Marisol began our session saying “I cannot stop eating sweets!”
She said she was usually OK in the morning, and OK when there was a lot of work to do (she is a therapist and a mother and manages an apartment complex). However as the afternoon went on, she lamented: “I can’t help myself! I want sugar and cookies in the afternoon. I want it right now. I want to eat what I want to eat, right now!”
There are lots of ways we could approach this problem. We could tap for the cravings (she had already done a lot of that). We could work with the upside and the downside of losing weight. We could explore her family’s history with food, and specific incidents in her life that might have led to Marisol’s obsession with sweets. We could work with how terrible she felt about herself that she couldn’t discipline her sweet-eating.
I thought about a linguistic trick—shifting the words a little bit for a change in meaning from “I cannot stop eating sweets, “ to : “I CAN not stop eating sweets,” and then riffing on the implications of positive strategies in this statement (“If I CAN not stop eating sweets, what else CAN I do??”) in our tapping.
I didn’t choose any of these approaches, however.
As a spiritual life path coach, I am constantly looking/feeling/listening for how to describe a problem in a way that opens the space around it. Anything that we experience as a “problem” is a thought, belief or feeling that we are holding so tightly that it hurts. So I seek a way to reframe the tight problem into an expansive engine that can begin to generate options, choices, possibilities, a way forward.