Do you expend a certain level of energy coping with thoughts around a particular memory from years ago?
Do you feel guilt or shame around any aspect of your past?
Do you keep bumping into the same kinds of relationship challenges again and again?
Do you suspect that you may be numbing yourself with food or other substances to avoid persistent "old" feelings?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are probably carrying stress from events that happened to you in the past. Imagine how much better you would feel if the stress from these events were no longer a part of your life!
Making Peace with the Past
The Personal Peace Procedure is an exercise for using EFT to make peace with what happened to you in the past. It was created by EFT developer Gary Craig and is considered a foundational EFT application.
By making a list of specific, bothersome events from your life and applying EFT to each specific event – you can systematically and permanently remove the charge from these troubling memories. What might you be doing to yourself now because of what happened then?
Please Note: There may be fear or reluctance around approaching these events. Under most circumstances, these fears can be handled as you work through the procedure.
If for any reason you do not feel safe or you are not comfortable exploring these events on your own, please do not. Instead, ask for assistance – from a friend who knows EFT, a qualified therapist or an experienced EFT professional.
How to Do The Personal Peace Procedure
1. In an EFT journal, start making a list of every bothersome event in your life that comes to mind. Even if the memories feel hazy or don’t feel very charged right now, trust there is a reason rising into your awareness.
Be as specific as you can and give these negative events a short title. For example, “shamed by my teacher.” If it feels easier, give it a more innocuous title or code name, like, "that time in class."
If writing a list doesn’t resonate with you, you can set an intention to be on the lookout for images, people, or other specific past events that come to mind throughout your day as a result of setting an intention. For example, you might say to yourself, "Today I want to change how I am often late for work," or "I'd like to sleep better," and then notice what past events or inner images come to mind.
At first, these specific images or events may not seem important, but write them down anyway. The fact that you thought of them suggests an opportunity for resolution.
2. Assign an Intensity Level (on a scale of 0-10) to each specific event. For example, “shamed by my teacher, 8.”
3. Apply EFT to one of these titles per day – from every angle you can - until you can either laugh about it or you "can't think about it anymore."
After using the Personal Peace Procedure for at least a month, pay attention to your body. Ask yourself some curious questions about where you started compared with where you are now:
Are chronic conditions feeling less like a problem?
How might your relationship to yourself or others have improved? Are you breathing more easily?
Are you less stressed? More energized?
Unless you recognize your progress, the changes you are experiencing may be so subtle they escape your notice.
Good Questions for Zeroing-in on Specific Events
If you could live life over again, is there anything you would you prefer to skip?
Gary Craig, developer of EFT and the Personal Peace Procedure, was fond of asking this very provocative and highly useful question in order to bring useful and specific past events to the surface. Another helpful question:
If this difficult part of your life were a movie, what would the title be?
If a lot of intensity still remains, break the movie up into small scenes (5-10 seconds long) and give each scene a name. Apply several rounds of EFT to each name separately.
Who in your life has caused you trouble or been troubling in some way?
Write down any specific events or memories associated with this person. If just their name brings up a charge, write it down by itself.
Developing Your Personal Practice
When you are ready to make your list, set aside some time for your practice, then follow the steps below:
- Find a private, comfortable place to write and tap
- Turn off your cell phone
- Set a timer if you have one – any length of time is ok
- Find a notebook that can be your Personal Peace Journal
- Begin making your list of bothersome, specific events, memories or people in your life. Give each one a short title.
- Look at the list you have written and pick the title that jumps out the most right now. Which is most intense? Apply EFT to it until you either laugh about it or "can't think about it anymore."
- Apply EFT to one event per day, bringing each one as close to “0″ as it will go. If other, more intense, events pop-up – that’s ok. See if you can just be curious about whatever arises and write these events down as well, giving an Intensity Level to each.
- Do approach these events in your own time and in your own way, gently tapping until the intensity is “as low as it will go.”
- Before finishing for the day, write down a new number that represents where you are with this particular event now that you have finished today’s practice.
- To test your work, consider what you might do differently now in relation to this event and it's effects. For example, if you tapped on an incident of bullying that happened, notice what could be different for you in relationship to that type of person now.
As you work through the process, your days may begin to feel somehow lighter and clearer. You may even begin to feel surprisingly relieved in ways you never thought possible. Ask yourself, "What is different?"
Notice, for example, how your relationship with your partner or family member feels easier, even though he/she did not necessarily sign up for change.
Make a note of any positive shifts in your experience. Revisit and test the remaining intensity of the issues you have already handled. When you notice how EFT has helped, you will likely make time to visit this process again: