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!
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 Addiction, Belief, Book, dieting, Emotional Freedom Technique, Health, healthy eating, Pressure point, Reading (process), Recovery, Self-Help, Shopping, Sobriety, Tapping. Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.