Freeing Ourselves From Negative Mind Loops

When I was a child, my father was always busy,  so it’s not too surprising that often his business came first, home came second—and children came a definite third.

Most of the time that didn’t bother me. I had my own life with my friends. I rarely thought about my parents. But one time, about middle-school age, I was part of some troop or other (I don’t even remember) and there was to be a father-daughter banquet. A very strange concept for me, because I had never really done anything alone with my dad. He was either at work or we’d do things together as a family.

So this was a very special event for me. Not so special for him. In fact, so unspecial that he totally forgot about it. It probably hadn’t even registered for him in the first place. There I was, in my pretty dress, waiting for him to come home to take me to the banquet. After a while, I figured out he wasn’t going to come home—he was at work.

Suddenly, an interesting thing happened inside of me. I realized that I could make a big deal out of his forgetting me. I could let it etch into my mind as “my father doesn’t think I’m important; my father doesn’t care about me; I’m not important.” It was, in fact, starting to etch itself in like that. But then I realized I didn’t need to do that, and I realized I was going to let it go, because I knew my father. Father-daughter banquets were not in his reality. I knew he loved me because he worked really hard and came home every evening and we all had dinner together. We always had a stable home where the kids played outside with their friends and the parents did whatever they did to make sure everyone was clothed, fed, and safe. My father was not “touchy-feely” with the kids. We all knew that; it was our life.

Mind Loops Cause Emotional Pain—Uneccesary Emotional Pain

In my private practice, I see a lot of people who get into mind loops where something that happens with another person seems to “mean” something, or represent something, and it gets etched in and petrifies—and causes a lot of emotional pain. Because of something a person said or did, the relationship becomes stuck in a loop and it can’t get out and breathe again.

This often happens when painful family relationship patterns develop in childhood.

When childhood family patterns become overlaid onto an interaction with the person in front of us in the present, the interaction might represent something in our minds that’s not actually there, or that’s there in only a homeopathic dose, so to speak. The current interaction becomes etched in and rigidified, and the relationship suffers because of it. Coupling together the two—past pattern and current event—can easily etch an emotional interpretation into the mind.

For instance, if I had not had the luck to realize I didn’t need to etch in the interpretation that my father didn’t care about me or that I’m unimportant to him, I could have started generalizing and feeling slights all around me. I could have imploded into myself and made myself more and more invisible, and increasingly hurt when people didn’t see me or ignored me.

Process Work and EFT Help

I’ve found that combining Process Work (ala Arnold Mindell) and EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) is wonderful for getting at the core of these patterns that affect current relationships and transforming them into self-acceptance. Check out my Families and Relationships pages for more on how I work with childhood family patterns, relationship counseling and more.

Wishing you a free and joyous life,

Zoë

The Drive for Self-Acceptance: We Just Have to Be Ourselves

What Seems Like Self-Sabotage Often Isn’t

Isn’t it interesting how most of us just have to be ourselves? And if we try not to be, something in us “sabotages” the hard work we’re doing to push ourselves down. We somehow just need self-acceptance. For example, I had a client a while ago who tried to stay in a certain program in school because he’d already finished three years, but something in him just wouldn’t let him continue on.

EFT Tapping to Find Your Passion

When we used EFT Tapping to work on what he thought was “self-sabotage,” it ended up that something in him was pushing him to move into a career with heart. He thought he had chosen a school major that was practical—but there was no passion in it for him.

Finding Our Path With Heart

Another client found himself thinking that, when his kids were out of school, he’d become a hobo, sitting by a lake with a beer in his hand and a fishing line hanging in the water. Again, he thought he was sabotaging his life, because he was trying not to drink, and trying to be a good provider for his family. When we explored what was behind the hobo-by-the-lake-image, it turned out not to be self-sabotage but finding out what he really needed in his life. To do this, I asked him what he needed a vacation from. It turns out, he’d been working 12-14 hours a day at his job and was really getting burned out. He needed to reconfigure his time at the job so that he had time to get underway with several writing projects that were what he really loved to do.

Some people can put off their passion for quite a while, while others can’t wait so long. (The source of many addictions is a deep need for something that’s missing in our lives–see my blog post EFT for Addictions .) But it seems that, for most of us, if we don’t support and live from what has heart, the “life” in us will sabotage our most heroic efforts to conform to what we think we “should” do and be.

EFT  Helps With Self-Sabotage

I use a few really fun, interesting and creative EFT exercises (Emotional Freedom Techniques) that help people discover—or re-discover—where their path with heart lies, to find out what’s in the way of moving down it, and to get on with where the life is for them.

Wishing you a free and joyous life,

Zoë

 

Deep Self-Acceptance makes EFT so Effective

Deep Self-Acceptance with EFT

In Process Work (created by Arnold Mindell, Ph.D.), there’s a great concept called “Deep Democracy.” I love this idea! As we all know, democracy means allowing all voices to be heard. Looked at globally, Deep Democracy means we become aware of and welcome the views of all nations, even those that have little power. Nationally, it means that we become aware of and embrace the views of all our groups of people, even those who are in the minority. In our families and businesses, we listen to those who are lowest in rank (the “little guys” and—in families—the children) and seriously take their wants, needs and opinions into account when making decisions that affect them. And inside of us, it means that we become aware of and truly embrace all parts of ourselves—even those parts that we’ve been ashamed of or have been told aren’t right or good—and we’ve believed that.

 Benefits of Deep Democracy & Emotional Freedom

The benefit of living in a Deep Democracy way is that the little countries, minorities, and less powerful in families thrive too. The other benefit is that, with the “lesser” countries and people thriving, the more powerful thrive even more, and in more ways. And inside ourselves, when we become aware of and welcome in parts that we’ve rejected, we become freer and happier. Think about it!

 Deep Self-Acceptance=EFT’s Effectiveness

In EFT terms, we “deeply and completely accept” a part of us we’ve seen as troublesome, disturbing or “bad.” I believe that’s what makes EFT so amazingly effective. For example, usually when we have a physical pain, we want to get rid of it as quickly as possible. But if the pain is not only a pain but also there for something (see my blog post, Getting to the Root of Physical Pain with EFT), just trying to get rid of it could make the “something” pop up in another form. Often, incorporating the message behind it into our lives gives space for the pain to go.

EFT–Emotional Pain Builds Up in Your Body

Emotional pain is similar. If you’ve had painful, scary or traumatic experiences in your life and you try to push them into the background, they don’t go away; they’re just buried and affect your work, your relationships, and your ability to deal with new difficulties with creativity and flexibility. The effects of these experiences build up in your nervous system and affect your body and your emotional health.

Embracing Deep Self-Acceptance with EFT

When in EFT we say “Even though I have this shoulder pain” or “even though I’m full of rage (sadness, fear, grief), I deeply and completely accept myself,” we’re practicing Deep Democracy inside of us. We’re putting our arms around the part of us that’s been hurt and loving ourselves with that part. Anyone who has the experience of someone listening to and taking their pain seriously feels better and is then ready for further healing. That’s true inside of us, too.

For more on my work helping to create emotional freedom with EFT, see my website pages on EFT and EFT Case Studies.

Wishing you a free and joyous life,

Zoë