Don’t Diet: Reprogram Your Weight With Meridian Tapping

Diets don’t typically work. Anyone who has ever been on a diet knows that traditional dieting works for only a short time then — BOOM — the weight comes back on.  In order to achieve safe, effective, and lasting weight loss it is necessary to restore the body’s balance and to address the reasons why the weight is there in the first place.

Meridian tapping is the perfect technique for getting to the root cause of weight gain.  It is also an effective technique for decreasing resistance to exercise, eliminating cravings, and restoring rational thought related to food and nutrition.

My book, Don’t Diet: Reprogram Your Weight With Meridian Tapping gives you a complete program to address many common issues associated with overeating, poor eating, avoidance of exercise, and irrational beliefs about food.  In addition, by working through the exercises in the book you will develop the tapping skills to fine-tune and tailor the tapping to your individual concerns.

It Will Be Difficult

Excuses Be Gone by Wayne Dyer book coverIt will be difficult is one of the excuses identified in Excuses Be Gone, a book by Dr. Wayne Dyer and published by Hay House in 2009. I can’t even begin to count the number of times I have personally used this one.  It has also been a favorite for many of my patients over the years.  People (myself included) very often can cite all of the reasons why they want to do a particular thing or why they should make a particular change. If I’m in a good mood, feeling full of energy, and feel that the person is highly motivated (again, including myself), my initial response to the excuse will be “so what?” Why does something being difficult mean that I shouldn’t or couldn’t do it? When I have actually asked that question people have looked at me like I’m crazy.

There seems to be an unspoken maxim that states that one should never try to do something if it will be difficult. Sometimes it is difficult to imagine, but the opposite might also be true OR, it could actually be easy.  Without a crystal ball it is pretty hard to tell. I might know that something was difficult for me last time or that it was difficult for someone else, but I can never know for sure that something will be difficult this time. It may not be very helpful to jump to that assumption.

If we apply Dr. Dyer’s paradigm for managing the excuse it might include asking

Q – Is it true? Will it be difficult?

A – Probably not.

Q – Where did the excuse come from?

A – I allowed it

Q – What is the payoff?  How does this excuse help me?

A – I( get to avoid risks and stay the same.

Q – What would my life look like if I couldn’t use this excuse?

A – I’d be able to really be myself

Q – Can I create a rational reason to change?

A – Yes

My paradigm for addressing the excuse is similar but also includes tapping (not a surprise I’m sure.)

Q – Where did this excuse come from?

A – Start tapping (tap through the points, changing to the next one whenever it diagram of the tapping pointsfeels right) and let your thoughts flow freely while you try to answer this question. This might include becoming aware of what you are feeling, when you have used this excuse before, and how it feels when you use it.  Get as specific as you can about the excuse, the purpose of the excuse, and the desired outcome of the excuse.

Q – Was there a time that this excuse helped or protected me?

A – The answer is probably yes. Now keep tapping and get specific, remembering the instances in which the excuse was somehow beneficial to you. Try not to get caught up in self-judgment or blame. View the events as if they were a movie or as if you are seeing it happening in the distance and keep tapping.

Q – What am I afraid would happen if I drop this excuse?

A – You will get better results if you can suspend self-judgment about having used this excuse before.  As you found out with the previous step, you developed this excuse for a reason.  Now continue tapping and take a look at the fear or anxiety that entices you to keep using the excuse and perhaps re-evaluate its usefulness to you.

Q – What would be the benefit of eliminating this excuse?

A – Start Tapping.  All things have pros and cons. Now is the time to look at the positive side of eliminating the excuse.  Your results will be best if you can get very specific and get a clear vision of what things might be like on the other side of the fence if you eliminate the excuse.  Remember, the grass is supposed to be woman jumping over the fencegreener on the other side so focus your energy on all of the good things awaiting you if you jump over the fence without the excuse.

If you decide to keep the excuse, please do so without self-blame or regret. You now understand your own motivations and decisions. If you decide to let go of the excuse, congratulations. Now you know that what you are contemplating may actually be easy.  You have also gained awareness of your own ability to do things that are difficult.

Avoid the Pedestal. It’s a Tough Fall.

multiple busts on pedestal in museumHave you ever put someone up on a pedestal?  Did you think they could do no wrong?  How did that work out for you?  Turn that around.  Do you want to be the one up on the pedestal?  If we are really honest, sometimes we do seek that type of relationship with other people.  The following tapping exercise gives you a starting point if this is an issue that resonates with you from either side of the pedestal.

 

illustration for karate chop pointSetup (while tapping the karate chop point): The Tao Te Ching tells me that I don’t want to be on a pedestal, but I seem to seek that position anyway. Even though I seem to want to be viewed as something special, or something “more”, I deeply and completely love and accept myself. Even though my mind acknowledges that danger of being put on a pedestal, my behavior suggests that I feel otherwise. In spite of this conflict, I deeply and completely love and accept myself anyway. Even though I don’t want the pain of falling off of the pedestal, I would like the love and respect that I believe comes with being put on a pedestal.  I choose to remain open to new ways of thinking about this.

diagram of the tapping pointsEyebrow…My mind and emotions are not in agreement about this issue

Side of Eye…I choose to remain open to clarity

Under the Eye…I have a lot of emotional baggage that I don’t fully understand

Under the Nose…I have put others on a pedestal

Chin…And when they let me down and “fall” off of that high place

Collarbone…We generally both get hurt

Under the Arm…I don’t want to continue that pattern with other people

Top of Head…And I don’t want to experience that fall myself either

Eyebrow…I am open to learning new ways of getting my needs met

Side of Eye…Maybe I am confusing adoration with respect

Under the Eye…Maybe I am confusing respect with love

Under the Nose…Maybe I am just confused all the way around

Chin…Awareness is a good place to start with this issue

Collarbone…I choose to be gentle with myself as I learn a new way

Under the Arm…I am looking forward to changes in the way I relate to others

Top of Head…I am looking forward to changes in the way I view myself

As I said, this exercise is just a starting point.  I know I have more work to do on this issue.  Do you?

Tai Chi – Out of the Dojo

Man with intense focus during tai chiTai Chi is a serious martial art and martial arts are practiced in a dojo – right? Well, not exclusively. You may see photos or movies showing large groups in China practicing in the park.  At a school in Wiltshire, England you might find elementary school students doing Tai Chi in the classroom.  The teacher, Anne D’Souzza, reported that Tai Chi assists students in calming down and preparing for their work.  In her classroom students begin every school day with Tai Chi.

Another interesting Tai Chi program operates in prisons, rehab centers, and elementary schools in Utah. An organization called Tai Chi Youth was started by Master Zhen Shen-Lang.  He volunteered to teach 15 inmates at Decker Lake Maximum Security Youth Prison in 1992.  The inmates demonstrated significant improvement in their communication skills.

The basic goals of the Tai Chi Youth Program are:

  1. To balance the body – health, coordination, exercise
  2. To balance the mind – emotions, creativity, intellectual pursuits
  3. To balance the life – contentment, individuality, ambitions
  4. To expand abilities – increased physical potential, increased mental potential, increased expectations
  5. To expand awareness – new abilities create new abilities, better self understanding, and able to better understand others
  6. To benefit society – decide individual path within society, become self-sufficient, help others
  7. Lessen violence in the world – be at peace with self and personal history, spread contentment and confidence to others, discourage violence in others
  8. Live a good life – constantly strive to improve all aspects of self, enjoy and appreciate living and respect all living things, make the lives of others as good as possible

Many other schools, dojos, and community organizations are learning the value of Tai Chi practice.  Although the physical movements are the method, the real focus is on developing character, respect, and self-control.  These skills can then be transferred to many other situations including home, school, and social activities.

Seeing Red

Fist hitting red objectEveryone knows the feeling of anger.  Who hasn’t experienced “seeing red” at least a few times in their life?  What else do you know about anger?  Try this quiz and see how you do.

 

 

1. True or False – Anger is a good warning signal letting you know that you need to take some sort of action.

2. True or False – Anger can be important to the survival of the species.

3. True or False – Anger is the same thing is disapproval.

4. True or False – Ladies don’t get angry.

5. True or False – You must release or discharge anger.

(Answers are at the bottom of the page.)

All of us experience anger and that is ok.  What we do, or don’t do, with anger may be the problem.  Anger can be expressed in five basic ways: suppression, open aggression, passive aggression, assertiveness, and dropping it.

Suppression involves holding anger inside in an unhealthy way.  Someone engaging in suppression may try to “put on a good front” or pretend to feel no angry man yelling in ragetension.  Open aggression is taking a stand for personal worth, needs, and/or convictions at someone else’s expense. Open aggression may involve explosiveness, rage, intimidation, blame, bickering, criticism, or sarcasm.

While the name sounds better, passive aggression also occurs at the expense of someone else. It may be quieter and it also causes less personal vulnerability for the angry person.  Assertive anger preserves one’s personal worth, needs, and convictions while considering the needs and feelings of others.  In my opinion this is a true art form.

Finally, dropping your anger is also a possibility. It is possible to accept one’s inability to completely control circumstances and to recognize personal limits. You may realize that the anger is misplaced, ineffective, or out of proportion.

Changing your pattern of angry thoughts, feelings, and behaviors is not easy. Anger often involves so many automatic responses that just unraveling the real issue can be tough.

two goats head butting each otherUnmanaged anger can be an incredibly destructive force.  R. Brayton Bowen, as president of the Howland Group, estimated that there are as many as 18,000 workplace assaults each week.  According to a Yale University study, the main factor in employee rage is a real or imagined slight by a supervisor or manager. Perceived lack of productivity by co-workers, tight deadlines, and heavy workloads were also identified. The study suggested that this underground chronic anger that is present in the workplace affects one-fourth of the working population. Businesses who address workplace stress and teach employees anger management skills find that the company’s bottom line improves based on increased productivity, decreased absenteeism, and reduced medical costs.

Anger doesn’t just impact employees and employers. School-aged children often have not learned effective anger management skills.  A school in Staffordshire has implemented a program designed to prevent the aggressive behaviors commonly recognized in the school system with good results.

Intimate relationships can trigger aggressive responses if anger is not tended to appropriately. Domestic violence, rape, verbal assault, sarcasm, and arguing all stem from anger.  Most people agree that this type of angry behavior is ineffective at best and, at worst destructive.

So what can you do?  First, recognize the source of the anger. When boiled down, it will probably relate to one of these:

  • Interruption of plans or goals
  • Implications of non-compliance
  • Concern about injury
  • Expectations
  • History repeating itself
  • Overload
  • Personal peeves
  • Embarrassment

You see, none of those is really about the other person. They are all about you and how you feel.

Second, take appropriate action, not to make the other person suffer, but to solve the real problem. This may involve more communication, more planning, less mind-reading, and better self-care.

Anger management classes can be extremely effective. Invest some time and effort and sign up for one. Do you work in a pressure-cooker environment? Ask your boss to bring in a consultant to help the entire team deal with anger more effectively.  It would be a win-win situation.  Is your child displaying problems with anger? Take a look at the anger-management role model you may be providing and make the appropriate changes.

(Answers: TTFFF)

Stop Worry Now

worried woman with hands over faceWorry.  People use that word to mean many different things. Some people only seem to worry when something truly is amiss.  Other people worry about things that are unlikely to ever happen.  There have been many studies about the negative effects of worry on our health.

Cover Image of Tap It Away: 10 Minutes to Freedom With EFT by Dr. Leanna ManuelMake no mistake about it, worry is a destructive force but it can be stopped.  Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has been the mainstay for many mental health professionals when treating worry.  I have used to too.  However, I find that combining CBT with meridian tapping (EFT) is even more effective. There are examples of how to use meridian tapping to stop worry and anxiety in my book Tap It Away: 10 Minutes to Freedom With EFT.

Below is an example you can use whenever worry appears in your life.  (New to Tapping?  Click HERE for a brief explanation and video.)

Step 1: Name what you are worried about, then insert your worry in the blank.

Step 2: Tap on your karate chop point and repeat these statements. “even though illustration for karate chop pointI am worried about _________, I deeply and completely love and accept myself. Even though I am worried about ________, I choose to feel confident no matter what.  Even though I am worried about ________, I love and accept myself and all of my feelings.

Step 3: Tap on the points while using the recommended reminder phrases.

diagram of the tapping pointsEyebrow…I am worried about _____

Side of Eye…This worry about _____

Under the Eye…I am worried about _____

Under the Nose…This worry about _____

Chin…I’m so worried about _____

Collarbone…Even though I am worried about _____

Under the Arm…I choose to face it with calm confidence

Top of Head…Even though I am worried about _____

Eyebrow…I won’t let that worry stop me from the things I want to do

Side of Eye…Even though I have worried about _____ in the past

Under the Eye…I choose to react based on the present situation, not the past

Under the Nose…I have worried about _____

Chin…But I choose to think about how well I can handle so many different things

Collarbone…Even though I have worried about _____

Under the Arm…I choose thoughts that are confident

Top of Head…I experience feelings that are calm and happy

 

Taker a deep breath and let it out.  Continue tapping with these or similar reminder phrases until your worry has subsided.

Jump Ship

Ha!  I just caught the fact that my book review of Jump Ship that I mentioned in a previous post somehow never got published.  Sorry about that.

Jump Ship by Josh Shipp book coverBefore anyone gets antsy, let me say up front that I’m not planning to quit my job and start another career in the near future.  I received Jump Ship by Josh Shipp a few years ago in a goodreads.com giveaway and initially requested it simply because I am fascinated by the process of personal growth.  I may actually be addicted to personal growth and self-help books. I currently have an interest in turning my passion into a profession for my retirement years so it certainly couldn’t hurt to read the book.

I loved this book for several reasons. First, I loved the writer’s open and honest style. It was informative. It was challenging. It was provocative. It was personal. On the first page of the introduction the author stated that he has a reputation for being “in your face, but on your side” and that was evident throughout the text. I can appreciate that style.  It is the same style that has worked for me while doing psychotherapy over the years. It is not a style that works for everybody, but it worked for me most of the time.

The second reason that I loved this book was because it was practical. There were no easy answers but there were actual things to do to help you to discern what your passion is and things to do to evaluate whether you could actually make it profitable.

Third, it is a rags to riches kind of story.  Who doesn’t appreciate that? The author obviously has practiced what he preaches.  I have a lot of respect for that. In addition, there were numerous stories of other individuals who have also undergone the process, not just the high points, but also the down and dirty, nitty gritty low points as well.

I would recommend this book for anyone who is considering changing careers, feeling burned out with the status quo, or who is in any way dissatisfied with an aspect of their life. There is much broader applicability to the information in this book than just humping ship from a less fulfilling job. With a little creativity you could make a new life with this information, not just get a new job.

Letting It Be Easy

links of chain making things difficultDo you make things harder than they have to be?  I know that I sometimes do.  There have been many occasions when I’ve struggled through a task, and on completion been amazed (and distressed) when I realize that it could have been much simpler or easier than I made it.  Perhaps it is prior programming that taught me that things worth having require work, or maybe it is the number of past experiences when change was truly difficult. I suspect that I have just been getting in my own way much of the time.  This tapping video is about letting things be easier whenever that is possible and at least not making them needlessly difficult.

I’d Rather Be Them

Want to Be ThemI don’t think I’m alone on this.  Sometimes it looks like everyone else’s life looks like it is going much better than my own.  I catch my self thinking “I’d rather be them” instead of embracing being me.  If this is ever true for you, tap along.

illustration for karate chop pointSetup (while tapping the karate chop point): Even though I often think that I’d rather be them instead of me, I am open to learning to accept being me. Even though I often long to be someone other than who I am, I am eager to learn to love and accept myself more completely.  Even though being someone else seems to be quite alluring at times, there is another part of me that likes who I am.  I am open to getting more in touch with that part of myself on a regular basis.

diagram of the tapping pointsEyebrow…I’d rather be them instead of me

Side of Eye…This is another manifestation of the grass is always greener

Under the Eye…Even though I know the fallacy of that type of thinking it still creeps into my consciousness

Under Nose…When I want to be someone else I’m really rejecting me

Chin…How can I expect other people to accept me when I don’t accept myself?

Collarbone…When I want to be someone else it sometimes means that I just want to hide from my own problems and challenges

Under the Arm…Other times it means that I’m buying into the myth that other people don’t have the problems I have

Top of Head…While I know that is false, it is easy to fall into the trap since I don’t see their problems

Eyebrow…I only feel my own

Side of Eye…When all of my longing to be someone else or live someone else’s life is over

Under Eye…I’m still left with whatever it is that I need to deal with

Under the Nose…The energy of wishing and longing for someone else’s life is wasted

Chin…It would be better spent trying to be the best me I know how to be

Collarbone…That’s the advice I always give to others

Under the Arm…Be the best you that you know how to be

Top of Head…In every second, minute, hour, and day

Eyebrow…That’s the message I often need to hear too

Side of Eye…Be the best me

Under the Eye…During the good times and during the bad times

Under the Nose… Not trying to be perfect

Chin…I don’t really want to be someone else

Collarbone…But sometimes I’m materialistic and just want the things they have

Under the Arm…I don’t want to be them

Top of Head…I want to learn to be the best me I can possible be.  Because I am enough.

Finding The Right Time

Book cover of Tao Te Ching: The Definitive Edition by Lao Tzu from amazon.com

I often find it hard to know when it is time to take action versus time to wait.  When exactly is the right time? This tapping video was inspired by portions of the Tao Te Ching, Verse 8.

When acting, remember – timing is everything

One who lives in accordance with nature

does not go against the way of things

He moves in harmony with the present moment

always knowing the truth of just what to do.