Deeper Perception Made Practical

Gabourey Sidibe, Aura Reading of Oscar Nominee #4 of 10

Annette Bening Aura Reading


First, meet the courageous actress in her more glam role as movie star.

As Precious, in “Precious,” Gabourey Sidibe plays a pregnant teenager who struggles to overcome years of abuse at the hands of her parents.

It’s a gritty movie, to put things mildly. I saw a short clip while in Japan… because I was watching Larry King with Mariah Carey as guest. Ah, cable TV in Tokyo, my lifeline to chit-chat in English! Watching that evening’s show, discussion of the movie was within my comfort zone. Watching even that very short clip was not.

Even as a skilled empath, I’m still very careful what I expose myself to. Had Precious come to me for a session, I’d help her all I could. But, to me, watching a movie and suffering along with the characters doesn’t help a thing.

Still, doing aura reading movie criticism IS helpful. Yes, let’s go on our merry way, raising consciousness of what will — I’m sure — eventually be considered “basic literacy” as this third millennium progresses.

And when millions of people read auras in depth and detail just as, now, millions can read words like those in this blog… then abuse won’t be able to hide for years as happened in the horrible life of Precious.

Energetic literacy research as film criticism — the background

Precious to me is the annual custom of comparing auras of top-nominated actors with their auras in roles; it’s a way to show that deeper perception can be practical.

Use this Energy Spirituality Aura READING link to learn more about my method of using energetic literacy. And you’ll find a lead-in to this year’s sequence of research on Academy Award nominees at this Aura Reading Film Critique blog post.

Read along with me, using the photos of Gabourey as herself and of Gabourey as Precious. Or, if you simply saw the movie — which I haven’t, incidentally — comment away, please.

Note: Over time, links can go bad. And legally I don’t have the rights to show celebrity photos, so I can’t display them here other than providing links. But you can easily go over to Google, type in the person’s name and the blog post date, then search on images. Click on a good image, preferably current with the time of the reading here at this blog.

Root Chakra Databank for Presence in the Room

  • As Gabourey: I’m impressed with the actress’ sense of humor and desire to keep things real. She’s an idealist with big dreams who works hard to shape reality to fit her goals.
  • As Precious: Nearly everything is exactly the same, except for the faintest tinge of added-on emotion. This is exactly what most actors do — play the self but get the face and voice right, speak the lines, hit the marks, and do a performance.
  • Chakra Change Points: None yet.

Belly Chakra Databank for Sex Appeal

  • As Gabourey: Confidence and personality are projected strongly.
  • As Precious: Not much changes, except for some added-on emotion. It’s misery, a much clearer addition to business-as-usual than the add-on’s in our previous chakra databank.
  • Chakra Change Points: 1/4. Making that strong a shift, all the way down to chakra databank level, is a huge achievement — one that most of America’s gazillion aspiring movie stars probably don’t manage. (No, I haven’t read them all. I’m just generalizing here. Reminding you, it is a VERY BIG DEAL to make a change all the way down to chakra databank level.)

Solar Plexus Chakra Databank for Using Power

  • As Gabourey: This is a definite growth area for the actress, and the person, as well. The technical term for what’s happening here is an energetic sub-routine. Instead of using power circuits to help herself claim power, Gabourey draws on her spiritual beliefs — third chakra circuits imported as a kind of survival strategy, turned habit.
  • As Precious: Nothing is different except for a lack of oomph to the spiritual struggle.
  • Chakra Change Point: 1/4 point is awarded, since there has been very minor change but definite change. I’d also place this change in the context of a person who isn’t terribly resourceful energetically. She has had to struggle really hard to make any change at all at chakra databank level.

Heart Chakra Databank for Emotional Self-Awareness

As Gabourey: Unfortunately, there isn’t much emotional self-awareness. Instead, there’s a full array of self-awareness, emotions that are really about how other people view her, with her personal appearance often being a way that Gabourey  feels evaluated. And, as a plus-sized woman, especially in anorexic Hollywood circles, that must be an everyday experience for sure.

Real-life Gabourey reminds me a great deal of the fictional role played by Helen Mirren in her Oscar-nominated performance as Sofya. Only for Ms. Sidibe, this is her Ph.D. program for evolution in this lifetime, not the artistic choice of a seasoned and mega-talented actress.

  • As Precious: Very little changes, really. A slight tinge of victimey energy is added to business-as-usual in this chakra databank.
  • Chakra Change Points: None can be given here, but I certainly feel compassion for what that is like, caring so much about how others feel about her. In a role where everyday life means incest and emotional abuse, the social horrors would be even worse than otherwise.

Everyone goes through times in life, from teenage years on, of being painfully aware of judgments by others. But this is separate from having one’s own emotions and being aware of them.

Everyone has at least one gift of the soul for emotional self-awareness. Only STUFF can be configured to such an extent, as evidently has happened for Gabourey Sidibe at the time of this photo, so that soul-level gifts for emotional self-awareness can’t be accessed.

In such a case, the pain is exceeded only by the deep-down numbness.

Throat Chakra Databank for Communication Charisma

  • As Gabourey: Honesty and the courage to perform are the standout qualities. They particularly stand out in the context of being a human being. Among a group of actors, there really isn’t a whole lot of standout. It’s a bit reminiscent of my detailed aura reading of the late, sweet Brittany Murphy.
  • As Precious: Little is different, except for a very faint overlay of anger.
  • Chakra Change Points: 1/4. That character’s anger is palpable. I think it’s worth noting given all the pain and STUFF stuck in the actress’ aura (contrasting to the role played here) that Gabourey doesn’t normally resort to anger. So it probably took a lot out of her to move into an emotion that, normally, she steadfastly refuses to experience consciously.

Third Eye Chakra Databank for Connection to Spiritual Source

  • As Gabourey: This is the Sandra Bullock style of spiritual connection (see Oscar Nominee blog post #1 of 10). This firm and true abiding faith brings security but not much change over time. It’s a very small projection, energetically, in this chakra databank.
  • As Precious: Faith (of this Fundamentalist kind) is deepened. The character turns to her religion to seek a way out of limitation and bitterness. Beautiful!
  • Chakra Change Point: 1. No wonder people love this movie!


With 1 3/4 Chakra Change Points, this new star has given an amazingly courageous performance.

I’m tempted to give Gabourey Sidibe extra Consolation Prize Points as well. Confident little Carey Mulligan practically had a romp of a role, compared to the horrors of playing Precious. Imagine voluntarily going to work on a set where, day after day, you are living the emotional equivalent of torture. You couldn’t pay me enough money to take such a job.

Frankly, if you offered me a cool million dollars just to go see the movie, I’d have to think long and hard about whether or not to accept. Of course, I have ways to move STUFF out of my aura. But even so I’m not terribly eager to imprint my subconscious mind permanently with suffering, and for what purpose?

Applaud the courage of Gabourey Sidibe, sure. But run from that movie!

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  1. 1
    Suzanne Schroedl says:

    I thought it wasn’t empathic merging unless you were looking into the eyes of a human being next to you? Does this mean you do “first aid” techniques after watching a movie?

    I personally love the catharsis of a tragic movie… I see it from a Buddhist perspective of sadness opening one’s heart and bringing compassion. I watched a movie last night called the Bubble about a gay Israeli man and a Palestinian who fall in love. You can guess that there was not a happy ending.

    For me a movie like that prompts me to figure out what I can do to create peace in the world. Prompts prayer, prompts learning, prompts action. So it seems worthwhile to me to watch a movie no matter how tragic…

  2. 2

    SUZANNE, fine observations here. EMPATH MERGE happens to unskilled empaths constantly and randomly. SKILLED EMPATH MERGE happens when you have already mastered turning your gifts OFF most of the time. Thus, you have earned the standing where you can learn to use a dedicated technique developed expressly for that purpose.

    To do otherwise can cause a great deal of STUFF, stuck emotional and spiritual energy, to pour into you… and hang around for years or longer.

  3. 3

    About catharsis, I know that most people (not just Buddhists) would agree with you.

    FWIW, I’ll add my perspective. As a hypnotist experienced at regression, I can promise you that every experience you participate in, every image you see on a screen for instance, becomes absorbed permanently into your subconscious mind.

    Wonderful though it is to open the heart, and healing though it can be to experience catharsis through art, to me there is always a tradeoff.

    I don’t think it’s a coincidence that movies become more violent and negative with each passing year. The more STUFF people carry within them, the greater the threshold to be “moved.”

    If it really helped anyone on earth to watch the likes of “Slumdog Millionaire,” I’d be all for it. But instead, I fear, people are helping themselves… to nervous systems that are more crude, confused, unhappy, and frightened.

    Long after the compassionate tear is shed, and one has celebrated the resilence of the human heart, the moviegoer is, to some degree, scarred. I wonder, can’t there be ways of helping people, or moving stuck emotions, without this hidden cost?

  4. 4
    Ann says:


    I can appreciate what you said about the impact of this type of movie and feel dismayed that I actually did go see it. To tell you the truth, I didn’t even find it to be that great a movie. Precious did pull herself out of the worst of her horrors, but at the end of the movie, I couldn’t help but wonder at how it was supposed to be such a triumph that she would now be on her own with two kids, one of them with Downs Syndrome. Sure, it was better than her prior life, but it sure didn’t promise to be a bed of roses. I regretted having gone to see it.

    So now that I realize the impact of having seen this movie (and Slumdog – sigh), what is the best way to move out STUFF from the experience? There can’t be a cord to a movie experience, can there? Do you do a “movie cleanse” session of aura transformation? 🙂

    Along the lines of the Oscar theme, I’ve found myself having this strong reaction to Avatar. I feel repelled by the images I’ve seen and have absolutely no desire to see it, in spite of, or maybe because of, all the hype. There’s just something about it…well, and I’ve never been a big fan of the superhuge ego of James Cameron! 🙂

    I’m wondering if any other bloggers have had this type of experience.

    I’m loving these posts. They help me see what I picked up while watching the movies and what I missed.

  5. 5
    anonymous says:

    HI Rose, just curious, does a painful or tragic part of a book have the same effect as watching that same story in a movie?? To me, books involve the reader in a different way than a viewer of a movie with specific actors…

    Btw, I LOVED our last session. I am feeling so many benefits, and this is the first time that I am really noticing all the “releasing” that is happening. Not always comfortable, but just fine because these old beliefs/patterns/emotions connected to old thoughts etc… are leaving–I can feel it and I am so happy : ). thank you. : )

  6. 6
    Suzanne Schroedl says:

    Thanks for your point of view. It makes sense, and I have always avoided movies that are violent for entertainment value such as serial killer films.

    At the same time, I don’t want to live in a universe that is only “pink and positive.” I think the high notes need the low notes. Death is a part of life. Still, since working with you I have been much more discerning about what I take in…

  7. 7
    Suzanne Schroedl says:

    one more thought–empath merging must happen with music too right? I know that when I first discover a singer and fall in love with her/him I listen to an album constantly, over and over.

    Music can really take over your whole psyche…

    If I’m understanding you correctly, listening to a singer does not create a cord between you but does mean that you are sharing that singer’s “stuff.” I have noticed in the past couple of years that there are not many singers I want to merge with anymore. Too many sad, hopeless singers…

  8. 8
    Kate says:

    Fascinating blog posts and comments here.

    Several years ago, I watched Happyness (Will Smith) because I thought it would be inspiring. At the very end the character seemed successful, but watching his experiences before that was very painful to me.

  9. 9
    Colleen says:

    Dear Rose and Blog Buddies,

    I did not see the movie, “Precious” and did not want to see it. Even though I am mostly a neonatal nurse, I have worked in behavioral health settings where the reality of some of the children’s lives were every bit as horrific as the life of Precious.

    I used to come home from work asking myself why I subjected myself to such pain when I could do little about it but hand out lots of meds.

    I also have seen a fair amount of pain and loss in the NICU. I remember when “ER” was so popular. It was a well done show, they always had the newest equipment, and wasn’t George Clooney a dream? When the other nurses used to rave about it, I used to say, “Why would I want to go home and watch that when there is plenty of real life drama with the patients, the families, the doctors and nurses…not all of it positive either?”

    Yes it is life, but I have had over three and a half decades of things that some people do not experience in their real lives until they are much older, lose a child etc.

    I like to watch “Touched By an Angel” (though they deal with some heart wrenching subjects), movies like “UP”, and “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,” etc.

    I did start watching “ER” until it was in reruns, but not too much and never after work. I love the Sookie Stackhouse books! They have some vampire gore, but are tempered with Charlene Harris’ great, laugh out loud Southern humor, (not something that is seen in “True Blood” based on those books).

    I do like dramas and supernatural movies, but not slasher flicks. I own and have seen “Sixth Sense” numerous times, (like now). I cry when I see the “Sixth Sense” but that is not why I watch it. It reminds me of growing up and being different. It is ultimately a movie that exhibits awareness, growth, and healing. It is a good depiction of a strong, loving, mother child bond as well as reminding us that there is more than the physical when we die.

  10. 10

    BLOG-BUDDIES, I’m enjoying this thread so much! Had to mention that, like Colleen, I have enjoyed “Touched By an Angel” so much. Whenever Monica would make her appearance toward the end of each episode and say “I am an angel sent by God” out would come the first hankie.

    Then when she would say, “God loves you” to the suffering person, whoever it was, I would wail and sob audibly.

    My husband is a very patient person. He is used to such noises from me.

    Yes, I adored “Sixth Sense” when I saw it (repeatedly).

    As for “Julie and Julia,” that was a six tissue movie for me. All the reviews I’d seen, in advance of treking over to the theater, made the Julie part of the story sound trivial. My first thought, hearing about the idea of the Julie blog, etc., was “Another cynical high-concept cash-in, grrrrr.”

    Yet, to me, this was the more moving part of the story. The search for meaning and beauty in life, not being a great one like Julia but being an aspiring one like Julie — I found that so very human.

    As for “Avatar,” Ann, I did enjoy it (unlike “Titanic”). Even though semi-animated and weirdly (brilliantly) high-tech, the movie had fine actors who did a marvellous job.

    Also, the images of the movie’s heroes leaping fearlessly, bouncing, nearly flying, were eagerly added to my storage locker of memories that, eventually, may nudge me, inch-by-inch, into being physically adventurous.

    Just 5,000 more movies like “Avatar” and I might be able to ride roller coasters without my eyelids slammed shut.

  11. 11

    ANN, as for moving out STUFF from movies, avoidance is clearly the better choice. After that, Soul Energy Awakening Hypnosis® would be useful (no kidding).

    One doesn’t form a cord of attachment to movies, because cords are to real-live people only.

  12. 12
    Ann says:


    You’ve inspired me to give Avatar a second thought…of course, I’m seriously rooting for “Up” to win everything it possibly can. I adore that movie!

    I’m with you regarding Julie/Julia. For me, it was all about the passion to find meaning, to create, to love oneself enough to stick with a project and to see it through, no matter what, and in the process grow into oneself. There was a fearlessness in those women that I adored, the way they launched themselves into these projects. And the supportive spouses…so wonderful.

    I look forward to more reviews!

  13. 13
    Anita says:

    This is a very interesting and thought-provoking discussion. I will share my two cents, which are just my personal opinions.

    Watching people get maimed, injured, assaulted – and in gruesome ways – this is not healing or cathartic for me. This is like putting the worst part of the news on auto-repeat and putting it on a giant screen for effect.

    We can learn about the word’s news in other ways. (I myself like to read about it through the Internet or listen to NPR.)

    This is quite different from going out to help people in those circumstances – going to Haiti or other places to help victims of natural disaster is something helpful. Joining the Peace Corps is helpful. Volunteering in our communities is helpful. Continuously watching re-runs of Haiti… this is not very helpful for the observers or the victims.

    I have a sensitive nervous system. I have become more discriminating about how and with whom I spend my time because I have noticed that I am impacted by how and with whom I spend my time. I do other things, too, like buying unprocessed foods, buying laundry detergent without additives and perfumes, buying natural fibers, and spending some time in fresh air each day.

    But I’m not a slave to a perfectly healthy lifestyle and I don’t participate less in life because I’m an empath or because I have a sensitive nervous system. I don’t live in fear that people might try to victimize me. I don’t worry about shielding myself from life or being a victim of psychic of auric attack. I just try to avoid unnecessary and repeated exposure to traumatic events. In the same vein, I still enjoy fast food and ice cream, go out for meals with friends, and eat food that is not all organic. I just don’t do this all the time.

    What this brings me to is a sense of balance and proportion. I personally don’t get any learning or evolution out of watching gratuitous violence. I know there’s violence in the world – watching a movie demonstrating that hasn’t changed that for me.

    That said, I wouldn’t feel like my life was ruined if I saw a movie with some friends that I didn’t know about ahead of time and there were moments of violence. I just wouldn’t go out and watch violent movies all the time (or eat Twinkies every day for every meal).

    In general, I don’t watch much TV and relatively few movies. It has less to do with violence than the fact that I feel it shortens my attention span. I also like the depth and subtlety that books offer and would rather spend my free time outside or reading a few pages of a good book (than watching TV or a movie).

    What are others people’s thoughts about this?

  14. 14
    Suzanne Schroedl says:

    Everyone is different. I agree with you completely with your feelings about how the American “news” auto repeating tragedy. What I was talking about is film–not Big Box Hollywood movies or news propaganda but independent and foreign film. Film tells stories and can be done either subtly or not in the same way that literature can be either complex or simple. A well-done movie can convey truth without showing graphic violence, in a way that is much more fully-dimensional than a book (as much as I love books.)

    For me all of the internet reading I have done about Israel and Palestine has not affected me personally in the way that a film by someone who deeply cares about the issue and is personally affected did. A film like that reaches out and touches my heart and leads me to get involved.

    Even the enlightened Meryl Streep has acted in more than one deeply sad film (Angels in America, Ironweed.) My suspicion is that enlightened people do not become so by only letting in experiences that are light/happy.

    here is a quote that explains my feelings about sad movies better than I can:

    “If you are focusing upon a composer, do you look to this composer who has composed a symphony such as your Beethoven number five — very harsh, tempestuous sound, very struggling, tragic, do you view this as bad? No. You do not ask the composer, “Why would you compose such a terrible piece of music?” You feast your ears and your senses upon the composition. You revel in its beauty of tone. You view it as only different from this same composer’s symphony of six, which is light and easy and airy and beautiful and joyous! They are both compositions. They are both beautiful. They are both creations; neither being good or bad, but both being artful and both offered for their experience.” (Elias.)

  15. 15
    Suzanne Schroedl says:

    Oh, and Anita I meant to add that I totally understand being so empathic/sensitive that it is just better not to watch tv/film…it is good that you know that and protect yourself. I think I’m not as empathic as that.

  16. 16
    Ann says:

    I’m enjoying this conversation, too. I’m also an empath and very sensitive, so I’m mindful of what I expose myself to without completely isolating myself. I don’t generally watch intensely violent films or even films that strike my nervous system as overwhelming for whatever reason. For instance, I’m not a Lord of the Rings fan, never read the books, and when I went to the movie a few years back, I fell asleep! Just overload for me.

    As I contemplate what Anita and Suzanne have written, I can relate to various aspects of what you’ve said. I find that I’ve gone to sadder, heavier, even films with some violence in them during times when I just felt like seeing them, for whatever reason. There are times when I just need visuals, especially when I’m sad. After my mother’s death, I remember wanting to see both very sad films and animation.

    I’ve actually developed my intuition such that I have a pretty good sense of which films to see. For instance, The Hurt Locker is getting a lot of acclaim and I’m sure the acting is great, but I know I won’t see it because of the topic and setting. Same thing with basically anything by Quentin Tarantino.

    In my job at an art school, where I attend art and design classes with the international students I support, I found that I needed to quietly navigate away from supporting classes in our film department because the scenes I was subjected to watching the students act and direct were always heavy and full of dysfunction, criticism and nastiness. I couldn’t stand it and even ended a private teaching gig with an acting student who kept insisting on bringing dreadfully dysfunctional material to work on. I don’t find any value in rehashing that kind of stuff. I’m all for redemption and transformation, but not the voyeuristic scenes into horrors, as in Precious.

    I think balance is good and I’m reminded both of a time in my evolution and people I’ve met who are highly sensitive and seem to spend an awful lot of time in ‘protection’ mode, shielding themselves from so much of life. That gets rather tiresome and so I, too, prefer balance.

  17. 17
    Anita says:


    My comments in #13 were not addressed to you specifically but to readers and other commenters generally.

    But let me clarify in response to your comments in #14 and #15. A tragic or sad movie is *not* the same thing as a violent movie, and that has nothing to do with a film being foreign or American, simple or complex. ‘Angels in America’ and ‘Ironweed’ are not violent movies. I am not talking about protecting yourself so that you only have experiences that are light and happy or deluding yourself into believing that you live in a world that does not have suffering. Or advocating that you move to a remote mountain or convent and meditate and pray the rest of your life to bring more light and spirituality into the world.

    As for music, you are comparing apples and oranges. In no way can a violent movie ever be compared to harsh tempestuous-sounding music. Not only are they two completely different genres, they do *not* have the same effect on your aura. These may come across as subtle and nit-picky distinctions, but they are very important – not only to this discussion, but in terms of the effects they have on your aura.

    Let me give you a totally different example that hopefully will clarify the point I am trying to make. I recently read a piece written by someone else and returned it with some comments at the end. The other person responded by saying that because I did not agree with how liberal he was, I was judging what he had written in a more harsh light than I would have if I was as liberal as he was.

    I had to be very gentle but also very clear that my comments had nothing to do with his position, whether conservative or liberal. They had to do with his writing and the clarity of his arguments. Nobody comes across as intelligent when they write something in which there are misspellings, the grammar is incorrect, and the author’s name has been misspelled inconsistently in four different ways. These may appear to be superficial things but are important and very distracting to others.

    In a similar vein, I am trying to be clear here that I am not attacking anyone’s artistic preferences. Whether people like ‘Avatar’ or not, like James Cameron or not, like Beethoven or not, the discussion here is about whether visual images of violence in film have an effect on your subconscious mind. I believe they do – and not just on me because I have a sensitive nervous system. They also affect the subconscious minds of non-empaths individually, but when enough people are affected, that has a collective effect on us as a people, as a society.

    The point I think Rose was trying to make is that there may not be a random or accidental correlation with escalating violence in our society and the world overall and the escalation of graphic violence in films. There is already good research demonstrating that violence on television and films has a detrimental effect on children. Rose is trying to argue that perhaps the level of how graphic violent images have become in our media is a reflection of how much more intense they have to be in order to have an effect on the audience – we have become inured to the effects of violence over time. So now, rather than showing images of people being attacked, we have to show images of people being blown up and having their limbs ripped off one by one, their eyeballs popping out of their sockets, their brain matter hanging from their heads.

    This is not therapeutic or cathartic in any way. I can’t even argue that it teaches anyone about basic human anatomy or how the beauty of the human body and how it is put together or how the body moves and functions in the world. What it demonstrates to me is the terrible ways in which human beings can inflict suffering upon one another.

  18. 18
    Mary says:

    My friends don’t understand why I will no longer watch certain types of movies/TV. I’ve seen lots of those films in the past and am now “full up” with those images of suffering. It serves no good purpose for me to share in that energy again and again. That doesn’t mean I only watch sweetness and light. I do appeciate a good drama or a sad movie, but for me it’s all about how they get there.

    I’m no wimp. I’ve seen both “Natural Born Killers” and “Shindler’s List.” I just don’t need to see them (or their like) again.

  19. 19
    Suzanne Schroedl says:

    Thanks for all of the interesting comments. I’m sorry if what I said seemed offensive. The thread got confused for me because when I started it I was not talking about graphic violence in films. I thought Precious was a depressing film, not a violent one–I haven’t seen it. I do know that ever increasing violence is a huge trend in tv and mainstream movies and I hate to see that happening. I am sure there is a correlation between violent media and violence in society.

    What I was responding to was something I have been noticing lately–which is that many people I know say they won’t watch anything that might be at all depressing. Which come to think of it, is probably because of that oversatuation with tv/movie violence. And it makes me sad to think that well-done thoughtful films go unwatched while everyone rushes out to see the latest box office thriller.

    Anyway, I very much agree that balance is good and have been struggling with the issue of protection versus experiencing the whole spectrum of emotion and life and wanting to develop compassion.

    Buddhism has a practice called “tonglen” which involves imagining yourself taking in the suffering of others as you breathe in, and breathing out relief/peace. It seems a pretty opposite approach to that of skilled empathy…so I’m trying to work that problem out in my own head.

  20. 20
    Lara says:

    Suzanne, I am one such wimp who won’t see sad/emotionally charged films, and would rather see “The Mummy”!

    I appreciate that these films can be beautiful and moving, and for people who relate to the issue in the film it can be very validating and cathartic.

    I am not sure if I have become more sensitive or have just become full up of stuff, but those types of films stay with me for days making me feel sad or sick to my stomach.

    I never watched violence anyway, it seems crazy to me that we are led in a film to root for killing/harming ‘the bad guy’ (The Mummy doesn’t count- those guys were skeletons!). I really wanted to see “Slumdog,” but I know I will crumple 5 mins in.

    I probably need to work on being more emotionally resiliant! I can make it through “Shawshak Redemption” fine though!

  21. 21

    ANITA, MARY, SUZANNE, ANN, KATE, LARA and all, first, thank you for participating, one and all. This thread has been great from my perspective.

    LARA, I want to encourage you to forego the dubious goal of being “emotionally resiliant.” People are either highly sensitive or not.

    Part of Dr. Elaine Aron’s great achievement in coining the term Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) was to provide an alternative to equating insensitivity with maturity or virtue or emotional virtue or anything else.

    A great deal of my time, as a professional healer, is spent on moving out STUFF. It’s ridiculous to pollute or distort one’s nervous system in order to gain points from people (or social standards) where respect will always be withheld… unless you’re willing and able to become “just like me.”

  22. 22
    Anita says:


    What you said wasn’t offensive. Others, including me, were just responding and clarifying.

    Might you consider the lovingkindness practice that Sharon Salzberg writes about instead? It is not about taking on others’ suffering, per se, but about sending lovingkindness to all living beings. You start with people you know and love, then gradually move to less familiar people (like neighbors, coworkers), then move on to people you don’t care for, maybe even dislike, and people you don’t know and have never met.

    It is one of my favorite meditation practices, and I had the privilege of spending a day with Salzberg to learn more about it.

  23. 23
    Suzanne Schroedl says:

    Good! Yes, I like that technique. That is cool that you spent a day with Salzberg. Yes, I’ll hold off on tonglen. I’m not sure it’s a good practice for an empath 🙂

  24. 24
    Lara says:

    Dear Rose, you are right of course, I am not masochistic enough to bludgeon myself with uncomfortable stuff to become tougher, which would never work anyway.

    By more resiliant, I was thinking that when you aquire an amount of inner peace and skill with empathy, then these things don’t rock your boat, HSP or not.

  25. 25
    Morgan says:


    I’m curious if someone can improve their emotional health by experience anger while acting, when that person refuses to acknowledge anger consciously? If yes, does role playing in therapy actually work..? These thoughts came from reading “That character’s anger is palpable. I think it’s worth noting given all the pain and STUFF stuck in the actress’ aura (contrasting to the role played here) that Gabourey doesn’t normally resort to anger. So it probably took a lot out of her to move into an emotion that, normally, she steadfastly refuses to experience consciously.”

  26. 26

    MORGAN, yes, it is an interesting line of speculation. Still, this is beyond the role of this blog.

    As a professional when assisting people with RES skills for emotional and spiritual growth, I don’t comment on what a person might hypthetically do and what the results would hypothetically be.

    If someone is my client, that is a confidential session with specific help for that person. Quite different, right?

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