My client Renee brought me a card she had made for me. It was designed around Mahatma Gandhi’s wise and evocative statement:
Your Beliefs become your Thoughts
Your Thoughts become your Words
Your Words become your Actions
Your Actions become your Habits
Your Habits become your Values
Your Values become your Destiny
She had created an EFT tapping routine around this quote. I want to share her words with you, and then tell you how we took Ghandhi’s brilliant general statements and Renee’s creativity and made them into a tapping routine that you could put to use right now, or any time, on something that is troubling you.
This is Renee’s Gandhi / EFT routine:
Even though most times my beliefs are negative, even though negative beliefs beget negative thoughts, I wholeheartedly accept myself the way I am, and I know there is a possibility for positive change.
Even though negative thoughts fill my head, even though the words I use are negative, I wholeheartedly accept the way I am and I choose to believe that there is a possibility to change my thoughts and words for the better.
Even though my negative words become physical neglect, and even though my words are mentally harmful, I wholeheartedly accept myself the way I am, I know there is the possibility for positive change.
Even though my self-harm behavior becomes habit, and even though my harmful habits feel impossible to break, I wholeheartedly accept myself the way I am. I choose to believe that there is a possibility of changing my self harm habits.
Even though my harmful and negative habits are valuable, and even though harmful and negative habits shape my values, I wholeheartedly accept myself the way I am, and I know there is possibility for positive change.
Even though my negative values lead to my destiny in life, and even though my destiny may not be what I want it to be, I wholeheartedly accept myself the way I am and I choose to believe that there is a possibility for me to change my destiny for my highest purpose in life.
I loved Renee’s resourcefulness. There is great value in understanding how we stitch together our lives from the fabric of the stories that we tell ourselves about what is true and possible for us. However, I thought her statements had a touch of resignation to them, as if she was saying, “Even though I know things can be different, I accept that I am a person who thinks negatively, and that is that.”
I asked her to look at the first set of statements and pick a specific negative thought about herself that she would like to shift. “I guess I just don’t really accept myself,” she said. “I just find myself thinking negatively about myself in general.”
I asked her to make a list of what she did like about herself.
This wasn’t easy! Faced with having to come up with reasons to “deeply and completely love accept myself,” a lot of people sort of panic.
Some ways around this:
Ask: “What do your parents, or your spouse/ best friend/ dog/ cat/ child / neighbor like about you?”
“What are you good at?” (from big to little things, even washing dishes, remembering birthdays, greeting the grocery checkout person, whatever they can come up with)
“What do you love to do?”
Then, imagine what qualities you can elicit from the answers.
Renee first thought of being good at thinking and rationalizing (“OK, so you are smart…” I said.) She teaches university level classes about fairness and justice in the legal system (“So, you have a keen sense for equality and integrity, and you are compassionate. I can tell you are a good teacher from how you talk about your classes.”)
Using their own words to describe their values and what is important to them, we can invite our clients or ourselves into other ways of saying – and actually meaning – “I love and accept myself.” We can help people to see their own goodness without trying to convince anyone about something they don’t believe, or badger them into saying something that isn’t true for them. We don’t have to encourage them to say something that doesn’t feel true for them. This is a simple but profound concept, a delicate balance that, in our eagerness to help someone or to sound convincing, can easily be upset by our well-meaning insistence that they change their minds.
With a little coaxing, Renee’s list ended up looking like this:
I can think, rationalize
I am smart
I can be intuitive
I can be witty
I can write pretty well
I am interested in fairness, justice and equality
I like to help people
I look for patterns – I am good at making connections
I like learning/seeking/finding how things work
I can feel into the truth
I am honest
I am creative
I have a good imagination
I am a survivor
I am strong
Lots of these statements can now be woven into the tapping as counters to a person’s old entrenched and unexamined beliefs about themselves.
Tapping with Gandhi
In our session, I would begin with Renee’s negative thought, fit it into her Gandhi EFT set ups, and then pick something from her list to weave in, something like this:
Even though I have negative beliefs about myself, I know I have a lot of good qualities.
Even though my negative beliefs have led me into thinking persistently negative thoughts, I can see that if we are to believe what Gandhi says, I can focus on some of these positive thoughts and some of my beliefs might change.
Even though I haven’t been able to accept myself, I do like to help people, and I am a person – what if I helped myself? I do love fairness, justice and equality, and so maybe it is time to be more fair to myself!
Tapping on the points:
I can’t accept myself
I don’t like myself
I have a lot of shortcomings
I’m not good enough
(Keep tapping through all the negative thoughts and feelings you can come up with…)
But what about Gandhi?
He said that what you believe becomes what you think.
What if I put my attention on some of these other beliefs about myself?
What if I use my good imagination to come up with some other things to talk to myself about besides my faults?
(Keep tapping through alternative thoughts and questions that occur to you, and alternate between these and the negative thoughts and feelings)
Even though all my negative thinking about myself became physical neglect, and that probably contributed to the cancer and the irritable bowel symptoms, and who knows what else, I choose to believe that I can put my attention on what is good about me instead. Maybe that will help my health! Hmmm…
Even though my body has been in pain, I am wondering now if that has had something to do with all the painful beliefs and thoughts that I have been feeding it. I know that there are lots of good qualities about me, and I wholeheartedly believe that there is a possibility to change my self-harming habits.
Even though I have had a habit of thinking negatively about myself, I can see that maybe that is hurting me, and maybe my body had to get that sick to get my attention. I honor myself for being strong, and a survivor, and I can use my ability to learn, seek, and find out how things work to change my thought habits. What if I can help my body to work better this way?
Tapping on the points:
I have been hard on myself
I am pretty self critical
I have had some bad thinking habits that were turning into physical neglect
I accept that I have been doing that
Maybe it contributed to my illnesses
But that is the way I learned to think in my family
Everyone thought that way
I thought they were right
What if they were wrong?
What if they just never had anyone to help them to recognize bad thinking habits?
What if they thought those thoughts were the truth?
I love that I have a good imagination
I could imagine something different for myself
I want to be fairer to myself
I want justice for myself!
I know that I can be creative with words. I want to find some better ones to use on my own behalf.
I am smart and intuitive
I am a good teacher
I can teach myself some new habits here!
What a smart thing to do!!
Even though this persistent putting myself down has probably led to undervaluing myself…. even though being so self critical has led me to undervalue myself, I accept that I have been doing that and I take responsibility for that.
Even though being so self critical has shaped me, and created the life I am living now, including all the illness and pain….I wonder if I could take a different shape? I know I have lots of good qualities to shape myself around.
Even though the shape I have taken has been creating a destiny that doesn’t feel so good to me, and I must have thought a person’s destiny was set in stone, I choose to believe that there is a possibility for me to change my destiny for my real highest purpose in life. I know I can be more. The universe will fit itself around the shape I choose to create.
Tapping on the points:
I have been devaluing myself
I have been neglecting myself – physically, emotionally, spiritually
I see that now
I developed some bad thinking habits, and they shaped my values, my choices, even my self value
I neglected myself
I like making connections and I can understand what I was doing now
That self criticism was just my thoughts! It isn’t the truth about me!
I really am a smart, intuitive, strong person.
I am honest. Honestly, I deserve better treatment from myself!
I am going to be more honest about my good qualities.
Hey, honesty is the best policy!
I have always wanted to know my purpose in life.
Maybe I have some clues here – what if my purpose is to change the way I think about myself? That would change everything!
By changing my thoughts I could change my health.
By changing my thoughts I could change my destiny!
What if Gandhi was right?
If my destiny is not turning out the way I want it to be, I can change my thoughts and change my destiny! It is up to me!
I like how that thought feels.
I deeply and completely accept this possibility for positive change
I have always been creative. I can create a new destiny for myself!
I have a good imagination
I can imagine myself right into my highest purpose in life
Changing my thoughts about myself IS my highest purpose
I am remembering another recent session, with a woman who was tapping along in a similar vein, and suddenly she burst into tears. “There is a whole other part of me that I never saw!” she cried. “And it has been here all the time.”
We had to do a little tapping about deserving that, but as this part of her WAS her, and had been all along, there wasn’t much debate, in the end.
Try this Gandhi tapping protocol for yourself. Adjust and change it as it feels right to you. Change the story of your life!
With my love and blessings –