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Archive for November, 2009

Fibromyalgia is a devastating condition to live with. I lived with it myself, and I know. When you have fibromyalgia, you are in pain every minute of every day. Your general practitioner or rheumatologist will provide you with pain medication, from which you can get some relief, but the pain never really goes away. Living like that wears you down both physically and emotionally.

From my own personal experience, I know that doctors don’t leave you with much hope, in terms of possible improvement of your condition. My own doctor told me, “We’ve talked about this before. It’s always going to be this way, so accept it.”

His words did nothing to push me in the direction of acceptance. Quite the opposite, in fact. My doctor made me absolutely fibrodetermined to do anything and everything that I could to move out of that world of constant pain.

I had discovered the wonders of EFT not long before my diagnosis.  I was tapping for work related stress, and getting some very good results.  When I look back now, I know that EFT was the only thing that allowed me to stay in a job that I hated and still be functional.

What I realized at some point was that the more stress I was able to tap away with EFT, the less pain I had.  On the days that my stress level was at its’ highest, my pain was nearly intolerable.

That was, for me, a wonderful incentive to keep on tapping.  The tapping not only allowed me to feel better emotionally, it also reduced my pain and made me more comfortable physically.

As it became more and more obvious that my pain level was going down, I dared to start dreaming of getting off the medications that I was taking, two of which were for pain, and one which helped me to sleep.  I continued to tap on the work stress on a daily basis, but now also tapped on the pain directly, and how it made me feel.  I found that I had anger, frustration, sadness and a sense that my body had let me down.  I tapped on all of it.

I began keeping a tapping journal.  I kept track of what I tapped on each day, what feelings that bought up, what kind of relief I got, and what outstanding issues (tail enders) came up during my tapping.  The journal really helped to keep me focused on my goal.

After several months of tapping and journaling, it became obvious to me that my pain level was low enough to start working on getting the drugs out of my system.  I started with my strongest pain killer, weaning myself off it, until I no longer was taking it at all.  Next came my second pain killer, which I also weaned myself off, being careful to keep journaling about what went on each day.  Next I reduced the medication that I was taking to help me sleep, and finally stopped it completely.  The last step for me was being weaned off of the Cymbalta that my rheumatologist had recommended.  This is a drug with most unpleasant side effects at times, and you should never stop it suddenly, or on your own.  I was taken off Cymbalta gradually, with reduced doses, under the supervision of my doctor.

After years of being heavily medicated, I was now drug free except for my medication for hypertension.  What a personal victory that was, and what a lesson it was for me as far as the closed minds of many doctors.  It never even occurred to my rheumatologist that my condition could improve, and since he had no hope, he took away mine, a terrible thing to do.

If you suffer from fibromyalgia, and would like to start tapping on your pain and what might be at the bottom of it, your best bet is to start a tapping journal of your own.  Start tracking:

  • Your daily pain levels.
  • How that pain makes you feel. (Sad, angry, helpless, etc.)
  • What can you NOT do now, that you could do before?
  • Is there a secondary gain for you in not being able to do those things?
  • Would peoples’ expectations of you change if you were to stop having so much pain?
  • Do you get more attention/care/nurturing because you’re in pain?
  • How much relief do you get when you tap directly on the pain?
  • How much relief do you get when you tap on the emotions around the pain?
  • What kind of tapping seems to work best for you?

By keeping a journal about these kinds of issues, you track your progress and are able to easily see what is most effective for you.  Using EFT to address your condition is good.  Doing this while keeping a tapping journal is even better.

Perhaps most important of all on a journey like this is to be persistent, and try to not get discouraged.  Relief doesn’t happen overnight, and you need to be encouraged by each small victory that you have.  Hang in there, keep tapping, and you too can move past fibromyalgia.


 

Visit my website at http://seeking-serenity.com.

Download the FREE ebook “The Forgiveness Workbook” here.

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Are you one of those people who is constantly doing things for others, while always putting yourself at the bottom of your own list of priorities? If so, it’s time to look at how you move yourself to the top of the list, where you belong.

When you consistently put others ahead of yourself, putting all your energy into doing for them, by the time that you get to yourself, you’ve used up all your energy. There is a big difference between being selfish and recognizing that you are important too. Always making yourself a top priority, to the exclusion of those around you who deserve some of your time and energy, is selfish. Taking the time and effort to treat yourself well, and to put some energy into keeping yourself well and happy is not selfish…it’s vital to your health and well being.

Some of us, particularly of the female persuasion, seem to be born to be care takers. We dote over our children. We wait on our partners. We fuss over family, friends, neighbors and coworkers. Everyone num1adores us for all the loving attention that we give them, but at some point we start to feel resentful of the fact that we never have time for ourselves.

People around us come to expect the attention that we lavish on them, and often start making demands of us. If you’re a caretaker that puts everyone else first, you almost certainly have trouble saying no. You may secretly get angry with the person making demands (“Why do they always ask ME?”) and angry with yourself (“What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I say no?”), but in the end we usually do say yes, whether we actually want to or not. It feels selfish to say no.

The reality is that we all have just a finite amount of energy. There has to be a balance. Putting every bit of your energy into taking care of other people and ignoring your own needs is counterproductive. If you take care of yourself, you’ll ultimately have more energy for everything else in your life. You’ll feel better about you.

EFT can be a useful tool for helping you to refocus on yourself. Give the tapping script below a try, and see if you can move yourself to the top of your priority list.

Tapping Script For Putting Yourself First

Setup – Karate chop:

  • Even though I get mad at myself for putting everyone else first, and forgetting about me, I deeply and profoundly love and accept myself.
  • Even though I seem to think that everyone else is more important than me, so I don’t see myself as a priority, I still deeply and profoundly love and accept myself.
  • Even though logically I know that I’m important too, and I need to give more attention to me, I keep using up all my energy on other people, but I deeply and profoundly love and accept all the parts of me, even the part that puts everyone else in front of me, and I’m open to the possibility that I can refocus on myself.

Reminder phrases:

Eyebrow: I’m at the bottom of my own priority list
Outside eye: I use up all my energy on other people
Under eye: No matter what they need, I don’t feel like I can say no
Under nose: Saying no would be selfish
Chin: But I get mad at myself
Collar bone: For always saying yes to others
Under arm: But always saying no to myself
Top of head: I think it may be time to change my priorities.

Eyebrow: I’m open to the idea that I’m important too
Outside eye: And I’m ready to start looking out for me
Under eye: Starting to release the feeling that I don’t matter
Under nose: And embracing my own value and importance
Chin: I don’t say no to other people
Collar bone: Because I think they’re more important than me
Under arm: And I feel like their needs should come first
Top of head: But it’s past time to take care of me!

Eyebrow: My needs are just as important as anyone elses
Outside eye: And I’m entitled to give time and energy to myself
Under eye: I’m deserving of that time and energy
Under nose: Continuing to let go of my feelings of not being important
Chin: Recognizing my value as a person
Collar bone: Feeling better and better about myself
Under arm: And realizing that I’ll be better able to take care of others
Top of head: If I take care of myself first.

Eyebrow: Releasing my need to always say yes to others
Outside eye: Because I’m just as important as they are
Under eye: I have the right to say no if I want to
Under nose: People won’t stop caring about me just because I say no
Chin: Feeling stronger and more confident
Collar bone: As I move higher and higher on my priority list
Under arm: Releasing the last of my feeling of not being important
Top of head: And bringing a healing energy to this situation.

Visit my website at Seeking Serenity.

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I lived through a bad marriage…well, a terrible one…so I know all about being stuck in a relationship. I know what it’s like to be miserable every single day, and still stay. I know what it’s like to wish that you were anywhere except where you are. I know what it’s like to feel happy when your husband is gone, and sad when he gets back home.

Looking back from where I am now, I’m amazed that I was able to endure that marriage for as long as I did, but I was scared of leaving. Even though I had been a very independent woman prior to the marriage, after a dozen years I was terrified at the thought of being alone, of having to face all of life’s problems on my own.

I also know that I was far from alone in that fear. Since that time I have gotten to know many women who stayed in bad marriages because of fear. Can I really make it on my own? What if there won’t be enough stuckmoney? How will I get by? How lonely will I be? Will I regret leaving?

There are a multitude of reasons that we use to convince ourselves that we’re better off staying, no matter how bad it is, than we would be to strike out on our own. This is particularly true if you have been in an abusive relationship, in which your self esteem has been taken from you. In that case, you may feel pretty darn sure that you can’t make it on your own. You’d be wrong!

In my case, taking the steps that I needed to take to divorce my husband was scary, but once I’d done it, with lots of support from family and friends, I felt like I had been let out of a dark, depressing prison. I found out how wonderful life could be if you weren’t miserable all the time. I got a good job, pampered myself and my daughter in a way I hadn’t been able to before that, bought a new car, and bought a home of my own. Life was good!

If you’re feeling as miserable as I was in your relationship, look inside yourself, at the real reasons why you stay.

  • Are you afraid that you won’t be able to take care of yourself financially?
  • Are you afraid of being alone?
  • Do you feel that if you leave the relationship you’ll never find another partner?
  • Would you rather be unhappy and with someone than happy and alone?
  • Do you think that your feelings about the relationship aren’t important?
  • Are you staying because you think it’s best for the kids?
  • Have you convinced yourself that everyone feels the way you do their relationships?

EFT can make a huge difference, in terms of helping you to get unstuck, but in order for your tapping to be effective, you need to find your own truths and tap on those. It’s not easy to acknowledge those thoughts and emotions that we may consider to be weaknesses, but in order to get from where you are…STUCK…to where you want to be, it is extremely important for you to do so.

Even if you start off with a setup phrase like, “Even though I feel stuck in this relationship and I’m not really sure why, but I’d like to move forward in my life, and I deeply and profoundly love and accept myself.” As you tap on a phrase like that, you may very well have thoughts pop into your head about the actual reasons why you’re stuck. Give it a try..you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Good luck in both your self examination and your tapping!

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Anger is one of the strongest emotions that we experience.  It can range from mild annoyance to full blown, over the top fury that consumes you.  Feeling anger when something happens that is hurtful or upsetting is normal.  Unfortunately, for a lot of us it’s also normal to continue to carry anger for years, or even for a lifetime.

What we don’t realize when we continue to carry anger over our past is the toll that it takes on us.  Anger is an active emotion.  It takes energy to stay angry…energy that could be better used in any number of ways, if only we could let go of the anger.

Somehow, though, we feel that letting go of anger at someone who has hurt us would amount to letting them off the hook.  They did something awful,  they really hurt me, and they should have to pay.  The big problem here is that YOU are the one who is paying, over and over and over.

Many of us were raised to believe that anger was an inappropriate emotion.  As a child, we were warned angeragainst outbursts of anger.  We learned to hold that anger in, to hide it from the world.  We got so good at hiding the anger that at some point it even was hidden from us.  We hide it, and then somehow we manage to consciously forget all about it.  Anger?  What anger??

Because so many of us have gotten so good at hiding and forgetting about our anger, it’s not a part of our daily awareness, but it’s always there, in the back of our mind, working to protect us for all the hurt and pain in the world.  It’s always ready to pop out at a moments’ notice, ready to do its’ job, which is keeping us safe.

You will never forget the bully who lived down the block from you and picked on you every time you left your yard.  You won’t forget your fifth grade teacher, who singled you out from the class and embarrassed you repeatedly.  The reason you won’t forget them is that the anger at them is still there, hovering just beyond your consciousness.

This is an area where EFT can make profound changes in your life.  Once you have identified the core issues behind your anger, tapping can help you to let go of the anger.  It’s hard to imagine the level of relief that you can feel once you’ve tapped on some of your anger issues.  Suddenly you realize that you have reclaimed all that energy that you were sinking into maintaining the anger.  Suddenly you feel lighter, since the weight of all that anger has been lifted from your shoulders.

In order to be able to eliminate the anger, you have to be able to specifically identify the causes so that they can be tapped on.  The questions below are designed to help you do that. Get some paper and a pen. Sit down quietly and really give some thought to the questions. Write down the answers. Most important of all, be honest with yourself.

What’s My Anger All About?

  1. Who am I mad at?
  2. What did that person say or do to me to make me angry?
  3. What was so bad about it that I’m not able to let go of the anger?
  4. When this person did whatever it was that they did, how did that make me feel?
  5. Did they cause me emotional pain?  If so, what kind?  How bad?
  6. What would it take for me to be ready to let go of the anger?
  7. Do I really WANT to let go of the anger?  If not, why?
  8. How would I benefit by continuing to hold onto the anger?
  9. How would I benefit by letting go of the anger?
  10. Do I feel like letting go of the anger would be like forgiving the person who hurt me?
  11. What is getting in the way of me being able to release my anger?

If you can honestly answer the above questions, you will probably have lots of thoughts, feelings, emotions and memories to plug into your own tapping statements in order to work on your anger.  Good luck with your anger work, and if you’d like some advice on crafting your anger tapping script, email me at pat@seeking-serenity.com.

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