34-year old Vivian (not her real name) wanted to get rid of her intense craving for sweets. Not only did she need to lose weight, but all that sugary stuff made her stomach feel bad. As a habit, she ate four cupcakes every night after dinner, plus lots of cookies in between. The cookies bothered her the most - they just were irresistible.
As with many cravings or addictions, there was a “Guiding Star” experience involved. This term, coined by Silvia Hartmann, describes a blissful peak-experience that is frozen in time. It becomes problematic when a person tries to repeat it, or a part of it, again and again (which, of course, never works).
I suggested doing a Matrix Reimprinting session. For more details about this expanded EFT technique, please go to Karl Dawson’s site www.matrixreimprinting.com. At its core, it is about imagining tapping on a younger self. This is different from inner child work insofar as the younger self (Karl calls it “echo”) is not a part of the currently present person, but a separate entity stuck “out there” in the Matrix - the universal energy field. (Actually, more often than not, MR works directly with trauma.)
I asked Vivian to look for an event that could be the origin of her infatuation with cookies. She knew immediately what is was. When she was 8 or 9 years old, her mother worked at a bakery. This particular day, Vivian went there and helped the lady who ran the bakery to carry out some big buckets. She worked hard, and she was proud of herself. The lady complimented her and gave her cookies. Her mother said: “Vivian is the good one, she always does what she is told. She is such a good girl.”
Now, this might not sound like an outstanding experience to somebody who grew up in a normal family. However, several of Vivian’s family members were physically abusive, and her mother, overwhelmed and sickly, never protected her. So this bakery was like heaven for Vivian. She felt safe, appreciated, useful, and loved by her mother. And it all was tied to cookies.
Following the MR protocol, I had Vivian as her current self step into this bakery, introduce herself to the younger self and ask if we could work with her. The girl was very happy to see Vivian, but she told her that she really wanted to keep the cookies. We assured her that nothing was going to happen against her will.
Then Vivian imagined tapping on her younger self while tapping on her present self at the same time. (I have to say, while other people have no problem doing that, it fries my brain. I imagine tapping only on my younger self when I work on myself).
Addressing her in the second person, we tapped a round on:
Even though you believe that cookies and happiness are one and the same and cannot be separated, you are a great little girl.
Immediately, a huge wave of sadness, fear, and hopelessness flooded the younger self. Vivian was close to tears: “This is all she has, these happy moments at the bakery. She has nothing else to hold on to, she doesn’t think she can make it.”
We tapped several more rounds on these feelings (I knew what was going on since we had worked on the family trauma in earlier sessions).
Change of Memory
Then Vivian was ready for the Change of Memory. The point of this is to show the younger self that she still can have the same experience of happiness and belonging, but in a different situation - in our case without cookies.
After our EFT rounds, the younger self was ready to leave the bakery. Vivian told me that she wanted to go to a new house. Only the grown-up Vivian and her three younger siblings were with her, the ones she felt safe with. In this new, enriched memory, they are all sitting in the front yard of their new house, playing with toys. Vivian assured the younger self that she would not leave, and that it was o.k. to be happy, not to worry, and to just be a kid. This was the perfect picture of happiness for Vivian, and we did the MR procedure to send the new memory into her body and out into the Matrix.
As a test, I asked Vivian how cookies and happiness are connected for her, and she said, “A cookie is just a cookie.”
Five days later, I inquired about her eating habits. As it turned out, she only had taken a little bite out of one cupcake and had not eaten a single cookie. Zero. Vivian: “It has not been hard at all. I just don’t want them anymore.”
Two weeks later she still has not eaten any cookies.
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 October 26, 2010.