Manage Zinio Subscriptions I’m an Empath, Are You?

I’m an Empath. Many of my friends are Empaths, as are most of my clients. Due to the line of work I’m in, I meet Empaths everywhere. At the wellness center where I have an office. At the professional trainings I attend. At group meditations and networking events.It’s not easy to be an Empath. Until I truly understood my energy, I struggled. I struggled with the belief I had to please everyone. I struggled with sensing too much about the world around me. I struggled with feeling the weight of the world. I struggled in large groups, and sought isolation.I’ve gradually, and successfully, learned to manage and protect my natural sensitivity, and I’ve realized how crucial it is to practice daily rituals and exercises in order to help myself stay balanced and strong.You might be an Empath too, if you:

Sense and ‘absorb’ others’ feelings

Have high sensitivity to touch, smell, energy, sight, noise, etc.

Are easily triggered or overwhelmed by negative news stories

Have been told you’re too sensitive

Feel like something is wrong with you

Have a tendency to shut down when too much is going on around you

Frequently feel exhausted

Easily get distracted

But wait, it’s not all bad news! Empaths are beautiful people, and when we recognize our true strengths, it’s easier to strengthen inner power.Empaths typically:

Are generous and giving.

Have big hearts

Are highly intuitive

Enjoy subtle beauty

Thrive in natural settings

Treasure authenticity

Are great listeners

Have a natural ability to heal

Experience relief when they connect with others who share their sense of sensitivity
Sensitivity is a gift. We add value and strength to our sensitivity by honoring it and nurturing it. In doing this, it’s crucial to detoxify and release all that doesn’t serve us. This includes: anxiety, self-doubt, negative self judgement, other peoples’ emotions and opinions, and any substances toxic to our system.Over the years I have learned to manage my energy in a way that allows me to thrive, instead of hide.Here are some of my favorite techniques:Daily Meditation — Daily meditation helps me connect with my inner power. By continually connecting with our inner power, authenticity is easier to express. Meditation helps to clarify what is ours, and what is not.Smudging – Using a sage smudge is helpful to clear negative energy in a room. I do this frequently in my home office.Energetic Shield – Empaths typically have an easy time visualizing what’s invisible to the naked eye. Visualizing an energetic shield of light or love to surround you as you move through your day can help you maintain a boundary to filter out negativity.Grounding – Grounding is crucial for everyone, especially Empaths. Sometimes, the struggles faced by an Empath will create a desire for avoidance, or dissociation from earthly troubles. However helpful it might be to drift into ‘la-la-land’ at times, it’s crucial to bring ourselves back to Earth. Grounding techniques include walking barefoot on the earth, EFT Tapping, and soaking your feet in a salt bath. You might also try a daily grounding meditation, during which you imagine roots stretching down from your spine and feet into the earth below.

Salt Bath — Ahhh. Nothing like a salt bath to soothe anxiety and detoxify the body-mind. Simple Epsom salts contain magnesium, which is both grounding and relaxing. If you have a bathtub, treat yourself to a salt bath one or more times a week. If you don’t have a bathtub, soak your feet instead.Yoga – Yoga is a powerful technique for detoxification, anxiety relief, grounding, chakra balancing, nervous system balancing, and more. Each of these benefits is crucial for the sensitive, empathic soul.Nature- Nature is grounding, healing, and soothing. It’s essential for maintaining balance. Delight in it in any way you can.Don’t hide from the world. Don’t hide your sensitivity. Treasure your gifts, and light up our world.In Courage,Marian

Artificial Intelligence and Our Humanity

We hear and read about it everywhere these days.

You hear people saying, “The future is now.”

“We have to give way to technology.”

“We’ll be better off and live better lives (maybe not even work) if we let AI do it.”

Yes, technology is here, and we are living at the dawn of the age of AI, and it’s a topic that we’ve seen and heard a lot more about this year.

I wonder what the opportunities will be for the average person. You know, the person who is not the founder of Facebook, Google or Amazon, which have placed such high barriers to entry that it will be rare for companies to break into that stratospheric league.

What’s Going to Happen with Humans?

Do you wonder what’s going to happen to the average person? AI are taking over customer service, writing, design, sales, law, and medicine. As a businessman and social entrepreneur, the reality is that if you’re looking at things in a purely bottom-line manner, using AI could make a whole lot of sense. They never get sick. They work 27/7/365. They never stop and can indeed produce more than any human can–in a lifetime. From a pure dollars and cents perspective, AI can make a lot of sense.

But then you have to wonder about the broader implications of AI, and I sense that society has not even started to get its head around the implications. If you pay even a little attention to the news, then you know that a few months ago Facebook engineers shut down and pulled the plug on AI that decided on its own to go ahead and develop a new language. It was more efficient for them to get the work done, but humans did not understand. It seems that the language was basic, but what happens if the AI had not been shut down? Would they have developed a highly sophisticated way to communicate and operate that completely excised human?

I agree that technology can be beneficial to society. I think most people would agree that we’d prefer to send a bot into a dangerous situation, say war, rather than ask our men and women to put their lives on the line. I think there’s something to be said for the rapidly expanding role of robotics in medicine. For example, the fact that we’ve started to print human organs with 3D is a significant advancement, and we have to hope that many lives will be saved.

The Deeper Issues Related to AI

My concern as I dig deeper into the issue of AI is what the implications are for the human race, and yes, that even includes how we in the philanthropic sector connect with each other and with the world we serve. As I noted in the previous article I wrote, the Partnership on AI, which is a collaborative effort between mega-companies such as Facebook, Apple, Google and leading non-profits such as UNICEF and Human Rights are trying to lead the conversation about the implications of AI in all of our lives.

If you tune in even a little bit into the conversation about AI, you know that we have to deal with many issues, including some of the following:

Safety: We don’t want to be in a situation where AI is created, and it is not obligated to protect human life.
Transparency: We had the recent situation with Facebook where they shut down AI, but who rules (government or business) when someone says “Houston, we have a problem”?
Labor and the Economy: Whose responsibility is it to train people as AI develops and what will their work functions be in light of a much more powerful AI partner? Will people even have jobs?
Society: For communities around the world, which certainly includes nonprofit and philanthropic work, what will be the impact of AI on philanthropy, education, charitable work, science, private/public partnerships, etc.

The reality seems to be apparently developing that there are few areas–if any–that AI will not touch.

Humanity’s Competitive Advantage

When I read about issues related to AI, I think of one thing–humanity. I believe we all have to get into the conversation now about the implications of AI. I’m someone who likes and values people precisely because we are imperfect. There is a lot of prose and poetry in the human condition. AI cannot love, demonstrate courage, hope, dream, feel fear, etc.

In my mind, those qualities are what makes humans so much better than AI. Our values are our competitive advantage in comparison to AI. There is something intrinsic within people (some call it a soul or spirit, others connect the scientific dots of all the elements that make up our brains, hearts, and bodies) that makes us unique, and yes, even exceptional.

We have a serious conversation that has to take place about AI, but it involves all humans, and we have to pay attention before we have a situation we did not bargain for in the age of technology.

The Path for Humanity as it Greets AI

In many ways, I hope that AI begins to break down the things that divide us and that we discover that as humans, we are all the same. We are. Take away the issues of money, race, religion, gender and everything else; we all bleed red.

We all hurt.

We all hope.

We all dream.

The way I see it, the time is now for humanity. It can be our finest hours at the dawn of a new age–provided we all get out of our own way and engage in a global dialogue about humanity in the age of AI.