By Irene Ödmark-Hall
About a year ago the chair of the Swedish EFT Association (EFT Förbundet) decided to step down. Her decision opened up for change. Who was going to take over?
Part of me really wanted to be that person, thinking I’d be quite perfect for the job. Another part worried about what it would entail. Was it worth the time and effort? Would my ideas really be possible to turn into reality? Perhaps they were unrealistic and too grand? Would I even do a good job – and what would people think?
Thinking about this brought many conflicting thoughts and a queasy feeling of not knowing what to do. Definitely time to tap, but although I keep telling my clients to tap regularly on what bothers them, I found it difficult to do so myself. Luckily enough I got a good push into tapping this time!
I opened my inbox and found this absolutely absurd email from a colleague of mine, X. I’m not going to go into details, but I went berserk. So b-y angry!!! I started tapping, talking to myself, a kind of “tap and rant” which I find useful when the emotions run high. I went through all the different reasons why he was such an eejit; incompetent, full of male ego, getting things completely wrong, not respecting what we had agreed on etc etc etc. Until I remembered I could, and should, use the IEP process. That slowed the whole thing up a bit.
At first, I had tapped on things that had to do with the email, but I also started remembering all the other times X had slighted me, been disloyal and forgetful, and his way of never answering my e-mails, calls or text messages in time (or at all). So instead of releasing them one by one, I grouped them together:
“I release all my emotional attachments to all the ways X is such a disaster”.
This is a very polite translation of the Swedish which was a string of rather gross invectives that made me laugh. I tapped and also began to feel tired of myself, because I have tapped quite a lot in the past on X being so irritating. Of course, I had tried to talk to him and stand my ground, but it had been like talking to a wall.
I release all my emotional attachments to tapping on this again!!! Tap, tap, tap.
I release all my emotional attachments to talking to a wall!!! Tap, tap, tap.
I release all my emotional attachments to all the ways he has hurt me. Tap, tap, tap, tap, tap …
This actually brought some pause, bringing the focus back to me, to my own hurt, not just the anger that was trying to protect the vulnerable part of me. I felt a bit of sadness, quickly replaced by anger again.
I then tried my cue words “Calm and clear”. Felt good. That statement always comes with a special image: a schnapps glass filled to the brim with Absolut vodka, perfectly balanced between the ears of a white horse, trotting along in a spring forest. Me seeing the horse’s head from behind because I’m in some kind of wagon, lazily being carried along. Weird image, but it usually does the trick for me, it calms me down in a sweet way, brings on the hint of an inner smile because that schnapps glass is so ludicrous. (Note from Steve Wells: The cue word process is used in IEP to initiate the process of releasing and restoring. It is a shortcut to the longer process which is taught in our Level 1 and Level 2 workshops).
In the space opened up by my cue word I tapped for a while reflecting on the connection between X’s behaviour and my mother’s. She wasn’t emotionally present for me as a child, and I also felt she never respected me. This is a huge thing that I have worked on over the years, but I didn’t feel like going there again, not on my own. Instead, I went for:
“I restore the right energy flow to my emotions.” Beautifully vague.I tapped for several minutes, my thoughts flitting around the whole “X and my mother connection”. A bit of sadness, a heaviness in my shoulders.
I noticed my body calming down even more. The anger had disappeared, and for a moment I felt a pang of compassion for both X and my mother.
As my awareness came back to the here and now my mind crawled back to the question of what to do about the chair issue. Should I take it on or not?
“I release all my emotional attachments to becoming the chairwoman of EFT Förbundet.” A sigh of relief, then a flash of excitement followed by a clenching in my gut.
I restore the right energy balance to my gut, tap tap tap.
I also had time to think: “Here I go again! Silly me, can’t I ever give up my uncertainties and over thinking? I know I’m the right person for the job and still I bla bla bla …”
I release all my emotional attachments to getting caught in my self criticism again…. And so, I carried on for a while, tapping on my doubts, being too old and tired, letting my mind flit from one thought to another – that’s what I like about IEP, it lets my mind be free, and the tapping follows to take care of what needs to be attended to. But still I felt I was going over the same ground again and again. It brought relief but didn’t help me to make my mind up.
I tried my cue words Calm and clear again, and it worked in the weirdest kind of way, different from what it normally does.
I suddenly saw myself as a little girl, sitting under my grand parents’ kitchen table. I used to feel safe there. Invisible. In this image the little me looked worried and felt alone. Big me thought I’d get under the table to be with this younger part of myself, to soothe her.
But – I could hardly get under the table now! I was too big, and too stiff! I had outgrown my safe place under the table.
Here the adult, tapping me, actually remembered to think “I release all my emotional attachments to me, and little me, having to stay under the table any longer.”
At that exact moment a wave of water broke through the door and started flooding the kitchen. I grabbed little me and tried to save us both. I swam out through the door with her on my back, her arms around my neck, almost choking me. We were both fighting for our lives, me swimming, she holding on for dear life. Out into the garden which was now like a stormy sea. I could just make out the roof of the old root cellar, it was like a little island of safety. I swam towards it.
I climbed up on the roof, pulling little me behind. We sat there and rested for a moment. And as it happens in dreams, things changed very fast and weirdly and suddenly a young woman dressed in red joined us.
As the water receded and the green grass appeared, glittery and fresh, dotted with wild strawberries. there were three versions of myself sitting on the roof of the root cellar, holding hands. The “adult me” full of common sense, very capable but also a bit afraid of being old and tired. The “little me”, small and vulnerable, but for the moment rather happy. And the young woman in red, bursting with energy and creativity. I noticed she was pregnant. She was huge, carrying three babies inside …
Not going into the symbolism of my trancy dream brought on by all the tapping (this is what generally happens as I tap; the true shifts appear visually) it was still this last image that gave me the answer I was looking for:
Under the grassy roof full of wild strawberries was a cellar full of potatoes, carrots, pickled cucumbers, preserves … basic and very nourishing foods, representing my knowledge, therapeutic skills and what I can offer. The three women on the cellar roof found some kind of acceptance and way of being together, like a melting together of different aspects of myself.
So here was my answer. I took on the role of chair of EFT Förbundet, and it felt just right. I now have a more balanced view of the whole thing. After all, I’m sitting on a root cellar of knowledge and can bring about changes that are useful and good. I made sure we got some new board members that I’d like to work with. Already we have revved up our activities, with a feeling of fun cooperation.
I stepped into a less frightened, more potent, version of myself.
Irene Ödmark-Hall is a certified Intention Tapping Practitioner. She is also the chair of the Swedish EFT Association and produces the Swedish Tapping Summit once a year. Find out more about Irene and all our certified practitioners on our Practitioner List here.
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