The Physical Feeling of Clearing Old Emotions

The physical feeling of clearing old emotions has a lightness to it. First there is the sensation of pipes draining, water flushing down the arms and fingers and off the legs and toes. Then, my client Sarah says, it’s as though some one has lifted a weighted blanket off of her chest and she can breath easier. There’s actually more space, she says, to breath. And, the tightness in her belly has released.  She hadn’t really been aware that she had been holding there. The skin on her temples has relaxed a bit too and her gaze is softer and brighter now.  She takes another deep, expansive, nourishing breath of air.

The fear is gone.

For the first time in a long time, she says that she can no longer tap into the feeling that she’s been a target. Someone at her old company had framed her to hide their own culpability. Although she had easily found a new job given the strength of her resume, experience and strong references, she couldn’t shake the feeling that if it had happened once, maybe it would happen again. Now, that fear is gone. In its place are positive affirmations connecting her to her stronger, wiser self, capable of seeing down dark alleys and identifying dangers from farther aware. She now feels aware, yet confident and poised.  It feels odd, she says, to not be able to tap into that same sense of vulnerability, but it just isn’t there. 

Energy balances.

Then, we make sure to strengthen her central meridian, the one that helps build our confidence, and boost her thymus energy which supports feelings of vitality. We work with her triple warmer energy, the one that governs fight or flight, and help it step down off of its hyper-vigilant perch to a more supportive and less reactive place. Since our work together she says that she feels less reactive emotionally at home and at work and much more able to have perspective and think before responding. 

Emotion = Energy in Motion.

Emotion is just energy in motion. When it gets stuck in our bodies we hold it like a weight. We hold it unconsciously so that maybe it will keep us safe the next time something similar happens. But instead, the next time something happens, we freeze, or fight or run away and we don’t get a chance to start fresh. By working with the energy and giving it a way to move in, around and out of the body, we are able to build new pathways for thinking and acting and actually re-pattern our body’s response to stressors. Learn how.

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Who Has the Time!?! Maybe You Do

Time spent with someone we enjoy flashes by. The time it takes to drill a tooth is an eternity. While time has a quantitative, external, and linear aspect to it – the seconds, minutes, hours on the clock that methodically march forward – it’s our internal relationship to what we’re experiencing that determines the quality and our sense of capacity. And there’s a persistent cultural narrative that there’s not enough of either. In fact, not having time is considered the new status symbol. If you’re not busy, you must not be in demand.

This demand, however, is often driven externally and we feel we have little to no control over it. In adopting this perspective, we surrender our choice and agency. While there is no doubt that modern life is busy and the distractions and pushes and pulls are significant, for those who add kids, it’s as if all bets are off. In exploring this with several clients, some questions emerged – what choice do we have about the nature of our busyness and our relationship to it? Is our busyness more amenable to change than the prevailing cultural narrative conveys? If we fully stepped into choice about our time, how would our lives change? Which theme below calls you?

People Pleasing

When we ‘people please,’ we say ‘yes’ to someone else’s desire with the false sense that we’re preserving our relationship. How many hours are you doing something to people please? What volunteer activities did you feel you couldn’t decline? Are you meeting with colleagues to only be supportive or to be a good work buddy? When we say ‘yes’ to too many things, we end up saying ‘no’ by default. If I spend two hours per week in meetings that are not the core part of my job because I feel I need to be ‘supportive’ and then I miss an evening at home with my family, is that the choice that I want to make? Maybe. There is no right answer. Only  that we reclaim control by being intentional with our commitments – our ‘yeses’. Once a clear, intentional ‘yes’, ‘nos’ flow more easily. 

People pleasing has many roots, and fear of damaging relationships is only one. A strategy to try is asking what saying ‘no’ will allow you to do, be, experience instead. What’s your ‘yes’? This shifts the focus away from the other person and back to you – which gets lost in people pleasing. There will be times when you decide to do something for someone else. When you can claim the choice, it changes how you experience the time you do share.

Boredom and Avoidance

A client I’ll call Rick had agreed to all sorts of additional work – and was hearing from his boss that he was not fulfilling his core job duties.  When we looked at the responsibilities in each category, he was interested in the extra work but not his core job. He had recently changed jobs and was feeling like he made a mistake, so he had not fully committed.  

Distractions come in all forms. And our uber-connected world is delighted to provide all the distractions we can ingest. Look no further than your phone. We don’t need to take on extra responsibility at work to feed our need for distraction. 

Rather than focusing on the distraction, ask why you feel the need for distraction. When you turn to a distraction, what is going on for you in that moment? I’ve started asking myself that each time I open LinkedIn – and it’s often not because I’m interested in networking. It’s avoidance of a task I don’t want to do or don’t know how to do. Sitting with my discomfort has increased my awareness and focus and shifted my relationship to the task I’m putting off. What’s your pattern? Where are you bored? What are you avoiding? 

Crisis Mode

Crisis mode is pervasive in some organizations. There are too many fires to extinguish, deliverables on tight timelines, and all with client impact. And in an industry where the client reigns, my coaching client Amanda feels like her only choice is 24/7 crisis mode — which is not conducive to effective management and long-term organizational health. To manage the constant fires, she puts off long-term planning, team development and developing organizational processes to curb the constant crisis. At the director level, her priority needs to be long-term strategic work.

Our first task was to shift from the limiting belief that there is ‘no time’ to ‘some time can be created.’ We identified changes that are most likely to yield results, broke them into manageable pieces and put time on her calendar for them.  Given the industry and client relationships, the shift out of crisis mode will take time. But she had to first accept the possibility and reclaim the parts of her calendar she could control. Her all or nothing belief allowed her days to be driven externally, eliminating any sense of control. 

Mental Distractions

Forget about all the external tugs on our time and attention. Sometimes it’s what’s inside that takes us down. Say hello to mental distractions. As I write this, work emails race through my head, the grocery list pops up, along with the nagging feeling that the kennel won’t take our dog during our vacation because I haven’t made the reservation. During the first moment of almost-stillness, it all comes to the surface in one great wave crowding out the immediate task. 

To calm your mental distractions, try practicing brief periods of mini-mindfulness.Throughout your day, take time to breath and experience the physical sensation of what you’re doing. Notice the water running over your hands and the scent of the soap. Feel your feet on the floor and your legs moving as you walk to the meeting. Notice your breath. Distraction is a habit, but so is focus.

Although our world feeds on our time and attention, I believe that we can have more control than we believe. None of these practices add time to your day. But they can help you reclaim choice – which is power. And it’s the power over your relationship to what you’re doing and why that brings internal peace.  Which, in my experience, slows down how I experience this current moment giving me more sense of capacity. And so less flies by outside of my consciousness and control. 

What resonates with you? Is there a place in your life that you’ve allowed to be driven externally by demands that don’t serve you? What can you do to reclaim that? How would life be better if you did? 

by Amy Rebecca Gay, Ph.D.

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What’s Your Yes?

By Amy Rebecca Gay, Ph.D.

What are all the people, values, and experiences in your life to which you say ‘yes’? Spending time with those you love? Self-care? Adventure? Being on time to your mother’s funeral? 

I actually didn’t pull that last one out of the blue. During last weeks’ vacation in Vermont I started talking with someone who told me he was late to his mother’s funeral because he was responding to a last-minute request from his boss. A request, no less, he felt his boss could handle without his input. This interesting detail emerged from a larger conversation about how hard it is to unplug – and how the inn’s spotty wi-fi connection was the perfect solution. (The kids had a different reaction!)

But this conversation got me thinking. If I were making a list right now of all my ‘yeses,’ being on time to remember and pay tribute to a loved one would be high on that list. I suspect it was for this gentleman, too. Otherwise, why would he have mentioned it? And yet, we often make choices day-in and day-out that quietly, even gently, erode our commitment to what we hold dear. To what we tell ourselves and others is what matters. 

Just to be clear: there is no judgement here. No judgement for this gentleman and how he happened to arrive late to his mother’s funeral. No judgement for myself over some choices I’ve recently made that might not be the truest reflection of my espoused values. No judgement for you. 

What I want to do is surface an all-too familiar dynamic and ask you, “What do you say ‘yes’ to?” And in order to protect that ‘yes,’ we need to say ‘no.’ How often do we fail to set healthy boundaries with a ‘no’ in order to protect our most important ‘yeses’? And do we support others to do the same so that we contribute to a community where we all live in alignment with our deeply held values? How would our lives change if we were clear about our ‘yeses’ and committed to holding boundaries to protect them with constructive ‘no’s’? How would the world be different if we committed to a culture that supported us all in learning and applying these skills without guilt or shame? 

So here is my ‘yes’ to you and me: I commit to identifying the most important ‘yeses’ in my life, protecting them with constructive ‘no’s’ and supporting you in doing the same. What do you say ‘yes’ to?

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Managing Pain the Energy Way

This winter while I was making red lentil curry for a group of forty at our ski co-op, some of the curry splattered onto the back of my hand. Before I could get to the sink, the area was white and the pain was intensifying. Luckily, I have a deep arsenal of energy-related pain management techniques which, along with ice and a couple of Advil, relieved me of significant discomfort. By morning, the area was pain free, there was no blister, and the size of wound was significantly smaller.  It felt like nothing short of a miracle.  The secret?

  • I tapped on my wrist and the back of my hand, communicating to my body to release excess energy, redirect the energy toward healing and stop the pain signals.
  • I tapped on the “gamut point”, giving my fight/flight energy the message to chill out a bit.
  • I pain siphoned, pulling excess heat up into my left palm and letting it drain out of my right finger tips.
  • I chakra cleared, gathering excess energy up and off the top of the area.
  • I visualized figure 8s mending the edges of the burn. This helped to speed healing and integration with healthy skin. (And, without telling me they were going to do it, my daughter and husband also did this same visualization!)

Real Life Pain Relief Examples

Sometimes managing pain with energy medicine can make all the difference. Consider the following use cases:

  • A client with tennis elbow had been through two rounds of physical therapy over two years and still had elbow pain. By clearing the emotions that were related to the emergence of the injury and balancing irregular energy at the site of the injury, in just one session the client’s pain disappeared.
  • A lifelong runner had pulled his calf muscle. Physical therapy helped a bit but when he went out to run, his other calf hurt too. In a single energy medicine session, we identified that his calf muscles had irregular polarity. We unblocked it and within a couple of weeks he was back to running.
  • A client complained of pain in the lower left area of his left breast and near his sternum. His doctor said that there wasn’t a medical issue with the heart or breast. During the energy medicine session, we identified that his heart valve energy points were not in sync.  Once we balanced the points, the pain cleared.
  • A client had been concussed multiple times over several years and experienced daily headaches. In a single session we cleared an energetic vortex that had been established over the head injuries. We also balanced several meridians on the head and got energies moving in a cross over pattern. Pain diminished significantly during the session and continued to diminish with home care.

Try this:

Sometimes all it takes to release discomfort is alternately placing the palm of your hand and back of your hand on the spot that is tender as this can get stagnate energies moving.  Try it and let me know how it goes.

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Conquering Performance Anxiety

I recently worked with an athlete who we’ll call Zach. He wanted to improve his already stellar running performance.  Zach frequently won or placed well in races but he felt that something was holding him back. He had a feeling that if he could just clear some mental blocks,  he would feel lighter, be less stressed about races and run even faster than he already did.  His coach had also noticed that Zach’s gait was a bit stiff and had encouraged him to find ways to de-stress.  Zach agreed that his stress about running was starting to impact the rest of his well-being and he wanted to reverse this trend too.  He shared with me that leading up to a race day, he would feel a bit nervous, lose some sleep and not feel like eating on the day of the race.  Read on for Zach’s remarkable results.

When we started our session, Zach rated his level of stress about racing as a 9 on a 10 point scale (with 10 being the highest level of stress and 1 being the lowest) and a feeling of tightness in his chest that was making it tough to breath as a 7 out of 10.

During our session we used the following methodical process:

  1. Identified beliefs that might inhibit his mental, emotional and physical strength
  2. Used muscle testing to identify which beliefs were actually impacting his strength
  3. Used a process called “tapping” to clear these unconscious beliefs from his body
  4. Rechecked muscle strength to ensure that the counter-productive beliefs were no longer impactful
  5. Tracked and balanced his basic energies to create additional strength and focus, while reducing unnecessary stressors,
  6. Gave him techniques that he could use at home to reinforce the positive shifts that we had seen during the session.

Achieve Your Goals

One of the biggest surprises in the session was the discovery that unconscious beliefs were inhibiting Zach’s success. Even though he wasn’t aware of it, he had low confidence in his ability to beat his toughest competitor in upcoming races. Initially he didn’t think winning was possible, he didn’t think he could do it, he didn’t think on some level that he deserved to win and he didn’t think that he would be the same person if he won.  Once we finished tapping, his belief in his own ability became strong, his muscle test confirmed the belief, and he rated his stress now as a 1 out 10.  Even the tightness in his chest went from a 7 to a 0 out of 10.

Once his level of stress dropped, we were able to focus not just on winning, but winning with grace, speed, ease and fun.  For speed, he had a specific time goal in mind for his race.  So, we tapped on that being a) a possibility, b) a strong possibility and then even c) the possibility of breaking that threshold.  He laughed when we did that because it really seemed out of the realm of what was possible.

Finally, during energy tracking, we discovered that reinforcing the central meridian flow would help him to increase his confidence, holding his neurovascular points on his temples and forehead helped to reduce his heightened state of alertness and stress while allowing for feelings of joy, and reinforced the flow of the stomach meridian energy so that he would feel grounded, calm and have an appetite.

Results were remarkable.  That weekend, Zach reported that he slept well, ate well, won his three races and achieved his time goal.

What beliefs are holding you back from achieving your goals?



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Organize Your Thoughts with Ease

It was 4pm on a Friday afternoon and I was sitting in a “report of findings” from one of our research vendors.  There were at least 25 of us packed into a conference room meant for 12. We really wanted to know the results of his research but due to his heavy travel schedule this was the only time he could come.  So we waited with bated breath. When he started to speak I found myself trying very hard to pay attention. This was really unusual because even though his subject is a bit dry,  I had previously experienced him as a dynamic and interesting speaker, able to weave a story of the findings.  This time though, he sounded like a Charlie Brown parent character. You know, the one that says “Mwah, mwah, mwah mwah mwah.”  I looked around the room and everyone’s eyes had glazed over. They looked as confused and stunned as I felt. After the meeting we talked about how he must have been having an off day.

Looking back, this has all the markings of what I would energetically call “brain scramble.” It happens when there is disorganization between the back and front parts of the brain.  When I teach communication classes, it is one of my favorite energetic states to demonstrate because it clearly shows how easily we can scramble other people and also how easy it is to resolve. If we’re scrambled, they become scrambled.  If we’re organized, they get our message. A simple exercise called the Wayne Cook Posture done prior to presenting could have been enough to enable our vendor to communicate effectively and be understood.

Here are some examples of how brain scramble shows up:

  • It’s 3 o’clock in the afternoon and you’ve been trying to write the same email sentence for 10 minutes.
  • It’s 11 o’clock at night and you’ve read the same paragraph in your book at least three times and can’t remember what you just read.
  • It taken you 3 hours to finish a test and other people finished an hour ago.
  • A stutter.
  • Dyslexia.
  • Inability to focus.
  • You have a hard time formulating and organizing your ideas.
  • Or, you’re sitting in a meeting and the speaker sounds like a Charlie Brown parent


The next time you are having a hard time communicating, try this technique, called the Wayne Cook Posture. Better yet, try it out now and see how it feels.

  1. Place your left ankle on top of your right knee.
  2. Place your right hand on top of your left ankle.
  3. Place your left hand so that it is holding the bottom of your left foot at the ball of the left foot. (see the picture below)
  4. Gently pull up on your foot while breathing in deeply. Exhale.
  5. Do steps 1-4 four times on each side.
  6. Next, “steeple” your fingertips, resting your thumbs between your eye brows.
  7. Breath slowly in through your nose and out through your mouth three or four times.

Hold Your Ankle

Bring Steepled Hands to Your Forehead


This has become one of my favorite techniques of all time because it works so quickly to help people say and do what’s important to them. It helps to lift the fog. For a video of this and other techniques to improve communication, check out this 5-minute energy routine video.

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Calming Emotional and Physical Reactivity

Energetically speaking, reactivity (whether physical reactivity or emotional reactivity) typically involves an energy called Triple Warmer. Triple Warmer is one of the nine energy systems defined by Donna Eden in her book, “Energy Medicine: Balancing your Energies for Optimal Health, Vitality and Joy“.  She says that when we feel emotionally or physically threatened, Triple Warmer’s role is to step in to promote a fight, flight or freeze response, an immune response and survival habits.  In these cases, Triple Warmer has the ability to pull from your other energies to fight off perceived threats to your system.

The trouble comes when there are too many stressors (e.g. traffic, news, arguments, electromagnetic waves, environmental pollutants, accidents, traumas, etc) or the stressors come too often and we don’t have time to come back to homeostasis.  Then, Triple Warmer can lose its ability to discern which stressors matter.

Can you imagine what might happen to the rest of your energies if you are constantly fighting off perceived threats?

If we don’t effectively clear out the impact of the stressors from our system, our energies can get thrown out of balance and over time lose resilience. Sometimes Triple Warmer can get reactive. No longer just our warrior, our commander-in-chief, the leader of our internal army, it becomes a hyper-vigilant, crazy energy that sees things as threats that really aren’t, because it’s lost its ability to see what really matters.  This can wreak havoc on our physical and emotional systems.

As a clinical practitioner, I’ve seen Triple Warmer reactivity show up in different ways for people including, but not limited to:

  • weight gain, or inability to lose weight
  • thyroid issues
  • blood sugar issues
  • auto-immune issues (e.g. M.S., Fibromyalgia, Lupus)
  • allergic responses including asthma, itching (e.g. hives, rashes) and anaphylaxis
  • temperature fluctuations (e.g. too hot, too cold, poor circulation)
  • emotional reactivity (e.g. flying off the handle)
  • cancer

The good news is that when our energies are balanced and working together in harmony, Triple Warmer can effectively keep us safe by giving us the shot of adrenaline we need to meet the periodic stressors in our life.  We can befriend our Triple Warmer and have it work with us, not against us.  Here’s one exercise to try that can help to sooth Triple Warmer’s anxious side.

Triple Warmer Calming Exercise

  • Place your right hand on your left temple (at the star in the image below), trace along the pathway highlighted and off of the fourth finger. Trace the other side too.
  • Check in. Do you feel any calmer? Did you breath any easier?

Triple Warmer (source: Donna Eden)

Learning about Triple Warmer significantly changed my world view,  how I approach my own health and emotional challenges and how I perceive the challenges of others.  If it doesn’t do the same for you, I would be very surprised.

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Overcoming fear

Seems like these days we’re all walking around afraid… afraid of what our President will do next… afraid of terrorism in our back yard… afraid of the impact that natural catastrophes are having on us… afraid of whether the market is at its peak and of what our company will do when the market crashes… afraid of cancer and chemicals and radiation and the cost of health care.

Could you be 25%, 50% or even 75% more effective in work and life with less fear?

Fear is not always a bad thing. It can tell us that we’re in danger and than we need to take action to be safer.  It can motivate us to create plans to mitigate risk and to change direction.

But, with all of the mind share that we give to our fears these days, what is left for positive thoughts? And since fear creates body stiffness, what is left for forward motion? What would happen to our productivity if we didn’t have to share our brains and bodies with so much fear.

You may have tried a handful of these coping mechanisms:

  • exercising until you’ve achieved body and brain fatigue
  • taking anti-anxiety meds
  • meditating to become aware that the fear is just a thought and shifting your attention to a more positive focal point
  • Facing your fears head on
  • applying the Jedi mind trick of allowing the fear to pass through us (I’ve always wanted to meet Jedi!)

Personally I’ve found the most success in managing and permanently clearing  my fears by holding neurovascular points (see below).  With very little invested time and no cost or side effects, this technique has helped me have difficult conversations, put more energy into growing my business, and enabled me to be more present in challenging situations.

What works best for you to manage your fears?

Hold your front and rear neurovascular points for 3-5 minutes to reduce a fear.


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Stuck in Conflict? Try Energy Medicine

It’s time to come clean: I can count at least two epic fails in the year. Interest in another’s perspective? Nope. Full on blame? Yep. I didn’t do anything wrong! Negative, sarcastic emotion was practically dripping off the tips of my fingers. My words were laced with venom. The depth of my anger surprised me. Skills? I had none. Emotional intelligence? What!? I hardly had control.

These two epic fails rocked my sense of professional competence. For the last twenty-five years, I have been a mediator, communication skills trainer, educator and coach. My passion is helping others constructively put tough issues on the table, to speak their truth, and hear what others are trying to say. I am committed to practicing what I preach. It’s important both personally and professionally to walk the walk and talk the talk with clients and family alike. Could I fail this big AND still be good at what I do? It only got worse when I reviewed all those other times over the years when my skills completely evaporated. What good are communication skills if they skip town when you need them most?

Every experience is an opportunity for growth and learning – and here’s what I started to notice: a pattern. On the surface, they looked like discrete events. Different people. Different topics. Pull back the curtain, and the basic DNA was the same. When I looked back over the years, it was like I was walking through a mine field. If I was not near a mine I had full access to my skills, my head and heart were balanced, and I managed many difficult situations with diplomacy and compassion. But the closer I got to a mine, the more skill leached out of my body. I would be mute where normally I have words. I would fall on my sword when the conversation needed to be about mutual contribution. Occasionally I would hit a mine so directly there was a big explosion and shrapnel. And the same seemed to be true for many clients.

What happens? What are these mines? And what can we do? Here’s where we need to move out of our heads and into our energy. Conflict, difficult conversations and negotiation all raise our stress levels and thus shift our energy. Eden Energy Medicine gives us simple, easy-to-use tools to bring our energy back into balance. Even if my stress is “manageable,” my skills improve by doing the Eden Energy Medicine Five Minute Routine. I have one on-going negotiation where I always lose my zip-up. When a sense of vulnerability sinks in, it’s time to zip-up in the restroom. When I need to speak my truth, grounding and doing Wayne Cook enables me to articulate clear thoughts. For most of my day-to-day communication challenges, the five-minute routine keeps things humming well.

However, sometimes a conflict or conversation touches on a deeper issue. The emotions associated with it are deeper, my sense of identity is threatened, and it feels like my values are on the line. I’m triggered – and I might not even know why. When this happens, energy psychology has changed the game. Also known as tapping or Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), energy psychology allows the practitioner to release old emotional patterns, thoughts and behaviors (AKA mines!) that are no longer beneficial. By stimulating acupressure points, energy psychology re-wires the brain so old patterns recede, creating capacity for working with what is in this moment with openness, compassion and creativity.

I would love to wrap this up in a little bow and tell you a simple daily energy medicine routine followed by a few rounds of tapping has cleared away all my mines and that I am completely skilled all the time. I’m not sure that’s possible. Some mines remain and, I suspect, will require a lifetime of work. However, I spot the mines more clearly, I have tools to make a pre-emptive pivot to avoid them, and I have lessened the impact of stepping on them. My ability to recover and re-engage is greatly improved giving me greater depth and flexibility to talk about the hard stuff.

My clients and Rachel’s are seeing similar results. In fact, we’re so excited that we have created a day-long Communicating with Impact Training that combines the basic Difficult Conversations framework (by Stone, Patton and Heen) with energy management and energy psychology techniques. Curious to learn more? Rachel and I can’t stop talking about it. Give us a call.

Amy Rebecca Gay is a mediator, coach and consultant whose passion is to help people speak their truth. Amy brings an active awareness of the mind/body connection, a warm and welcoming style and a deep dedication to using one’s mind for powerful transformation. She has a PhD from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and is trained by the Coaches Training Institute. You can reach Amy at

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Tapping a fearless path forward

Why does tapping work so quickly?

This past Friday, my colleagues Deb Elbaum, MD, CPCC, and Amy Rebecca Gay, PhD, and I facilitated a workshop at Bryant University Women’s Summit for a packed room of more than 70 women about how to be more effective at setting and maintaining strong boundaries.

We led the group to 1) discover the values that were underlying their unclear boundaries, 2) learn how to communicate their “No” in a way that would help rather than hinder their relationships and 3) clear emotions and limiting beliefs that might get in their way.

I was delighted to see how many hands went up at the end of the session indicating that their fears, worries, anxieties and limiting beliefs had markedly diminished.  But how could it possibly work so quickly?

Workshop participants had said that when they thought about having the important conversations about their boundaries they started to feel worried, anxious, fearful, stressed and had thoughts like “the other person might not like me after I say what I need” and “I might not be effective (so maybe I shouldn’t try).”

I led them through a process to clear the emotions and beliefs that might inhibit productive conversations. It involved tapping on points along the meridian system of the body while thinking or speaking aloud about the concerns.

Tapping anywhere on the body sends a calming message to the brain.  It basically communicates “I’m safe” and simultaneously releases pent up energy from the body. Essentially the brain understands that we aren’t in a life threatening situation because we wouldn’t be sitting there tapping on the body if we were being chased by a tiger.  The calming message is received in the brain at the same time the worry or concern is being processed and actually interrupts the processing of the worry with a new message that “there is nothing here that is life threatening.” This allows for a new interpretation of the situation to be understood and the conflicting emotion to be integrated. We tapped and talked aloud together about our concerns for about 5 minutes.

Before we started the tapping process, I asked the participants to rate their distress about their concern on a scale of 0-10 with 0 meaning no concern at all and 10 meaning the most concern.  When we were done tapping, I asked the group to again rate their distress on the 10 point scale. When I asked people to raise their hand if their score had gone down, almost every single hand went into the air.  Remarkable.

For more information on Tapping (a.k.a. Emotional Freedom Technique) and the Research supporting its efficacy check this out. 

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