In my book review of The Empath’s Survival Guide, I very briefly described my empath family, who were medical workers and also empaths. This may not be unique for health professionals, because the ability to empathise could be inherent in them even though some professionals would deliberately stay detached in medical practice.

Ultimately, we all have empath and intuitive gifts – every single one of us.

What was unique within my family, perhaps, was that conversations about intuitive gifts were very normal.

Our town was in a rural region in southern Japan. Our family naturally demonstrated a holistic approach to caring for patients through listening to them, which required some degree of empath ability.

In general, a child growing up in such circumstances – where discussing the supernatural is normal – is likely to develop an intuitive sense. This would make a difference in a person’s psychical development. People with a stronger intuitive sense in my family were my grandparents and uncle on my father’s side, uncles on my mother’s side, and my parents.

I learnt that this was not something I could talk about openly with my classmates at school. No one seemed to relate to me. Some people avoided me after hearing me talk about my uncle’s out-of-body (near-death) experience during his own operation. I don’t remember when I completely stopped talking about spirituality; it was probably after I left my parent’s house when I was 15 years old.

 

Reconsideration

It was in 2014. My attention started turning back to intuitive sensitivities through the influence of a book.

The book was Proof of Heaven, by Dr Eben Alexander, a neurosurgeon. I shuddered at the descriptions in his book. The beginning section of the book, when Dr Alexander describes himself and his colleagues, reminded me of the patients I saw in childhood. What he saw during the seven days of his coma was something I often heard about and was fairly similar to what my uncle reported to us. Dr Alexander’s experience proved to him that consciousness is autonomous from the brain.

It took a lot of courage to break the silence surrounding the topic of the supernatural. By taking a very slow spiritual journey since then (while recollecting and comparing lots of events through reading), I now feel more freedom to sense and talk and write about this topic.

My favourite books on consciousness were the bestselling books by Eckhart Tolle.

Now I talk about the intuitive gifts to my friends and colleagues without hesitation. Without the courageous authors I mentioned above, I would have never confronted these sensitivities and never would have dreamt of sharing my experiences with others.