Clairsentience: The Link Between Feeling Too Much And Emotional Intelligence?

I first came across clairsentience in Wheels of Light, Dr. Anodea Judith's classic book on the chakra system and our ability to sense and self-heal. In her words, "clairsentience is the ability to sense other people's emotions." In its most simple form we identify it as empathy. Today, however, any intuitiveness is associated with the blanket term of "emotional intelligence," which does the opposite for explaining the depth of sensing. By understanding how this innate ability works for regulating feelings during intense moments, we can learn how to draw boundaries before entering a place of emotional overload.

Adult learning takes place in two steps: (1) receiving a feeling, which then creates (2) an idea (a thought or words) or a visual impression (an image or symbol). For example, I may see an image of Bali in a movie and have intense feelings of spiritual joy, goodness and curiosity, which then gives me the idea of flying there and how I might go about putting a trip together. What we may not realize is that some of us haven't developed boundaries well enough to understand which feelings are our own and which feelings are impressed upon us by others, not only influencing our ideas, but also our final decision-making process.

The sensing quality of clairsentience is strengthened when we pause to ask ourselves "how" our feelings came about and "where" they were first initiated. We have an "ah-ha" moment at this juncture if we travel back far enough. Often, a story and pattern of behavior emerges and we can untangle our thoughts from others. A common example of this is sharing your opinion about a job candidate with a group after an interview. Your opinion is formed by what the candidate said and how you felt it matched the integrity of their statement. However, your role in an organization, group dynamics and majority influence can leave you with a final opinion that is not entirely yours.

We create boundaries during moments of intense decision-making when we take a step back during the sharing process, knowing at which point after expressing ourselves we've received enough information from others. Separating ourselves acts as an internal cue for practicing conscious self-regulation, a gate that keeps us from feeling overwhelmed. Inner steadiness is created in this space and positive detachment flows from here, allowing us to not take anything personally and to empathize and influence in powerful way. This is true emotional intelligence: sensing, feeling and threading perceptions of the unseeable and unknowable together to create clear thoughts and an aligned reaction. The best way to understand anyone is to not only recognize their boundaries, but to understand where and how those boundaries were formed.