Edgar Cayce saw spiritual awakening as just a normal part of living. Maybe that’s why so many people are talking about highly sensitive experiences these days.

But how can we understand and make sense of insights we receive from experiences of heightened awareness? And how can we even begin to explain them to others who haven’t had them?

Recently, I was flipping through a book by Edgar Cayce’s son, Hugh Lynn Cayce, when I found an interesting story. Hugh Lynn was speaking to a group outdoors, beneath a huge, overarching tree, when he explained:

“I said, ‘I’ve had a thing with trees,’ and I pointed at the tree—and [in that instant] I moved from my body into the tree. I’d never [before] had such an experience. Ruth Lenoir, who was there, said I just stood there with my hand out like I was paralyzed for several minutes, and then I shook myself and went on.”

Did he talk to the tree?

“I didn’t say anything to it at all. I was just a part of it and caught up and just dispersed in its energy pattern. It’s a very disturbing kind of feeling because you are scattered, blended, like you are getting beat up in a milkshake.” (Hugh Lynn Cayce: About My Father’s Business, A. Robert Stone, Pg. 171, A.R.E. Press)

Has anything like that ever happened to you?

I had a similar experience, many years ago, while meditating at the ocean, in Ocean City, Md. The boundaries between me, the ocean, the sand, and the sky dissolved. My body vibrated slightly and there was a deep expansive calm. The experience wasn’t as much frightening as it was surprising and unexpected. One of the first things I learned to do when my sensitivity expands like that is to look for “here.” Where is “here”? The present moment, right now, as you read this, that is “here.”

To better understand and accept my awakening sensitivity, it was important for me to pause, stop, and come back to the present moment. It’s a great tool for the awakening empath’s toolkit. Let’s call it the Pause, Stop, Rest, Breathe tool.

It helps reduce stress and ground us when unexpected spiritual events happen. Because it’s so simple, so basic, we often forget to use it at the moment when it could help us the most.

That’s why I recommend turning it into a mantra: Pause, Stop, Rest, Breathe; Pause, Stop, Rest, Breathe. Repeat as needed. If it helps, you can lightly focus your attention on the easy rise and fall of your chest as you breathe normally.

There is now a whole field of study—called Mindfulness-Based Stress-Reduction—dedicated to helping people better manage what science often sees as a simple stress reaction. But is that the whole story? Is it just stress, or could it be awakening intuition?

Edgar Cayce had to come to grips with the challenges that accompanied his awakening gifts throughout his life. Insights from his biographies can help us understand the physical, mental, and spiritual impacts it had on him. You can hear some of those stories at a Conscious Community Lecture I gave earlier this year titled: Enlightened by Example.

I’m running into a lot of people who are having highly sensitive experiences and would like to talk about them. But they are a little reluctant to say things like, “Going into a store I get scattered and blended, like I’m getting beaten up in a milkshake.”

That’s why it can be helpful to go to a conference or other event and talk to people who share similar experiences.

"Come and see." For only those that are in need of the answering of something within will heed. 

-- Edgar Cayce reading 254-87                        

Whether you call yourself an intuitive, psychic, empath, or just a person with awakening sensitivities; when you find yourself having an experience that triggers “a very disturbing kind of feeling,” as Hugh Lynn Cayce described it; you might want to remember this simple tool.

Pause, Stop, Rest, Breathe. It’s one tool we can use for a lifetime.