Today I Faced The Marshmallow Fluff, and I Lost

This story came from Linda.  She said that she was tired, frustrated, and irritable after her difficult day.  As any good food addict will do – she turned to food.  She wasn’t proud of it, but that day she had faced the marshmallow fluff and it won.  Here is the way we started tapping.  Feel free to tap along.

illustration for karate chop point

Setup: (tapping the karate chop point) Even though I gave into temptation and ate marshmallow fluff by the spoonful today, I deeply and completely love and accept myself anyway. Even though I ate marshmallow fluff in response to being tired and frustrated, I choose to view myself with love and compassion. Even though I ate marshmallow fluff in secret so nobody would know, I choose to get back on track right now.

Eyebrow…I ate marshmallow fluff

Side of Eye…First I put some on my brownie

Under the Eye…Then I ate some on a spoon with some peanut butter

Nose…Then I just ate it off a spoon without anything else

Chin…Knowing that I still have these behaviors makes me feel so defeated sometimes

Collarbone…I wasn’t really hungry, but I was craving something sweet

Under the Arm…It was here, easy, and easy to hide

Top of Head…I didn’t eat enough to do a lot of damage to my diet

Eyebrow…But I did damage my confidence

Side of Eye…I also know that once I start, it is sometimes hard to stop

Under the Eye…It’s good to know that I can tap on that issue too if I need to

Nose…I am angry with myself for eating the fluff

Chin…I’m disappointed with myself for eating the fluff

Collarbone…I feel like a failure

Under the Arm…I feel like a fraud

Top of Head…The fluff won, and I hate that

In this case we just started where she was at the time.  The words of the setup statement state the truth of what happened, but also state where she wanted to end up –acceptance and able to get back on track. It wouldn’t have been beneficial to pretend that it didn’t happen.  During the rest of the tapping the behaviors were described but also some of the negative self talk about eating the fluff.  This part can be expanded to cover all of the feelings that come up.

For Linda it didn’t really take more than this.  As soon as she acknowledged the behavior and expressed her feelings about it while tapping she experienced considerable relief.  She told me later that she did additional tapping on the specific feeling of being a failure at another time and was able to get clarity and relief there too.

As you can see, the tapping doesn’t have to be complicated.  You just have to get started.

Did anyone bring the marshmallows?

glowing campfireI tend to be an optimist, but sometimes I have a hard time seeing the silver lining right away.  Thursday morning started as any other day. I got up and showered, fed the dogs, made my breakfast, packed my lunch for work, then went into the laundry room to check the dogs’ water bowl.  I know many people walk through their mornings in a haze, but I literally walked into the haze during my morning. The room was filling with smoke.  In less that a minute the smoke detectors started blaring and smoke started filling the house.

Skipping to the end of the story – everyone is fine and the house is intact.  But a lot happened between the smoke and now.

Our boiler malfunctioned (another long story) and was burning a hole through the floor beneath it.  If this had happened after we had left for work we wold likely have lost everything.  I made it to work, although smelled like smoke) and Scott stayed home, assessed the damage, and went to work on the repairs.

At work I alternated between anxiety and gratitude that this happened while I was at home.  Fast forward to Friday – no hot water and the house smells like a campfire.  I decided I had a picture of marshmallows toasting to make s'moreschoice.  I could either focus on how inconvenient it was to not be able to take a hot shower and how smokey my house smelled or I could close my eyes and imagine cooking marshmallows for s’mores over the campfire.  I chose the latter.

kitchen sink with running waterSaturday – still no hot water.  My natural optimism was returning and by Saturday afternoon I could finally wash dishes again.  Wash dishes? I have never looked forward to washing dishes in my entire life.  Perhaps that is optimism taken too far.

Looking at everything that happened from this vantage point revealed a few lessons.

  1. I really am an optimist.  However, just because I am an optimist doesn’t mean I don’t feel unhappy or frustrated sometimes. Being an optimist just means that it is my default viewpoint.  Both tapping and conscious choice restored my balance.
  2. Looking for the blessings in your life is important. Unless you look for them you might miss out.  It would have been easy for me to focus on the inconveniences of the day but I know it would not have been a good thing for me or anyone else.
  3. I can tolerate more than I sometimes think I can.  I don’t usually like surprises or anything that disrupts my daily routine.  This event was a disruption but I actually bounced back rather quickly.

I hope I don’t have a fire again.  I hope you don’t either.  But if we do, think about marshmallows.