Dear EFT friends,
Happy New Year! I’m sending you good wishes to accompany you on your journey. May 2011 be all that you wish it to be…
On that occasion, I’d like to send you a few words on the thorny topic of new year’s resolutions.
Far be it from me to prevent you from making any – it’s always good to aim higher and challenge yourself to reach new goals – but it’s sad to notice how much disappointment, failed hopes and crushed self-esteem they can leave in their wake…
Let me give you some pieces of information on how the human mind deals with change.
Change is implemented over a period of time through the use of repetition. This is in order to hammer things that require conscious attention at first into our subconscious mind so they can eventually be executed without any conscious effort. This is how we learn how to write with a pen without always thinking about the shape of the letters we’re tracing. This is how we learn to brush our teeth at bedtime no matter how tired we are.
And this is also how we shape what we perceive as being our identity:
After a few failures in math class, Victor is going to see himself as a person who cannot bring good math grades to his parents. It now is part of his identity, and his subconscious is going to filter the information surrounding Victor so that he only perceives what reinforces that perception. Finally it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy and he finds himself entirely unable to improve in math class, no matter how hard he tries.
If your new resolutions are gritting against such an ingrained unconscious belief about yourself, there’s going to be a conflict between your subconscious and conscious mind. This often results in a short struggle against yourself, a display of courage and will, followed by a period of involuntary self-sabotage before finally giving up with either bitterness or festering disappointment.
Sometimes, the changes are more lasting, and the new behavior is implemented through much painful repetition. Sophia, for example, is able to stick to a gym routine for a rather long time. That is until she takes a vacation, stops exercising for two weeks, and finds herself completely unable to resume her routine when she comes back home. Or Erich starts that sculpture class he’s always dreamed of, takes the leap to become a professional artist, but never fulfills his creative potential (or never gets enough clientele to make a decent living with his passion).
Well, humans, like other mammals, are driven by two types of mechanisms: those ensuring the survival of the species, and those providing them with a pleasurable sensation. It sounds overly hedonistic but it’s true: the only people sticking to good eating habits do it because it feels good, whether it’s a delicious taste, the satisfaction of treating themselves right, or the exhilaration of seeing their new healthy body. If there is displeasure, it is much harder to stick with anything: “It’s too difficult, I’ll never make it” or, “I don’t know where to start, I feel lost,” or, “It’s in the genes anyway; I can’t do anything about my weight.”
As if on purpose, those thoughts are not just a manifestation of displeasure, they’re also the proof of an internal conflict between unconscious and conscious mind… As soon as you have reservations about anything you want to change in your life, as soon as you feel less than enthused about a new prospect you’re contemplating, this is the sign your conscious mind is not in alignment with one or several beliefs you unwillingly hold about yourself.
And since our subconscious mind always wins – because our survival depends on it – this doesn’t bode well for the future of resolutions.
Fortunately, there is a way (there are even several) to reprogram your brain and change the self-limiting beliefs that stand in the way of your goals. Any technique that bypasses the barrier of the conscious mind and directly starts a dialogue with the subconscious can give you the ability to finally make those resolutions happen without feeling like you’re pulling your own teeth. Hypnosis, EMDR, TAT, Psy-K are only a handful of names in the wider field of energy psychology that serves just that purpose. But my favorite method – as you probably know – is EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques).
I love it for its
1. Efficacy: therapists report close to 98% of success with their clients, which is an unbelievably high number compared to conventional therapy.
2. Simplicity: it’s so easy to learn, anyone can use it.
3. Versatility: one recipe works for every kind of problem, whether emotional or physical.
4. Universality: whether you believe in EFT or not doesn’t influence the outcome; it can work on anyone.
5. Affordability: not only can you use it on yourself, but if you choose to work with a therapist, you typically need a lot fewer sessions than other therapies, thus saving a ton of money.
Most of all, I love the feeling of being empowered with my own health and well-being, and the knowledge that I can improve my life beyond my wildest aspirations!
Join me for a three-workshop series taking place on Saturday 15, 22 and 29 of January, from 3 to 5. Mixing quite a bit of instructions with a lot of hands-on tapping, these workshops are ideal to get you started (or put you back on tracks) with an energy tool designed to change your relationship with yourself in general, and with new year’s resolutions in particular.
- Workshop 1 will addresses the basics of the technique, and in particularly the tapping recipe on which everything else is constructed.
- Workshop 2 will focus on how to craft incredibly potent EFT sentences to achieve more autonomy in your practice.
- Workshop 3 tells you what to do when EFT is not working, and is dedicated to trouble-shooting your practice.
You can choose to attend one or more of either of these workshops. Each one is only $10 (this is an unbelievable value that is well worth $100 in price)!
Bring your issues and your resolutions list!
See you soon,
What every newcomer needs to know before their first EFT therapy appointment…
1. What is EFT?
EFT stands for Emotional Freedom Technique and has been developed in California since the 1990’s. It blends Chinese energy medicine with western psychology in an extremely powerful method to release negative emotions stored in the body. The main tenet of EFT is that every negative emotion is caused by a disruption in the electric system of the body. By addressing the disruption, emotional distress either vanishes or is greatly improved. Since numerous physical conditions are due to an accumulation of negative emotions, it is also possible to address physical ailments with EFT.
2. What to expect.
EFT is so different from other therapies that it’s bound to surprise anyone trying for the first time. To avoid being drowned in confusion during the session, read the following description and get empowered with the knowledge of what to expect.
EFT looks and sounds extremely “goofy”. Your therapist – me – is going to have you rub your chest while repeating affirmations with unnatural emphasis; tap on your head, chest and hands; roll your eyes; hum; count; forcefully exhale, etc. This would seem seriously ridiculous to most, except for one insidious little detail: it actually works, at least in 98% of all cases, which is astounding compared to the results garnered by traditional therapy. So no matter how self-conscious or stupid you feel performing EFT for the first time, it would be a shame to deny yourself its benefits. Just give it a try…
3. What to do before a session.
Print out and fill in a self-exploration sheet. It helps you and your EFT therapist understand what causes the problems you’re seeking help for. When answering the questions on the sheet, keep in mind the two cardinal rules of EFT:
- Be specific.
- Focus on how you feel.
For instance, let’s say that Lindsay has a fear of public speaking. In order to successfully address her fear with EFT, she is to break it down into different events and isolate the negative emotions embedded in her memory. “When my second grade teacher made fun of me in front of the class for being shy, I felt humiliated and it still hurts today.” “When my husband pushed me to make a speech at our wedding party, I felt terrorized then I got angry at him because he knows I don’t like doing that. Now I feel ashamed of having felt anger towards him, especially on such an occasion.”
In this example, we’re focusing on two different memories in which she was afraid of speaking in public, and on how she felt about it.
By tapping on several such seemingly isolated events in Lindsay’s past, very often the big issue she wanted to treat – here, her fear of public speaking – collapses eventually.
4. What to do during a session.
EFT is no talk therapy. The more you talk, the less you tap, and that’s not the point of a tapping session, is it? Let your therapist – me, again – lead you in exploring your issues and don’t be put off when she interrupts you to focus on what you feel. Indeed, the way you feel now about an event from your past holds the key to healing through EFT.
A good way to get in touch with your emotions is to scan your body and witness the sensations that come up. Maybe a burn in the stomach is going to reveal that you’re holding on to anger or envy; perhaps a tightness in the throat tells you that you feel anxious or sad about something, even if you can’t remember what it is. Even if no emotion is associated with a sudden pain or discomfort flaring up during a session, your body is giving you clues that need to be followed, don’t ignore them, speak out.
Your thoughts too can give away useful indications. If memories pop up during tapping, even if you think they’re totally unrelated to the issue at hand, chances are they’re not; there’s probably a link that should be explored. Likewise, if you catch your subconscious in the act of talking you down, that too is worth being noticed and mentioned.
To sum it up, it is important that you pay attention to anything that comes up during a round of EFT, whether it’s an emotion, a sensation, a pain or discomfort, a memory, a thought, or some piece of negative self-talk; these evidences are invaluable contributions to the detective work you and your therapist are leading to unearth your emotional blocks and treat them.
5. What to do after an EFT session.
Whether you feel any different after the session, whether you can point out the benefits immediately or not, there are certain rules that I recommend you follow.
As with any energy technique, EFT can have profound impacts on your physiology. Some people report feeling drowsy, or sleepy right after a session. Some people can’t notice any difference even though their body is undergoing some readjustments. For some others, the treatment might stir up resistances, or new aspects of the same problem, which can provoke emotional or physical distress. Fortunately, the latter is rather rare and usually disappears with more tapping.
At any rate, be gentle with yourself. Don’t plan anything strenuous or physically intense right after an EFT session or the very next day. Do surround yourself with family members or friends. Get a lot of rest and drink plenty of water, your body needs it to function at its fullest potential and actualize the change brought forth by EFT. Pamper yourself, journal, do something pleasurable and low-key. To make it short, take care of yourself.