Hello dear friends –

Thank you to all the new subscribers to this newsletter! And thanks particularly to those of you who answered the questions I asked. If you haven’t yet, claim YOUR copy of my ebook Out, Rage! 5 Easy Steps to Feeling Better Right Now with EFT, just answer the questions at the end of this newsletter, and it is yours.

Have you ever had a pain, or felt sad and depressed, and it lasted for years and years? And no matter what you did it didn’t seem to go away?

Or, maybe it got better for a while but came back, maybe worse than before?

When you get stressed, how does your body respond? Does your back go out, does your neck kink, do your legs hurt, does your skin break out?

Do you get depressed, and think you must just have been born with a chemical imbalance? (or think you’re just not as good as everyone else?)

Could it be that you are resisting feeling what you are REALLY feeling?

Maybe you even learned about EFT and tried it on “this pain” or “this sadness” — and you felt a little better, but overall “EFT just didn’t seem to work”? So now what?

Step off the Beaten Path of Pain

The Fishing Net Approach

I like to use the fishing net approach for problems like this. The idea is that you can pick up any little corner or part of the net, and start hauling it in, and eventually everything that is caught in it comes too. So you can start with some small incident that left you grumbling, or anxious, or sad.

Whatever it is, whatever happened that day, it is connected to your inner life and your entire history by a fine web of associations that lead right back into your childhood, and beyond. In fact, you could say that this little incident is the latest manifestation of a story that has been repeated in the lives of your ancestors in some way for many generations.

So think of some pain that you have, physical or emotional. Now think of a recent time when you were really stressed out by something going on in your life. Maybe the connection between the event and the body symptoms and your behavior is obvious, and maybe not. In any case this is the corner of the fishing net that we will pull on. Let me give some examples first.

Robin was trying to work with her daughter and two other families on a science project that the three children were doing together for a home-schooling program. Robin found herself feeling alarmed by “a tightness in my chest, as if I am bracing for an attack. I am tense and ready to spring! But I am frozen in place in the horrible anticipation of not being able to deal with what might come at me over the horizon.”

The feeling was familiar, and it had led to a re-occurrence of an also familiar, life-long respiratory distress. Robin was puzzled though, because the disagreements among the families about how this project should proceed didn’t seem to warrant such a strong reaction.

I asked a question I often ask: “If this tightness had a voice, what would it be saying?”

Robin said, “One of the other mothers always has to be in charge. I don’t like being told what to do! I feel judged, as if what I am doing isn‘t good enough.”

“What are the emotions you are feeling?” I asked.

“Anger, panic, terror!” she said, “As a child, I never had control over anything. And yet I had to perform perfectly, or my mother would hurt me and shame me. I hate having someone over me, even ME!” she said with a wry, pained grin. “I am at least as tyrannical over myself as my mother was over me.”

I asked Robin to state the belief she came to have about herself in the words of a ten year-old girl. “If I can’t do this, I am no good. Do I even deserve to live?” was her sad reply.

This seemingly small situation of the science project was a perfect mirror for Robin of some major issues in her life. We were able to tap for her emotions, and the body feelings, and those beliefs. Soon the conflict didn’t seem like such a big deal, and Robin was resourcefully making plans to change the way she participated in the project.

This small intervention in Robin’s life isn’t enough to heal the pain in her history. In fact, we can’t really “heal the past.” But we CAN heal the story we tell ourselves about it. What we are really doing is healing the present moment.

The future doesn’t really exist — it is just the result of each of our present moments unfolding. So when we pay close attention to what is going on in THIS moment, and make it as good a moment as we can, the future takes care of itself. Literally.

If you have read my books, (shameless plug: http://www.IntuitiveMentoring.com/EFTBooks.htm ), you may recall the story of “Sally,” which is threaded through two of them: This is Where I Stand and The 8 Master Keys to Healing What Hurts. Sally has struggled with the pain of fibromyalgia for 20 years, and has done all the medical treatments imaginable. Through diligent EFT, for the first time she has begun to change how she frames her pain.

In order to really change long-standing pain, we need to change how we think about our very existence, how we manifest our identity in the world.

In the last few months especially, Sally has been discovering, to her amazement, that her thoughts have an effect on her pain that she didn’t expect. She and her husband have been planning a trip across country to visit relatives whom they haven’t seen for 20 years because Sally’s illness has prevented her from traveling. But she has improved a lot, so they bought an RV and have been enthusiastically outfitting it.

Suddenly, a week before the trip, now Sally’s pain was back, full on, and here at the last minute she was really not wanting to go. She tried tapping, talking sternly to herself, taking more pain medication, but nothing worked. She was scared and frustrated.

I suspected that Sally’s pain might be an unconscious cover up for:

•  something she really didn’t want to think about

•  feelings she really didn’t want to feel

We tapped for this, and then I suggested that she write a paragraph about why she didn’t want to go on this trip. Just start writing, I told her. Don’t plan what to say, don’t think about it beforehand, just let it flow out even if it doesn’t seem to make sense. Write whatever comes, without trying to censor your thoughts.

She sent this to me:

Life is strange, in fact, life is damn strange.  I know this is a cliche, but it is the best way to describe what has been going on with me.  I was so sure that I knew what the cause of my not wanting to go on this trip was, but I believe now I was wrong.  And that would explain why the tapping wasn’t making me feel any better. 

Until today, I thought my reasons for not wanting to go on the trip had something to do with the actual trip length or duration, something about the RV or related issues.  But I’ve changed my mind.

WHY I REALLY DON’T WANT TO GO ON THIS TRIP

I don’t want to go on this trip because I haven’t seen most of the people at the end of the trip for about 15-20 years.  Not only have I aged, as we all have, I have gained a lot of weight, due largely to lack of exercise and chronic pain.  I am really embarrassed about seeing them all again at this weight.  So, in addition to my in-born shyness, I have the weight to think about too.  And I know from previous trips that New Yorkers are extremely self-absorbed with New York and don’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want to live there.  Aunt Rhonda can’t believe that we don’t want to "do" anything in the city.  I am also concerned about the impression we are going to make with the RV. I am somewhat afraid that we are going to look like we are "showing off."  And we are making them leave their precious city to drive out to our campground to see us as well

When I talked with Sally, she said, “What will I tell them when they say, ‘What have you been doing for the last 20 years?’ Uhhh, ‘I’ve been sick, I have failed at three jobs, and basically I haven’t been doing anything?’” We tapped and reframed her ideas about what she had done with her life until she was feeling excited to go! Her pain was dissipating…

Sally’s story of learning to heal her pain has been about being a highly sensitive person growing up with feelings of deep inadequacy. Constantly tending to her pain over the last twenty years has given her a sort of pseudo “feeling of purpose” in her life. We may be pulled toward healing our pain, even making a life-long practice of healing our pain, in order to let ourselves know how important we are. This is unconsciously distorted thinking, but we are on the right track. Finding a true, deep inner sense of purpose in our lives can be profoundly healing.

What we really want is to honor our own integrity and live from our own values.

Knowing that Sally’s story, along with others in the books, might be upsetting and triggering for some people to read, I have suggested that it could be a good idea to tap while one is reading these accounts of using EFT with various people and their challenges. In fact, that is a way for the reader to “borrow benefits” from the healing of the people whose stories are retold there.

Interestingly, about the time that I was working with Sally on easing comfortably into her future, I got this email from another client, Naomi, who had been reading about Sally’s history. She was finding she had to tap for her own feelings that were coming up as she read. We are all borrowing benefits from each other all the time!

Naomi wrote:

Rue – Yesterday I was feeling pretty good, all the way till the last hour of the evening when I started reading your book and read Sally’s story. My legs hurt like crazy after that when I went to bed, and continued to feel pretty bad all day today.

This A.M. I did some tapping and came up with this: maybe I feel like I don’t deserve to feel good when someone out there feels so bad. So if I have pain, then I don’t have to feel guilty. But I also think I just saw her story as so sad. I didn’t see it as hopeful. It seems like she has too many problems to be able to solve them. Any wise thoughts? I think I will try reading it again tonight but will tap as I’m reading it, and will see what happens.

Part of my response to Naomi:

“I am interested in how it went to read and tap. I am so sorry that you felt so bad. Yes ‘Sally’ has had lots of problems, but she has made incredible progress. She still has some pain but she manages it differently now. She has totally redefined what the pain meant about her, and that has made all the difference. She has had to come up with a way of life that doesn’t depend on her being seen as ill, especially by herself.”

Naomi’s brilliant response a few days later:

Hi Rue.

Re-reading Sally’s story while tapping went better last night.

I realized that I was ashamed of my family, and I thought my problems with my family were what was causing my pain. It wasn’t until I realized that the hidden unconscious emotion I was trying to distract myself from with my pain is that I was “ashamed about being ashamed.”

To me it’s like going "back" a layer. Once I let myself experience being ashamed, body symptoms and all, and realized that being ashamed didn’t make me a bad person, my pain got better.

That concept applies to so many of my thoughts and feelings in life. In fact, it was somewhat overwhelming yesterday as I kept applying this concept to my thinking. Basically, every time I thought some negative thought, had a negative feeling, remembered a negative thought or feeling or action, etc., I would link it with "and that doesn’t make me a bad person."

My leg pain almost completely went away. I just kept on with focusing on emotion and "and that doesn’t make me a bad person" thoughts. So when I read Sally’s story again last night, while tapping, I was able to focus on the negative feelings I would have as I was reading it, and realize that any of them were something I could just observe and didn’t need to try to run from, and that having any of them was OK and didn’t make me a bad person. It went well, and I could more clearly see her progress as I read her story.

This A.M. right after I got up my legs hurt again terribly and continued most of the work day, but then this evening I was able to get the pain to almost completely go away again by focusing all of my attention on mistakes I’ve made in life. Rather than trying to make myself feel better about them, as in "that wasn’t really a bad thing to do," for some where I really did something I consider wrong I just focused on the fact that I did something truly wrong – but that doesn’t make me a bad person, and I can just feel the wrong-ness and be OK with that. And what do you know, it worked again for awhile and I had almost no pain/discomfort.

Soldiering on and toughing it out is not required! Healing is OK!

I loved that line: “…and that doesn’t make me a bad person!” Let’s use it!

 

You can slot any pain, emotional or physical, into the following EFT tapping routine that I have created out of these examples. Make sure you add your own ideas, feelings, and especially add the corner of YOUR web that is tripping you up right now. (If you are new to EFT, go to http:www//emofree.com, and download the free book about how to do it. Then come back here for some practice and some more ideas about how to use EFT!)

Here are some set-up phrases.

You can tap a round for each of these if you like, or if that seems too long and drawn out (it might to me!) you can pick the ones that resonate the most for you to use as set up statements. Then say each of the other phrases in turn as you tap on different points.

For the ones that set off a train of thought or feeling or memory in you, just go ahead and tap while you think or talk aloud, moving through the points or lingering on one of them, whatever feels right.

Even though….

… I had this experience I could call ___________ (Give the incident a really descriptive title. You could even exaggerate, make it worse, or funny, outrageous…)

 

You Have Been Resisting Feeling What You Feel

…this pain is probably distracting me from something I don’t want to feel

…this pain is distracting me from something I don’t want to think about

 

Listen to Your Body and Your Life

… whenever I get stressed it shows up in my body as_____________and ___________ and _________________

… I feel a tightness in my chest, as if I am bracing for an attack

… I am tense and ready to spring!

… I am frozen in place in the horrible anticipation of not being able to deal with what might come at me over the horizon

… I am at least as tyrannical over myself now as my mother was over me

 

Honor Your Emotions as Powerful Messengers

… I don’t like being told what to do!

… I feel anger, panic, terror

… I worry about everything

… I hate having someone over me, even ME

… I have tried tapping, talking sternly to myself, taking more pain medication, but nothing is working, and I am scared and frustrated

Note How Your Beliefs Hold Your Spirit in a Cage

… I had to perform perfectly, or ( _________ ) would hurt me and shame me

… as a child, I never had control over anything

… if I can’t do this, I am no good

… I wonder, do I even deserve to live?

… I feel judged

… what I am doing isn‘t good enough

 

What in You or Your Life Needs Tending?

… maybe I feel like I don’t deserve to feel good when someone out there feels so bad

… when I have pain, then I don’t have to feel guilty

… it seems like I have too many problems to be able to solve them

… I can’t admit even to myself how I really feel about (my family, or _______)

… I feel like I need to support my family so I won’t feel alone

… I was afraid the world will come to an end if I let myself feel what I really feel

… I was so sure that I knew what the cause of ______________, but I suspect now I was wrong

… Life is strange. In fact, life is damn strange

Now, here are some interesting affirmations to add on at the end, as a supplement or a replacement to the traditional “I deeply and completely love and accept myself.” Even though most of our EFT training is about what to say at the beginning of the set up phrase, I find my heart and my imagination always drawn to the second half of the equation.

In the second half of the equation we are healing the future, supporting and honoring and welcoming our own presence in it. We are holding the “problem” differently within our energy field, and therefore inviting and allowing the Sacred to hold us differently in the whole as well (use Spirit, God, whatever terms fit for you).

Step Off the Beaten Path…Care for Your Soul!
Use all that freed up power to Resist Beating Yourself Up!

(use these affirmations — or even better, make up your own!)

it is OK and safe to let myself experience that and that doesn’t make me a bad person

… I am choosing to resist my usual story about this pain and that doesn’t make me a bad person either

that doesn’t make me a bad person. These are just thoughts and I don’t have to believe them.

that doesn’t make me a bad person and I can go ahead and feel what I feel anyway

…I wish things were different and that doesn’t make me a bad person

I love and accept myself enough that my symptoms can go away now

I love and accept myself enough that I can just feel the wrong-ness and be OK with that anyway

… I am doing the best I can

… we are all doing the best we can

I honor myself for how hard this has been

I can surrender what I thought I knew and open to a deeper truth about myself!

I am a better person than I thought I was!

I am a better person than I thought I was!

I am a better person than I thought I was!

I am a better person than I thought I was!

Soldiering on and toughing it out is not required! Healing is OK!

Soldiering on and toughing it out is not required! Healing is OK!