In part 1 of this series (#42) I described what the sensitive temperament can look and feel like. I described five different self-judgments or challenges, and offered possible reframes for each of them. I also included a kind of visual map that I use to sort out the different aspects of an event or a belief, so I can keep track of what I am doing in a tapping session. This map also helps me to creatively link bits of information in a tapping session to produce new insights.
- Sensitivity + a repressive family belief system + painful experiences…
- …can create a cage of beliefs about oneself—
I have to be what other people want me to be.
I am not good enough.
There must be something wrong with me.
What is wrong with me?
I was always told I was too energetic, smart, talkative, emotional
I am too much
I am not enough
I can’t express who I am
I am all alone—no one understands
I feel trapped
- Beliefs + unexpressed emotional response = (can lead to) physical pain, depression, unhelpful behaviors, illness (e.g. fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue)
In Part 2 here, I want to describe four good ways to approach tapping with someone (or yourself!) who is sensitive. These are not scripts. A script could be a good way to begin, but truly, the best healing comes from letting our own intuition and creativity take the reins.
It does help to have guidelines. I love discovering good solid starting-off places that spark my memories and my intuition. I believe that wellness and goodness are who we are naturally. When we explore ways to just let go of the struggle and open to the possibilities, wellness is right here.
APPROACH 1—Unfinished Sentences
Unfinished sentences are a good way to start. These sentences below describe the experience of a sensitive person. Complete these for yourself, or with your client:
When I was a child I couldn’t express myself because___________
They always said I was too_____________
That made me feel_________________
That made me think I was_______________
Thinking that way about myself made me feel______________
And ever since, I have been ___________ (limiting behaviors, body symptoms)
Tap for what comes up as you complete the sentences.
APPROACH 2—S-P-I-R-I-T-E-D SELF
Gather information about each of these categories below. One way I like to start this information gathering process is to make a list of specific events that come to mind as examples of each of the categories below. Gary Craig called his version of this the Personal Peace Process.
Now, pick one of the events or beliefs, and write a stream of consciousness page about it. Let yourself really spew out all your feelings and memories about what happened, and how you came to feel this way. Next, go back and highlight all the words, images and phrases that cause an emotional reaction in you. Tap for each of them.
S – Tap to reframe your Sensitivity. (See the template that I described in Part 1, newsletter #42)
Learn and tap for what is profoundly good about being so sensitive.
P – Tap away the effects of Painful experiences from the past
Ask yourself“What broke my heart?” Do the Personal Peace process described above.
I – Tap to reframe the limited Identity you took on as a result (beliefs)
Life, especially your childhood, may have led you to believe that:
I don’t deserve to get what I want.
It is not safe to be visible or heard.
There is something wrong with me. It was my fault.
My needs aren’t important.
I have to be ill in order to get what I need.
I have to save the world so that / before I can be safe.
R – Tap away the Responses in your body to this limited identity (caged spirit)
I – Tap for the deeper positive Intention of the symptoms and emotions
Deep inside you that anger or pain is really a message to you, wanting you to know that:
I can stand up for myself, express my own truth, ask for what I want.
I deserve to take care of myself without feeling guilty!
It is safe to be visible and be heard.
T – Tap for knowing that the Truth about me is…I was born good!
The Truth about you is that what you know and who you are is good for the world!
I belong here. I am called to be here; I have a purpose here.
I deserve to prosper!
My truth has always been in everything I have done.
E – Evidence that you have always been this truth
Find the examples of it in your life.
D – Set your Direction
Understand your own personal Yum and Yuck meter.
(Everything comes down to Yum and Yuck.)
Learn how to know What is Right for You.
I deserve to take care of myself without feeling guilty!
Tap into your own guidance.
Tap to feed your own soul. If you don’t, no one will.
APPROACH 3—Find Your Wise Advisor Perspective
Think of an event to which your highly sensitive self responded by either falling apart or toughing it out and soldiering on. Or both.
Use the EFT Movie technique: make an internal video or story of this event, and give it a title. Tap for the title itself. As you review what happened, note how your body and emotions respond. Freeze the frame and tap when you come across intensity of response in your feelings or body. Keep narrating the story, and stopping to tap, until you can tell the story and stay calm throughout.
Keep the following questions in mind:
- How did you respond to this event?
- How did others respond?
- What are your beliefs and feelings about what happened, and about yourself?
- Ask yourself, “If I had known about my sensitivity, and could have honored it, what would have been different?
- Ask yourself, “What was I trying to get FOR myself, by how I responded at the time, and afterwards?” (Usually the answer is some form of toughing it out and soldiering on for your safety or protection.)
Tap for all the aspects that have come up as you consider what happened and how it made you feel.
Ask your Wise Advisor
Now, let yourself imagine floating out of your body to a position just above and to the side. Watch your movie from this perspective. Imagine that this is the point of view of a Wise Advisor. This could be a wise person you know, your spirit or soul, your guardian angel, your fairy godmother, God, Jesus…whatever you choose is OK. I just think of it as “asking my Heart.” In Chinese Medicine, Spirit is at home in our Heart.
Ask this Presence to comment on YOUR response to the event, giving its perspective.
Three things to be aware of as you do this:
1. Avoid beating yourself up (Spirit never does that!)
2. Avoid automatically “understanding” the other people involved, and “forgiving” them. Observe objectively.
3. Reach inside for an understanding of your positive intention in your response, and consider how you might get those results in a different, better, more effective way, now.
Now, bring the Wise Advisor perspective into your tapping.
APPROACH 4—Reframe Problems into Gifts
Finally, using your sensitivity and your creativity, find ways to bring the following reframes into your tapping. Tap to reframe problems into the gifts that they are disguising.
First, always, acknowledge and allow your sensitivity. Then turn your focus to the gift in the problem.
- Tap to acknowledge your sensitivity. “Even though I feel too deeply….”
Tap to reframe problems into gifts: Feeling so deeply is the gift of profound awareness of sensations.
- Tap to acknowledge your wish to please.
Tap to reframe problems into gifts: Wishing so powerfully to please arises from your mission to bring peace.
- Tap to acknowledge your “boundary issues.” It is hard to know where you leave off and the other begins. You feel what they are feeling.
Tap to reframe problems into gifts: Honor your capacity for a deep sense of connection.
- Tap to acknowledge your need to be perfect.
- Tap to acknowledge being self critical.
Tap to reframe problems into gifts: Appreciate your beautiful idealism, your trust in goodness.
- Sprinkle your session liberally with some variation of these words:
Even though I don’t see how I could reframe this event positively, I am open to seeing it differently…
and I’m open to seeing purpose and wisdom in the event and in my own and others’ response…
and I deeply and completely love and accept myself, no matter what.
We are all in this together.
The healing that you accomplish benefits all of us!
With my love and blessings to you –