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As we mourn yet another act of terrorism committed by a young white male against peaceful African Americans, these recent innocents participating in a Bible Study class in their own church in Charleston, South Carolina, it seems fitting to use the physical light of the longest day of 2015 to peer into the darkest corners of our hearts, those murky places where we hide our hatred for those we consider “the other.” Each of us has such places, for each of us is a facet of the vast web of life in which we have lost our sense of unity with all the peoples and places of the Earth. As further expressions of otherness, It has become the practice of our media to categorize these hate crimes as the random acts of disturbed individuals and not the natural consequence of the racism clearly evident in the systems of the United States. Denial of our personal store of hatred is as prevalent as the racism we deny; it is a denial requiring for its undoing an unshakeable faithfulness to truth and our own abilities to face our personal prejudices and fears. Tapping is one of the most effective tools for shining light into the heart’s dark places and one of the most empowering tools for making positive changes after we have unearthed our fear-based core beliefs. To discover how to use tapping to create positive personal, community, and cultural change, please read on.
Restoring Our Little Corner of the Universe
It is common wisdom that we cannot change others, but it is less well known that we can change ourselves. In the face of increasing violence in our schools and communities, it is difficult to know where to begin but begin we must if we are to create a culture in which all peoples are respected and nurtured within our families, communities, and institutions. Although we may know this intellectually, we are challenged by our own inertia. Why?
The simple answer: Fear. Sometimes this fear is disguised as anger, sometimes as lethargy. We all have that misguided streak of self righteousness that blames the violence in our culture on others. The refrain goes something like this: I don’t advocate hate crimes. I don’t carry weapons. I don’t bother “them” (replace them with your own personal target for “tolerance.”) Something we all must learn one way or another if we are to create a unified population respectful of diversity is that the absence of hatred is not the presence of Love. And the presence of Love cannot exist where there is fear in all its shape-shifting guises.
The Process of Change
Asking, “How can I be part of the movement to replace fear and violence with Love?” is the best place I know to begin the process of personal change that leads to action in the world. Such a process of change might begin with tapping on the karate chop point and saying something like the following:
“Even though I don’t know how to change the current climate of racism, I trust that if I open to inspiration, I will receive guidance.
Even though I don’t believe I am a racist, I know I take advantage of my privilege as a white person (substitute your personal power card here – your gender, your skin colour, your economic status), and I feel guilty about this, and trust I can learn how to use my privilege for the good of others.
Even though these acts of violence that are obviously race-based terrify me, and I want to distance myself from them, and blame the victims or the mental health system, or anyone who appears to support my denial of the racism in our culture, I deeply and completely believe in my power to face my fear and become an active participant in shaping a culture of Love.”
Tapping on the karate chop point while saying the above phrases helps to clear our resistance to participation in a different kind of culture, one not driven by the advertising distractions of a consumer culture and the fear-based news reporting of a systemically supported racist elite but by the unshakeable belief in our ability to participate together in shaping a socially just and loving world.
As you prepare to tap, be sure your feet are flat on the floor, your chair or sofa is supporting your back, your breathing is deep and regular, and you are well hydrated. I never tap without drinking a little water before, during, and after a session because water is a great conductor and what we are doing when we tap is changing our electromagnetic field.
The following phrases that I used may be useful in finding your own phrases as you tap through the points. Just remember to tell the truth of your feelings and body sensations. When I first began to tap on becoming an agent of positive change my truth went something like this:
“I don’t know how to change the current climate of racism; I don’t think I’m a racist, but I know I’m privileged; I feel guilty about this; I feel guilty and helpless; I feel so guilty that a part of me wants to blame the victims; I know this blame is absurd; I feel so frightened of naming white racism that I want to blame the mental health system; after all, I’m just one person; how do I change anything significant?; what can one person do?; this racism is older than the Civil War; this racism is part of America; privileged people don’t change; powerful people don’t change; I am privileged and privileged people don’t change; people fear change and I’m just like everyone else; I fear change just like everyone else.”
After a session like the one above, I recommend you shake off the negative energies that may have accumulated on the hands. You may also feel the need to “wash” your face by gently pulling energies off your forehead, cheeks, and chin. Offering this energy to the Earth, asking that any negative energy be composted to nurture something positive, helps us to feel less alone as we shift from helplessness into positive agency. Sitting quietly after such a round, feeling the sensations, tapping on any sensations such as “this heartache in my chest; this terror in my belly; this grief in my throat and eyes” helps to bring the nervous system back into peaceful regulation.
Once we feel our breathing return to normal, we can begin to tap on possible positive outcomes. This is what came up for me:
“Perhaps I’m not so helpless; perhaps other people are feeling what I’m feeling; perhaps there is something we can do together; I remember that music director in Ireland who brought people from Catholic and Protestant families together to sing and make peace together; I’m wondering if we could do something similar here; perhaps we could use our Town Hall to hold an open discussion on race and privilege; maybe we can invite our high school students to create a play about working together; it’s time for me to get involved and I trust I’ll be guided to do so.”
When tapping a positive round like the one above, it is very important to recognize the resistance it provokes and tap on any “tail-enders” as well. Resistance might feel as simple as: “I can’t do this. I’m afraid. What will people think? They’ll call me a busy body. They’ll shame me into silence. One person can do nothing. People have to want to change.”
Transformational Leaps Forward
These expressions of resistance are the rich territory of personal evolution. Whenever phrases like the above surface, I tap on specifics such as “this feeling of helplessness,” or “they’ll shame me into silence.” I do my best to trace each expression back to a specific time in my life when I felt helpless, silenced, or shut down. After almost a decade of consistent tapping alone and with others, I can attest that retrieving energies from negative past events is revitalizing. After a “retrieval” session like the one described above, I feel entirely present to myself and others, and change feels not only possible, but eager to happen. Synchronous events soon validate my desire to be involved. People show up who are on the same page. And these fresh connections support my continued growth in wisdom and Love in the present and the future.
This Summer Solstice, I hope you will make use of all this light to connect with your empowered, evolving self. Connecting with our most humane goals through tapping leads to empowered connection with others. We feel part of the most important social movement to happen in the west. Although they have passed from our midst, we are standing with all the Lovers who have advocated in their individual ways for justice, freedom, respect, and love for all. By undertaking our personal work to make our hearts a privilege-free zone, we are laying the foundations for positive change. Happy Solstice . . . Happy Summer . . . May your wild growing season bring you the fruits of a Culture of Love.
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 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.