Boxes, Cans, Bags and Bottles
Sometimes there is something that happened that we don’t want to face. Or someone who’s impact on our lives we would rather deny or ignore. Now its not necessarily abuse or anything really terrible, its often just the normal human conflicts, betrayals, feuds and disappointments that we simply have not been able to process.
All families harbour their own collection of these and the Christmas holiday season brings them to the fore. We want to shut all that away and keep away from it, at family gatherings we dance intricate steps around it. Even though we know how to tap we avoid even approaching it with EFT and procrastinate about tapping or just don’t bother.
But that which is ignored, avoided, denied and buried doesn’t die. We can keep it out of consciousness but our emotions, behaviours and bodily responses show its buried presence. Now to me what is really neat about EFT is that tapping gets to the parts that words and consciousness don’t. We can tap for something without having to fully download it into our awareness. This is why I so love to use imagery with EFT.
Last week I was working with a lovely young woman who had lost her mother as a child we had used the Movie Technique and Tell the Story to work through and clear much of the emotion of the memories of being told of the cancer, the visits to the hospital and the funeral such that she was able to find an adult perspective, understand calmly that her mother did not want to leave her and feel compassion for her grief stricken sisters.
But there was still something there and when the word “father” was mentioned she tensed and said “That’s a real can of worms and I don’t want to go anywhere near it”. Well I wasn’t going to ask her to so I simply said “And what does the can look like” she responded “it’s a can of baked beans” So we started tapping immediately: “Even though all of that is in the can, the baked bean can, I really, really do accept myself” “Even though its all safe and sealed in the stainless steel baked bean can I really, really, really do accept myself anyway” “Even though….” now I ask her to describe the can, the label the colours whilst we continue to tap on the karate point. Then we tap around the short cut points describing the can. “It’s a stainless steel can” “a can of worms” “its sealed at both ends” “with an orange and black label” “says Beans in big letters” “there’s smaller writing in red” “its heavy, a heavy can” “it’s a stainless steel can” “a can of worms”
Having started tapping straight away without pausing to ask her to rate intensity I now ask “If that had been a 10 in the can when you first mentioned it just guess for me what number would be inside now – don’t open it!” She looks at me without the tense expression of before and says “its gone down – the can is lighter, could be a 6” We do another round of description of the can, its colours, size and weight till the description changes somewhat and the can is smaller, lighter and the label has faded and her guess is a 3 inside.
So now we continue and talk about the can and her relationship to the can. Note that we are not talking directly about her father or her relationship to her father. “Even though I’ve carried this can for years, since I was so very young, I do know that was then and this is now” “Even though I’ve ignored and avoided this can and been annoyed with myself for doing so, I do so want to forgive myself anyway” “Even though I’ve pretended the can doesn’t exist what if I can look at it calmly and clearly now” “This can, carried it for years” “This can, that was then” “This can, those things happened” “Yes they did” “They shouldn’t have done” “And they did” “And I was very young” “I had to cope and keep going” “I had to shove it all in the can and that was all I could do” “That was all any child could do” “And she did that so well” “And I’ve carried the can”
Now she appears visibly relaxed. She tells me that she has an old fashioned can opener and has opened the lid. She laughs, the worms which were writhing and knotted are now neatly coiled and she can empty them out and they straighten out into lines. I use the word “father” and she starts to talk about a sad and angry man who took out his stress and trauma on his wife and daughters. As she talks I look out for the emotionally loaded phrases and we take them through a round of tapping.
This technique is one I use over and over and you can see me using it with a variety of imagery in my EFT-Helps dvd set.
Family reunions or office parties or even the lights on the tree can open cans of worms. Make this the year that you don’t avoid and ignore. Find a quite place and put it in a can, box, bag or bottle. Tap a few rounds first for the imagery of the container, being detailed and specific about the material, construction, colours, feel and weight. Then tap for your feelings about the container and what’s inside, the years you have carried it, how it has impacted your life and whatever comes to you as you tap. Keep focussed on the container.
Then when it feels ok to do so narrate the story and tap on any remaining intensity. If your can contains real nasties then I would suggest that you don’t open it on your own and that you find a tapping budy or experienced practitioner to be with you.
Happy Tapping and Happy Holidays,