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Deeper Perception Made Practical

Reviewing books for empaths, guest post and food for thought

 

Blog-Buddies, in the age of Amazon, book reviewing has assumed new importance. An informative, fair review scores credibility with readers. Any review carries influence, both what it says and what it doesn’t acknowledge.

Yesterday I received notification of a review by an influential writer and empath, Birrell Walsh. With his permission, I quote his review of “Become the Most Important Person in the Room: Your 30-Day Plan for Empath Empowerment.”

Unlike the Amazon review page, which offers no space for rebuttal, here I just might add a comment or three. Sweet though Birrell is, and despite his helpful intent, some of his words really stung.

Will you agree with him or me? Either way, today’s post may take you one step deeper inside the hidden innards of book reviewing. Also maybe inspire you to follow up with Amazon reviews of your own!

Incidentally, some folks think that you must purchase the book through Amazon in order to review it. Not so. You just go to the page for the book being sold, scroll down to Customer Reviews, and add your thoughts.

One of the biggest favors you can do for an author is to spread the word via a review at influential Amazon.com. I am so grateful to you Blog-Buddies who have done that already.

Birrell Walsh Reviews My Quick and Easy How-to for Empaths

It works.

By Birrell Walsh (San Francisco, CA USA)

This review is from: “Become The Most Important Person in the Room: Your 30-Day Plan for Empath Empowerment” (Paperback)

Suddenly a strong feeling comes over you. You feel sad or angry or frantic, for no reason at all. Are you going crazy?

Or are you picking up the feeling from someone else? One in 20 people, says author Rose Rosetree, are empaths; and most are not very skilled at it. If you recognize this experience, if you feel what is going on with other people whether you want to or not, you will be glad to have a book about getting control of this blessing-curse.

Rosetree provides a 30 day program in which you can learn to direct your attention to your own experience, and disconnect from involuntary empathy. Once you know how to get free of the emotions and physical sensations of others, you can afford to turn your empathy back on – when and how you want to.

Rosetree clearly knows what she is talking about. She is aware of the many varieties of empathy and will help you discover which kind is your gift. She writes with humor and lightness. If you follow her program for a month you may find, as I did, that you can turn this experience off and on at will.

Some people will object to her humor. A friend of mine to whom I recommended the book did not like the flippancy, and she found that the techniques succeeded.

More serious is Rosetree’s primary metaphor, “becoming the most important person in the room.” I know she uses this expression because for some empaths, everyone else’s reality is more real than their own.

But do we really need more people who think they are the most important person in the room, yet another Lord Narcissus or Lady Moi? I wish Rosetree had chosen another theme, and emphasized more the sheer joy of encountering The Other. (And she has done some of that with another of her books, “Aura Reading Through All Your Senses: Celestial Perception Made Practical, 2nd Edition” )

No matter, though. If you or someone you know picks up every suffering and craziness in the environment, they should have this book. Rosetree’s methods WORK.

Daring to let everyone be important

Rose here again, Blog-Buddies. Life on earth can be sweet-bitter, for sure. There stands Birrell’s kind review and yet I am not happy.

Others have complained to me, though not so wittily, about the grave error of helping empaths become “The Most Important Person in the Room.”

Sure, many people are already such egoists, or worse. Horrid indeed is the thought of encouraging them further.

Here’s my perspective, though. Between when I published “Empowered by Empathy” and “Become The Most Important Person in the Room,” I taught empaths on three continents and did phone sessions with clients on six continents. Lots of them, actually.

I have spent thousands of hours helping empaths, often traveling minutely into their consciousness via Skilled Empath Merge.

I didn’t find a single empath with a big fat ego. I found people who felt less important, less empowered, less individuated than non-empaths. Not “some empaths,” as Birrell wrote. Every single unskilled empath, period.

Trying to help empaths to overcome their biggest and most universal problem — Hello! Is it really fair to criticize me for that?

In the unlikely event that some egomaniacal narcissistic psychopaths were to purchase my how-to for empaths, would my instructions push them over the top?

Hardly. It is a how-to for EMPATHS. Like a recipe for making a fine cheese souffle. Written for good eggs. Should a steak happen upon the recipe, there is absolutely no danger of an exploding souffle.

Or any kind of souffle, actually.

Daring to lighten hearts

Oboy, there I went joking again, about that sacred ideal of “souffle.”

About that so-controversial topic of my sense of humor. (A sense of humor, admittedly, not much in evidence as I respond to Birrell’s review….)

Horrors, “the flippancy”!

Note that Birrell, a professional writer, did not say that his friend called my tone flippant. No, “the flippancy” is apparently a fact. To him as well as his friend.

I’d like to share with you, Blog-Buddies, why I use humor in some of my books. Some of my books. Always on purpose.

If you want a more earnest how-to from Rose Rosetree, you don’t have to go all the way back in my body of work to “Aura Reading Through All Your Senses.” Just pick up “Empowered by Empathy.” That would be a better referral, since this is also written expressly to help the 1 in 20 people born as an empath.

You may know, “Empowered by Empathy” was the first self-help book in English for empaths. Plenty of other teachers for empaths have emerged since then. Most common, I gather, is a so-compassionate tone because those wounded, fragile, empath people suffer so greatly and require absorbent shoulders to lean on.

That’s a fine approach for emerging victims. It’s also fine if you’re not asking your readers to shift their consciousness but, instead, to rearrange their problems. In the manner of Whose Stuff Is This?: Finding Freedom from the Negative Thoughts, Feelings, and Energy of Those Around You by Yvonne Perry and Dancers Between Realms-Empath Energy, Beyond Empathy by Elisabeth Y. Fitzhugh.

More on these books later. For this point, suffice it to say that I use humor quite purposefully as a teacher and healer.

  • Humor stops things. Like wallowing. Like getting all sentimental about how hard it is to feel other people’s feelings.
  • Humor starts things. Like a moment of clarity that allows a fresh point of view. Or jump-starting a person’s resourcefulness. Because YOU are the one who positions your consciousness effectively as an empath. Only you can do that.

Daring to pioneer

Birrell noted that the techniques in my how-to for empaths really work. He never explored why.

That seems like a key consideration to me. So often book reviews are about style, or the author’s likeability, or whatever the reader thinks a book on that topic ought to include. Call me a Hopeless Consciousness Nerd if you must, but I have a different viewpoint about self-help books.

Content matters to me. If someone teaches a skill set that works because it is dramatically different from everything else out there, I think that’s worth acknowledging.

Empath Empowerment(R) is trademarked because it offers a unique way of using consciousness to solve problems that empaths have.

That system works not just temporarily but long-term. If you use skills of energetic literacy, you can tell drilling down all the way to the level of chakra databanks.

A skilled empath’s aura functions differently from the aura of an unskilled empath. Which would include a clever but unskilled empath who questions, “Whose STUFF is this?”

Empath Methods Viewed Technically

Depending on how you search at Amazon, two books for empaths that are either more popular, or slightly less popular, than “Become the Most Important Person in the Room” are the previously mentioned ones from Yvonne and Elisabeth.

  • Yvonne Perry defines an empath as “a person who uses emotional intuition to understand or connect with others.” Techniques she offers include bathing in salt water, breathing, and centering.
  • Elisabeth Fitzhugh offers psychologically-based strategies such as “learning to balance and manage receptivity.”

Such approaches give empaths plenty to do, amid all the suffering. Neither approach demands that a reader make shifts in consciousness.

Instead, there are ways to use same-old, inexpertly positioned, consciousness while cleaning your aura temporarily or analyzing your experiences all the better to “manage” them. All the while, picking up ever more STUFF.

(For explanation how that STUFF is picked up by every unskilled empath, see the illustrations in “Become the Most Important Person in the Room.”)

So, yes, if you’re interested in educating prospective readers about “Become The Most Important Person in the Room,” such a point might be worth mentioning. Whether theoretically or in terms of your personal results.

Finally, acknowledging Birrell Walsh

A prolific writer of novels and poems, Birrell has also written this superb non-fiction book, Praying for Others: Powerful Practices for Healing, Peace, and New Beginnings. So far, that’s the only one of his I have read, but I aim to dip into his novels soon.

See more about hard-copy books by Birrell Walsh here.

Here is a link for Birrell Walsh’s ebooks, too.

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  1. 1
    Wrinkle In Time says:

    Dear Rose,

    I think this is a great review and had I read it it would certainly draw me towards your book not away from it. I think he does address the how and why your technique works:

    “… you can learn to direct your attention to your own experience, and disconnect from involuntary empathy”

    Maybe I am missing some ideas, but I thought that was just the point of the book. Take your focus of the others and point it towards yourself. In thirty or so ways. Especially clear for a non New Age person who knows nothing about auras and energetic literacy.

    As for the “most important person” remark – I think that Mr. Walsh has a point in a sense that most Empaths, myself included, are troubled by the proliferation of narcissism in today’s society and thus, the “becoming the most important person” in a title might be somewhat of a turn-off. I know that I probably wouldn’t go past the title if somebody didn’t recommend the book and I was able to read Chapter 1 available on Amazon.

    I hope I got my point across. It’s not that I agree with Mr. Walsh and disagree with you Rose. It’s just a tiny nuance. Oh, and I personally love your humor. 🙂

  2. 2
    Sabine says:

    I enjoyed this book, personally.

    I also felt that the humor in the book can be flippant but it’s a minor point. If some people have a problem with that style of humor, that’s down to personal taste which is outside of your control.

    I think personal taste is one reason why it’s good there are several teachers in this field: everyone can find a teacher they vibe with and whose writing they like.

    One thing my mom taught me: not everyone is going to like you!

    Not that this reviewer doesn’t: he gave you five stars after all.

  3. 3
    Colleen says:

    Rose,
    I thought Mr.Walsh made some fine points. I also appreciate the points that you made having written the book. I like your, “sometimes quirky” sense of humor. Who needs to delve more into the dark, painful, “oh poor me” empath world? There is plenty of that going around. There is nothing that is more of a turn off than going to a web discussion board where empath’s are speaking woundology, (Caroline Myss’s descriptive term).

    I had to reactivate/open another amazon account a few months ago and wait so many days after making a purchase to qualify as a reviewer. I had not used my amazon account in a number of years.

    I do wish that you could re title “Empowered by Empathy” as it suggests that having empathy is what it is about instead of being “an empath”. I know that you have mentioned this before. It would, likely, be more costly as well. The title that Mr. Walsh refers to doesn’t offend me at all. I got immediately what it means, (even if I had not read your other books or been at the blog).

  4. 4
    Birrell Walsh says:

    I do appreciate this book. My friend who did not care for the humor is pretty serious right now, caring for her sick mother. And nevertheless she found the techniques worked for her.

    I agree with Wrinkle in Time (what a great name!). Our culture does love and promote narcissism. And it seems to me that empathy teaches just what you say: Everyone is important.

    What I really wish is a book about the delights of empathy. It can be a lonely, stuff-filled experience. It can also be ecstatic. Please forgive a commercial. My first novel SISTER CLARE’S LOVER is about a lonely empathy-stricken priest. While investigating tantra in city convents, he meets another empath and they fall in love. The flow between them is possible (I think) only for empaths. As you say, “empathy is the most fun you can have with your clothes on.” So is the pain, as he is a priest and she is married to a non-empath. They must share very hard choices.

    Thanks!

    Birrell

  5. 5
    Valerie says:

    Hi Rose,

    If there’s one common attribute I’ve noticed among empaths, it’s humility. I have yet to meet an empathic narcissus. It seems contradictory to me.

    I appreciate your humor Rose, and I understand its purpose. It often adds a much needed sweetness to moments that could be much more painful.

    From the very first session I had with you, your humor helped me to take my “stuff” with a grain of salt, and helped relieve some of the heaviness for me.

    And then of course to hear that “stuff can always be healed” was the cherry on top. Your humor, and that phrase quietly supported me in letting go of A LOT of old pain.

    I’m definitely inspired to write a review for Amazon.

  6. 6
    Amanda says:

    Rose,

    What I can say is that I was initially doubtful about the title in exactly that way, but when I really got it, got the point of the book, I found it brilliant!

    You become the most important person in the room to yourself – and that makes for a LOT less narcissism and the freeing of energy to connect properly with other people.

    So to me, brilliant.

    On the sense of humour, oh, yes, it was so casual and refreshing and insightful and dismissive that it scared away the big scary thoughts!

    Humour is the very best way to bring those deep dark knots into the light and chuck them out for good. The more darkly suspicious and opinionated and repelling they are, the better laughter and joyful awareness works.

    I loved the lightness of touch, and wouldn’t worry about the label ‘flippant’. It’s only a comment from the internal world of another person. A different world from yours 🙂

    So, Rose, I do hope you remember that you’ve done exactly right by this previously-unskilled empath at the very least – and if other people would prefer to approach spirituality or your book with seriousness or even some guardedness, it’s not your issue. They’ll work out the joke, as I did, or not!

    As far as I’m concerned, you did what you say you set out to do, I TOTALLY get it, and I’m very grateful.

    🙂

    Amanda

  7. 7
    Amanda says:

    I would add I think it’s great that Birrell Walsh tackled these potential issues in his review, and encouraged people to keep reading even if they have them.

    It’s a very good review, and thoughtful too.

    🙂

    Amanda

  8. 8
    Grace S says:

    Hi ROSE, FYI you actually can make rebuttals on individual Amazon reviews.

    At the very end of each review, the last line is “Was this review helpful to you?” and to the very right of that line it says “Comment” – click on it and comment away.

    I’ve seen some amazing discussions within that area, and appreciate that it’s there. I’ve also seen authors comment there too, for what it’s worth.

  9. 9
    Lara says:

    I really enjoyed the humour in the book, and in all of the books of yours I have read. I didn’t find the tone of the humour flippant I found it engaging and easier to get into the book because of it, and I am honestly amazed someone would consider it anything but a big plus. But there you are, many different tastes!

    If I had read the title in a shop I would have passed it over, because it did at first have a kind of ‘narcisstic tone’ without knowing what it is about. BUT knowing what the book is about I got it and really appreciated it because for so long I was not the most important person in the room to me. A title is a prominent thing even when you are reading the contents you see it frequently and as a repetitive message I found it really empowering to realise it was right to be the most important person to oneself.

  10. 10

    Thank you so much everyone, including BIRRELL (with your first official comment here).

    I agreed with everyone, actually. A lot!

    Pssst. Maybe it showed clearly, maybe not, but the main thing with this blog post is that, along being grateful for BIRRELL’s review, my feelings were hurt.

    I wish I could say this never happens. One would think after the 42 years in service, I would have some way for my feelings not to be hurt so easily.

    Actually, I have improved. But am still evolving. That’s the name of this tale.

    GRACE S., I didn’t know about the commenting feature and aim to go there. Although not on my weekly day off.

  11. 11
    Primmie says:

    Rose I’m sorry to hear that you were hurt about how your work was described. I admire you being so honest about how you felt.

    I know reviews are important, but sometimes it doesn’t much matter how a book is described. That was true in my case when I discovered your work.

    I was someone that had pretty much zero interest in any approach to healing that wasn’t based in psychotherapy. When I first came across people using the term empath, I thought it was just a bunch of codependents that were trying to make a virtue of their dysfunction and weren’t prepared to learn about boundaries.

    I discovered your blog and despite being an atheist and finding a lot of what was discussed here completely perplexing and bizarre, I still bought your book, and I loved it.

    I think your audience will find you, certainly that was the case with me. I found your work despite myself.

    Oh, and I’m also quite narcissistic. Having read your book I’m pretty sure I haven’t got any more so 😉

  12. 12

    P.S. Don’t think for a minute that I refrain from my own self-healing. And some of you Blog-Buddies might object to the term “Someone else hurting Rose’s feelings.”

    I do take responsibility for them, for my reactions and healing. It’s just that it means a lot to me to have this community for support.

    For the years I’ve been running this blog, I haven’t knowingly hurt anyone’s feelings. And there have been some private emails back and forth if I found out that feelings were, unintentionally, hurt.

    Just to be clear….

  13. 13
    Jill says:

    Rose,

    Humor is one of the most important skills we can have here in Earth School. That is why I love Mark Twain so much. I agree with everyone else here, your humor in your books is just right for me. I have greatly enjoyed every book while I learned so much about how to heal myself and gain new skills as an empath (actually, ANY skills as an empath ;-). This particular book, Become the Most Important Person in the Room, was one of the most important books I ever read and the title is perfectly understood by any Empath.

  14. 14
    an avid reader says:

    Dear Rose,

    I LOVE your sense of humor!!! Both in sessions and and in your books! But particularly in sessions. I have had the wonderful opportunity to be able to laugh with you in the midst of my suffering and subsequent healing and everywhere in between.

    So thank you, thank you, thank you for all the humor!

  15. 15
    Sandra says:

    Dear Rose,

    Count me among the many who love your humor. This humor coupled with your great insight and talents, has afforded me much growth and healing.

    I am very grateful to you!

  16. 16
    Elaine says:

    I always enjoy your humor Rose! Having come so far with the healing sessions and your books, I am so delighted to have been found by you! 🙂

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