I was recently in a really difficult situation where I needed to stay calm and resourceful. It wasn’t appropriate to tap outright. I was among people who, seeing something that looked so odd and foreign to them, had the power to make an already sticky situation worse.
I utilized tapping in a unique way that certainly saved the day for me, and possibly created an energy field in which the situation resolved more quickly than it might have.
I’ll tell you the story first, and then tell you how I used EFT in this new way to stay calm and (more or less) centered during a challenging experience.
In July I was on my way to teach an EFT class at the spiritual community of Findhorn in Scotland. This is a non-denominational spiritual and educational foundation where I lived for seven years in the 1970’s and 80’s. I have been returning there annually for a few years to teach EFT.
Arriving at Heathrow Airport in London, I was stopped where you present your passport and your landing card at Immigration, and they ask you questions like “Why are you here?” This point in the process has never been a problem before. But this time I was told to “wait over there.” A long time later someone appeared, and I was taken into the back rooms and hallways of the Immigration authorities.
I was searched, and my personal effects were confiscated (I was allowed to keep only my money and my credit card, “So you can’t claim that we stole money from you,” they said). I was photographed several times, fingerprinted, interrogated by different authorities, some more than once. I was locked up and guarded. They researched my background and that of the Foundation online.
Everyone was civil (the authorities were British, after all…) but very serious and intimidating. At one point in the long day they gave me a sandwich and a glass of water.
I missed all my travel connections. Their intention, they said, was to deny me entry to the UK, and put me on the next plane back to the US. Of course I would forfeit the cost of the round trip flights to travel to the UK. They let me know that IF I were released it would be my responsibility to get where I was going.The British Airways daily flight to Colorado had already departed, so they said they would get me as close to Colorado as they could, and then I would have to get home from wherever the plane landed.
It turned out that due to the new governmental regulations I was supposed to have been given a work visa from the Findhorn Foundation in advance, which neither the foundation nor I knew about. Without it I could not enter the UK, nor earn any money there. Even volunteer work was not allowed.
The other problem was how I was to be paid. Apparently the only legal way to be paid now is in US dollars by bank transfer from the Foundation to my bank in the US. Being paid for private sessions while in the UK was not legal under these circumstances. This had not been the rule in the past, and had not been set up in advance by me or the Foundation.
I innocently was giving all the wrong answers to the questions that I was being asked. I was therefore a suspicious person in the eyes of the authorities. Finally I was eventually released with a special stamp on my passport. They said I would likely be stopped and interrogated now any time I travel internationally. Note to self for the future: say “I am a tourist.” Period!
This experience made me conscious of people all over the world who are at the effect of similar “hyper-vigilant disregard,” but for them it comes in the middle of the night, and they have no recourse.
I was really aware of my privileged position as a white American. I knew that eventually this would work out somehow, even though it was scary in the moment.
And, in retrospect, how misplaced all that energy focused on me was! Me, a kindly old lady cultural criminal! When there are genuinely and literally dangerous people out there to be attending to.
I believe that the situation I found myself in is an indication of how things are changing in the world in general. The division between what one might call “rule-based” and “creative” people is becoming more clear and more evident, and the interactions between them more disturbed. But that is a subject for another article…
The bottom line for me is that I did manage to stay present in a situation in which I needed to be calm and alert, but where my feelings kept moving in the direction of scared, anxious, angry, teary, intimidated, victimized.
It was a perfect opportunity to tap, but I didn’t want to look any stranger or weirder than I already did to the British authorities. I kept wondering if I should be acting more pro-actively on my own behalf, but I couldn’t decide if that would be more helpful or more harmful. So I just did my best to wait quietly, and trust that all would be well.
To invite inner quietness, I used tapping in a new way. Sometimes in a difficult situation, mental tapping is useful. If your body is familiar with tapping, you can just “think” the tapping on the points, and often this works just as well as actual tapping.
On this occasion I added a deeper dimension, that, I realized later, I do all the time kind of unconsciously. I think of it as “heart-flow.”
Here is an opportunity to try this yourself:
1. Think of a situation where you felt anxious or upset, and imagine that you are in that situation now.
2. Notice what you are saying to yourself about what is going on.
3. Notice how that makes you feel.
4. Notice where you feel it in your body.
Now, if you can, tap in the regular way through the points. If it would be awkward to tap openly, put your attention on the points and imagining tapping on those points, say the set-up statements and phrases mentally. Tap for the above four areas.
You might also be able to surreptitiously tap on the points on your fingers, or on the karate chop point on the side of your hand.
Put your attention in your heart. Literally feel your attention there. It may help to put your hand on your heart. Putting your hand on your heart isn’t necessary, it just helps your attention to go there, and stay there.
From this place in your heart, imagine a flow of energy going to the tapping points on both sides of your body, from inside your body.
Allow and intend this energy to flow from your heart… touch and rest in the inside flow from your heart… touch and rest in of your eyebrow point…
Allow and intend a flow from your heart… touch and rest in the inside of the side of your eye…
Allow and intend a flow from your heart… touch and rest in the inside of the under eye point on both sides…
Flow from your heart… touch and rest in the inside of the under nose point…
Flow from your heart… touch and rest in the inside of the chin point…
Flow from your heart… touch and rest in the inside of your collarbone points…
From your heart center allow this energy flow to fill your chest…
Flow this heart energy to the points under your arms, the top of your head, the center of your forehead…
Maintain deep, steady breathing while you do this heart-flow.
Continuously bring your attention back to your heart.
It might feel best to rest in your heart and flow your attention from there to just one point, instead of moving through all of them.
You might also imagine that from your heart you can flow this heart energy to all the points in your head, and/or all the points in your torso, at the same time.
This is not a “mental” exercise. Do this kinesthetically, physically, energetically, continually returning your attention, and intention, to your heart.
You might want to notice if the energy flow has a color. You can add this visual representation to the physical or energetic feeling of the flow of this energy.
You might want to notice if the energy flow has a temperature. Is it warmer, or cooler?
Notice if there is a soothing sound that flows with this process.
If it feels right, add a phrase, like “Ease and flow…” or “I am OK in this moment…” You can make this a mantra, if it helps. Say it repeatedly, encouragingly, supportively, but not obsessively. (Notice whether you are tightening up as you say it.)
Always be aware of whether your body is tending toward tensing or relaxing. Only add components that lead toward relaxing. Send heart-flow to the tight places
The easiest, quickest way to do Heart-Flow: In the midst of a difficult situation, continually return to holding a sense of your own Presence in your heart. Continue to bring your attention back to your heart. Do this minute by minute by minute by minute, like a meditation.
I did this exercise all day long that day in the back rooms of Heathrow Airport. I believe that it got me through the day. Perhaps, thanks to doing the Heart-Flow, my being able to hold a quiet calm energy field even helped this situation to resolve.
Who knows what changes, either positive or negative, can be generated by our inner state in a situation like this, or any situation?
I have offered this exercise to many people in many different situations since my return. In addition to being a handy Rescue Remedy in dire circumstances, Heart-Flow works really well as a way to complete a tapping session on any issue with grace.
It seems to allow the person to hold and fold a sense of calm around themselves, and to feel deeply held from within. Everyone has felt that doing this process was restful and helpful. They were able to change what they were saying to themselves about what was going on for them, feel it differently, reframe it in a positive way. Everyone’s inner response to Heart-Flow has been useful, beneficial and profound.
This is what one person said:
Doing the Heart-Flow is a reminder for me that I have choices in the presence of something uncomfortable or difficult. I love that I can choose this. It feels like a powerful, comforting rescue. An affirmation and an act of faith. Miraculous.
Try it for yourself!
With my love and blessings to you,