Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Tapping script for feeling overwhelmed

Try this script when you don't know where to start, or you've tried everything and it hasn't worked. Whatever the circumstances leading to a feeling of overwhelm, use this script. Listen and tap along find the EFT shortcut diagram and procedure here. Tapping continuously on the karate chop point or rubbing the sore spot, state out loud:

Even though I feel overwhelmed and it feels really uncomfortable, I accept how I feel

Even though I am petrified of feeling my feelings, I'm doing my best to avoid them but they just won't go away no matter how hard I resist them and want to get rid of them, I accept and honour that this is really difficult for me

Even though I don't like this, that's an understatement ...! I choose to accept that I feel uncomfortable with all this

TH I feel overwhelmed
EB It feels awful
SE I want it to go away
UE I feel completely lost
UN I don't know what to do
UC And that feels overwhelming
CB Feeling overwhelmed makes me anxious
UA This anxiety

TH This anxiety
EB Keeping things inside
SE I can't feel what's inside
UE And I can't get rid of it either
UN I don't know what to do
UC I feel overwhelmed by this
CB The pain feels too painful to feel
UA The pain feels too painful to feel

TH The pain is causing me anguish
EB And I just don't know what to do about the pain
SE I don't know what to do
UE Maybe tapping might help
UN I'll just tap
UC And tap
CB And breathe
UA And breathe

TH I choose to breathe
EB I choose to tap
SE And tap
UE That's all I can do for now
UN And that's okay
UC Breathing and tapping
CB Breathing and tapping
UA Breathing and tapping

Keep tapping until the overwhelm calms down and subsides. Any time you feel overwhelmed, repeat the above script and make sure to customise it to how you feel. 

Monday, March 29, 2010

Truth or Belief?

Your beliefs create your truth. Everything you see, hear, imagine, dream and create is sieved and filtered by your truth. So, to all intents and purposes it is THE truth, at least as far as you are concerned. Our beliefs are the yellow bricks on the road home to our Self. Heal beliefs that do not serve your highest good with EFT. Tapping diagram.

I am tomorrow, or some future day, what I establish today. I am today what I established yesterday or some previous day
~ James Joyce

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Intention moves energy

Our nervous system generates a lot of energy to deal with trauma, it produces even more energy to be able to hold the trauma until it's processed. Very often, too often, the energy that's generated, is not discharged and released. This energy remains stored in the nervous system, building more and more momentum as time passes like a pressure cooker or a tornado. If trauma has not been released, we can probably safely assume that the organism does not know how. It is too overwhelmed, it does not have the necessary resources or know how to release the stress. When the same organism is traumatised again, the new unreleased energy is layered on top of the energy already humming away in the nervous system waiting desperately, but in vain, for release. As this ball of undischarged energy gets bigger, and more unmanageable, energy flow is impeded, it starts to chug and trickle and becomes more dense and will eventually stop flowing altogether if nothing is done to alleviate the pressure. This is when dis-ease sets in, usually at the point in the system where the energy is stuck and has stagnated.

We tend to identify with nervous system overwhelm, it's hard to think straight, we may panic, our breathing falters, we feel hopeless and stuck. At this point we are certainly tuned in, so if we can find the wherewithal to tap and breathe, we can start to discharge some of the powerful energy and give our organism release. Focusing and keeping our attention on our heart or a point in our body where it feels safe can help walk us gently through the overwhelm, and create some space, while tapping and breathing. This space that you create gets bigger every time you release more trapped energy, and you experience more peace and well being. Tapping diagram.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The breath, overwhelm and the freeze response

One way of switching your attention away from feeling overwhelmed is to focus on your breath. When we feel stressed, anxious or overwhelmed our sympathetic nervous system is engaged, our heart rate speeds up, our arteries constrict and so on. By focusing on our breathing and tapping at the same time, we help to divert our attention in a healthy way but we continue to work on the source of stress, which is important. When we breathe deeply we begin to engage our parasympathetic nervous system which immediately starts to calm our body and therefore us, down. A calm body signifies a calm mind.

Psychiatrist John Diamond writes in Notes on the Spiritual Basis of Therapy
"If we could keep our breath going all the time, we would rarely be sick. Breath is what keeps us healthy. When it falters, as it often does, that's when we start to get sick. That becomes the start of illness. Do everything with coordinated breathing and you will strengthen your whole body. Your body will be resistant to stress and disease".
John Diamond also says that breathing deeply activates the thymus, the source of our life energy. It is interesting to note that our breath jams when we're in the freeze response. Therefore it makes sense that correcting our breathing will help to discharge some of the immobilised energy that the freeze response generates. Tapping diagram.

All things share the same breath - the beast, the tree, the man... the air shares its spirit with all the life it supports ~ Chief Seattle

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Feelings are our humanity

Excerpt from The Biology of Love by Dr Arthur Janov
Ideas lie in the intellectual realm, feelings lie in the emotional realm. If a person says, "I feel inferior," she is speaking from two levels. The idea of inferiority is a top-level cortical brain event. The feeling of inferiority is a lower-level brain event. It is the limbic system that offers us the feeling of feeling. Herein lies the first major point: it is not enough to think about feelings. It is essential to feel them so as to gain the ability to feel. Feelings are our humanity.

If we are not loved and adored but rather treated with indifference and neglect in our childhood, we may feel "not good enough ... not good enough to be loved". That becomes an imprint. It endures. If this kind of parental treatment goes on throughout childhood, then the imprint will be locked in. That means that all the encouragement in the world at age twenty will not erase the feeling. Encouragement--"You are wonderful, you know"--is an idea; ideas cannot change feelings. Only feelings can. This seemingly simple notion has profound implications. For if we are trying to regain our humanity, we need to regain our feelings; and we cannot do that through the mode of ideas alone.

To regain feeling one must fully experience all the hurt blocking it, and bring the pain to conscious awareness. Then an "idea" can make changes, when it flows out of feelings. Conscious awareness strips the unconscious of its power to direct behaviour. Ideas and feelings reside in different places in the brain. We must not try to make one level do the work of another level. We must not attempt to use ideas to replace feelings. The feeling of feeling involves specific structures in the brain such as the hippocampus and amygdala. Ideas about those feelings are processed in the top-level cortex, specifically the left hemisphere, forward part of the brain. If we use the frontal cortex alone to feel, we are in trouble. The most we can expect is a crying "about", an adult looking back at childhood, instead of a child actually feeling her hurts.
Tapping diagram

Monday, March 15, 2010

The courage to feel

It takes courage to feel. Becoming aware of how we feel by taking a moment to be quiet and breathe can make us want to run away and avoid feeling certain feelings. So we don't do it, it's too painful. This is called dissociation and we all do it to some degree. How many times have you come home, left your car keys somewhere and have completely forgotten where the next time you leave the house and you end up turning the entire house upside down looking for them?! You were dissociated the moment you were unaware, or out of your body.

Lens Heart by Zik Tay
The act of feeling our feelings has the very effect that we want; peace. We will be more peaceful, calm and happy when we feel the energy of our feelings. They will energise us. If we refuse to feel by burying, denying and avoiding, and don't diffuse the powerful energy that needs to be expressed, our feelings will show up in dis-ease, dis-order and dis-association of the spirit, mind and body. That energy has to go somewhere. Feeling brings our spirit—an old word for energy—back into our bodies. I think this is the essence of what healing—being whole—means. I once heard Jennifer McLean say that the “safest place to be is in our bodies”. How many of us can agree with that? Did you squirm reading that? But it is true. Bringing our spirit back into our bodies by feeling is liberating and empowering. It enables us to feel the joy and peace that is our birth right, keeps our energies flowing and maintains a vital and high level of life energy. Neuroscientist Antonio Damasio's research on people with brain damage demonstrates just how important feelings and emotions are to living a meaningful and healthy life. When a person's ability to feel is impeded, their quality of life suffers enormously as a result. The capacity to feel is a beautiful gift given to us by nature, let's embrace it and use it. Tapping diagram.
The best way out is always through ~ Robert Frost

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Using EFT with felt sensations

How powerful is that? When we put our attention on, and observe any felt sensations in our body, the very act of observing returns flow and movement to the sensations or energy. Awareness increases our vitality and life energy. That is extremely powerful. If you add tapping into the mix, it becomes even more powerful. If you're angry for example, the felt sensation might be a tightening of your jaw or stomach, simply become aware of what is happening in your body and tap until it shifts. Trauma, literally speaking, is frozen energy, and until we learn to release or discharge it, the force of this energy builds enormous momentum and causes havoc in our systems. The frozen energy is constantly seeking release and movement, it communicates with us in the form of felt sensations, symptoms and emotions. They are our feedback mechanisms and we can utilise them to restore flow and vitality. Read more about somatic experiencing (Peter Levine) and the felt sense (Eugene Gendlin - focusing). Tapping diagram.

The core of traumatic reaction is ultimately physiological, and it is at this level that healing begins ~ Peter Levine Waking the Tiger

Monday, March 08, 2010

Powerful reframes

Reframing is the process whereby you begin to see or perceive something differently; from a perspective that empowers you. Common words that we hear all the time when we're not well are: disease, disorder and so on. Dr Arthur Janov writes in Primal Healing "When there is a force holding down pain, the system does what it can to fight back. (Way back in the 1970s psychiatrist John Diamond wrote about how the body doesn't lie). The energy of pain has to go somewhere, and it travels to various organs- the kidneys, liver, heart, or blood circulating system".

Where this energy of pain travels to will create a lack of ease, a lack of order and/or a lack of association. Good health depends on good communication. Efficient intercellular communication cannot take place if there is dis-order, dis-association and dis-ease. We can bring ease, association and order back to our bodies, minds and spirits by healing energy disruptions that cause a lack of ease, order or association.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

This ... frozen in my body

What were your answers to the questions in the previous post? If fear is an emotion you find repeating itself as a pattern in your life, try tapping on a very simple phrase that I have had a lot of success with.

"this frozen fear in my body"

Keep saying these words (substitute shame, guilt, whatever suits) and tap on all the points. You will most likely find that strong feelings will come up, keep tapping and breathe right into the centre of the feeling. Maybe memories will not be well defined, but the energy of the feelings encoded along with the memory in your brain will be felt. Just keep tapping and breathing through whatever arises. If you feel the urge to run or avoid, notice this and continue to breathe and tap. Tapping like this will loosen dense energy and help it to start flowing again. Keep going until you feel you have processed enough and feel relaxed. You can always return to it at another time if you feel the need. Tapping diagram.

You can, if you like, name a body part that you know you have an issue with. For example "this frozen guilt in my large intestine" or "this frozen grief in my lungs" etcetera.

To learn more about the freeze response you can check out Robert Scaer and Peter Levine's work.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Healing your birth patterns with EFT

The mother-child relationship is one of the most important relationships we can have. It gives birth to who we are and our patterns in this life. This is true even if we are raised by a grandmother or someone else, to us they will be our mother in every sense of the word. Bonding and attachment occurs when our mother is fully present with us, we interpret this as feeling loved, feeling nourished and feeling secure. As Silvia Hartmann says “Love arises when attention is absolute”.

Proper attachment provides us with a solid foundation from which we can grow, explore and blossom. For various reasons, this mother and child bonding is not always possible or easy. Lack of attachment can cause trauma. In his book Biology of Love, Dr Arthur Janov writes:
What's love got to do with it? More than we can imagine. Love is not simply a word uttered to a child, but an act of feeling that, ironically, most often requires no words. If we hug and kiss our child and adore her, she will get the message and her life will be utterly different. If we don't, words won't help. In Biology of Love, I shall offer the reader a new concept of love, one more in keeping with information about the brain and psychology. We will see how concrete love actually is, not just each person's idea of what it is. We will discover how love ultimately determines how we think, feel, perceive, and act as adults. It determines how long we live and what illnesses we will fall prey to later in life. It is no exaggeration to say that early lack of love already sets the limits on how long we will live and how happy our lives will be.
Julia Margaret Cameron My Grandchild, 1865

What patterns and feelings keep showing up in your life? Fill in the blanks.

My whole life I have felt …
My whole life I have …
My whole life I have not ...
My whole life I have been …
My whole life has been …
My whole life I have wanted …
My whole life I have not wanted …
My whole life I felt I could
My whole life I felt I could not ...
My whole life others have felt … about me
My whole life others have said … about me
My whole life I have had to …
My whole life I needed …

You can choose to heal these patterns. Life has a way of nudging us in the direction of healing too, whether we consciously know this or not. We will attract events and people that match up with the beliefs we hold about our self. It is like two pieces of a jigsaw puzzle which fit perfectly together. In particular, relationships will trigger your patterns and beliefs. The man or woman in our life seems to have a knack of reminding us of our parents, and particularly how we felt around our parents. This is so we can heal the patterns and beliefs that we think illustrate who we are. Tapping diagram.

Let us prepare to sail into unchartered waters, to take an extraordinary trip into the depths of the unconscious. Once there, we'll find it to be a place full of light, insight, and peace. All those hidden demons- those painful memories lodged in the brain that caused a shutdown in the baby and adult- will be liberated. We call them demons but they are not. They are precise needs and memories that are imprinted and surge forth in a constant effort to find their way out of the unconscious.” Biology of Love ~ Dr Arthur Janov