What is the work to become an Expanding Human Being? A case study

what is your spiritual work?

The sentence I hear only occasionally, is “But what is the work?”

It is not because it is not a question that concerns many, it is because you are trained to know the answer, or at least pretend that you do.

I didn’t realize this until yesterday. I did not connect the dots… I didn’t see the forest for the trees.

What woke me up and made me see the big picture was an email from a new student.

And that, in spite of the fact that I had an opinion about her, a judgment, if you wish, that she talks to much and listens little.

Some of the time my attitude and my opinion matched 🙁 when I didn’t see that my opinion is a mind chatter, and that I can create my attitude freely.

Other times I had an attitude of service, in spite of my opinion of her predisposition to talk a lot.

And then the miracle happened. She started to ask clarifying questions, and… GASP! started to do the work.

With her permission I’ll publish some of our email exchange, without editing. It answers the question: “what is the work I am supposed to do to become an Expanding Human Being?” or more precisely: what is the work that she is doing. If you do that, you will be miles above where you are now.

Hi Sophie,

I have decided to take an Itch session.

I am apprehensive about the process. Are there lots of questions, or is it just about you connecting with my energy, etc.

I have a feeling about my ‘itch’; it will be interesting to see if it correlates with your perception.


The Itch session is a conversation, where we first look at your goals in the area of experience, growth and contribution… for most people, everything they want to accomplish comes from their itch… some people, advanced students, I also ask about the life experience that created it.

I don’t like that you talk about my perception… what you mean, really, is my opinion. That potentially disqualifies you from coming, because it means that you have no trust, that you will not trust the process, and that is not a good attitude to bring to any of my calls.

Thank you,


Hi Sophie,

I stand corrected on the word perception. I did not know a good word to use in the email. I like the word opinion a lot better.

Also, thank you for letting me know how the Itch session works. Goals, experiences, growth, contributions……yikes, when I first read those words my mind went blank. I don’t know if I have even reached that level yet.

Trust… I believe what you are doing is helping to guide. I am sure whatever process you use is very good. I see the quality of your work on your site.

Can I trust? That remains to be seen. It has everything to do with me, not anyone or anything else. I hope I am up to it. I am working on it. (Please let me know if this disqualifies me.)

Thank you Sophie for your kindness in communicating with me in all of these emails. It is a lot and I appreciate it. I recognize the gift and value of your time. It has not gone unnoticed.

With sincere appreciation, and thanks,

Her, after her first session of Itch

Dear Sophie,

Just a little note to thank you for allowing me to participate in your webinar.

With best wishes,


And thank you for having the courage to come on. A good first step. xoxo

Thank you,


Hi Sophie,

I am wondering about this. I realized during the webinar that my participation was a bit premature as I did not have any tangible goals. During the webinar you told me that this was not the right place for me but you helped me anyway.

Her, after her second Itch session:

Thank you Sophie for today’s Itch.

I am hoping I can find someway to complete my assignment.

Thanks for your help.

and then the series of emails documenting the WORK:

Hi Sophie,

I decided this morning to ‘be’ different. I was thinking about yesterday’s webinar and what you said, also what you said in the last email. So, I have decided to be different regardless to how it makes me feel.

My main problem is I am uncomfortable in setting my boundaries with other people. So my task as I see it is, to allow people to test my boundaries and learn to ‘be’ with that, without trying to help them out by explaining myself to them so they can feel better. And also because I feel uncomfortable when those around me are uncomfortable (empathic?). I will need to be direct and straightforward in expressing boundaries which of course ‘the chicken’ will be afraid to do, and also ‘the chicken’ will have to really stretch herself to do so.

I would like to know your opinion if I am onto something or not?

With best wishes and gratitude,

The Chicken, Helena

Little more guidance by me:

it’s exactly what I meant by being… and being someone who sets boundaries and allows others to have their discomfort, because it is theirs is a wonderful way of being… congratulations.

Practice it long enough so it becomes you. Please.

Thank you for the feedback. I am proud of you. xoxo

Thank you,

Finding out that she feels other people’s feelings as her own… i.e. she is an empath

Hi Sophie,

I am wondering if all of these years I have been picking up on others’ discomfort around me and reactions to me and thinking it was coming from me, therefore I felt very uncomfortable as well. Maybe this is why I was always trying to ‘help’, nurture, take care of ‘them’. When in reality I was trying to get rid of their feelings in me? Plus dealing with my own?

I am asking for several reasons: I am practicing ‘being me’ and am noticing this. I want to be responsible for my own ‘stuff’ and let others be responsible for their own stuff, without trying to ‘help’ unless asked. I am feeling very tense around certain people, and am sorting it out.

As you are a natural empath, and I totally respect your opinion, you are the only one I want to ask. Also, I read one of your articles about how you felt near a polluted water way and I could relate to that experience. I have had similar experiences, especially when pertaining with the natural world. I feel like someone has kicked me in the solar plexus, also alarm signals emanate (it feels like ‘electric fear)’ throughout my body. Could I be somewhat empathic?

Also, if you think this is the case, any suggestions on how to not absorb other peoples feelings?

Thank you so very much.

With respect and appreciation,

‘the Chicken’ :[/note]

my answer:

you are an empath. so far 75% of the ones with your soul correction proven to be empaths… hm, interesting.

the feelings that bother you are mostly from others, I am always surprised that when I connect to you I don’t find bad feelings. But your vibration is low because of trying to handle other people’s misery, for them.

you are right on track… good questions.

with regards to learning not to absorb: it will not happen, not possible. but learning how to embrace emotions and thoughts will help with any emotions and any thoughts, regardless of their source.

just practice your new being.

Thank you,

her embracing the fact:

Thanks Sophie,

What a super lucky day for me when I found you and your website! XOXO

It is all clicking into place! Why I prefer to be alone, why I do not like being in groups, why I was always ‘weird’, why I always feel OK until people react to me then I start trying to change myself to please them, blah, blah, blah. Even why I don’t like killing bugs! :[/note]

Now the real work begins. I no longer want to deny who I am. Thank you for this! Learning to “embrace” is going to be a real challenge. And learning to stand up for my rights. Meaning I have the right to be who I am whether anyone else can relate (or like it) or not. That is not my problem. What a job! I wish my self good luck.

Info for you: I feel very nervous about “embracing” the thoughts and emotions because of the physical sensations involved. I am sure you know firsthand what I am worried about. I will follow suggestions I have read on your site. Just let them be what they are and try not to get too caught up in them.

The “course”? Something for empaths? I think I recall reading that you were wanting to work with empaths, yes?

Thank you very much for taking time to read my emails. I feel really glad of your help today. I feel I have left a bit of confusion behind and have a clearer direction to follow. Your email has given me strength to continue practicing my new ‘being’.

I really wish there will be some way I can return in kind the gift you have given me today!


The Chicken :[/note]


the best gift you can give me is to start blossoming… honestly.

empath course: it is old and a little outdated, I have learned a lot since then, but it is available.

you can sign up, it is available for empaths, no charge.

the physical sensations, and emotions, if you don’t resist them, go away fast. It is hard not to resist them, but it’s possible.

I am down to a few seconds now… used to be hours… lol.

I am realizing, that if a feeling/emotion lasts longer than three seconds, then it’s not mine. Then it’s someone else’s resisted emotion, resisted by them.
Thank you,


Hi Sophie,

I thought I would give you an update.

I just finished listening to the recording of the last Itch. I heard truth in all of your description of me. I took away tools and insight (to what I have been practicing these last few days…’being’ ) that will help me on my journey.

What I have found out about by me ‘being’ is that, as you said in our emails, I am trying to sort other people’s emotions for them. I am really surprised at how automatically I fall into this ‘fix-it mode’. Always trying to make things better, or easier for them, always trying to help them see themselves or life in a less disparaging manner. Wanting them to feel better, less angry, less depressed, more hopeful, happier, etc. Which, as you said, is controlling. I definitely do not want to control someone else’s life. Managing my own is plenty enough.

So I am ‘biting my tongue’, practicing listening more without comment. i am trying to breathe more when feeling uncomfortable with their expressions of self.

On a personal note when I am feeling self generated emotions, I breath into those too. I noticed when I feel, I go right into my mind and start thinking rather than just being with whatever is happening. Avoidance, as you said. Not embracing at all!

Regarding my assignment to find an activity that is new to me, or not comfortable to me, but will cause growth: The “activity” that other people enjoy and I don’t is socializing. I am practicing my being with that. It is a big root; of all the things I could choose this is my number one avoidance. I really do not like to socialize.

The really good thing is finding out I am an empath. (Thank you.) This has made all the difference. Now when I put myself into the socializing arena I am curious to find out what I am picking up. I am practicing just observing what is mine and what is theirs. For my own stuff: I practice not thinking, not running off into the future or the past. For their stuff: I practice just letting it be.

This is hard. I am being vigilant because I slip into old patterns before I even know it. Words of the old habits slip out of my mouth automatically if I am not careful. Also, my mind hijacks my ‘being’ the moment I am not focused on ‘being’.

Sorry for such a long email. My intention was to give you details (of what happened to me) in hopes it might be useful to see what effect your words had on me.

Best wishes, and many thanks,

the chicken :[/note] xxoo


you are doing really good work. I have to tell you, I am amazed, surprised (pleasantly) and wish I had more students like you.

you are right on, and if you continue, it may become second nature, which is the goal.

Wonderful. I am proud of you. xoxoxo

Thank you,

and lastly, a report on what work she does to become a human being and how she does it…

OK! Hi Sophie,

When I left the Itch session I felt at a complete loss. I did not know what activities I could possibly become involved in to embrace expansion. My mind was total blank in this regard.

I felt badly about being late, and I was very uncomfortable about my Internet connection causing all the time delays. I felt as if I was sucking energy from you and causing frustration, also you seemed to feel tired to me, which was also was a concern.

Because of this I wrote you an apology email. You answered, “you will….or you won’t….lol” (I took “lol” as lots of luck, not laugh out loud).

That was fact, I would or I wouldn’t. It was sort of a brick wall, dead end. I ended the day in a neutral place, in suspension, not knowing what I could ‘do’.

The next morning I woke up with the decision to ‘be’ different. I thought about activities and then felt this idea in my body. I realized this would not be the answer I was looking for. Why? I can ‘do’ anything without ‘being’. As a matter of fact, I have used ‘doing’ quite successfully to avoid ‘being’. Human ‘doing’ not Human ‘being’. :[/note] So trying to find a new arena to avoid ‘being’ seemed a waste of everything. I then realized the environment I was in was the perfect place to practice ‘being’ in. I did not need to go anywhere. I am the most uncomfortable, and have the most problems with people I am closest to. I always have difficulty keeping my balance in this arena. Outside arenas are easy, nothing personal. Just doing. Inside arenas are tough….trying to please, trying to help, trying to soothe, trying to keep everyone ‘energetically up’, plus doing my work in the home. I pumped huge amounts of energy into the atmosphere around me. So what better place to start.

So all this started clicking into place the moment I started being. Another’s depressed mood, not my place to interfere. Their frustration, anger, etc., not my place either. Then I realized I was feeling all of their stuff, it was not mine! A huge revelation. My discomfort was their feelings, not mine!’

I wrote you to double check, to make sure I was not avoiding responsibility for self or otherwise b.s.ing myself. You confirmed that this was indeed the ‘being’ that you were talking about. Yay! I was starting to come out of a fog. I could see a direction through the mist.

With your encouragement that I was moving in the right direction towards ‘being’, I continued to practice throughout the day. I was amazed that I was always monitoring everyone’s feelings. Actually, I was very rarely inside myself at all. Also, I noticed my impulse to want to do something to help. This started me wondering if I was an empath. It seemed far fetched, I did not think so, but I decided to ask you. I was still groping around in the mist. But was hanging on to the idea of just ‘being’, and trying not to do too much thinking.

When you confirmed I was an empath, it was like my whole life clicked into place. A huge domino effect. Everything in a moment was shifted. My memories shifted with this new insight. All the confusion, discomfort, weirdness, differentness, nervousness, fear, etc. was understood. This however was not the end, but just the beginning, a starting place to work from. Thanks Sophie.

The place I am at now is continuing to practicing. I am most nervous about standing my ground. I hate the feeling of anger, or disappointment when I don’t do what other people want. I usually cave in to their desires not upholding my own desires. Anger really disintegrates me. Also, when anyone comes to visit I am practicing just being, and keeping away from worrying if they think I am weird or something. Also, I am breathing when the physical sensations feel overwhelming. I try to breathe only and just ‘be’ without going into my head to avoid the sensation.

The most important factors in this experience were:

1) I decided to ‘be’

2) testing inside myself to see what direction would focus on ‘being’

3) your confirming that I was on the right track

4) you letting me know I am an empath

5) your support and encouragement that I can do it

This is a really long email! I hope that is OK. I tried to connect inside myself to give you the details. I super hope this email can be useful to you in some way.

Many thanks, with gratitude and appreciation,


I see it as an honor, you see me a a potential gift to you and your teaching. You are more than welcome to use any or all of the above email as a teaching tool. I would love to be a gift to you.

If you want to pick my brain on anything along these lines I am open to that as well. You know my sticking point so well….as long as I am not identified personally anything you would like to explore is OK. 🙂

Also, thank you so much for this email. It encourages me, I feel the support I need right now. And just to let you know, I am struggling. The old patterns die hard. For example, unexpected guests came to visit last night. I braced myself for the coming experience. A little tense, but determined to not get caught up in the experience. The end result: I did a little better, but caught myself dominating the conversation a bit to dispel discomfort in one of the guests. I went into entertainment mode so they could have a nice time. When I caught myself, I backed off and tried to encourage them to take over the discussions by asking them questions to start them off on their own areas of interest.

Bye for now! xoxo

f, Helena, the chicken :[/note]

PS: were you tired on that call, last Thursday?

my answer:

Don’t despair: making the separation habitual does take a lot of practice, especially when the circumstances are confronting, or too fast.

Tired: no, I am never tired. I may be balancing having a strong feeling from someone, that they have been resisting, and I think that was the situation, whenever I talk to the other “Silent Partner” I barely am able to deal with the separation… now you see that even though I have been doing this quite a while, I am not always successful at keeping myself un-fused with the emotions.

An empath feels another person’s emotions stronger than their own, and emotions resisted are strong even without this…

By the way, this other “Silent Partner” person I compare you with a lot: she has never asked what is the work… what is the work she was supposed to do, because, I guess, arrogance. She prizes knowing, and it holds her back.

You prize finding out, experiencing, and you can move.

Let’s hope your example unstucks her… I hate hope… it is so hopeless… lol.

thank you for your attitude. I’ll publish the email conversation, unedited. I hope it’s a great teaching tool.

But just like with any other teaching: it is NOT the teacher, it is the STUDENT who is the crucial piece.

Thank you,

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Author: Sophie Benshitta Maven

True empath, award winning architect, magazine publisher, transformational and spiritual coach and teacher, self declared Avatar

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