Not Enough

Not enough timeTapping about feeling out of control continues.  This video includes an update about progress, use of the 9-Gamut procedure, and an exploration of additional factors underlying the compulsive food behavior.

Are there any areas in your life in which you feel like there isn’t enough of something?  If so, you might find this tapping very useful.

I hope you will tap along, even if this isn’t an issue that is currently a problem for you.  Any tapping, even about other issues, can help you to unlock your own issues and bring relief.

 

Out of Control Update

out of control with food and wanting pizzaWhat follows is an update on my tapping about being out of control with food.  There were several positives, although baby steps, and a resolve to set myself up for more success by making tapping more automatic instead of relying upon myself to decide to tap when I need it.  I also explore what might be some of the underlying issues that will need to be resolved in order to experience more success in managing my food more successfully.

 

Run the Gamut

ready to run the gamutHave you ever heard that expression?  I have heard it and used it, but only understood it through context, never knowing a dictionary definition.  Merriam-Webster defines it as “to encompass an entire range of something.”  Synonyms include rage, spectrum, span, scope, breadth, scale, or extent.  Gamut is also a term that can apply in meridian tapping.  While in tapping it is the name of a tapping spot, to me it also relates to increasing the breadth and scope of your tapping, or “getting the whole thing”.

There is a spot on the back of the hand between the knuckles at the base of the ring finger and little finger.  It is the third point on the Triple Warmer acupuncture meridian which is responsible for turning on and off the fight/flight/freeze response.  It is also associated with the spleen meridian. Carol Prentice, in her article at www.thetappingsolution, describes the use of the 9-Gamut Procedure.  She indicates that disturbances in spleen energy may be involved in both physical and emotional problems.

The 9-Gamut Procedure was taught as an important component of the Emotional Freedom Technique decades ago when I was first learning it. For some reason, I don’t completely understand, many practitioners stopped teaching it regularly. Actually, so did I.  It was the part of the tapping procedure that looked the strangest and I feared that it prevented people from actually wanting to do the technique.  Recently, I have revisited that decision and have decided to include it again in my own tapping.

Energy Tapping by Gallo and VincenziOther Energy Psychologists, such as Fred Gallo and Harry Vincenzi, in their book Energy Tapping, use a form of this procedure and call it Brain Balancer.  This is a very accurate label for what the 9-Gamut Procedure does.

The 9-Gamut Procedure includes these steps:

Tap the Gamut spot on the back of the hand continuously

  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. music for hummingHum a few seconds of a tune such as Happy Birthday or Row Your Boat

At this point most people seem to need some explanation of why you are being encouraged to do this.  Eye movements are tied to brain function.  So when you look right you are using the left side of your brain and when you look left you are using the right side of your brain.  Similarly, humming stimulates the right side of the brain and counting stimulates the left side of the brain.  When you put this all together you stimulate the whole brain, while also changing the emotional response by tapping on the gamut spot.

Mair Llewellyn posted an interesting article on www.emofree.com that describes the pros and cons of using the 9-Gamut procedure.  The cons are pretty much what I had expected: takes longer, looks weird, and can be intimidating to new tappers.  The advantages include a method for tying tapping to other healing practices that people may have heard of such as neurolinguistic programming (NLP), EMDR, and other brain balancing techniques that are increasingly more popular in the media.  Another advantage is that blocks to change/healing seem to happen more quickly when it is used.  Previously unconscious memories can be unlocked.  The third advantage that she identifies in the silent period during the 9-Gamut which provides a break from the words often used while tapping the other points.  In this silence self-awareness and insight have a chance to bloom.  Lastly, the gamut point itself is quite useful whenever there is pain or emotional trauma.  As I stated before, it is associated with that fight/flight/freeze response that is a part of the trauma/pain experience.

Still not convinced?  Dawson Church, an amazing practitioner, and researcher published an article on EFT Universe  that shared research on the eye movements from University of South Florida in a sample of people with PTSD and depression.  Researchers found that the emotional distress held in memories of traumatic events was rapidly reduced  while using Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART).  ART also uses eye movements similar to the 9-Gamut Procedure.  While the exact mechanism for change is still under study, research indicates that many different techniques that use eye movements have been clinically useful in reducing emotional distress.

Ready to give it a try?

  1. Do setup statement while tapping on karate chop point as usual
  2. Do a round of tapping using your reminder statement
  3. Before doing your second round of tapping, locate your gamut spot (either hand) between the knuckles of your ring finger and little finger and about a half-inch onto the back of your hand and start tapping
  4. Do the eye movements, humming, and counting
  5. Then continue your tapping as usual
  6. Repeat as desired

 

 

Judge Less and Listen More

prayer flagsThe tapping exercise below also comes from my study of the Tao Te Ching.

 

 

 

 

 

illustration for karate chop pointSetup (while tapping karate chop point): I have a tendency to make snap judgments about people, places, events, circumstances – really, just about everything. Even when I take the time to think about things, I’m still making judgments. I often pride myself on being a good listener, but I even make judgments about what I expect other people to say.  I sometimes start thinking about how I want to respond to what people are saying before they even finish saying it.  That is a definite clue that I’m not really listening.  Even though I have this tendency to judge, I choose to move toward judging less.  Even though I often fail to really listen to other people, I choose to move toward listening more.  Even though I have a tendency to judge and a tendency not to really listen, I choose to judge less and listen more.

diagram of the tapping pointsEyebrow…I am a very judgmental person

Side of Eye…That doesn’t feel like a very flattering statement

Under the Eye…I can hardly admit that to myself

Under the Nose…I certainly don’t want to admit that to anyone else either

Chin…Even the statement that something is good is a judgment

Collarbone…My need to evaluate or judge things is a sign of my resistance to just experiencing life as it comes

Under the Arm…It sounds to zen to say that there is no good or no bad – there just is

Top of Head…I’m not at a place where I really believe that

Eyebrow…I am open to learning to judge less

Side of Eye…I am open to believing that I could experience more of life without adding judgments about whatever is happening

Under the Eye…I may not be as good a listener as I would like to think

Under the Nose…I get caught up in my own thoughts and fail to really listen to the thoughts of others

Chin…If I am not listening to them – I’m still in my own reality

Collarbone…That means I can’t really understand where they are coming from

Under the Arm…I choose to listen more

Top of Head…I am excited to see where these choices will lead me

9-Gamut

The 9-Gamut is a great procedure to add to your regular tapping.  When I first learned to tap (many years ago) the 9-gamut was always included.  Now it doesn’t seem to be very common, but I still find it useful.  Fair warning: it looks really weird.  This was always the hardest part to get people to do and it is such a shame. If you can roll your eyes (I bet you can do that), hum a tune, and count to 5 you can do this. Keep an open mind and give it a try.

 

 

It Doesn’t Always Need a Label

Change Your Thoughts Change Your Life by Wayne DyerI have posted quite a few tapping examples lately that were based on my reading of the Tao Te Ching.  I was inspired to delve into the Tao Te Ching after reading Dr. Wayne Dyer’s book Change Your Thoughts-Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao.  His discussion of each of the verses has been very meaningful to me.  Considering the magnitude of change that embracing these lessons could bring caused me to start tapping while reading just to manage the anxiety.  Here is another tapping example.  I welcome your comments and questions and hope you will share your experiences.

illustration for karate chop pointSetup (while tapping the karate chop point): According to Wayne Dyer’s advice we should practice letting go of always naming and labeling. This advice makes me feel sick to my stomach.  I’m really good at naming and labeling.  Naming and labeling is the way that I manage my life and my world.  I cannot imagine what life would be like without the names and labels.  While on one level I know that the names and labels don’t really define the thing, and that those names and labels really only define me – they make me feel safe and secure. In spite of this very, very, very, very strong tendency to name and label, I want to be open to experiencing the world without those names and labels.

diagram of the tapping pointsEyebrow…Names and labels

Side of Eye…I love them

Under the Eye…The idea that the names and labels may really limit my experience of the world isn’t new

Under the Nose..Even Shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet makes reference to that fact when discussing the rose

Chin…I just can’t imaging what it would be like to experience something without a name or label

Collarbone…That’s probably not true

Under the Arm…I experience things all of the time without names and labels

Top of Head…I usually tend to call it anxiety

Eyebrow…I call that out of control

Side of Eye…Or I make the judgment in response that I must be stupid because I cannot name or label it

Under the Eye…The Tao suggests that names and labels aren’t really necessary in order to experience the world

Under the Nose…The Tao also suggests that my need to label and name may stem from my inability to accept the mystery

Chin…So true!

Collarbone…The word mystery is very much like the word surprise to me

Under the Arm…Very scary stuff

Top of Head…I want to be open to the possibility that I could do it differently

Eyebrow…Maybe I could use my senses to understand something before jumping to the name

Side of Eye…I could lose myself in the fragrance or color of a flower before giving it a name

butterfly on flowerUnder the Eye…I want to experience being in the presence of a butterfly without knowing what kind it is

Under the Nose…I suspect that once I name it I really stop experiencing it

Chin…It is exciting to think that my experiences could be more intense and more real than ever before

Collarbone…I commit myself to more experiencing

Under the Arm…I commit myself to letting go of my need for instant names and labels

Top of Head…I commit myself to considering the mystery

They Had Bread

This is a very old article (at least 7 years) but when I found it today it made me so happy that I decided to re-post.

Bilmore EstateIt is hard to believe how much excitement I felt as a result of the opportunity to have bread with my meal.  For those of you who don’t know, I have been living gluten-free for about a year now.  While I never “cheat” on purpose, eating out in restaurants is always a gamble for me.

 

 

Last week I had lunch with my son and his fiance at the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina.  While the website said there were gluten-free options, and I had consumed a magnificent meal there on Thanksgiving, I still expected to have very limited choices.  I looked longingly at the regular menu and then let our server know that I would need gluten-free options.  She said she would be right back with a gluten-free menu.  One star for that?

varieties of breadThe gluten-free menu was in my hands within a few minutes and I was thrilled to see that almost everything on the regular menu was also available to me.  I could have the herbed chicken or the barbecue.  I was so excited.  Two Stars!!  Then she said that if I wanted one of the sandwiches from the regular menu just to know and they would put it on gluten-free bread for me.  Gluten free bread?  I don’t think I have been to a restaurant yet that actually had gluten-free bread.  Four Stars!!.  I actually chose a meal that did not include bread, but just knowing that I had the option was amazing.

I chose to split a sampler platter for two with my son.  He wanted to substitute french fried for the collard greens.  The server said that the substitution would be fine, but cautioned that the fries would be cooked in the same oil as gluten foods so would not be safe.  We got them on a separate plate so my food wouldn’t be contaminated and he was quite happy.  Five Stars!!!  A server who really got it.

After lunch we were interested in dessert, because it would be yummy and because I had a buy one get one free coupon.  Alas, none of the desserts looked to be gluten-free.  Once again, my server saved the day, checked with the kitchen, and brought me the most delicious chocolate pudding I think I have ever had.  Can I give Six Stars?

For the first time since starting this gluten-free adventure I felt like I had a dining experience that was equal to every one else.  Thank you Biltmore Stable Cafe for making me feel welcome and NORMAL.

 

Since the time of the first publication of this article there seems to be an increased awareness of gluten-free eating, but it still is usually treated as a preference rather than a necessity and many restaurants offer one or two possibilities rather than a full menu.  Whenever I go out to eat (which is rare) and encounter a restaurant that can work with my food issues (more than just gluten) I am again filled with the same sense of wonder, awe, and gratitude that I experienced that day at Biltmore.

It Is Not Their Fault

parents holding child on lapI have posted about this general theme before, but I have had more reminders about the topic recently.  I was definitely resistant to this belief when I was a young parent, but there really is quite a bit of evidence that adults are responsible (at least partly) for the behavior problems of children.

I often hear teachers complain that children are disrespectful in the classroom.  They talk when the teacher is trying to lecture.  Every week I am exposed to adults that continue to talk while the pastor is leading the congregation in prayer, when the choir director is giving instructions, and when my boss is trying to lead a staff meeting.  My first thought is “how rude”.  My second thought is “it is no wonder that our kids behave the way they do.”

I’m not coming to this topic from a position of sainthood.  I can be rude, thoughtless, and careless too.  My parenting practices have not always been stellar.  I’ve talked negatively about my children’s teachers, gossiped about people, talked down to others, and failed to take action when I probably should have.  I’ve also done all of those things under the close scrutiny of my children. This is a fact that I am certainly not proud of.  Hopefully they didn’t see this as my primary mode of dealing with the world.

In our media-driven society they also had quite a few other unsavory models for adult behavior.  On television children who are sassy, rude, and break rules are everywhere and that behavior appears to be acceptable.  With that sort of modeling, I have to say that it isn’t the kids’ fault that they are exhibiting so many behavior issues.

While I firmly believe in therapy and medication for children with psychological and behavioral problems, I also believe that such measures are not likely to ever be enough if the adults that children are exposed to can’t learn to control themselves. If we want caring children, we must be caring adults. If we want respectful children, we must be respectful adults. This is more than superficial respect.  Children are smart enough to know the difference. It is not enough to act, we must be smart, respectful, caring, or whatever we desire for them to be.

I am fully aware that some children have problems that are not the direct result of parenting practices.  Some children have brain abnormalities that also contribute.  As I mentioned earlier, our children have many role models other than parents.  As children get older they also have an increased share of responsibility for their own choices.  However, on a societal level I stand by my assertion that the adults are responsible for much of the state of our youth today and we must do something about it.

Over the next few months I hope to offer some suggestions about how to turn this around in your own home, church, neighborhood, or more globally?  Any suggestions?

Breaking the Rules

breaking the rules with a plate of pastaToday I broke the rules.  Some people might not think that this is too serious.  I didn’t break any laws.  I didn’t cheat at any games.  I ate pasta for dinner.  I’m sure it doesn’t seem like much to you, but to me it is quite disappointing.  When it comes to my food, I don’t like breaking the rules.

Rule #1.  Don’t eat when you aren’t hungry.  I had a snack earlier.  I drove toward town and stopped at my favorite Italian restaurant and ordered gluten free pasta.  Its a great place where they really understand my allergies and cook off-menu for me.  My motivation…I was tired of eating salad, felt frazzled from work, and just wanted some relief.

Rule #2. Don’t eat any starchy carbs after 5 pm.  I know that eating late in the evening is bad for me, so I load most of my calories before 5, and try to eat raw fruit and veggies in the evening if I’m hungry.  This was definitely a plate of starchy carbs, and there were very few vegetables involved.

glass of water to keep you from breaking the rulesRule #3. Drink a full glass of water before eating meals.  I didn’t drink any water at all, and none before the meal.  I already know that thirst wasn’t what was driving my behavior, but it might have helped me to slow down.  If there had been a video camera on me I bet I would have seen myself actually shoveling the food in.

Rule #4. Use tapping before eating anything that isn’t on my meal plan.  I want to know that I’ve dealt with my emotional baggage BEFORE reaching for food.  No tapping before this meal.

These aren’t rules given to me by anyone else.  These were my own rules and I couldn’t – or wouldn’t – follow them.  Luckily I get a redo tomorrow.  I’m not going to spend a lot of time beating myself up for it.  One meal of pasta isn’t a disaster but I do know that it is sometimes hard for me to get back on track after starchy carbs.

Here are the tapping topics I see in my very near future:

  1. stress eating
  2. resistance to following my plan
  3. using food for emotions instead of eating for fuel
  4. forgiveness for being an imperfect human

How about you?  Did you have challenges with food today?  Did you stumble or overcome them?  Did you tap?