Dr Judith Orloff's Blog

Do You Have a Guilt Tripper in Your Life?

Judith Orloff - Thursday, November 06, 2014

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(Excerpt from Dr. Judith Orloff's "Energy Vampire Survival Guide PDF" and her national bestseller The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your Life)

Guilt Trippers are world class blamers, martyrs, and drama queens. They know how to make you feel badly about something by pressing your insecurity buttons. They use guilt to manipulate so you do what they desire. They like to see you squirm and throw you off your game. This gives them a sense of power and control.

Guilt can be conveyed with words, tone, or even a glance. Guilt trippers like to play dirty. To get their way, they exploit your desire to please them or be a good person. They often start sentences with, “If it wasn’t for you…” or “Why don’t you ever..?” They’ll talk about life being unfair and compare your efforts with others who’re doing it better. “Why can’t you be more like Buster--he’s so good to his wife and is such a hard worker.” They also remind you of how much they always do for you. After you’ve been guilt tripped, you may feel two inches tall if you believe these people’s crafty ploys.

Are You in a Relationship With a Guilt Tripper? Take This Quiz

To determine if you have a guilt tripper in your life answer Yes or No to the following questions. Then you can use the strategy in this section to protect yourself from being energetically drained by them.

  • Do you know someone who tries to get their way or control you by making you feel guilty? Yes/No
  • Do you know someone who makes you feel “less than” by constantly comparing you to others? Yes/No
  • Do you know someone who acts like an angry victim? Yes/No
  • Do you feel emotionally and/or physically drained after being with someone who is complaining or berating you? Yes/No
  • Do you know someone who you are always trying to please but never seem to do things correctly? Yes/No
  • Results of the Quiz:
    Give each Yes response one point and count up your score.

    Your Score: 0
    Good news! If you answered “no” to every question then it is unlikely that you are in relationship with a guilt tripper.

    Your Score: 1
    If you answered “yes” to one question then there is the possibility that you know a guilt tripper. Be watchful with this person(s) for any other indications and ensure that you address them early in the relationship.

    Your Score: 2
    There is an indication here that you know someone who is a guilt tripper. Make sure you understand all the ramifications and look for any vampire tendencies.

    Your Score: 3
    You are in a relationship with someone who has moderate guilt tripping tendencies. Be very careful of your interactions with them and ensure that you have established good boundaries.

    Your Score: 4
    This person(s) definitely has guilt tripping traits. Be very conscious of their manipulations and their ability to drain your energy. Keep your protection up.

    Your Score: 5
    You have a guilt tripper in your life and chances are this person(s) is also verbally abusive. Can you opt out of the relationship? If not, again set good boundaries and learn the action plan below to protect your energetic well being.

    Action Steps to Deal with Guilt Trippers from “The Ecstasy of Surrender”

    1. Surrender the notion that you have to be perfect
    The guilt tripper tends to lose interest if you don’t go for their misguided manipulations. Everyone makes mistakes. It’s human. You don’t have to be perfect or squeaky clean. If you hurt someone or made a mistake, accept that you can’t change the past. But you can make amends when appropriate. Apologize for offending a relative, pay back money owed, or simply convey, “I wish I had been there for you more.” Focusing on solutions instead of wallowing in guilt is a way to surrender to positive forces, rather than succumbing to the pull of negativity.

    2. Surrender guilt with tears
    One physical way to release guilt if you’re fixated on a mistake you made or not meeting someone’s expectations is to cry. Do this when you’re alone or with a supportive person. Tears release stress hormones and help you heal. As you cry, your body expels guilt and tension. This helps you let it all go. Don’t fight the surrender of crying. Let tears cleanse stress from your body.

    3. Know your guilt buttons
    No one can make you feel guilty if don’t believe you’ve done something wrong. However, if you doubt yourself, guilt can creep in. Believing you are doing the best you can in a situation can quell any guilt and bring comfort no matter what anyone says.

    4. Set limits
    Start a conversation positively. In a matter-of-fact tone say, “I can see your point of view. But when you say (fill in the blank) my feelings are hurt. I’d be grateful if you didn’t keep repeating it.” You might make some topics taboo such as money, sex, or personal appearance. Keep the conversation light, don’t go for their bait, and try to gradually heal your insecurities so you don’t buy into their guilt trips.

    Be aware that there’s a difference between healthy remorse and guilt. Remorse is regretting how a situation turned out or how you behaved. Then you can acknowledge the mistake and make amends. You’ll feel genuinely sorry, but you don’t stay stuck there. Guilt, however, is when you become attached to remorse and self-blame, a reverse form of ego where you keep focusing on a “lacking” or a mistake.



    Judith Orloff MD is a psychiatrist, intuitive healer, and NY Times bestselling author. Her latest national bestseller is The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your life. Dr. Orloff's other bestsellers are Emotional FreedomSecond SightPositive Energy, and Intuitive Healing. Dr. Orloff synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. She passionately believes that the future of medicine involves integrating all this wisdom to achieve emotional freedom and total wellness. To learn more about the power of surrender visit www.drjudithorloff.com

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    4 Surrender Strategies to Communicate with Difficult People

    Judith Orloff - Thursday, October 09, 2014

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    (Adapted from The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your Life Harmony Books, 2014 by Judith Orloff MD)

    Many of us spend an inordinate amount of time and energy contending with difficult people or “emotional vampires” at work and at home. It’s a reflex to emotionally contract around them feeling powerless, irritated, hurt, or miserable, reactions that just wear you out. But, they can’t steal your happiness unless you let them.

    Surrender can improve your communication skills in many kinds of challenging interactions. For instance, do you know when to surrender your need to be right in order to restore love at home, or when to surrender resentments so that you can forgive? How to avoid taking things personally? Or deal with a friend or spouse who’s doing something you disagree with?

    Be aware that your ego could resist the concept of surrender as its aim is to create open channels of communication between people rather than stonewalling or defending, responses the ego is more accustomed to. Instead if you value “we” as well as “me,” you become a master at diffusing negativity, not a pushover. Let’s say you’re deadlocked in an argument; nobody’s giving in. Then what? Don’t turn it into a battle for supremacy. Instead, give the first inch, an act of true strength. Apologizing for your part in the conflict shows that you value the relationship more than your ego. This opens the door for others to admit their part too. It’s people with real power who step up first to surrender their ego, promoting impeccable communication.

    Here are four strategies from The Ecstasy of Surrender to help you deal with the difficult people in your life.

    Strategy #1: Follow the Laws of Impeccable Communications

    Follow these general laws of communication so you’re able to flow with difficult people and prevent blocks. In your daily life, these will ensure that you’re leading from a position of strength not anger or desperation. You’ll be flexible instead of just meeting conflict with an oppositional force.

    The Laws of Impeccable Communication

    Do

  • Be calm, not emotionally reactive
  • Avoid defensiveness--it makes you look weak
  • Patiently hear someone out without interrupting or needing to have the last word
  • Empathize with where people are coming from, even if you disagree with them
  • Pick your battles, apologize when necessary
  • Don’t

  • Be drawn into drama
  • React impulsively out of anxiety or anger so you say something you’ll regret
  • Hold onto resentments or stay attached to being right
  • Attempt to manage other people’s lives or become their therapist
  • Shame people, especially in front of others
  • Get in the habit of applying these laws to both friends and foes. The “dos” involve surrender and discernment. They will move you closer to resolving conflict by first harmonizing with another’s position, even if you disagree. This sets a tone to resolve conflicts or set boundaries whereas antagonism just alienates.

    Strategy #2: Be Mindful of Your Attitude

    Your attitude is important. Difficult people can be like spiritual teachers who are meant to awaken us, though they aren’t conscious of their role. Nobody said awakening is always pleasant or easy. But they can teach you about surrender: the attitudes you must release to triumph over them or set boundaries and which of their behaviors you must not surrender too. Most difficult people aren’t trying to harm you: they are just unconscious or self-absorbed. Very few are truly dark and have evil motives.

    Strategy #3: Watch the Tone of Your Voice

    Your tone of voice is important too. A critical tone only inflames people. Set limits with them and firmly say “no” with love, instead of sounding snippy or blaming when someone “steps over the red line.” To get the attention of chronic talkers or those on a rant, it helps to open your remark by lovingly saying their name. Hearing one’s name aloud instinctively makes us pause. Remember, we all can be difficult at times. Let this sobering fact curb your enthusiasm for chastising the shortcomings of others in word or tone.

    Strategy #4: Be Compassionate

    Do your best not to vilify people, even when they’re obnoxious or unkind. Realize that anger addicts, guilt trippers, or the other types of difficult people are insecure, wounded, and disconnected from their hearts. The challenge around bad behavior is to maintain your power and priorities while setting clear boundaries, no matter how annoying, negative, or full of themselves others can be.

    People can be annoying and disappointing, as we all sometimes are. None of us is perfect; most of us are doing the best we can. So keep searching for a part of someone that you can empathize with, even when it’s a stretch. You may not always succeed, but keep trying. This doesn’t make you a doormat or a victim. Rather, such compassion allows you to become the finest version of yourself, even as you set limits with bad behavior.



    Judith Orloff MD is a psychiatrist, intuitive healer, and NY Times bestselling author. Her latest national bestseller is The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your life. Dr. Orloff's other bestsellers are Emotional FreedomSecond SightPositive Energy, and Intuitive Healing. Dr. Orloff synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. She passionately believes that the future of medicine involves integrating all this wisdom to achieve emotional freedom and total wellness. To learn more about the power of surrender visit www.drjudithorloff.com

    Comments
    Anonymous commented on 15-Oct-2014 01:23 PM
    Thank you so much for the much needed advice - couldn't have come at a better time!
    Elan commented on 15-Oct-2014 04:06 PM
    Your insights have been treasures for me. You've help me embrace the strength, understanding and joy of my blessed life. Thank you with all my heart!!!
    Colleen commented on 16-Oct-2014 01:48 AM
    Thank you for this advice. I run a support group for depression and anxiety sufferers and related problems, where it could be very useful.
    Debra richardson commented on 16-Oct-2014 06:13 AM
    yes i haveenergies vampires but why when i tell people good things in my life that positive they dont respond or say any thing
    Kate commented on 16-Oct-2014 09:15 AM
    The book rocks! I refer to it often. Highly recommend it to everyone!
    lucy commented on 16-Oct-2014 11:05 AM
    I bought my carless, jobless, abused neighbor a van. Helped her out financially. When she refused to help me with a little housework, actually she would agree and then never show up. I decided to end this one sided friendship. I never have known such a vindictive, hostile person. She sent me the most awful emails, called me names out her window, called me out in the street to fight. I'm 56 and have never fought a soul in my life, Her husband started stalking me and giving me death threats. I have called the police 3 times, after their children threw rotten tomatoes at me and my house and for the stalking and death threats. She finally stopped the emails and now they release their Pit Bull on me and I did warn them to stop and I finally after about 6 times called the animal control. It has been the worst summer of my life. I actually thought her husband was going to kill me. I have lost 40 lbs and now suffer from insomnia. They are neighbors from hell, that I just tried to help and as they say, "no good deed goes unpunished. I own my house 36 yrs, and they are renters, who I pray to God will move!, so I can get my life back. Sincerely, terrified in ,mo
    sue commented on 23-Oct-2014 10:33 PM
    LUCY!!! you need to get the law involved, that is terrible! Do you know the landlord? get them evicted, but in the process, get an order of protection, and maybe a HUGE male cousin that has a giant doberman to move in for a while! I'm not a counselor, but land sakes, thats more than an energy vampire/thats real earth demons!! Stand up for yourself! Get this done,top notch-without their knowledge. You are probably not the first human target, ya know? YIKERS

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    Are You Attracted to Unavailable People?

    Judith Orloff - Wednesday, July 30, 2014

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    (Adapted from The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your Life Harmony Books, 2014 by Judith Orloff MD)

    In my book, The Ecstasy of Surrender I discuss how a soul mate must be willing and available to have a relationship with you. If he or she is unavailable this is not your soul mate at the present time. A confusing part of being attracted to unavailable, commitment-phobic people is that the emotional or sexual chemistry can feel so strong. You accept behavior that you’d never tolerate in friends. Why? The electricity can feel so incredible and rare, you mistake intensity for intimacy. You make compromises you wouldn’t typically consider in order to give the relationship a chance. Still, connection or not, you must take a sober look to determine if someone is truly available for intimacy. Hear this: Not everyone you feel a connection with, no matter how mind-blowing, is your soul mate. You can fall for someone who is totally wrong for you, as unfair and confounding as that reality can be.

    For a relationship to work, a soul connection must go both ways. Even if the intuitive bond you feel is authentic, it can remain unrealized. Just because someone might’ve been your soul mate in previous eras, it doesn’t mean he or she is right for you today. Perhaps the person can’t or won’t reciprocate or is simply oblivious, a frustrating irony you must accept. Don’t put your life on hold for unrequited longing. Love that is destined can never be stopped. Meanwhile, keep your options open. How do you avoid getting entangled in dead-end or delusional relationships where you see someone in terms of how you wish them to be, not who they are? To start, here are some red flags to watch for. Even one sign warns you to be careful. The more that are present, the more danger exists.

    12 Signs You're Involved with Emotionally Unavailable People (EUP)

  • They are married or in a relationship with someone else
  • They can’t commit to you or have feared commitment in past relationships
  • They have one foot on the gas pedal, one foot on the break
  • They are emotionally distant, shut down, or can’t deal with conflict
  • They’re mainly interested in sex, not relating emotionally or spiritually
  • They are practicing alcoholics, sex addicts, or substance abusers
  • They prefer long distance relationships, emails, texting, or don’t introduce you to their friends and family
  • They are elusive, sneaky, frequently working or tired, and may disappear for periods
  • They are seductive with you but make empty promises--their behavior and words don’t match
  • They send mixed messages, flirt with others, or don’t give a straight answer--you’re always trying to “de-code” what they really mean
  • They’re narcissistic, only consider themselves, not your needs
  • They throw you emotional crumbs or enticing hints of their potential to be loving, then withdraw
  • At first, some of these signs may be more obvious than others. It’s tricky: we tend to show our best selves in the honeymoon stage of a romance. It can take time for a person’s unavailability to emerge. One patient lamented, “I need a crystal ball. The first few months of a courtship, a man is so attentive, caring, passionate.” Partially, she’s right, but it’s also true that we tend to see what we want to see. That’s why it’s eye-opening to look at a partner’s relationship history. Who he or she was previously with reveals volumes about their capacity for intimacy now. Beware of rationalizing, “I’m different. This person would never be that way with me.”

    I don’t care how mightily someone blames the blood curdling horrors of an ex for a relationship’s demise, this person played a role too. Being able to admit that or trying to understand the reasons for making such a terrible choice is a positive sign. Playing the victim is not.

    Over the years, I’ve worked with many perplexed, lonely patients to uncover why they keep holding a torch for unavailable, commitment-phobic partners and how to surrender this sabotaging pattern. Most of us aren’t purposely drawn to these kinds of people--their mixed messages combined with our particular susceptibilities, conscious or unconscious, can lure us in. Also, it helps to understand that unavailable people rarely choose to be this way. It’s an unconscious defense against trauma or some emotional wounding of the past. Research has shown that many are afraid of being clung to or smothered which stems from having had a controlling, engulfing, or abusive parent. Commitment-phobic men, in particular, may just prefer sex without love. They are afraid of being controlled by feminine energy, though they don’t know it or couldn’t admit it. Rather, they see themselves as macho dudes who think women always need more than they can give. Thus, they prefer to play in shallow water, not go deep. If being in a relationship with an unavailable person feels like love to you, I urge you to look closer. Commitment phobic women also fear intimacy and want to keep a distance.

    To find true love, ideally you want to avoid getting involved with anyone who can’t reciprocate your affections. If you are in a toxic, abusive, or non-reciprocal relationship, withdraw even when your passion is strong and says “stay.” It may feel excruciating to let go when you don’t want to or if you’re still hoping against hope that the person will change, but, as my Daoist teacher once told me, “The heart knows when it’s enough.”


    WATCH THIS VIDEO TO LEARN MORE HOW TO LET GO OF THE TORCH FOR UNAVAILABLE PEOPLE.



    Judith Orloff MD is a psychiatrist, intuitive healer, and NY Times bestselling author. Her latest national bestseller is The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your life. Dr. Orloff's other bestsellers are Emotional FreedomSecond SightPositive Energy, and Intuitive Healing. Dr. Orloff synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. She passionately believes that the future of medicine involves integrating all this wisdom to achieve emotional freedom and total wellness. To learn more about the power of surrender visit www.drjudithorloff.com

    Comments
    Lynn Fisken commented on 19-Aug-2014 03:47 PM
    Thank you Judith I love your work & this arrived in perfect timing for me today. Much Arohanui to you xxx
    Bren commented on 19-Aug-2014 05:31 PM
    Brilliant...discovered I am an intuitive empath.. Now I understand why about things about myself. I want to ask..in desiring a partner, I find few people who are on the same wavelength. I just can't spend unnecessary time on men who just don't get it, so don't date...help where do I stumble on them? Love your work. Thanks B

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    Are You In an Obsessive Relationship? Take this Quiz

    Judith Orloff - Wednesday, July 16, 2014

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    (Adapted from The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your Life Harmony Books, 2014 by Judith Orloff MD)

    As a physician, I've seen many patients who felt trapped in obsessive relationships. They can't stop thinking of someone. They can't stop checking their phones to see if he/she texted. A great part of their consciousness is devoted to ruminating about what this person is doing or not doing and they are afraid of losing the person. These obsessive/possessive relationships can be very painful.

    I discuss this topic at length in my new book The Ecstasy of Surrender. In the book I emphasize that bonding with a partner is a natural part of getting to know someone and of falling in love. But getting overly attached goes beyond healthy bonding and is disempowering. When you truly love someone you’re not interested in possessing the person or keeping him or her in your clutches because you’re afraid of losing the relationship. Instead, you respect your partner’s autonomy and spirit. You’re not too entangled, by standing together side by side. True intimacy is always a balance between bonding and letting go so the relationship can breathe.

    Take the following quiz to determine your obsessive patterns.

    Quiz: Are You Overly Attached to a Partner?

  • Do you cling to your partner?
  • Do you want to possess him or her?
  • Are you often afraid of being abandoned or betrayed?
  • Do you get anxious when you don’t hear from him or her every day?
  • Do you constantly think about the person?
  • Do you start obsessing about a partner after you have sex?
  • Does your partner feel you are trying to control or suffocate him or her?
  • Do you feel you can’t live without the person?
  • How to interpret this quiz: 6-8 yeses indicate that you are extremely overly attached. 3-5 yeses indicate that you are moderately overly attached. 1-3 yeses indicate that you have a tendency to overly attach. A score of zero indicates that you have healthy bonding with your partner.

    First to deal with an obsession you have to seize control of your thoughts and mind. Then consciously change your thinking from unwholesome thoughts to constructive positive ones. It is very important to consciously shift out of the obsession using your will to do this.

    An aspect of myself that I’ve made progress in healing is my tendency to get overly attached to men. During sex I bond quickly and fuse with a man but I can’t un-fuse with him later. I start yearning for him and thinking about him constantly. Some of this is organic and beautiful, but becoming overly attached crosses a line. I can become obsessed and intensely hungry for contact particularly if I’ve been single for a while.

    I am a sexual being so, after I haven’t had sex for a while, I can become needy compared to when I have an ongoing connection with a loving partner. Being in this position makes me (and many women) vulnerable to getting overly attached. For instance, if I don’t hear from this man for a few days--I can get anxious and afraid of losing him or of being abandoned. It’s not good for me, and moreover, most men don’t appreciate this kind of response. So in my tantric sexuality sessions and in therapy, I discovered how to enjoy passion from a more grounded place. Here’s how:

  • I learned that over-merging with a romantic partner without a pause can decrease the erotic charge. It actually can be more erotic and intimate to go in and out of intense connection with a partner, rather than sustaining it. This gives both lovers their space and more breathing room.

  • I don’t “root” in a man, but root primarily in myself and the earth. One way I do this before and after lovemaking is to visualize my body developing roots into the soil like a tree. I’m still surrendered to and immersed in pleasure, but I also keep a fuller sense of myself intact later. I’m able to separate from him and more comfortably see us as separate beings.

  • After lovemaking or to deal with possessiveness in intimacy, I also find it useful to meditate with my partner and then say to each another, “I adore you. I honor you. I release you.” This is a healthy way to bond while not excessively attaching or fixating. It produces a beautiful equilibrium of loving.
  • The solution to not becoming overly attached or possessive is to focus on strengthening your self-esteem while addressing and releasing fears, including the fear of abandonment, which can cause the need to cling. Working with a skilled relationship therapist or coach can be productive. Also you can practice the three tantric techniques that I described above. These will help you develop autonomy and grounding. Being willing to surrender the tendency to overly attach in favor of healthily bonding will allow you to have more joyous and pleasurable relationships without the pain of obsession.


    WATCH THIS VIDEO TO LEARN MORE ABOUT HEALTHY BONDING



    Judith Orloff MD is a psychiatrist, intuitive healer, and NY Times bestselling author. Her latest national bestseller is The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your life. Dr. Orloff's other bestsellers are Emotional FreedomSecond SightPositive Energy, and Intuitive Healing. Dr. Orloff synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. She passionately believes that the future of medicine involves integrating all this wisdom to achieve emotional freedom and total wellness. To learn more about the power of surrender visit www.drjudithorloff.com

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    What's Your Money Type? Take This Quiz

    Judith Orloff - Monday, June 16, 2014

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    (Adapted from The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your Life Harmony Books, 2014 by Judith Orloff MD)

    Money can bring out your most fearful self or your largest heart. Which one you surrender to changes everything. How do you do this? By finding effective ways to surrender fear, stinginess, and other resistances to abundance so that money can flow more freely into your life.

    To identify your style of relating to money, below are five money types, including quizzes from my book, The Ecstasy of Surrender. Though you may contain aspects of more than one type, pick the one you most resonate with. Evaluate your financial habits with kindness. The goal is to develop a successful approach to money and get pleasure from what you spend on.

    Type 1. The Worrier

    Worriers can be thrifty, astute problem solvers, and will avoid errors because of their diligence with finances. The downside is that worry increases stress hormones, decreases immunity, and impairs health and sleep. It’s important for them to focus on surrendering worry so they don’t sabotage abundance with their panicked relationship to finances.

    Quiz: Am I A Worrier?
    Ask yourself:

  • Do I worry about money every day?
  • Do I make financial problems larger, not smaller?
  • Do I have difficulty falling asleep because I’m worried about money?
  • Do I worry about money even during comfortable times?
  • Do I find I can’t stop worrying, even though I try?
  • When one financial worry is solved do I immediately go onto another?
  • If you answered yes to all 6 questions then worry plays a very large role in your financial life. Four or five yeses indicate a large role. Two or three yeses a moderate role. One yes indicates a low level. Zero indicates that this is not your primary money type. Use this format to calculate your score in the other four money types in this blog.

    The art of surrendering worry is to stay focused in the present moment, rather than making up worst case scenarios to freak yourself out, and take action where you can, such as slowly paying off a debt. What’s hard for worriers to accept is that despite their valiant efforts to be financially secure, they can’t control everything.

    Type 2. The Procrastinator

    This money type notoriously avoids dealing with finances with denial. They live from paycheck to paycheck. For the short term, the feel-good benefit of denial is that stress is reduced as thoughts of financial pressure disappear. But reality will catch up with them when bills mount and creditors start calling. Then panic and guilt about not fulfilling responsibilities set in.

    Quiz: Am I A Procrastinator?
    Ask yourself:

  • Do I put off financial decisions?
  • Are my bills piling up?
  • Do I have difficulty making decisions about money?
  • Do I keep ignoring my credit card debt?
  • Do I glaze over when paying bills?
  • Are my taxes or other bills always past due so I accrue penalty charges?
  • As a psychiatrist, I know how much diligence it takes to surrender denial. This is something procrastinators have to want to do. Then, gradually, they can train themselves to address money at a comfortable pace. The secret to letting go of procrastination is finding the sweet spot between accepting financial responsibility and taking time out from stress to unwind.

    Type 3. The Addictive Spender

    Addictive spenders prefer the thrill of spending to the security of saving money. They spend on impulse whether they can afford it or not. Spending becomes a drug, a way to self-medicate low self-esteem, hurt, and disappointments by futilely trying to fill an emotional hole with material things--a temporary fix at best.

    Quiz. Am I An Addictive Spender?
    Ask yourself:

  • Do I have difficulty controlling my spending?
  • Do I get a thrill from spending money or gambling?
  • Do I over-spend to escape worry, anger, or loneliness?
  • Am I a compulsive shopper, unable to pass up “bargains” I can’t afford?
  • Are my debts affecting my serenity and reputation?
  • Do I have a bad credit record?
  • Addictive spending is primarily an emotional and spiritual issue, not a financial one. Treatments include counseling, twelve step programs such as Gamblers or Debtors Anonymous, along with being taught money management skills. Healing comes from learning to address and let go of painful emotions without trying to numb them with spending.

    Type 4. The Saver/Miser/Hoarder

    These types are practical, good at planning for the future and saving for a rainy day. Nevertheless, there’s a difference between being financially responsible and obsessive. Savers who go overboard can become penny pinchers and greedy misers. It’s hard for them to enjoy their money, take vacations, or spend on themselves and others.

    Quiz. Am I A Saver?
    Ask yourself:

  • Am I diligent at saving money but don’t hoard?
  • Do I prefer conservative investments to risk taking?
  • Can I enjoy spending money on things I can afford?
  • Do I try not to spend more than I make?
  • Am I against greed?
  • Do I give to charitable causes?
  • When savers turn into misers or hoarders, it may suggest obsessive compulsive disorder which makes them clutch onto money and things to ward off anxiety, the opposite of surrender. They can’t surrender control and be generous because they fear scarcity. To avoid becoming a mean, miserly Scrooge spread abundance by anonymously leaving small amounts of money for people to find. Experience the happiness of this as you let stinginess go. Be a self-appointed money gnome who spreads abundance in the world.

    Type 5. The Intuitive Spender

    At their best, intuitive spenders are finely tuned instruments, balancing logic with gut instincts in money management, hiring, and investments. However, intuitive spenders get into trouble when they simply go on impulse and disregard logic. Also they can misread a financial situation if they can’t distinguish intuition from wishful thinking or fear.

    Quiz: Am I An Intuitive Spender?
    Ask yourself:

  • Do I check in with my gut about finances?
  • Do I look beyond logic for answers?
  • If a decision feels right do I act on it or if it doesn’t can I let it go?
  • Do I trust my gut when it says “beware” of an investment?
  • Will I take a reasonable financial risk based on intuition?
  • Do I consult my intuition about how to creatively make money and where to invest or donate?
  • Smart intuitive spenders also have good common sense. Intuitive spenders can be brilliant money managers if they’re clear about what messages they’re surrendering to. The key is to let go of overthinking or fear, and trust authentic intuitions.



    Judith Orloff MD is a psychiatrist, intuitive healer, and NY Times bestselling author. Her latest national bestseller is The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your life. Dr. Orloff's other bestsellers are Emotional FreedomSecond SightPositive Energy, and Intuitive Healing. Dr. Orloff synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. She passionately believes that the future of medicine involves integrating all this wisdom to achieve emotional freedom and total wellness. To learn more about the power of surrender visit www.drjudithorloff.com

    Comments
    Compulsive Worrier commented on 19-Jun-2014 03:35 PM
    Thank you for this information Dr. Orloff. I admire you and your work. I am a compulsive worrier. I feel there's never "enough". No matter how much money is in the account, I can always see financial responsibilities down the road...short term like next season's soccer fees and long term like college and retirement. The bottom line is that it feels like we're never enough "ahead" to be able to "afford" that family vacation we so badly want to take. Even if the energy bill isn't due for another two weeks, I'll wake up in the morning worrying if there'll be enough to pay it when it's time. Suzy Ormond freaks me out. She would definitely say we can't take a vacation since we don't currently have retirement paid for plus a six month emergency fund, but this makes me so sad because my children will all be grown and it will be too late to make those memories with them by the time we can "responsibly and comfortably" afford a vacation. Please help. I read your advice is to stay present to relieve money anxiety, but I've tried meditation and everything but the facts are the still the facts and the numbers are still the numbers and it seems like there's never enough. I consider myself "evolved and conscious" but when it comes to money worry, I just can't seem to get a handle on it.
    Harry commented on 19-Jun-2014 03:58 PM
    All five types are negative. I love eBay and Amazon and buy too much, but can afford it. I am a saver and investor and take above average risk. I am very good at paying bills and keeping track of everything with Quicken and spreadsheets. I am great at accounting, investing and shopping.
    Elan commented on 19-Jun-2014 08:09 PM
    Thank you HUGE for all your expert care! I admire your genuine insights and I learn, learn, learn. Thank you for enhancing my precious life!!!
    Linda Adler commented on 19-Jun-2014 09:52 PM
    So----I took the test. Now, how do I score myself?

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    Are You a Relationship Empath?

    Judith Orloff - Tuesday, May 20, 2014

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    (Adapted from The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your Life Harmony Books, 2014 by Judith Orloff MD)

    In my practice and workshops I’m struck by how many sensitive people come to me wanting a long term soul mate. Personally, I can relate to this. Yet, despite online dating services, expensive match-makers, friend fix-ups, and blind dates, they still remain single. Or else they’re in relationships but feel constantly fatigued and overwhelmed. The reason isn’t simply that “there aren’t enough available people ‘out there’” or that they’re neurotic. Personally and professionally I’ve discovered something more is going on.

    In my life, I’ve found that a vital missing piece to this puzzle has been discovering I am a relationship empath. Empaths are highly sensitive, intuitive, and caring, but they’re also shock absorbers with an extremely permeable nervous system and hyperactive reflexes. They experience everything, pleasure and pain, sometimes to an extreme. The amazing part of being so sensitive is that empaths are attuned to people (at times even telepathically), to nature, and can be exquisitely sensual, responsive lovers. The downside is that empaths are sponges for the world’s angst. Without a membrane between themselves and the world, they unknowingly absorb other people’s stress into their own bodies. Then they become overloaded, anxious or exhausted. This differs from ordinary empathy, say when you sympathize with your partner’s harrowing day at work. Relationship empathy goes much further. You merge with your partner and actually feel his or her joys and fears as if they were your own. Thus, romantic relationships, particularly live-in ones, can be challenging.

    In The Ecstasy of Surrender I go into detail describing what a relationship empath is and also present strategies to cope and not absorb the stress or symptoms of your mate. If you’re highly sensitive and haven’t identified this dynamic, you may unknowingly avoid romantic partnerships because deep down you’re afraid of getting engulfed. A part of you wants a soul mate; another part is frightened. This inner push-pull stops you from surrendering to a partner. The closer you are to someone the more intense empathy gets. To feel safe enough to let go in a relationship, it’s crucial for empaths to learn how to set healthy boundaries and assert their needs. Then intimacy becomes possible.

    To surrender to a soul mate, it's important to discuss your fears of letting go with each other. However, if you’re an empath, you may not know what these are or that you’re even resisting intimacy. Thus you can’t convey your needs or set healthy boundaries. To determine whether you’re a relationship empath take the following quiz from my new book.

    Quiz: Am I a relationship empath?

    Ask yourself:

  • Have I been labeled as overly sensitive?
  • Am I afraid of getting engulfed or losing my identity in intimate relationships?
  • Do I prefer taking my own car places so I can leave when I please?
  • Do I get drained by too much togetherness and require time alone to refuel?
  • Do I sometimes prefer sleeping alone?
  • When my partner and I travel do I prefer adjoining rooms?
  • Do I tend to take on by my partner’s stress or physical symptoms?
  • Do I feel overwhelmed by noise, smells, crowds, or excessive talking?
  • If you answer yes to one to three of these questions you’re at least part relationship empath. Responding yes to four to six questions indicates strong empathic tendencies with partners. If you answer yes to seven or more questions you are a certified relationship empath.

    Recognizing that you’re a relationship empath is the first step to removing this obstacle to finding a soul mate. Next, you must redefine the traditional paradigm for coupling so you can find a comfortable way of being together. This means letting go of society’s stereotypes about marriage or relationships, forging a new path for yourself. If you’re an empath or if the ordinary expectations of coupledom don’t work for you, practice the following tips.

    Surrender Old Relationship Rules, Create New Ones from The Ecstasy of Surrender

    Tip 1. Evaluate a potential mate’s compatibility
    As you’re getting to know someone, share that you’re sensitive, that you value having alone time. The right person will understand; the wrong person will put you down for being “overly sensitive.”

    Tip 2. Vibrations Speak Louder Than Words
    Notice how you relate to a potential mate’s energy. Ask yourself: Does the person’s words match their energy? Or is something off? If you have any doubts about his or her authenticity, go slow. To avoid getting involved with someone who won’t be good for you, keep tracking the person’s energy with your empathic abilities to find out who they really are.

    Tip 3. Allow quiet time at home to decompress
    Get in the habit of taking mini-breaks throughout the day. Tell your partner how important this is to you. Stretch. Breathe. Walk. Meditate. Listen to music. This time alone will replenish you.

    Tip 4. Limit your time socializing with others
    Tell your partner what your ideal time limit is to stay at parties or other social occasions before you burn out. If your comfort level is three hours max--even if you adore the people--make an agreement with your partner to take your own car if he or she prefers to stay longer.

    Tip 5. Negotiate your square footage needs
    Breathing room is a must. Experiment with creative living conditions. Ask yourself, “What space arrangement is optimal?” Having a private area to retreat to? Separate bathrooms? Separate houses? Agree not to crowd each other. When traveling together, you may prefer getting adjoining rooms with your own bathroom (this works wonders for me). If sharing a room is the only option, hanging a sheet as a room divider will help.

    Tip 6. Get a sleep divorce
    Traditionally, partners sleep in the same bed. However, some empaths never get used to this, no matter how caring a mate. Nothing personal: they just like sleeping in their own space. Discuss options with your mate. Give yourself permission to sleep separately. Separate beds. Separate rooms. Sleeping together a few nights a week. Because non-empaths can feel lonely sleeping alone, make compromises when possible.

    In my medical practice, I’ve seen this creative approach to relationships save marriages and make ongoing intimacies safe for emotional empaths of all ages--even if they haven’t had a long-term partner before.



    Judith Orloff MD is a psychiatrist, intuitive healer, and NY Times bestselling author. Her latest national bestseller is The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your life. Dr. Orloff's other bestsellers are Emotional FreedomSecond SightPositive Energy, and Intuitive Healing. Dr. Orloff synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. She passionately believes that the future of medicine involves integrating all this wisdom to achieve emotional freedom and total wellness. To learn more about the power of surrender visit www.drjudithorloff.com

    Comments
    Anonymous commented on 20-May-2014 11:35 PM
    Interesting to me as an occupational therapist that these seem to also be the sensory over responsive types whose nervous systems have difficulty with auditory, visual, tactile or even vestibular (not secure with body in space) problems. Sometimes deep pressure, weightbearing activities and other ways to calm the nervous system can help. I love the article and am sending it on to friends I know that relate to this.
    Kimberly Cutting commented on 22-May-2014 10:47 PM
    I find the relationship empath thing interesting especially in relation to the soul-mate piece and I've discovered threw some personal areas in which it can cancel each other out in good ways. Have I been labeled as overly sensitive? I'm an Intuitive Empath myself & my fiance is as well.. (he answered yes to all of the questions in the intuitive Empath Quiz as well) However I've discovered that when 2 Empaths who are soul-mates get together some things intuively cancel out relationship empath issues... like for instance:
    Am I afraid of getting engulfed or losing my identity in intimate relationships? In the past we were somewhat, but when we met the feeling went away and we embraced and actually enjoyed the feeling of loosing ourselves to each other and becoming "one".

    Do I get drained by too much togetherness and require time alone to refuel? Sometimes, but more often then not we feel recharged by each other due to being so in synch... it depends how our conversations and moods are.

    Do I sometimes prefer sleeping alone? We did before we met, but found our energy synchs so well with each other that it actually helped us to sleep better the 1st time we tried it as a couple.

    others such as:
    Do I tend to take on by my partner’s stress or physical symptoms? & Do I feel overwhelmed by noise, smells, crowds, or excessive talking? No change to either of those really.

    Haven't experimented with travel or separate vehicles yet though. I do suspect he might though if he could, he likes to sleep in the hotel closet to isolate himself more when he travels and he has an even higher sensitivity to crowds then I do and would prefer to leave a karaoke bar or shopping mall a little sooner then I would for example.
    Sue Cameron commented on 22-May-2014 11:26 PM
    Thank you for this!! I've attended a couple of your classes at Esalen. This describes my 34 year marriage to a T. I am currently " WISHING" I had my own house!. I wouldn't mind dating him once on a while. He's a good guy. We've grown apart. He never goes anywhere! Watches TV every night and I am not exaggerating!!! I go on retreats with gf's, classes, vacations with friends, we sleep apart.. Why be married???!!!
    Wendy Hammond commented on 23-May-2014 08:25 AM
    So refreshing to read about a Relationship Empath. Have not read the book yet but know many women, including myself, who feel this way. I am twice divorced from relationships with alcoholics or drugaddicts. Have not pursued another relationship since 1994. Theoverwhelm from the enmeshment has left me very happy to live life alone. I am now 67 years old.
    Kari commented on 23-May-2014 01:41 PM
    Wow that sounds so much like me. My husband's job has changed and he is home most of the time now. I have lost my one day alone to de-stress and I feel added stress by not having my alone time. It feels like his energy is sucking the life out of me and I have found it so draining. I didn't feel like this before when we didn't spend as much time together. The odd time when he isn't home, I feel like I have more "space" and I feel "lifted" like a weight has been removed from my shoulders. I've been wondering why that is and felt there was something wrong with me but this explains so much. Thank you for sharing your knowledge!
    paulette commented on 01-Jun-2014 03:46 PM
    it really interesting , i became my husband and i did not realize it , and not knowing about empath, we had marriage problems and lead to sleeping separate room, less
    communication, and at that time i discover your info, suddenly i realized that i was carrying his anxiety, sadness and for some reason he took over my personally,
    it almost seem we switch bodies i got all his negative traits, and he seem to project my positive,
    i am still confuse by this, but i feel like i got my soul back . your work is soo important , thanks you
    Susan commented on 05-Jun-2014 10:27 PM
    well, I admire Kimberly's advantages up above this posting(May 22nd), but i'm here to tell ya, I would LOVE the freedom to let my otherwise perfect mate know that-I need to sleep alone!! He does not get it....I have shown him, I have explained to him-and it's as if I'm speaking blurbish. It is our only downfall. My saving grace? Working 3rd shift-although I am not certain how much that helps me...Otherwise, on my nights off, it isn't a night off-I wake up drained, exhausted, in pain! He believes somehow I'm to accept night terrors, snoring and thrashing as just par for the course........ can anyone help me, here? other than the obvious/ leave. . .

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    Why Empaths Are at Risk for Adrenal Fatigue

    Judith Orloff - Monday, April 28, 2014

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    (Adapted from The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your Life Harmony Books, 2014 by Judith Orloff MD)

    As a psychiatrist I treat many empath-patients who come in exhausted with a syndrome known as adrenal fatigue. This is a collection of symptoms such as exhaustion, body aches, anxiety, trouble thinking clearly, and insomnia. In this condition, the theory is that the adrenal glands can’t keep up with outside stress so the hormones such as cortisol that normally keep you energized begin to get depleted.

    In my book, The Ecstasy of Surrender I discuss the very real situation of empathic illnesses where empaths literally take on the stress and symptoms of others. Unfortunately, conventional medicine doesn’t have a context with which to understand this and many empaths are left in the lurch or misdiagnosed. Because empaths can be emotional sponges and take on the literal symptoms of others, it adds to their stress levels and leaves them more vulnerable to adrenal fatigue. To learn more about Empathic Illnesses including strategies to stop absorbing other people’s toxic energy read the chapter “Harmonizing with Illness & Pain” in my book.

    Here are some solutions for empaths to treat adrenal fatigue that can turn your symptoms around and restore your energy. But remember, for empaths this isn’t a one-time fix—it requires some basic life style and diet changes so that you can effectively manage your energy over the long term.

    Strategies to Relieve Adrenal Fatigue

  • Get a blood test to measure your cortisol levels.
  • Consider temporary natural cortisol replacement per your physician’s recommendation.
  • Get as much rest as you can on a regular basis (sleep is very healing and restorative!).
  • Eliminate the energy vampires in your life or at least set clear limits and boundaries with them so they don’t chronically sap you. (Read Chapter 5 in the Ecstasy of Surrender for tips and strategies.)
  • Eat a natural whole food diet and avoid junk food
  • Add Himalayan Red Salt to your diet and get rid of low quality salts (always check with your physician if your blood pressure is high).
  • Avoid white flour and other toxic grains
  • Minimize your sugar intake
  • Gentle exercise and stretching—gradually build up stamina and challenge yourself as your energy increases
  • Meditate: Use the three minute surrender to your heart meditation in The Ecstasy of Surrender to take mini breaks throughout your busy day to replenish yourself
  • Take 2,000-5000 mg Vitamins C orally every day
  • Consider IV Vitamin C drips (10-25,000mg) delivered intravenously that can jump start your energy level and support adrenal health (holistic physicians often offer this treatment in their offices). I get one whenever I feel like I’m coming down with a cold to build up my immune system—and it works!
  • In addition to these practical tips, get in the habit of practicing positive thinking. By this I mean, do not beat yourself up with negative thoughts such as “I will never feel better” or “I am weak and sick.” Rather focus on the surrender affirmations I present at the end of every chapter in the book such as “I am healthy, happy, and deserve to have vibrant well-being.” You might not have control over some stresses in your life but you can have control of your attitude. To relieve adrenal fatigue, you can remove a great deal of inner stress by surrendering patterns of self-loathing and embracing self-compassion and self-love!



    Judith Orloff MD is a psychiatrist, intuitive healer, and NY Times bestselling author. Her latest national bestseller is The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your life. Dr. Orloff's other bestsellers are Emotional FreedomSecond SightPositive Energy, and Intuitive Healing. Dr. Orloff synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. She passionately believes that the future of medicine involves integrating all this wisdom to achieve emotional freedom and total wellness. To learn more about the power of surrender visit www.drjudithorloff.com

    Comments
    Cindie commented on 29-Apr-2014 06:42 PM
    Omg Dr.Judith! Amazing!
    Elisabeth commented on 29-Apr-2014 07:27 PM
    Thanks for your input! It encourages me to trust more my intuitive feelings than I have done so far.
    Anonymous commented on 29-Apr-2014 07:29 PM
    Thank you <3
    Ugie commented on 29-Apr-2014 10:00 PM
    Thank you Dr. Orloff,
    For many, many years I have known that I am an empath. This is the very first time twelve known ths condition to be addressed. This is not something I asked for, and I have felt so tired sometimes, but did not know why. It felt like someone drained all the energy from my body with a vacum cleaner hose. You put a name to what I have experienced.
    I love the affirmations and the suggestions to address my health a a result of this.
    My goal is to begin a better nutritional way of eating and taking better care of my body. I pray and meditate daily, and have done so for many years.
    Thank you again, and may you be continually blessed,
    Ugie
    Anonymous commented on 30-Apr-2014 01:39 AM
    As a Reflexologist I see so many unbalances in my clients feet.... especially in the younger generation... due to lack of poor diet. Adding Omega 3 fish oils into our diet can have a huge positive effect....our bodies feel so much more nourished....it feeds our skin and is so good for our hair.....and lots more...........
    Becky commented on 30-Apr-2014 01:41 AM
    Great article! Will definitely get the book! I have a predicament though that I really need help getting through. I can take this advice and apply it everywhere but this one spot! I actually manage my empathetic self well, but I realize it's mostly through avoidance. I don't mind being a hermit and when I'm around friends, I'm great! When I'm around people with energy I don't do well with, I need to flea. I'm usually ok getting through this, as my husband knows I can only handle small doses. But, this one topic, he is blind to. It just seems like nothing works and my mind then goes into the gutter. My mother inlaw, which is why he can't see it, is extremely present and it creates my husband to completely shift his normal energy onto her and I am ignored most of the time when we're all together (they speak a different language also). I've told them they do this but it doesn't seem to phase them. I know I'm sensitive and usually it's my own perspective which needs adjusting, but this one feels different and I just don't know how to block her energy. She feels like a force that demands a red carpet and he rolls it right out and presses it down and then walks her right down it, and he's 40. It's just the relationship they have. I love and respect my mother, but she's a capable human being and we don't baby one another like these two. It's frustrating. I get so irritated and anxious with her, especially when there's a possibility she may be coming around. She comes to town frequently and for usually 1-2 weeks and expects us to have dinner with her almost nightly and to hang out and be at her beckon call. My husband goes with it without a thought and he will set aside plans (or lie to her rather than say no) or even invite her out with our friends! But being empathetic, I need preparation and space and I find it disrespectful and cowardly that he rearranges life for her. The thing is, she may be upset if he tells her no, but I wouldn't know because he won't! And really, I think she'd be ok, so long as he doesn't do it more than once because she likes to use the pity card and is always inserting herself asking, "did I do something wrong" when it has nothing to do with her. This type of oerson is someone I would not associate with, for I know what they do to me, but how do I manage it when we're currently living so close to her? Anyone have ANY type of advice for me? Thank you in advance and cheers to all of the empaths out there! We may be a "difficult breed", but we're so beautiful at the same time!!
    Anonymous commented on 30-Apr-2014 02:22 AM
    This makes so much sense! With some people I can feel as though the life is draining out of me!Now I understand that I can do things to protect myself already I feel less vulnerable. Thank you! En
    Betterlife commented on 30-Apr-2014 03:05 AM
    I love how you break down in a simple-but very profound manner your concept of 12 ways of letting go & surrendering to the moment,to happiness,to love & to a BETTERLIFE!!!

    From your biggest fan!!
    Betterlife commented on 30-Apr-2014 03:06 AM
    I love how you break down in a simple-but very profound manner your concept of 12 ways of letting go & surrendering to the moment,to happiness,to love & to a BETTERLIFE!!!

    From your biggest fan!!
    DULCEMARIA ORELLANA commented on 30-Apr-2014 06:01 AM
    Hi Dr. Orloff!
    Who would´ve thought that helping others can put a person at such a risk? Thanks for sharing your wise advice to protect ourselves while helping others.Once I read that the sick person gets better by taking other people´s health. The sick one may not have that intention, however that happens since the exchange of energy is based on a asymetric relationship.
    Take care.
    Dulce
    paulette commented on 01-May-2014 12:55 AM
    thanks for your work, i have more patient and compassion for myself now, the vit c work great, when i get super drain i do a vit c flush and it helps lots.also i found a niacin flush also helps too, that rush of blood seem to cut the anxieties i am picking up.
    your work change my life i feel, accepting of my sensitivity.
    Anonymous commented on 03-May-2014 10:17 PM
    Thank you for recognizing this condition and offering ways to deal with adrenal fatigue. I will get your book. Blessing to you for helping the empaths of the world:)
    Jan commented on 07-May-2014 03:12 PM
    Want to thank you for the presentation you gave at Powell's bookstore in Cedar Hills. This was my first introduction to your books. Right now I am reading The Ecstasy of Surrender and appreciate all that I have read thus far. On page 27 I read,"You are a vessel for this power, never the master of it," Your words made me think of this short prayer---"O God, make me a hollow reed, through which the pith of self hath been blown, so that I may become a clear channel through which Thy love may flow to others." Wishing you well on your journey.
    Christopher Antoine marchand commented on 09-May-2014 12:06 AM
    Iam waiting for a cd from the library ! Iam so excited I can hardly wait !!!!
    jeanne commented on 15-May-2014 02:19 PM
    I am exhausted. When I have the $ I will look into this book! I have weeded my friend garden, avoid places with much negativity, anger yet it seems it is everywhere this days! It saddens me greatly! So there is hope! thanks
    marilyn jones commented on 03-Aug-2014 12:48 PM
    Great advice

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    Surrender to the Miracle of Love

    Judith Orloff - Tuesday, April 08, 2014

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    (Adapted from The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your Life Harmony Books, 2014 by Judith Orloff MD)

    In my new book, The Ecstasy of Surrender I define a soul mate as a fated romantic relationship with someone to whom you feel a special affinity. You fall in love with and support each other’s souls as well as their bodies. The relationship is never denigrating, abusive, or based on narcissism or control. When you meet, something in you awakens, even rejoices. You can finally breathe. The wait is over--you’re home again.

    However, contrary to what you may think, a soul mate isn’t necessarily some ideal person who will make your life perfect or cure your loneliness. Nor do you have to always like each other or agree. But he or she will help you evolve. You’ll learn from one another. There is no deadline for a soul mate. One can arrive when you’re twenty or eighty, whenever the time is right. Sexual attraction is part of the bond though this may vary in different phases of life. Some of these relationships are incredibly smooth, whereas most have more challenges. However, with soul mates, two are stronger than one. You make each other better.

    What should you look for in a soul mate? How can you know you’ve met yours? To avoid missing out on these relationships, you must let go of unrealistic expectations. Here’s a summary of some fundamental qualities that define what a soul mate is and isn’t. Though the intensity of these may vary in different phases of your lives, they form the basis of your bond.

    How to Identify Your Soul Mate

    What a soul mate relationship is:

  • You feel a strong connection, comfort, and sense of familiarity
  • There’s a physical attraction
  • You share mutual love, commitment, and support
  • You “get” each other; you’re each other’s biggest fans
  • You are emotional mirrors and teachers for each other
  • You’re in synch, even telepathic
  • You’re willing to work through conflicts, compromise, and surrender unhealthy patterns to improve the relationship
  • What a soul mate relationship isn’t:

  • All about you (or all about your partner)
  • Lukewarm, boring, or noncommittal
  • Forced or merely a “good idea”
  • Based on abuse, control, or rigidity
  • Only physical attraction or the sense of “lightning striking”
  • The “answer to all your problems” or always conflict-free
  • Based on “settling,” being together for convenience, or out of a fear of being alone, breaking up, or change
  • Whether a soul mate lasts forever, these relationships are transformative and provide a goldmine of lessons. They bring you face-to-face with aspects of your masculine and feminine sides that you desire to integrate. Marriage, which is a civil agreement, doesn’t require that you be with a soul mate. So, if it happens that your spouse isn’t one, or if you always stay single, there are still numerous benefits and much love that is possible. I’m not saying it’s necessarily better or worse to find a soul mate. The level of connection is just different. One thing I am sure of: each of our paths is uniquely perfect. Life presents us with what we need to grow. In this sense, a soul mate may not be appropriate or essential for everyone, as much as the heart may long for one.

    Moreover, you can’t force one to arrive or demand that the universe deliver one. I guarantee: that won’t work. This is where surrender is key. It’s a fine balance. You must clarify what qualities you desire in someone, then surrender expectations. Paradoxically, the “letting go” part is what most increases the likelihood of results. Being too hungry or fixated on finding a mate can backfire by acting as a death grip that stifles flow. To manifest a goal, you must always hold it lightly so you don’t inadvertently sabotage yourself by clamping down.

    There are clear ways to hone your intuitive focus to make it more possible for your soul mate to materialize. Here is an exercise to do from The Ecstasy of Surrender.

    Invite Your Soul Mate In
    Surrender into action by setting the stage for a soul mate, then notice the signs that he or she has arrived.

    1. Make a wish list
    Spend some quiet time picturing the qualities you most desire in a mate. Ask yourself: What would truly be good for me? What do I need? Intelligence? Kindness? Support? Chemistry? Wants children? Good communication skills? Is he or she spiritually connected? Also make a list of traits that are unacceptable to you such as being self-absorbed or rigid. Everyone’s needs are different.

    2. Release Expectations
    Think of your list as a letter to spirit. You’ve put in your soul mate requests. No need to keep re-sending the letter. Now, let the list go. Hold your desires lightly in your heart but don’t push. Have faith that you’ve been heard.

    3. Listen to Intuition
    Pay attention to intuitive signs that you’ve met someone of interest, even if he or she isn’t “your type.” These are: A sudden wave of chills, a gut feeling of attraction, or a flash of insight that this person may be right for you. Also stay aware of intuitions such as a sick feeling in your gut or a sense of distrust that warns, “Danger. Bad news. Stay away.” These will protect you from unhealthy relationships.

    4. Be aware of synchronicities and déjà vu
    Synchronicities are moments of perfect timing when paths effortlessly interconnect. You sit next to someone in a movie who turns out to be your soul mate. Or, out of the blue, you have a chance to go to Paris where you meet The One. Also, notice when you have a sense of déjà vu--as if you’ve known each other before. If this occurs with a stranger, say in the market, act on the situation by smiling and making eye contact. Then strike up a conversation such as asking for directions.



    Judith Orloff MD is a psychiatrist, intuitive healer, and NY Times bestselling author. Her latest national bestseller is The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your life. Dr. Orloff's other bestsellers are Emotional FreedomSecond SightPositive Energy, and Intuitive Healing. Dr. Orloff synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. She passionately believes that the future of medicine involves integrating all this wisdom to achieve emotional freedom and total wellness. To learn more about the power of surrender visit www.drjudithorloff.com

    Comments
    Joanne M. Scherff commented on 08-Apr-2014 06:45 PM
    Wow! What an interesting excerpt of your new book. I am looking forward on reading,& just inquired at the free library of Philadelphia.

    I can relate to these views on life. And, I am a work-in-progress" on surrendering!

    Thank you for such an inspiring book,

    Joanne
    Michael Lighten commented on 24-Apr-2014 12:55 AM
    I listened to your program and there was a time I was afraid to go to sleep, because I was being tormented in the astral plane. God set me free and now my sleep is peaceful and I await the time when my time is up, when I can return to the Divine.
    Christina commented on 24-Apr-2014 03:44 PM
    Dr. Orloff, It's so wonderful to make my way back to your wisdom by way of your blog after reading the news of your upcoming talk this Sunday at CSL in Seattle. I look forward to seeing you at CSL this weekend. I still have my signed copy of Second Sight from the workshop I attended in 1998 in Oregon. Bless you. Christina
    colleen commented on 17-May-2014 01:22 PM
    Finally an answer thank you , Thank you, THANK YOU
    Kimberly Cutting commented on 22-May-2014 10:32 PM
    I like your description:
    "You feel a strong connection, comfort, and sense of familiarity
    There’s a physical attraction
    You share mutual love, commitment, and support
    You “get” each other; you’re each other’s biggest fans
    You are emotional mirrors and teachers for each other
    You’re in synch, even telepathic
    You’re willing to work through conflicts, compromise, and surrender unhealthy patterns to improve the relationship." It just so perfectly fits the relationship I have with my fiance. He is all those things with me & I am all those things with him, and I knew it the moment our eyes met, my intuition just told me he's the one and our energy instantly synched us together telepathically!

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