Recently, I received the following email from Joyce, a friend who is also an author. I had seen her at a gathering several months ago. At the time, she was grieving the death of her husband. I mentioned that if she found herself stuck in grief I could help her get unstuck. The title of the email? Hmmmmm, I think I’m stuck! Here’s the email:
So I have this novel (I wrote) sitting here and I’ve started selling locally but I seem to be paralyzed with regards to the next step in advertising. I’ve just gotten a Twitter account and like so many things recently I’m drawing a blank as to what to say and how to handle what “might” come about from my advertising this book. I’ve dug into the issue and it “seems” as if I have this hesitancy because it “looks” like I’m moving on “too soon” after my husband’s death. I’m afraid I’m going to forget him and I can’t seem to face that. So I’m stuck and ready for help.
We scheduled a phone session for the following day. I asked her to print out a copy of my tapping chart, and to construct a positive affirmation written of what she wants in the present tense. I added that this positive affirmation should be only one or two sentences, including how she will feel when she gets what she wants.
During our phone session, Joyce shared that she felt as though her feet were in muddy cement when she thought about advertizing her new book. Sometimes, when she pushed herself too hard, she found herself in bed curled in the fetal position, sobbing with grief over her husband’s death. Joyce’s voice cracked as she started to cry. I suggested that as she talked, she tap along.
Joyce shared her concern about what people would think about her putting so much energy into her book with her husband being gone for only five months. Then she shared that she felt guilty because she had had the thought before he got really sick that it would be easier if he were dead. She also shared that she had a lack of faith in herself. Joyce had sold about 100 books to friends, and when she asked them what they thought, many said they hadn’t read it yet. She felt disappointed that no one seemed to be reading her book. She wondered whether they just bought her book to be nice to her. She didn’t feel supported.
Early on in our conversation, I asked Joyce what her positive statement was. Actually, this is a version of a technique I learned from Lindsay Kinny called the Ultimate Truth Statement. Her affirmation was:
I am happy about my accomplishment and excited to have many people read my book.
The intensity rating with an Ultimate Truth Statement is the opposite of what is used for EFT. Joyce shared that when she read her statement, it only felt like a 4. The goal was 10. My role was to uncover what was keeping her from experiencing her Ultimate Truth Statement as a 10 and clearing it from her energy system.
Joyce then realized how complex this issue is. She said she was feeling some shyness around sharing her book, and that she was feeling exposed. I asked how she felt exposed. She replied that while her book was fiction, some people were asking about the shamanic processes the character in the book was performing. Joyce didn’t usually share her personal shamanistic experiences (except through her fiction), and this person asked her directly about the process.
I asked Joyce what specifically she feared. She answered that she was afraid she wouldn’t live up to their expectations. She reflected that it was her old “I’m not as good” story. She detailed how her story had been perpetuated by the parents, partners and friends she chose. I agreed that it was an old story that she had adopted at a young age. Then I asked her to remember a time where something really big happened that made her feel she wasn’t good enough. She shared a story about when she was seven or eight years old and had accidentally broken her father’s favorite beer glass and two more plates while helping with the dishes. She was made wrong and wasn’t allowed to do dishes after that (doing dishes was a fun activity in her family). I said, “If this was a video, what title would make her laugh? (I like using humor to move energy). Her title was “What a Smashing Time.”
Then I asked her to repeat her Ultimate Truth Statement, and without even tapping it went from a 4 to a 5. Joyce had been holding on to this story her entire life, and the intensity level was a 10. For the set-up phrase, we started with Even though:
- This is a story that I have held onto for a long time, and I don’t know that I can let it go. I accept the part of me that wants to hang on to this old story.
- There is a part of me that is just so comfortable hanging on to being a victim. I accept that I have been holding on to this all of my life.
- I don’t want to let go of this story. I have made my parents wrong for their behavior. I accept that I don’t want to let it go.
- My parents were really unfair to make me wrong for breaking some dishes, and to not allow me to do the dishes with them. I accept that this happened.
The Reminder Phrase we used for the first round was “What a Smashing Time,” and I asked her say it while tapping each point. She laughed as she tapped. One round of tapping brought the intensity from a 10 to a 3! I asked Joyce if she had any insights, and she answered that she imagined her parents breaking dishes with her and all of them laughing about it. Then they all cleaned the mess up together. She did a creative reframe on her own. I asked her to say her positive statement with conviction and then assess what number it was at, and it had gone up to an 8!
Another round of tapping included:
- I want to let this old story go
- You can’t make me let it go
- I choose to let this old story go
- No one can make me let this go
- I choose to let it go
This brought the intensity down to a 2. She realized her parents had given her a gift by not making her do the dishes, using the time to be creative. I then asked her to bless her water and as she took a drink to let go of the rest of this old story. Joyce said that she got a message as she drank the water from her husband that his passing had been a gift. She read her Ultimate Truth Statement and it was a 10! Joyce said she was ready to make a list of things to do about advertising her book. As she gazed out her window, she noted a difference in the shininess of the trees. Joyce felt renewed!