"Esther" is a skilled and experienced massage therapist living in a big East coast city. Most people have no problem with her fee per session that is on the lower end in her area.
The one with the problem is Esther: Every time somebody asks her: "What do you charge for a massage?"she feels instantly very uncomfortable. There is a sudden tightening in her chest and an intense feeling of embarrassment and shame.
When a reaction to a factual question is that visceral and emotional, I always ask: "What does that remind you of? When have you felt exactly like that in the past?"
Esther came up immediately with a memory: "When I worked for my dad. He didn't pay me anything, and at that time, I was young and didn't even know that this was an option. But then I discovered that he put $25 a week as my pay in his books, and I got furious. When I confronted him, he made fun of me and was dismissive: Oh come on...What's the big deal...That made me feel ashamed."
We tapped several rounds on Esther's anger and shame, and it dropped from a 7 to a 4 on the SUD scale. She was still somewhat upset. "He took advantage of me, called me a dope, and didn't even care if I had lunch."
Another round of tapping brought the upset to a 1.
Assuming the role of a potential client, I asked Esther: "I have a question: How much do you charge for a massage?" and she answered. This time it felt o.k, and she had no emotional reaction.
In the following session she reported that she played this through with several friends and one real client, and she had no negative reaction to "spitting out" the amount.
Money troubles have deep roots, often going back to painful childhood imprints. When we start tapping on the trouble with money, it's not just about the bad financial situation right now: We are reaching deep into our emotional past.
For people who grew up in an unloving or even hostile environment, money problems don’t just mean, well, a lack of money. This condition brings up a host of feelings that are painful because they are not only about money: Scarcity, want, need, deprivation, longing, never enough, unsafe, not cared for, always a struggle. These are the exact emotions we connect with the lack of love, care, and appreciation we felt when we were growing up. There is the old pain, the hurt, the shame, the anger –and we are experiencing it all over again, this time around money.
On a psychological level, money is love, and if love is “tainted”, the relationship with money will be too.
If you want to dig into your own money troubles, use this script I wrote. It is structured in a way that you can do an EFT session with yourself.
Tapping on money trouble
First, tune in to your general feeling of anxiety (and/or other emotions) surrounding money, and put your intensity on a scale 0 to 10. 0 is no intensity regarding money issues, and 10 is extreme. Write this number down.
Even though there is never enough money in my life,
I deeply and completely love and accept myself
Even though it’s always a struggle,
this is where I'm at
Even though I believe that I don’t deserve to have more money,
I open the door to healing this now
Now tap on the points of your choice (I use the Shortcut plus Top of the Head):
Never enough money
It’s always a struggle
It’s so hard to make money
I am exhausted and frustrated
Maybe I don’t deserve money
I am not worth it
I am angry at money, and angry at myself
Always running out of money
I don’t feel cared for and supported
Always yearning for love and money
I never get what I need and want
Never enough love, never enough money
This constant deprivation
Money is scary, I am afraid of it
Money is too powerful, I resent that
All these painful emotions attached to money
Take a deep breath.
Now, rate your “money troubles” again on our scale 0 to 10.
If the intensity went down (or up) use "Even though I STILL have/am/do… " (adjust the grammar) as the new Set-up phrase and go though the tapping sequence again. Repeat this process until you feel profound relief (an emotional shift), or as often as it feels right.
If your intensity did not budge at all (or the level gets “stuck” during the follow-up rounds) you have to get more specific.
If you were flooded with memories, thoughts, emotions, or body sensations while you were tapping, you already got more specific.
Since this script cannot be as personal as a private session, you have to adjust parts of it to your needs. The following sequence is a guideline, please fill in the blanks and extend it. There is no right or wrong when it comes to tapping. Often, out of the greatest mental and emotional mess, a gem (or a whole treasure chest) evolves. Trust the process. Sometimes, you will release an issue in a jiffy. At other times, you have to do major excavation work.
Explore: What emotions surrounding money are the strongest? Is it fear? Anger? Envy? Humiliation? Or something else?
Even though I feel this …. (your strongest emotion) , I deeply and completely love and accept myself
Even though I feel this emotion in my (body part like solar plexus, throat, back,), I allow myself to relax
Even though I have this memory of (give it a title like “Bankrupt”), I reclaim my sense of safety now
This (strong emotion)
This discomfort/pain in my (body part)
This memory of (title of memory)
I am just not worth it
I will never get what I want
Yes, I will
No, I won’t
Yes, I will
Continue with the specifics of your feelings, body sensations, beliefs, and memories.
- What does your current money situation remind you of?
- When did you feel like that as a child/teenager?
- Are there triggers for your money emotions? Like bills, credit card statements, etc, or a specific situation?
- Thinking of that, what specific situation or memory comes up? Narrate the story
- Did the discomfort/pain in your body shift? Where is it now?
- What are your exact feelings now? Did they change?
- Did another memory pop up?
Continue to “dig” and follow the trail of your memories, thoughts, emotions, and body sensations. Talk it out, make notes, and tap until you get relief.
If you feel warm or dead tired, sigh, yawn, or get bored with the whole thing – those are good signs. Your energy is shifting.
Now you are ready for the last round:
Even though a part of me still feels scared when I think of money, I am ready to release this fear completely
Even though a part of me can’t imagine to let go of all negative emotions surrounding money, I choose to relax and feel safe anyway
Even though the kid inside of me feels deprived of love, I am able to take charge of my financial situation
I am ready to release my money anxiety now
I reclaim my sense of safety
Money comes and goes, that’s its nature
I trust the flow of life
I feel relaxed and capable
I send myself the financial insights I need
It’s just money, nothing more
I restore the free flow of energy in my body
I find a way with money that truly works for me
My life is peaceful and serene
I open myself to clarity and stability
Money flows into my life with joy and ease
I feel safe and cared for
I am willing to appreciate what I have
I choose to feel just fine around money
All is well
Take a deep breath.
Carna Zacharias-Miller is an EFT International Certified Advanced EFT practitioner in Tucson, Arizona. Her specialties are working with people who grew up in dysfunctional families, www.MissingMother.com, and introducing EFT into the dance community. Carna's new blog, www.sacredquestforlove, explores the spiritual side of emotions. You can also find her books on the site, The Way of the Ugly Duckling and, for dancers, It Takes Two To Tango.
From the EFTfree Archives, which are now a part of EFT International .
Originally published on Jul 27, 2013.