Curiosity

Gaot - a symbol of curiosityGoats are known for their curiosity.  I’m not necessarily looking at curiosity as a good or a bad thing.  As with most things, it can be useful or it can further complicate my life.  Do you have memories of someone saying to you, “curiosity killed the cat?” I heard this whenever I was asking for information that someone didn’t want to give me or when I was looking for something they didn’t want to me to find.  I think it is important to remember that curiosity is also what fuels all of our best discoveries and inventions.  Someone has to wonder who, what, when, where, why, or how in order to learn, grow, and invent new things.

As you prepare for the following tapping exercise, engage your curious mind and look forward to the possibilities.

Getting Curious

illustration for karate chop pointSetup (Karate Chop Point):  Even though I’m not as curious about myself and my world as I used to be, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.  Even though my curiosity about things seems to have faded, I choose to allow it to grow within me.  Even though my curiosity has been suppressed over the years, I choose to rekindle my love for knowing how the world works and I am open to learning more about myself to.

diagram of the tapping pointsEyebrow…It is time to get curious

Side of Eye…It is time to discover new things

Under the Eye…It is time to know how things work

Under the Nose…It is time to know more about myself

Chin…It is time to open myself up

Collarbone…To the possibility of knowing more

Under the Arm…About things than I do right now

Top of Head…At least the things that are really mine to know.

Eyebrow…I gueses this could take the form of nosiness

Side of Eye…About other people’s stuff

Under the Eye…But I don’t want to invade their privacy

Under the Nose…So while I might be curious

Chin…That wouldn’t be an action I should pursue

Collarbone…But to better understand the world around me

Under the Arm…And to better understand myself

Top of Head…Seem like reasonable starting places

Eyebrow…I remember my children

Side of Eye…Were always asking “why”

Under the Eye…Why is the sky blue?

Under the Nose…Why do dogs sniff butts?

Chin…Their curiosity seemed endless

Collarbone…And it drove me nuts

Under the Arm…Probably because I didn’t know the answers

Top of Head…And because their timing was awful

Eyebrow…But now I see the value

Side of Eye…In wondering why

Under the Eye…In contemplating how

Under the Nose…And I want to bring that curiosity

Chin…Back into my life

Collarbone…Feeling curious

Under the Arm…Trying to make sense of things

Top of Head…Embracing the curiosity that is my birthright.

Suggestions:

This tapping is a jumping off point for exploring this topic of curiosity.  Consider the following suggestions for continuing your tapping with this goat attribute:

  1. Tap through the points while describing a particular instance in which your curiosity was not appreciated by others or may have been punished.
  2. Tap while describing a particular instance in which you encountered a goat.
  3. Tap while describing any instance in which you suppressed your own curiosity and your reasons for it.
  4. Tap while describing any frustration or negative emotion about not being able to find the answers you seek.

 

Gut Feelings

crystal ballHave you had the experience of intuition or knowing?  Do you have gut feelings? Was there ever a tiny little voice urging you to make a certain decision?  Maybe you listened to it.  Maybe you didn’t.  Bats are associated with intuition.  As an animal guide they often encourage you to follow through on your ideas or hunches.  As an animal totem they can indicate someone who is highly perceptive or someone who has dreams that almost always seem to come true.  The tapping exercise below calls on the spirit of bat to help us in our own personal growth.

illustration for karate chop pointSetup (Karate Chop Point): I have this gut feeling that is really bothering me.  I had a plan about what I was going to do but my gut is telling me not to.  Should I pay attention to what my gut is saying?  How do I know this isn’t just fear or anxiety getting in the way?  Even though I have this confusion I choose to believe I can work through this.  Even thought I have confusion between my gut and my head, I choose to accept myself, no matter what I decide.  Even though this gut feeling is really bothering me, I am open to clarity.

diagram of the tapping pointsEyebrow…Gut feelings

Side of Eye…Seems like a warning

Under the Eye…Could just be fear

Under the Nose…Could be anxiety

Chin…Might be intuition

Collarbone…So hard to know

Under the Arm…This bothersome feeling in my gut

Top of Head…Open to clarity

(This would be a great place to add the 9-Gamut tapping for added benefit.  I’ve included instructions at the end of the post or you can click here to see a video.)

Eyebrow…I’d like to trust my intuition

Side of Eye…I am open to clarity

Under the Eye…This confusion

Under the Nose…In my gut

Chin…Listening for guidance

Collarbone…Gut feeling

Under the Arm…Open to clarity

Top of Head…I am willing to experience the feeling

Remember that it can be helpful to take the time to rate your response to the statements before the tapping and again when you finish.  Now that you have tapped, are you feeling any discomfort?  If so, keep tapping for as long as it takes to feel a shift.

 

The 9-Gamut Procedure includes these steps:

Tap the Gamut spot on the back of the hand continuously (It is on the back of the hand between the knuckles at the base of the ring finger and little finger)

  1. Close your eyes tightly
  2. Open your eyes wide
  3. Without moving your head, look hard down to the right, as if trying to see your right hip
  4. Without moving your head, look hard down to the left, as if trying to see your left hip
  5. Without moving your head, circle your eyes clockwise
  6. Without moving your head, circle your eyes counter-clockwise
  7. Hum a few seconds of a tune such as Happy Birthday or Row Your Boat
  8. Count to 5 slowly
  9. Hum a few seconds of a tune such as Happy Birthday or Row Your Boat

 

Goose – A Symbol of Perfectionism

goose - a symbol of perfectionismThe goose mainly brings positive thoughts, memories, and feelings for me.  I am fairly certain that this is one of my totem animals.  That said, I can also relate to some goose symbolism or characteristics that might actually be problematic in my life.  This tapping exercise is about one of them.   The goose is often associated with perfectionism.  I’m sure I can hear those of you that know me taking an audible gasp of air.  Yes, I’ll admit it.  I can be somewhat perfectionistic (but not about everything) and it sometimes interferes with my life.  Can you relate? Take a few moments and check in with your own perfectionistic tendencies, or lack thereof, then get started with the tapping exercise.

illustration for karate chop pointSetup (Karate Chop Point): Even though I want to be perfect in most everything I do, or at least I want others to think that I’m perfect, I choose to love, honor, and respect myself just as I am in this moment. Even though perfectionism is something I know can be over the top, I don’t want to let go of my high standards. I choose to allow myself to grow and develop in this area. In spite of my tendency to be really hard on myself and expect a standard of perfection that isn’t really possible, healthy, or effective, I deeply and completely love and respect myself as a work in progress.

diagram of the tapping pointsEyebrow…Perfectionism

Side of Eye…An unattainable standard

Under the Eye…It seems like a good goal

Under the Nose…But it really seems to lower my productivity

Chin…And stifle my creativity

Collarbone…My rational brain knows that perfectionism isn’t possible

Under the Arm…But my emotional brain sees it as a necessity

Top of Head…This needs to be perfect

Eyebrow…There seems to be a lot attached to this

Side of Eye…It almost seems necessary

Under the Eye…Sure, I got lots of praise when I did things well

Under the Nose…And experienced criticism if I didn’t

Chin…That’s normal for most people

Collarbone…But I feel that criticism very deeply

Under the Arm…And I’ve gotten quite good at being the critic myself

Top of Head…In spite of all of this

Eyebrow…I am trying to learn to love and respect myself more

Side of Eye…Perfectionism

Under the Eye…A double-edged sword

Under the Nose…It can help me

Chin…And it can definitely hurt me

Collarbone…The truth is

Under the Arm…I feel safer if I am the one doing the criticizing

Top of Head…Rather than waiting for someone else to do it

Eyebrow…And now I just seem to expect it

Side of Eye…This is definitely something I’d like to let go of

Under the Eye…The perfectionism

Under the Nose…The fear of criticism

Chin…Craving praise

Collarbone…Trying to prevent embarrassment

Under the Arm…Of having someone else see a flaw

Top of Head…My problem with perfectionism

 

For me, and for many other people, perfectionism is a deeply rooted problem and we have many experiences that have shaped our thinking.  I’m pretty sure the tapping reminded you of some of those experiences.  Write those down, and then go back and tap on the points while running the event in your mind like a movie.

 

Hawk: A Symbol of Spiritual Awareness

When I was a child I had the opportunity to spend time at the Outdoor Education Center in Yellow Springs, Ohio.  This was a rewarding experience for a lot of reasons.  I was spending time in nature, learning about the animals and plants native to my area, chasing the elusive indigo bunting, eating violets, and enjoying the freedom of not being in a traditional classroom.  One of the animals that I became better acquainted with was the red-tailed hawk.  What a beautiful creature.  I still get a special feeling when I remember the experience.  The hawk, as a totem, is known as a messenger of the spirit world and a symbol of spiritual awareness.  The next tapping exercise will help you explore your own spiritual connections.

illustration for karate chop pointSetup (Karate Chop Point): Even though I am not as connected to the spiritual aspects of living as I would like to be, I choose to love and accept myself completely.  Even though my connection to Spirit isn’t quite what I would like it to be, I choose to respect the connection. I choose to honor my willingness to grow in this area.  Even though I need to focus much more on body and mind that I do spirit, I deeply and completely love, honor, and accept myself.

diagram of the tapping pointsEyebrow…A desire to be more connected

Side of Eye…To the spiritual aspects of life

Under the Eye…Its not that I don’t believe

Under the Nose…Or that I’m not aware of Spirit

Chin…Its just that it isn’t the realm I’m most comfortable with

Collarbone…Or as easily aware of.

Under the Arm…If I’m honest, it’s the part that is easiest for me to ignore

Top of Head…And I don’t think that is helpful.

Eyebrow…This tendency to block out or ignore Spirit

Side of Eye…In my daily life

Under the Eye…This tendency to block out or ignore Spirit

Under the Nose…In my decision making

Chin…This tendency to block out or ignore Spirit

Collarbone…When I know it is important

Under the Arm…And essential to balanced living

Top of Head…Connecting more easily to Spirit

Eyebrow…Considering Spirit

Side of Eye…Noticing Spirit

Under the Eye…Feeling Spirit

Under the Nose…Breathing Spirit

Chin…Consulting Spirit

Collarbone…Being Spirit

Under the Arm…Loving Spirit

Top of Head…Spirit

 

Take a deep breath and let it go gently.  Be sure to write down any thoughts, experiences, or feelings that you noticed during the tapping and use them for your own personal tapping in the future.

Arrogance?

showing your beauty or talent is not arroganceHas anyone ever called you arrogant?  It can be a hard thing to hear, particularly if you feel that your behavior has been misunderstood.  Imagine that, like the peacock, you have a feature, skill, or talent that is pretty spectacular.  Are you supposed to pretend that you don’t?  When you are at the zoo do you hope the peacock will spread its tail or do you scorn it when it does? I personally love to see that big beautiful tail.  There are times in our lives when we dare to shine but other people call us arrogant or overly proud.  I can even remember feeling proud of an accomplishment and someone reciting the pride goeth before a fall admonition.  That can make us worried and scared to express our greatness.

That is what the next tapping is about.  It isn’t really promoting arrogance. Instead it is about discerning arrogance from appropriate pride in an accomplishment or situation.

 

illustration for karate chop pointSetup (Karate Chop Point): I hate being told that I am arrogant, particularly when I just feel like I’m being happy.  It makes me reluctant to speak of the positive things that I’ve done, seen, or accomplished.  Even with these jumbled up feelings I choose to deeply and completely love and accept myself.  Even though I have a lot of unresolved feelings about being called arrogant and wanting to be happy about things I’ve done, I choose to remain calm and speak my truth.  Even though being called arrogant could be a consequence of sharing my happiness with others, I choose to respect myself and anyone else that is involved in the situation.

diagram of the tapping pointsEyebrow…He called me arrogant

Side of Eye…And that really hurt

Under the Eye…What also hurt

Under the Nose…Is that I believed it

Chin…At the time it seemed like he might be right

Collarbone…And maybe it wasn’t ok to be happy about my success

Under the Arm…But looking back

Top of Head…I’m pretty sure that I wasn’t being mean

Eyebrow…I wasn’t trying to make myself better tha anyone else

Side of Eye…I wasn’t gloating

Under the Eye…I was just amazingly excited and happy

Under the Nose…It’s nice to receive awards

Chin…And it doesn’t make sense to pretend that I don’t enjoy it

Collarbhone….I suspect he was just unhappy because he didn’t get an award

Under the Arm…And thought he could make himself feel better

Top of Head…By making me feel bad

Eyebrow…And I fell for it

Side of Eye..That may be the worst part of it for me now

Under the Eye…I can be my own worst enemy

Under the Nose…And it has stopped me from showing my happiness

Chin…Many times since that first incident

Collarbone…I have even tried to pre-empt the potential problem

Under the Arm…By downplaying my successes before someone else can take me down

Top of Head…I don’t get to feel happy then either

Eyebrow…I’m glad I care about how other people feel

Side of Eye…And I really don’t want others to feel badly as a result of my successes

Under the Eye…But for the most part, I can’t control how they feel

Under the Nose…I believe I should be careful

Chin…With my words, attitudes, and tone of voice

Collarbone…But if those are appropriate

Under the Arm…Someone else’s reaction isn’t because of me

Top of Head…They are then completely responsible for their response

Eyebrow…I choose to shine when I can

Side of Eye…Without flaunting or bragging

Under the Eye…And know that expressions of pride and happiness

Under the Nose…Can be completely appropriate

Chin…I affirm that happiness is NOT arrogance

Collarbone…I affirm that utilizing my strengths and assets

Under the Arm…is NOT arrogance

Top of Head…I affirm all that I am.

 

Take a deep breath and let it out slowly.  Notice if you are holding any tension in your body after completing this exercise.  If you do notice tension, spend a few minutes tapping to release it from your body.

Evil in the World

In reality, I wrote this tapping exercise a long time ago and it is included in my upcoming book.  As I was working through some edits today I realized how relevant it is with the recent news and world situations so wanted to share it here with you.  As you will see, it was originally crafted to address one of the associations with snakes.

primal instincts of snakeSnakes are seldom portrayed as beacons of happiness and job.  Think about the snakes you have seen in movies or in the media.  The first movies that pop in my mind are Anaconda, Harry Potter, and Indiana Jones. In each of those movies the snakes are representations of evil, danger, or death.  It only takes  a few minutes of watching the news or looking at social media to know that there is evil in the world we live in and it can be very distressing. While tapping cannot eliminate evil, it can help us to deal with it better. The tapping exercise below is somewhat general, but you are free to substitute whatever current event is bothering you to make it more effective.

illustration for karate chop pointSetup (karate chop point): Even though I’m worried about this evil in the world, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.  Even though I’m worried about this evil in the world, I acknowledge that I cannot change it by worrying more or worrying longer, so I choose to breathe and relax and focus on love, peace, and light. Even though I’m very concerned about the apparent increase of bad things happening in the world, I choose to remain calm and centered.

diagram of the tapping pointsEyebrow…All of the evil in the world

Side of Eye…The bad things that are happening

Under the Eye…So much chaos

Under the Nose…So much hatred

Chin…So many lies

Collarbone…So much disease

Under the Arm…So many people are hurting

Top of Head…And being hurt

Eyebrow…All of this evil in the world

Side of Eye…Upset

Under the Eye…Scared

Under the Nose…Angry

Chin…Worried

Collarbone…About all of the evil in the world

Under the Arm…I can’t hide from it

Top of Head…But I don’t have to let it harm me either

Eyebrow…I can do what I can

Side of Eye…To promote peace, justice, and love

Under the Eye…But I have no control over the other people

Under the Nose…And worrying will not help

Chin…It can only hurt me

Collarbone…I’m not pretending it doesn’t exist

Under the Arm…I’m just not wasting unproductive energy

Top of Head…All of this evil in the world

Eyebrow…But I choose to remain calm

Side of Eye…All of this evil in the world

Under the Eye…But I choose to remain centered

Under the Nose…ALl of this evil in the world

Chin…But I refuse to give it a place in my soul

Collarbone…All of this evil in the world

Under the Arm…But I choose not to give it my time

Top of Head…I choose to promote love, peace, and light.

Primal Instincts

primal instict of sharkPrimal Instincts – that is really the theme of my upcoming book Primal Power: Totem Tapping for Health and Happiness. We all have primal instincts.  What follows is a sneak peek at a tapping exercise included that considers what we can learn from the primal instincts of sharks.

I find it hard at times to rely on my instincts. For much of my life people in charge have made me question whether my instincts were valid and reliable.  It happened  in some subtle and not-so-subtle ways.  For example, were you ever so angry as a child that you told a grown up that you hated someone and they responded back by telling you that you didn’t really hate that person? Maybe you had an experience in which you felt frightened but you were told that what you were afraid of wasn’t really scary.  I’ve had both of these done to me and have done both to others. Being told that what I was feeling was wrong made me less in tune or able to trust my primal powers and instincts.  Although I’m doing better I still sometimes find it hard to rely on my gut, even though it is pretty accurate.

illustration for karate chop pointSetup (karate chop point): Even though I find it hard to listen to my gut, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.  Even though I often second guess myself when it comes to following my instincts, I am learning to love that part of me again.

 

diagram of the tapping pointsEyebrow…Afraid to trust my gut

Side of Eye…Afraid to trust myself

Under the Eye…Afraid to trust my inner guidance

Under the Nose…Afraid to trust my primal nature

Chin…Afraid to follow my intuition

Collarbone…Trained to believe they are right and I am wrong

Under the Arm…Even about my own feelings

Top of Head…And my own experiences

Eyebrow…When I have trusted my gut

Side of Eye…It has been amazingly spot on

Under the Eye…But much of the time

Under the Nose…I don’t even listen for it anymore

Chin…Or worse, I hear it, but ignore it

Collarbone…Bad things usually follow

Under the Arm…When I ignore an instinct or a gut feeling

Top of Head…Learning to trust again

Eyebrow…Learning to trust ME again

Side of Eye…Not giving up on the facts

Under the Eye…But acknowledging a knowing that is sometimes beyond the facts

Under the Nose…Knowing what I feel

Chin…My feelings can’t be wrong

Collarbone…It doesn’t mean that I have to react to them

Under the Arm…All of the time

Top of Head….But I can learn to hear my inner voice again and reclaim my primal power.

 

Know It All…Or Know It Not

Have there been times when you believed that you knew something, but found out later that what you thought you knew was either completely wrong, or at best incomplete?  This was my situation last month in Alaska. I thought I was a know it all, or at least a know it a little bit, found out that I was a know it not.

After a magical helicopter ride I was standing on top of a glacier.  It didn’t look anything like what I thought a glacier looked like.  I had certainly seen pictures of glaciers calving on National Geographic.  As I stood there, I realized that I had a very “kindergarten” or one-dimensional view of a glacier.  In reality I knew nothing at all. This was quite sobering.  I found that I couldn’t really wrap my brain around it.

on top of a glacierI walked on the glacier, looked into the deep tunnels, drank from a glacial stream, and marveled at the beauty.  Soon after we boarded an air boat and viewed the glacier from that level.  I got to see another aspect of a glacier, and it looked a little bit more like what I had seen on TV.

The next day we entered Glacier Bay.  There I saw two distinctly different glaciers.  One wasn’t even white.  They were close enough together that I could view them by simply turning my head.  That totally blew my mind.

I continued to grapple with the question what is a glacier for the rest of the trip.  I looked it up on the internet and found “a slowing moving mass or river of ice formed by magnificent view of glacierthe accumulation and compaction of snow on mountains or near the poles.”  I also found “a glacier is a persistent body of dense ice that is constantly moving under its own weight; it forms where the accumulation of snow exceeds its ablation over many years, often centuries.”  Even by the time we left, I couldn’t tell a glacier from a mountain most of the time.

majestic glacierI was left wondering how often in my life I have been convinced that I understood something and been totally wrong because I had only viewed it from one vantage point.  I will need to be more careful in assuming what I do and do not know.

 

You Must Keep Your Cool

Animal parents keeping their coolDo you remember the commercial many years ago for deodorant?  The motto was “never let them see you sweat.”  Up until recently that was my advice to parents.  Even if you are ready to pull your hair out, don’t let your kids see it.  That’s not bad advice, but it is not great advice either.  The best advice is not to sweat it at all.  Keep your cool.

What I generally see and hear are stories of parents who “lose it” with their kids and justify it that their kids pushed them to the limit.  “He made me so mad” they wail.  Well if parents can be pushed to that point, doesn’t it make sense that kids are pushed to that point to?  Will we listen to their justifications that “Amy made me so mad that I had to hit her?”  That’s the way kids think.  If we want our kids to respond intellectually and emotionally in more socially acceptable or more effective ways, then we have to act that way to.

This is not easy to do in a society that reacts instantly to almost everything. Video games keep our reaction times well-honed.  So does the breakneck speed of living and instant access to almost anything.  Parenting is not an instant activity.  From conception, there needs to be a plan.  What are you going to teach?  How are you going to teach it? How are you going to handle it when your children misbehave?”  (Please don’t kid yourself that they won’t).

Most often parents lose their cool when they feel their authority is being challenged, when their own lives have them overwhelmed, or when their plans fell apart because it wasn’t based on realistic expectations.  Once again we are faced with the reality that parents have to take care of their own issues in order to be effective with their children.

If you can’t yet claim that you can easily ride the tides of parenting – at the very least – control your behavior.  Keep your cool!

Worry Proofing Young Teens

Why do we need to worry proof young teens? What do they really have to worry about anyway?  Has it really been so long ago that we have forgotten what it feels like to be in middle school?  I think it is much worse now than it was when I was growing up. The pressure to fit in has always been there, but there are so many other demands on these middle school children that it is a wonder to me that any make it through unscathed.  Common worries for young teens include:

  • a parent dying
  • divorce
  • grades
  • bodily injury
  • the future
  • gender issues
  • race issues
  • social issues

That’s a heavy load of worry.  The increase in worry during this developmental period coincides with an increased awareness of the world and a decrease in egocentrism. While these processes are generally positive, they are not without consequences.

As a parent or teacher there are several things you can do to help worry proof them.  It is important to nurture their positive self-determination. Teach them how to acquire control over their own lives.  Steer them to rewarding friendships.  Model optimism for them, even in the face of challenge and adversity.

teen girlsWe all know that friends become very important for most preteens.  Having friends can be a direct measure of popularity and can provide a sense of security.  Getting with the wrong crowd can have devastating effects.  Each of these peer groups also have their own code of conduct. Teaching them to maneuver the intricacies of social responsibility with the expression of their own thoughts and values is very important.

This is not the time when being different is embraced except by a very few individuals. If they are going to be trying to mimic the mannerisms, speech, dress, behavior, consumerism, music, and fads of their peer group we need to make sure that their peer group is one we can tolerate.

Although they may be critical of everything you do, remember that they are watching closely.  This is a time where they will become very aware of any discrepancy between your words and your behavior. If you want them to be optimistic, you must be optimistic.  If you want them to stand up for themselves, you must stand up for yourself. If you want them to be kind, you must be kind.  Perhaps even more difficult, if you want them to be honest, you need to be honest.

Unfortunately, we can’t really take away all of the things that these young people worry about. These issues are real.  As parents and mentors, we need to remain open to hearing what they have to say on these issues, even when we don’t agree. When they ask your opinion, answer honestly.  If they don’t ask your opinion — say very little.

Remember what it felt like to be that age.  How did the adults in your life handle your concerns?  Which responses helped you to relax and enjoy life and which responses only increased your anxiety and worry?  Tell them to “ignore it” when it really bothers them is the same thing as telling them that their feelings are wrong.  Do you think they will tell you when something is bothering them again?  Probably not.

It can be very easy to get caught up in their drama and trauma.  Try to avoid jumping in too soon unless safety is really an issue.  Give them the chance to handle things if they can or talk them through solutions if there is one.  Be ready and available to listen and empathize.  If the worry seems to be interfering with friendships, academics, or other activities consider professional intervention.