It was our second Tapping into Your STRESS-FREE Life session. I asked how she had been feeling since our first session and she said, “I feel a lot less anxious. I had been having chest pains pretty much on and off all day long for several weeks before we started working together.”
NOTE: I helped her to understand that our body reacts in fight, flight or freeze whether we are in the middle of being chased by a tiger or just thinking about something as stressful as being chased by a tiger. Our body doesn’t know the difference.
Therefore, if we’ve experienced a “trauma” (basically anything that makes us feel helpless, powerless or overwhelmed can be a trauma, either big T or little t, it doesn’t have to be nearly as intense as being chased by a tiger. OMG I have 100 emails! Or if we feel rejected, less than perfect, not good enough or a million other emotions) in the past and we THINK of something that reminds us of that moment of fear, our body actually relives it as if it’s happening right now.
The amygdala (the threat response mechanism in our brain) is triggered, our heart beats faster, our muscles tense up, the stress hormones of cortisol and adrenaline course through our bodies and the blood leaves the thinking part of our brain to go into our arms and legs to facilitate fighting back or running away. If we can’t fight back or run away, we often FREEZE.
With EFT Tapping we are able to go to that frozen emotion and “process it” allowing it to flow freely again and very often to no longer feel triggered in the future.
One of the things I love so much about tapping is that we can do a lot of it for ourselves. Yet, as I’ve learned, sometimes we can desperately want to do it for ourselves and yet our subconscious mind is trying to protect us and prevents us from getting to the deep places and making the shifts. That’s where working with a EFT Practitioner is really helpful.
The session continued…
Gwen: “As a nurse I imagine you understand that chest pains are not good, right?” (Laughter) Client: She said, I understand how stress can affect our bodies. “For the first few years when my mother-in-law would come around, I would get lock jaw.” (Laughter) Gwen: Ya, like your body is saying don’t dare say what you wanna say! Client: Ya, DO NOT TALK! (More laughter)
Gwen: Ya, it’s fun to laugh about it when it’s not happening but it’s not so fun when you’re in the middle of it is it?!
Client: The most stress I’ve felt with the calls with my boss has been “because my boss doesn’t really have a plan and she’s had 6-8 weeks to get a plan. She’s known I’m leaving and there’s only 3 days left and there’s still no plan and that’s what stresses me out.”
I asked where she was feeling it in her body when she was telling me the story. It’s in my chest. The intensity? About a 4-5, however, as we focus more attention on it it’s getting higher… (very normal!)
Client: The last call was for the boss to tell us what the plan was. However, she spent an hour having us all explain what our workload was like and then I asked if she could give us some feedback and she said, not now, I need to think about it some more and I have to get on another call.”
My stress level skyrocketed. I was so irritated that we had spent all that time, and the prior 6 weeks, and nothing! It wasn’t a priority for her!
We tapped several rounds:
Even though this isn’t a priority for her and it makes me feel irritated…
There’s only 3 days left…. I feel so irritated and stressed….
Client: We’re not a priority for her and it makes me feel ____ (Sad)___ and
All this sadness and disappointment in my body that we aren’t a priority reminds me of the time when I was little… (silence)
Client: “It’s like I don’t even know how to say it. I can picture it but I don’t know how to say it.” Gwen: That’s ok. You were probably too young for language. I asked her how old she felt?
Client: About 6 or 7 years old.
Gwen: We simply used the term “that feeling” as we continued to tap. [Another thing I love so much about EFT, it’s definitely NOT talk therapy. It’s the feelings we are focused on not the words.]
Client: “I’ve been feeling “that 6 or 7 year old feeling” when I get stressed ever since.”
Gwen: I got that feeling when I was just a little girl, and I gave it a meaning. If I was gonna take a wild guess what that meaning might be and help that little girl with the words, what would the words be?
Client: The words would be “I” wasn’t a priority. (laughter)
Then something different popped into her head from when she was even younger, about 4 or 5 years old. A memory of when she, her mom and her siblings were in a car wreck and her dad stayed out having beer and pizza with his colleagues.
Client: I felt like we weren’t a priority. Like “I” wasn’t a priority.”
It was a very similar scenario…triggering a very similar emotion, but from the memory of a 4- or 5-year-old little girl, but it wasn’t funny anymore.
We continued tapping…
I’m open to the possibility that I’m not that little girl now and it’s safe to release that feeling and let it go.
She could suddenly see things so clearly, without the “sting” from the perspective of being a little girl. Now from an adult’s perspective, the common theme was everywhere…
Client: Every time I’ve gotten really annoyed it’s been because I feel that someone else thinks that something that I think is a priority isn’t or that I am not a priority!
Then, as we continued to talk and tap, she remembered another buried memory,
Client: “My sister and I barely spoke when we were kids. We were soooo quiet. We talked to each other but adults would talk to us and we really didn’t talk.”
Gwen: Why do you think that was? Client: “I think it was because according to my dad we were children to be seen and not heard.” Gwen: So now as an adult when you get triggered into that little girl feeling inside, I’m sure you just totally tell your boss exactly what you’re thinking right? (sarcasm)
Client: (Laughter): I always tell her you should be scared when I’m not talking!
Gwen: I bet that’s what you were thinking when you were little, right? Client: Yep! Gwen: But you thought you couldn’t do anything about it. Anytime a child is feeling helpless, powerless or overwhelmed … it can trigger a trauma in their body and play out in similar ways throughout the rest of their life, over and over again, and they always seem to feel like that young child when it’s happening.
Our bodies are actually RE–LIVING it as if we were still that little child!
When we went back and checked in with the intensity number regarding not feeling like a priority it had gone way down but there was still another aspect or another layer of the onion…. about a 2.
We tapped and unpacked a feeling guilty feeling, and cleared some more little girl memories of feeling not normal and unloved and matched them with the experiences she had that created those beliefs.
At the end of the session, we checked in with the intensity about not being a priority and it was a zero. I asked her to tell me her biggest Ah-Ha:
“That it’s all connected! When I’m feeling the most upset about something it usually has to do with, I’m not feeling like a priority and that actually means to the little girl inside of me that I’m not loved.”
She was no longer feeling the pain that her little girl had felt but feeling the calm from the perception of her adult self.
What a relief!!!
If you are feeling stressed and would like to get to the heart of the matter and release it permanently email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for your one hour introductory session with the Happiness Guarantee. If it’s not a good fit, you can get your money back. The only question asked is what could it have felt like more of a fit for you.
Stress is expensive…
Emotional Freedom is priceless!
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