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Thursday, November 20, 2014

How To Enjoy The Turkey Instead of Feeling Like One: Stress Less and Feel Calmer For The Holidays

Holidays are fast approaching. For us here in the US, Thanksgiving is one week away! And it's followed quickly by the round of winter holidays in various traditions, whether that's Chanuka, Christmas, New Year's, or your own family traditions for this time of year.

No matter what we celebrate, most of us can count on having it bring up our 'stuff'. For some of us, our stuff goes way back and includes real trauma. For others, it's more the obligations and expectations of parties, cooking and gifts added to an already overwhelming schedule.

I've got a 5 Point Holiday Plan to help you make this holiday season turn out differently.

1. Make a plan. Remember the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. But change doesn't happen by itself. In order to not do the same thing this year, you'll need to actually make yourself a plan. Write it down, to make it more compelling for yourself. 

Tapping Tip:  Notice if you feel anxiety or resistance, and tap for that.  "Even though I feel like this will never work, I'm willing to be open to change."

2. Identify the triggers. They may be many, or few. Write down at least three. Now pick one that has intensity, but isn't the worst trigger. You want to give yourself a chance to create a new, successful outcome and sometimes the stakes are just too high on our worst triggers.

Tapping Tip: Don't take on the whole mess at once (or if you feel you must, seek out qualified help from a practitioner.)  Focus on the one trigger you've decided to change, and tap on the intensity that it holds.  "Even though every year I dread that we have the same stupid arguments, that's ok; that's just what I'm feeling right now."

3. Choose your new desired response. Make your response something simple but effective, and make sure it focuses on changing your behavior, not someone else's. "When my siblings start arguing about the same stupid stuff, I'm going to take a deep breath, resist joining in, and just notice my feelings" is a positive and simple response that doesn't require you to change their behavior to achieve success.

Tapping Tip: Notice if you're pre-judging your planned new behavior.  "Even though this sounds like it's too simple and it'll probably never happen, that's ok; I'm just allowing myself to think of new options."

4. Imagine how you'd like to feel right after the event you normally dread. Then, think of a likely scenario and rehearse your planned action. Tapping comes in very handy here. You can rehearse this with someone you like and trust. You can also write it out in detail. Remember, make it simple and fully under your control. End your rehearsal with reminding yourself of how you'd like to feel after the event/issue is past. For example, you might like to feel "proud", "lighter", or "relaxed."

Tapping Tip:  Tap away any intensity you feel when you rehearse your new behavior.  And be sure to tap as your imagine your intended feeling:  "As soon as that dinner is over and I'm back home, I feel lighter and more relaxed than usual."

5. Celebrate when you feel the slightest progress. If you even make a small change in the old patterns, do your happy dance; reward yourself with something healthy; tell a trusted friend about how well you did; write yourself a note of congratulations. Change is hard, and we make it even harder when we hold ourselves accountable for doing it perfectly.

Tapping Tip:  Just notice and enjoy a sense of celebration, happiness, or calm in your body and tap your points as you feel it.

Happy holidays!  As always, let me know how I can help.

3:24 pm cst          Comments

Sunday, November 16, 2014

It's Ok To Play

Yesterday I heard a therapist tell a wonderful story. 

Many years ago she was seeing a therapist, and when she arrived at the office, the adult waiting room was under renovation.  Everyone was directed to the kid's waiting room.

Little tiny tables and chairs.  Toys.  Coloring books and crayons.

Pat thought, "Why not!", sat right down and began coloring. 

Soon a big burly guy came in and asked, "Is this where we wait?"  Pat, without missing a beat, said "Yes, and if you want you can color with me."  And he did.

Eventually the therapist came to get them.  But according to Pat, "I think if he'd just let us keep coloring, we'd have been fine!"

Play is good for us.  That the message in this TEDMED talk by Playworks CEO Jill Vialet.  I love her statement: "Play matters because it gives us a brief respite from the tyranny of apparent purpose."  Yes! 

Can you even remember what it feels like to play at something for no "good reason", just for fun?  Without keeping score and trying to be the best...without trying to make something useful or meaningful.

Why not try it this week?  Just find one little way to really play.  And if you feel silly, awkward or guilty, try this tapping phrase:

"Even though I feel [your emotion here] I'm going to play anyway.  So there!"  At the end of the set up put your hands on your hips and stick out your tongue.  You might not even need to tap a whole round once you let your defiant little kid get the last word!

If you feel you might need a little help getting started, check to see if there's a Laughter Yoga class or group near you. It's a great way to play (no actual yoga poses are involved.)

I'd love to hear how your playtime goes.

If I can help you Go From Ow To Wow® by getting your play back,  let me know.

6:12 pm cst          Comments

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Your SCQ: What Is It And How Does It Affect Your Body Image?


In EFT we talk about how emotional issues are more potent drivers of our health than external issues.  And that's incredibly true in the area of food, eating habits, and body image.

So when I read this blog about a recent study I had to share it with my tappers.

Professor Allison Kelly, lead author of the study, said this:

"How we treat ourselves during difficult times that may seem unrelated to our bodies and eating seems to have a bearing on how we feel about our bodies and our relationship with food."

Heck YEAH it does!

And Professor Kelly went on to say that "There is something about a high level of acceptance and understanding of oneself that helps people not necessarily view their bodies more positively, but rather acknowledge their bodies' imperfections and be okay with them."

In other words, having a high SCQ:  Self-Compassion Quotient.  In fact, in another study psychologists found that self-compassion helped increase our motivation to improve.  In other words, the more we have compassion for ourselves, the better we can do at improving what we don't like.

I believe that's the message of EFT too. That's why the acceptance phrase at the end of our set-up is so important.  That's why acknowledging our real feelings, the negatives, and owning them without being owned by them, is so important.  So many times my clients have said, "I feel better just saying it out loud." 

The great news is, you can easily raise your SCQ.  Next time you have a negative thought, simply add "and I accept myself" to the end of it.  Of course, tapping along is also recommended!  : )

If I can help you Go From Ow To Wow® and raise your SCQ, let me know.

5:25 pm cdt          Comments

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

"I'd forgotten how to smile." 

That's how this 37-year old woman, a Navy veteran, described her life before she attended an Introduction to EFT group class, just four months ago. She attended a second class with me last week, and that's when I heard her story.

Through the Empower The Warrior Within program here in Houston, I've been offering Introduction to EFT presentations to groups of veterans. 

The presentation teaches basic EFT for pain, emotional distress, and sleep. In an hour or 90 minute session, we probably spend a third of the time actually tapping.  And the tapping is quite general; we don't spend any time working on an individual issue with anyone.  In a group Intro session, I never work on serious trauma, either.

It doesn't seem like much tapping, and I rarely get to hear followup from the groups (even though almost everyone reports an increase in relaxation at the time.)

But one group invited us back last week, after an initial presentation made in March. The group sponsor told us how much the women had enjoyed our first presentation.

Tapping with the group, I saw several familiar faces.  As one woman yawned during a round, I called it out as a sign of relaxation.  I had no idea just how significant and amazing that yawn was.

The woman told us a bit of her story during the group, and even more afterward.  

She is a Navy veteran who saw 14 years of active combat, with two years in the Reserves.  She was wounded in combat.  She told us how the initial tapping session she came to, just four months ago, affected her: 

"It was the first time I was able to relax. I had severe anxiety and severe insomnia.  I had to sleep with the light on.  I could go 4 days with no sleep.  I slept maybe two hours a night. I’d forgotten how to smile.

"Now I sleep 6 hours a night. With no meds. Now I have a job after not working for over a year.

"It’s my go to," she told us as she tapped her karate chop point.

I was overwhelmed with admiration for this tough woman who took one hour of tapping instruction and began to rebuild her life.

She acknowledged that it was hard at first.  She had to get into a daily practice to gradually increase the number of hours of sleep each night.  She also works with a therapist, who is supporting her in her use of EFT.  And she modified it a little bit so that it worked best for her.

Everything she told me reminded me why I got into EFT in the first place, and why I became a certified practitioner of it.  It's a highly effective life skill.  It doesn't require any special equipment.  It's easily customizable for anyone's use.  And it can change your life if you make it a regular habit.

I deeply admire this beautiful woman for her  determination and toughness of spirit. However brave she might have been in the service of her country, her real bravery comes in rebuilding her life now as a civilian.  If tapping can do this for her--what might it do for you?

10:54 am cdt          Comments

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Whose Permission--Part 2


Maybe you've been exploring, since last week's blog, whose permission you've been seeking in order to heal. 

If so, I promised you one additional way to really zero in on the permission craving pattern.

You know that certain person or type of person who always gives you some kind of strong, not-exactly-pleasant feeling in your body, or wreaks havoc with your thinking? 

Not just the people you don’t like…think about the person in whose presence you simply feel unpleasantly different.  Finding it hard to think straight or express yourself or relax.  You might feel irrationally irritable in their presence; or you might start putting on an uncomfortable act.  Whatever you become, you know it's not you.

It might even be someone you consider a friend, or see often—but something about her/him just noticeably changes your energy, in a way that seems to smother, overpower, diminish  or upset you.

And usually, you have this feeling as soon as you come in contact with anyone who’s got the same personality. If this is something you really struggle with, you might have a lot of these personality types in your life—because you’re looking for the one who’ll finally give you permission.

You may know exactly what troubling person or situation in your past this person evokes.  But you even don’t have to know that, or do anything about it.  All you have to do is—tune in to the feeling you’re getting.

Are you feeling inadequate?  Irritable?  Unable to express yourself?  Desperate for them to show they understand or approve of you?  Are you feeling something like shame, for no reason?

Being around this person conjures up the person or situation you’re still trying to get permission from. The good news is, you don’t need to work it out with the person in the here and now.  Or that person in the there and then.

Instead, take a deep breath, say a little prayer of gratitude that you’re getting close to the source, and remind yourself—I give myself permission to heal what I need to heal…reclaim what I need to reclaim…and use my own energy for my own self.

Tap along with this.  You can do away with the traditional EFT set up.  Just go straight into tapping “I give myself permission.  I give myself the permission I’ve been looking for.  I give myself permission to use my energy for my own good.”

Notice how your body will give you the signals: "here's that permission-seeking pattern again."  Use that moment to give yourself permission to be your wholehearted self.

And the next time you feel that feeling do it again.  And again. Keep giving yourself permission to do your own work in your own way, as many times as you need to.

You'll be surprised how things change.

As always, if I can help, contact me.

5:41 pm cdt          Comments

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Whose Permission Do You Need?


Have you ever asked yourself, whose permission do you need to heal, do your own work, live life the way you want?

We all have a constant dialogue in our heads with so many people: family members and friends, that guy who was rude to us at the store, our boss or co-workers, and perfect strangers in the next car or in the line at the bank.

Many times all these conversations turn around one theme.  The theme might be different for each of us, but once you find your theme, you’re close to understanding whose permission you are seeking in the quest to be yourself.

Some of you might be thinking, “I don’t need anyone’s permission!  I’m a very assertive person who makes my own way in the world.”  Maybe you’ve always prided yourself in being a rebel, swimming upstream, fighting the good fight, taking the contrarian position.

Others are probably thinking, “I meditate, drink green juice, do yoga, help the needy.  I don’t need permission, I’m beyond all that.”

Yet, as long as you have conversations in your head that revolve around frustration, argument, pleas, requests, and hurts, you’re still negotiating for permission.

So how do you find out whose permission you’re craving?

Easy.  Just eavesdrop on your internal conversation.

No matter who it’s with/about, really noticing your internal dialogs will eventually lead you to the person(s) whose permission you feel you don’t have.  Very often it’s a family member.  Sometimes it’s an institution or culture.  It might be someone who’s wronged you in a very crucial way, taken away your power to be yourself or even to feel safe in the world.

If you’re really still stumped, tap about not knowing.  “Even though I don’t know whose permission I’m seeking, I accept my thoughts and feelings.”  And then forget about it.  The answer will become clear unexpectedly.

Let me give an example of seeking permission to heal a part of yourself.  Say someone cuts in front of you in a store line.  Maybe you exchange heated words; maybe you seethe in silence.  Either way, notice what happens hours after the fact.  Are you still carrying on a conversation in your head, about what you said or wish you’d said?  Are you still telling others the story hours, or even days, later?

Then notice what the incident reminds you of.  Perhaps the adults around you taught you to be “nice” all the time, but failed to teach you how to firmly and effectively stand up for yourself too.  Are you still seeking their permission to assert yourself in the world when others intrude on you?

Or maybe your sibling bullied you constantly, even when you tried to fight back.  Are you seeking his/her permission to be seen and respected as a person with feelings and the right to receive or achieve what you want?

Once you know whose permission you’re seeking, turn the tables. Here's a tapping strategy to help you.

“Even though I’ve been seeking X’s permission to own this part of myself, I give myself permission now.”  Tap the points silently or with the simple phrase, “I have my permission”.  Notice what you feel and think.  Keep tapping until you feel calmer.

Next week, we’ll explore a different way to determine whose permission you’re unconsciously seeking. 

In the meantime, If I can help you practice giving yourself permission, contact me.

10:29 am cdt          Comments

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Dark Secret of Willpower


When we get ready to change a habit--say, eating healthy food, quitting smoking, or starting to exercise--we usually think of willpower as a muscle.  As in, the more you exercise it, the more you'll have. 

But the dark secret of willpower is, it's actually like fuel in a car.  As in, it runs out after a while. 

Why is this?  And more importantly, where's the willpower station where you can get a fill-up? 

Knowing why willpower runs out, and how to refill your willpower tank, can be the difference between succeeding or failing at changing your habits.  

The why of diminishing willpower is easy.  It's about energy.  It literally takes fuel for our brain to run.  The brain is, ounce for ounce, the biggest user of calories in the body. 

The brain wants very much to be energy efficient, just like we want our gas-powered engines to be.  So it automates everything possible.  Anything the brain has to think about--taxes, to-do lists, even what to have for lunch--uses fuel. 

When you start to make changes in those automatic processes, like choosing to change what you eat or to be more active, you're messing up your brain's MO of staying on autopilot to conserve energy. 

That's why willpower, at the beginning of any habit change, is like the fuel in your tank.  You're using it to literally power through your old unconscious behaviors and create new, consciously chosen ones.  That not only requires thinking through choices--sometimes it creates stress too.  Stress is another energy-suck.   

When your willpower tank is dry, you're at risk of reverting to autopilot. That often means falling back into the habits you were trying to change. 

So how can you get a fill-up?

Healthy food and rest are crucial because they literally restore our reserves. Support from others, like family, friends, or groups, helps when our willpower's running low.

But there are two more ways to refill your willpower tank. 

One is to help the poor brain by making processes automatic.  Pack your new healthy lunch so you don't have to make a choice at lunchtime when you're already hungry.  Put your gym bag by the front door so you can't miss it on your way out.

The second way is to turn using willpower into something very rewarding instead of something really taxing.  Many habit-change programs advise giving yourself a reward when you reach a milestone, like a certain weight or exercise goal.

Here's a novel approach using the same idea: try keeping track of how many times you make good willpower choices, and celebrate those as well--because the more you use your willpower, the faster it becomes an energy-efficient, automatic process. Once good choices are automatic, your goals are easier to reach.

I use tapping to celebrate and congratulate myself when I successfully use my willpower.  That makes using willpower fun and rewarding instead of a chore. 

Tap along while you brag on yourself like a proud kindergartner:  "Look at me!  I made a good choice just now!  Yay for me, it's so amazing that I can do this. I get a gold star."  Having fun and celebrating fills up our fuel tank.  Tapping turbocharges the process and releases stress. 

With a willpower fill-up, you're ready to go.

11:52 am cdt          Comments

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Extreme Fad

Is it just me, or have you noticed how popular it's become to call absolutely everything 'extreme'?  Just Googling the word 'extreme' returned hits ranging from 'extreme couponing' to 'extreme pizza'. 

My favorite might be 'extreme yoga'--pretty much the very opposite of what yoga is about! 

Extreme has become a great buzzword to sell ideas and products. It makes everything sound so provocative and exciting when we add it in front of our ordinary activities.  Today I'm not just a newsletter writer--I'm an Extreme Newsletter Writer!  Much better!

Yet, the whole concept of living a good life is one of balance.  When we are in balance, in flow, we're using all our resources with the greatest efficiency. 

Enough rest makes possible enough activity.  Enough energy depends on enough (not too much or little) nourishing food.  Our lungs draw in and send out breath; our hearts contract then rest.  Even the great wisdom traditions of the world teach concepts of balance to reach enlightenment.

So are we doing ourselves a disservice by yearning for the extremes?  What if we taught ourselves the art of balance?  Suppose we looked at everything in our lives--especially the things that worry or bother us-- as an opportunity to discover how we could best stay in balance instead of swinging to extremes?

Tapping is a great tool for finding, and staying in, the sweet spot of a balanced life. Taking better care of ourselves so that we can enjoy our lives more.  Moving through both the ups and the downs of each day with more grace and more peace. 

If you're looking for more balance and less extreme-ism in your life, let's explore together how tapping might help.

Click on comments below to add your thoughts.

10:46 am cdt          Comments

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

It's Not About The Food

If you're trying to change eating habits and patterns, lose or gain weight, you're probably very aware already of some of the traps.  You may have had many rounds of success or improvement, followed by reverting back to old habits and regaining weight--or losing weight you've worked hard to gain. Eating problems, whether not enough or too much, are two sides of the same coin.

We get so many mixed messages about weight.  Some of them are:

--We just haven't found the right diet, gym or support program yet

--We'd be successful if we just worked harder, had more self-discipline or willpower

--We're victims of the food industries

--We haven't yet found the right supplement or special food that will make this easy

--If we could just hit our weight goal, our life would be perfect

I've got a message for you too.  And this one can change the way you look at weight issues:

It's never about the food.

Our relationship to weight isn't really about food.  It's not about the "right" diets or miracle pills or foods.  It isn't even about what we eat or don't eat, for the most part (though of course I'm a big supporter of healthy eating!)

It's about the "stuff" we're carrying around inside.

 As EFT creator Gary Craig says, it's an inside job.  It's about the stuff that's holding us back, for which eating is a substitute, a distraction or even a numbing strategy.

Once we know that, we can go to work on what it's really about.  We don't have to chase after diets, programs, supplements and special foods.  We can learn to stop using our mental and emotional energy to distract, numb or soothe ourselves with food.

Every time we work through and release some of that inner stuff, we have more energy available to help us make the changes we really want to make.

If you're familiar with my Beach Ball concept, you can think of approaching weight loss in those terms.  (If you don't know how the Beach Ball works, read about it here.  And request your own Beach Ball Tapping worksheet here.)

When we are able to use less energy holding our Beach Ball under water (holding our negative memories, experiences and emotions at bay) we have more energy for what we really want to do in life.  And that helps us when we start making changes, like changing our eating habits, our exercise habits and our relationship to food.

No matter how you want to approach your weight, tapping can help you.  It helps on one level by giving you a 'pattern interrupt' strategy for the eating habits that tend to undermine your efforts. 

On another level, it helps by releasing the junk gunking up our inner systems--the unhelpful habits of thinking and feeling, the negative beliefs and programming, and the painful experiences that have ingrained those habits and patterns.

If you'd like tapping help to support whatever path you're taking to becoming healthier and eating better, I'm here to help. 

10:44 am cdt          Comments

Monday, May 5, 2014

The Good Multi-Tasking

I'm writing this on my first full day "back to work" after several weeks that have included home repair, travel, packing and moving everything in our house, and living out of suitcases. 

Now I'm sitting back in my home/office with boxes and boxes of things to unpack, and two weeks of un-done work and tasks waiting for me.

To say I'm feeling pressured would be putting it lightly. 

This morning, as each new to-do popped into my head, I realized my body was getting more and more tense, trying to multi-task and think of EVERYTHING that I felt needed to be done all at once!  

Lately I've begun to handle these times by doing a practice I think of as "meditative multi-tasking". 

It's actually a simple practice.  While you're doing whatever you're doing, play a game of staying simultaneously in the present moment.  Notice a few sounds or sights around you, then scan your body for how you feel physically (yes, you really can do this while also doing something like working on the computer or talking on the phone.)

Are you holding your breath?  Are you tense in your shoulders, neck, back, face?  How's your posture?  Don't worry about your mood for now, just notice your body.

The first thing you may notice is that you automatically take a deep breath.  It's normal to hold our breath when we are feeling under pressure. When you give your body permission, it will gratefully take that deep breath.

Next you may notice the places you've tensed up.  Now you get a chance to relax them.  See how much relaxation you can get, even while you're typing, eating a meal or sitting in a meeting.

We know that multi-tasking isn't actually a good way to work; it splits our attention and focus.  In fact we're not really multi-tasking, we're really chunking attention into very very small segments and rapidly shifting from one task or thought to another. 

It takes energy and it erodes the quality of our work. While we think we're getting a lot done, in fact we're usually adding to our sense of urgency and overwhelm.

But when we do this meditative multi-tasking, allowing our body to relax and breathe while we do a task, we can actually enhance our attention and focus and lessen our feeling of pressure.

Add tapping, and it's a perfect recipe.  After a short burst of work while simultaneously tuning in to your body, take a break and tap on what you've noticed.  Try a phrase like, "Even though I'm feeling under pressure and I'm holding my breath,, I accept myself anyway and it feels good to breathe." Tap one round, then go back to work.

I'll bet you'll notice a little burst of energy and focus!
10:49 am cdt          Comments

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Guilt or Shame? What's The Difference?

Lately I've been reading Lissa Rankin's lovely book Mind Over Medicine, and yesterday, listening to Cheryl Richardon's presentation on The Tapping World Summit.  (If you'd like to check out the Tapping World Summit, sign up here--no charge: http://thetappingsolution.com/2014VideoSeries/.)

Both women talk about how guilt and shame affect our lives, and how we can move beyond them.  It occurred to me that we sometimes use guilt and shame interchangeably.  Yet they're not the same.  And the difference for our lives is profound.

Put very simply, guilt is the feeling we experience when we feel bad about something we did.  Shame is the deep sense of despair and self-rejection we experience when we feel that we are bad--flawed--unlovable.

Some guilt is healthy.  We need to realize when we've done something we can make amends for, change or learn from.  Healthy guilt is that signal to make change.

Guilt that we learned from our family, from our childhood when we didn't know better, or from something we're really not responsible for is different.  We can consider where it might have come from, and release it.  If it's not 'our' guilt, we don't really need to allow it to control us.  Often, we've been taught to feel guilty if we don't constantly try to please others or always put their happiness ahead of ours.

         Shame, on the other hand, is frequently an irrational belief about our own worthlessness that fills us with self-judgment and sometimes self hate.  It really doesn't serve us. Worse yet, it can drive us to do things we'll then feel guilty for.

And it, too, often comes from family or cultural legacies that aren't really about us

Whether you feel controlled by guilt, shame, or both, you can change and release these feelings. Cheryl Richardson speaks of making it a project for yourself.

If you'd like help from a compassionate, accepting person to support you with this project,
contact me by email or phone.  We'll discuss how I can support you in your path.
9:25 am cst          Comments

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Make It About You

In two different one-on-one sessions I led recently, I was reminded of something deceptively simple--a way we unwittingly sabotage ourselves. It happens when we switch during a tapping session from helping ourselves to trying to help someone else.

In each case, the tapper was struggling with a difficult relationship that activated troubling, habitual, lifelong patterns for them. We spent some time tapping on each tapper's concern for, empathy for, and worry about the other person.

It reminded me why, when I run intensive group programs, I have this ground rule: "If you want to fix their stuff, tap on your stuff."

It's hard to do our own work. It's a lot easier to be concerned about someone else who's not doing their work. (Yes, I fall into this trap too.)

And while it's important to be empathetic about the suffering of others, it's every bit as important to help ourselves transform our own suffering.

The beauty of tapping, especially with a practitioner, is that you'll eventually see the trap.

When misplaced concern creeps in, I don't preach or judge. I'm simply acting as a mirror and leading rounds of tapping using the tapper's own words and feelings. And in each case the person quickly recognized how they had misplaced their energy, and focused themselves back on their own work.

When you find yourself worrying about someone else, just take a moment and ask, "what is it in my life that needs to addressed and healed right now?"

Let me know how I can help you address and heal it.
4:30 pm cst          Comments

Monday, January 20, 2014

How to Tap/Tap For Pain Management

If you're new to this page, the best way to learn to tap is to watch a tapping routine, follow along, and tap on something you can really measure easily.  For most of us, using tapping on pain is a good way for us to see the benefits quickly.

So, please browse the site and learn all you can about EFT tapping; but if you're interested in getting hands-on right away, watch this.

I've taught tapping to hundreds of people, and many of them have used it to manage painful conditions such as sciatica, arthritis, lingering pain from injuries and accidents, joint pain, headaches, and more.  Of all the applications of EFT (and after all, it's called an Emotional Freedom Technique), using it to for physical relaxation and relief from pain or tension can be so satisfying and immediate. 

Try it out.  If the link above doesn't work, here's the full URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1v6sOQClXak
8:27 am cst          Comments

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Stealth Tapping

You already know tapping's a fantastic tool. But what about those times when you need it and just can't do the full routine? Like when you're in that meeting that's driving you crazy.  Or in your annual performance review. Or at a family gathering.  Or...or...or 

There are many times when you want to tap, but don't want to draw attention to your tapping.

That's the time for what I call stealth tapping. Here are some stealth tap tips.

--Finger points. These are my favorite stealth tap go-to. They are at the base of each fingernail, on the side of the nail closest to the body as you look at the back of your hands.  If you'd like a chart of these and the wrist points, email me.

--Touch a face point. There are two or three face points that we routinely touch in everyday life. These are easy points to touch so that you activate the point but not in an attention-drawing way. You can meditatively tap your chin point a couple of times; gently rub the side of eye point; rest a finger on the under-nose point (the classic 'hmmm, I'm thinking' pose); or massage the two eyebrow points.  Some folks also touch the area of the collarbone, so you can also turn a quick touch or massage into a stealth tap.

--Imagine tapping all the points.  It will activate the same areas of the brain as if you touched them.

--Wrist-holding. While not a part of the original EFT tapping points, tapping or holding the wrist is something I teach and use myself. There are acupoints along the wrist crease, and also a couple of inches up the forearm, which are very calming. It's easy, and very unobtrusive, to gently hold the wrist with your hands in your lap or on a table.

There's another trick to know.  You actually turbocharge the effect by doing any (or all!) of these actions deliberately. Acknowledge and intend that you're activating your tapping points.  You'll love the result.

10:46 am cst          Comments

Monday, January 13, 2014

Join Me for $10 Tapping Tuesday

Today's not so much a blog post, as an announcement and reminder that my Tapping Tuesdays start Jan. 14 at A Healing Collective.  Group tapping is a fun and easy way to release stress, learn or practice tapping, and enjoy each other. 

Tapping Tuesdays are a bargain--a steal, really--at $10/person, paid at the door.  Come join us.
8:34 am cst          Comments

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Panda-Keeper's Wisdom

Last fall we visited the San Diego Zoo, and of course spent a lot of time at the panda exhibit. The volunteer docent on duty that day has worked with the mama panda, Bai Yun, since she came to the Zoo.

As we watched Bai Yun and her son moving around the enclosure, we saw that their white was yellowish in places, and their fur was a bit matted. The docent was filling us in on Bai Yun, who's an extraordinary panda mom, and she said something I'll never forget: "She is not soft, and she is not sparkling white. That's because she's real."

How often do we judge ourselves harshly because we, too, are not picture perfect and our lives don't look tidy? We're real. That's all we need to be, just as Bai Yun doesn't need to look like a stuffed toy to be an excellent panda mom to her cubs.

Still, this is the time of year when we like to spruce ourselves up a bit. At the New Year, we like to renew ourselves. If you've made some resolutions, and would like tapping help to keep them, I've made you a video to help.

Maybe this is the year you've decided to really put tapping to work for yourself by working with a practitioner.
Contact me to book a session to work on your New Year New You.

Just remember, you don't have to be soft and sparkling--you just have to be real.

9:02 am cst          Comments

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Take Time For Tapping in the Holidays

It's madness to advise you to slow down and take a few moments to tap for yourself, on Christmas Eve.  But that's just what I'm suggesting you do.  Holidays, even the best of them, have a way of steamrolling you.  Tapping has a way of stopping the steamroller.

If you have time, take a minute to try out my Letter to Tapping Santa. My YouTube channel has a short video walking you through it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=txk4C4ogZKM  Best of all, Tapping Santa will help you out any time, even after the holidays.

And if you're too rushed to watch YouTube, just stop, take a deep breath, and tap all the points.  You'll feel more centered and present.  And that's what enjoying holidays is all about.

7:40 am cst          Comments

Monday, November 25, 2013

What Do You Want Others To Thank You For?

This is the time of year in the US when we talk and think about gratitude. And indeed, gratitude is being touted far and wide these days as an important practice for our own personal health as well as a once a year holiday practice. Many studies bear out the value of keeping a gratitude log, and using gratitude to quickly shift a negative mood.

There are lots of ways to "do" gratitude. This weekend I found this fun site,
Gratitude Log, a creation of Mindvalley's Vishen Lakhiani. Anyone can join in the gratitude fest. My favorite technique is good old-fashioned pen and paper.  Or keep a log on your smartphone.

But if you're also serious about personal change, here's a different exercise about gratitude that not only boosts your mood but can help you define what you want to be.

It's very simple. Imagine that people are going to write you a thank you note for something, or list something you did on their own gratitude log.

What do you want them to thank you for?

It might be a character trait that you admire and want to have--or want to have more of.  It might be a specific thing that you'd like to be known for. It might be a facet of yourself that you feel is sometimes overlooked.

There are two ways to do this.

1. The short way.  Simply write down the positive things about yourself you'd like to have more of, imagining that another person has noticed and appreciated this about you.

2. The long(ish) way.  Write a letter to yourself, either from yourself or from another person. Make it a lavish, appreciative thank you note about the things that you, or the pretend author of the note, most admire and have most benefited from. 

Let yourself be imaginative; don't self-edit, or hesitate to list something that's important to you because you might think it sounds unrealistic. 

Focus on feeling fully appreciative about what you're writing. 

Is this selfish or indulgent?  No.  This is a creative step to set intention in yourself for the positive things that you'd like to spread far and wide to others. 

Once you're written your note or your list, now what?  Well, you could...you know...tap on it.  : )

I'm grateful to you for letting me share your commitment to creating your best life.

Tap on!

12:49 pm cst          Comments

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Are Emotions The Problem?

Recently someone new to EFT asked me questions about tapping for others vs. for ourselves.  If someone has really hurt us, and forgiveness is our highest good, can't we use tapping to forgive that person?  Or do we need to use it for our own emotional response to the person and their actions?  And does tapping on these painful emotions actually keep us from forgiveness?

My answer was unequivocal:  tap on yourself.  Because when we have painful emotions, and we relate them to the actions of others, we need to clear our feelings before being able to  love and forgive the other.  Once we've cleared out the pain, the forgiveness often emerges on its own.

But the question led me deep into thinking about tapping, emotions, forgiveness and self-awareness.

Frequently people come to me for help in managing their emotions.  Their emotional responses to certain situations are causing them a problem.  These people are convinced that their emotions ARE the problem.  Other people are disconnected from their emotions, and they see their emotions as a problem as well. The emotions are there, knocking on the door, sometimes knocking down the door, and suddenly it's not working to stay disconnected.

In either case the result is the same: people feel their emotions are to blame. 

But the emotions aren't the problem.  They are not separate from our essential Truth, any more than the waves are separate from the ocean.  Waves pass through the ocean; they aren't in conflict with the ocean. Emotions pass through our Truth; they aren't in conflict with it.

Emotions are not the Truth--but they carry information about the Truth.

I've been studying Dr. Dan Siegel's chock-full-o-wisdom book Mindsight.  Dr. Siegel explains that our human brains have a "Resonance Circuit."  It's the function of our brain that connects our rational, thinking brain with our sensing, feeling body, allowing information to pass up and down the line.  This information is encoded in our emotions and bodily sensations.

When our emotions overwhelm us, when we're "too sensitive", we are unable to perceive the information they are bringing us from our body's reactions.  When we disconnect from them and are "too cerebral", we're unable to receive the information.  Either state robs us of our chance to make positive change.

The beauty of tapping is its ability to allow us to stay with our emotions, even the painful ones, until the noise subsides and the information reveals itself.  When this happens, it's a breathtaking moment for both practitioner and tapper.

This is why we keep tapping on the "negative", and keep tapping through the waves of emotion that acknowledging the negative can evoke.

Here's a quick script you can use on your overall beliefs about "problematic" emotions. You can use it whether your emotions are overwhelming you, or are rudely refusing to stay in the disconnected place you've assigned them. You can also use it to end a tapping session in which you feel you didn't make much progress on the issue you were working on.

For this script, I recommend starting with the eyebrow point and ending with the top of the head.

Even though my emotions are a problem, I accept that they are here.

These emotions

So messy

I can't stop them

I can't stand them

I want some control over them!

It makes me feel ______ (say your feeling) when these emotions take over

I've got to fix these emotions

They're not helping me at all.

Repeat these phrases and any variations that come to mind until you feel a shift:  such as a sigh, yawn, feeling of relaxation or even boredom with what you're saying.  When you've felt a perceptible shift, move to the next set-up.

Even though my emotions don't seem to be doing me any good at all, I accept myself--and I accept they may be here for some reason.

Maybe these emotions have a purpose

I can't imagine what they could help me with

It seems logical they might be here for a reason

But the payoff doesn't feel worth the pain!

Maybe these emotions have something useful for me

If I could just get past the hard parts

Instead of hurting me

Maybe these emotions can help me

I might be willing to know what they're telling me

Not promising anything though

I might be ready to hear the message

But I don't have to if I don't want to

Even if this is "good" for me

There's probably a catch

I know better than to

Expect miracles

Since this is for working on patterns rather than on a specific issue, you may not feel profound shifts or insights from this tapping immediately.  Let it simmer for a while.   You might jot down thoughts that come up either right after, or within 2-3 days, of using this script, to notice if new ways of seeing things are emerging.

7:18 am cdt          Comments

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Get Your Royal Jelly

I was reading the other day about how queen bees get created. You see, all the bee larvae start out equal, and all receive a little bit of the divine royal jelly for a while. But at a certain point one hatchling is mysteriously selected to be fed exclusively royal jelly while the others get only pollen and nectar.

This hatchling becomes the queen of the hive, while the others become worker bees and drones. Now, I'm guessing that you, like me, did not get selected in your family to be a ruling monarch. I was not raised on the magic ingredient that would make me the "queen" of my own life. In terms of my energy system, I was fed a lot of garbage--negative energies, actions and messages--that got mixed in with whatever energetic royal jelly I also received. I'm not saying this to blame my family or our society--just to note that there's a lot of negativity and sometimes actual harm that we encounter as we grow up.

But as I thought of this little analogy, I reminded myself...unlike bees, we humans get the chance to remake our lives. We get to go from drone to ruler of our lives, through our own efforts and the help of others. In effect, if we choose to, we can start giving ourselves the royal jelly of metamorphosis, no matter how badly we were "fed" as we grew up.

What's royal jelly for you? For me, it was EFT tapping. I had done a lot of things to turn my life around and overcome some tough early experiences. Some helped a bit. But none of them really made me start feeling like the monarch of my own self and what happens in my life, in the way EFT did.

So I make sure I feed myself some "royal jelly" every day, with tapping. How about you? What's your "royal jelly"? And are you getting enough of it in your life right now?

For my Houston readers...just a reminder that we're having a fun Tapping and Healthy Eating workshop on Sept. 12.  You can sign up here!
4:03 pm cdt          Comments

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 Meridian tapping techniques are currently considered complementary health approaches, not mainstream Western medicine. For current studies on EFT, TFT and other meridian tapping techniques, visit http://www.energypsych.org/?Research_Landing.  EFT and Meridian Tapping is not therapy or medicine.  My services are educational; I'm not a therapist, counselor or healthcare professional. I don't diagnose or treat. Tapping is not intended to take the place of psychological or medical care; it is intended to help you relieve stress to experience greater well-being.  Please consult a doctor or therapist for medical or psychological counseling needs.

Tap Into Yourself, LLC * Houston, TX * USA * Email us


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