I Love Bears

Cinnamon Buns in the tree

Bears have always been special to me. I’ve been smitten by all kinds of bears. I love black bears, polar bears, Smokey Bear, Gentle Ben, Winnie the Pooh, and stuffed bears. Most recently I’m in love with a black bear, cinnamon in color, that we have named Cinnamon Buns. Cinnamon Buns likes to visit my yard and eat all of the apricots from my tree.

In Unleash Your Primal Power I write about my close awareness of bear energies and I do believe that the bear is one of my spirit or totem animals. Perhaps it is my association with “momma bear” energy or possibly the frequent desire I feel for hibernation. Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams and David Carson lists multiple characteristics associated with bear energy. These include strength, confidence, leadership, solitude, fearlessness, healing, mothering, cunning, nurturing, and gentle strength. I would add hungry!!

The bear sightings at my house started last year. It was quite shocking and exciting to see a bear sitting in the tree, so close that I could touch him (I at least think it is a he). He came back multiple days in a row and cleaned out the apricots from all three trees. He climbed, he shook the tree, and bounced up and down on the branches, until they were all gone from the tree. Then he devoured them. This year I have only see him once so far, but the apricots weren’t quite ready. So it seems he ate all of my tomatoes instead.

Another bear with 2 cubs was in the driveway last week. They ran so fast and went up a tree so I couldn’t get a good photo. Yesterday I found out that the forest service was out and trapped a bear because it was “menacing” in the neighborhood. I don’t really believe that he was menacing. I sure hope it wasn’t Cinnamon Buns or that momma bear with cubs. My apricots are almost ready so I’ll be watching for Cinnamon Buns to come any day now.

Unleash Your Primal Power

In late spring I had the experience of a behind the scenes tour with the polar bears at our local zoo. It was amazing to be within inches of them. I was somewhat glad to have that strong fencing between us, but another part of me wanted to touch that big beautiful paw so badly. I also want to scratch those ears.

There are several tapping exercises involving bear energies in my book, Unleash Your Primal Power, and I included one for you now. If you are unfamiliar with tapping here is a tapping tutorial if you click HERE.


Bear sightings in most areas are infrequent. There are always reports of bears scavenging in campgrounds, and I’ve occasionally seen them near dumpsters. But, unlike Yogi Bear and Boo Boo, they general stay out of sight unless they are hungry. I often prefer to stay out of sight too.

Say this statement aloud: “I want to hide.” How true does that feel to you on a 10-point scale (0=not at all up to 10=very much)?

Setup: (tapping on the karate chop point) – I have a habit of, or preference for, hiding instead of being out in the open. It feels so much safer to hide, but this hiding doesn’t always bring the result I want. I don’t risk rejection, but I also don’t have the impact on the world that I really desire. Even though I’ve been hiding to stay safe, I love and accept myself. Although I’d prefer to hide most of the time, I honor myself and my old habits. Even though I’ve always hidden myself behind the scenes, I am excited about the possibility of making a change, the possibility of making a difference.

  • Eyebrow – I like to hide
  • Side of Eye – I prefer to be behind the scenes
  • Under the Eye – I dislike being out in the open
  • Under the Nose – It is pretty scary
  • Chin – Too risky
  • Collarbone – My need to hide
  • Under the Arm – Sure, it can keep me safe
  • Top of the head – But it doesn’t really fit well with my goals
  • Eyebrow – I want to make a real difference in the world
  • Side of Eye – And to do that
  • Under the Eye – I might need to stop hiding so much
  • Under the Nose – I’d like to be more comfortable with that
  • Chin – I’m open to clarity about this issue
  • Collarbone – I choose to increase my visibility
  • Under the Arm – And still manage to feel comfortable
  • Top of Head – I want to believe in my ability to protect myself, hiding or not

Take a deep breath and let it out gently. Say the statement aloud again “I want to hide and re-rate the truthfulness or intensity you feel. Notice any change?

Recently I snagged these bear photos. Enjoy!

Baby Bear resting
Big bear sleeping on logs
Whole pile of baby bears

Do I Still Do Reiki?

Reiki Symbol

People have asked, “Do you still do Reiki?” The answer is Yes, I do. However, much like tapping, I don’t use it as intentionally or as frequently as in the past. That realization makes me feel sad.

I find that the absence of a local Reiki Community is a factor. My Reiki Community in Ohio was robust. I loved being around other people, doing, sharing, and talking about the practice. I really miss that. I also miss those people that were in my life then.

I deliberately use Reiki in two ways now. When I am enjoying time in nature I often send energy out to the trees and animals. Combining Reiki with tapping is also something I do fairly frequently. I focus the Reiki energy in my fingertips while I am tapping on the meridians and it seems to enhance my experience.

Someday I would like to re-engage in a more intentional program of study, practice, and instruction. Teaching Reiki has always been greatly satisfying. Now does not feel like the right season for me, but I remain open for it when it appears

Do I Really Tap?

Do I tap? The quick answer is yes. I do tap, but not as much as I would like to. I think about tapping often, but for some reason I don’t always follow through. There are probably lots of reasons. Sometimes I’m in a situation where tapping just wouldn’t be comfortable. Sometimes I feel like I don’t have time. In reality that would almost never be true. The more accurate answer is that I would like to have more time to tap on an issue at length and don’t want interruptions. Other times I’m just too upset to remember that I even know tapping. Yes, that’s a real thing. I’m not the only one this happens to.

Honestly, I used to do it a lot more. Several years ago I had many more problems and challenges than I have now. The past several years have been really good for me. I’ve made many lifestyle changes that have brought me great contentment and satisfaction. This has resulted in having less urgency to do tapping in my day.

It is important to state that I definitely believe that tapping works. I believe my life would be even better if I was using it on a daily basis. I’m working toward that. It would be ideal to do before I even get out of bed, but that probably isn’t realistic for me. Because I’m a creature of habit, it is very hard to change the pattern of activity when I’m not yet fully functional and haven’t looked at my to-do list. I’m usually on autopilot until I get into the shower. Perhaps a few minutes of tapping in the shower might be helpful for getting my day started. Tapping right before bed to declutter my mind and body from all the of “junk” of the day is great.

I now do tapping mostly around issues of physical pain, uncertainty about a plan or choice, and occasional feelings of insecurity. There is benefit from tapping when I am teaching it to clients and get to “borrow benefits” from tapping along with their issues. I don’t consider that my tapping, but it still helps. Other challenges that are waiting for me in my “tapping journal” include issues of aging, difficulty managing clutter, and negative comparisons of myself with others. Difficulty balancing my many activities, or difficulty letting go of some of my many activities, is also a topic for future tapping.

If you are a tapper, I’d love to hear how you use tapping in your daily life.

Never done tapping and want to learn more? Click Here.

I’m Angry About My Body

People have many different emotions about their body. Although there are some people who are completely satisfied with their weight and appearance, I don’t personally know very many. What I hear more often is people that are angry about their weight and body. Unfortunately, being angry with yourself doesn’t generally lead to resolution and change. That’s where tapping can help.

illustration for karate chop point

Setup (Karate Chop Point) – Even though I feel angry about the way my body looks, I deeply and completely love and accept myself right now. Even though I feel angry about the way my body looks, I am open to the possibility that I could feel differently about this tomorrow. Even though I feel angry about the way my body looks, I choose to take inspired action rather than reacting to this negative emotion.

diagram of the tapping points

Eyebrow…I am so angry

Side of Eye…I hate the way my body looks

Under the Eye…And I did this to myself

Under the Nose…I am so angry about the way my body looks

Chin…Doing anything about this feels almost impossible

Collarbone…This anger isn’t very healthy for me

Under the Arm…And probably makes it even harder to lose weight

Top of Head…I acknowledge my anger

Eyebrow…I acknowledge my challenges

Side of Eye…I accept who I am, even with this less than perfect body

Under the Eye…I have been so angry

Under the Nose…I have been angry about my body’s appearance

Chin…And I blame myself for it

Collarbone…That means I’ve been angry with myself

Under the Arm…I accept where I am right now

Top of Head…And I look forward to a future where I can accept my body too.

Take a deep breath and let it out gently. At first glance it may seem that we haven’t changed anything with this tapping. This is a necessary starting point for creating any lasting change around weight and body issues. It is absolutely essential to first accept the truth of where we are openly and honestly, and without blame or shame. From that place of acceptance, miracles can happen.

Want more tapping? Click here.

book cover for Don't Diet Reprogramming Your Weight With Meridian Tapping

I Will Feel Deprived

Who likes the feeling of deprivation?  I certainly don’t.  Dread related to feeling deprived can stop people from making positive changes in their diet, particularly if they currently partake in something known to be less than healthy or even dangerous.  Today’s tapping is short, but is a starting place for addressing the fear of deprivation.

Say this statement aloud, “I will feel deprived if I cannot eat my favorite foods.”  How true does that feel to you?  Rate it on the 0-10 scale (10=is very strong or very true.)

illustration for karate chop point

Setup (Karate Chop Point): Even though I am afraid of how I will feel if I don’t eat my favorite foods. I choose to love and accept myself anyway. Even though I am sure I will feel deprived without my favorite foods, I am hopeful that I can find other sources of pleasure in my life.  Even though the fear of deprivation is very strong for me, I am beginning to consider small diet changes that will help me to be healthy and happy.

diagram of the tapping points

Eyebrow…I feel deprived

Side of Eye…I want to eat my favorite foods

Under the Eye…I don’t want to feel deprived

Under the Nose…I need to eat or I will feel deprived

Chin…I will do anything to avoid that feeling

Collarbone…This deprivation

Under the Arm…Fear of deprivation

Top of Head…This strong feeling of deprivation

Say the original statement again, “I will feel deprived if I cannot eat my favorite foods?”  How true does that feel to you now?  Did specific foods pop in your mind?  Continue tapping about how it would feel to not eat those foods or to eat them less often.  Did your mind drift to specific thoughts, feelings, or sensations related to deprivation?  Continue tapping about how much you want to avoid those thoughts, feelings, and sensations. 

Remember you can find these and other tapping exercises to assist in your health and wellness in Don’t Diet: Reprogram Your Weight With Meridian Tapping

Questions or suggestions?  I’d love to hear from you.

book cover for Don't Diet Reprogramming Your Weight With Meridian Tapping


Did you know that there are more than 10,000 ant species? I didn’t.  I knew that there were red ones, brown ones, black ones, ants that bite, and ants that don’t.  Ants are social insects and usually live in communities that have a queen ant.  The worker ants are female.  They have no wings, don’t reproduce, but have many duties within the colony such as foraging for food, caring for the queen’s baby ants, and protecting the community.  Male ants have only one job – making baby ants with the queen.  After they are done with that task they usually die.

Not very long ago I had an interesting infestation of ants in my kitchen.  Actually it really wasn’t an infestation with swarms of ants everywhere; it was more of a semi-constant trickle.  I did some cleaning and they seemed to be gone.  That lasted about 3 hours then I saw another one walking across the kitchen floor.  A few hours later I saw one walking across a kitchen counter.

I don’t harbor an intense dislike of ants and I don’t usually go out of my way to kill them if they are outside, but I don’t want them on my kitchen counters or in my drawers, and I don’t want to squish them under my bare feet when walking in the kitchen.  Since they broke our “agreement” to stay outside I decided to spray the baseboards to try to stop them from coming in.  That lasted for about 8 hours, then more ants.

While this ant battle was going on I was also having some struggles at work.  I felt that I was being treated as insignificant, not being allowed to exercise my own judgment and creativity, and just felt that I was generally not appreciated. ON the inside I was rebelling about all of this as was trying to assert my individualism within a culture that clearly doesn’t value that.

The ants kept coming and I continued to feel dissatisfied. One morning while doing my lap swim I had the thought, “what if the ants are acting as one of my totems?” I started thinking about the ant characteristics that I’ve been writing about and became even more sure of it.  I phoned a friend and shared my insight, thinking that it was hilarious that I had overlooked this possibility and quipped, “wouldn’t it be hysterical if the ants were gone when I get home?” After all, I had finally received the message about being industrious, fitting in, stamina, and perseverance.

When I got home the ants were indeed gone.  I’m sure that I have more work to do pertaining to managing employment while nurturing my own dreams. I am glad the ants were persistent and that I finally caught on.  It does make me wonder how many other times there have been animal totems willing to point me in the right direction, but I somehow missed out on getting the message.

Tapping Meditation

To get started, lets do a tapping meditation to get in touch with some of the characteristics associated with ants and to get ready for whatever messages ants might have for you.

diagram of the tapping points
Eyebrow Ant
Side of Eye Social
Under the Eye Ant
Under the Nose Colony
Chin Ant
Collarbone Solves complex problems
Under the Arm Ant
Top of Head Interactive
Eyebrow Ant
Side of Eye Industrious
Under the Eye Ant
Under the Nose Cooperative effort
Chin Ant
Collarbone Hard work
Under the Arm Ant
Top of Head Group-minded
Eyebrow Ant
Side of Eye Perseverance
Under the Eye Ant
Under the Nose Self discipline
Chin Ant
Collarbone Teamwork
Under the Arm Ant
Top of Head Orderly
Eyebrow Ant
Side of Eye Stamina
Under the Eye Ant
Under the Nose Honor
Chin Ant
Collarbone What message to you have for me?
Under the Arm Ant
Top of Head Open to the message of ants

Keep tapping while considering the knowledge, experiences, and meaning that the ant may have for you. Be sure to write down any thoughts, beliefs, or feelings that arise when you have finished the tapping meditation. Which characteristics of the ant would you want more of? Which characteristics do you have in abundance?

For me, the ant is a fairly neutral symbol.  I was raised on the image of ants being a nuisance when they visit a picnic.  I have also seen the painful bites or stings from fire ants.  I’ve been intrigued by ant hills and loved the movie Ants.  I even had an ant farm when I was growing up.

Ants are actually pretty important in Native American culture and lore. The Hope, Pueblo, and Akimal O’odham tribes have Ant Clans. The Cherokee celebrate with an Ant Dance.  In the Cahuilla creation myth ants spread the earth out for people and animals to live upon. In a Hopi myth the ant people provided shelter to the humans during the destruction of the First World.  The industriousness and cooperative spirit associated with ants is often the focus of these stories.

Ants are also a common feature in literature.  Ants are mentioned in the Bible and in the Quran.  Ants were featured in A Tramp Abroad by Mark Twain, The Once and Future King by T.H. White, Les Fourmis by Bernard Werber, and The Empire of the Ants by H.G. Wells.  Do you remember the cartoon Atom Ant?  Did you have an ant farm when you were growing up?  Did you play the game Ants in the Pants?  Maybe you are more familiar with the movies Antz by Dream Works Animation in which Z-4195 longs for the opportunity to express himself or the movie A Bugs Life from Pixar Animation Studios in which the misfit ant Flik fancies himself to be an individualist and inventor.

The above selection was from my upcoming book Unleash Your Primal Power: Totem Tapping for Health and Happiness.  If you read my first book Tap It Away: 10 Minutes to Freedom With EFT you might remember that there was a chapter devoted to using animal characterstics to guide tapping on personality characteristics and change. The upcoming book is an expansion of the concept.

Cover Image of Tap It Away: 10 Minutes to Freedom With EFT by Dr. Leanna Manuel

Food Is My Only Friend

As we continue our resolutions related to food, exercise, and health in 2019 we will continue to use tapping to increase our odds of success.  The next tapping exercise begins to address some of the emotional reasons we eat.  In this case it is the feeling that food is our friend.  For some people, food may feel like their only friend.

illustration for karate chop point

Say this statement aloud, “Food is my only friend.”  How true does that feel to you?  It may be a stronger feeling on some days than others.  Rate it on the 0-10 scale (10=is very strong or very true.)

Setup (Karate Chop Point): Even though it feels sometimes like food is my only friend, I deeply and completely love and accept myself anyway.  Even though I eat junk food when I am lonely, and I am afraid of losing my only friend if I stop eating, I choose to find other ways to manage this feeling.  Even though it is terrifying to think of changing my relationship with my food/friend.  I am open to a new way of being.

diagram of the tapping points

Eyebrow…Food is my friend

Side of Eye…How can I give that up?

Under the Eye…Sometimes I think food is my only friend

Under the Nose…I have no idea what I would do instead of eating when I feel lonely

Chin…Even the thought makes me want to eat more

Collarbone…Food feels like my best friend

Under the Arm…Everyone wants a best friend

Top of Head…And it’s always there when I need it

Eyebrow…Food never lets me down

Side of Eye…I always feel better when I eat ice cream or chocolate

Under the Eye…At least for a little while

Under the Nose…Later I feel pretty bad

Chin…I am open to others ways of handling these feelings

Collarbone…Food is just food

Under the Arm…It is ok to enjoy it, but I can learn how to handle these other feelings in different ways

Top of Head…Feelings are just feelings, and I can handle them.

Say the original statement again, “Food is my only friend.”  How true does that feel to you now?  Did other thoughts or feelings come up?  Did you find yourself arguing with any of the statements?  Those are great opportunities to continue your tapping on this issue until the truth of the original statement is very low.

Remember you can find these and other tapping exercises to assist in your health and wellness in Don’t Diet: Reprogram Your Weight With Meridian Tapping. 

book cover for Don't Diet Reprogramming Your Weight With Meridian Tapping

Questions or suggestions?  I’d love to hear from you.

I Can’t Be Rational About Food

Are you still on the path for improved health and wellness in 2019?  Is the resolution still firmly in mind?  Hopefully our last tapping was a good starting point for managing the barriers to success.  One of the things that came up for me when thinking about my love-hate relationship with food was the quality of my thinking.  I’m just not very rational when I think about food.  That is what today’s tapping is about. Say this statement: “I have trouble thinking about food in a rational way.”  How true is that for you on the 0-10 scale (10=very rue).

illustration for karate chop point

Setup (karate chop point): Even though I have trouble thinking about food in a rational way, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.  Even though food is a highly emotional subject for me, I am working toward a different way of relating to food, meals, and eating.  Even though I have an emotional reaction to food, I love and accept myself, knowing that I am a work in progress.

diagram of the tapping points

Eyebrow…I get irrational about food

Side of Eye…Thinking about food makes me emotional

Under the Eye…Thinking about not having certain foods makes me emotional

Under the Nose…Thinking about limiting certain foods makes me emotional

Chin…Everything about food and eating makes me emotional

Collarbone…And don’t say the word diet to me

Under the Arm…I am working on changing these emotional responses

Top of Head…I look forward to seeing food in a new way.

Now say that beginning statement again, “I have trouble thinking about food in a rational way.”  Rate it again on the 0-10 scale.  Was there any change?  It may have gone up, gone down, or stayed the same.  The relative change is new information to use in your tapping.  Here are some suggestions to make it more powerful.

  1. Substitute a particular food instead of the word “food” to make it more specific if there is a food or group of foods that brings the strongest emotional reaction.
  2. Tap while thinking about how much you believe you would miss a particular food
  3. Tap while using your original rating number, “This 9-feeling in my gut when I think about not eating _____”
  4. If you are feeling particularly impatient with the slow progress….tap about your lack of patience with an affirmation about being a work in progress.
book cover for Don't Diet Reprogramming Your Weight With Meridian Tapping

Remember you can find these and other tapping exercises to assist in your health and wellness in Don’t Diet: Reprogram Your Weight With Meridian Tapping.  I’d love to hear back from you about your successes or to answer any questions.

Preparing for Weight Loss – New Year’s Resolution – Part III

weight loss - apple with tape measureThis is it, the conclusion of this series designed to help you prepare for successful weight loss when you consider make your New Year’s Resolution. Are you ready to put it all together?  I know that I am

Step Five:

What is your emotional or energetic response to the following words, phrases, and statements.  Rate each one on the 1-10 SUDs scale with 10 being very true or very strong.

I don’t deserve to lose weight. Rating It is not safe for me to lose weight Rating
Deprivation Rating Failure Rating
I’ll just regain the weight Rating I don’t believe I can change Rating
Lonely Rating Unlovable Rating
Sexy Rating Security Rating
Expectations Rating It’s too late Rating
I want them to love me for who I am, not what I look like Rating Sugar Addict Rating
Cravings Rating Obsessions Rating
Irritable Rating Anxious Rating
Lazy Rating Resentment Rating


Each of these words or statements that caused a reaction for you is a potential item that is holding you back from your weight loss success and can be addressed through tapping.

Take out your lists that you made.  Follow the example above and make an intensity rating for your top reasons for losing weight, the cons of losing weight, the benefits of not losing weight, and any automatic thoughts about diet, exercise, or weight loss.

book cover for Don't Diet Reprogramming Your Weight With Meridian TappingNow you are ready to do some life-changing tapping. If you are having trouble getting started, consider checking out the book Don’t Diet: Reprogram Your Weight With Meridian Tapping.  It has 229 examples of tapping based on this process.  You can also keep reading the blog posts as I tackle some of my own food, diet, and exercise hang-ups.


Remember the basic formula.

  1. Make a statement that describes what needs to change.
  2. Rate the emotional intensity associated with that statement
  3. Repeat a setup statement or statements while tapping the karate chop point
  4. Tap on the meridians using the tapping points while using a reminder statement
  5. Repeat the original statement
  6. Rate the intensity again.

Your statements don’t have to be fancy.  The standard setup statement of –

“Even though (insert thought or feeling) I deeply and completely love and accept myself” –

Is a good one and works well.  Then for the reminder statement just say the thought or feeling at each point or shorten it to just a few key words.


For a video demonstrating the whole tapping process click here.


Happy Tapping.

Preparing for Weight Loss – New Year’s Resolution – Part II

Welcome back to our tapping about weight loss and getting ready to be successful in our New Year’s Resolutions.  Take out those lists from last time.  You should have a list of the top 10 reasons for wanting to change your weight and a list of the cons or down-side to weight loss.  Next we are going to consider the positive things we associate with being overweight.  I can hear everybody screaming that there is nothing positive, but stay with me.

Step Three:

If someone were to ask you what you get out of being overweight, you might be tempted to punch them.  Of course you don’t get anything out of being overweight – or do you? Being overweight does have advantages for some people.  Our excess weight can serve as a protection from other people or from our own sexuality.  Keeping the excess weight also allows us to maintain the status quo rather than risk the possibility of frustration and failure. For some people, being overweight serves as a connection to current family members and to generations past.  When you hear someone say “All of the women in my family have been heavy” that is a strong statement of identification that could be lost if the individual was to lose weight.  These conscious and unconscious benefits of being overweight can have a tremendous impact on your energy system and can be sufficient to stop a weight loss effort.  Be brutally honest and write down the positive things that are associated with being overweight.

Step Four:

Automatic thoughts, often negative, are just that – automatic.  They pop into our minds and have a tremendous impact, not only on our current mood but also on our energy system.  What thoughts pop into your mind when you hear or think about the words diet, exercise, or weight loss? Write them down in as much detail as you possible can.

Put those lists back in a safe place. In the final article in this series we will use those lists to pull it all together into a very effective tapping plan to boost your success.