When we're "off our game," "out of the vortex" or feeling bad in the face of a challenging life situation, a personal EFT practice can turn things around for us. Unfortunately, if you are anything like me, giving yourself loving, mindful attention when you're feeling down is just about the last thing you might want to do. In the past, when I have struggled in a whirlpool of negative emotion, self-care has often been the last thing on my mind - especially when someone elses actions have lead me to this place. In such situations I can almost hear myself yelling, "I don't feel like it!" and I'm probably getting waaaay too much out of having a good reason for being ticked off. However, when I remember to, giving myself structured, mindful tapping attention is always the biggest gift I can give myself (and those around me) - better than food, dessert, coffee - almost anything. And my personal EFT practice, now that I've learned a way of doing it that's right for me, never fails to help me. In this article, I will share with you what works for me, and hopefully my perspective will help you take your personal tapping practice to a whole new level.
Being Where You Are
There are many people out there who know about EFT, who have experienced it's transformative power - in a session or in a group, but when it comes to doing it at home they don't make the time. "It doesn't work for me," or "what's the point," or even "I don't know what to say," are pretty common refrains I hear about the process. The first thing I share with people when they want to connect with EFT for themselves is to completely acknowledge their thoughts and feelings about practicing - while tapping. Why not give yourself the gift of acknowledging and allowing where you are right now and see what happens?
Creating the Time and Space
Once you've decided to give EFT the good ole college try on your own, it's time to devote time and space to getting yourself into a nice healing groove. For me, sitting alone in the shower is the perfect space for practicing EFT. Alone in a private space, where I'm free to express myself, I know I can always get to the heart of what's bothering me. Waiting for the bath to fill, tapping before bedtime or walking and tapping are also excellent ways to give yourself needed personal attention.
Intending to "Put Your Finger on It"
Setting your intention to tap into a what is really going on with you right now is an excellent way of ensuring that regardless of the words you are going to use, you will be on the right track. In other words, when you intend to get to the heart of what may be holding you at cross-purposes with yourself, or take a keen interest in what's really going on with you right now, you'll have a better chance of maximizing your time - feeling better more quickly and with a lot less effort. You may not have a clear idea of what's bugging you at first (or what your particular challenge is doing to you), but intending to "put your finger on" the energy of what is really bothering you will allow you to circle-in naturally as you talk and tap with yourself.
Trust the Words, Feelings Will Follow
When you just can't turn your attention away from the weight and seriousness of a problem, physical, relational, emotional, or if you just cannot seem to get out from under the weight of all the details, drama and emotion, talking and tapping can help you out. In my experience, our most present thoughts carry the energy of feelings - and feelings respond to thoughts - so any time we speak what is on our mind, we "put our finger on" the energy of problem so that tapping can do it's magic.
Acknowledging, Accepting and Allowing Transformation
I think of EFT as a three part process: Acknowledging, Accepting and Allowing. We acknowledge and accept in the Setup (Karate Chop or Sore Spot) part of the recipe, then allow the energy of the problem to flow and transform while we tap the points in the Sequence.
Begin by tapping the Karate Chop (or rubbing or tracing the Sore Spot) while you speak the thoughts that reflect where you are right now. This is the first half of the EFT Setup phrase: "Even though..." Often, this part can go on for a while as we sink-in to what we are really experiencing. In the next part, accept, we reach for something we can believe that honors our process, our thoughts or our feelings completely in some way. In part three, allow, we continue to tap through the Sequence in a "stream-of-consciousness," as the tapping transforms the energy of the problem.
In the below example of a personal "circling-in" approach, my friend "Keisha" was learning to use EFT to help transform her relationship to her job. Before we began, she agreed to trust that talking and tapping would naturally help her "get to the heart of the matter" and "put her finger on what was really bothering her," while she expressed herself in the moment completely. All she felt certain of when she started tapping and talking was "I don't want to go to work."
She began by Acknowledging:
KC: Even though I don't want to go to work... I have to give myself an hour and a half to get my head together before I have to go in... I dread going into that office...
KC: I'm allowed to feel what I feel
KC: Even though I don't want to go to work and deal with whats-her-name, she just makes me miserable, I hate picturing her, I hate feeling so awful...
KC: This is where I'm at right now. I accept myself right now.
KC: Even though I wake up early so I have more time before I go in...
Even though I can't stand the thought of going in and seeing that woman, my experience of her has been so negative for so long...
Even though I don't want to see her, the way she makes me feel...
KC: I'm tapping on my own. I'm supporting myself through this process.
Next, Kiesha continued to speak her most intense, present thoughts as she tapped on each point in the Sequence, starting at the Top of the Head:
TOH: I can't stand that woman, the way she walks and acts, so entitled. Seeing her walk. Seeing her sit there.
EB: I just feel so trapped. That's what it is, I feel trapped, walking on eggshells, obsessing on what she's thinking...
SE: I think I must be afraid she's judging me. That's it, she's judging me, thinking I'm not doing a good job. I'm afraid I'm not doing a good job!
UE: I'm afraid - no, I AM doing a good job! I just feel so powerless and trapped around her. I hate how she makes me feel. I feel so blechhh around her. I can't stand how nervous and miserable she is.
UN: She is miserable. I almost feel sorry for her. I hate going in there. I hate how guilty and weird I get around her. She is so unfriendly. She never says hello or goodbye to me. I think she's jealous. I know she thinks she's better than me. I keep thinking I'm responsible for what she thinks, controlling what she's thinking. Thinking I'm not doing a good job, probably afraid she's not doing a good job...
Chin: Something about responsibility. Feeling responsible. Being afraid, responsible, trapped, powerless, guilty too...
CB: Blecch... Trapped and responsible... guilty... These are old feelings.
UA: Blecch... Responsible for her behavior, for her feelings, for what she thinks about me. I am doing a good job there, and I'm tired of thinking I'm not.
Finger Points: Guilty... judged... like I'm not doing a good job... not doing a good job...
Gamut Point: I'm feeling better... Now if I saw her... I kind of feel sorry for her...
Refocusing on the Karate Chop, Kiesha brings her attention back to her most intense, current thoughts as she considers going to work:
Acknowledging (with some Accepting and Allowing thrown in for good measure):
KC: Even though I still feel like I don't really want to see her... I feel lighter. When I imagine seeing [her], it isn't much of an issue... I am allowed to feel how I feel about her. I've felt this way for a long time, judged, guilty but it feels better now - less intense. I don't have to take this on...
After going through that a few times in our tapping group, Keisha, who could never find her way to tapping on her own, reported that she's been tapping successfully on her own for the first time. While I'm abbreviating Keisha's experience quite a bit, I hope you get the idea that when we intend to really "put our finger on" what's really going on with us, we can speak our thoughts and focus the power of EFT, finding our own way towards relief, clarity, and seeing things from a broader perspective.
If you want to connect more with your own personal EFT practice, I encourage you to explore this "circling-in" approach. Before you know it, you could be talking (and tapping) yourself into feeling better more often :).
Jade Barbee is an EFT International Accredited Certified EFT Master Trainer of Trainers and Advanced Practitioner in Southern Vermont, US. He offers mentoring, coaching and supervision to practitioners and healthcare providers. He also offers EFT sessions in person or by phone or Skype. Jade is always learning new ways of tapping - helping himself and others integrate artful practice into daily life. Visit him online at www.emotionalengine.com.
From the EFTfree Archives, which are now a part of EFT International .
Originally published on October 20, 2010.