You might think about werewolves and werecats, popularized in stories and movies. Turning into a werewolf is called lycanthropy. This means that the person takes on the physical aspects of a wolf or a cat, or some other creature.
It has been a shamanic practice for eons, though most Shamans do not take on the physical aspects of the animals, except on an astral level. They morph within that plane of existence to better work with spirits and healing practices.
But physical shapeshifting is slightly different than what we are talking about here. It is, shall we say, a more primal type of shapeshifting compared to Empathic Shapeshifting, which is the topic of the blog. Empathic shapeshifting is the ability to read a person's emotions, physical pain, and see through their eyes, and take on their characteristics to better understand them as you work to heal them. In understanding them to such deep levels, you are able to, without conscious thought, change your own personality to fit any given situation or problem. You simply know, without rhyme or reason, what to do or say to help the person you are working with.
Humans are complex creatures, and Empaths twice as complex, because we have the ability not only to feel what others are feeling, but to absorb that pain and transmute it into a light, giving back to them a healing energy of great strength and support. Because of this Empathic shapeshifting does not mean we put up a facade to help these people. We are literally shifting our consciousness in order to see from their perspective, and work from that view point.
Empathic Shapeshifting is duality, in a sense. You are who you are, and yet, for a time, you are also a part of that other person. And once you learn to control this ability, this duality becomes a very easy shift in consciousness, without losing yourself in the process. In controlling it you learn the following:
*Keeping silent and talking
* Receptivity and resistance to influence
*Obeying and ruling
*Humility and self-confidence
*Lightning-like speed of thought and circumspection
*Ability to fight and the ability to establish peace
*Caution and courage
*To possess nothing and to command everything
*To have no ties and to be loyal
*No fear of death and high regard for life
*Indifference and love
Do any of these sound familiar to you? Do they resonate with the person you are, or the person you wish to be? Lets look at each more closely.
Keeping Silent and Talking
Empathic Shapeshifting allows one to know when to speak and when to be silent. It allows you to know when a simple shoulder to cry on is all that is needed, instead of sharing advice. It also allows you to share your own experiences with that person, through their own perspective, so that your experiences have a deeper relevance to that person. You are able to connect the the treads quicker and easier in what to share in order to help them heal.
Receptivity and resistance to influence
This is the ability to feel and know what the other person is feeling and thinking on a very deep and emotional level, without losing yourself in the process. This comes when one learns to control this ability.
Obeying and ruling
This allows you to adjust to any situation, whether it is simply listening or taking charge of any given situation. To obey does not mean one becomes a supplicant to any thing the other person does. Nor does ruling mean that you are controlling that person. It is a balance of sharing and giving through understanding the other person's perspective in order to give them what they need. This is basically the ability to be a people-pleaser.
Humility and self-confidence
This is the ability to hold onto oneself and not lose themselves when one is working with another person. It is also the difference between controlling a person through manipulation and offering help out of the a pure wish to help. It is, like all the rest, a balance of learning to reach out to others while keeping yourself separate and in tact during the transformation.
Through this gift, one learns humility through temperance, and at the same time, they develop a stable sense of self which enables the ability to feel self confidence.
Lightning-like speed of thought and circumspection
This is generally done without conscious thought. It is the immediate knowing of what to do or say to console another when they are in pain. It is also the ability to see all possible circumstances and possible consequences, so that you are able to choose the best course of action when working with someone.
Ability to fight and the ability to establish peace
This is the ability to know when to be a mediator and help someone work through their problems. It is also the ability to know when to stand up for something even when someone is completely against it. It is the ability to speak the truth, even when it is hurtful to the other person, because it is necessary for them to face an unpleasant reality.
Caution and courage
This is the knowing when to be cautious with ones words, because the person you are reaching out to is in a fragile state, and could easily 'break', as it were. And knowing when to stand your ground, even when fear of rejection looms on the horizon.
To possess nothing and to command everything
This is the part where even when you are at your emptiest, and you feel as though you possess nothing, you still have the ability to stand with your head held high, full of self confidence, assured of your own worth. So even in your darkest moments, you are still able to reach out to others, and do what you are compelled to do.
To have no ties and to be loyal
This is detachment with the ability to stay true to the person you are working with. This is the duality of taking on that person's traits, while staying detached enough to hold onto the whole of who you are, keeping it separate and apart from what you are doing.
No fear of death and high regard for life
Because one can shift into another, whether animal or human, one can see the deepest connections in life, that all things are bound together in an intricate tapestry. With this knowledge comes the loss of a fear of death, and a much higher respect for life.
Indifference and love
Indifference does not have to mean apathy. It can be the holding back of your own personality to let rise a singular part of yourself which is necessary to help another. It is in essence, a sacrifice in the name of love and compassion.
Be alone without being lonely
This is the ability to understand that even when one stands alone in this world, they are never truly alone, because we all bear a deep connection to one another, leaving us whole and complete, even at our weakest moments ~ even when we don't realize it.
So what is Empathic Shapeshifting? It is the ability to remain whole and complete within yourself, as you do what you do best as an Empathic Healer. Do you do it, even without conscious thought?