On Surviving–Inner Work Exercise

Here’s a fun thing to do that’s also very instructive—a kind of inner work. You notice what’s bothering you and you let yourself first focus on it, on what about it is really bothering you. Then, keeping that in the background, you let yourself get kind of fuzzy and diffuse and notice what happens. Just stay with it without trying to be rational or “think” about it. Just notice what happens and let the images come. Here are a couple of examples:

 My Partner Can’t Make up his Mind

One day I was miffed that my partner was so indecisive. “Why is this bothering me so much?” I wondered.  Sensing that the source of my irritation was actually something in me trying to come to awareness, I decided to find inside me the one that wobbled so much (instead of putting it on my partner). I closed my eyes, left everyday consciousness behind, and traveled way into my center, letting the visions come.

 I moved from side to side within a picture frame and suddenly found myself dodging bullets!  They whizzed beside my ear like target-bees and sang the air near shoulder, arm, and thigh.  They missiled toward my toes and periled near my nose.  To avoid them, I found I was spending my entire life alert and jerking to and fro.  “I have to focus my whole and only attention on survival!” Suddenly, I felt free. For me, this was a powerful realization. “I’m allowed to look out solely for my own survival!”  Rather than all the time worrying about “how will this affect him; what will she think of that; will they be happy if I say this or that?”  It blew me away. 

I Am Alone

Another time I went into the pain of separation and aloneness.  Of being left, not being wanted.  When I let my imagination go where it went, I was all of a sudden the son of a ghetto mother, left by her boyfriend to work for nothing and over the years to suckle and diaper and teach to walk and walk to school and cook a meager meal and give lessons in manners to a baby-young-child-teen.

Of course, she couldn’t do this all alone, and so she didn’t.  She left me, her son, alone—sometimes for days—when she despaired and wandered the streets in search of a way out for herself.  At first, I was afraid, constantly afraid and crying.  No one heard my hunger, my fear at night. No one saw my dirty face, the shredded clothes I wore.

After a while like that I understood:  this is what is. I became tough, hard, cold.  I knew what I needed; I knew what I wanted.  I knew what to do to get it, and I did what I had to do.  I roamed the streets.  I learned everything about those streets and the people that roamed them, too.  I learned about the shopkeepers and how to get them to give me food.  If they wouldn’t, I knew what time they left for the night and how to steal in to their stores and to steal out with the food.  I knew where to find clothes and warmth and even luxuries.  And I did.  “I do what I need to do; I am a survivor!  You can’t stop me, because I know all about you.  I’m smarter than you.  I’ve watched you, and you have never watched me!”

 

EFT Alleviates Phobia of Dying

Many of us, at some point in our lives, start obsessing about dying. Or, as children, we worry constantly about our parents dying. It seems to come in waves, we go through phases with this death anxiety.

I had a client recently who had a serious condition that would put him in danger of sudden death, and unable to breathe. Even after the illness was healed, he continued to fear sudden death, to the extent of having panic attacks. He had several surgeries

Panic Attacks Wake Him up While Sleeping

He mentioned that, often he would be sleeping calmly and suddenly wake up dizzy, the room spinning around him, gasping for fear of not being able to breathe, even though in reality his breathing was fine.

EFT Tapping on Panic Upon Waking

I decided to start by working on this panic upon waking by having him describe a recent event. As usually happens, the physical symptoms and fear started up right then. We used EFT Tapping on the feeling of dizziness, floatiness, feeling of tightness in his chest that was happening right then. He also noticed that he was having trouble focusing his eyes. Very quickly, the dizziness and floatiness abated and he was able to focus his eyes. His chest was still tight, however.

Chest Tightness Connected to Panic

Using EFT, we worked with the super-alert panic of the fear that he wouldn’t be able to breathe. This eased the tightness in his chest. He realized he wasn’t scared anymore.

Room Spinning is a Sign of Trauma

Next I had him describe how the room spins when he wakes up suddenly. The room started to spin a bit right then.  We did EFT Tapping on that, and the spinning stopped. He felt calm about that, too.

EFT Heals Fear of Death

I had thought we might need more sessions to deal with the aftermath of the surgeries around his condition, but it turned out that his severe fear of death was alleviated after just this one session. After not hearing from him for some time, I called to follow up. He had not been thinking about panic. In fact, he had gotten caught up in all the activities of his life and felt he was just too busy to set up another session. Before this, he never went through a day without several times of panic.

EFT is Effective with Phobias of All Kinds

Although this was quite an amazing turn-around—phobias are not always alleviated after just one session—phobias ARE very often successfully healed using EFT. See my other blog post on EFT with a storm phobia. Also, check out my webpages on EFT and EFT Case Studies for some of the other issues EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) can help with.

Wishing you a free and joyous life,

Zoë

EFT Cured a Storm Phobia

Accepted “Wisdom” is that Phobias are Difficult to Alleviate

In the “psychology world,” it’s often said that phobias are really difficult to change. Usually, phobias are really entrenched. For people with this kind of anxiety, when they’re faced with what they’re afraid of—spiders, heights, small spaces, flying, test taking, and any number of other anxieties—they often feel they’re going to die. For the rest of us who aren’t afraid of these things, it seems like no big deal, so it’s hard to understand why someone would be so terrified. But for the person who has the phobia, it just IS and it can’t be argued away.

For a description of how phobias work in us, affecting our nervous system and causing emotional pain, see my article on Examiner.com, Phobias Often Disappear after Using EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques).

EFT is Effective With Phobias

Interestingly, I’ve found that, using EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques), a phobia can disappear with relatively few sessions. A while ago, I had a client who had a phobia, huge anxiety around thunderstorms. It would start when she saw the black clouds massing. She’d have a horrendous feeling of dread. Then, when she saw lightning or heard thunder, panic overcame her and she would run to a room in the middle of wherever she lived—this was often a bathroom with or middle room with no windows—and cower there until the storm was over. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t get over the fear. It had been going on for over 20 years.

EFT Tapping on the Storm Phobia: Dread

I started by asking my client detailed questions about her specific reactions to specific parts of storms to get at the different aspects of the phobia, and the incidents in her life and/or childhood family patterns that were the origins of what caused anxiety. We used EFT Tapping on these specific incidents and dissolved the connections between the incidents and negative childhood family dynamics. The dread that accompanied seeing dark clouds massing was completely gone after only a couple of sessions. This was connected to two areas:

  1. Childhood abuse that happened again and again and the tension and dread that would build up waiting for the abuse to happen.
  2. Her husband was in the armed forces fighting a war. Whenever she heard the door bell ring, there was dread that it was officers coming to tell her her husband had died.

EFT Tapping on the Phobia: Healing the Terror of Lightning

The panic that sent my client hiding in a central, windowless room whenever she saw lightning and hear a boom of thunder was more difficult to alleviate. But, using EFT, the emotional pain was finally gone completely. This was related to:

  1. A shocking assault on her as an adult; the feeling of helplessness
  2. The violence and forcefulness of recurring physical abuse during childhood
  3. The suddenness of being attacked by her parent.
  4. The feeling of helplessness when she was being attacked by her parent.

After having worked on all these aspects surrounding the panic, one day, she was in her kitchen looking out the window when she saw a flash of lightning. She noticed later that it didn’t even register. A few days later, she was outside when suddenly heard a thunder clap. She calmly finished what she was doing in the garden before going in the house. This was huge!

EFT for the Feeling of Not Having Control

The final thing that we were left with was that, even though she realized she wasn’t afraid anymore those two times, she didn’t trust that she would always feel that way if a storm would come. She felt she needed to test it. She said “part of me wants a really close lightning and thunderstorm so I can be sure. It turned out that, unconsciously, she wanted a feeling of control. She wanted to be able to bring it on to see how she would react. This related, again, to her parent’s sudden attacks. Just like many abused children and adults, she learned that she couldn’t control the fact of the physical abuse, but she could, to some extent, bring on the attacks to get the fear and tension over with. With thunder and lightning storms, she had no control—she couldn’t bring them on to get them over with. At this point, the season for thunderstorms was over. There was no way to test it. We did some EFT Tapping for inability to control the timing of thunderstorms . Through this, she suddenly accepted she has no control.

EFT Healed the Phobia Around Thunderstorms

Some months later she wrote that one day she was having dinner, a giant bolt of lightning “lit the whole world in front of me. It was so close that the thunder clap followed before I could even think one-mississippi.” She stayed calm and continued eating. “Maybe the whole show was just for me,” she wrote, “so I wouldn’t have to wait until next spring to see if the EFT worked. Which-ever, work it seems to have done!”

Getting that note really touched me and gave me a feeling of gratitude. EFT works with phobias and many other issues. If you need help, give contact me at zoeric@comcast.net or call me at 303-444-1195. Check out my website for more information, especially my pages on EFT and EFT Case Studies.

Wishing you a free and joyous life!

Zoë