Martha is a therapist who is having trouble “putting herself out there” in the world. She has some beliefs that are holding her back:
“I can’t make it in the world on my own,”
“I have to work for good things to come to me,”
“I don’t want to make the effort.”
“I am afraid that I will run out of money and I won’t know what to do.”
“I am gripping tight to the little piece of the pie that is mine.”
“If you are going to be charging money you had better be doing a
good job!” (her father’s voice)
Martha wants to incorporate EFT into her work, and she has some good creative ideas about how to do that. But she keeps finding herself sabotaging her own efforts.
The sabotage comes down to a conflict: “I feel like I am a four year old stuck in an adult’s body!” she said. “I want to do what I want to do. But something in me feels like I have to be what ‘they’ want me to be. Ever since I was a child I have had to meet other people’s expectations in order to get attention or love.”
A part of her was feeling collapsed, sad and frozen, while another part was feeling defiant. “It is a ‘toxic embrace!’” she said.
Whenever there is an inner conflict like this, an excellent EFT strategy is the Nine Gamut procedure. This process in EFT is really good for “unsticking stuck stuff,” helping the brain to
re-consider and re-prioritize the elements of a conflict that is holding the person in a freeze state. It is a brain balancer, and helps to harmonize all of our thoughts, emotions, and the flow of energy in our bodies.
(If you are new to EFT, download the free manual from www.emofree.com and follow along with the part about doing the “Nine Gamut” process. Also see my Newsletter #35, “My Voice Got Lopped Off at the Bootstraps” at http://www.intuitivementoring.com/voice-cut-off/ for more about how to resolve inner conflicts about expressing yourself by tapping on the Nine Gamut point.)
Martha and I had been doing some regular EFT tapping with the beliefs above, including work with the Nine Gamut process, and she was beginning to feel better about her initiative to create work that she can love. Now she was starting to say, “I want to do this, but where do I start? What do I do?”
I had a thought. Because Martha understands this inner conflict so well, it could be that she has found a niche for her work.
She could be really helpful to people who feel stuck in an inner conflict between their inner desire to find deep and powerful self-expression in work, and something in them that refuses to be told what to do (like a four year old), or thinks that work means having to do what others expect them to do. What if she “put herself out there” to be a resource for people like herself?
We began to design a brochure that she could make available to people who needed exactly the help that she herself had needed.
We went back to her earlier constricted vision of herself, her fears of putting herself out there, her beliefs about not being able to make it in the world on her own.
I invited her to put some of the statements that she had been making into questions that might catch the attention of her intended audience. Maybe we could put those questions at the beginning of the brochure:
Do you feel like a four year old stuck in an adult body?
Do you feel like you can’t make it in the world on your own?
Do you want to do what YOU want to do—but you were raised to be what THEY wanted you to be?
Do you feel like you have lost your own voice?
Martha suddenly realized that putting her own questions into a template for a brochure “seemed do-able. It helped lower my fear and resistance to the idea of actually creating a brochure, which seemed very scary to me.”
We had identified the type of client she might like to work with. Now we began to consider what problems this person would face. And what kind of outcome would they want instead?
I suggested that the best way to contemplate that was for her to go deep inside herself, and feel into what is really important to her. What lights her up, makes her heart sing? What qualities nourish her soul?
From there, she can ask herself, what stops ME from bringing more of those qualities and thoughts and experiences into MY life?
I asked Martha to think of some ways to describe her own experience of always having to please others, and never getting to do what she wanted to do. I asked her to come up with some stories of when she had been helped with problems like these, or when she had helped someone else.
I encouraged her to write these stories down in her own voice. When she worried about her writing skills, I suggested that writing is so much less intimidating if you feel like you are just talking to someone who will understand you. She was talking with me easily enough. She could imagine talking comfortably with people like her, who had similar experiences.
When you have been where they are, and now you have gone just a few steps along the road from that point, you can speak with love and truth and clarity. You don’t have to convince anyone of anything. You are talking with kindred spirits, and showing them how to take the next few steps along a path you both know, and can walk together. You are sharing what you know with love and respect for their situation, because you know it too.
Writing and sharing like this has the feel of building a community of like minded souls around you. You are co-creating. It is so much less intimidating to partner with people. You no longer feel like you have to “know everything,” or “be perfect.” You bring all your skill and experience to the work, and at the same time you can rest in what you know.
Martha said: I used to feel as though I had an inner war going on inside and I was searching for answers outside of myself in people I perceived to be wiser than me. Formerly, I was looking for ways to fit in, to feel safe. Now I am in an on-going process of finding safety within and listening to my own truth and wisdom.
When she can write and speak from the wholeness of this experience, from her heart, her readers will trust her and want to know more.
I asked Martha to tell a story about a time when she had felt that inner voice of her parents telling her she couldn’t do what she wanted to do, that she had to do what they wanted—and yet she found the inner strength to honor her own voice instead. She could include this story in the brochure, along with testimonials or stories about other people who had done the same thing, especially if she had helped them to reach their goals.
The stories didn’t have to come from just one person, I said. As long as what she said was true, she could create a story that was a composite of more than one person’s experiences to illustrate what she was saying. And of course if she used anyone’s name or specific experience, she would want to get their permission to do this.
Martha said: Although I am still working on this area for myself, I know that committing to do your Re-Imagine Your Life Program was a huge leap of faith for me. I knew I wanted to do it even though the reality of my financial situation fueled the doubting voices in my mind. But, deeper inside, the voice said ‘I want to do this,’ so I am doing it!
The next piece that we discussed was what Martha could offer potential clients. In Martha’s words: We talked about a co-creative partnership in which to explore ways to heal. How EFT/Meridian Tapping, in particular, could help others to heal old beliefs: ‘I’m not good enough,’ ‘I don’t deserve to have what I want,’ ‘I need someone to save me,’ etc. and replace those with possibilities of ‘I have value and worth,’ ‘I can create anything I want,’ ‘I can be who I want to be,’ ‘I can be me and it’s ok,’ ‘I have all that I need inside of me.’
This template will work really well for any kind of piece that is meant to let people know why they might benefit from what you do and how you do it, I told Martha. You could use this recipe for a page on your website, an email, a letter, a talk, an interview…
There was one more step. I asked Martha to talk about how her personal blend of EFT, training in psychotherapy (she winced at this—all those people telling her how to do therapy triggered her inner four year old who will not be told what to do!), spirituality, and creative tools. How could her particular creativity synthesize everything she has lived and done into solutions for people who were afraid to step into their True Voice?
Since I am also interested in neuroscience and how tapping can impact one’s brain circuitry, we looked at evocative questions like ‘Did you know that you can change the wiring in your brain?’ We played with ideas, such as, EFT can change old patterning, freeing one to feel the truth of who they are in their hearts and empowering them to create the life that they want.
You asked about the different tools that I had with which to help people: EFT/energy healing, mindfulness, focusing on past strengths, what worked well, moving those ideas into the future and then ‘looking back’ from the future at what’s working now, using various means of creative expression (drawing, drama i.e. enacting an inner block, voice, etc, writing a scene).
I encouraged Martha to focus on the outcomes and the benefits for the person reading her brochure, not the process of how she would get to the outcomes. That makes sense—people want to know that they can trust her to understand them and what they need. She would build a relationship with the person first of all, and let them know what is possible for them, and that she would be a good partner on their journey.
The people she wants to work with don’t care as much about her qualifications and degrees—that might be impressive to some, but it is more likely to be intimidating. People want to know that they will be safe with her, even if she challenges them.
Martha’s summary of our session:
You gave me 5 steps in creating the template for a brochure that I could then adjust to use for working with adults, families and schools, and that could also become the basis for a Web page:
- Find your audience
- Describe the problem
- Add stories about myself/others to illustrate the problems
- Describe how I/they solved the problem
- Talk about how I offer solutions in creative ways
- End with a couple of stories of success
- Offer an invitation to learn more
We reflected on the ease in which many of us (me for sure!) can get lost in excavating the past over and over again. The process of this session did not encourage that. It redirected my old energy and thought patterns into new creative possibilities. That really worked for me!
Is this marketing? Yes—in the sense that there is sharing, and educating, and an exchange of love and support and energy happening, and an invitation. As Martha began to see the template of her brochure emerging right out of her own experience and knowledge, she began to get excited about doing this. In the past, whenever she had tried to advertise her work, she always stopped herself with lack of confidence. Now she was understanding that she really did have tools and experience to offer, and it even sounded like fun, both the offering, and the doing!
For many of us “marketing” is a bad word. But I believe that in our turned-off response to “marketing as usual,” we are really asking ourselves powerful questions:
- How can we re-imagine and re-invent how we let people know about what we do?
- How can we share our deeper purpose for doing the work that we do?
- How can we build a community of people whose work and hearts we trust and support?
If you are like me, you want to make a real difference in the world, bring more healing, because you can see and feel the powerful vision of what is possible for the human spirit. And you feel called to offer what you can to help.
Plus it makes you happy to do what you do. You are doing it as much for how it makes YOU feel as for the difference it will make. Maybe more!
I looked long and hard for someone to learn a different model of marketing from. I have studied with a marketing expert named Robert Middleton over the last year. Now—I must say—he is not me. He does not see the world exactly as I do. Surprise! But he does combine a traditional marketing background with creative, imaginative, intuitive heartfelt intention to make a contribution in the world. That created an “entry point” for me. I feel that my job in this partnership with his training has been to continually translate what he teaches into language and practice that feels right to me.
The best gift for me of this learning has been his emphasis on creating an “action plan.” The process I described above is an example. I had always felt that there was a lot that I could offer but, like Martha, I often didn’t know where to start.
A result of this exploration is an upcoming workshop that Robert and I are doing together in June at one of my favorite places, Sunrise Ranch in Colorado. It is called “Marketing for Holistic Practitioners.”
Someone I to whom sent information about the workshop wrote this back to me: I appreciate the integrity with which you are putting this forward, and your approach is certainly going to be one of my top ‘models’ as I continue to grow my practice. I don’t quote this here as a pat on the back for me, but to say that this kind of feedback lets me know that the note that I am sounding is finding resonance in her. I do want to add to the resonance in the world, not create dissonance!
[Note to readers – the workshop mentioned above has been canceled. It may become a teleclass series instead. I will let you know.]
If you would like to listen to a teleclass that Robert and I did together about this workshop, which has a lot of good information in it itself, go here: http://www.actionplan.com/tc/tc_hpwrh.html
With my love and blessings all around –