Thursday, February 25, 2010

The link between the Thyroid, Depression and Weight Gain

The thyroid gland regulates important functions in the body such as metabolism, energy, body temperature and excess fats, among others. There is a link between how efficiently the thyroid gland functions, depression and weight gain.

Some of the most recognisable symptoms of depression are a lack of hope and a depletion of energy. Do you feel hopeless? Do you feel drained? What drains and depletes your energy? Do you feel that the weight of the world is on your shoulders? Do you feel lacking in joy and hope? Listen to an audio you can tap along to for depression.

Dr John Diamond, a holistic psychiatrist, developed the Acupuncture Emotional System in the 1970s. This system demonstrates the connections between the mind and body and gives us a solid understanding of psychosomatic medicine. According to Dr Diamond, the thyroid meridian is the meridian of hope. The thyroid meridian is popularly referred to as the triple warmer, burner or heater, or in EFT terms, the gamut spot. Dr Diamond's definition of depression is quite simple. Many of his patients felt they were literally being pushed or pressed down by something, de-pressed. They felt too heavy and lethargic to move, they had no energy. Everything seemed to weigh them down and things were just too much for them to cope with. Of course the severity of these symptoms depend on how depressed a person is.

The negative emotions of the thyroid are: depression, despair, grief, hopelessness, loneliness, solitude.

The positive affirmations associated with the thyroid meridian are:

I am light and buoyant.
I am buoyed up with hope.

To use these affirmations with EFT, state them out loud, this is to engage your entire neurology. How true are they? Do you hear any objections in your mind? How do you feel when you say them? Where do you feel them in your body? List all your responses to the questions posed here and start tapping on them with EFT.

The thyroid is also associated with expression, expression of who you are, your voice. Do you feel heard? Understood? Or do you feel frustrated and hopeless? Are you happy with the direction you are taking in your life? Can you express yourself with ease and safety? Or do you press your feelings down?

Dr Diamond emphasises the activation of our Life Energy as extremely important for healing. Tapping on your thymus gland every day is one of the ways you can activate and increase your Life Energy. Dr Diamond defines Life Energy as “the innate healing power of the body that is intimately connected with health in that whatever the symptoms of any particular illness, underneath we will always find a diminution of Life Energy. It is the Healing Power within us, the restorative powers of our own body, and the only true healing comes by raising the Life Energy.” Tapping diagram

[Adrenal fatigue is often experienced along with thyroid issues. So tap also on what is stressing you. Depression and stress are very often, if not always, experienced together. If you feel depressed you will normally feel you have a lot of stress in your life and vice versa.]

Monday, February 22, 2010

Using EFT for feeling disloyal

Do you ever feel disloyal saying something about a loved one to someone else? Do you ever feel disloyal even feeling something you "shouldn't" feel about a loved one?

The feeling that you are being disloyal, stops the natural process of feeling and consequently the feeling becomes stuck. Over time, not feeling our feelings causes a lot of pressure, and sometimes we blow up or lash out at others because we cannot contain the pressure and stress that stuffing our feelings down causes. Then we'll feel guilty and berate our self. Stuffing, repressing, denying is akin to placing a dam in a river so that the water in the river stops flowing. What happens to the water on the other side of the dam? There is a build up of pressure which causes an enormous strain that pushes hard against the dam structure. And what happens if the dam never opens or does not have some kind of release mechanism to allow the water out? The dam will burst, just as we do when we don't feel.

Sometimes the pressure is turned inwards and even though we try our absolute best to press those feelings down as far as they will go, and hide the fact that we feel these “bad” feelings, they still manage to leak out. To help us in our plight not to feel our feelings, we might binge, or drink, or do whatever else. We'll question how we feel at each and every turn in our lives which is exhausting, depleting and eats away at our self worth. And the cycle starts again. Until we learn to break it, by feeling our feelings.

Right now, make a list of what you believe to be bad feelings. Feelings you should not be feeling. Pay attention to where and from whom you picked this belief up from, your mother, a sister, an uncle, a grandfather. We learn to berate and deride any valid feelings we may have about a situation, person or feeling, because of these beliefs. You live your life from this "truth", so you were and are an excellent student of your teachers. What would the consequences have been if you had continued feeling certain feelings and had also expressed them? Sadly, we learn not to trust our feelings or our self, just because we feel so many feelings that are on the "bad list". We've been taught or have deduced we are wrong for even having these feelings in the first place, so we question them, question our self for having them and then we do our utmost to deny them.

Rate the truth of how disloyal you believe a certain feeling to be and start tapping. For example, if the feeling is anger, tap on:

Even though I feel disloyal feeling angry at ... I completely accept the way I feel


Even though I feel disloyal expressing my anger at my brother to my friend, and wonder what they think of me for saying and feeling this, I love and accept myself and choose to feel the feeling anyway

Feeling our feelings is a natural and essential process for emotional health and growth. It is something we do naturally when we're younger until we learn how not to do it. Feeling, with no interruptions, helps us to digest and assimilate what occurs in our lives. And very importantly, it allows us to let go of what we no longer need. If we don't follow this natural process we become emotionally constipated and feel awful as a result. Feelings are like our own personal GPS system, they help us to navigate our life without getting lost, they guide us. Trust your feelings, whatever they are, and exercise your natural ability and gift to feel your feelings. EFT short cut diagram

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Present Moment

This is a beautiful piece of writing from my friend Adriana. I hope it resonates with you as much as it did with me, my immediate gut response was, this is true. The ability to feel is a priceless gift and feeling our feelings is one of the kindest gifts we can give our self. Enjoy!

Everything we think and feel reflects who we are. To dive deeper into myself and, hopefully, to get to that place where I am love, compassion, trust, and truth, I have to follow the path of my present responses.

Someone who feels unloved can still find love in its purest form, but will have to work through the layers of resistance that block the feeling of pure love. My present emotions reflect the present state of my nervous system with all its past imprints.

Whenever I have an experience, these imprints enter into my responses, which means that most of my reactions are echoes from the past. Then one finds that; I am not really living in the present.

However, at least I am reacting in the present, and that is where the search for my true self begins. My emotions are the most present-centered thing I have. An emotion is a thought linked to a sensation. The thought is usually about the past or the future, but the sensation is in the present.

My mind quickly links sensations with thoughts, but when we were infants, our first experience and emotions were much closer to physical sensations. We had no inhibitions or second thoughts about crying when we were wet, cold, lonely, frightened, etc. Our minds didn’t know those powerful words bad and no. Conditioning teaches us that certain thoughts are shameful; no teaches us to resist our own impulses.

More complex words and interpretations came later. As adults, when we deny ourselves the immediate experience of an emotion, a screen of words is put up by the mind, and this throws us out of the present and into either the past or the future. To feel an emotion fully and completely, to experience it and then release it, is to be in the present, the only moment that never ages. ~ Adriana Ochoa

Monday, February 15, 2010

Compendium of emotional connection principles and practices

I came across Raphael Cushnir's site recently and wanted to share this excellent list of emotional connection principles and practices, they are ideal for use with Emotional Freedom Techniques.
Essential Terms:
Contraction a temporary system lockdown, experienced
either as tension (fight/flight) or numbness (freeze).
Expansion a quality of openness and flow. It coexists naturally
with positive emotions, but it can also coexist with any emotion.
Emotional connection of any kind produces expansion.

the continuous use of any substance
or activity to create disconnection from one’s emotions.

Advanced practices for challenging emotions:
Breath – Use actual breath and/or your mind’s eye. Inhale directly into the stuck bodily sensation. Exhale through that same place, helping to restore inner space and flow.
Posture-movement-sound – Express the internal “vibration” of an emotion by translating it into these external forms.
Touch – Place a gentle hand on a tense or otherwise uncomfortable physical spot. Keep your hand still or caress the spot lightly.
Direct Inquiry – Let the contraction or emotion speak directly, unmediated by thoughts and concepts. Hear the emotion’s “voice” to support acceptance of its subjective truth.
Cradling – Cultivate a quality of emotional attention that resembles the spacious, caring way a parent instinctively holds a distressed infant.
Mental detachment – Maintain an even-keeled awareness of thoughts, beliefs and stories that arise while practicing 2 X 2. Rather than pushing them away or getting lost in them, simply note their presence, along with any immediate response they produce, and then return your focus to emotional flow. continue reading

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

What if you couldn't feel?

What if you couldn't feel? Really think about and contemplate the implications of not being able to feel. How would life be for you? Hard to imagine isn't it? Yet we spend a life time trying to avoid bad feelings and wanting to hang on to good feelings.

Have you ever tried making a list of what you consider to be bad feelings? What do you do when you feel bad feelings? Resist them with all your might? Beat your self up for feeling this way? Avoid feeling them at all costs by seeking solace in anything and everything that will help you to forget or hide?

Have you ever tried making a list of what you deem to be good feelings? What do you do when you feel good feelings? Try and hang on to them with all your might? Sabotage your self when you feel good because deep down you don't believe you deserve to feel good? Feel afraid that the good feelings will go and never come back?

What if we just allowed our feelings to be there, whatever they are. Allowing creates flow and energy needs to flow. If we find it difficult to feel a certain feeling, we can always tap and breathe right into the centre of that feeling and observe what happens. Try it.

Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.
When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall ~ Kahlil Gibran

Monday, February 08, 2010

Feel with EFT

I give myself 100% permission to have and experience the emotion of__________*

This enables you to stop struggling not to feel________ Stop trying to avoid the emotion of__________ Stop resisting _________ Just stop. Give your self permission to stop trying.

Follow these three steps the next time you find your self avoiding, resisting, struggling, dreading feeling the feeling of_______.

1. Pay attention, adopt an attitude of curiosity and observance. Observe how the emotion of ________shows up for you and observe and pay attention to whatever happens. Notice when the resistance, struggle, judgement, criticism or avoidance appears.
2. Tap on whatever shows up. See the tapping as a way of helping you to dissolve the energetic blocks to fully feeling this emotion 100%. This will help you to process and feel this emotion, maybe for the first time ever, and it also clears the way for you to feel this emotion in the future without experiencing any energetic blocks or disturbances.
3. Breathe, keep breathing and pay attention to when your breath becomes shorter, more shallow or quickens and, again, tap on whatever shows up.

* Don't be surprised if, when you say this out loud, you immediately come up with all sorts of tailenders like “Who am I to give myself permission” or “I can't do that!” or “I can't feel that, it's unbearable/bad/unacceptable” and so on. Tap on these tailenders, the tailenders themselves are actually a great way of getting to the bottom of why you are resisting and struggling with certain emotions. Specific memories may pop up that you can tap on too, events and memories where you came to the conclusion or decision that this emotion__________was not safe to feel, not safe to express, or the consequences of feeling or expressing it would have been/are___________.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Say yes to how you feel

Saying Yes to how you feel keeps the energy of that feeling moving. There is a big difference in saying Yes to how we feel and saying Yes to a situation or person, we tend to confuse the two. We might not like a situation and we may have been traumatised by a person, but when we can consciously say yes to how we feel, we are doing the kindest thing we can do for ourselves. We are ensuring that the energy of the feeling does not become stuck, instead we allow it to flow through us without judgement, criticism or fear. Saying yes or not resisting in other words, also aids in not identifying with the feeling, who we are is not how we feel, feeling horrible does not make us horrible, it's a temporary energy passing through us.

How many times have you been talked or talked your self out of how you truly feel? How many times have you questioned how you feel or didn't trust how you felt? Our feelings and emotions are precious feedback, they help us to navigate the world and people around us, they are our guidance system.

How we respond and feel are some of the few things we do have control over --easier said than done sometimes-- but ultimately very empowering. Say yes to how you feel, flow with your feelings rather than against them, follow the law of the least effort just like nature does and stop resisting your true feelings!

*As an adult you can help your inner child process any unfelt, stuck and pent up feelings, very often children are not taught to express their true feelings or are overwhelmed by the sheer power of their feelings.

Monday, February 01, 2010

The Fruit and the Tree

One of my all time favourite authors is Iyanla Vanzant. I'd like to share an excerpt from one of her books -- my favourite -- called In the Meantime: Finding Yourself and the Love you Want:

There is a very good chance that most of us will go through life having one relationship experience after another-- some pleasant, some not-- without any real awareness of how we got locked into a pattern of moving and hurting, hurting and hiding. We believe we are responding to what has just happened or what was just said. We believe that the people we have just met have influenced the negative or positive experience we have just had.

Few of us understand that who we are and what we feel are what we have been and felt for a very long time. It's our stuff. Stuff is what the meantime is made of. All the stuff you need to know, need to feel, need to sort out, and heal comes to life in the meantime. This is the stuff that makes us overly aggressive or passively self-destructive in the search for love.

Our passive/aggressive behaviour patterns are born when we are born. Largely, they are set by the patterns of our birth. Otherwise known as the birth pattern. As we move through life we unconsciously re-create the incidents, energy and environment that existed before and at the time of our birth. Our responses to our birth patterns are often unconscious, which is the very reason we can't recognise what we do, why we do it, when we are being passive, or why we are being aggressive. If we took just a little time for self-reflection and examination, we could easily connect what goes on in our relationships with the pattern of our birth. While we are unaware, we become fixated on trying to figure out what just happened and why it is affecting us so deeply, and often painfully, in the meantime.