Thursday, December 22, 2011

Celebrate the Holidays with Less Stress

Do less, do less, do less.   That is my mantra for Christmas this year.  Every other year, it has seemed like a last minute panic:  "Oh no, I forgot to fill in unnecessary thing here!"  I would give gifts to over 20 people, straining my finances and my time, and would always wonder, "Did they truly like the gift?  Was it really worth paying it off over the next few months?"

This year, I told my large family and my husband's family that we are not doing gifts for anyone but the kids this year.  Hooray!  What. A. Relief.  I never know what to get them anyway, and it just turns into a big stress-ball of "Is it good enough?"  Heck with it.  They didn't even balk.  They understood.  They don't need any more stuff.  If they need something, they buy it.  If I get to it, I will give them handmade gifts.  That would be fun.  If it is easy and fun, I will do it.  Doing less frees me up to enjoy time with them instead.

Gifts were my biggest stressor.  Check.  Done.  That's a lot less wrapping too.  The gifts for my husband and son are all wrapped and under the tree.  That was easy.  My baking will be done on Saturday, with my mother, brother, and sister, and our small boys.  If it's too noisy, I will take a break.  If it drives me nuts, I will leave.  They will understand, and I will just have fewer cookies to eat.  Not a problem.

Then the next stressor is that both our families live nearby...  Which means we are expected to attend both big meals.  Which is pretty cool, really.  With my husband's family, that is at his sister's house.  She wanted to do it at 7 pm, for what reason, I do not know (there are young children involved).  With dinner, gifts, and friends popping in, it's usually at least a 3 hour affair.  We would come home exhausted, and be weary and half-awake for the morning presents at home, and big dinner an hour away at my parents.

This year, we told her we would be leaving at 9.  We have an almost-4 year old who needs to be in bed.  If we miss that sweet spot of sleepiness, we will be up all night, which would make for a less than joyful Christmas.  She understood, and may push dinner earlier if able.  I will help her prepare, if she lets me.

People understand.  They really do.  Sometimes we are so afraid of disappointing family that we do things we don't like to do.  That doesn't do anyone a favor.  Sure, some would get mad if you say you're not coming/are leaving early.  But if we never try to change it, we will never know how easy it can be.  The ones who love you don't want you to be unhappy trying to make their party/event/gifting.  Everything does not have to be perfect to enjoy.  As a matter of fact, less than perfect is usually a lot more fun.

I have a dear friend who makes these fancy coffee cakes every year.  It doesn't feel like Christmas without them, she says.  I don't entirely understand this.  They are pretty awesome, and I know it's her tradition.  However, some years it stresses her out so much, I wonder how she can stand to do it.  Personally, if there are too many things to do, I cannot enjoy any of them because I am too busy.  That's just me.  But if you have the time and energy, and it feels good to do, then go for it, my friend.  If it feels bad and stressful, consider simplifying.  The world will not end if you do not trim the tree perfectly, or make that special something that calls for 10 hours of prep time.  You may just open up space for something more beautiful if you skip something.

Find the things that are truly important to you.  Do them, and drop the rest.  That way you can be fully present in the joy and the fun that this season means.  If you rush from thing, to thing, to thing, will that fulfill you?  Or when the whirlwind is over, will you sit back and say, "Is that it?  Thank goodness, it's done," having missed or not enjoyed the good stuff.  The love.  The warmth.  The joy. 

Whatever your beliefs, this time of year is a time of celebration of light and love.  By doing less, and taking our time with what we do, it can be full of meaning and joy, like it was when we were kids.  We spent hours playing, remember?  Christmas was made for fun and love, and we knew it.

Do I sound selfish to you?  Darn right.  I want to enjoy Christmas with my husband and son.  I want to have the presence of mind to see the joy on James' little face and to enjoy a whole day off with my husband.  That means I have to pull back and do less than previous years.  The greatest gifts to me are time, love, and appreciation.  Darn right, it's worth it, and darn right, people who love me understand completely.

Happy Holidays, everyone.  I hope it is everything you wish it to be.


www.charlestonhealinghands.com

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Small Business Saturday

This year, support your local economy, and shop at small businesses.  Avoid the mall, shop small!  The Saturday after Thanksgiving, November 26th, is Small Business Saturday.  Come celebrate it with Healing Hands with free massages, chiropractic adjustments from  Dr. Dawn, and special deals on gift certificates from 10 am - 12 pm.

When you spend your money at a small, locally run business, you support the local economy.  Small businesses re-invest in their community (on average 40% of the money you spend-  for us about 80-90%, if you don't count taxes).  Small businesses spend their money paying their employees, their rent, and buying their supplies locally.  We provide jobs and unique goods and services to residents.

In celebration of Thanksgiving, Healing Hands and Prime Chiropractic are hosting a Free Sample Preview at our place of business this Saturday at 2313 Ashley River Road.  Come between 10 am and 12 pm for free chair massages, chiropractic adjustments, and fantastic deals on gift certificates for your friends and family.

This year wherever you shop, make it really count.  Don't know where to go?  Ask a friend, or just look around at the little shops where you live.  You may also try this website for small Charleston businesses:  http://www.lowcountrylocalfirst.org/.  Thank you!

Gratefulness for the Economy

I am choosing to focus on what is good in my life, rather than what I would change.  It was hard at first, but with practice it gets much easier.  In doing so, I have found changes to be much more easy and forthcoming.  So in light of the still difficult economy, here are the things about it that I am grateful for:

1).  I'm grateful that my husband's job was cut to part time for close to two years.  Those two years were also the first two years of our son's life.  I am so grateful for this time we had!  I'm grateful that my husband was there to help, and became a confident daddy.  He was able to change diapers and take the baby all on his own, with no guidance from momma.  Thank you economy, and thank you daddy!  You may have just saved my sanity.

2).  I'm grateful that we are clearing out our home of stuff we no longer need.  We've only lived here four years, but it's amazing the stuff you can accumulate.  However, when you are watching how you spend, you buy less, so there is less stuff.  Over time, our house (and garage and attic) is getting more clear, ready for new, wonderful energy coming our way.  It also feels great to give things to charity.

3).  I'm grateful that we have learned more about where our money goes, and how to cut back.  These lessons will serve us well for the rest of our lives.

4).  It's still hard for me to say, but I'm grateful that I tried Groupon in my business.  It was a move made out of fear, as clientele was down, and my massage therapists were clamoring for more business.  With the benefit of perspective, I would never run a Groupon again.  It was close to a disaster for me!  However, it did put me on the fast track to know what it is like to have a very busy practice (minus the money).  In just one year, I learned what would have taken 5+ or even more years to learn: it doesn't fit in my life right now to run a busy practice with lots of therapists.  I want to run my own small practice with a devoted clientele.  That's where my heart is.  Thank you, economy, for saving me from years of a struggle trying to get something I wouldn't have wanted.

5).  I'm grateful for my loyal clients, who despite their economic difficulties recognize that massage helps them.  They find a way to fit it into their lives and budget, and are the better for it.  Thank you for taking care of yourselves!

Change is not generally easy, but I choose to have confidence that the changes occuring will end up for our global best.  Scaling back and trying new things opens up all sorts of possibilities. By focusing on the good things we have, and by reframing difficult times as positively as we can, we invite more positive experiences into our lives.

What are you grateful for with the soft economy?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Back to Basics

It seems that almost everyone is overloaded right now.  We have too much work, too many bills, and not nearly enough time.  I see clients week after week complaining, "my body is falling apart" as they work a job they cannot stand or fill their lives with obligations they do not enjoy.

Why do we do this to ourselves?  Economic uncertainty makes us afraid to change jobs.  We are afraid to say no anymore.  We have a bunch of "should's" that eat into our time, and so we fit in everything but ourselves.  Week after week, we ignore ourselves, and we ignore the suffering in our bodies and minds.

I understand this because I have been doing it too.  Over the last year, my business has grown significantly.  Time for the things I love has dwindled, as I have chased after what I thought I "should" do.  I have wondered day after day, "why does my back still hurt?" when there was no physical reason.  Doing healing on myself kept coming up with the same answer: I had to change my life.  No amount of healing work will fix your pain if you are unwilling to change what causes that pain.  For your wound to heal, you must stop stabbing yourself.

My son has asked me, "Mommy, do you have to work today?"  After hearing this too many times, I had to tell him: I will cut back, one way or another.  It is partly for him, yes, but it is mostly for me.  I want to make this point here very clear:  I am being selfish.  Missing his early years is not an option.  Most of us could do with a little more selfishness, instead of just giving ourselves away.

People thrive in different environments, and I am not ashamed to admit I am NOT a Type A personality.  I thrive on peacefulness and calm.  I thrive on quality one-on-one time and freedom to do what I need to do for me.  If we put our focus back on ourselves, I think we can all have that.  We fit in the things and people we love, and they will fit us in too, because it's mutually beneficial.  This would free up so much resentment that our hearts would open.

So with no regret, I have decided to practice what I preach.  I am going back to being a solo practitioner again.   Hooray!  No more long hours of bookkeeping, janitorial duties, and management.  I just want to work on clients, and so that is what I'm going to do.  The achiever in me is reluctant to give away the title "Spa Owner", but the real person underneath is happy just to be me again.

That's what I am doing for me.  I feel a tremendous sense of relief already.  I cannot serve others by ignoring myself. 

So what can you change in your life today to benefit you?  I bet that the whole world will benefit from it too.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

I Love my Dog!

During a Reiki session recently, I was inspired by the thought that we should love ourselves the way our dogs love us.  Dogs are great teachers of how to love.

My dog is the best dog in the world.  He is also one of the softest and snuggliest.  He loves me unconditionally with his whole heart and soul.  You can feel it emanating from him.  He doesn't care if I've been productive.  He doesn't mind if I'm grouchy.  If I'm sick or grumpy, he climbs into my lap, looks up at me with sad doggy eyes, and lets me know that he's there and he loves me.  Everything feels much better with a sweet doggy snuggling in your lap.  When my little boy goes to bed, it's dog snuggle time.  I pull him into my lap, and he flops out, completely trusting and happy while I pet his belly.  That's a great way to end any day.

All my dog needs is food, shelter, and love.  That's it.  As long as he has that, he is happy.  Love for him is simply time together.  He doesn't care if I work, keep a clean house, or do any of the assortment on my to-do list.  He doesn't care what I look like, about my politics, or what kind of car I drive.  As a matter of fact, he would just prefer if I just stay home, so he can be near me.  If I sit at my computer, he comes in the room and sacks out nearby.  He prefers to sleep in my bed and to lay at my feet if I'm on the couch.  If I do need to go out, he is there waiting for when I return.  I love how excited he gets when I get up in the morning.  I especially love that he is just as excited when my son gets up, as if to say, "I'm so glad to see you!  It's a gorgeous day already because you're here!"

My dog knows how to love.  You don't have to earn his affection.  He will welcome you whole-heartedly the minute you walk in the door.  Some people don't like that.  They may prefer cat love instead--  the kind you have to earn.  For me, I prefer dog love-- that pure, instant, love-at-first-sight and forever kind of love.  Cats do their own thing and have to trust you first.  I can appreciate that.  Dogs take you at face value and trust you unless there is reason not to.  That feels better to me. 

When my son was an infant, and I was on the couch all day comforting and nursing, my dog was there too.  He would get as close as he could and lie there happily.  I have a doggy door, so he never interrupted baby-time.  If the baby was crying, the dog would sit in the corner looking at me as if to say, "Is everything all right?"  When the baby woke up, the dog would come get me.  When I had a bad day, which was frequently back then, I could bury my head in his fur and he would bathe me in doggy love till I felt better.  This little dog saved me.

My dog is a 20 lb miniature apricot poodle named Oliver.  He is also known as Ollie, Ollie-bear, fuzz-head, buddy, come-here, and good boy.  Everybody should have someone in their life like Oliver.  Thank you, Oliver, for coming into my life!  I have no doubt he was meant totally for me and would have found his way to me no matter what.  I love you, Oliver!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Turn Your "Should"s into "Can"s

I was recently taught a very good lesson by my husband.  There I was, complaining about something I felt I had to do that day.  He said, "You're thinking of it wrong.  Instead of saying 'I have to', try saying, 'I get to'".
Hm.  Well, that does make a difference, doesn't it? 

When we take the word "should" out of the equation, and replace it with "can", a whole world of possibilities opens up.  Instead of I "should" see one more client who called right before closing, when I "should" get home, it becomes I "can" see another client.  It's my choice, and it's a win-win.  Whatever I decide is a great opportunity!  Oh, that feels so much better. 

Instead of I "should" go to yoga today, it becomes I "can".  Oh, much better!  I "should" read this book because my best friend said so.  Umph, that's oppressive, and I'm going to resist it.  I "can" read this book and learn these neat things my friend is talking about.  Yay!

Someone who is stopping drinking is probably telling themselves, "I should stop drinking".  That's hard!  How about they try, "I can decide to stop drinking".  Much better.  That's empowering.  Instead of "I should address these issues", it becomes "I can decide to address these issues."  You are in charge.

Most of us are hardwired to resist change.  Powerful results happen when you allow yourself to be where and how you are right now, instead of nagging yourself with your "shoulds".  Acceptance allows change, whereas most of us will fight against being told what we should do.  Acceptance feels good.  To get to where you want to go, you first find out where you are and become okay with that.  (How do I do this, you ask?  EFT!  Or, just look in the mirror a few times a day and say "I love you" until you feel it.  You shouldn't do it.  You can if you want to.)

There are way too many should's in our lives.  Try replacing it with can, and feel how empowering it can be.  It replaces fear and guilt with options and self-confidence.  You can do it if you like, but it is absolutely up to you.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Be Kind to Yourself.

This week's trend in my clients has been people who are terribly hard on themselves. The mindset is, "I should be over this by now".  Why? If no one validated your experience, and even you have not validated your experience, how in the world do you expect yourself to be "over it"? Forgive yourself that you aren't perfect. Perfectionism is the enemy of good. Why beat yourself up over being unable to attain the impossible?


Instead tell yourself, I choose to feel good about where I am right now. I choose to recognize my strengths and honor them. I choose to honor the difficulties I've been through, the lessons I've learned, and my feelings about them. Feelings are valid whatever they are because they simply "are". They are messages that tell you that you've lost something, you've been wronged, or there is a danger. Feelings arise so that you may mourn the loss, right the wrong, or avoid the danger. Do not bury them deep within your stomach, or in your shoulders, or knees. Recognize them. Recognize yourself, and say, I feel this way, and that's okay.  I accept myself and my feelings. Be patient with yourself, as you would with a friend who is embarking on a journey of self discovery. What a journey it is!  Deeper than the sea, higher than the stars, the depth of a human soul is what we are discovering. The depth of your soul deserves to be discovered and nurtured, for it has an inherent value.  It always has, and it always will.

Baby steps are good. They take you forward, until quite suddenly you have found that you are already walking.  Then you can run, and then you can soar.  There is no hurry though, because the real "you" that you are seeking is right there inside of you already.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

EFT Tapping Points & Instructions

 
Tapping Directions in Brief:
 
1).  Assess your discomfort level on the issue you'd like to tap on, with a scale of 0-10 (10 being a high level of discomfort)
 
2).  Setup:  Using several fingers, start tapping gently on the Karate point while repeating:  "Even though I have this problem (be specific), I deeply and completely love and accept myself.
 
3).  Round: Tap gently about 7 times on each point while repeating the reminder phrase about this issue, "this problem" (be specific).  The points do NOT need to be precise.  Tapping on one side of the body is fine, but both sides are better.
 
4).  Reassess the intensity of the discomfort.
 
5).  Repeat tapping procedure using "this remaining problem" (be specific) until the discomfort is at a 0. Notice memories or different feelings that may come up, and tap on them too.
 
Tips:
If your number does not move, drink a glass of water and try again.  Or you may be experiences "shifting aspects", in which case pay close attention to whether the intensity has shifted to some other emotion or event.  You have the choice to follow the different one or go back to the original.
 
If you want to work on a particularly intense trauma, I highly recommend that you seek assistance from a qualified professional.
 
For tapping examples, explore youtube.com, searching for "EFT and my issue".  Keep in mind that while tapping along is great, EFT is most effective when you are specific to your issue: your emotions, thoughts, sights, sounds, and even smells.
 
Happy Tapping!
Rachel

Finding Reiki

My first experience of Reiki came at a time when I was just beginning to want to believe in miracles again. Up to that point, I had become very disillusioned about anything that could not be scientifically demonstrated: including God, and anything mythical or spiritual. Gradually I came to realize again that there is far more under the sun than what can be seen, explained, or even understood.

I went to my first Reiki Share not expecting much. I did not consider myself to be sensitive to "energy" (whatever that was). I did not know if I really believed any of that hokum, and was afraid of being disappointed. Sitting across from the Reiki Master as she held her hands over someone on a massage table, I felt a sort of vibration. It was very hard to explain to myself, or to put my finger on. I thought surely that I must be imagining it. I closed my eyes and willed the feeling away, but instead it grew stronger. When it was my turn on the table, I felt interesting energetic sensations that I could no longer chalk up to my imagination.
What on Earth is Reiki? As my Reiki Master said, it is far easier just to show you than to try to explain. To me, it feels like light, like warmth, like something I can best describe as energy or spirit. It feels good, real, and powerful. Everyone experiences it differently, but almost everyone I have spoken to finds it very pleasant, relaxing, and maybe even a little enlightening. 

It is good to believe in something beyond ourselves. Whether you believe it is from God, of this earth, or simply born out of our desire for it to be real, Reiki is a wonderful experience, and I wish to share it with everyone who is seeking.

I left my first Reiki Share with a feeling of peace. I had finally found something for me, that verified my own experience that whatever anyone else believes of God or the supernatural, or what have you, I felt full, content, and connected to something greater than myself. As always, I am hungry to learn more.

As I have grown in my experience of Reiki, I have witnessed many things that verify my experience.  Rapid healings and spiritual growth are commonplace with Reiki.  Mostly though, I can feel the change in myself.  When I feel stuck, tired, or just plain out of sorts, I turn to Reiki.  It helps me feel better, puts things back in perspective, and me back on my path.  When I do not know how to help someone, I give them Reiki.  Like a prayer with a powerful intent, it releases my need to control, and helps the recipient heal in their own way.  It connects me to spirit, and to something bigger than myself and my small concerns.  This is why I practice Reiki.  This is why I teach it.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Self EFT: Creative Solutions When You Don't Know What to Say

While the right words are very helpful in EFT, they are not completely necessary.  If you would like to tap on your own but get stuck on what to say, you can simply tap without words. Below are some informal, yet effective, tapping ideas that do not require “the right words”.

  1. Tap to a song. Pick a song that you really connect with, and tap along. It will likely bring up some intensity, and issues may spring to mind. Feel free to pause the song, and tap to whatever comes up for you, or simply listen over and over again while tapping until it no longer triggers you. Sometimes you may not have even realized the meaning of some songs to you until you tap while listening, and it all becomes clear.

  1. Tap with a picture. Find a picture of yourself or someone important in your life and tap while looking at it. There need be no words.

  1. Mentally tap while lying in bed. You can imagine that you are tapping in your mind, with or without words, and the results are almost as effective as physically tapping. Mental tapping tends to be very relaxing and can help lead you to a more peaceful sleep.

  1. Rant and tap. Simply start talking about an issue, letting yourself rant and rave, freely expressing your emotions, and tap through the points.

  1. Tap to a letter/e-mail. Tap to a letter that someone sent you that upset you. Write a letter, with or without the intent to send it, that expressing your feelings freely. Read it while tapping, and you will likely find your perspective changing.

  1. Tap during upsetting conversations. If you feel yourself being drawn into someone else's drama, while on the phone or otherwise, it is the perfect time to tap. You can still be compassionate, even if you do not get caught up in the drama.

  1. Role Play. Have a pretend conversation with the person who upset you, while tapping. Tell them what you would like to tell them. When you have reduced the intensity, reverse it and speak as if you are the other person talking to yourself, while tapping. You may be surprised at what comes up.

If you feel that you need further guidance in EFT, please visit my webpage at http://charlestonhealinghands.com/1/eft.html and call to set up a free phone consultation.


Happy Tapping!

Rachel Hazelwood

Monday, February 14, 2011

My EFT Story: A Mother & an Infant

How EFT saved my sanity and my relationship with my son.

When a baby will not stop crying, it is best to help the parents first. If you had told me this a few years ago, I would have been a bit confused. In tapping through my own issues, however, my son had a complete turnaround. This is my story, and my inspiration for becoming a tapping professional.

I experienced tremendous emotional challenges during my son's babyhood. He was the proverbial "difficult baby".  He had gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD), which is like colic to the tenth power.  He had significant food allergies and cried all the time, no matter what we did. I remember at his first visit with the pediatrician, my husband and I laughed hysterically at a poster on the wall that said newborns slept 18-20 hours a day. Our son only slept about six. He had about three naps the first six months of his life, and we tried everything. My nerves were frayed. I was completely exhausted, and most importantly, I could not enjoy my sweet little baby.

The only thing I could do to comfort him was to nurse, literally, all day long. I felt like I was a prisoner or a cow, shackled to the couch, watching TV and staring out the window. If I needed a bathroom break or a meal, I faced heart wrenching, frenzied fits of hysterical crying, like he was going to die. I got very creative about carrying him around with me, still attached. Since he was a big boy and growing like a weed, that was no small feat. When he was about nine months old, I eliminated all traces of dairy from my diet, and then he was able to go an hour on and an hour off with nursing.

So what in the world was wrong? It started our first night in the hospital, so it could not have been anything behavioral that we did or did not do. The pediatrician could find nothing wrong, and assured us that he was healthy and normal. We tried numerous things: GERD medicine, chiropractic, elimination diet, and NAET. I read a dozen books. The only thing that helped was eliminating dairy, but that was not nearly enough.

Being a healer, I was especially horrified that I could not help my own baby. He did not want to have anything to do with my efforts. He just wanted to nurse. He fought any time we brought him to a practitioner. Leaving the house was a traumatic ordeal. My friends and family did not seem to understand how difficult it was, and so I did not get nearly enough support. Instead, I heard the standard platitudes over and over again: “It will get better” and “All that matters is that he is healthy”. With my husband's help (i.e., taking the screaming baby out of the house at just the right moment), I was able to hang in there.

When my son got a bit older, his behavior improved a little. However, instead of the crying resolving into happiness like everyone assured me would happen, it changed into continual whining, alternating with shrieking meltdowns. There was no apparent cause to the meltdowns. They happened out of nowhere, at any time and any place, and went on for any length of time. I tried different behavioral ideas, as the world is full of advice, but nothing worked.

I had learned EFT several years prior and had used it to amazing success with myself and clients. I was reluctant to try it much on my son, however. I was holding it in reserve as a last-ditch effort.  I felt that if I really tried EFT, and it failed, I would have completely run out of options.  When I did try a little EFT with him, it did not seem to work. I felt like he knew that I was trying to "change" him, even as an infant, and he seemed to get even more upset.

When he was about two years old, I was teetering too dangerously on the edge. I could not take the continuous, daily struggle anymore. I had finally come to my last ditch effort. I knew I needed someone objective, so I found an EFT practitioner and scheduled some phone sessions.

To my surprise, we focused on my OWN issues, not my son's. After a couple of sessions, tapping on my own frustration, embarrassment, and anger, I felt much better and a lot more human. I was better able to handle my son's crying and meltdowns. After my third EFT session, I had a breakthrough.

All along, I had thought that the problem had to be his: food allergies, his reaction to something that I did wrong, his very difficult birth, or some underlying health issue. But the major issue was not his "stuff" at all. It was actually my own!

What set me off was actually my EFT practitioner suggesting to me, as so many people had since my pregnancy, "you need to do something different”. Oh no, not again. She started to give me advice. She suggested more behavioral changes that I had already tried and had not worked. I had tried time-outs, setting limits, not giving choices, scheduled nap times, all natural food, distraction, toddler-eese, limiting stimulation, making sure he was never hungry, etc., etc. Very little helped, no matter how consistent I was. I had studied psychology in college, and even did a good bit of research on conditioning, so I know very well how reinforcement works. That was NOT the problem. I was insulted that yet another person was suggesting it was my own fault.

After that conversation, I did a lot of EFT by myself on my out-of-proportion anger. She did not get it either! It was only with tapping that I realized how much anger was inside of me. I had no idea. I was angry at everyone who had ever given me advice or thought that I was doing something wrong. I was angry at everyone who was not helping me. I was pretty much angry at the world. I felt that the world was judging me and my failure as a mother. I SHOULD somehow be able to fix it. It was my own fault that my baby was so difficult.

I tapped for a good 90 minutes, ranting and raving about all the things that were pent up inside of me. Then I stopped and realized, the anger was gone. I was absolutely relieved. EFT cleared out those feelings, and I felt light and clear. I trusted myself again! I did not care about other people's opinions, and could finally trust my own instincts.

That very afternoon, without consciously changing a thing, my son had a huge turnaround. He woke up and did not scream. He spoke nicely to me. He stopped being whiny and clingy. He stopped having unpredictable meltdowns over nothing.

He became the sweet, confident child that I knew was in there. Again, I did not change a thing in my behavior! He just became happy and more manageable. Most importantly, I started to really enjoy him. It was not perfect, and I still had some tapping to do, but the change was palpable. I shudder to think where we would be if I had not finally tried EFT.

He still has his moments of course-- he is a child! I still have mine, and neither of us is near perfect. He is still sensitive, willful, and too smart for his own good. He is also loving, well spoken, and quite often, a pure joy. The dramatic change that made life fun again came from healing something within myself-- something I had not even known was there.

It took me way too long to learn that the best thing for a parent at wit's end to do is to take care of herself first. Take care of her own needs. Trust herself. Our little babies feed off of everything. They respond to our guilt for not being perfect, our anger at our own helplessness, and our fear that we are doing something wrong. Processing and resolving those emotions through healing methods such as EFT can release the negative cycle of crying/guilt, crying/guilt, crying/despair.

We are told that when we become parents, we will know what to do. Then we are given advice upon conflicting advice. Then we are thrown to the wolves. Our society sends the message that raising our child is completely our responsibility alone. Mothers are reluctant to seek help, or even to admit that they are having trouble. We do not want to admit that we feel anger about all the freedom we have lost. It is taboo to say anything negative about having kids, other than “you'll find out” to expectant parents.

Our society has set us up for a fall, because as wonderful as having children is, it is not all sunshine and roses. There are moments when you doubt your own sanity. Expressing your concerns and your regrets and doubts should not be taboo. You should not have to hide that in the shadows, along with all of your guilt about your perceived failings as a parent.

Being a parent is HARD. Getting support for it should not be.

Healing those fears, doubts, uncertainties, regrets, and angers makes it a lot easier to find joy in a squirming, bawling, helpless infant who looks amazingly like you. Thanks to EFT, I have come out on the other side, into joy. I love helping others do the same.

New Year Challenge

Lately many of my clients have been exhibiting a profound resistance to healing. They make the appointment. They show up. Therefore, they must all want the healing work, right? But there is something in them that does not want to “go there”, even though another part of them recognizes that the time has finally come. Before we work on the issue that brought them in, we must first deal with that resistance itself.

Clients come in patterns. I am not sure if the patterns have to do with my own energy, something happening in the world, or both. So in this case, what is the universe trying to tell me? If I give an honest look at myself, I can see that I have been resisting healing and self care lately. We get very used to where we are. We get comfortable with our limitations and our goals on hold. The Law of Inertia applies to our own lives: People at rest tend to stay at rest.

So I want to issue a challenge and an invitation for the New Year. Allow yourself to rest and reflect for a little bit, and then get moving. There is something in your life calling for your attention, and you know what it is. Let this be the year that you heed that call. What would make this year the best year of your life?

Make yourself a priority. If you aren't, then you probably aren't doing much good for anybody else anyway. Schedule time for yourself, without the guilt. Make good boundaries with those demanding of your time (family, friends, work) and enforce those boundaries. You deserve to live a good life, on your terms.

Above all, be patient with yourself. Sometimes change happens overnight, but most of the time, it takes time. You don't have to do it all in a day. Take your time. But whatever it is, make sure that you do something.

In honor of the New Year, and my clients who need some TLC before moving forward, I am making a commitment to myself. I will schedule “me time” every week. That is tough to do for a working mother of a three year old! If something else comes up, I will tell others, “no, I have a very important appointment at that time.” I will honor my own deserving, so that others can learn to honor theirs. I will honor myself so that my son can learn to honor himself, and my clients can learn by example. We all do so much for other people. It is high time that our selves got the same courtesy.

Once I realized what was going on, I did some tapping and have already already enjoyed some “me time”. Wow, what a difference! Thank you, my wonderful clients, who taught me this about myself!

To get you started, please enjoy the tapping script below. For general directions on how to do EFT yourself, including the tapping points, please visit http://www.thetappingsolution.com/e_book_thank_you.php and download the free e-book.  Page 12 includes the tapping points.

Let's Get Started!
Pick something you would like to do this week for yourself, but that you feel resistance to doing. List in your head all the reasons that you don't want to do it, or feel that you can't do it.  Rate that resistance on a scale of up to 10 with how strongly you feel it  (You can't or don't want to do it this week).  Fill in the blanks below with whatever is appropriate for you, and begin.


Karate Chop (KC): Even though I have all of this resistance to ____________ (doing something good for myself) this week, for whatever reason, and I don't want to let it go, I deeply love and accept myself anyway.
Even though I can't give myself permission to _____________ this week, for whatever reason, and I don't want to let it go, I deeply love and accept myself.
Even though I feel ________ (guilt, sadness, anger, fear, etc.) when I think about doing ___________, that I'm wasting my time,, and I don't want to let it go, I love and accept myself anyway.

Eye Brow (EB): All this resistance.
Side of the Eye (SE): I don't want to do it.
Under the Eye (UE): This feeling of (guilt, sadness, anger, fear, etc.)
Under the Nose (UN): I refuse to let it go.
Chin Point (CH): I just don't have the time!
Collar Bone (CB): I have too much to do.
Under the Arm (UA): I don't even really want to.
Top of the Head (H): I have to ________ instead.
EB: This feeling of (guilt, sadness, anger, fear, etc.) about taking time for me.
SE: What if somebody gets mad at me, or thinks I don't deserve it?
UE: I don't deserve that time for myself
UN: It's too hard to schedule.
CH: I really should _________ instead.
CB: What if somebody judges me.
UA: I don't deserve that time to myself.
H: It's just too hard, cause there's is too much to do.
Take a deep breath.

Go back and assess your resistance to your chosen activity. How strong does it feel? If it is at a 7 or higher, go back to the top and start again. Feel free to use your own phrases as you feel inclined, personalizing it for yourself. If a specific memory comes up, such as your parents telling you that you are too selfish, tap on that very specifically. (For example, even though I feel all this sadness that my mom gave me a guilt trip about doing yoga instead of having lunch with her, I deeply and completely love and accept myself). Don't worry about getting the words right. You can just vent, and great releases can come from that.

When it drops to a 7 or below, continue below.

KC: Even though I still have this resistance to spending the time to ___________ this week, for whatever reason, I want to allow myself to enjoy doing good things.
Even though I still can't allow myself to __________________ this week, for whatever reason, I want to love and accept myself whether I do it or not.
Even though I can never put myself first, because other people need something from me, and I just don't have any time, I do want to put myself first for a change.

EB: This remaining feeling of _________ (guilt, sadness, anger, fear, etc.) about wanting to ________
SE: I don't want to let it go.
UE: Maybe I could let it go.
UN: No, I can't.
CH: Part of me would like to let go of this ________ (guilt, sadness, anger, fear, etc.)
CB: But another part is afraid of the repercussions.
UA: What if I could let myself do it.
H: But what if something bad happens?
EB: But maybe I do deserve something good.
SE: But I just can't make myself do it, and I don't want to.
UE: I deserve something good for myself.
UN: But I don't know how I'm going to find the time.
CH: I would like to learn.
CB: All these things that are getting in the way.
UA: I could choose to release them.
H: It would feel good to release them.
Take a deep breath.

Repeat the steps above, using your own words if you like, until you are down to a 2 or 3. Then continue:

KC: Even though I still can't completely give myself permission to __________ this week, I choose to do what's best for ME.
Even though some part of me still doesn't feel good about __________ this week, I choose to listen to the part of me that knows it would be great for me.
Even though I still have some resistance to ________ this week, for whatever reason, I choose to be kind, patient, and gentle to myself, and to let myself take care of me.

EB: This remaining resistance and feeling of _______.
SE: I choose to let it go.
UE: Any remaining reasons not to _________.
UN: I choose to let them go.
CH: I can't let them go.
CB: It would feel good to let it go.
UA: remaining _______ (guilt, sadness, anger, fear, etc.) about _________
H: I can just let it go.
EB: It's so hard to find the time.
SE: I bet I could make the time
UE: I may feel guilty.
UN: I could give myself permission.
CH: I don't know how to make the time
CB: I could choose to feel good about it.
UA: Any remaining doubts or resistance.
H: I choose to honor myself this week, and to feel great about it.

Tap until your resistance and unpleasant feelings are at a 0.

EB: I choose to make time for me.
SE: It's so brave of me to do that.
UE: This is going to feel so good.
UN: I really deserve this.
CH: I get to be a priority.
CB: I can be a great example to others to take care of themselves too.
UA: I choose to honor myself.
H: I bet this will even give me more energy.
EB: I feel so good about this.
SE: I can't wait to ________.
UE: I feel so good about this.
UN: I'm so proud of myself.
CH: Way to go, me!
CB: I totally deserve this.
UA: I'm going to completely enjoy it.
H: I love that I'm going to ________ this week.

Now congratulate yourself for getting started!

If you are unable to get relief, then there may be a deeper issue involved. A professional session of EFT may help get to the root of the problem.

Disclaimer: By reading this page, you are agreeing to take charge of your own health and accept complete responsibility for the results that incur. EFT is not intended to treat or cure any disease or disorder, and is not a substitute for professional medical/psychological advice. Always consult a qualified health provider regarding any medical or psychological condition. This page is not medical advice.