Home Go to Energy Medicine
A Conversation With... Dr. Judith Orloff (Part 2)
Author of Emotional Freedom:
Liberate Youself from Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life
Interviewed by Eden Kozlowski, ATH Supervising Editor
Dr. Judith Orloff
Eden Kozlowski, ATH Supervising Editor: Hello, All Things Healing readers and listeners. This is Eden Kozlowski, Supervising Editor for All Things Healing and I'd like to welcome back Dr. Judith Orloff for Part 2 of our exclusive "A Conversation With..." series. Our first one was completed with Dr. Neala Peake who was my original meditation instructor and also Co-Founder of All Things Healing. So welcome back, Dr. Orloff.
Dr. Judith Orloff, ATH Guest Editor of Energy Medicine: Thank you.
Eden Kozlowski: You’re welcome. Okay let me give a quick summation of Dr. Orloff’s work for those of you who might be new to her. Not only is she currently Guest Editor on All Things Healing for our Energy Medicine page, but she’s also board certified psychiatrist with her specialty, or difference as I like to call it, being that she blends traditional medical science with intuition, spirituality, and energy. She’s also author of the international best-selling book, Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself from Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life, as well as assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at UCLA, just to name a few things. Alright, Dr. Orloff, are you ready to dig in?
Dr. Orloff: I am.
Eden Kozlowski: Okay. First question will probably tie in wonderfully to your book as it is all about personal responsibility. Do you believe that we are each responsible for our vital life force which, Qi or Chi as it is called, that we emit throughout our lives? And part of that, what is your belief on the impact of other people’s energy on us? Can it be negative, positive, neutral, etc.?
"Our body is a temple that our spirit is housed in and so we really need to take good care of it. We are made up of flesh and blood and we’re also made up of subtle energy that permeates the body and also extends many feet beyond it."
Dr. Orloff: That’s a great question. Yes, I believe that our empowerment comes from taking charge of our energy, our subtle energy, our bodies, our spiritually, you know, ourselves, and that learning to care for it, our body is a temple that our spirit is housed in, and so we really need to take good care of it. We are made up of flesh and blood, and we’re also made up of subtle energy that permeates the body and also extends many feet beyond it. So each person is walking around with an energy field that extends, invisibly, many feet from the body. And so when you go out to that shopping mall you’re interacting with all those people’s energy fields that also extend way beyond the body. You’re touching each other with invisible fingertips, and you’re assimilating each other’s information, and whatever you carry with you in the quality of presence is contagious. Emotions are contagious because the energy fields overlap. In the last interview an emotion type I talk about, an emotional freedom, is the empath. The empath is somebody who is an emotional sponge and able to sense the energy around them, but they also take it on in their own bodies and could become exhausted by it. As energy beings we can pick up positive energy, but we also pick up negative energy, and we have to learn how to work with it. And a lot of empaths become recluses because they can’t stand going outside anymore, it’s just too overwhelming. Empaths need to develop tools to protect their energy and feel empowered in quite a chaotic world.
Eden Kozlowski: Great and that kind of goes into the next question. I have two questions following from our Assistant Editor on our Energy Medicine page who is a really big fan of you, so it’s so nice to get to share these. Her name is Reverend Maria Dancing Heart Hoaglund and her first question to you is: How can we best and easily move our energy from negative to positive, especially when we've gotten a bit stuck, unexpectedly, in the negative?
"You have to learn how to self sooth and re-center yourself though the practice of this short mediation, specifically short so that you can learn to come back quickly."
Dr. Orloff: Yes, well number one take control of your own mind and your thoughts. You know, you have to notice what kind of negative thoughts are draining you, such as “Oh I’m so afraid I won’t get this if…”, or whatever your fear is, “I’m afraid of poor health, I’m afraid of this that,” because fear can throw you off your center. So just notice, alright, I’ve been caught up in fear take a breath, and just sense and be determined you’re going to shift that. And then a quick shifting technique that I use is the three minute heart meditation in the book. When you put your hand over your heart, which is the center for unconditional love, and you begin to take a few deep, slow breaths, and begin to feel the energy of the heart chakra. As you relax it can feel warm, or soothing, or tingling, and once that energy gets activated it moves up the chest and out the arms—you know, that’s the healing energy. You have to learn how to self sooth and re-center yourself though the practice of this short mediation, specifically short so that you can learn to come back quickly. You don’t do this particular mediation longer, so it’s a kind of warrior practice, how to bring yourself back to your center when you get thrown off.
Eden Kozlowski: I think the heart meditation would definitely help in this question that she asks as well: How do you uplift yourself when you get discouraged by the way the world is—as opposed to how you wish it would or could be?
Dr. Orloff: Well, I’m a huge believer in the work we do on ourselves creates more light. If you want to change the world, you want to create more light in the world. So you have to be the starting place for it. Of course it’s discouraging what’s happening to the world; we’re living in the earth realm, this is a place where there is a lot of dark energy and unconsciousness, but that’s why we’re here. I think people have to have a realistic expectation of what this earth realm is. This is not a place of enlightenment, this is a place where individuals can become enlightened and hopefully gain enough people to make the tipping point go towards the positive rather than the negative. But, this is a learning planet, so people are discouraged, of course they’re discouraged but that’s what it’s all about. It’s not letting discouragement stop you, but you putting one foot in front of the other and doing your own emotional work to transform the darkness within you. And, that makes a significant contribution to the overall light in the world, you see. I think you have to have your expectations in alignment with where we are.
Eden Kozlowski: Right, and it’s interesting with the people that I work through with my meditation practice, too. Those who come and do the work on themselves, I mean that is the hardest work to do, but it is the most rewarding.
"I think our subtle energy bodies directly connect with a greater sense of spirit and that the more we develop our heart, which is the heart chakra in the middle of the chest, the more we become aligned with God’s spirit, goodness, whatever you want to call it."
Dr. Orloff: If you truly want to make a difference that will do it.
Eden Kozlowski: Definitely. Well let me lead into this next question: How do you believe energy intersects with spirituality and how can we benefit from understanding this?
Dr. Orloff: Well, I think that our subtle energy bodies directly connect with a greater sense of spirit and that the more we develop our heart, which is the heart chakra in the middle of the chest, the more we become aligned with God’s spirit, goodness, whatever you want to call it, whatever source of love that is greater than the world. And through our practice we can align our hearts with that and by doing so we become more spiritually connected to the universe and the total expansion that happens from that. But the way to start is through one’s heart. You don’t start by reaching out to spirit, that’s where people make a mistake they’re reaching out instead of first starting with their own bodies, and then connecting from their own heart out to the spirit. You see it makes a big difference in your level of connection. You need to start with yourself, your own heart, and then reach out through the heart from something greater. And then you’re connected with what is truly meaningful.
Eden Kozlowski: Right, ah that’s awesome. And then let me ask this because in working with my students the biggest part that we undertake in our journeys is fear. And it drives so many of our decisions and I know you talk about it in your book. Chapter six is wonderfully titled, “The First Transformation: Facing Fear and Building Courage,” so if you could give our readers and listeners one piece of advice on moving through or confronting fear what would that be?
Dr. Orloff: Well number one just expect you’re going to have it. You know fear dominates our planet, and it’s the mother of all negative emotions, and it’s very very seductive so it has a strong pull. You have to learn to work with your top five fears and be aware of it so that you’re in process with them and they don’t have the power to bring you under. So begin to identify them: “I have a fear of poor health,” “I have a fear of financial insecurity,” “I have a fear I’m not good enough,” “I have a fear I’ll never be in a relationship,” whatever your fear is—that’s your spiritual work. But just know that when fear comes up that’s going to be the spiritual laboratory that you’re going to have to work with. And it’s making the commitment to the best of your ability not to lead a fear driven life, and to not be around people who support fear, because my spiritual teacher says that fear is like handing fire to a scarecrow.
Eden Kozlowski: A great description.
"Do something nice for somebody else because that shifts you back into your heart and out of the fear."
Dr. Orloff: You know, it goes from one to the next to the next. You don’t want to be a part of that, you want to say, oh alright, I’m afraid. This is my fear. I’m going to do a meditation, I’m going to try and calm myself down. I’m also going to slowly work on my psychological issues that feed into this fear, but I am not going to work it up. I’m going to work it down. In the meantime, what’s very helpful when you’re afraid is to be of service to others. Do something nice for somebody else because that shifts you back into your heart and out of the fear. It’s a very quick way to do it.
Eden Kozlowski: Okay. Well, I’m going to ask you this while we are talking, do you watch the news?
Dr. Orloff: Sometimes.
Eden Kozlowski: Okay, because I take bits and pieces, but literally I do bits and pieces. Do you do the same thing?
Dr. Orloff: Well I sometimes listen to NPR, but you see I go to a gym where I’m on the treadmill, so the TV is right up there and I’ll see the cable shows, but I don’t hear the sound so I get to read the energy of all the newscasters, it’s really interesting. I see the crawl, so I see the words, you see I like to read the energy of people it’s very interesting to see where they are in their bodies, if they’re stuck in their heads, or where they’re coming from. Part of listening to the news is interesting because I get to read their energies. I listen to some of the words, but I don’t dwell on it because it can create a lot of fear and it sensationalizes fear for ratings, and I’m not that interested I get bored with it. I get the information and get out of there pretty quickly.
Eden Kozlowski: That’s perfect, and I’m going to try that. That’s a really good way to go through that, thank you. Well this has been super. Thank you so much for the time today. As Dr. Orloff said, for more please visit her site at drjudithorloff.com and also see her here on All Things Healing on the Energy Medicine page. Again, Dr. Orloff, thank you millions.
Dr. Orloff: You’re very welcome.
Please "Add a Comment" at the bottom of this page or blog in our Forum here.
Please do not use apostrophes in your comments.
About Dr. Judith Orloff
Transforming the face of psychiatry, Judith Orloff, MD is an assistant clinical professor of Psychiatry at UCLA and author of the New York Times and international bestseller Emotional Freedom upon which a public television special is based. She synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality to achieve physical and emotional healing. She passionately asserts that we have the power to transform negative emotions and achieve inner peace. She offers practical strategies to overcome frustration, stress, and worry and teaches people how to quiet overactive minds that won’t shut off.
Dr. Orloff, who comes from a family of 25 physicians, advocates "a democracy of healing," wherein every aspect of ourselves is granted a vote in the search for total health. She has been celebrated for her unique approach to mental well-being by proving that the links between physical, emotional, and spiritual health can’t be ignored.
Dr. Orloff is accomplishing for psychiatry what physicians like Dean Ornish and Mehmet Oz have done for mainstream medicine. Dr. Orloff has spoken at medical schools, hospitals, universities, the American Psychiatric Association, Fortune Magazine’s Most Powerful Women Summit, and alternative and traditional health forums—venues where she presents tools to doctors, patients, and everyday people. She graduated USC School of Medicine, completed a four year psychiatric residency program at UCLA, and currently mentors UCLA medical students and psychiatry-residents-in-training. She is on Natural Health Magazine's Advisory Board and Body and Soul Magazine had called Dr. Orloff "one of our nation's top doctors."
As a board-certified psychiatrist, Dr. Orloff blends her traditional medical skills with intuition to enhance patient care. A new edition of her book Second Sight (Three Rivers Press, 2010) chronicles her challenges and triumphs embracing her own intuition and integrating it into medicine. Emotional Freedom (Three Rivers Press, 2011) helps readers liberate themselves from negative emotions and develop hope, compassion, and courage. It is a roadmap for those who are stressed, discouraged, or overwhelmed–and for those who are in a good emotional place but want to feel better. As Dr. Orloff shows, each day presents opportunities for us to be heroes in our own lives: to turn away from negativity, react constructively, and seize command of any situation. Her other bestsellers include Positive Energy, Guide to Intuitive Healing, and Second Sight, a trilogy of books exploring new breakthroughs in intuition, energy, and how to combat an epidemic of exhaustion overtaking our world. Positive Energy is a national and Los Angeles Times bestseller which has been translated into 24 languages.
Dr. Orloff served as a consultant and dream expert for the companion documentary to the feature film, "Inception" which explored the nature of dreams. Allure Magazine calls Dr. Orloff's dream interpretation skills "frankly uncanny."
About the Book
A Guide to Staying Brave and Positive During Stressful Times
Picture yourself in a traffic jam but feeling utterly calm. Or not letting your supervisor’s bad mood frustrate you. Imagine being peaceful instead of worrying. Or enjoying nurturing relationships and a warm sense of belonging in the place of loneliness. This is what it feels like when you’ve achieved emotional freedom.
National bestselling author Judith Orloff, MD presents new solutions for dealing with emotions in our hyper-tense world. She invites you to take a remarkable journey, one that leads to happiness, serenity, and a mastery over negativity that pervades daily life. You possess the ability to liberate yourself from worry, anger, and fear. True emotional freedom is closer than you think.
Synthesizing neuroscience, intuitive medicine, psychological and subtle energy techniques, Dr. Orloff maps the elegant relationships between our minds, bodies, spirits, and our environments. With humor and compassion, she shows you how to identify the most powerful negative emotions and how to transform them into hope, kindness, and courage. Compelling patient case-studies, stories from her on-line community and workshop participants, and from her own private life illustrate the simple, easy-to-follow action steps that you can take to cope with emotional vampires, disappointments, and rejection.
Emotional Freedom is a road map for those who are stressed out, discouraged, or overwhelmed as well as for those who are in a good emotional place but want to feel even better. As Dr. Orloff shows, each day presents opportunities for us to be heroes in our own lives: to turn away from negativity, react constructively, and seize command of any situation. Complete emotional freedom is within your grasp.
About the Interviewer
Eden Kozlowski's passion is to move people into the calm and peace of their being and help them take responsibility for their work, life and health.
She is founder/CEO of her dynamic meditation/mindfulness-based company out of Akron, Ohio USA – Just Be, LLC as well as a contributor to The Huffington Post and Co-Editor on the Meditation page at All Things Healing. Formerly an advertising creative director and VP out of Atlanta, Georgia, Eden now speaks, teaches, presents, facilitates anything and everything regarding meditation/mindfulness. Practicing since the year 2000, she started as a six-year student of Dr. Neala Peake’s (Co-Founder of ATH). She currently holds weekly classes, retreats and private sessions in person and via skype as well as in mindfulness and stress management at corporate, health and educational facilities.
See her interviews on ATH with Dr. Judith Orloff, psychiatrist and NY Times best-selling author; Sona Mehring, Founder and CEO of Caring Bridge; Elizabeth Lesser, Co-Founder of the Omega Institute; and Sarah McLean, the "face of mainstream meditation."
Blog: The Huffington Post
Akron, OH USA