Tap Your Way Into Right Thinking?

Yep, these are all the spots I tapped!

When I first started writing this blog, I was more or less writing to myself.  I really never contemplated the idea that others would be reading, and this belief went on for quite some time (in retrospect,  a lot longer than it should have, I am a little slow on the uptake!).  Since that time, I have come to understand all of the wonders that come with connecting with others in the blogging world, and I am still blown away every time I read a new post from a friend, or receive an insightful comment on my own blog.

But with those blessings, a bit of a curse has descended upon me.  When I was essentially writing to and for myself, I just wrote whatever was going on during that particular day (yes, I did write every day back in the beginning, it blows my mind now to think of it!).  Now, I often feel stymied about what to write, and I finally realized that it is because I am looking at this blog through a new lens:  will that be interesting to readers?  Will they relate, or even care?  Is it important enough to publish?

I have finally come full circle in this thinking, because if I had only written what I thought was important in the beginning, this blog would have ended a month into my first publish!

So, with all that prelude, let me tell you what’s been on my mind this week.  It started about three days ago, with a trip to the library.  We needed a book for a book report, but were running between sports practices and CCD class (religious education), so we only had 10 minutes. But if I’m in a library, I’m finding something for myself, because I love books!  So I headed off to the self-help aisle (I am still enthralled by the promises these books make), and see a book called The Little Book of Diet Help, by Kimberly Willis.  It is small, and at a glance, easy to read, so I checked it out and ran to the next activity.

As I glanced through the book, a heading captured my attention:  Tapping out Negative Beliefs.  It goes on to describe how to break the hold established beliefs have on your life.  The exercise asks you to look at one specific negative belief, and immediately the thought came into my head:  “I will never change my unhealthy relationship with food.”  This thought surprised me in the speed with which it popped into my head, and with the specificity of the statement. Then I read further into the exercise, and it’s talking about tapping pressure points, and, while it sounds somewhat familiar, I really have no idea what the author wants me to do.  This, by the way, is what you get for jumping around a book, rather than reading it page by page.  Towards the end of this section, it references an earlier section of the book for more details on “tapping” (which tells me I am not alone in jumping around a book!).

So I go back to the tapping section, and I have my aha moment…. I know where I have read about this practice before!  Lisa Neumann, wise mentor and author of the tremendously insightful book Sober Identity, had written about it, but it’s been over a year since I’ve read it, so the concept had escaped my memory.

My rudimentary understanding of tapping (and I am understating rudimentary, for a better explanation, please google the term!) is that it is an ancient practice of using your fingers to tap various pressure points on the body, which will shift the energy in your body, presumably from a negative energy to a positive one.

When I first read this, 3 days ago, I didn’t give it a half second thought.  I put the book down and went about my evening.  But every time I picked up the book, I kept going back to those pages, and I started considering:

  • I was drawn to the book for a reason
  • I was drawn to this section for a reason
  • I had an immediate response to the question of negative beliefs holding me back.

So, as the week progressed, and my wheels of what to write became more and more stuck in the mud, I finally thought, “What have I got to lose? I can try this tapping thing and see what the hell happens!”

Full disclosure: my feelings about the idea of tapping my head to dispel almost 44 years worth of negative beliefs is that it will be as effective as dropping an eye of newt and a toe of frog into a bubbling cauldron.  In other words, I am a skeptic.  But, and maybe this is the progress of my recovery, I know that meaningful change requires both open-mindedness and consistent effort.  And since my best thinking has me stuck with the same unhealthy relationship with food for as long as I can remember, I can certainly afford to be open to new ideas.

So we’ll consider this a little experiment.  I did the full round of tapping that the book describes (and it was a lot… 14 different points, 8 taps each point, and there were 6 different affirmations for each round!), and I used the negative belief that I will never have a healthy relationship with food.

Here are the negatives:  I felt very, very foolish as I started, which I believe hampered this experiment initially, and I needed to keep checking which was the next pressure point to tap, which was distracting.

Here are the positives:  I got the hang of it before I was halfway through, and when I got to the second to the last affirmation (“I can allow myself to imagine what it would feel like if this belief weren’t true”), I did get a strange little hopeful fluttering, and I had vague waves of feeling lighter.  Sounds ridiculous, even as I’m typing it, but it’s the truth.

I would imagine that this is the type of thing that gets easier and more effective with practice, so I am committing to this exercise daily for 30 days, and I will check in weekly and let you know how things progress.  Will I be a supermodel by next month?  Stay tuned!

Today’s Miracle:

I’ll take an anniversary any way I can get one, so today I am celebrating 20 months of sobriety!

Posted on September 27, 2013, in Self-Care and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. You’re killing me. I remember learning to tap. I remember doing it while I ran (jog is more like it). I still have that memory of cruising along the creek with the other runners and bikers and wondering what they must be thinking watching me go through this sequence. (They didn’t even notice me. But my ego says they were watching, Cuz I’m so important. Ughhh) I am so excited to see you begin using this tool. I will stay tuned.

    ps… I just love watching you grow. Do you mind me saying that on your website? xox And thanks for sharing the nice link. You’re so good to me. I hope I can return the kindness.

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  2. Lisa, as long as you mean grow in the figurative sense, rather than the literal, then I don’t mind at all (sorry, I could not help myself, you set me up so perfectly!!)

    More seriously, I was really hoping you would be reading today. I almost emailed you first, then I thought that I would lose the innocence if I researched too much. I am super excited to report my findings, especially to you!

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  3. Running From the Booze

    You know what? I have been stalling with exercising for about 4 weeks. Total inertia. I think this is exactly what I needed to read today and the really weird thing about it is, I have been telling myself not to panic because the moment will make itself known.

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    • That is EXACTLY what happened to me when I started my exercise “regime!” I had been stalling, thinking, stalling, and then a post from one of my favorite bloggers came up, and I responded to it, then she challenged me to start, then I wrote about it, and, fast forward a few months, I did my first 5K! It sounds like you’re getting some of the same signals, let me know how you respond!!

      Thanks for commenting!

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  4. Congrats on 20 months! Woot woot! And this is a very interesting exercise, I must say, and you described it exactly how I imagined I would be doing it too! It reminds me sort of like acupuncture. Right? With the pressure points and all… Hmmm.. I am definitely intrigued. Yes, keep us posted, I would love to hear how it works.

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    • Hi Maggie!

      I don’t know anything about acupuncture, either, but it does sound like it has some concepts in common (no needles for me, though!).

      Thanks for the congrats, I was excited to reach 20 months, but, then again, I was just as excited this morning to wake up and celebrate 20 months and 2 days!

      I am definitely going to keep everyone updated, thanks for the comments, as always!

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  5. First of all, congrats on 20 months! That’s fantastic, Josie!

    And as for the tapping – I have never heard of it, to be honest. So do you tap the same places for different things? What if you miss a day? Would it be the same as doing daily affirmations, or do the tapping hit the same places that acupucnture / shiatsu do? I guess it would be easier to just look this up, eh? lol.

    What you said about the blog – I think everyone at some point has talked about that on their blogs, or has gone through some questioning about it. I almost threw in the towel. Hell, I even thought about it today! But in the end, it’s really about remembering that it’s your blog…your rules. I always have to remember that people are attracted to your voice, to your persona, to your passion. I think most of us started out without thinking anyone would read it. I didn’t start reading other people’s blogs and commenting on them for months, I think. I have certainly changed (I type way too much these days…lol) but I know for a fact, you’re one of my fave blogs…and bloggers :). So I support whatever it is you do here.

    When is the next 5K? 🙂

    Paul

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    • If you miss a day, I think you have to slap yourself, instead of just tapping (I am completely and totally kidding). Paul, to be honest I have barely a working knowledge of the whole process myself. I am following the instructions as they were written: focus on one long-held negative belief, then follow the “tapping map” almost identical to the one above, and repeat 6 different affirmations as you tap. A bit time-consuming, but… we’ll see. I really, really have to work on my open-mindedness, because I think of Stuart Smalley from Saturday Night Live every time I do this exercise, and I know that is the wrong attitude to have. I am genuinely hopeful that I will learn something from the whole thing, and maybe I can pass along some interesting (and possibly entertaining) anecdotes along the way. If by some miracle the whole thing actually works, then I’m telling you, I am going out on a speaking circuit!

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      • Ooh, forgot… I am working on endurance, so no 5K’s schedule yet, but seriously, after I wrote that comment to you about lagging on the exercise, I got my butt in gear, so thanks for the inadvertent kick in the pants, and I really appreciate you asking, it keeps it in the forefront of my mind. I will post an update when I make what I consider to be my next breatkthrough… running a mile without stopping (rather than alternating running and walking). I’ll get there!

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  6. How fun! Never be afraid to try anything new. You are so cool, Josie!

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  7. I have heard great things about tapping, Josie, give it a shot!

    Congrats on 20 months, I’m glad you’re back on the regime. 🙂 xo

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  8. This sounds fascinating! I’ve never heard of tapping but am intrigued and looking forward to hear how it works for you.

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