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in my last post I wrote about creating a partnership culture, beginning with the most important partnership, the one with the Self. Cultivating this primary relationship creates authenticity, a quality that makes living meaningful and, through meaning, helps us to develop the resilience we need to meet and integrate life’s inevitable tragedies. Unfortunately, not only do we lack training for creating a partnership with the self, we are taught to devalue this relationship and instead place our faith in superficial popular-culture values to create a happy life. Many learn, through the pain of addiction and depression, that the popular culture values driven by materialism cannot help us to craft meaningful, authentic lives; in fact, they can hurt us. What can help us to create the lives we want is to listen to the guidance we receive from our emotions, guidance that helps us to understand and embrace our needs, our strengths, and our values. Last week I wrote about using tapping to discover our needs and strengths. This week, I want to explore how tapping can help us to discover our values.
The Most Direct Route to our Values
Abraham and other Spiritual Teachers emphasize the importance of tuning in to our emotions at regular intervals during each day. Relationships and activities that make us feel positive emotions such a joy and happiness reflect our positive values. Relationships and activities that make us feel sad, anxious, and depressed reveal our negative values. For example, walking in the woods, a place of beauty created by countless coherent interrelationships, often triggers feelings of deep peace and well being; conversely, walking through a crowded mall may trigger feelings of exhaustion and even anxiety, especially if we have no clear purpose for being there. Clearly, the walk through the woods favourably impacts us and is in line with our values of peace and well being; we know this because of the positive emotions we experience when we choose to go out into Nature. The walk through the mall, if aimless, may trigger anxiety about spending money we do not have along with the despair of buying things we do not need.
Becoming conscious of when we feel deep peace, joy, satisfaction, and self respect are good places to explore when searching for our values. Values speak through our emotions. Our “conscience” pangs are often the voice of protest when we do something that goes against our values; for example, if we value honesty and find ourselves being dishonest, the discomfort we feel sends the clear message that whatever we are doing is not in line with our values. Tapping on discomfort and asking for clarity on how to avoid it in the future is always a remedy for value confusion. Concluding with a positive round of tapping that emphasizes trust in the self returns us to the place of clarity regarding our values. Something as simple as, “I trust myself to live my values. My values make me feel good about myself. Integrity is important to me and so I want to live a life authentically connected to my values.”
Signs of Inauthenticity
Reaching for food when we are not hungry or smoking when we are professional health care workers are both signs that our values are somehow being betrayed. Using tapping as an investigative tool is very useful in revealing conflicts in values and/or simple exhaustion. Both food and cigarettes provide distractions from fatigue and dismay. However, as health care workers, our inner guidance lets us know that both these activities are not in line with our values of health and well being and authenticity. Tapping on the irony of smoking or overeating as a health care provider is a great place to begin. Humour in such situations always helps: “Here I am, paid to help others reach their health care goals and I am making myself sick with bad habits. I value health. I value authenticity. But I really need a smoke and a box of cookies to cope with this schedule. I wonder if there is another way, a healthier way, one more in line with my values, to meet my need for a break. I wonder if I can cut back on my hours. I wonder if I can go for a walk during lunch and break. I wonder if I can have a power nap in my car. I hate feeling inauthentic. And I want to treat myself as well as I treat my clients. I’m open to finding new ways to release the pressure of my work. My work is valuable. I love my work. I want to do it authentically. I want to coach myself into wellness with the same authenticity I bring to others.”
Realigning with Misplaced Values
In our media saturated culture, it is very easy to lose sight of our values. Using our daily tapping practice to remind ourselves of what we value is a great way to invite what we want into our lives. Tapping each day for authentic relationships, respectful conflict resolution, sustainable life choices, and all the other values that support our respect for self, others, and our beautiful Earth Home helps us to feel both coherent and joyful. We carry this coherence and joy with us wherever we may be. People are drawn to our authentic way of being in the world and in turn, become more likely to reflect on their own values, reflection that will lead to their own authenticity.
Given the tragedies manifesting all around us, daily tapping on our values of peace and respectful interrelationship is essential daily emotional hygiene. Tapping for our own sense of helplessness, for victims of violence, and for the wisdom that will lead us to greater arms control and a de-escalation of militarized activities on both sides of the law, ensures our clear-eyed participation in solutions that are good for all. Valuing resolution over conflict, healing over revenge, education over ignorance, and understanding over retaliation will help us all to create a Partnership Culture in which we feel content and interconnected rather than victimized and despairing. A Partnership, Power-With Culture has room for everyone, is life affirming, and creates opportunities for healing intended and unintended wrongs each day. And, most important, each one of us, in our full authenticity, is essential to its manifestation.
Until next week
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.