Dr. Michael Smith: The Empath’s Toolkit
July 24, 2013
Hosted by Sweigh Emily Spilkin, MA, MFA, CHT
“Threshold experiences,” like grief, loss, trauma, and illness, can make us more sensitive and empathic. Sensitive individuals tend to feel overwhelmed, confused, and exhausted much of the time. While sensitivity has its challenges, it also has its gifts and can be thought of even, as a tremendous act of service. In this interview, Dr. Michael Smith shares with us the inner workings of empathy and sensitivity. He explores exercises empaths and sensitive individuals can use to help them ground, reconnect with their bodies, establish boundaries, and clear away other people’s energy. With the right support and tools, empaths can shift from suffering to spiritual warriorship. Tune in to find out more!
Thresholds to Awakening
Archives Available on VoiceAmerica 7th Wave Channel
You are here for a reason. What you perceive to be a mistake (your pain, your suffering, your illness) is not a mistake at all. It is a radical opportunity to crack open, catalyze your potential, and embody your soul. An opportunity you would have never consciously chosen, but something has led you here: to the Threshold. The purpose at the Threshold is not simply to “get better,” the purpose is to allow yourself to be initiated. To let go of who you thought you were, so that who you really are can emerge.
Hosted by Sweigh Emily Spilkin, seasoned psychotherapist and soul guide, Thresholds to Awakening offers a deep-dive into the paradoxical nature of transformation. The show includes intimate conversations with spiritual luminaries about how to work with difficulty, stories about people finding their way through impossible situations, and transformational guidance to help you access your deepest truth.
Sweigh Emily Spilkin, MA, MFA, CHT
Sweigh Emily Spilkin, MA, MFA, CHT, is a somatic psychotherapist, teacher, and soon to be-"doctor" (working on that PhD!) of Psychology and soul-centered growth. She helps individuals use their life challenges as gateways to realizing their souls’ potential. Sweigh has a thriving psychotherapy and coaching practice where she combines cutting-edge somatic techniques with grounded, spiritual wisdom to help people reframe their challenges, reclaim their power, and fully embody their souls.
Sweigh’s background includes two Masters degrees, a three-year Somatic Experiencing™ trauma resolution training, a five-year embodied energy work training, and extensive education in nature-based soul work.
Her greatest teacher, however, was her own bout with a chronic illness that left her nearly housebound for four years. After much patience, surrender, grieving, soul-work, nervous system healing, will, and grace, Sweigh emerged from the “underworld” of her illness with her soul intact. She now serves as a guide and a source of inspiration for others on the path. Sweigh can be found on the web at www.ThresholdstoAwakening.com and www.EmbodyYourSoul.com.
Elise Ballard is an author, independent filmmaker and the creator and personality of EpiphanyChannel.com. Elise wrote the book Epiphany: True Stories of Sudden Insight to Inspire, Encourage and Transform (Random House/Crown Publishing) and created the website EpiphanyChannel.com as part of the Epiphany Project, a series of books, a web community and a channel for people from all walks of life and from all over the world to experience, learn about and share great epiphany stories. Some of the people included in her book and Epiphany Project are Deepak Chopra, Maya Angelou, Bishop Desmond Tutu, Craig Newmark (Founder, craigslist), and Michael Bernard Beckwith (Founder, Agape Church, Los Angeles). Elise started her career in entertainment working as an actress and then as a producer. She is a regular contributor to Psychology Today and Positively Positive, and has created two Ted talks. She can be found on the web at www.EpiphanyChannel.com Guest Elise Ballard
Joan Borysenko, Ph.D. is a Harvard Medical School trained cancer cell biologist, as well a licensed psychologist and New York Times bestselling author. A pioneer in psychoneuroimmunology, mind-body medicine, and stress management, Joan is perhaps best known for her tender exploration of the human spirit—what kindles it and what snuffs it out. Her newest book Fried: Why You Burn Out and How to Revive—like her previous 14 books—focuses on creating a deeply meaningful, satisfying life whatever your circumstances may be. Guest Joan Borysenko
Jeff began his career with a law degree, an apprenticeship with a famous criminal Laywer, and on the track of conventional success. On the verge of opening his law practice, he heard a voice inside telling him to stop. With great difficulty, he listened and began a heartfelt quest for the truth that lived inside him.On his way to that truth, Jeff studied body-centered psychotherapy and bioenergetics, was taught by “the school of heart knocks,” and dove deep into his inner work where he left no emotional stone unturned. Out of his journey, Jeff authored “soulshaping,” a grounded and magical inner travelogue,” that teaches people how to turn inward and access their own soul and a new book of inspirational quotes titled “ascending with both feet on the ground.” He is also featured in the new documentary, Karmegeddon, which includes dialogues between Jeff and spiritual teacher Ram Dass, yogis Seane Corn and David Newman, and chanters Deva Premal and Miten. He can be found on the web at www.Soulshaping.com. Guest Jeff Brown
Sofia Diaz is a hatha yoga master, a lineage holder in the Balasaraswati lineage of the South Indian temple arts and a recipient of numerous meditation empowerments in both Tibetan and Shakta Tantric traditions. She turns the body wisdom and practices she is empowered in into accessible teachings and practices for the modern western mind. Sofia has particular clarity and expertise, born out of her own rigorous and devoted practice, in the domain of Feminine Spiritual practice, which she has been generously teaching for 30 years. Sofia holds degrees in both dance and religions studies, has taught at Naropa University, the University of Colorado, and privately with an avid following of both in person students and distance students through her virtual yoga chala. She has published writings on yoga and sacred movement in both academic and popular journals and travels frequently, teaching women’s yoga intensives throughout the world. Sofia can be found on the web at www.SofiaYoga.com. Guest Sofia Diaz
A pioneer here to help humanity step into a more Soulful existence, Sarah Entrup is a guide into the unknown parts of ourselves. Sarah’s highly developed clairvoyant and healing abilities help her to serve a wide range of people. From the most diligent spiritual seeker to the corporate executive, Sarah is a translator of information and a channel for healing. Sarah travels around the world giving workshops and retreats, helping people to connect to more of who they are. When she is not traveling she has a private practice in Petaluma California, where she offers Clairvoyant readings and healings. She can be found on the web at : http://www.sarahentrup.com/ Guest Sarah Entrup
About Sue Frederick: An intuitive since childhood, Sue draws upon dreams, ancient numerology, powerful intuition, and conversations with spirits to help you talk to your departed loved ones and heal your grief. She’s the founder of the Grief Intuitive Coaching Institute and has trained more than 300 Intuitive Coaches. Sue’s work has been featured in the New York Times, CNN.com, Real Simple, Yoga Journal, Natural Health and Complete Woman Magazines. Her newest book Bridges to Heaven: True Stories of Loved Ones (St. Martins Press) will be in bookstores September 2013. She’s been a guest on more than 200 radio shows and numerous TV shows including Bridging Heaven & Earth. Sue can be found on the web at: http://bridgestoheaven.org/ Guest Sue Frederick
Miriam Greenspan, M.Ed., LMHC, is a psychotherapist in private practice, consultant, writer, and internationally-known workshop leader. For the past two decades, Miriam's work has focused on a holistic mind/body/spirit approach to emotional healing. Challenging current trends which pathologize "negative" emotions, she teaches how honoring our grief, fear, and despair can lead to profound transformation on the personal, social, and global levels. Ms. Greenspan's book, Healing Through the Dark Emotions: the Wisdom of Grief, Fear, and Despair, won the 2004 Nautilus Award in psychology for “books that make a contribution to conscious living and positive social change.” It was chosen as one of the best spiritual books of 2003 by Spirituality and Health Magazine. Ms. Greenspan's work has been featured in Psychology Today, Body and Soul, Self, Shambhala Sun, Ms., New Woman, Utne Reader, Tikkun, Psychotherapy Networker, and Spirituality & Health, and the Sun. Guest Miriam Greenspan
Rick Hanson, Ph.D
Rick Hanson, Ph.D., is a neuropsychologist and author of Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom and Just One Thing: Developing a Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time. Founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom and Affiliate of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, he’s been an invited speaker at Oxford, Stanford, and Harvard, and taught in meditation centers worldwide. An authority on self-directed neuroplasticity, Dr. Hanson’s work has been featured on the BBC, NPR, FoxBusiness, Consumer Reports Health, U.S. News and World Report, and O Magazine and he has several audio programs with Sounds True. He edits the Wise Brain Bulletin, and his weekly e-newsletter – Just One Thing – has over 40,000 subscribers, and also appears on Huffington Post, Psychology Today, and other major websites. He can be found online at www.rickhanson.net. Guest Rick Hanson, Ph.D
Risa Kaparo, PhD
As a young adult, Risa successfully healed herself from a painful and life-threatening illness. The discoveries she made during her ordeal prompted her to eventually create a methodology to transform pain, stress, trauma and aging into wellness, embodied mindfulness and vital longevity. This system, called Somatic Learning® – was developed during three decades of research, clinical practice and training of health care practitioners, based on a synthesis of psychological, somatic, and meditative disciplines. As a licensed Ph.D. level psychotherapist and somatic therapist, Dr. Kaparo has offered her unique approach to self-healing to thousands around the world. She has taught Somatic Learning at many institutions internationally, including MIT, New College, JFK University, CIIS. Her new book, Awakening Somatic Intelligence: The Art & Practice of Embodied Mindfulness captures the wisdom of her teachings. www.awakeningsomaticintelligence.com. Guest Risa Kaparo, PhD
Stephen and Ondrea Levine
Stephen and Ondrea Levine have been working with the dying and the grieving and teaching meditation for over thirty years. Their three decades of teaching together has reached around the world. Their books have been translated into 18 languages, their talks and interviews on Levinetalks .com are widely respected , and their skillful means have been adopted in various hospices, hospitals and universities. Their books include A Gradual Awakening; Who Dies, an investigation of Conscious Living and Conscious Dying; Meetings at the Edge, dialogues with the grieving and dying;, Healing Into Life and Death; Guided Meditations, investigations and healings; Embracing the Beloved, relationship as a path of awakening; Unattended Sorrow, recovering from loss and reviving the heart; Turning Toward the Mystery, a seekers journey; A Year To Live, how to live this year as if it were your last ; and most recently Ondrea's autobiography, The Healing I Took Birth For. Guest Stephen and Ondrea Levine
Michael Meade, D.H.L., is a renowned storyteller, author, and scholar of mythology, anthropology, and psychology. He combines hypnotic storytelling, street-savvy perceptiveness, and spellbinding interpretations of ancient myths with a deep knowledge of cross-cultural rituals. He has an unusual ability to distill and synthesize these disciplines, tapping into ancestral sources of wisdom and connecting them to the stories we are living today.He is the author of Fate and Destiny: The Two Agreements of The Soul, The World Behind the World, The Water of Life: Initiation and the Tempering of the Soul; editor, with James Hillman and Robert Bly, of Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart; and editor of Crossroads: A Quest for Contemporary Rites of Passage. Meade is founder of Mosaic Multicultural Foundation, www.mosaicvoices.org, a nonprofit network of artist, activists, and community builders that encourages greater understanding between diverse peoples. Guest Michael Meade
Robert Moss is a dream teacher. He is the creator of Active Dreaming, an original synthesis of dreamwork and shamanism. Born in Australia, he survived three near-death experiences in childhood. He leads popular seminars all over the world, including a three-year training for teachers of Active Dreaming. A former lecturer in ancient history at the Australian National University, he is a best-selling novelist, journalist and independent scholar. His nine books on dreaming, shamanism and imagination include Conscious Dreaming, Dreamways of the Iroquois, The Dreamer's Book of the Dead, The Three ""Only"" Things,The Secret History of Dreaming, Dreamgates, Active Dreaming and Dreaming the Soul Back Home: Shamanic Dreaming for Healing and Becoming Whole. and first learned the ways of a traditional dreaming people through his friendship with Aborigines. Visit him online at www.mossdreams.com Guest Robert Moss
Mark Nepo has taught in the fields of poetry and spirituality for over thirty-five years. His books include the New York Times bestseller, The Book of Awakening, which was chosen as one of Oprah’s Ultimate Favorite Things in 2010. As a cancer survivor, Mark devotes his writing and teaching to the journey of inner transformation and the life of relationship. His latest book, Seven Thousand Ways to Listen: Staying close to what is sacred, is soon to be released by Free Press. You can find Mark on the web at MarkNepo.com and threeintentions.com. Guest Mark Nepo
Bill Plotkin, PhD
Bill Plotkin, PhD, is a depth psychologist, wilderness guide, and agent of cultural evolution. As founder of western Colorado’s Animas Valley Institute in 1981, he has guided thousands of women and men through nature-based initiatory passages, including a contemporary, Western adaptation of the pan-cultural vision quest. Previously, he has been a research psychologist (studying non-ordinary states of consciousness), professor of psychology, psychotherapist, rock musician, and whitewater river guide. In 1979, on a solo winter ascent of an Adirondack peak, Bill experienced a call to adventure, leading him to abandon academia in search of his true calling. Bill is the author of Soulcraft: Crossing into the Mysteries of Nature and Psyche (an experiential guidebook), Nature and the Human Soul: Cultivating Wholeness and Community in a Fragmented World (a nature-based stage model of human development through the entire lifespan), and Wild Mind: A Field Guide to the Human Psyche (an ecocentric map of the psyche — for healing, growing whole, and cultural transformation). He has a doctorate in psychology from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Bill can be found online at http://www.animas.org or http://www.wildmindbook.com Guest Bill Plotkin, PhD
Lissa Rankin, M.D.
Lissa Rankin, M.D. is an integrative medicine physician, author, speaker, artist, and founder of the popular online health and wellness communities LissaRankin.com and OwningPink.com. Her research led her to discover that patients have self-healing powers beyond our wildest imaginings, which we can effectively manipulate with the mind. She is on a mission to heal health care, help patients play a more active role in healing themselves, and encourage the health-care industry to embrace and facilitate, rather than resist, such miracles. Lissa is recognized on the Huffington Post’s Top 16 Health Experts to Follow On Twitter, Top Ten U.S. Twitter Doctors, and Forbes.com 20 Inspiring Women To Follow On Twitter lists. She is also the author of the new Hay House book, Mind over Medicine: Scientific proof that you can heal yourself. Guest Lissa Rankin, M.D.
Regina Sara Ryan
Regina Sara Ryan is an author, editor, seminar and retreat leader. A former Catholic nun, Regina has studied contemplation and mysticism throughout her adult life. After leaving the convent in 1971, she explored other religious traditions and was inspired by the lives of the great women of Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism and Sufism who had lived these ways. Since meeting her own spiritual teacher, the Western Baul master Lee Lozowick in 1984, Regina continues to follow what she calls a path of “unashamed devotion” in which she works to bring her life of contemplation into action. Her books include: Wellness Workbook , co-authored with John W. Travis, M.D.; The Woman Awake: Feminine Wisdom for Spiritual Life; After Surgery, Illness, or Trauma; Praying Dangerously; Only God: A Biography of Yogi Ramsuratkumar; Breastfeeding: Your Priceless Gift to Your Baby and Yourself and Igniting the Inner Life. She lives in Paulden, AZ with Jerome Pramuk, her husband of 40 years. Guest Regina Sara Ryan
Robert Schwartz is a counselor and certified hypnotherapist who helps people heal by understanding what they planned before they were born and why. He offers Spiritual Guidance Sessions (usually focused on the life plan), Past Life Soul Regressions, and Between Lives Soul Regressions. He is the author of two best-selling books, Your Soul’s Plan: Discovering the Real Meaning of the Life You Planned Before You Were Born and Your Soul’s Gift: The Healing Power of the Life You Planned Before You Were Born.Your Soul’s Plan explores the pre-birth planning of physical illness, having handicapped children, deafness, blindness, drug addiction, alcoholism, the death of a loved one, and accidents. Your Soul’s Gift discusses the pre-birth planning of spiritual awakening, miscarriage, abortion, caregiving, having pets, abusive relationships, sexuality, incest, adoption, poverty, suicide, rape, and mental illness. For more information please visit Robert online at www.yoursoulsplan.com. Guest Robert Schwartz
Janine Shepherd was a champion cross-country skier in training for the Winter Olympics, whose life was irrevocably altered when she was hit by a truck on a bike ride. Doctors warned her parents that she was not expected to survive her extensive injuries and even if she recovered, she would never walk again, let alone ski. But Janine refused to believe her prognosis and instead she focused every sinew of her being on healing her broken body and crushed morale. After spinal surgery and months in the hospital, she returned home in a wheelchair. Struggling to come to terms with her shattered dreams, and wondering what life could now offer, Janine’s fighting spirit was rekindled watching small planes flying overhead. At that moment she said to herself, “If I can’t walk, I’ll fly.” And she did. Janine’s miraculous recovery and subsequent achievements are a testament to the power of the human spirit. Today, she is a best-selling author and internationally renowned speaker who travels extensively in Australia and all over the world sharing her story with others. She can be found on the web at http://www.janineshepherd.com/ Guest Janine Shepherd
Dr. Michael Smith
Dr. Michael Smith. As the author of three popular books, including “The Complete Empath Toolkit,” Michael works to help his clients recognize their connection to Universal source energy and embrace their gifts of empathic sensitivity. As a doctoral trained counselor, energy medicine practitioner, and a spirit medium, his international coaching summits have reached hundreds of thousands, and over 750,000 have downloaded materials at his website. He has received invitations to speak alongside luminaries like Gregg Braden and Marci Shimoff, along with appearances at the Omega Institute and in documentary films. Michael has spent over a decade working with indigenous healers around the globe to more deeply explore and promote human potential. He can be found on the web at www.EmpathConnection.com Guest Dr. Michael Smith
Author of the God of Love: A Guide to the Heart of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and translator of the critically acclaimed new translations of the mystics, including The Dark Night of The Soul, and Theresa of Avila: The book of my life, Mirabai Starr uses fresh, lyrical language to help make timeless wisdom accessible to a contemporary circle of seekers. Mirabai has been an adjunct professor of Philosophy and World Religions at the University of New Mexico-Taos since 1993. She speaks and teaches nationally and internationally on the teachings of the mystics and contemplative practice, and is a certified bereavement counselor. She lives in the mountains of Northern New Mexico with her husband, Jeff Little (Ganga Das). Between them, Mirabai and Jeff have four grown daughters and six grandchildren. Mirabai’s youngest daughter, Jenny, was killed in a car accident in 2001 at the age of fourteen. On that same day, Mirabai’s first book, a translation of Dark Night of the Soul, was released. She considers this experience, and the connection between profound loss and longing for God, the ground of her own spiritual life. Mirabai can be found on the web at www.Mirabaistarr.com Guest Mirabai Starr
"Soul Archaeologist," Ken Stone is an Internationally recognized Spiritual Teacher and Healer, and Creator of the Beneath the Sand program. With his ability to re-tune a person’s body, mind, and spirit Ken has helped thousands of people remember and experience their Divine nature – from Spiritual Messengers, to people suffering from physical and emotional challenges, to people wanting to transcend knowing spiritual truths to actually experiencing them. After discovering his gifts in 2007, Ken let go of what he thought his life would be and embarked on a radical journey to embrace his purpose. In the process, he went from being an unhappy mortgage lender and unengaged father, to being a present, authentic parent, living a joy-filled and spiritual life, encouraging Divine expression every day. Ken has spoken along-side such luminaries as Neale Donald Walsh, Marianne Williamson, Don Miguel Ruiz, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Sonia Choquette, and others. He can be found at www.KenWStone.com Guest Ken Stone
Rev. Ted Wiard
Rev. Ted Wiard, LPCC, CGC is the Founder & Director of Golden Willow Retreat, a Northern New Mexico emotional healing center focused on grief, loss and resiliency. He is a licensed clinical therapist, certified grief counselor, a NM certified schoolteacher and a certified tennis teaching professional. Ted’s passion for working with grief, loss, and resiliency arose from his own personal losses in which he realized there were very few places to go for support and healing from loss. Ted is sought out for speaking engagements internationally and throughout the country. He has written many articles on the subject of emotional healing and has worked at prestigious places such as Betty Ford Center with grief and loss and the connection/disconnection of spirituality in loss, addiction, and relapse. Guest Rev. Ted Wiard
Lisa Wimberger is the founder of the Neurosculpting® Institute and the author of NEW BELIEFS, NEW BRAIN: Free Yourself from Stress and Fear. Lisa is a neuroplastician running a private healing and psychic practice supporting clients who suffer from stress disorders. Lisa began her meditation practice at age 12, was hit by lightning at the age of 15, and pronounced clinically dead on multiple occasions. She uses her traumatic experience, along with her extensive psychic and mediation training, as a vehicle for transformation. Guest Lisa Wimberger