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The Little Things in Life

When you’re suffering from a serious disease, life can be difficult.  You have good days and bad days, and on the bad days it can be really hard to focus on the positive, which is so important for healing.  I struggle with this problem on a regular basis, as I carry on the battle inside myself to reclaim good health.

Two good friends of mine, Noreen and Betty, have helped me to remember how very important the little things in life can be, particularly on the bad days.  Thanks, ladies!

There are some things in life that money can’t buy, such as peace, joy and happiness.  You can experience all of those feelings, though, by learning to appreciate and enjoy the small things in your life.

Although I haven’t had too many bad days recently, I still do have them, and when I do there is nothing that brings me more pleasure than sitting on my bed and watching the birds that come to my bird feeder.

I have some beautiful cardinals that come to eat just about every day.  The male cardinal’s vibrant red color always makes me smile, and seeing him fat and happy (in my mind, anyway) makes me feel like I’m doing my part to keep him that way.

I have a variety of birds that come to partake of the feast regularly, and I enjoy every single one of them.  If the bird is not one that I’m familiar with, I get even more excited.  I use my binoculars to get a really good look at the bird, and then turn to my reference book on birds on the U.S. to find out what the new bird is.

When I’ve watched my birds for a while, I feel happy and relaxed and content with life.  It’s a great way to feel!

Another thing I take great comfort in is my 3 cats (and resident brats) Salem, Blue and Cleo.  Pets have a way of making you feel loved that is always amazing to me.  One of the cats will climb up in my lap, look me in the eye, and “tell” me that it’s time for some loving.  I know all their favorite scratch places, and before long they are purring loudly.  There is something very relaxing about that purring, and I settle down for some one on one time with whichever cat is on my lap.

A few pretty birds and the unconditional love of my kitties brings tremendous pleasure to me, and I can go from feeling down and depressed to feeling relaxed and contented very quickly.

The next time you find yourself having a bad day, look around you, and find the little things in your life that give you pleasure.  Enjoy them.  You’ll feel better for having done that.

Being diagnosed with any serious illness can lead you down a long and bumpy road.  Even if you have suspected long before you got a firm diagnosis, having your doctor say “You have cancer” or “You have MS” or “You have COPD” can be a tremendous shock.  It certainly was for me.

A diagnosis of that kind tends to turn your life upside down initially.  Suddenly you have so many things to consider, or in my case, worry about.  What will this mean for me, short-term and long-term?  How will this affect my family?  Will I be able to work?  What happens if I can’t take care of myself?  What kinds of treatment are available to me?  Will I be able to afford those treatments?  Will I have to deal with a lot of pain?  The list of questions goes on and on, and it’s easy to find yourself in a situation where there are so many things to think about that you can’t concentrate on any one of them.

When I received my cancer diagnosis, I was shocked, angry and deeply saddened.  I knew that I had lots of things that I needed to take care of, so many that I found myself taking long naps in order to escape my reality.

My mind was constantly spinning from one thing to another, which meant that I never really spent the time that I needed to on any one issue.  The issues that go along with major illness are very difficult to think about, a big part of which has to do with facing your own mortality.

At first I resisted tapping about how overwhelmed I was.  I didn’t want to think about all those painful issues.  The book “Even Though I Have Cancer” by Emma Roberts really turned things around for me.  Reading all the insightful things that Emma had to say, as well as her lovely tapping scripts gave me a different perspective and moved me to start tapping.  Tapping bought me the peace of mind that I hadn’t had since my diagnosis.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed too, I’m hoping that the tapping script below will help.  It can also easily be modified for dealing with overwhelm not related to illness.

Tapping Script for Overwhelm

Setup – Karate chop:

  • Even though I feel like my life is spiraling out of control, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.
  • Even though my illness is making my life so complicated that I don’t know how to deal with it, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.
  • Even though I’m completely overwhelmed right now, I’m open to the idea that this situation can change for the better, and I deeply and completely love and accept myself.

Reminder phrases:

Eyebrow: I’m sick, and that has turned my life upside down
Outside eye: I feel like I have no control over my own life
Under eye: I’m so overwhelmed that I don’t know which way to turn
Under nose: I can’t seem to get a handle on things, and that makes me feel worse
Chin: How can I concentrate on healing when I can’t think straight?
Collar bone: I need to focus on myself right now
Under arm: Maybe I can get rid of this feeling of overwhelm
Top of head: And find a place of peace and healing.

Eyebrow: That feeling of overwhelm keeps me from functioning
Outside eye: I’m ready to start letting go of that feeling
Under eye: Breathing out the overwhelm with every exhale
Under nose: And breathing in peace with every breath that I take
Chin: Releasing those feeling of confusion
Collar bone: Taking back control of my life
Under arm: I choose to be in a calm and healing place
Top of head: And I’m moving toward that place right now.

Eyebrow: I’m breathing in peace and relaxation
Outside eye: And I feel that sense of peace settling over my body
Under eye: My muscles are becoming more and more relaxed
Under nose: As I let go of more of the overwhelm and confusion
Chin: Letting go of the last of the overwhelm
Collar bone: And embracing a positive attitude about my health
Under arm: Now that I feel calm and in control, I can take better care of me
Top of head: I love being in this place of relaxation and healing.

When you are diagnosed with any sort of serious illness, you go through many different feelings and emotions.  You question the fairness of life, and no… it isn’t fair.  You find yourself asking the question “Why me?”.  Most of us consider ourselves to be good people, and we certainly all know people who don’t fall under the category of good.  That leads to considering why something like that would happen to us.

For myself, and for many others too, this takes us down an uncomfortable path.  Could it possibly be that I deserve to be sick?

I was deeply shocked to realize that I truly did think that I deserved to be sick.  I thought back to all the bad things I had done in my life, and saw them as the reasons for the illness.  Suddenly it all made sense–if I had been a better person and lived a better life, I wouldn’t be sick now!

On a logical level, this may sound silly, but on a gut level it can feel very real.  For me, it was one more thing to worry about, in addition to all my ongoing physical problems…one more thing I didn’t need or want.

If you feel that you are to blame for your own illness, the tapping script below may help you to release those feelings.

TAPPING SCRIPT FOR BLAMING YOURSELF

Setup:

  • Even though I feel like I am to blame for my own illness, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.
  • Even though I feel like if I were a better person, I wouldn’t be sick, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.
  • Even though a part of me feels like I deserve to be sick, I deeply and completely love and accept myself, and I’m open to the idea that I could be wrong about that.

Reminder phrases:

Eyebrow: I have nobody to blame but myself for being sick.
Outside eye: I deserve to be sick because I wasn’t always a good person.
Under eye: The things I did in my life earned me this illness.
Under nose: It’s very upsetting for me to think about, but this is my fault.
Chin: I hate feeling like this about myself.
Collar bone: I can’t seem to find peace about this issue.
Under arm: I hurt myself and everyone that I love.
Top of head: But maybe there’s a better way to look at this.

Eyebrow: I think that I caused this illness myself
Outside eye:
But I’m willing to consider that might not be true
Under eye:
I may not have always been perfect
Under nose:
But I was the best person that I knew how to be
Chin:
There must be some reason why I’m sick
Collar bone: But does anyone really deserve to be sick?
Under arm:
Absolutely not!!!
Top of head:
I can learn to cope with this illness without feeling guilty.

Eyebrow: My behavior did not cause my illness
Outside eye:
I won’t waste my time and energy worrying about that
Under eye:
I choose to focus on the positives in my life
Under nose: I can feel better physically and emotionally by keeping it positive
Chin:
My decision is to forgive myself for anything that I feel I did wrong
Collar bone:
Holding onto those negative feelings isn’t serving me well
Under arm:
I choose to smile instead of cry
Top of head:
My body responds to those smiles and that forgiveness, and I’m feeling better.

……………………………………………………………………………..

Tapping Support Group

Are you interested in becoming part of a tapping support group?  My personal focus is on cancer, but I know that a lot of the issues I am dealing with are common for anyone dealing with a serious disease.
The group would “meet” weekily on my conference line and there would be no charge to participate.  My hope is that we can support each other.
If you are interested in participating, please reply to pat@seeking-serenity.com .

I was diagnosed with cancer of the duodenum last year.  My battle with cancer has, until now, been fought very privately, and few people knew what I was going through.  I am finally ready to speak publicly, in the hopes that my own experiences may help others to cope with their own personal fight against cancer.

My initial reaction to the cancer diagnosis was denial.  Cancer?  Me??  No way!  Denial was followed by shock and horror, which was then followed by a deep, deep sadness.  I cried an ocean of tears.  Every time that I spoke to a family member or a friend, the tears flowed.  I wasn’t  ready to leave this life, yet the doctors were telling me that I didn’t have that much time left.

Finally I moved emotionally to the place where I am right now.  I have come to a place of acceptance of the fact that I have to deal with the cancer, but not acceptance of the prognosis which was given to me.  I know in my heart of hearts that I have to fight this disease with every fiber of my being.  I have to do that for myself, and for every person that I love.

I have been fortunate to have had wonderful support from family and friends, and a friend and fellow EFT practitioner told me about a new book by Emma Roberts, EFT Master, called Even Though I Have Cancer… I mentioned the book to another friend who had recently had a cancer diagnosis in her own family, and this lovely lady purchased a copy of the book for herself, and a copy for me, for which I am profoundly grateful.

As I explored the book, which is nearly 400 pages long, I found chapter after chapter relating to different aspects of dealing with cancer.  What I was most delighted with were the many tapping scripts related to every topic covered.  As an experienced EFTer, I have had plenty of experience with creating tapping scripts “on the fly” for clients, and for myself.  When dealing with the cancer, however, I felt so totally overwhelmed that I just couldn’t find the words.  What a relief to have an entire library of scripts that I could  refer to and use without having to struggle to say what I wanted.

I have used Emma’s scripts to deal with my fears, my depression and sadness, my fear of chemotherapy, nausea as a result of chemo, and much more.  Emma has given any of us with cancer an amazing resource by writing this book, and I truly hope that any of you who are in the same situation as I am will consider purchasing the book.  as a gift to yourself.

One final comment:  As I go through my day to day struggles, I have found that one of the most healing things for me is laughter.  No matter how badly I might be feeling, a funny comment made by a loved one cheers me right up.  I keep reminding myself to look for the humor in everyday situations, and now I’m passing that along to you…whatever your own personal struggles might be, keep laughing.

Don’t Take It Personally!

In a perfect world, we all would be calm and serene, and our interactions with others would always be kind and considerate, as would their interactions with us. Sadly, this is not a perfect world.

We all have days when we get up on the wrong side of the bed, or when something upsetting or stressful has happened, and we just can’t let go of it.  Just as we have those kinds of days, so do all the people that we interact with — family, friends, coworkers, neighbors.  Even the most thoughtful of people can find themselves being short with someone else because they’ve had a bad day.  It happens.

Wen someone else is inconsiderate, thoughtless or downright rude with us, it’s easy to go to a place of annoyance, anger, or hurt and to find yourself muttering something like “I didn’t do anything to deserve that.  ________ really hurt my feelings”.  You may be a “give as good as I get” kind of person, and lash out.  It’s doesn’t help..it just makes things more difficult.

When you find yourself in this kind of situation, why not step back and try to see the situation through the eyes of the other person?  Did your son or daughter just get pushed around by the neighborhood bully?  Did your husband have a run-in with his boss?  Did your neighbor just find out that his/her job is in jeopardy?  Wouldn’t you be upset if you were in that situation?

It’s entirely possible that the best thing you could do for all concerned is to step back with a smile, and with the understanding that what happened may have had nothing to do with you, and everything to do with whatever situation is going on in that person’s life.

There is a difference, though, between choosing to not point the finger, and allowing people to walk all over you.  If you know of something going on in the other person’s life, that may give you the motivation to not engage them in an angry or confrontational way.  If you have no idea what might be going on, give that person the benefit of the doubt.  If the behavior happens again, maybe you could try talking to that person and trying to sort things out.

Most important is not to assume that you’re being attacked verbally or insulted in some way.  You have bad days, I have bad days, we all have bad days.  I wouldn’t like having anyone assume the worst about me on one of my bad days.  I’m usually a kind person, but a financial problem or an argument with a friend or family member might have pushed me over the edge emotionally.  Bottom line..give others the consideration that you would like to have extended to yourself.

Tapping Script For Not Taking Things Personally

Setup – Karate Chop:

  • Even though I’m sometimes quick to jump to the conclusion that others are passing judgment on me, I’m ready for that to change, and I deeply and completely love and accept myself.
  • Even though what happened really hurt my feelings, I’m open to the idea that ________ might have been having a bad day, or might be feeling upset or stressed, and I deeply and completely love and accept myself.
  • Even though I’m upset with __________ right now, I’m willing consider letting go of that feeling, and bringing some healing to this, and I deeply and completely love and accept myself.

Reminders:

Eyebrow: I’m really upset with __________
Side of eye: _________ didn’t have to act the way he/she did
Under eye: It was insulting
Under nose: It was upsetting
Chin: I didn’t deserve that kind of treatment
Collar bone: When someone hurts me that way
Under arm: Sometimes I feel like hurting them right back
Top of head: Maybe it’s time to bring some peace to this.

Eyebrow: I don’t like being treated that way
Side of eye: But maybe _________ was just having a bad day
Under eye: It felt very personal when it happened
Under nose: But maybe there was nothing personal about it
Chin: I’m ready to start letting go of some of this hurt
Collar bone: I’m ready to move toward healing
Under arm: Starting to release those hurt feelings
Top of head: Transforming that hurt to an energy of peace.

Eyebrow: Breathing out more and more of the hurt
Side of eye:
Feeling my body start to relax
Under eye: I’m ready to cut ________ some slack
Under nose: And to move on from there
Chin: Continuing to release those hurt feelings
Collar bone: I’m feeling better about myself
Under arm: And I’m feeling better about _________ too
Top of head: Tranforming the last of the hurt into a healing energy.


Visit my website at Seeking Serenity.

The holidays can be a wonderful time of year, full of love and happiness and family and friends.  The holidays can also be difficult, if all is not well in your life.  If you’re having people problems, money problems, health problems or pretty much any kind of problem and just can’t seem to connect with any holiday spirit, EFT can help to move you to a better place.

Christmas is a perfect time to celebrate and give thanks for all the positive things going on in your life.  Your initial reaction to that statement might be along the lines of “Are you kidding?  My life stinks!”.  If that was your response, you are focused on the negatives in your life, and completely ignoring the positives.  Wouldn’t you feel better about yourself and about life in general if you could turn that around, and recognize that your glass is really half full, not half empty?  EFT can help you to make that change.

If you’re feeling sorry for yourself because your salary doesn’t allow for extras, and you won’t be able to spend a lot on Christmas, how about considering how many people are out of work, and don’t have any salary at all?  You may not be rich, but if you have a regular paycheck and can take care of the basics, you’re in much better shape than all of those who are unemployed.

Perhaps you’ve recently gone through a divorce, have lost a close friend, or have moved to a new area where you don’t know anyone yet.  You’re feeling very isolated and lonely as Christmas approaches.  You may still be acutely feeling that loss, but there really are different and better ways of looking at the situation.  This is the start of a new chapter in your life, with infinite possibilities.  Instead of looking back and grieving the loss, how about trying to look ahead at your new beginning with anticipation and excitement?

Christmas is a time when family conflicts tend to bubble to the surface.  You may have had a falling out with a family member that would normally be a part of your celebration, but won’t be there this year.  You may be spending more time with a family member that is difficult to cope with, with feelings of stress and anger building by the day.  When there are conflicts within the family, there is nearly always some guilt associated with those conflicts.  After all, this is your family, and you’re all supposed to love each other and get along, right?

The Christmas holidays are often a time when we have unrealistic expectations for 0urselves and others.  Many people look forward to the “perfect family Christmas” and ignore the fact that there isn’t much in life that’s perfect.  Expecting to have the “perfect Christmas dinner” or to receive the “perfect Christmas gift” is unrealistic, and you are setting yourself up for disappointment.  Why not lower your expectations, and accept that we’re all just human, just sort of go with the flow, recognizing that just as you have holiday stressors, so do all your family members?

The tapping scripts below was created to help you deal with the various issues that arise during the holidays, and to find positives where you formerly found only negatives. They are each meant to be a starting point. Add your own words and feelings as appropriate.

Christmas Blues Tapping Scripts: Choose the one(s) appropriate for you!

Finances: Setup — Karate chop:

  • Even though I wish I had enough money to buy terrific presents for the people I love, I know in my heart that Christmas isn’t about money or gifts, and I’m making a choice to enjoy this Christmas and to be grateful for what I have, and not worry about what I don’t have, and I deeply and profoundly love and accept myself.

Reminders:

  • Eyebrow: I wish I had more money to spend on Christmas
  • Outside eye: But I know that Christmas really isn’t about money
  • Under eye: People won’t love me less if I don’t buy them expensive gifts
  • Under nose: Loved ones around me, a beautiful Christmas dinner
  • Chin: I can take great joy from those precious things
  • Collar bone: I’m making a choice to celebrate Christmas in the best way I can
  • Under arm: I’m letting go of those feelings that I have to spend money for Christmas to be good
  • Top of head: And I’m embracing the knowledge that Christmas can be joyful, even without money or gifts.

Family Conflicts: Setup — Karate chop:

  • Even though ___________ is getting on my last nerve this Christmas, and I’m find it hard to enjoy and celebrate the holiday, I know that ____________ has demands on him/her too, and maybe I should be a bit more patient and accepting with him/her, and I deeply and profoundly love and accept myself and __________ .

Reminders:

  • Eyebrow: _________ is really getting on my nerves
  • Outside eye: I’m angry because I feel like he/she is ruining my Christmas
  • Under eye: I’m open to the idea that I’m being too hard on ________
  • Under nose: Maybe it’s time to cut _________ some slack
  • Chin: And while I’m at it, maybe I should cut myself some slack too
  • Collar bone: I’m ready to start letting go of this anger
  • Under arm: A little at a time, in a way that feels comfortable to me
  • Top of head: Letting go of the anger and bringing some healing to this

Loneliness:  Setup — Karate chop:

  • Even though I’m feeling lonely and isolated this holiday season, I’m open to the idea that there are actions I can take to interact with others, and I choose to seek out and celebrate the positive things in my life, and to start letting go of those feelings of loneliness, and I deeply and profoundly love and accept myself.

Reminders:

  • Eyebrow: I feel so all alone at Christmas
  • Outside eye: Nobody to celebrate with except myself
  • Under eye: But maybe I need to take another look at this situation
  • Under nose: Maybe I can participate in holiday activities and meet new people
  • Chin: Maybe I can reconnect with people from my past
  • Collar bone: There ARE things I can do to change this
  • Under arm: I’m going to do my best to make this a good Christmas
  • Top of head: I’m going to stop feeling sorry for myself, and celebrate

Unrealistic Expectations:  Setup — Karate Chop:

  • Even though I have high expectations for myself and others in my life this Christmas, I’m open to the idea that those expectations may be unrealistic, and I’m ready to embrace more realistic expectations, and to stop being so hard on myself and my loved ones, and I deeply and profoundly love and accept myself and others just as we are.

Reminders:

  • Eyebrow: I’m not cutting anyone any slack this Christmas
  • Outside eye: Not even myself
  • Under eye: I expect this to be a perfect Christmas
  • Under nose: But is there really such a thing?
  • Chin: I’m open to the possibility that this can be a good Christmas
  • Collar bone: Without being perfect
  • Under arm: Maybe I can just relax and enjoy the holiday
  • Top of head: And take all that pressure off myself and everyone else

Visit my website at Seeking Serenity.

Download the FREE ebook EFT Quick Reference here.

Have a wonderful Christmas, and thanks very much for reading my blog.

The Inner Theater technique involves the client using EFT and visual imagery in a way which allows them to approach highly emotionally charged memories that is non-threatening to the client and is less traumatic than some more traditional approaches.

With Inner Theater, a client creates a safe place in their mind/imagination — an inner sanctuary of sorts in which they have total control. Nobody can enter that sanctuary without their permission, and nothing can happen in that space that they don’t wish to have happen.

Clients are encouraged to give their imagination free reign, and to “go with the flow”, and not try to analyze what happens as this imagery plays out.  Things seem to evolve very naturally and easily when using Inner Theater, and the solutions flow just as easily.  If a client can trust in the process, they will find EFT and Inner Theater to be powerful tools for change and healing.

I have found inner Theater to be an effective technique for me personally, although I don’t consider myself to be a particularly visual person. Even if you can’t actually create a picture in your mind, so long as you can imagine the picture/scene, the technique works. Continuous tapping, without specific words, is often a part of my Inner Theater sessions.

Using Inner Theater, you have all the power, and you can transform even the most frightening things in your past into something less threatening and easier to work with using traditional EFT.

For instance, if you carry a lot of fear related to incidents in your past, think about what it would take to make you feel safe. In an Inner Theater session of my own, during which I worked with a skilled EFT practitioner experienced in Inner Theater, I addressed all the fear that I had due to a history of physical abuse.  Unable to confront the fear directly, I visualized myself projecting the fear outside of my body, and I magically transformed it into a gray, swirling mist. As I continuously tapped, that mist became a small tornado, and the faster it swirled, the smaller it got. Finally the fear was reduced to a lump of coal.

I tapped on my need to feel safe, and realized that I still had some work to do. I visualed putting that piece of coal into a trunk, covering it with chains and locks, and transporting it to a faraway location. Next I buried the trunk, surrounded it with a high fence, topped with razor wire, and surrounded it with fierce guards.

Another way that I have personally used EFT and Inner Theater is to deal with guilt. I was carrying a lot of guilt about my mothering abilities, and that guilt was constantly pricking at me. When I thought about how I pictured the guilt, I got a mental image of me laying on a bed of nails. Each nail represented a time that I felt I had failed my children. Every time I moved, the nails would prick me. How could I get off of that bed of nails? I tapped continuously as I pondered that, and gradually got a picture of the nails transforming into soft blades of grass, gently cushioning me. The guilt diminished, and I could feel the emotional intensity of this issue dropping as I continued to tap.

Next I pictured a conversation between my daughter and I.  I expressed my guilt about the way in which I had raised her, and I apologized. Her response was “You’re a great mom, and I’m lucky to have you!” (Something she had actually said to me). I tapped on those very positive statements, and the level of my guilt dropped even more, while my confidence about what kind of mother I’d been increased.

EFT and Inner Theater can be used in a multitude of ways, with your only limits being those of your imagination. If you can think it and picture it, you can work on it, so why not give a try?