Sometimes on our forays into daily physical practice, we hit speed bumps and even walls. Fear can discourage us from beginning a practice just as the fear-based memory of injury can prevent us from resuming a practice once we have recovered. EFT is effective in resolving any irrational fears or early influences that keep us at home when our trustworthy inner voice tells us it is time to lace up our shoes and head out into the beauty of the larger world.
Fear of moving can come from a variety of sources. During a circle dance in a park a few years back I noticed a woman suddenly leave the circle visibly upset. After we closed the circle, I found her lying on the grass breathing deeply and doing her best to swallow her emotions. When I asked what had happened, she said, “Nothing. Well, not exactly nothing. My father, who has been dead for ten years, suddenly rose from the grave to tell me I was an elephant and had no business making a spectacle of myself.” What our parents and teachers believe they are telling us for our own good during childhood can come back to haunt us during adulthood, a time when we are more than capable of making our own decisions regarding what we might do to nurture a sense of well being. EFT is very useful in neutralizing any and all psychic attacks originating with well meaning but misguided or misinformed people from our past or in our present.
A couple of years ago, I had personal experience with another kind of fear, the fear of re-injury. Instead of resting for a couple of days after several hours of demanding pivoting during a dance weekend, I felt so good I went out for a run. Although my ankles told me immediately that a gentle walk was in order, I ignored their wisdom and sprinted for a half a mile. At the end of that half mile I knew I was in trouble.
I used the RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) formula to recover from a painful, self-induced sprain, and yet after a week of rest, when my ankles were fine again, I couldn’t bring myself to run. After reflecting on my situation, I realized that although my ankles were fully functional, my brain was remembering the pain of running on them when they needed to rest after the very happy physical stress caused by three days of dancing. After a couple of tapping sessions, it became clear that my resistance to running was rooted in an irrational fear. Some fears are guides we need to attend to whereas others, like the one I’m describing, signal a thought pattern or belief that needs to be changed.
Because I’d overruled my own good sense when I’d run on my fatigued ankles, I had injured more than this flexible, supportive, usually healthy and pain-free part of my body. When I ignored the message to walk and injured my ankles, I also injured my ability to trust my own judgment. For several days following this insight, after I’d tapped for my injured ankles I also tapped for my injured trust while taking long slow walks along our country road. After a couple of days of tapping on all the various characters and themes in my injured trust story (it was not the first time I’d ignored sound guidance, so I had lots of baggage to clear), the joy and spontaneity I usually feel on my outings returned and I found I could run as I had before I’d ignored my inner guidance.
EFT is an art as well as a science. As with any art, we become masters when we develop our techniques over time. I am relatively new to this art – discovering EFT in 2006 and developing my personal and professional practice since then. In this relatively brief time, my work as a writer and teacher – both story oriented – has prompted me to use EFT to get to the heart of the story that is influencing a situation I, a friend, or a client want to change. Because of my passion for the stories we tell in novels, short stories, and films, I am accustomed to framing everyday life in terms of plot twists, surprise endings, dark horses, and apparent villains whose good hearts have been shut down by life’s more ruthless teachers – war, cultural restrictions (think racism, sexism, ageism, corporatism), and bruising relationships with family and friends.
Teasing out themes from past stories at work in the present is similar to teasing out the deeper meanings of Silas Marner’s preoccupations with weaving and gold. What journalists call ‘deep background’ (the in-depth exploration of circumstances giving rise to a situation) is helpful in understanding literature, ourselves, and others. Assuming the attitude of a detective who asks ‘What is really going on here?’ is also useful. As deep background detectives, we replace the magnifying glass so useful in discovering outer clues with EFT, a tool for unearthing inner clues to the unconscious fears and beliefs running our lives.
There are many ways to use EFT to support us as we develop and strengthen a movement practice. However, because tapping involves learning and applying unfamiliar protocols, it is helpful to become familiar with EFT’s deep background in a relatively new field of study, energy psychology. For readers looking for a clear overview of this discipline, one that is practical as well as theoretical, The Power of Energy Psychology/Revolutionary Tools for Dramatic Personal Change by the collaborative team of David Feinstein, Donna Eden, and Gary Craig is a good place to begin.
The Promise of Energy Psychology provides a detailed explanation of EFT’s place in the energy psychology spectrum as well its application in a variety of situations where fear, grief, or rage, prevent harmonious relations with self and other. As an added bonus, this book also includes “The Circuits of Joy”, a chapter describing specific, easy, and safe physical movements that activate what Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners call “Strange Flows”. Strange Flows are subtle energy pathways that Donna Eden refers to as Radiant Circuits because of their ability to activate smooth flowing, positive energies that increase our radiance. Illustrations make this book an indispensable support for learning energy psychology background, EFT basics, and Donna Eden’s Daily Energy Medicine Routine.
There is a lyricism that comes with feeling at home in our bodies as we move confidently and rhythmically through our days. This lyricism reinforces the benefits of a movement practice, including Inner peace, intellectual clarity, physical well being, and joy. EFT’s ability to clear obstacles preventing our engagement in a mindful movement practice makes it as complementary to joyful aging as offering daily prayers of gratitude.
If you have an EFT movement adventure to share, I hope you will share it on the blog to inspire readers who haven’t yet tried EFT to support their movement practice.
Until next week