people have a lot of trouble with that. Would you say the empaths are more like, Yes, this is how I feel and if we’re a little bit more linear we don’t really know if it’s coming from the head or the heart. Do you feel find that and is that a skill we can really learn even if we’re not an empath?
Distinguishing thoughts and feelings as an empath
Judith: 23:33 <affirmative>? Yes. It’s very important to know the difference between the head and the heart. Because the head can be a torture chamber.
Kimberly: 23:39 Yes,
Judith: 23:39 You get stuck up there and many empaths get stuck. If they have a lot of fear, the thoughts go around, you’re not good enough, you’ll never be healthy, you’ll never find a part, you won’t ever have friends, you’re gonna be alone. I mean whatever. You’re gonna be sick, you’re gonna be poor, whatever your things is gonna go round and round and round like a old tape that keeps repeating at least what it’s gonna say. But those are thoughts.
Judith: 23:39 24:14 The heart doesn’t ever do that. The heart is compassionate, the heart, heart, there’s a particular thoughts are more concrete and linear and they’re wonderful. I mean I’m a psychiatrist. I went through 14 years of medical training. I love my mind, my analytic mind. I just really love playing in that area too. But it’s not the answer. If you wanna have empathy, if you really wanna change the world or change your relationships, if you are gonna have empathy, you have to learn to see people with your heart, not just your mind. It won’t work cause you have too many judgments in your mind. This person is, yeah, let’s say you have a neurodiverse person and you make a judgment. This person, I don’t wanna be around this person. I’m uncomfortable with the way they’re thinking. That’s not really great because it doesn’t matter if somebody’s not being verbal. You could connect to your heart, you know could connect. How do I feel around this person? How can I share energy with this now? How can I listen?
Kimberly: 25:21 Yeah,
Judith: 25:22 My heart instead of my judgmental mind. So the heart doesn’t judge like that. The heart goes, oh I see this person the whole picture here and this is a beautiful soul. They might not communicate like I do, but it’s matter really. It just matters If you wanna connect and give some good energy out to them,
Kimberly: 25:48 <laugh>. So what do we do? Let’s say that. That sounds so beautiful to me doctor and I love being in the heart. But what are some of the more specific tips we can say if the heart is too wide open? Like you said, you use this term energy vampires and narcissists in your work. So we’re open, we’re empathic, but then we attract people in that love the energy or they love the attention. And in our community we get a lot of, and on the podcast, Thursday is our Q and a show and you wouldn’t believe how many questions we get about my mother-in-law just sucks on my energy or my friend or I feel drained all the time. I have headaches. It’s this sort of giving say the power away, giving energy away. So let’s say we’re listening to this and we’re like, oh my gosh, I am one of those people. I am an empath and there’s all these people sucking energy in my life. What do we do? What are some of the things we can do in some people we can’t just cast away? Let’s say some people are relatives.
What to do when others drain you
Judith: 26:50 Yeah, that’s true. And all people are teachers to be able to look at them as teachers. They’re in affirmations. <inaudible>, I have an affirmation. I value supportive relationships and seek exposure to non-toxic and low drama people. I value supportive relationships and seek exposure to non-toxic and low drama people. So you wanna begin with that affirmation and repeat it three times a day so that it sinks in conscious. The thing with affirmations is you have to repeat. So in the outside it sinks into your subconscious. And then you need in the Empire survival guide, I have a chapter on narcissists and other energy vampires. And you have to make a of identifying who are the energy vampires in your life. No is it the narcissist, the chronic talker, the drama queen, the criticizer. The laer. Who are all these people in your life? And so you have to put a name to them.
Judith: 27:56 Mother-in-law is criticizer. So you identify which type that you’re dealing with and then different strategies to deal with each one of them than I write about. So once you get the types, you have a journal you write, you get the affirmations for impasse journal, you write it down who are the empires and what type are they? And this is how I wanna deal with them. And you can put a category, those that I can get rid of. I once had a person who cut my hair who was so negative <laugh>, my god, I would leave there. I was a hundred years old
Kimberly: 28:37 And she’s touching your scalp and your crown chakra
Judith: 28:40 And all that. She had all that going on. But I’m loyal, I’ll stay with you. So I just said, you don’t have to do this, you can go find somebody else. But at that point that was your so long for me to get to that point. And what I wanna tell, if you want to take that long, you can do it now. Just do an inventory. If somebody’s working on your hair, you wanna feel beautiful and yes, take care of. And its a sacred ritual of taking care of the woman’s hair or the man’s hair. So you know, don’t want somebody who’s dumping on you about all their friends, drama, a lot <laugh>. But what I’m saying is that you need just limits with that and decide even though the person disappointed, you’re not coming back in the or whatever. You just say however you wanna deal with it.
Judith: 29:45 You either just don’t back or you talk to them if you have that kind of relationship. But you surround yourself with more positive people and then the ones you can’t get rid of. The mother-in-law or the boss. The boss, the boss actually I think is harder than the mother-in-law. You really don’t have that much say with the boss. You’re stuck in that situation with the boss. If they’re a rageaholic, you can’t really get them to stop raging unless they’re open to it. Which a lot of them, So I you try to get another job with bosses like that cause you don’t work is so important. And especially it’s
Kimberly: 30:26 Like every day. Yeah,
Judith: 30:28 Every day. You don’t wanna be battered and abused by your boss. And it happens so much.
Kimberly: 30:34 It really does. And people are in a position of power and they, so it sounds like to me what’s coming through and it feels so comforting and it feels really nourishing. Doctor, when I hear your voice is number one, do that in inventory. Notice, be aware who’s sucking your energy. And then part of it that really comes through clearly in your writing, which is why I think I resonate a lot with you and your work is this it’s like this gentle power of I’m worthy. I don’t have to feel this way, I notice that I feel taken advantage of or I notice this person is impeding on my energy and I’m worthy to feel good. I’m gonna make a shift here. I’m gonna have this conversation. Or sometimes for many of us, for me included, confrontation is not a fun thing. But sometimes there’s a line I wrote down here that I really loved and I think I got it from one of your books, Thriving is empath. Feel the fear, but set the boundary anyways. Feel the fear. This is your words doctor. Feel the fear but set the boundary anyway so we rise up and we feel it, but we do it because we know we’re worthy.
Judith: 31:46 Yes, yes, exactly. It feels great. And the way you do it, it goes for how I set a boundary. Do you get your tone of voice? If your tone of voice right, it will go good over go over. Well you need to have the tone, which is very matter of fact. And even
Kimberly: 32:05 Not emotional. Yeah,
Judith: 32:07 No, you don’t wanna be triggered when you set the boundary, you wanna be calm and if they press your button, you don’t wanna go for it. I’m so sorry I we made plans but I’m tired and I need to stay home tonight. I’m so sorry. You’re disappointed to disappoint you. And if they get into well you don’t have your plans, you should keep your plans and we made a plan and blah blah and no, I’m so sorry you’re my friend and I love you but I’m just so tired I can’t move.
Kimberly: 32:41 Exactly, exactly from the heart. But honest honesty because I think that’s another thing with empath is we just, oh I can deal. I’m feeling tired and that sometimes I do. When my kids were born, I have a six year old doctor and a two year old and it was like this ball of unconditional love and I just couldn’t believe how much I love these kids. And then there were periods, I’m working full time, I’m writing books, I’ve got the podcast, I have a lot going on and I would just give all my time then I’m working in all up night, Never say no. And then I think even with our loved ones we gotta really look because otherwise we just give everything and then we’re worn down and the aches and the pains come in and just the fatigue comes in.
Judith: 33:32 True. And well I have a chapter in the MPA survival guide on empass and intimacy. Yeah because that’s another issue. For the longest time I would have these serial monogamous relationships but they wouldn’t be that really long. So I’ve been, because it was too much for me, I couldn’t deal with, it was just very overstimulating. So I’ve been in a relationship for about 10 years now. And you have to talk to them about your empath needs, you them, you have to talk to them and they have to understand, for instance, as an empath, I can’t stand somebody dumping anger on me. It’s just not, it’s intolerable, it hurts, it hurts, it drains me, it upsets me, it gets my adrenaline flowing. I can’t do it. So we have to have a different way of dealing with anger and the relationship. And so we’ve had to have that talk and we’ve gotten through it. But you have to have those talks. And sometimes empaths like to sleep in different beds,
Judith: 34:34 Ring time and just not have anyone in the space of sleep. Talk to your partner in such a way that they don’t feel like it’s them or that they did anything and that you know, have to enlist them as your champion to help get your needs met. Thank you for helping me get my needs met so I can sleep alone. You wanna do, so you have to have these unconventional conversations as m a s be. If you want to have a long term intimate relationship with friends, not so much cuz you’re not with them all the time. But if you’re with somebody, you know have to have these conversations as empaths and so you have to develop yourself.
Kimberly: 35:20 But where’s the line doctor between, I’m an empath and I’m working on my self care and my stuff so it doesn’t wanna be less sensitive but we’re more able to function in the world versus I’m just letting this go. I don’t sleep well with other people. You’re just kind of like, I don’t say indulging it, I dunno if that’s the right term. Do you know what I’m saying? Just being like, okay, I’m an empath so this is how I live life versus I know I’m sensitive but let me work with this. You know what I’m saying? I’m not saying healing it, but where’s the line between reigning it in a little bit versus really trying to make space for it in your life? Does that make sense? Let’s say you have trauma, you know have the trauma, you’re trying to heal the healthy pattern and you’re aware of it. So you make space but you’re on this path of healing it. But with them, with being an empath, you’re not really healing it as far as I understand. But it’s a little bit tricky. I’m trying to ask, I’m saying are you trying to get to a place of balance or are you just saying to your partner, hey this is who I am so I can never really sleep with anybody and blah blah blah.
Judith: 36:28 Yeah, well I don’t think you could ever say never. The thing about being an empath, you live day by day. My needs change so much every day. Some people sleep with their partners all the time. Some people sleep three nights with their partners, some people sleep once a month alone. I mean it depends on what your needs are, but you can’t ever just always have the same needs. That’s what change a lot. And so you might have all these plans, got it. But you wake up and you’re more internal. So you know, try to try and honor that too. So it’s both always in relationship compromise is really important and so you have to decide what that you’re able to compromise and feel good. You know don’t want a lot of people with the sleeping issue, they feel tortured, they feel uncomfortable talking to their partner about it and they feel tortured in bed. The partner’s snoring. The partner’s thrashing around, they can’t sleep and they don’t say any. Or the partner has the grip, death grip when they sleep and they need their space. They don’t wanna be held when they sleep. It’s a very intimate topic, how you wanna sleep and dream in being. So it, it’s just something to explore gradually in terms of your needs. But you will have to say something and if you feel like the thing you wanna work on because you feel like you, you’d like to get to more of a point of comfort, being able to sleep with your beloved. That’s beautiful.
Kimberly: 38:08 Do you find doctor that empaths ever attract each other or is it usually this balance? Empath to narcissist?
We discuss if empaths attract other empaths
Judith: 38:16 Yeah, it depends. The empath survival guide I go through the different variations of what could happen. Yeah, impasse and impasse. Impasse. Non impasse cuz I don’t like being in a relationship, intimate relationship with an empath. It would be too much. And my partner has no sense, doesn’t have sensitivity like that. He’s more rock. Yes, steady. He’s not always overwhelmed by things. He just is. We were driving in a car one time and I said, what are you feeling? And he looked at me, he goes, I’m driving <laugh>.
Kimberly: 38:54 Sounds like my hubby sometimes
Judith: 38:59 I’m feeling and driving and I’m always tuning into things.
Kimberly: 39:06 Well it’s funny if I miss our even if he’s at school sometimes I miss our son, our older son, I’ll be like, Oh I miss EE today. I’m like, do you feel that? And he’s like, no it’s a school. It’s like duh.
Judith: 39:21 And that’s fine. It just depends what your needs are. Some impasse, like having that empathic partner cuz they don’t have to reinvent the wheel and they understand each other, explain everything. But they have to learn that they’re both triggered at the same time. They need to separate because they’re just gonna start each other off. Can’t. When two empaths are on overwhelmed, they have to go take care of themselves basically. They can’t work out the issue together too much <affirmative>. They come back when they’re rested but they can’t do it in the moment, the heated moment.
Kimberly: 39:56 So now I have an interesting question for you Doctor. I know you covered this in your work as well. From again the vax standpoint, we talk about everything is energy. There’s a lot that yoga says about the nervous system. And so there is this discussion around sometimes we hold onto to weight to fat even because it’s a protective layer. It’s just kind of this boundary between us and the world. Can you talk to us a little bit about weight and health in relation to being an empath? Are there more challenges? Is there more sort of a connection to your body weight? Have you found that in your work?
Weight and health in relation to being an empath
Judith: 40:34 Yes. In the empath survival guide, there’s a chapter on empath and addiction and one of the addictions is food addiction. And so MPAs who dunno how to protect their own energy and are just feeling vulnerable often or some tend to overeat if that’s their thing to put on the extra bulk to block out the negative energy. And so I once went to Lilly down, which is, it’s really a little summer sea of mediums in Western New York. And they all live in these little Victorian houses and they do their readings and people come to them. But these women are huge three, 400 pounds come
Kimberly: 41:24 On,
Judith: 41:25 Haul out into the forest to do her service on a cart. And I talked to them and they said, No, we need to wait. We work with so many people in grief, we need to have all that weight. And I’m like, no, you don’t really need it. But they feel they need it. Cause I’m really thin and I don’t feel like I need the weight. The weight isn’t what protects me. The weight slows me down. But that’s me. That’s not everybody. But I don’t, the weight does help me not absorb your pain. It just makes me feel heavy <laugh> and not the right size for me. Some people prefer a larger size, some people prefer smaller size and that’s all fine too. But if you’re using weight just as a protective mechanism against the suffering of the world, there are other techniques that I talk about in the impasse survival guide to deal with things you don’t have to use only weight.
Kimberly: 42:30 Well what about Dr. If someone doesn’t wanna use weight, I know people that would prefer to be thin, but because of their sensitivities, because they’re listening all the time, they’re unknowingly keeping weight on. And I have a person in mind who has a very negative husband and she’s like workout fee trying to diet and she always has 20 extra pounds. And I feel intuitively it’s cuz she’s protecting herself from her husband. She doesn’t wanna keep the weight doctor, but she has it. So what would you say to these empaths that wanna try a different technique? How do we let go of the weight but still protect ourselves? Do you think it’s awareness in the first place? I don’t even know that she’s even registered any of this. It seems very clear from me as a third party when I see them interacting and I see as negativity. And she’s a very, I say meek person, but definitely an empath. And she’s just sort of absorbing, absorbing. And so she always has this weight problem.
Judith: 43:29 Does she see it as a problem?
Kimberly: 43:31 I mean she’s doing everything doctor to lose weight. She has kids but half and she works, half of her life is working out. She’s just obsessed with trying to lose weight. So she believes she has a real weight problem, but she’s not looking at it energetically. She’s not looking at the emotional part. But I think there are a lot of people out there who know they’re sensitive and maybe they hold on, but they don’t know how to heal that weight issue. Do you think it’s some of this other work, affirmations, healthy boundaries, It trickles over then, right? I have to imagine everything is related.
Judith: 44:03 It does. I think this particular person is afraid to challenge the status quo. So because of that, she’s keeping the status quo also with the 20 pounds as a defend against it. And until, unless she’s ready ever just challenge the status quo. It’s gonna be difficult for,
Kimberly: 44:24 Yeah,
Judith: 44:24 Cause it’s more than what it just seems, it’s more than what it seems in terms of the husband and her. She’s a very wonderful person and she needs to know that. And she’d be a one, I have a wonderful life coach for her if she wants a relationship coach because she needs to work with somebody. And if her husband’s willing, they need some help there. If she wants to find the status quo for her.
Kimberly: 44:57 And for me, doctor, one of the things I like about your work is that there is this spiritual, whatever, how you wanna define, but this spiritual element where we’re talking about energy, we’re talking about connection. For me, I used to have eating disorders, doctor back in high school. I used to have this perfectionism, always wanted to be number one in my class, always wanted to be skinny. And when I started connecting to the the formalist me, I started meditating and I started feeling that the weight, all this stuff started to self correct because I didn’t over-identify with it as well. So that was part of the self worth for me. It was seeing my worthiness isn’t just what I’m doing and what I look like, but really just from being this unique soul.
Judith: 45:41 Right. That’s so true.
Kimberly: 45:43 Well I feel this energy in your books and in your work, has that been around since you were little or as, Cause you’re a scientist and a doctor on one hand, but then you can see, like you said before the yin yang, you can also see this heart energy and this non-linear part of us is, did that fuse together in some of the time along the way? Or is this how you were raised?
Judith: 46:07 Oh it’s been a journey. I wrote, my first insight is a memoir about how I was shamed for being sensitive as a child. And I came from a physicians and my family very linear, logical, and rational. And they told me, never mention another one of your dreams or intuitions again In my house. In the house. So I grew up ashamed of my ability. My path has been to, I’ve had angels in my path who have taught me that I need to integrate my intuition and my empath. So in me in order to be whole. And it’s not anything to be ashamed of, it’s a form of, it’s just a whole form of who you are. And so that’s been part of my healing path. And then I had a dream to become a physician, a psychiatrist, to legitimize all this in medicine. And then I began integrating everything, the linear mind, the nonlinear mind, meditation, nature, Everything is in my scope of how I practice therapy and live.
Kimberly: 47:17 That’s amazing. I love <laugh>. I think that’s why I found you. Cuz it’s all energy. And as an empath, as a sensitive person, as a very intuitive person, I think it’s a bit harder to, for me to connect with someone that’s coming at things very in a very linear way. So thank you so much, Doctor, for sharing your wisdom with us. When I find something that feels, wow, people need to know about this, something I know I connect with, I know the audience well, we have our Cornerstones here. So we talk about food, we talk about body, but we also talk about emotional wellbeing and spiritual growth. We talk about the wholeness of being. So I really love all your books. Thriving as an Empath really spoke to me. But I know your first one is the one you recommend. People start with the Empath Survival Guide. And then of course we have affirmations for empaths as well, which we will link to all of them in the show notes.
Judith: 48:13 Okay, great. And yeah,
Kimberly: 48:15 Let us know where else we can find out about you and any work you have coming up, Doctor.
Judith: 48:20 Yeah, I have a workshop on December 6th. It’s an online workshop developing self care skills for empaths. And it’s on December 6th, it’s for two hours and you could sign up for it on drjudithorloff.com. It’s on the homepage, my lecture schedule there’s more information there. So December six self care techniques for em A and Sensitive People. And I invite Wonderful to come. Yeah,
Kimberly: 48:52 Well I will definitely try to be there, doctor. And we will link to your website as well as Dr just said, it’s dr judith orloff l o f.com. So we’ll link to the books, we’ll link to the workshop and more information. But thank you so much, doctor. And I also just wanna say one more time, I love that you’re sharing about this important topic, but you’re doing it in such a loving way and a way that we can really resonate with and it doesn’t feel intimidating and it feels very empowering. So thank you so much. I just love it so much. I love you so much.
Judith: 49:28 Thank you. I appreciate that, Kimberly.
Kimberly: Well, I hope you really enjoyed our conversation today with Dr. Orloff. As you can see, I really resonate with her approach, which is both scientific and spiritual. Just like we approach things in our community from a four cornerstone perspective, we know there is more than the physical world. So science is important, it guides us, but there’s also this formless energy, this higher intelligence of spirit, which we wanna acknowledge in ourselves and in all things. So please be sure to check out the show email@example.com for more information about Dr. Orloff, her books, as well as other podcasts I think you would enjoy, and articles, meditations, and recipes. And I also wanna mention, I am writing Kim’s Corner articles now regularly. So if you love the old school blogging, if we’ve been together for a long time, you could check that out.
Kimberly: If we are new together. I wanna share that over 10 years ago, I started this from a free blog. It’s where my first book deal came, and it was this very raw form of just sharing my thoughts and then I sort of got away from it. There’s been a lot of projects and things, but I’m back to it. Just very raw sharing from my heart. I works for me what I would love to share with you. So please be sure to check that out. Again, it’s all over at mysolluna.com. We’ll be back here Thursday as always for our next q and a show. So till then, take care and sending you so much love, Namaste.