Do I Have To Be Right?

Verse 2: Tao Te Ching

Everyone recognizes beauty only because of ugliness

Everyone recognizes virtue only because of sin

Life and death are born together

Difficult and easy

Long and short

High and low — all these exist together and arrive together

Sound and silence blend together

Before and after

 

The Sage acts without action and teaches without talking

All things flourish around him and he does not refuse any one of them

He gives but not to receive

He works but not for reward

He completes but not for results

He does nothing for himself in this passing world so nothing he does ever passes

In this passage I was made to consider the duality of existence.  The dichotomy that sprang to mind for me was right vs wrong.

illustration for karate chop pointSetup (while tapping the karate chop point): I don’t always have to be right. I don’t really believe that.  Of course I always have to be right.  There may be more to this.  I am open to looking at how my need to always be right might be hurting myself in other ways.  There are two sides to everything.  I suspect this verse may be telling me that there are some things that may be more important than being right.  I choose to consider each situation independently and consider prayerfully how important being right is.  I deeply and completely accept myself, even in my stubborn need to always be right.

diagram of the tapping pointsEyebrow…I always need to be right

Side of Eye…That has been a major force in my life

Under the Eye…Being right feels good

Under the Nose…I’m becoming aware that the cost may sometimes be too high

Chin…I choose to consider that I WANT to be right but I may not always NEED to be right

Collarbone…I am open to experiencing the difference

Under the Arm…Meditations on the Tao suggest that my need to be right drives my judgments that others are wrong

Top of Head…The Tao also suggests that accepting right and wrong as coexisting together rather than being separate is another option

Eyebrow…I sometimes get glimpses of that but certainly don’t live it

Side of Eye…I MUST be right all of the time

Under the Eye…No I don’t

Under the Nose…Sometimes relationships may be more important than proving I’m right

Chin…Taking action based on reasonable information may be preferable to researching to prove that I’m right before acting

Collarbone…I need to learn when enough is enough

Under the Arm…Being right can sometimes hurt other people

Top of Head…Obviously being right can sometimes hurt me too

Eyebrow…I choose to be open to learning a new way

Side of Eye…I choose to be open to practicing a new way

Under the Eye…I choose to be open to experiencing a new way

Under the Nose…Being right feels good

Chin…I hope to learn how to also accept not being right

Collarbone…It may not be as much tied to who I am as I previously thought

Under the Arm…Not proving that I’m right may not really be a life-ending disaster

Top of Head…I guess that is up to me

Eyebrow…I always have to be right

Side of Eye…That doesn’t feel as true for me as it did before

Under the Eye…One day at a time

Under the Nose…I am open to experiencing life as it comes

Chin…It is not about right or wrong

Collarbone…I think I’ll start by not needing to prove that others are wrong so that I can be right

Under the Arm…I choose to continue growing so that I don’t need others to be wrong

Top of Head…I choose to love and accept myself along this journey

My Cravings Always Win

cravings always win when faced with donutsAlthough this is not as true as it used to be, I do sometimes feel my cravings always win.  Some days are definitely worse than others.  What follows is a tapping exercise for those rough days.  One way to make this even more effective is to have the item you are craving right there where you can see it and smell it.  If you choose that option please be sure to rate the intensity of your craving on the 0-10 scale (10 is severe) before you get started.

illustration for karate chop pointSetup (while tapping the karate chop point):  Even thought it seems like my cravings always win, I deeply and completely love and accept myself anyway.  Even though it seems like my cravings always win, I choose to continue to try.  My cravings are part of me, and I accept myself.

 

diagram of the tapping pointsEyebrow…My cravings always win

Side of Eye…So it doesn’t seem worth it to even try to resist

Under the Eye…I might as well just go ahead and eat it

Under the Nose…If I fight it and then lose, I just end up feeling worse

Chin…Even though it seems that my cravings always win

Collarbone…I know that it isn’t really true

Under the Arm…Sometimes I am able to resist

Top of Head…I am open to learning about what makes me more successful

Eyebrow…At one time and less successful at another

Side of Eye…My cravings don’t always win

Under the Eye…My cravings sometimes win

Under the Nose…In reality, my cravings aren’t against me

Chin…They are part of me

Collarbone…My cravings are a signal that something needs my attention

Under the Arm…I can choose to deal with it with or without food

Top of Head…I can choose to continue toward my goals

 

Take a deep breath and let it out.  Now say the statement aloud “My cravings always win” and re-rate the intensity.  What do you notice now?  Did anything shift?  Once the intensity is at or below a 3, consider tapping on what your cravings might be signaling for you.

My Brain is Lying To Me Right Now

woman sleepingDid you know that your brain can tell lies?  Perhaps it would be more kind to say that it misinterprets information.  The end result is the same. There have been multiple times when I have thought that I was hungry but my brain is lying.

 

illustration for karate chop pointSetup (while tapping your karate chop point): Even though my brain is lying to me right now and telling me I am hungry, I choose to remember that I ate a short while ago and this is just a misperception.  Even though my brain is lying to me right now and telling me that I should eat, I choose to remember my health goals. Even though my brain is telling me I am hungry, I know that this cannot be the truth and I choose not to eat based on a lie.

Eyebrow…I can’t sleep because I’m hungry

diagram of the tapping pointsSide of Eye…I want to get up out of bed and get a snack

Under the Eye…That will help me sleep

Under the Nose…No one can fall asleep when they are hungry

Chin…Certainly not me

Collarbone…But I know I’m not really hungry

Under the Arm…I ate a healthy meal just a few hours ago

Top of Head…My body got everything it needed

Eyebrow…What I’m feeling right now isn’t really hungry

Side of Eye…That is just what my brain is calling it

Under the Eye…I am probably tired, frustrated, angry, lonely, sad, or uncomfortable

Under the Nose…Food won’t fix any of those things

Chin…In fact, eating more food than my body needs will only make them worse

Collarbone…I choose to eat based on facts, not lies, misinterpretations, or misperceptions

Under the Arm…Even though I am convinced that I am hungry right now

Top of Head…I choose to love and accept myself just as I am.

Stress Headache

man with stress headacheHave you ever had a stress headache?  I don’t get headaches very often, but I’ve had quite a few of them recently.  News Flash: I don’t like them.  When stress is involved, I usually try to tap on the root issue – the stress itself.  Sometimes, particularly when you need some quick relief, it can be effective to tap on the physical symptom first.

In the video that follows you will see an example of symptom tapping.  First we will get a clearer picture of the symptom, then begin the tapping.  There is also an example of two-handed tapping.  Comments or questions?  Let me know.

 

 

 

Just Because Its There

Eating Food Just Because It Is ThereI confess.  Sometimes I eat food just because it is there.  I don’t think it really is  out of boredom because I’m almost never bored.  I have lots of things that I want to do and enjoy doing.  Perhaps it is just habit.

In the tapping example below I have added a tapping point that isn’t part of my regular tapping routine.  It is labeled wrists.  At the point turn the underside of your wrists toward each other and tap them together.

illustration for karate chop pointSetup (while tapping karate chop point): Even though I have a tendency to eat food just because it is there, I love and accept myself, even though I have unhealthy behaviors.  Even though I eat food without any real good reason, I am learning to love and accept myself anyway.  Even though I eat food, and I don’t even know why, I choose to love and accept myself anyway.

 

diagram of the tapping pointsEyebrow…I seem to eat food for no good reason

Side of Eye…If it is there — I eat it

Under the Eye…I eat food even when I’m not hungry

Under the Nose…Heck, sometimes I eat food that I don’t particularly like

Chin…My tendency to eat food just because it is available

Collarbone…Is not good for my body

Under the Arm…And when I notice what I am doing

Wrists…I feel like a failure

Top of Head…This tendency to constantly eat is not a behavior that I want to continue

Eyebrow…I’ve tried to manage it by not having food around

Side of Eye…But that isn’t realistic

Under the Eye…I can limit the choices, but it won’t stop my overeating

Under the Nose…I don’t really believe that I eat food just because it is there

Chin…I believe there is another reason. One I am not yet aware of

Collarbone…When I catch myself eating I choose to stop and consider why

Under the Arm…There is a reason behind everything I do

Wrists…It is up to me to figure out why

Top of Head…Then I can change my behavior more easily.

I Plan to Follow the Diet Plan Perfectly

weight loss This tapping includes a tapping point that I don’t always include.  At the spot labeled “wrist”, tap your wrists together so that the underside of one wrist taps on the inside of the other wrist.

 

illustration for karate chop pointSetup (while tapping the karate chop point):  I always plan to follow the diet perfectly.  Sometimes it doesn’t work out.  I can usually maintain it for a few hours, days, or weeks, but then I always fail.  Maybe the problem is my need to be perfect.  Since I can’t be perfect, I end up back where I started, or never get started.  This pattern isn’t working for me anymore.  I choose to try a different way.

Eyebrow…I always plan to diet perfectly

diagram of the tapping pointsSide of Eye…I always fail

Under the Eye…I am so tired of that failure

Under the Nose…I am so discouraged

Chin…Instead of following a diet plan perfectly

Collarbone…Maybe I can try a new way

Under the Arm…Those diets are someone else’s plan

Top of Head…I know a lot about diet, health, and nutrition

Eyebrow…I could make my own plan

Side of Eye…And follow it closely

Under the Eye…I could allow for some variation and change

Nose…Then there would be no real failure

Chin…Better yet, I could listen to my body

Collarbone…I usually listen to my emotions

Wrist…But my body knows what it needs and what is bad for it

Under the Arm…It gives me clear signals

Top of Head…I’m not perfect, so I might not always understand what my body wants and needs

Eyebrow…But I’ll probably get it right most of the time

Side of  Eye…And that would be much better than what I’m doing to myself right now

Under the Eye…I could view this as an experiment or an adventure

Under the Nose…That might help me to stop thinking in terms of perfection

Chin…Even though I’ve always tried to follow the plan perfectly

Collarbone…I haven’t had a perfect plan

Under the Arm…My new plan won’t be perfect either and I won’t follow it perfectly.

Top of Head…I choose to love and accept myself anyway and feel proud of whatever successes I have.

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