Weight Loss, Juicing & Loving Yourself with EFT

Yesterday I completed another 7 day juice detox with Jason Vale/ Juicemaster.  I am embarrassed to admit that my motivation was to achieve a bikini body for my holiday next week.  I noticed my self talk saying that I should do it because I love myself, not because I want to look good!  I would say that about 70% of my motivation comes from ego and 30% from self love!!!

If you relate to any of this, some helpful EFT statements are:

Even though I wish I could do this detox from a place of 100% self love I deeply and completely accept myself just the way I am.

Even though I would like to love myself more, I choose to know that I am perfect just as I am and just as I am not.

Luckily this time the juice week was easier than ever, I wasn’t hungry, only had a headache once, I only once felt that empty feeling of wanting food that usually is more frequent and I didn’t feel deprived at all.  Not only that, I am slimmer, more energised, feel great and one after the juicing, I still have not been tempted with food!

I put this down the all the EFT I have been doing in relation to my eating habits of continuing to eat when I am full and eating when I am not hungry.

Knowing that I am such an all or nothing person, I was wondering how I can find the happy medium with self compassion and self love.  I have been thinking about this for a while and was wanting to feel the freedom of being able to eat whatever I wanted whenever I wanted it.  However, what I am realising now is that it is a choice and from self-love I choose eat foods that nourish my body and soul and to forgive myself when I don’t.

If you would like to know more about Jason Vale, Juicemaster detoxes go here.

If you would like to know more about how EFT can help with weight loss issues, download a free manual, attend an EFT workshop or book a one-to-one session.

Other Weight Loss blogs:
http://tamaradonn.wordpress.com/2014/01/23/weight-loss-weightwatchers-jason-vale-and-picture-eft/
http://tamaradonn.wordpress.com/2013/05/15/musings-on-eating-habits-and-weight-loss/

Other Loving Yourself blogs:
http://tamaradonn.wordpress.com/2013/10/16/loving-yourself-i-can-do-it-conference-with-hay-house/
http://tamaradonn.wordpress.com/2013/10/17/loving-yourself-with-eft/

 

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Belonging with Family Constellations and EFT

BelongingWhen we have a sense of belonging then we are at peace.  Belonging might be to our family, our work colleagues, a club, a religion etc.  When you feel you truly belong to your family or other group, there is a feeling of rightness, ease and relaxation in your body.  The opposite of belonging is feeling excluded or on the outside of a group and can give rise to feelings such as shame, aloneness, isolation, the need to withdraw, the need to do everything yourself and defensiveness.

This weekend I attended the first three days of a nine month foundation course in systemic constellations with the Centre of Systemic Constellations in London.  One of the core principals of constellations is the right to belong.  We explored this principal experientially but greeting each member of the group in turn, make eye contact and say “I belong to the group, you belong to the group”.  This was a lovely exercise and although I felt fairly relaxed before the exercise, the feeling of  deep calmness that arose from the knowing that I truly belonged to the group was surprising and pleasurable.  I felt totally relaxed about just being myself without any need to fit it.

Normally I would probably make sure I went to lunch with the group even if I felt like I needed some time to myself but this time, I felt totally comfortable having some time alone and joining the group later while feeling completely at ease about just being there without having to contribute in any way.

If you would like to feel more connected to your family and increase your sense of belonging using EFT, I invite you to tune into your body sensations that you feel when you feel excluded or not part of your family and then use setup statements such as:

“Even though I have tension in my shoulders and feelings of anxiety when I think about belonging to my family/ religion/ group of friends… I accept myself anyway”

“Even though I feel like an outsider, I choose remember the times when I have felt accepted by others.”

“Even though I feel better on my own than with my parents, I choose to be grateful that they gave me the gift of life.”

If you are not already familiar with EFT, you can download a free manual, book a workshop or attend a one-to-one session.

 

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Desmond Tutu on Forgiveness and EFT

Desmond TutuIn The Guardian yesterday, Desmond Tutu wrote about how he watched helplessly, as a young child, while his father repeatedly abused his mother and his challenges in forgiving him.

He can vividly recall the smell of alcohol and see the fear in his mothers eyes.  He also says that:

“The traumas we have witnessed or experienced live on in our memories.  Even years later they can cause us fresh pain each time we recall them.”

These are signs of significant trauma that are still affecting him.   EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) or Tapping is a powerful tool to gently release the emotions from the trauma so that the memory can be recalled without associated pain.  Often people report that they can remember in detail the events but it was as if it happened to someone else as there is no emotional pain involved.  One way to start with using EFT on a specific traumatic memory would be to give that memory a title (as if it was a scene from a movie) and then rate the level of negative  intensity of that experience on a scale of 0 to 10 with 0 being no negative intensity at all and 10 the most possible.

An initial setup statement might be:

“Even though I have this ‘first time I saw my father beat my mother’ memory, I accept myself”

For more step by step details of the process, download a free manual or attend a course.

Beliefs
Once a lot of the emotional charge is released, it is possible to identify beliefs that were created as a result of the experience.  In Desmond Tutu’s example, a child may create beliefs about themselves and about life such as “Life isn’t safe”, “I’m not safe”, “I’m helpless or powerless” etc.  These beliefs can then colour the way we think, feel and act in the years following.

Taking the belief  “I am powerless”, as an example, can lead to an avoidance of situations of confrontation because of the belief that one can’t make a difference so what is the point.  On the other hand, someone else going through the same childhood may create the opposite decision – “I could’t help my mother so I am going to make sure this doesn’t happen again to others”.  This could lead to actions of activism or support for vulnerable families.

When positive action results from negative experiences, people often resist releasing negative emotions from the trauma as they are proud of the strength that the experience has given them and what they have achieved in their lives.  They often say “It has made me who I am”.  What they often don’t realise is the releasing the negative does not take away the positive strength they created and actually gives it more power by releasing the need and attachment to the positive.  A good EFT statement would be:

“Even though I don’t want to let go of this (negative childhood experience) as it has made me who I am, what if I could keep my strength while letting go of the negative feelings associated with the experience (eg fear, anger, resentment etc)”

According to biologist, Bruce Lipton, in his book, The Biology of Belief, the beliefs we create are not only shaped by our childhood but also by our experiences in utero and during birth.

New Aspects and Insights
As an EFT session progresses and one drops through the layers of emotion, new emotions and insights arise.  Desmond Tutu mentions that on reflection as an adult he has been able to uncover other aspects and emotions  -  “I realise now that is was not just with him that I was angry.  I was angry with myself.  Cowering in fear as a boy, I had not been able to stand up to my father or protect my mother.  So many years later, I realise that I not only have to forgive my father, I have to forgive myself”.

In EFT, as the negative intensity of the trauma reduces, cognitive shifts arise.  Desmond Tutu shows this too as he finds compassion to his father when he writes “Intellectually, I know my father caused pain because he himself was in pain.  Spiritually, I know my faith tells me my father deserves to be forgiven… but still it is difficult.”.  One wonders what kind of childhood his father had and whether he also experienced similar trauma as a child.

So how is it possible to truly forgive with an open heart?The Book of Forgiving

Some people find it hard to forgive because they feel it will let the perpetrator off the hook. What they don’t always realise is that holding on to negative feelings such as anger, fear and resentment, may prevent themselves from experiencing peace and freedom from that memory.  Desmond Tutu says that “We don’t forgive others to help the other person.  We forgive for ourselves.  Forgiveness, in other words, is the best form of self -interest”.

This may press some peoples’ buttons and I totally understand.  Forgiving is no easy process and it does not mean that we approve, in any way shape or form, of their actions. Heartfelt forgiveness can only be truly possible when there are no negative emotions left about the memory.  Here are some EFT statement that can help move towards forgiveness, if this is the direction you would like to go:

“Even though I can’t ever forgive them, I deeply and completely love, accept and forgive myself”

“Even though what they did was wrong, I choose to be free from this memory”

“Even though I will never accept their actions, I am open to the possibility that one day I can release myself from that memory and forgive them”

If you would like to know more about how EFT can help you move towards forgiveness and emotional freedom, download a FREE manual, attend a course or book an EFT session.

To read more on forgiveness, buy Desmond Tutu’s latest book, The Book of Forgiveness.

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Surrender to Conception, Birth & Motherhood with EFT & Family Constellations

Last week I had the privilege of training some wonderful and wise birth professionals in the art of EFT to enhance their support of women during their transition into motherhood be it with fertility, pregnancy, birth or early motherhood.

One area where I feel there is not much support is with the concept of surrender.  For more on my own experience of surrender, see my previous article.  For many people these days, this word congers up a sense of giving up, resignation or weakness.  This is not the kind of surrender I am talking about.  Surrendering from a place of strength and power can empower the various stages of the motherhood journey.

For some women this may occur during the fertility stage.  Why is it so common that when some women stop trying to conceive and adopt instead, they suddenly fall pregnant naturally?  Sometimes the act of trying can actually slow down or prevent the outcome you are looking for.

During labour, a woman is being asked by the birth energy to surrender to the waves of labour and to the opening of her body to allow her baby to emerge.  The more resistance to these powerful surges, the longer the labour often takes and the more likelihood of medical intervention occurring.

After the birth, the more stress and worry the mother feels about her milk coming in, how much milk her baby has had, how much weight her baby has gained, how much sleep her baby has had and how much sleep she herself has had, etc etc, can interfere with allowing this natural unfolding of the motherhood journey to flow.  Of course sometimes there are good reasons for concern in which action should be taken.

When women bring the quality of surrender to their motherhood journey, they are able to allow the process to unfold with an acceptance that brings strength, courage, dignity and grace.

20140314_134906But this is not easy in a society where surrender is often considered weak and being in control (in our daily lives) is the norm.  After all, aren’t we the product of  generations of “stiff upper lip” and “soldier on”!

During the workshop, I invited the participants to imagine a line across the patio where  one end represented complete surrender and the other end represented complete control.  The middle of the line was a mix of surrender and control.  They then walked along the line experiencing how qualities of surrender and control felt in their body along various points along this imaginary line.  They then found the position along the line that they felt most comfortable at that moment in time, which could vary if they did this exercise another time.

The next part of the process was to explore the dynamics for surrender versus control with one individual using EFT with a family constellation style process. So I asked for a volunteer to pick 3 people, known as representatives from the group, one to represent the volunteer herself, one to represent the quality of Surrender and one to represent the quality of Control.  The volunteer placed the 3 representatives in various spaces within the circle that we had created which felt right to her.  She then sat down and observed the unfolding of the process.  I asked each of the representatives in turn how she felt standing in that position.  If any discomfort or negative emotions arose, we did some EFT with everyone else tapping along with us until the feelings were released.Surrender with EFT and Family Constellations

Initially there did not seem to be much connection between the representative for the volunteer and the people representing Surrender and Control as they were facing away from each other.  During various points of the process, which took about an hour, Control felt happier and “in control” while Surrender felt vulnerable and controlled. At other points, Surrender felt connected to the representative of the volunteer while Control felt left out.  Towards the end of the process Surrender and Control came together as two aspects on the same spectrum, united.  The representative for the volunteer struggled to look at Control but after some more tapping, was able to do so and there was harmony in the dynamics.  At this point I invited the volunteer to take her place instead of her representative and her representative sat down.  I asked Surrender and Control to offer the volunteer representative a word of wisdom.  Surrender offered belonging and Control offered balance.  Some emotion arose for the volunteer as a result of receiving those qualities but a few rounds of tapping allowed her to be more receptive to her receiving those qualities.

At the end of the process the volunteer said “Most of the time I felt the same emotions as those of my representative and knew what she was going to say to the answers of Tamara’s questions before she said them!  I felt a very strong emotion whilst standing facing control and surrender but after the tapping I felt a release which left my body feeling very light and tingly and also emotional (in a good way).”

Having done this process several times, I find some common patterns repeating.  Often the process starts with a disconnection between the representatives or a resistance from the volunteer to accept both Surrender and Control.  After some tapping and movement of the representatives, negative emotions arising are reduced and state of peace and harmony arises together with an acceptance and embracing of both parts of oneself.

To find out about the next motherhood workshop, go here.  To download a free EFT manual, go here, to learn EFT on a course, go here or to have a one-to-one session, go here.

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EFT for traumas, events, beliefs & being specific

Table with 69 legs Share with thanks from http://riiskadesign.com/new-69-leg-table

Table with 69 legs

The week I have been revamping our EFT manuals and have revisited Gary Craig’s analogy of an issue representing the surface of a table. All the events in which that issue was created or confirmed to be true are represented by the table legs – photo shared courtesy of http://riiskadesign.com/new-69-leg-table.  This table can obviously have more than 4 legs!

For example, imagine that the surface of a table represents the issue eg “I feel rejected” and the events in one’s life in which rejected features are the legs holding up the table. Once you have chopped down some of the table’s legs by neutralizing each life event contributing to the belief, the table will become unstable and fall thereby dissolving the belief “I feel rejected”.

EFT works best when being specific so when people tap directly on the general issue eg feeling rejected, they sometimes believe it doesn’t work.  With persistence on working generally it is possible to achieve results.

However, breaking the issue down and identifying specific occurrences of memories in which the issue (eg “I feel rejected”) is triggered and tapping on each of these will be more efficient and more likely to be a permanent result. 

Some examples of early events in ones life that may lead to feelings of rejection are:

  • mother has post-natal depression
  • a new sibling arriving in a situation where the you are deprived of attention
  • father abandoning the family

Here is a diagram of the relationship between specific events/ memories (table legs) and issues/ beliefs (table top) and how working with one will lead to the other and visa versa.

Table Top Diagram
Click here if you would like download a free EFT manual or attend a workshop or book a one-to-one session.

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Positive EFT, Brad Yates approach or Standard EFT?

Last week, during a supervision meeting, a discussion that arose was about which of the many ways of using EFT is the most effective.  Standard EFT as created by EFT founder, Gary Craig, is in the format of repeating a setup statement 3 times while tapping on the side of the hand.  The setup statement is in the following format:

Positive vs negative

The negative statement might be:

  • I’m so angry at her
  • I’ll never forgive him for what he did
  • I have a headache
  • I’m desperate for a cigarette
  • I was in that terrible car accident
  • I’m not good enough

Traditionally the positive statement is “I deeply and completely accept myself” but others include:

  • I choose to … (eg be gentle with myself) – Choices Method by Pat Carrington
  • I soothe and comfort myself (phrase coined by EFT trainer Sejual Shah)
  • I accept myself
  • I’m OK
  • I’m here

Gary Craig used the analogy of a table held up by several legs.  The table top represents the issue such as “I’m not good enough” and the table legs represent the specific events in which the negative belief (“I’m not good enough”) is created or confirmed.  Tapping on some of the table legs is enough to destabilise that table and causing it to fall ie by releasing negative feelings about a few of the memories is enough to dissolve the negative belief.

Gary Craig worked with several Vietnam veterans who suffered from PTSD.  One of these sessions a vet said he had over 100 intrusive memories (table legs) causing him to suffer from insomnia and nightmares every night (the issue – the table top).  Together they released the a handful of intrusive memories and he was then able to sleep at night.  Here is a video about some of the amazing results that have been done with war veterans.

So by identifying and tapping negative memories from the past can help create emotional freedom in the present and future.

It does however require one to tap on negative statements which some people who follow the ideas of the Law of Attraction worry that stating the negative will bring more netavitivey into their lives.  For more discussion on this, check my blog called Does EFT conflict with the Law of Attraction?

There is concern that simply tapping on the positive is like putting a plaster over a wound rather than cleaning the wound out first.  In my opinion if there is fear that tapping on the negative can cause more negativity, that can cause resistance which is an issue on top of an original issue and if the person is up for it, I would suggest tapping on:

“Even though I don’t want to tap on negative statements because I might attract more of that into my life, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.”.

Brad Yates’s approach is to include a few negative statements at the beginning and then really go for the positive statements throughout the tapping points.  In the setup statements, he often starts the positive ending to the statement with “I choose…” eg “I choose to love and accept myself”.

In Positive EFT as created by Silvia Hartmann, one of the ways to use it is to focus on a quality that you want to feel more of such as love/ joy/ bliss.  Although there is more it it than this, a quick summary is to put your hands on your heart centre, breath in the quality 3 times while naming the quality.  To amplify the feeling, ask yourself, what that quality looks like, feels like and what would you be doing if you had lots of that quality.  Then tap through the Heart and Soul EFT points while focussing on the quality.

So during supervision morning, some of the participants wanted to know which was the best and most effective ways of using EFT.  Is it really possible to resolve issues at root cause while focussing on the positive?  Each method has produced incredible results.

I remember in a lecture I attended with Silvia Hartmann, she said that there are some cases with so many traumatic memories that it would take a lifetime to identify them all and release them so she facilitates clients to use Positive EFT with fantastic results.  In my opinion Positive EFT raises the positive or love vibrations so that negative feelings or situations will have little or no impact on the person’s wellbeing.

RiverThe way I see it is that it is possible to view life as a journey through various types of terrain – rivers with rapids to negotiate, walking for miles across hot and dry deserts, climbing steep mountains, crossing flower meadows in the Spring.

Some people get stuck in every rapid, fall down steep mountains and miss the flowers in the meadows because they are still thinking about the steep mountain and looking ahead in case there is another one.  Other people seem to find a powerful boat to steer them across the rapids, a cable car to take them up the mountains and notice every butterfly, bird and flower in the meadow.

The way I see it is that with standard EFT, particularly when combining it with tools such as Matrix Reimprinting, we can actually change the terrain of the past and choose easier routes in the future.  When focussing on the positive with EFT, the terrain doesn’t seem to change but we can alter the way we traverse the land and we find we have resources that  we hadn’t noticed before.

A few years ago I experienced a powerful session in which I had a beautiful image which made me realise that I could choose which path I took in life.  I saw the landscape of the life journey and where I had come from with all its ups and downs.  Very high above this I saw a some large blue marbles suspended in the air which I named the Blue Marble Path.  If I find myself in a challenging situation or rocky part of my journey, I simply remind myself of the Blue Marble Path and make a conscious choice to take that route instead.  I am not looking at the reasons and causes of what happened, I am simply choosing another way.

In reality I use a whole combination of ways of using EFT with my clients, using the most appropriate technique in the moment.  I love them all and feel they all have their uses.

I would love to hear your opinion on which form of EFT works for you.

For more information on EFT, download a free manual, attend a workshop or come for a session.

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Why art in pregnancy?

This is a question that many people ask when hearing that I run the Birth Art Cafe.  I learnt about when training with Pam England on the Birthing From Within course.  After running a Birth Art Cafe training last week, I am motivated to address at least part of the answer to this question.

One participant on the course said “You give birth the way you live your life”. I totally agree and also believe that you approach birth art the way you live your life.

The Birth Art Cafe is a safe space where women can explore their motherhood journey. 

The feelings that arise as a result of making the art can usually be related to where they are at in their motherhood journey (and life).  I encourage them to become aware of their patterns and habits and invite them to try something different within the Birth Art Cafe – a safe space where making mistakes or getting it wrong will not have serious implications.

On one occasion, I remember a participant finishing her art work, putting the pastels back in their box and closing the lid with a sense of finality.  I was curious and wondered how it related to her motherhood journey.  I am always looking for connections between what happens at the Birth Art Café and how that relates to pregnancy and motherhood.  Leaving the box of pastels open gives may give rise to uncertainty, incompleteness and mess.

In pregnancy women are often faced with uncertainty at a time when they want to know that everything is OK with the baby.  They don’t feel “officially” pregnant until they have had their 3 month scan to confirm that all is OK.

Birth is messy and unpredictable.  Unless having a planned caesarean birth, you don’t know when it will happen, how and how long it will take.  Sometimes participants want to know how long they have to draw for.  Although sessions are 2 hours, I like to create as open a space as possible for the “birth” of the art work and don’t really like giving a specific time.  The way I approach facilitating the Birth Art Cafe, is the way I would approach a birth.

During early motherhood, incompleteness takes shape in the form of:

  • unfinished conversations due to interruptions from toddlers,
  • opened toys and games left untidily around the house and
  • household tasks started and left because of higher priorities such as soothing a crying baby or changing a nappy.

So at the Birth Art Café that day, I invited the participant who had closed the box of pastels to open it again and sit with the uncertainty and possibility that perhaps her piece of art was incomplete.  Just trying a different way of being is an opportunity for insights to reveal themselves.  Maybe there was something that she was avoiding feeling by closing the box.  I suggested she notices how it feels in her body to be with the possibility of incompleteness.

After some moments she shared that she noticed a discomfort and tightness in her chest.  She liked the picture as it was and was worried about ruining it.  It was easier to think of it as finished, than the sit with the possibility of ruining it if she continued.  I reminded her that birth art is not about the end result but about the process of making the art and learning from it.  As she absorbed that knowledge, she noticeably relaxed and immediately knew what needed to happen next to the picture.  As she added it, a new softness and ease was apparent as she took a different path.

If you would like to know more about how to facilitate Birth Art Café, check here for courses or go to the facebook group to find a local Birth Art Café near you to attend.

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