Learning to Love your Belly

Fat tummy

Image courtesy of Ohmega1982 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

From a very young age we learn that our tummies should be flat, toned and lean, not fat, flabby, wobbly or lumpy. We see this on TV, adverts, celebrities and the people around us who are constantly trying to lose weight. This isn’t the case in other cultures and other eras. In fact, in times gone by, being fat was a sign you could afford more food and symbolised a status symbol of wealth and power.

Yesterday I attending an inspiring workshop on abdominal massage with a networking group I belong to called PAPA (Pregnancy and Parenting Alliance). Led by the lovely Kate Codrington and Leora Leboff, they introduced the idea that massaging your belly can improve your digestive and menstrual health and connect you more deeply to your body and femininity as well as having lots of other benefits. What I found fascinating was to know that there is such a strong connection between the health of our intestines and our immune system as well as the fact that our womb moves around and depending on where it lies within our pelvis, it can cause period pain and affect how much we bleed during our cycles..

They then led us through a relaxing meditation where we imagined a golden lotus in our belly while gently holding that area. We were then guided to massage our own bellies. I noticed that I yawned a LOT which is always a good sign as it shows that my energy system is realigning. We were recommended to massage our bellies for a few minutes each night with oil. I chose coconut oil and it felt so lovely last night before drifting off to sleep.

So what can you do if you don’t love your belly just as it is and don’t want to touch it let alone massage it.

Some EFT setup statements to use while tapping on the karate chop point that may help could include:

“Even though my belly is fat and I hate it, I choose to be open to accepting myself and my body just as I am”
“Even though I always hold my tummy in to make it look smaller, I accept myself anyway”
“Even though my stomach feels so tight, I choose to allow it to relax and take all the space it needs right now”
“Even though I’ve tried every diet under the sun and I still have a fat tummy, I am open to accepting my tummy and all of my body just the way it is and just the way it isn’t”

Here are some reminder phrases you may like to use while tapping through the points:

My fat belly
Maybe I can let it relax
And be just the way it is
Maybe its been waiting to be loved for all these years
And all this time,
All I have been doing is wishing it away
Wishing it was smaller
Wishing it was flatter
Wishing it wasn’t there at all!
Maybe it is doing a great job
Containing and holding my organs
Open to the possibility of being grateful for the stomach I do have
And opening to the possibility of loving it just the way it is.

If you would like to learn more about how you can use EFT, download a free manual, attend a workshop or book a one-to-one session by skype or in person.

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How to support clients without fixing them or taking on their problems?

How do you avoid getting sucked into your clients’ stories?

How do you support your clients but don’t take on their problems?

I love helping people but get caught up in trying to fix them.

EFT-MAR14-005-9908These are some of the kinds of questions that arise from trainee practitioners. The way I like to see myself as practitioner is as an empty vessel from which universal wisdom flows. I don’t need to know/ input or advise but simply hold a safe space for the client’s healing to unfold. It is not my place to sort the client out/ fix her or make her better. I don’t know the direction of her healing path or what is best for her. I may have intuitions about what needs to happen next but it is her journey, not mine. I am not attached to the outcome of the session and I don’t  know ahead of time where this session is going to end. I am willing to travel along side my client into the journey of the unknown.

As a new practitioner, I remember being very interested in the clients’ stories and found myself getting sucked into them with the result of feeling upset/ helpless or disturbed particularly if they were similar to my own challenges.  After a while I noticed that I felt apprehension and sometimes fear about hearing the clients’ stories especially if it was connected to things I was scared of. Nowadays I am not interested in my client’s story but simply the effect it has on her. I am interested in how she feels about it, where she feels it in her body. I observe her with a gentle eagle eye noticing shifts and changes in her body language, voice, facial expressions etc. So even though I hear her story, my focus is on her rather than her story.

As a new practitioner what can you do to get yourself out of the way of being truly present with your clients?

A starting point might be to explore what you feel your role of a practitioner is.

What is your attachment to making them better?

How would you feel if your client leaves feeling the same or dare I say worse?

How do you feel about working with issues that might trigger for you? For everyone this is going to be different depending on your personal story eg abuse, early unexpected death, PTSD, working with a perpetrator etc

The key to becoming a good practitioner is to work on yourself. 

In my opinion, you can only take your client as far as you have been yourself. So the more inner work you do on yourself to release your own life traumas and limiting beliefs, the better a practitioner you will become.

The Personal Peace Process

In summary this involves making a list of every upsetting event that you have experienced throughout your life and giving each one a title. Give a rating on a scale between 0 and 10 of the severity of the event. Do EFT on each one. Set aside a period of time each day, maybe 30 minutes, to tap through each event until they are all zero. This process can shift your beliefs and experience, not only related to being a practitioner, but life in general. For thorough details of how to do this, see Gary Craig’s page.

If you would like to learn EFT or become a practitioner, go here. To get started on your own, download a FREE manual.

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What do you do if your client bursts into tears at the end of an EFT session?

What do you do if you just have a few minutes left and your client has burst into tears about something that has come up?

EFT-MAR14-005-9896This is a situation that I try to avoid by managing my time and steering the session aware from entering any new territory within the last 20 minutes of a session.  But sometimes the unexpected happens and needs to be dealt with in the moment. My priority is the safety of my client and if it is not appropriate to end the session at the allotted time, I will work with my client to reach a calming state. I would not try to resolve the new issue at this time but simply release the emotion that is there so that she can safely step out into the outside world. I also allow 15 minutes between client sessions so that I don’t feel stressed about somebody waiting and also because I like to have a space between sessions to feel completed with the prior session and centred to start the next one.

It is lovely when a client comes with an issue and within one session we arrive at complete resolution but this is not always the case. So how does one end the session when the issue is not complete. Here are a few of my favourite ways:

Completion round of standard EFT

This is also useful if you are working on yourself and have run out of time or have noticed some resistance arising that you can’t tackle yourself. Here is an example

Setup statement:
Even though I still have some of this issue left, I choose to be open to the possibility of the healing continuing gently, easily and effortlessly after this session, and the days to come.
Even though there is some of this left, I choose allow the healing to continue.
Even though there is some left, I choose to remember that I am safe now and trust my healing is unfolding exactly as it is meant to.

If you have been working on your own and have come up with some resistance that you can’t shift:

Even though I feel blocked and don’t know how to continue, I choose to be open trusting the process and accepting myself and my block/ resistance.
Even though I can’t let go of this and have run out of time for now, I choose to accept myself just the way I am and just the way I am not.
Even though I’m stuck, I choose to attract people and situations that will help me to move on from this stuckness.

When tapping through the points, some reminder phrases could be:

Remaining unresolved issue
Rome wasn’t built in a day
I have all the time I need to release this safely and gently
Accepting myself and this issue just the way it is
Inviting more trust into every cell of my body
Inviting the possibility of feeling safe enough to move forward
Remembering the progress I have made
Loving myself just as I am and just the way I’m not
I have more than enough time to resolve fully and completely
My healing is continuing with every breath I take

Not all of these will be appropriate. Use the phrases that resonate and make up your own.

Positive EFT by Silvia Hartmann

Instead of focussing on the issue or negative feelings remaining, you tap on a positive feeling, quality or remedy that is needed to transform the issue or feel better in that moment. To try out Positive EFT on self love, go here.

Ask and Receive by Sandy Radomski

Here are some sentences that are great to finish up with, while tapping on the finger points:

There are parts of my being that already know how to heal this issue safely and completely in my own time.
Those parts of my being are informing me now with ease and grace.
My mind, body and spirit are receiving this information.
Information Transfer is now complete.

Transform by Peter Donn

I like to complete every session after doing one of the above with saying this subconscious cue word while putting your hands on your heart centre and taking a deep breath.

There are many more ways to complete a session and I would love to hear your ideas too.

If you would like to learn EFT to use on yourself or to become a practitioner, see details here.

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Should V Choose

I love my morning routine. It sets me up for the day. When I wake up, I pick an affirmation card which I keep by my bed. Then I either meditating for 20 minutes or do the 15 Minute Miracle. After that I make a morning juice – this is my favourite one!. Once my daughter has left for school I go for a jog, have a shower and am ready for my day. On days when I don’t do this, I have less energy, less joy and am less productive.

Self loveThe last few months I have noticed more and more resistance build up within me to do my routine, and yet when I do it, life is good! This week I have given myself a staycation retreat while my family are away camping. My focus has been to only do what feels good in the moment and to guided by my body sensations to choose activities feel good. I ended up reading, sitting in the sun, juicing, walking, giving myself a facial and more. But could still feel resistance to my morning routine.  What I became increasingly aware of is how much of what I do is because I should, not because I want to or choose to.  I began to realise that I am a real expert in “shoulding” and if one could be awarded a degree in “shoulding”, I would have it!!!

So how could I do the things that make me feel good with the quality of choosing rather than “shoulding”?  I allowed myself to be open to the possibility of choosing to go jogging or not without judging one choice over another. So one the fist day I ended up not going at all, the second day, I went and did a full circuit and the third day I did a shorter circuit without pushing myself to do the full one because I should – its good for me and I get fit!

Bringing the quality of self love and self compassion into every moment guides me to make choices that nourish my being.

Here are some tips that have helped me:

  • I ask myself:”What would I do if I truly loved myself in this moment?”
  • I ask myself “What would god do in this situation?”
  • Feel into my body and notice any tension or relaxation that arises when I think of the next thing to do
  • Say to myself “I choose to do this” or “I get to do this”

In EFT, adding the word choose to the setup statement can powerfully support a making a decision and following it through.

Some setup statements examples are:

“Even though I don’t know what to do next, I choose to allow myself to be guided by my body sensations”

“Even though I should go jogging because it will make me feel good, I choose to be open to finding a way of doing this from a place of wanting rather than shoulding”

“Even though meditating makes me feel better and I am noticing resistance within me, I choose to be gentle with myself and accept myself just as I am”

To find out about EFT and how it can support you in your life, download a free manual, attend a workshop or book a 1-2-1 session (in person or skype).

 

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Which EFT?

Classical EFT, Tapping, Faster EFT, Positive EFT, Energy EFT,… And the list goes on! So what are the differences???

Here is a list of some of them with a very brief description.

 

Peter Donn with Roger Callahan

Peter Donn with Dr Roger Callahan

TFT (Thought Field Therapy)

When psychotherapist, Dr Roger Callahan, in the 1980s asked his client to tap on an acupuncture point under her eye for an incurable water phobia, he was astonished  that the phobia disappeared permanently.  This led him to develop a healing system called Thought Field Therapy or TFT which different sequence of points on the body are tapped on to release difference negative emotions.

Classical EFT

When Gary Craig, trained with Callahan in TFT, he wondered, since the number of tapping points was finite, what would happen if one tapped on all the points for every emotion instead of a specific sequence of point for each emotion. He found the results were just as good and the benefits were that it was very easy to learn.

As a  result, Craig created Emotional Freedom Techniques or EFT which is now also called Tapping.

Gary Craig

Gary Craig

Classical EFT, as created by Gary Craig, involves rating a problem such as a negative emotion, pain, upsetting memory, addiction, phobia etc on a SUD (Subjective Units of Distress) scale from 0 to 10 where 0 is no intensity at all and 10 is the worst it could be.

You then repeat tap on the side of your hand while repeating a setup phrase 3 times that goes something like this:

“Even though I have this problem (eg anger/ headache/ birth trauma/ smoking problem/ fear of heights etc), I deeply and completely love and accept myself”

This is followed by twice tapping through a sequence of 8 points on the body.

This is known as one EFT round and after each round you assess your SUD rating until it drops to 0.

This is known as the short form of classical EFT. Originally there was a long form too which is rarely used. It includes the use of additional finger points and a process known as the 9-gamut.

For more information about Gary Craig and his latest Gold Standards of EFT developments, go here.

Gary Craig’s latest development is Optimal EFT

Nowadays many EFT users have developed their own EFT style. Here are some of the more popular ones:

 

Energy EFT

Silvia Hartmann

Silvia Hartmann

Developed by Silvia Hartmann, this technique replaces the setup tapping on the side of the hand with placing your hands in the centre of your chest and state the issue you are focussing 3 times with a deep breath between each. Then you tap on the EFT points once through which are mostly the same with the addition of the finger points. An EFT round is completed with hands in the centre of the chest again and three deep breaths. Energy EFT replaces the SUD scale with the SUE (Subjective Unites of Experience) scale where the scale ranges from -10 through 0 to +10. Negative numbers represent negative emotions, 0 is no emotion and positive numbers represent positive emotions.

Positive EFT

Positive EFT was created by Silvia Hartmann and employs the Energy EFT format. Instead of stating the issue while tapping, you tap on a positive feeling, quality or remedy that is needed to transform the issue.

Robert G.  Smith

Robert G. Smith

FasterEFT

Description to be updated.
Developed by Robert G. Smith, FasterEFT, where EFT stands for Emotional Focussed Transformations), integrates the most effective elements of EFT, BSFF (Be Set Free Fast) & NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming). FasterEFT is a thinking system that uses a process called the A.R.T of Change to elicit and aim at past traumas, beliefs, and emotional patterns. A key element of FasterEFT is that it works more directly with the unconscious mind and how it creates a problem.  In terms of tapping, this system skips the setup section, uses a subset of the EFT tapping points and at the end adds the word Peace while holding the wrist to create an emotional association.

Choices Method

Pat Carrington

Pat Carrington

Choices Method, created by Dr Pat Carrington, makes use of classical EFT with variations to the setup statement. The “I deeply and completely love and accept myself” part of the setup statement is replaced, at various points within a session, with “I choose…” with the end of the statement relevant to the issue. So for example,

“Even though I am nervous about the speech I have to give, I choose to remember that I have practised well and have an audience who want to hear what I have to say.”

Matrix Reimprinting

Karl Dawson and Sharon King

Karl Dawson and Sharon King

Matrix Reimprinting, as created by Karl Dawson, helps to release upsetting memories by allowing you to interact with yourself at the time of the event and release the emotions and change the memory to a more positive one. The start of the process makes use of EFT finger points while focussing on an upsetting memory and then classical EFT. A subset of Matrix Reimprinting, Matrix Birth Reimprinting as created by Sharon King, allows to go back to the womb and reimprint your birth experience, which will change your energy levels, mood, and wellbeing in the present.

 

Steve Wells and David Lake

Steve Wells and David Lake

SET (Simple Energy Techniques)

A simplified adaptation of EFT, created by Steve Wells and Dr David Lake.  SET skips the setup statements and in addition to the standard short form classical EFT points, it includes the finger points and side of the hand.

PET (Provocative Energy Techniques)

Also developed by Steve Wells and Dr David Lake, PET is a unique integration of principles and techniques from the Meridian-based therapies (mainly SET), with the humorous and paradoxical communication style and techniques of Provocative Therapy.

Philip Davis & Christine Sutton

Philip Davis & Christine Sutton

PTT (Picture Tapping Technique)

The Picture Tapping Technique is a way of using EFT or other Energy Psychology techniques along with the power of metaphor and the imagination. It involves drawing a quick picture about how you feel about the issue and then tapping on what you see on the picture. This process is repeated until the issue is resolved. This method was developed by Philip Davis and Christine Sutton.

 

 

 

Deborah Donndelinger

Deborah Donndelinger

Family Energetics

Created by Deborah Donndelinger, combines the concepts of Family Constellations with classical EFT and is used to release issues where ancestral history contributes to the underlying causes. A business version of Family Energetics called Business Energetics was developed by Sejual Shah

Tapping

Nick and Jessica Ortner

Nick and Jessica Ortner

Tapping is another word that refers to EFT. Paul McKenna makes use of tapping in his “I can make you thin” programme and others. One of the most popular uses of the term Tapping is within the Tapping Solution as created by Nick and Jessica Ortner.  They generally use classical EFT.

The way I work is to include strands from many of the above styles in order to best fit the client. If you would like to book a session to see what it is like, go here. To download a free classical EFT manual, go here or to attend a workshop to learn classical EFT which can be a step towards becoming an AAMET practitioner, go here.

I am not familiar with all styles mentioned above and the list is by no means complete so do let me know if you have any suggestions/ additions.

 

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Releasing Anger Towards Son with EFT and Family Constellations

With huge gratitude to my client for permitting me to share a video of her EFT session, I am posting a 30 minute video summary of a 1 1/2 hour session we had together over skype.

The issue – Disproportionate anger towards her son

The issue my client wanted to address was disproportionate anger towards her 3 year old son. She also has a daughter with which this is not an issue.  Reading through the questionnaire she completed for me, I felt that the best way to go would by using a technique called Family Energetics which was introduced to me by another EFT practitioner, Sejual Shah, and created by Deborah Donndelinger. Family Energetics combines the powerful techniques of EFT with Family Constellations in a way that is easy to use on skype by inviting the client to step into a space of her choosing and then inviting people or aspects to step into the space with her and then use EFT to release feelings arising.

Family Energetics setup

I invited the client (1:00) to step into the space of her choosing, I then invite her to place herself (1:35) and her anger in that space (1:54). After getting some details about the anger, I ask her how she feels about the anger (2:51) to which she replies sad. When asked to rate the sadness on a scale from 0 (no sadness at all) to 10 (most sadness) she replied that it is way over 10 (3:07). After a round of EFT, she rated the sadness at 10 (4:01).

Tapping on various aspects of the constellation

After another round of EFT, the sadness is still a 10 (4:47).  My sense was that there was a shift so I asked her if the 10 was the same or different to the previous one (5:01) and she acknowledged that it was different – “a less helpless 10″. For those of you familiar with EFT, this demonstrates a shift in aspects.

Further investigation shows that the sadness is connected to all the men in her family that have served in the army for generations.  After a discussion about this, I invited her to bring in all the family members who had served in the army into the constellation space (7:14) which brought up emotion so I invited her to tap on those feelings without words to allow the feelings to flow through her and release (7:40).  As she tapped the image of these army men changed and many seemed more relaxed. She felt that for her brother, who is currently in the army, it isn’t safe to feel sad or angry.

On further testing, the sadness was still a 10 but this time a “loose” 10 (9:27) with some anger that was rising about the wasted lives or these men.

Another round that the sadness had gone (10:37)  and my client commented that this felt “extraordinary”.

Checking in with the constellation image, it now showed that all the men are relaxed except for her brother who was in a cage which again brought up the sadness (11:09).  After a round of EFT my client felt that her brother was saying that this it is not her business and not hers so she should not take that on (11:44).  At this point I suggested say some Family Constellation style healing sentences while tapping on her fingers (12:23):

“Dear brother – I’ve been carrying this sadness for you. Its yours, not mine, and with love and respect I hand this back to you.”

This brought a big sense of relief so then we did the same with all the other members of her family who were soldiers which brought to her mind loving memories of her grandfather being a grandfather, not a soldier (14:00).

I then invited my client to reflect back to the scene on the beach to see how that had changed (14:12).  She reflected back that her family were crowding in on her (16:08) but the overwhelming feeling is her mother casting a shadow on her which feels oppressive so we tapped on that (16:43) which brought feelings of breathlessness and her heart was racing which both felt good and the fear of what if I let go of all this stuff.

Another round of tapping (17:24) gave rise to feelings of wanting to leave the beach and her family as they were not going to move and give her space. So at this point I suggested her saying some more healing sentences to her family whilst tapping (18:08):

“I need to step into the sunshine now and I will take all the goodness you gave me. This is where I came from and I honour that. And I need to turn now to face my future.”

This brought about feelings of sadness  (18:52) towards her father. A round of tapping changed the sadness into disconnection and a numb forcefield (19:07). A round of tapping (19:33) made no change to the numbness.

At this point (20:15) we had a dialogue about her feelings and it was interesting to observe that the effects of EFT continued to shift her feelings as we were talking from:

  • numbness
  • to fear of letting the numbness go
  • to feeling that her father is a complete stranger
  • to feeling that she has done everything she possibly could to get his approval
  • to the realisation that he has always love and approved of her.

This realisation brought about feelings of relief and the fact that she has wasted a lot of time trying to get something she had all along.

Focussing on back to the beach, my client noticed she feeling very comfortable sitting chatting to her father (22:33).

She now became aware that she was feeling annoyance (23:24) towards her brother so I asked her to say Transform (part of Peter Donn‘s healing system) and place her hands in the centre of her chest which then became sadness and another Transform reduced it.

I then checked to see how she was feeling about her mother and the sadness was now focussed on her. My client felt she had been treated like one of her mother’s dolls that she played with when she was young so we tapped on that (24:51) which brought her relief that surprised her.

She then had an overwhelming sense of wanting to bring her children into the picture (25:25) and I offered her some healing sentences whilst tapping. She then added her own:

“I’ve not done it how I wanted to because I haven’t been able to but I can now. I love you enormously and I am sorry that it wasn’t the way I wanted it”.

She then reported that she felt “amazing, grown up and responsible”.

At this point we closed the constellation by thanking her family members and saying that she could come back to this beach whenever she wanted.

Positive EFT

We then did some Positive EFT as created by Silvia Hartmann on a feeling she wanted to feel more of towards her son. She chose basic love (28:47).

Checking in with the original issue

In conclusion I asked her how she felt about her initial issue of anger towards her son (30:26).

She replied that her anger had nothing to do with her son and that she had been quite frightened of it and she doesn’t feel that any more. She feels that she would be genuinely surprised if she lost her temper with her son in that way again.

Follow up comments from my client

A few days after the session she emailed me to let me know how she was getting on:

“Thank you so much for the session.  It was truly amazing.  I can’t tell you how good I feel now.  

 I thought I knew what was coming because I’ve had a good EFT session with another practitioner releasing miscarriage trauma but I was not expecting quite such an amazing session.  

 I found you to be very intuitive and gentle and using EFT combined with the Family Constellation method was a really effective and frankly extraordinary mix.  

 I suppose I thought it might be all fluffy nonsense but the impact is unquestionable - it really has made a significant and immediate difference to how I am feeling and my general energy levels.  It is hard to see how saying some words and tapping on different points can do anything at all but I know it did because I felt the changes and I still feel the benefits.

 All the good things from the session are still gently reverberating inside me.  My love for my son has definitely increased or rather my connection to it.  I feel much more compassionate and patient with him. 

 I’ve been away this weekend with my parents and one of my brothers and his family and it has been a lovely time.  I have felt free to enjoy them all and let anything frustrating, annoying or unhelpful to me just wash over me.  I didn’t realise all this army stuff was going on inside me but now that its out I can see how it has been effecting me.  With all the centenary memories of the first world war there are a lot of reminders all around of war, particularly in my parents home as my father is very involved in writing histories of the war.  I found looking at some of the photos and such like this weekend very moving in a helpful way.  I feel connected with the sadness of warfare but not dominated by it. 

I had a moment with my son where I think I would have been angry with him a week ago but this time I found myself defending him, protecting him as he let a cascade of typical 3 year old emotion wash over him rather than being impatient or angry with him.  It felt really good and his little face afterwards looking at me with such love was really special.  A little later he tracked me down across the house saying ” I have something important to say to you Mummy.  I love you from top to bottom!”  It was so sweet.  I really felt he’d observed a change in me and was responding to it.  If I have no other benefits from EFT and your priceless session, this little moment was worth everything.  And to be honest, I am sure I will get more and more from EFT.”  HH

If you would like to know more about how EFT can help with your mothering issues, download a FREE manual, book a one-to-one session or take part in a workshop (face to face or by skype).

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My Morning Run Dilemma

Neckerchief from Seasalt

Neckerchief from Seasalt

In you live in my village, you will have definitely seen me at some point on my 5k jog round the block. I never look forward to jogging but ALWAYS feel better when I have finished – energised and ready for the day.

Today I tried something different. I listened to my favourite music using earphones. Why haven’t I tried this before? Earphones never stay in my ears. I must have been made differently from other members of the human tribe – some kind of design fault? I have tried sticking the earphones to my ears but the cellotape gets caught in my hair. I bought myself a sports headband but it was too tight and gave me a headache. Today I decided to give it a go with a “neckerchief” I bought recently. So here are my conclusions about the pros and cons of listening to music while jogging!

Tamara Jogging smallPros
Fun music
Time goes quicker
Look forward to jogging
Distraction

Cons
Less aware of my environment eg cars
Past lots of people seeing me look very silly – needed to pull neckerchief right over my ears (see photo!)
Couldn’t hear what people were saying as I past them – hopefully it was just “hi” – I just smiled politely!
Didn’t notice the beauty of the day and the nature around me

Will I listen to music again? Yes, but not every day.

I realised that my jogging time is also like a meditation. A time to be with my thoughts and feelings. There are so many distractions in life without adding more. As a culture we don’t create time for being – just allowing thoughts to arise without judgement.

Being present with thoughts and feelings that are unpleasant without trying to fix them and push them away creates space in ones mind.

How do you create space for yourself in your life when you are simply present with yourself?

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