Ep. 187 F*$ked Up Ethics in Spirituality - theuncensoredempath.com

Ep. 187 F*$ked Up Ethics in Spirituality

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In this episode, I discuss:

  • Six of Sarah’s core ethical principles for the spiritual community
  • Energy management, boundaries, and protection
  • The importance of intentionality when using intuitive/psychic gifts
  • The power of objectivity, discernment, reflection, and permission in Spiritual work


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Episode Transcript:

Hello friends. Have you noticed that you can get caught up in consuming content or maybe you noticed you are hyper, hyperfocused on the doing? Empaths we often consume. And I know because that was me too; soaking up information from all my favorite teachers and mentors. But it wasn’t until I started focusing more on the being and embodiment work that the door to massive clarity was finally unlocked and I no longer got confused about what was my energy versus everybody else’s. I was able to become a more clear channel for creation and as a result, transform my life, business, and health. In fact, my meditation and embodiment practice is what helped me have a nearly $40,000 month this past January, see the highest downloaded month of the podcast, and finally release a lot of unnecessary stress. And my clients felt it and saw it in their lives too.

It wasn’t reading more articles; it wasn’t doing more busywork. So I’m inviting you to graduate from the spongy empath consumer into the self-activated sovereign healer. You can take your podcast listening experience from, ooh, I feel seen, heard, and inspired to holy shit, I actually feel different. My being has shifted. I am the embodiment of the woman I desire to be. The Third Eye Collective is a simple way to upgrade your experience and commit, not only to a meditation practice that compliments your healing but also to receive personalized coaching so you can be clear on what direct actions to implement into your highest goals. There are two simple ways to get involved at 11 or $22 a month with no commitment. So if this is calling your name, click the link in the show notes to join this amazing and growing community.

Welcome to The Uncensored Empath, a place for us to discuss highly sensitives’ energy, illness, healing, and transformation. My name is Sarah Small and I’m a life and success coach for empaths who want to create a thriving body, business, and life. Think of this podcast as your no-BS guide to navigating life, health, and entrepreneurship. You’ll get straight-to-the-point, totally holistic tips from me in real time as I navigate this healing and growth journey right beside you. This is a Soulfire production.

All right y’all, coming in hot with a little bit of a spicy episode. We’re going to talk about something that I have been seeing in the coaching industry but more specifically within energetics and especially spiritual healers and teachers. And my students inside of Illuminated have been coming to me and expressing how they are receiving messages that say things along the lines of spirit told me to tell you X, Y, Z. In order for you to actually figure out what it is spirit told me about you, you need to pay for a session and book a call. And it’s sleazy and it’s yucky and ultimately it is unethical as fuck. So I know that these breaches of ethical contracts have happened in my DMs and have happened to family members and maybe it’s happened to you as well.

I was scrolling on Facebook the other day and I saw a post from a woman who said something along the same lines. She said, somebody reached out to me in my DMs and said that they had a message for me and they picked up on some aspect of my energy and they wanted to share it with me. And it felt really yucky to her. And looking through the comments, it was really interesting as somebody myself who trains coaches, and we have an entire module on ethics, to see the way some people were replying. And in short, there were replies that were like, ooh, yes, that’s gross. People shouldn’t be doing this. And then there were other responses that were, well, haven’t you ever picked up on an energy of somebody and wanted to tell them?

The power of objectivity, discernment, reflection, and permission in Spiritual work

So we’re here to talk about ethics today because there is a lack of ethics in energetics and spiritual fields. And part of it is because there are no major guidelines. There are no regulations. And we see so many people going through a spiritual awakening, coming into their abilities, waking up to their truth. And when they do so, all these light bulbs go off within them and it’s so beautiful. And as a result, oftentimes they also feel like I want to share this with other people. And all of a sudden they start walking around the world, whether it’s in person or online or in a DM, and they’re feeling and picking up on all these different energies of people, kind of practicing this newfound ability and gift. And so, I believe that most of the time it’s well-intentioned and they want to help people so they reach out and you get these DMs.

Now, what is wrong with that, right? Because maybe it’s well-intentioned. It can be well-intentioned. It can also be super salesy and a sales tactic that is yuck. But let’s just say it’s well-intentioned. Why is that still not okay? Because you did not ask permission to tune into that person’s energy. We do not all want to just be energetically available to anybody and everybody. We get to have privacy. In other professions, think of the medical field for example, there are laws around privacy. But as spiritual teachers and healers, we are not regulated. And so, there aren’t one set of guidelines that we’re supposed to follow, therefore, people make up a lot of their own rules. And part of that is liberating. No rules? Count me in; I am a rule breaker. But there are certain standards and ethical models that I do not want to break those rules. I believe that we need to hold ourselves high. I believe that we need to stay grounded in our integrity and uphold ethical contracts so that we are not breaching people’s energetic field without permission. Even if you have this message that is just pure fucking love and light, it is always better to ask permission before you just drop a bomb on somebody.

I want to share a couple of short examples of when this has happened in my field. So a friend of our family actually messaged both me and my mom saying that a client came into her office and the client actually picked up on the energy of my mom’s house and said that there’s a demon in her house. And that’s of course startling, right? So when I go home tonight…she lives alone…she’s going back to a home with a demon in it? It’s fear-inducing y’all. That is not something that we should be doing. We get to do better.

I’ve had a message drop into the comments of a live stream or a post in the past and somebody said, I read the energy of your face and you’re lacking energy flow on your left side. Okay, maybe that’s true. But did I ask for that? Am I ready to receive that information? Did you get permission before sending me that message or tapping into my energy? What if that’s something I didn’t want to have in the public comment sections on a live stream and was more appropriate for maybe something private one-on-one. These are all things that I think don’t always get taken into consideration before people just blurt it out. We got to stop blurting things out. We get to receive informed consent to give informed consent and to also be really aware of when we’re turned on as the empath, when we’re intuitively like antenna up, radar up, and we’re picking up on everything around us versus when we consciously decide to turn off and say that’s not my place.

That’s not my place to be tuning into everybody even though I just realized I had this beautiful, beautiful gift to share with the world. I want to use it, I want to help people, I want to heal all the brokenness that does exist in the world, but there’s a balance here. There’s a balance between holding yourself high in this container of ethical principles and integrity versus being well-intentioned but actually causing harm. And that’s where I invite all of us to do better; to do better and better and better and better. And we can continue to improve but we start to exponentially do better and better and better when we become more aware.

Six of Sarah’s core ethical principles for the spiritual community

So let’s talk about a few of the different principles that we can start to embody and to impart upon our communities and also just be inside of our businesses. And you don’t have to have a business to still follow these ethical principles. Absolutely, you should be doing this if you have a business. But let’s say you’re just a highly intuitive being who does want to send light to the world; well, these are still things to be aware of.

Okay, the first thing I’m going to talk about is being objective, all right? When we are objective, we start to leave out our story, our model of the world. And when we do deliver information, let’s say that we’ve channeled from source to a client who we have permission from so it’s an appropriate container, the objectivity is allowing it to not be sprinkled with our own tone because this happened to you or that happened to you. When we channel information, it’s not giving advice from our conscious mind and from our life experience. It’s this pure energy that comes through. And that objectivity releases any potential for judgment of our clients as well. So we’re saying who am I to judge, right? I’m not here to judge anything that’s coming through or you. And instead, as much as humanly possible because we are still human, presenting the information that we do pick up on in a way that is more just saying exactly what you intuited, whether that came through whatever clairsense; clairvoyance, clairaudience, clairsentience. So seeing, feeling, hearing, tasting, touching, et cetera. When we allow or set the intention of being as objective as possible, we start to release some of the stories that can very easily get sprinkled into the way in which we start to share this information.

Another principle that is, I believe, one of the most important things we can do as coaches, practitioners, healers, intuitives, psychic mediums is to empathically listen. We have a whole podcast episode on this and the different types of listening. And there are less empowered ways to listen like ignoring. Ignoring is still a way of listening. Go listen to that podcast if you want to learn more about the types of listening. But as far as ethical principles go, active or whole-body empathic listening is where we get to hold ourselves to that standard. We get to commit to listening with our whole body. And giving in an intuitive reading say you’re doing with a client, we give that person our full attention for the container, the time limit of that call, that session. You don’t need to carry it past that. We get to leave it within that container.

But when you’re inside of it, listening with your whole damn body so that you can pick up on all the nuances so that the person, especially if they can see you across a computer screen or a phone screen, they can feel that you are holding them, that you are there with them. Your whole being is there with them, not half your being. And that allows us to pick up on the most accurate information because a lot can get lost in translation. This is something I teach inside of our Illuminated training in our Intuition Module because it’s so important to be able to know what’s yours and what’s your story going into your intuitive readings versus what is actually just pure channeled clean energy. What is appropriate to share with a client and what is not appropriate to share with a client?

So we’ve got that first principle of objectivity. We’ve got the second principle of whole body or empathic listening. Let’s go into number three here, which is knowing your expertise, your zone of genius, and your scope of practice. So in what areas are you fully competent and fully qualified? And what are going to be the signs when something becomes outside of your scope of practice? And when something is, because it may likely happen, what is going to be your game plan for when you hit that point? Instead of trying to be everything to everybody and answer all of the questions, can you know what is in your wheelhouse? What are you qualified to address versus what is not your expertise that is going to be more beneficial for that person if you refer out?

And I totally understand that as an empath we oftentimes want to be it all. And girl, you are big. You have so much to offer. The bigness of your energy field is felt. It’s not that you can’t do many, many things. You get to do many, many things, but there may also be a time when you hit that threshold, you hit that edge where it’s like, this has gone beyond my scope of practice. This is not something I’ve ever worked with before. I’m not a trauma-informed practitioner let’s say, or this person is going to benefit way more from let’s say some sort of doctor versus myself. So how are you going to set up your business and also the expectations and accountability within the containers you offer as a coach so that your clients also know what your general, at least, scope of practice is so they also know what they’re there to work on?

So knowing your scope of practice and having a game plan for when things start to come up to that edge so that it’s not you trying to then scramble for an answer or not feeling like you have to answer all the questions. It’s okay to not know. It’s okay to say, hey, this is not something that I work with clients on but I’d be happy to find a referral for you. There’s nothing wrong with that. That is the empowered choice and decision and way to respond to something that is not within your qualifications.

Hello, podcast fan, just popping in for a second because in this postpartum period, it has flown by and yet been such a blur. And breastfeeding is hard work. I have a whole newfound respect for how much you need to supplement and hydrate and give your body the nutrients that it needs in order to be breastfeeding. So, one thing that has been supporting me so much is having my container of electrolytes next to me, pretty much all day long. I, as you guys have heard me talk about before, I’m a huge fan of LMNT Electrolytes. They are salty and delicious, and there are some amazing flavors. My current favorite is their new flavor Watermelon, but I also love the Raspberry, the Citrus, the Orange; they’re all really good.

And electrolytes are charged minerals that conduct electricity to power our nervous system. And mine has felt a little bit fried lately because we are not sleeping through the night. We are getting max about three hours of sleep at any given time. So regulating my hydration as well as my husband’s and balancing fluids inside and outside of myself has been so supportive. Literally feels lifesaving. And as a Uncensored Empath podcast listener, you get to try these amazing electrolytes for free, you just pay $5 in shipping. You get a free sample pack. Simply go to drinklmnt.com/empath to try it out. Again, that’s drinklmnt.com/empath. And I’d love for you to let me know what your favorite flavor is and tag me over on Instagram.

All right, let’s bring in the fourth principle here. And I also want to say that this is not the all-inclusive list that we cover inside of Illuminated or even an all-inclusive list in general. And instead, I just wanted to touch on some of these that I think are going to be most beneficial to all of you listening who may just be naturally intuitive and want to communicate some of the things that are coming through for you but not know exactly how to do that or when it’s okay and when it’s not okay, and then I would think for the majority of you probably using this inside of your business if you aren’t already.

So the next thing is that switching on and switching off. We can dip in and we can dip out. And this is all about that conscious decision-making, that conscious choice. We are all intuitive. I know you’re intuitive if you’re listening to this podcast. But you can consciously make the decision to read someone’s aura, to do a past life regression with them, to feel into their current state of being or to not. And that’s something that becomes easier. And the skill set of switching on-switching off, rocking in-rocking out, that becomes easier with practice. Because I’m sure there’s at least one person listening who’s going, doesn’t feel like a choice. It doesn’t feel like I can switch this on and switch this off. And that’s probably because it feels so big and probably overwhelming as an empath right now. And so, what you get to do is build this skill set and start to garner tools for energy management and protection so that you become more easily aware of when you’re on, switched on, when you’re switched off, and when you want to switch on and when you choose to switch off.

And when we have a strong foundation of our own energetic management and our own energetic self-care, that makes all of this so much easier. When we have even just the habit of staying hydrated and receiving all the nutrients that our body needs, that already gets us a couple of steps in this direction. Remembering to center and ground yourself; the opposite of that would be, instead of centering and grounding, it’s like you’re all in your upper chakras floating around like a spongy magnet to everything around you. When we center and ground, we don’t feel so spongy. We don’t feel so magnetic to everyone’s stories and everyone’s energy around us.

Energy management, boundaries, and protection

Let’s say though, you accidentally pick up on something, you scroll on your Instagram and you pick up on an energy from somebody and you’re like, woo, I did not mean to pick up on that. All right, first of all, you don’t have to say anything to that person. Second, simply transmute it. Let it leave your energy field. So sometimes there are going to be moments when you receive something and you’re like, ‘oop’, that’s not mine. ‘Oop’, I was on and I didn’t mean to be on. ‘Ah’, I’m consciously turning off now for the time being. But I picked up on that little thing before I noticed I needed to turn off so I’m going to transmute that. I’m going to dispose of that, I’m going to recycle it, I’m going to release it, I’m going to brush it off. And when you do that, it’s like, woo, okay, you don’t have to hold on to it. You don’t need to hold a bunch of guilt. You just need to keep the energy flowing versus letting it stay and build a home within you.

Because the other thing is, if we don’t do that, then it’s going to fester within us and then we’re going to be like, oh my God, I got to tell this person when it could have been this really ‘bam’, quick thing that’s like, oop, ooh, didn’t mean to. Okay, dispose, release, brush off, let it go. So really being aware of when some of those little accidents happen. This is like the spoon theory for our autoimmune community that is also here where you have X number of spoons to use throughout the day. And as intuitive beings, it’s similar regardless of whether you have autoimmune disease or not. And if we are not centered and not grounded and we are sponging and absorbing all of these things, then that’s going to eat up our spoons, the amount of energetic capacity we hold in any given day super quick. We’re going to feel really depleted really fast.

The importance of intentionality when using intuitive/psychic gifts

So similar to the spoonie community, we want to be intentional with how we use the spoons. We’re talking about the intuitive community. It’s a little bit different. It’s less about what you’re literally or physically doing as a way of exerting energy and instead, it’s more about how energetically vulnerable are you being and how much of that energy is being consumed by other people’s stuff versus how much of that energy could be used towards taking care of yourself and moving energy intentionally. So we want to have this foundation of energetic self-care and then also know once we’ve built that foundation, it’s going to feel much easier to rock in and to rock out of your gifts and of your intuitive abilities that are very much alive within you. But in order to be able to respect other humans on this planet, we need to wait for permission to be on in their field and learn the tools to turn off for set time periods, not off forever. We’re not saying we don’t want this gift. No, we want the gift. We want to utilize it but we want to be intentional about when we utilize it, okay?

That leads into the fifth principle I want to talk about which I’ve already mentioned several times that is arguably the most important which is permission. Did you ask permission? Did you get consent? This, in a client-coach contract, may be written. It may be verbal, it may be in a DM. But we need to do that appropriately versus hey, spirit guided me to tell you a message. If you want to hear what it is, book a call. That gets to go. We get to release that. And one thing I’ve empowered the students inside of Illuminated to do is to… What I first used to do was respond to those people and I’d be like, oh my gosh, I wonder what they picked up on. I need to know. Is it good? Is it bad? Is it scary? It made me afraid so I was like, ah, can you just tell me? That did not feel good. Then I started, when people would message me these things, just block, delete, release, ignore, send them on their way. Don’t need to interact with this person.

That’s still a perfectly appropriate response but what we’ve empowered students to also do as fellow practitioners and fellow intuitives is respond to the people who are coming into their DMs with, hey, (you get to educate them a little bit and you can say this in your own words), but something along the lines of ”That actually makes me feel really uncomfortable because I didn’t give you permission to tap into my energy. I hope that this is something that you’re not doing to other people as well. Because as a fellow intuitive practitioner, we still have ethical standards that we have to hold ourselves to.” They may or may not respond to that. And again, put it into your own words, but that’s going beyond just ignoring a problem and actually doing something about the problem. Because we’re also empath leaders and we get to take a stand when we see something happening that we don’t feel is ethical or right, or at integrity.

And it doesn’t have to be this giant call-out culture and instead, it’s just educating, providing more education. That’s why I’m recording this podcast episode right now is simply to bring more awareness to this. I don’t have to call anyone out specifically. All I get to do and all I need to do right now is provide awareness and education. So permission; how are you getting permission? Do you have a framework, a path, a process for how you get consent?

The other thing I want to say about this is even when let’s say you got the consent from the client and you’re doing an intuitive reading, it’s also important to get consent from our spirit team. Did the passed loved one of your client that you’re connecting to and helping them connect to, did you get consent from that spirit, that passed loved one? Do they want to be there? Maybe they’re off doing some really healing work for their soul. Is this where they want to be, where they need to be right now? Is this where they are in their highest, the most effective use of their energy today? There are times when I’ve wanted to connect to my brothers and they simply haven’t come through because that’s not where they’re meant to be in the moment. They’re off doing their thing. And we get to be okay with that. And sometimes that’s hard, especially when you really do want to connect to someone that has passed, but they’ll come when they’re ready. So I think of it as yanking them down into our field when they may not want to be there.

So consent with your client to do a reading, but also consent to any spirit energy that you’re connecting to in the higher realms, in other dimensions, in the Akashic field, passed loved ones. It doesn’t have to be a complicated process. It’s simply just getting quick consent before you pull them and yank them in. And in my experience, that allows the reading to be easier. Everything flows through, as far as information, way more. Think about it like they’re there because they want to be versus they’re there because you yanked them or they feel obligated. So when they’re like, yes, I’m here, I am ready to work with you, work through you, I’m ready to communicate today, you’re going to get a much better reading when you also do it that way. So permission is a big one.

All right, let’s do one more. There’s plenty more we could discuss here but I just wanted to provide some highlights today. And the last one is introspection and the ability to know yourself, to have a debrief with yourself, to reflect and hold a mirror up to yourself. And this relates a little bit to the being objective that we talked about in the beginning as well. Because when we take the time to reflect and know ourselves, then we know when what we’re experiencing intuitively is ours versus theirs. Is it a message for you or is it a message for them? It allows you to discern and discover your motivation for doing this work in the first place.

Why do I feel the urge, the need to reach out to somebody without permission? That’s a really good question if we’re doing this. Why do I feel the need to do that? And this is probably a hard truth for some people, but is it because I need to feel seen? Is it because I need to feel special? Is it because I need to be validated? Is it because I need to feel important? Does it feel important for that person to know this information? Do I just want to help and heal everybody? Are my intentions good but I skipped a step of getting permission? Maybe this has happened to you so many times that you thought it was okay. So just noticing what is our motivation for some of this in the first place. And then when we take the time to reflect, we can also tell when does our voice or however you channel, however you bring information in, when do we start to brush up against the edge of it getting subjective versus objective and we bring in our opinions and our judgments and ooh, that can’t be right, or, yes, this must be wrong and we start to build stories around it? So when we take that time to know ourself, we can be cleaner, clearer channels for the information coming through.

It also allows us to, at the end of the day; not even just the end of the day, at the end of every single session, clear energy and not carry it with us. Because we’re not responsible for fixing people or having all the answers or solving all of their problems. We’re just not. And when we can know that truth and we can know ourselves, then we don’t have to carry the burden of feeling like we are responsible for all those things and then second-guessing ourselves and then starting to really release our boundaries and overwork and undercharge and undervalue ourselves. So the reflection and the knowing ourselves is knowing our worth and knowing our value as well. And when we do act as a channel for our community and groups and with one-on-one individuals, whatever setting it may be, knowing the value of what that is and also assigning prices, rates to that value so that you don’t burn out, so that you don’t feel like you’re just being tossed around in the energetic realms and dimensions, because that can get really overwhelming. So the better you know yourself, the better clearer, cleaner channel you’ll be able to be. And arguably, you’ll have a bigger impact and you’ll be able to reach and serve more people.

In conclusion, I’m really curious if this has happened to you and I want you to think about how you may respond next time. Are you like me eight years ago, where you totally feed into the fear of that message and go oh shit, tell me, tell me, tell me, or are you more in the boat of delete and send on their way? Or maybe you’ll start to formulate your own wording for how you want to respond to help educate or re-educate some of those who are in this field who get to do better and get to become more educated. And as an industry, I want to see us improve. I’m part of this as well. I am part of the collective industry. And so, I’d love to see that pattern come to an end, and instead, all of us hold ourselves accountable and commit, a deep soul commitment, to holding ourselves high in integrity and having ethics that we abide by.

All right, that is all for today. There’s a little spice and a little sizzle in this episode but I hope it’s been informational for you. I hope you take something away and I can’t wait to see you next time.

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August 12, 2021

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