photo by Jen Watson
Many times we are making choices and responding to the world based on the expectations that we have received from friends, family, and cultural norms. These expectations might not be useful to who we would like to become. In many cases they can stop our progress. Here is a very simple Emotional Freedom Techniques(EFT)/tapping technique that can be used when dealing with the expectations that we have received from others.
I have been working with “Martin” for a while. He wanted to see transformation in what he did for a living. He felt as if there was a higher calling for his life that he had not been able to figure out. After a number of very successful sessions Martin plateaud.
Martin had come to a much clearer vision of what he wanted his life to look like, but for some reason he just couldn’t act. As we were talking about this the wall he had bumped into he said, “I know what I need to do, but I am stuck on all these stories of what at 35 year olds life is suppose to look like.”
The instance he said those words I had the flash of a book in my imagination. I instructed Martin start tapping and to image that we was sitting at a table with a blank book and a pen on the table. I then asked him to start to write all of the stories that had been given to him about what a 35 year olds life should look like.
I told him to take his time, to write as much as he needed, if he needed another book because he had filled the first it would just appear on the table, and asked him to let me know when he was done writing.
I check in with him ever few minutes for the next 20 minutes as he wrote and wrote and wrote.
After filling five books he let me know that he was done.
I then asked him what we should do with these books. “Do we lock them away? Put them on a shelf for later use? Destroy?”
He replied, “I am not one who thinks that it is a good idea to burn books, but in this case I will make an exception.”
[Important Note: Early in my practice I would have simply instructed my client to try to destroy the book in his imagination because that is what I would have wanted to do. I have learned over time that client’s system knows what is the best way to proceed. I will give options, like I did in this case, to spark the clients imagination, but I leave the next step up to them.]
In his imagination he poured gasoline on the books and lit them. I asked Martin if the books were burning. He said, “No”.
At this point we started to explore the different reasons why it was hard to let go of the stories in those books. We discovered that part(s) of him felt:
- If the stories were let go then the people who passed those stories along would also be let go.
- If the stories were let go then there would be no guidance at all.
- What if the stories were let go, but needed later they couldn’t be found?
- What if the stories were really right?
One at a time we tapped on these issues. After we cleared all the issues Martin tried again to burn the books. This time he was successful and felt a great sense of relief and freedom.
The process itself is very easy to be repeated.
- Start tapping and just move from tapping point to tapping point every few seconds.
- Image yourself sitting at a table giving yourself permission to write all the stories that have been given to you about what the world thinks success is for you.
- If you need more books they will appear.
- After the writing is done ask your system what you need to do with these books so that you can be free from others stories so that you can write your own.
- If you are unable to complete the step of freeing yourself tap on the issues that are making it difficult for you to let these stories go.
- Do what your system needs to release these stories.