I have something major for you today. Wendy De Rosa is my guest on the Dear Gabby podcast! Wendy is here to teach BIG lessons about how to protect your energy in relationships. 

I’m particularly psyched about this episode because I’ve seen the power of her teachings firsthand. 

I met Wendy when I was teaching alongside her at Kripalu. She and I both woke up early to watch the sun rise, and pretty soon we formed a “breakfast club” where we’d have these beautiful spiritual talks over coffee. 

It was during one of these early morning meetings that Wendy started talking to me about coregulating. She taught me that as a speaker, I can actually help an entire audience regulate their energy … even when tricky subjects or big emotions come up. I became fascinated with this concept. 

And Wendy’s teachings about intuition, emotions and energy have continued to inspire me.

How to Protect Your Energy in Relationships

I read Wendy’s book Becoming an Empowered Empath cover to cover. 

As soon as I read the first page, I knew I had to see this one through … even though I’ve never identified as overly empathic. 

You see, I knew the lessons in Wendy’s book would not only be helpful to me as a spiritual leader—they would really rock your world. 

I get so many questions like these from the Dear Gabby community: 

How can I be an empath without letting others’ energy drag me down? 

I want to keep my heart open to others but not get so dragged down by their issues … help me, Gabby! 

I do so much personal growth work, but interacting with this person always puts me in a funk. What gives?! 

Here’s the thing: Even if you meditate every day, read trauma-recovery books like Happy Days and work hard to keep your energy clean, you’re going to run into people who don’t share your commitment. 

And whether you’re an empath or not, you have to learn how to protect your energy in relationships. It’s a lesson we all need to learn! 

Shake Off Low Vibes

What can you do to stay emotionally centered and grounded while interacting with people whose energy threatens to take you down? ^^ Trust me, there’s a way … and Wendy will break it all down on Dear Gabby today.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • What being an empath REALLY means (a lot of people have this wrong!) 
  • Why no emotions are “bad” … and why it’s actually GOOD to experience heavy feelings 
  • How to be in a relationship with someone who seems stuck in chronic low vibes without taking on their energy 
  • The reason why some people become overly empathetic (hint: this ties into your chakra system) 
  • An easy and powerful self-care tip … for your aura!

Ground Your Energy

Wendy works with the energetic chakra system, which might be new to some of you. Don’t sweat it! In this Dear Gabby, Wendy explains very clearly which chakras can be described as your “relationship power centers,” and how to protect your energy by tapping into them. 

She explains that these power centers are in the lower three chakras, which are stored in the physical body underneath your ribs. (If you want to geek out on this, these are the Root chakra, the Sacral chakra and the Solar Plexus chakra.) 

When we can get out of our heads a bit and bring our energy down to our lower chakras, Wendy says that we can feel more grounded in our sense of self—and stay centered in all our relationships. 

Here’s an exercise Wendy suggests to feel more connected to those lower chakras, a.k.a. power centers.

The Grounded Cord Meditation

Imagine a cord reaching down from your tailbone to the center of the earth. Now, widen the image to imagine the connecting cord also encompassing the sides of your hips, your lower belly and your lower spine.

You might imagine a tree trunk or a strong pillar extending from the base of your body deep into the earth.

Taking a few deep breaths, imagine all the energy that’s stored up in your head and heart flowing down to the lower half of your body. 

As you take several deep breaths, recite these affirmations silently with each inhale and exhale: 

Now, take as much time as you need to allow your energy to take a deep seat in your sit bones, your tailbone, your legs, your pelvis and your belly.

Feel an evening out of energy between your upper body and lower body. You’re not losing your upper body consciousness; you’re simply expanding it into your lower body. 

Enjoy this practice, and all the gorgeous grounding tips that Wendy shares on this Big Talk

Get More Gabby

The following are helpful resources and books I mention in the episode: 

Wendy De Rosa is an intuitive energy healer, speaker, teacher and author. Her book, Becoming an Empowered Empath: How to Clear Energy, Set Boundaries & Embody Your Intuition, is a must-read. By opening this book, you will receive the energetic nurturing she has infused into every page

In today’s Dear Gabby, I refer back to a Big Talk with my EMDR therapist Tammy Valicenti. If you’d like to listen to it and learn more about the “window of tolerance,” click here. 

Want even more support? I created the Miracle Membership to help you design a spiritual practice you can stick to—so you can feel connected, supported and inspired every day. Each week I deliver brand new workshops, guided meditations, live group meditations, community connection and so much more. Plus, I lead a new challenge each quarter, and the BRAND NEW Relationship Challenge kicks off on October 1! Click here to join.

If you feel you need additional support, please refer to this list of mental health resources. I’m proud of you for being here. 

This podcast is intended to educate, inspire and support you on your personal journey toward inner peace. I am not a psychologist or a medical doctor and do not offer any professional health or medical advice. If you are suffering from any psychological or medical conditions, please seek help from a qualified health professional.


The following podcast is a Dear Media production.

Hi there, Gabby here. This podcast is intended to educate, inspire, and support you on your personal journey towards inner peace. I’m not a psychologist or a medical doctor,...

The following podcast is a Dear Media production.

Hi there, Gabby here. This podcast is intended to educate, inspire, and support you on your personal journey towards inner peace. I’m not a psychologist or a medical doctor, and do not offer any professional health or medical advice. If you are suffering from a psychological or medical condition, please seek help from a qualified health professional.

Hey there. Welcome to Dear Gabby. I’m your host Gabby Bernstein. And if you landed here, it is absolutely no accident. It means that you’re ready to feel good and manifest a life beyond your wildest dreams. Let’s get started.

Welcome back to Dear Gabby. Today’s episode is the experience of being an empath and you may not identify as an empath, but let me just ask you something. Do you ever feel drained by other people’s energy or emotions? I think everybody out there is like raising their hand, like, yes, me. So this big talk is with intuitive healer, Wendy De Rosa.

Wendy is a very dear friend. I met her in a breakfast hall when I was teaching at a spiritual center. We fell in love right away. And she immediately became not only a friend, but also a spiritual teacher to me in many ways. Wendy’s new book is all about becoming an empowered empath. She’s gonna go deep into this topic.

She’s gonna talk about what being an empath really means. There is a whole deep dive into why no emotions are bad. And why it’s good to experience heavy feelings. And she’s gonna talk about how to be in a relationship with someone who seems stuck in chronic low vibes. This is a big one that a lot of people come to me on the show with. Her book, Becoming an Empowered Empath, covers all of these methods.

She’ll also be talking with me about the reason why some people become overly empathetic. And this ties to your chakra system, dun dun, dun, dun, get excited to hear what she has to say about that. And there’s a lot of beautiful, easy self-care tips that you can start to use immediately so that you can really soothe yourself in those moments where you feel like you’re taking on the energy of others.

So get psyched, Wendy De Rosa is gonna rock your world. See you guys next Monday on Dear Gabby.

GABBY: Welcome to Dear Gabby, Wendy De Rosa. I am so happy to selfishly be with you. Welcome.

WENDY: Mmm. Thank you.

GABBY: I wanna actually share very briefly a little bit of how we connected. So we were both teaching at Kripalu and another beautiful person, a woman named Deb Dana was teaching there as well. And I wasn’t familiar with either of your work, but I genuinely needed to be and I was gifted this beautiful opportunity to teach the same week at the Kripaly Spiritual Center, you guys were there. And we had this almost like breakfast club where every morning we would watch the sunrise and like have breakfast. And we were up before everybody else, we were having like seven and six, six o’clock, seven o’clock breakfast and just talking.

And it was almost like you both were planted in my life at a time when I was really living my own trauma recovery, and then really learning how I was gonna be able to live it, to be able to tell it, and you taught me something in that moment, that was such a big lesson for me, which was something I wasn’t aware of at that stage of my own personal development was how I’m not just co-regulating with individuals. But that I would have the capacity to co-regulate with an audience.

And we talked about this, how it related to like when big topics would come up in the audience and I’d be kind of freaking out because the rest of the audience would tank and it’s because they were co-regulating with my energy.

I kind of wanna start just right there because this was such a big moment for me to understand, and it is really gonna be a big topic that we’ll talk about today as we talk about becoming an empowered empath, but first understanding how much power we have in those moments when we’re dysregulated with people.

WENDY: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Absolutely. So I just wanna define empath for a moment for people to answer this question, or just a talk about this, which is that an empath is someone who feels the energy of other people through their sentient body. And a lot of times that’s emotional energy. Oftentimes, being an empath gets equated with I’m an empath therefore I take on the energy of others, but that’s actually not. The true empath is someone who feels the energy of other people and taking it on is overly empathic. It’s a different experience in the body.

I think that in my experience, and when I was writing my book Becoming an Empowered Empath, I realized that a lot of people are having empathic experiences without really necessarily identifying as an empath because of what happens in the energy body is that in some ways, sensitivity and being an empath does equate with trauma surfacing in the energetic system.

And when we’re in a big space and we’re teaching and we’re out there doing our thing. Guiding and giving the information, but it’s activating, it’s really, in some ways activating the, the core essence or the light or we’re speaking truth, or we’re landing, it’s resonating with the individual that the wounds will often come to the surface too, because they need to, but we’re in a rise of consciousness.

We’re in a time where consciousness is evolving and for our light to emerge for everybody and their true truth and their gifts and their mission in this world. We’ve gotta, it’s sort of like, I think about it, like the Phoenix rising from the ash, it’s like that ash is gonna come up and we’ve gotta be able to also know what to do with that and work with that.

GABBY: What you’re saying is that. We, and it was really helpful. I’m just gonna unpack this for one second. What you just said we can be an empath, but not be an overblown empath, I suppose. Right? So I actually never really identified as an empath because I do pride myself on proactively and consciously not taking on the energy of others as often as possible.

And when I do, doing whatever I can to release that, but I do feel the energy of others and very, very deeply. And in some cases, particularly the most intimate connections in my life, the feelings I have for other people’s energy, I do take on. So that’s a big topic that I hear a lot of our listeners bringing in, which is I’m practicing my manifesting and my super attractor methods.

And I’m doing all of that stuff. But my mom just has all this low-vibe energy, and I just can’t get rid of it. My husband is so negative and I come home every day and it’s just like taking me down. Or what do you say to that person who may lean positive? And in many situations may not be an unhealthy empath.

Maybe that’s not your language. I dunno if we wanna call it unhealthy, but…

WENDY: Overly empathic.

GABBY: May not be overly empathic. But is just feeling like they are being drained by a person close to them.

WENDY: Yeah, it’s interesting. Cuz I might even loop back co-regulation in this…

GABBY: There we go.

WENDY: [laughs]…answer in that, in that I think we think of emotions as good, bad, right wrong.

And not everybody does, but we see darker, heavier emotions as you know, it gets lumped into unhealthy or we’ve gotta get rid of that. And we see like good, positive, happy, joyful emotions as yeah. We want more of that. But what happens here is that we’re human beings. We’re multifaceted human beings who have human emotions and all the emotions are part of our spectrum.

And as someone who’s, whether identifying as an empathic or not. When we start to increase our capacity to be able to sit with the heavier emotions or the darker emotions, the more intense emotions we actually as empaths increase our capacity to be able to hold space for people to be in their emotions because they don’t scare us.

Overly empathic experiences happen in fight, flight or freeze responses. So it’s when we don’t know what to do, when we’ve contracted on some level, the energy will transfer over because in that moment, we’ve lost as a split second connection to our own sense of being in regulation with ourselves. So when we do that, we aren’t really co-regulating with the other person because we’re actually in a freeze response.

And in that moment, energy transfers. And then here we are now. How do I just reregulate in my own being to be able to respond to that or to be able to be in relationship with that, the, the deeper practice in how we stay with ourselves in relationship with others on an empathic level is increasing our capacity to be okay with I’ll say the heavier or darker emotions, not calling them bad or wrong.

But literally I call it the shame blanket, like there’s shame. And then underneath it is the heavier emotions. And sometimes we have to go through the shame blanket to get to those emotions that are just as important and powerful and necessary for us to feel. That is part of this co-regulation piece with others is that if I’m able to be with my own emotions, I know exactly what fear feels like.

I know exactly what anger feels like. Exactly. You know, what all of these guilt feels like. Therefore I can recognize when someone else is in it and I won’t go into fight flight or freeze.

GABBY: Mm-hmm mm-hmm I wanna really say yes, yes, yes, yes. To all of that. Because in my EMDR therapy, my therapist, Tammy, who we have a whole episode with, talks about how we expand our window of tolerance, like any kind of trauma work that we do expands our window of tolerance and puts us into a place where our nervous system is in a different space, right?

Where we’re able to hold more. We’ve processed more. We’re not living in that chronic state of fight or flight, and therefore we can actually tolerate more. Like, it might even be just like tolerating more stimulus. Like I, prior to doing a lot of my trauma work, you know, it was like, I couldn’t handle like bright lights or concerts or just, you know, it was like, I couldn’t understand, like, why do I hate going to a concert?

Oh my God, it was too much stimulus for me. And so, yeah. You know, and now so I can go to a concert. Right. So it’s really seeing the difference now.

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GABBY: I wanna hear the voice of my listener and they’re gonna say, okay, I’m gonna do my work. And I hear that. And it’s kind of always the answer here on Dear Gabby. It’s like, go do your work. Let’s say somebody has done a lot of work. And they have really noticed that they have a larger window of tolerance to handle stressors and whatnot, but there are close people in their life that have chronic negativity.

Or, um, chronic upset and that’s their own stuff. Right? That’s their own story.

WENDY: Mm-hmm.

GABBY: But how would one actually, even with the best skillset behind them and the best work of trauma therapy and stuff, what would be some practices for co-existing and co-regulating with people like that?

WENDY: I might even suggest transparency with the person. And this is a power of an empath, is that they are vulnerable and transparent and clear—an empowered empath. When you say those things, I do feel affected, I’m not sure how to respond or how to be in relationship with you when I’m offering some advice and it feels like it’s not enough or it’s not good enough.

It makes me wonder if there’s anything I can ever say that will fill that cup or. If my advice isn’t helping or our discussion isn’t helping, how would you fill that cup? I might even point it out to them. And this would be somebody who like you’re saying, has done a lot of work and has themselves is with themselves and understands I can make a choice around who I wanna be in relationship with.

And then there are the people that we will know for our whole lives. And we’re probably related to that you can’t. It’s like I’m going to relate to this family member or this person, and I have to. And so I have to learn in myself how I wanna be in my center and in my being.

And some of that might mean I’m willing to speak up for when I notice, when I might feel my body contract, or I feel like I wanna walk away when I hear this and it doesn’t mean that you’re making the other person wrong, but it’s about naming for myself. What happens in my system when I hear you say that quote, unquote to the person?

GABBY: Wow. Or like I’m noticing that I’m feeling uncomfortable with your shutdown or your distance or whatever is… And then what would be the next, the next…

WENDY: I might even say something like, it seems to me like you might be shutting down and I’m wondering if there’s something I’m saying that is scaring you because it’s not necessarily an overt fear, but it might be something that’s getting touched.

Is there something I’m saying that might be making you uncomfortable? I might even name the fear, the feeling that might be there.

GABBY: Could you say, like, I noticed that you’re shutting down and that makes me feel sad. And I’m feeling sad. Because if you’re an attuned empath likely you’re picking up the same quality.

WENDY: Yep. Yeah. Here’s an interesting, yes. And here’s the thing about empaths too, is that we were often raised in environments where people weren’t naming the subconscious experience, so people weren’t naming or owning the energy. So there was a lot of projection in the space. There might have been shaming and blaming.

There might have been yelling and screaming. There might have been different experiences going on in those early years, but the empath learning to have a voice and name exactly what they’re experiencing is moving from deeply subconscious. I don’t know who I am in this dynamic right now to Uh-uh. I know exactly who I am and how I’m feeling in this moment.

And I’m noticing that when I’m feeling this way, I need to say something. I notice that I feel sad when you shut down and I’m giving voice to our deeply subconscious or to the silent experiences is very powerful for an empath to do.

GABBY: To highlight how big what you’re suggesting is because some folks… In IFS therapy.

I’ll just use the example I’ve recently got, become obsessed and did the training, and I’m gonna keep growing with this. What you’re saying is very similar. Of course, it’s all the same when you’re in self, when you’re in self energy, self energy, which is your undamaged adult resourced part of who you are, then you can say calmly and without affect and just generously.

Because it’s not always about what we say. It’s about the energy through which we say it. And I just wanna highlight this because some folks who have not done any personal growth work or haven’t done any spiritual development or anything where they can start to one, know what it feels like to be in that undamaged resource self, right?

Or two, let alone go underneath the shame blanket. Right? That’s a lot, that’s a lot. What could that person, which I think is the majority of my listeners. These are folks who’ve done a lot of work on themselves. They’re in therapy. They have coaches, they have done a lot of work, but they still may have not gone through that shame blanket.

Or they still may have not understood fully and completely what showing up in self would feel like, right?

WENDY: Mm-hmm.

GABBY: What is… Not a stop gap, but like what can that person do to stop taking on the energy of others and be a little bit more effective and fluid in their life and their relationships when they don’t have that broader awareness?

WENDY: So I think that the shift and it opens up a door to like, honestly, my entire book, but I’ll say this…

GABBY: I was gonna say other than read, Become an Empowered Empath, read the book. Right. Which everyone just go get the freaking book. Okay. Yeah, go ahead.

WENDY: Yeah. In the energetic system, shame has a lot to do with what we hold from the waistline down.

Energetically. I work with chakras. So I would say those are the first three chakras of the body. They often are also our relationship power centers and how we are in relationship with our social constructs, our family of origin, our intimate partnerships, and with ourselves and our emotions.

Interestingly enough, they are power centers, meaning we hold immense power in those areas, but they’re also steeped in conditioning. And that conditioning can be the systems we were raised in that can be church, family, school, whatever country culture, it can be any system. And everything we marinated in prior to seven years old, that’s deeply subconscious.

The reason why people become overly empathic is not because of what’s going on from the heart upward. That’s where they’re consciously living and saying, I don’t wanna be taking on the energy. I’m doing the work. I am. I understand it conceptually, I’m getting it. The work at this point, from my opinion ad my perspective is actually everything from the waistline down or solar plexus, basically base of ribs down, that we hold and we aren’t necessarily conditioned, or it’s just not modeled to go into the subconscious energy that we hold in that area, those areas of the body.

And keeping in mind, we coexist, there’s two qualities of energy that coexist in those power centers, the self and the conditioning of the collective and our personal family. And all of that energy is when we are triggered or when we are not connected to self or we, I, we use the word grounded and I don’t mean that sometimes. I think when we say things like this person isn’t grounded, it’s a shaming term in that case.

And there are reasons we might not be, and it has to do with the energy we hold in the first three chakras of the body where there literally isn’t enough flow moving down in that area of the body, because there is energy stuck there, there’s blockage. And when there is that, and we come up against the world on that subconscious level in our social constructs, the energy we take in from the world around us is literally intermingling with the lower chakra system and we can’t stay with self or center.

So we move up higher in the body where we can stay high-functioning and shifting that pattern has us deeply clearing what we’re holding in the first three chakras of the body.

So it literally, our soul can come back down into those power centers and we can find power and self, and we can find power in anger in a good way. You know, if we come back down into our body, we find our boundaries by feeling the sense of self in that area of the body.

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GABBY: What’s one practice that someone could do today to ground in that center in, in the lower chakras.

WENDY: I would say the one practice is the grounding cord. And that would be, I it’s sometimes depicted as a skinny, energetic meridian or cord from the tailbone to the center of the earth. I like to widen the image to include the sides of the hips, the low belly and low spine, kind of like a pillar or a tree trunk, and extending that deep into the earth.

And then imagining just with some breaths and maybe we could do a couple, like a minute of it. Mm-hmm mm-hmm. So we’ll just imagine here that this cord is holding the sense of security around your low hips, low belly, and low spine. That’s the top of it. And it extends deep into the center of the earth.

And to take about maybe 10 deep breaths, you don’t have to do all 10 right now, but as many it can be 10 minutes of breathing, any amount of time that you have to allow all the energy that’s up in the head and in the heart to be shared with the lower half of your body. And the affirmation I might give in this case is I belong here in my lower body.

I belong here. This is my body. This is my power. This is my sense of self, the source of my intuition. And my boundaries. I belong here.

And you can spend as much time as you need to allow our energy to take a deep seat in your sit bones, your tailbone, your legs.

And your pelvis and your belly, just so that you feel that there’s an evening out of energy between the upper body and lower body. We’re not losing the upper body consciousness. We are expanding it into the lower body.

And then you can spend as much time as you need to here for anyone listening, even up to 10 minutes. But notice that when we, our thoughts and our responses and our actions come out of our consciousness. And when we’re in our upper body consciousness, our thoughts, our responses, and our actions might be different than when we start to come down into our body.

Our thoughts, our responses, and our consciousness might shift. When we go about the world from that grounded place, notice the difference.

GABBY: I noticed it, it felt really good. At first, I actually noticed that there was so much like wild energy that I was like, I don’t wanna own this. Like I wanna get this out, but then you said, let it balance.

Yeah. And that was just like, oh, okay. Like this can balance out with the good stuff too. Oh, that was nice. Okay. Great. Great, great, great, great. So that was really a nice way of getting into that grounded state. I kind of wanna know just another practical, a practical method for how we can stop taking on other people’s energy.

WENDY: One practical method with grounding. The grounding practice we just did is to keep in mind that we don’t end right at the skin. We have a field of energy that’s around our body, about 10, 10 to 12 inches or so it’s different for everybody, but that is…

GABBY: I was gonna say 10 to 12 feet. Okay. Like I’ve been familiar at times with that.

WENDY: Right. It feels that way. Sometimes mm-hmm and we have to take care of that too. And so I like to imagine that there is light around me. But I also, with that allow for my radiance. So we have a central channel in our body that also radiates that holds our inner boundaries, our sense of presence and fullness and wholeness and radiance.

And then we have the outer energy field around us that also is part of our self-care wellbeing. I like to imagine light around that sometimes that’s, you know, it might be on a, a metaphysical side, but that can be really helpful. Even just coming up with an image, I’m gonna put a color around me or I’m gonna imagine light, or I’m just going to imagine I have a boundary around the outside of my body.

And my myself is within my self energy is within. And others’ energy is gonna stay on the outside of that boundary. Now, do we have to do that sometimes literally move people’s energy out? Yes. Sometimes we have to do that. That can be a really helpful tool to do.

GABBY: And how would one move someone’s energy out?

WENDY: I was just gonna say, I, I joke I’m Italian. I use my hands a lot. I literally take the energy where I feel it or sense it or have a knowing about it. Sometimes I bring it right out, see it, and move the energy out. I will send it back to the person.

Whoever’s energy it is. And I send it back, not with like, get out.

GABBY: I, yeah, I send, I just send it back with like, go F— yourself.

WENDY: Oh, you know, and I’ll say that sometimes we do need that. Sometimes if it’s, if it was energy that inappropriately crossed our boundary, we have every right to push it out and say, get out.


WENDY: If it feels like, you know what, this person isn’t trying to do that. It’s not their intention. It’s some part of them that might be doing that, that they are not aware of. Mm-hmm I’m gonna send the energy back. Sometimes we can talk to the part, part this, you need to take this person’s energy back.

It’s not mine, it’s not in my field. It’s for them to have to own, to take responsibility for.

GABBY: The language is so comparable to IFS it’s all. I think it’s all universal language, really at this point, so much of this work, anything that has that spiritual throughline is gonna be super aligned with. Through grounded self and parts of us that are little children traumatized. acting out from that place.

WENDY: Yeah. Yeah. And I did use a little IFS in language and just, just because we brought it up. So I was speaking to that.

GABBY: And you also talk in the book about how trauma influences your empathic intuition and your healing potential.

And I’m gonna drive people to the book because I believe, you know, and there are gonna be some listeners that like, yeah, I’ve done my work, raise their hands. And like, I can get into that grounded state. I can do all the things that she’s talking about. I’m completely speaking my language. I got this.

Then there’s gonna be folks that are like, I really like what she’s saying, but I don’t know that this is, that I can do this, or I, I don’t understand completely. I think this book is gonna meet all levels, but I think particularly for someone who’s like, I want that, but I need the guidance to get there. This is the step for you is to read this book.

WENDY: Yeah. And I would add, there are recordings that come with the book and there are guided meditations.

And I think a big step in the process of understanding is that we understand cognitively what to do, how to do it. And then there is the deep subconscious, when we close our eyes and we tune into our energy body and sometimes we do need guidance. We need to be led. I know you lead so many people, too, Gabby.

It’s that sense of like guiding someone into their interior to be able to you know, clear the energy that’s held there and show where that energy might exist in the body. That’s a powerful step in this process of learning how to become an empowered empath and, or even just to be a sensitive being and intuitive being, and feeling energy, to know where to go, where to tune in and to have that energy cleared and have that guidance.

GABBY: So I’ll close by coming back to co-regulation . So for those who are out there being like, you left me with this, I don’t know what that means. Talk to just a little bit about what it means to co-regulate and it’s always kind of something we should be mindful of. I used to teach often Institute in Hartford as a guest teacher, I’d come in and, and it was Hartford Family Institute and they had this great way of describing it similar to IFS, and they would say, I need a connection.

I need to give you a connection for this for I need, or I need a connection for my own experience. That was the way they’d frame it. And what it is is that I am living in an experience. And in that experience, I’m touching in with maybe young inner child, parts of me that are activated, maybe I’m afraid.

Maybe I feel abandoned in this moment. Maybe I feel sad and it’s happening because my partner just said that they didn’t want to do the dishes. They really wanted me to do the dishes. I mean, it could be anything, so.

GABBY: Oh yeah. That that’s stuff that triggers most people. Exactly. Yes. Yeah. Go ahead.

WENDY: And so in that moment, all of a sudden I’m fuming, I’m angry, I’m touching all these parts.

And so I might say, I need to co-regulate. I need, I wouldn’t say this consciously, but as someone who’s been, maybe doing the work and understand sometimes we need a co-regulation, which means I need to know that I’m not alone in my experience. And someone understands how I feel in this moment. That’s empathy also.

And so I, I personally had people in my life where I would say, I need a connection on this, my partner, we just got into something because he thinks this. And I think this, and I’m so angry and they would say, I understand I’ve been there too. I understand that feeling and that there’s a part of you that must feel so sad and abandoned in this moment, the way that they responded and what happens if you tune in, in this moment and just tend to that inner feeling.

And just somebody saying I’ve had that experience. I know how you feel is a form of co-regulation. If we are in a partnership and two people are able to co-regulate because they’re working on themselves in maybe a couple’s therapy situation or such, they might be able to co-regulate with each other, by saying I’m giving you empathy for your experience.

So you’re not hanging out alone abandoned, you know? Isolated.

GABBY: Excellent. Excellent. I appreciate that. So deeply in an episode I did with Dan Siegel, he said that, you know, it’s really important to recognize that you’re not ever co-regulating with your child, that you are their source of regulation and that, you know, you don’t expect them to be that for you or, you know, so that was a big one, but that empath bit is something that I’ve been using a lot with my son where I notice, okay, he’s acting out.

Wild three year old behavior and just noticing for him, Hey, I noticed that you’re in this energy, that’s really wanting to, you know, move and jump and, and maybe you’re feeling bored or maybe feeling excited. What is it that’s going on? What are you feeling? Noticing the feeling. And then the next step is to empathize and to say, oh yeah.

When mommy used to jump on the sofa like that. I used to get so frustrated with why my mommy would tell me I couldn’t jump on that sofa, you know? And I see in the second that I empathize with my son, his whole system settles. He’s like, oh, you didn’t get to do that too. You know? Oh, okay. I’m not shamed for jumping on the sofa.

This is a thing. And then it allow, allows them to, you know, connect and redirect. It allows them to then kind of find that next step forward of, okay, I’m feeling this. And so mommy’s feeling that, and I can find solutions. I can come up with new ideas of things I could do.

WENDY: Yeah, absolutely.

GABBY: So valuable, but just making sure that we’re not expecting to co-regulate that we are the guided regulator for our child.

WENDY: Yeah. Yeah. And you think about it with children. I mean, they’re a little amygdala and the part of their brain is you can’t, you can’t reason with a child with an active amygdala in that moment. No, you know, you have to wait till they’re calm and give them a connection. And we as adults need the same thing. I need to calm my amygdala.

And to know I’m not alone right. In this experience, to be able to come back and have a reasonable conversation. That’s right.

GABBY: Wow. Anyone out there that’s ready to be calm in their amygdala and have reasonable conversations. Enhance your relationships. Feel more emotionally centered. Feel like you are no longer taking on the energy of others.

Please go and read this book, Becoming an Empowered Empath. I get sent so many books and I often don’t have the time to read all of them. This is a cover to cover book for me. And also I just really admire you as a human and I just want everyone to know that there’s this very special being, I see you as like this like energetic, maternal figure in the world, and it’s a big deal and I love you.

And I wish we lived closer and I look forward to spending more time. Maybe we can get our breakfast club together one day at Kripalu.

WENDY: Yeah. yeah. Oh, thank you.

GABBY: I do love you, Wendy.

WENDY: Love you too. Thank you so much. Thank you.

GABBY: And so we’ll put links to the book, but Becoming an Empowered Empath how to clear energy set boundaries and embody your intuitive powers.

Go get it on Amazon right now, or where would you like to send people? What’s a good place to send people.

WENDY: Yeah. Any online, if you Google it and there’s online retailers, Amazon is great. Or I know wherever people wanna shop, they’ll find it online. It’s on most of them.

GABBY: Excellent. Thank you. My love. Thank you for joining me.

WENDY: Yeah. Thank you so much for having me Gabby. So great to see you.

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