Please Note: Winter Blooms is an educational website in no way meant to replace building a relationship with a trained EFT practitioner, counselor, or therapist. To find an EFT Practitioner, visit the AAMET website, the ACEP website, the EFT Universe website, the Tapping Solution website, or contact Jane for EFT coaching support.
In my July 3, 2016 blog post, Movement and the Healing Process, I introduced the subject of conscious movement and its support of the healing process. This blog post explores more deeply the effects movement can have on the traumas unconsciously stored in our bodies. Sometimes we think of trauma in specific categories, for example, as physical, such as a sudden fall, or as emotional, as when someone we love is injured, or as intellectual, as when we learn a shocking truth. However, these categories ignore the larger reality of who we are: spiritual beings who simultaneously experience physically, emotionally, and intellectually the deep effects of trauma. Because of the complex interweaving of our spiritual, physical, emotional, and intellectual reality, our healing process is best served by techniques that effect all these aspects of Self. EFT is among the most effective, and empowering, of these techniques.
Please Note: If you suspect you may be suffering from unhealed trauma (and most of us are), be sure to tap as you read this blog: Put one of your open hands on your heart and with the fingers of the other hand, tap gently on the gamut point, that space on the back of the “heart hand” between the tendons of the baby and ring fingers. Don’t worry about doing this perfectly: perfection is not required in this practice. If you set the intention to care for yourself during your reading by tapping gently and reverently as you proceed, you will do so. Should your feelings become uncomfortably intense, stop reading and tap three times on the side of the hand, “Even though I feel unsafe, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.” Then tap through the points on the head and body, starting with the Eye Brow points “I am safe; I am on my path; I can trust my body to release the sensations that make me feel unsafe; I am safe; I can trust my heart to understand and process the feelings that make me feel too unsafe to move forward; I am safe; I can trust my mind to reveal my negative thoughts and then process and release these; I am safe; I am safe; it is okay to feel good; the universe supports my wellness; the Earth supports my joy in being on my path; all is well in my body, my heart, my mind, and my spirit; all is well; all is well; I am safe.
World Day of Sacred Circle Dance
When I began this blog post, I had no idea the circle dance community would announce July 17, 2016, as World Day of Dance to coincide with the Findhorn Festival, the birthplace of Sacred Circle Dance in the mid-nineteen seventies (for information on this year’s dance festival at Findhorn, visit https://www.findhorn.org/programmes/59/.) When I stumbled upon this community dance tradition in the fall of 1993, I was reeling from the shock of a betrayal that activated an early childhood trauma I’d experienced more than forty years before. At the time, I knew only to ask for guidance regarding how to survive the anguish I felt. The answer came swiftly, and in less than a week, I found myself standing in a candlelit room singing and dancing with members of my new dance community.
I attended this circle because of the words “Sacred Circle Dance” although I cannot tell you why they resonated so deeply with me. I can tell you that when I walked through the door that first time into a peace-filled, joyful space, I felt immediately at home. From the first night onward, dancing simple steps while holding hands in a circle released the unexpressed grief that had been trapped in my viscera since birth. For months I danced and wept silently, never missing a Wednesday evening circle. After dance, I wrote in my journal as insights surfaced so rapidly I could barely keep up with them. Slowly, I felt centred enough to connect with people in the circle, and over time, I felt woven into an entirely new family of gentle souls.
Donna Eden’s Energy Medicine
I remained an ardent member of my Sacred Circle Dance community for the next decade, attending weekly circles and after a year shifting into the dance circle’s facilitator role. After I moved from Ontario to Vermont in 2002, my understanding of why dance had become essential to my well being bloomed when I discovered Donna Eden’s Energy Medicine (for Donna’s juicy teaching website and learning opportunities, visit http://www.innersource.net/innersource/). Through her book, Energy Medicine, I came to understand that we can consciously move stuck energies and even correct energies that are flowing backward because of trauma or toxins in our food and/or our working/living spaces simply by applying our hands to specific parts of the body in specific ways. This, I realized, was Sacred Circle Dance’s gift to dancers: shifting energies to support balance, beauty, and well being. In our dance community we actually set the intention to connect consciously with Earth and all Beings respectfully and reverently. As we dance, we clear negativity and ground ourselves in the reality of interconnected wholeness.
We’ve all experienced the peace that comes with loving touch through a back or foot rub offered by a loved one or the relief that comes with professional massage, acupressure, and acupuncture during stressful times. What I was learning from Donna was an empowering, entirely benign way for me to shift residual traumatized energies trapped in my body – those energies that needed me to tell their stories of origin before they could be integrated into my life. While dance had been at the top of my list for soothing release of traumatized feelings, I didn’t understand why it worked until I read and applied Donna’s work in my own life, especially to those parts in which I regularly dissociated because of early trauma. Eden’s work gave me words to express what was happening when I danced, when I did her Five-Minute Daily Routine, and when I traced my meridians. Through her work I learned that the early trauma in my life had left me with certain physical, emotional, and intellectual sensitivities, and that by practicing her simple techniques I could lessen these sensitivities and be present to my life journey much more of the time.
Gary Craig’s Emotional Freedom Techniques
it was a very short journey from energy medicine to energy psychology, the fundamental principles underlying EFT as taught by Gary Craig, EFT’s founder (visit Gary’s website at http://www.emofree.com/ to discover his evolving energy psychology practice). By tapping on specific meridian points using a universal algorithm that balances what Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) calls the Yin and the Yang of life, I was learning to connect to and resolve specific traumas with my daily EFT practice. For example, when tapping through the EFT points while describing the feelings of betrayal and rage and helplessness that brought me to dance in the first place, I soon neutralized any residual energies, including those that began with my conception and birth, energies the second betrayal hitched onto because I felt similarly vulnerable.
I began my personal EFT practice in 2006, four years after I learned the value of consciously applying Eden’s Energy Medicine to support my emotional health. At that time, I began to think of energy medicine as a mighty river that has been flowing from Traditional Chinese Medicine’s 5000-year-oldroots – a tradition that includes dance in the form of Tai Chi and Qi Gong – and energy psychology as one of the vital tributaries flowing into our contemporary healing practices from this major ancient healing tradition. Thirteen years after I’d experienced first-hand how dance released the grief stored in my body, I understood intellectually why movement was so effective and how it could be even more effective when we tap and tell our stories at the same time. Because of my deep connection to dance, I added a dance piece to support the integration of my newly freed energies even more thoroughly.
Putting it All Together
Now, more than two decades after layering my personal and professional practice with dancing, singing, drumming, writing, energy medicine, and energy psychology, I have regularly experienced how these modalities support both intuition and insight in returning balance and a sense of well being to even the most traumatized among us. We are meant to move, to sing, to jump for joy, to drum, and most of all, to TELL, the latter EFT’s focus. We are meant to feel empowered as we move along our individual and collective heart paths. We are meant to share our knowledge, our passion, our high spirits. and, yes, our sorrows. We are meant to make sacred connections, in dyads, in small groups, and in circles of buoyant, fully present fellow beings. We are meant to love, to forgive, and above all, to consciously expand into wholeness. All these movement techniques support this intention, cost little beyond time in the learning of them, and empower us to fashion the lives we want. Wow!
On this Global Day of Sacred Circle Dance, let us take hands and move through the fears and joys of modern life together. May we each align ourselves with one of the countless drumming, singing, and dancing circles bringing peace to our beautiful world. Recovering from trauma need not be a grim and joyless task. With dancing, drumming, and singing in the mix, this process can be the gateway to a powerful – and hopeful – new way of being in the world, one that builds authentic community. When we strengthen these communities, we strengthen ourselves. And when we strengthen and heal ourselves, we become the Change we want to see in the world.
Until next time
Jane Buchan, MA, AAMET Advanced Practitioner, firstname.lastname@example.org, 802-533-9277
Jane is a Learning Coach specializing in neutralizing cultural age, gender, and race constructs to support learners of every age. To engage her coaching services, please contact Jane by phone (802) 533-9277 or email, email@example.com. Be sure to put Coaching Query in the subject line.