Dear EFT Community,
In Part 1 of this two-part article, EFT Master Sue Beer shows how important of the practice of “reframing,” which comes to EFT from NLP (neuro-linguistic programming), is to successful EFT tapping. In Part 2, she discusses the importance of getting your own ego out of the way in tapping.
– Dawson Church
I wanted to share something with you which comes from my heart, and expresses some of the ideas Emma Roberts and I teach through our EFT Centre trainings.
I am interested in practical spirituality and finding really accessible ways to teach and demonstrate that, in truth, we are much more than we think. EFT, especially through the art of reframing, is the ideal tool for expanding our ideas about what forgiveness is and living the experience of it. This is important work. It’s not about meditating on mountain tops, or moving away from the world. The world is in your mind right here right now. And only you can heal it.
Quantum physics shows us we are made out of energy, and energy is projected thought. So we literally make ourselves up with our thoughts! We believe in a past that is not really there and strive to make a better future. But if the past doesn’t really exist, what is there to be better than or improve upon?
We are prisoners of our own thoughts. The body itself is a symbol of limitation and separation, each of us fenced off and isolated from another. Amazing though the idea that we make ourselves up with our thoughts is, contained within that realization is the possibility that what we made we can undo, and set ourselves free.
We are spirit believing we are trapped in a physical body, but the truth about Who we are calls to us, an ancient calling we can block out but never alter the fact of its calling. This is where EFT comes in and is also why its more than a passion for me. You might say it’s a vocation, or a calling. And through our work Emma Roberts and I are great at finding ways for you to hear the call too. One of those ways is Reframing. It’s not a new idea, it’s a central piece in NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming), but it seems that EFT reframing takes the idea to a whole new level and exploring this is the purpose of this article.
What is a “Reframe?”
The term Reframing comes from NLP. Emma and I incorporate many NLP concepts into our EFT trainings so our students learn these important ideas effortlessly as part of their highly effective delivery of EFT:
“Changing the frame of reference is called reframing in NLP. The purpose of reframing is to help a person experience their actions, the impact of their beliefs, etc. from a different perspective (frame) and potentially be more resourceful or have more choice in how they react.”
Reframe: a new perspective, a different way of looking at something — here are two examples of classic ‘NLP’ reframes:
During the 1984 US Presidential campaign, there was considerable concern about Ronald Reagan’s age. Speaking during the presidential debate with Walter Mondale, Reagan said “I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience.” Reagan’s age was not an issue for the remainder of the campaign!
A father brought his head-strong daughter to see Milton Erickson – the famous hypnotherapist. He said to Erickson, “My daughter doesn’t listen to me or her mother. She is always expressing her own opinion.” After the father finished describing his daughter’s problem, Erickson replied, “Now isn’t it good that she will be able to stand on her own two feet when she is ready to leave home?” The father sat in stunned silence. That was the extent of the therapy — the father now saw his daughter’s behavior as a useful resource later in her life.
When a reframe works, or lands, it’s as if the person agrees: “Yes! that’s a better way of looking at this (I choose to see this differently)”
Now the interesting thing is what happens when reframing and EFT are combined. Something extra seems to come out of the mix of words and tapping, it seems that reframes are more likely to be accepted — landing in a way that is qualitatively different.
As the skilled EFT artist’s language flows intuitively, there is a joining, an intense connection between practitioner and client which leads to an internally generated expansion of perception. It’s as if there is a change in cognitive processing to another level of mind: a transformation into the actual experience of forgiveness (forgiveness here meaning a positively charged change of mind about someone or something, or the self.)
EFT opens up the possibility for something more happening as client and practitioner become so fused at a mind level that as the reframing language lands and makes complete sense to the client — it will seem to have come from the client, matching his or her inner experience so closely. And this is the felt sense of forgiveness — a higher level of perception where the facts of what happened are the same but the emotional response is wholly different. It is the effect or the result of the change in thinking that Einstein identified here:
“The significant problems we face cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.”
Reframing and the connection to forgiveness is an important part of our EFT Level 3 Training. Once your skills have developed to the level of using free flowing language, what are you doing with it? Your language needs to be purposeful, to be the means by which the experience of forgiveness (undoing the past) comes about.
Reframing and forgiveness then become synonymous with undoing (the past), and releasing the illusions we have held against ourselves. Healing comes as we release the blocks to remembering the truth about who we really are (the memory of ourselves held deep in the unconscious).
Why is forgiveness so important in the EFT healing process?
Well, firstly think about this from your own experience with EFT. That moment of expanded perception, the ‘Ah Hah’ moment, what does it feel like? Maybe you feel warm, or connected or loving. Maybe it seems as if time stands still and possibilities for a new way of seeing things, a new way of being in the world open up?
What really happens when we release a negative emotion (thought, person or situation)? What happens in the mind? In the body? In relation to our sense of a connection beyond that?
What is happening when an EFT reframe really works? It seems to be the mechanism through which healing occurs — the effect of forgiveness (changing the mind) becomes manifest in emotional, physiological and energy field changes. These are measurable changes which can not only be seen visually (eg. flushing, changes in breathing, etc.), but can also be witnessed in changes in heart rate, blood pressure, blood cells, energy distribution and vibration. Changes happen at a cellular level as the changed mind transmits messages of positive emotion. Maybe this is Love in action — the healing response that brings a sense of peace, acceptance and connection. As the song says, “Love is all you need.”
As we expand our limited ideas about what forgiveness is we begin to experience that forgiveness and healing are the same thing. Every time we release a negative thought, guilt or fear, however small or big, we are forgiving/healing ourselves from the effects of our thoughts.
It is so important to release our negative investments in the everyday stuff, the minor irritations, the petty judgments. If we reserve “forgiveness” only for the big stuff we are falling into a trap of our own devising; and when we move beyond this we realize that as we release the little stuff it changes our perceptions about the big stuff, and then we can move beyond our misperceptions that someone or something is responsible for the way we feel.
What is forgiveness, then? Ultimately does it have anything to do with any one else or any external circumstance? What if it is purely a private matter, truly an inside job? And if there is no one else out there, then who did what to whom?
In a second part to this article I will explore practical ways to develop the skill of reframing and share some top tips. Reframing with EFT is enormously powerful and it really is a skill worth mastering. I believe that at the highest levels EFT is an art form connecting mind-expanding ideas to the stuff of every day life — each time you release fear, guilt, even a petty grievance you are doing far more than you know. And whether we are aware of it or not we tune into this big picture every time we work to heal ourselves and our clients through EFT.
So how do you develop the ability to do this really well? Is it a new skill which you need to learn to do? Or more of a process of unlearning, or releasing the blocks to your inherent ability? Well probably both but beware of thinking this is just about getting clever with language: getting to do this really well starts with attitude, or a particular state of mind.
My experience from learning and teaching others is that it is more about mindset than anything else – the words you need will come to you. Seeing or experiencing this done masterfully – witnessing the connection and harmony between client and therapist is a beautiful and powerful thing. Sometimes its hilarious, often deeply moving.
This is what we mean by the art of delivery and it takes time to develop this to a high level. However you can start learning the attitude of mind from the start, alongside learning the basics of EFT. Cultivate this right from the start and you will get much more out of this than a new skill, or a new tool to add to your kit. With EFT we are exploring possibilities hardly dreamt of as yet.
1. Begin Today!
One of the obvious benefits of EFT is that you can use it to work on yourself. And this is where you need to begin — right now! By realizing how vital it is that you understand that many opportunities for personal growth are in the every day stuff, stuff we can overlook as unimportant, too low level. EFT will clear all the ‘little irritations’ – and some of these will be hiding immense fury; our unhealed, unconscious pain shows up in the everyday. Seek the sacred in the apparently trivial. It is a gift to you seen correctly.
Think of yourself as a work in progress — you are your own life’s work — if you want to be truly helpful to others and the planet. You are your own gift. In the process of this you will remember to love yourself and as you see yourself will be how you see others, and ultimately God or Source. The more you clear your negative stuff, all your resentments, anger, guilt, irritation the clearer a channel you become for the Beloved in you to recognize the Beloved in the other. Clear your mind! Get in the zone! Lighten up!
“You add suffering to the world just as much when you take offense as when you give offense”
Once you grasp the idea that in being truly helpful to your clients your own state of mind is so important and begin to practice it, you will realize that is effectively a way of setting your intention for the highest good of the client. The rest… is easy!
2. Trust Yourself
You have set your intention and now your job is to get really practical, everything else will happen through you when you really tune in to the client. You have to have rapport first of all or you are going nowhere — getting rapport and tuning in are actually the same thing. Observe your client minutely, with all your senses, without judgement or interpretation.
If you are serious about mastering EFT you can and must learn to really fine tune your sensory perception (it is the basis of intuition). Focus on conscious observation and your unconscious will connect you and guide you — really notice changes in breathing, skin tone, voice tonality, shifts in temperature, perspiration expression, etc.
It is through cultivating these very practical abilities that you allow yourself to get out of the way. As often said in EFT, this happens through you not by you.
Guidance comes through when you clear your thinking, judging, interpreting mind out of the way. The irony is that you have to get really practical to be highly intuitive.
3. Review Your Work
Where were you in the way and how do you tell?
Think of every session as a holy encounter, and after each session take advantage of hindsight to fully appreciate the gifts offered to you.
Replay the session in your mind as if it is happening now, and ask yourself…
Is the clients issue triggering me in any way?
Do I feel uncomfortable, under pressure?
Am I anxious to move away from the negative?
Do I need to fix this?
Am I doubting myself, the process?
Am I laying my own stuff on the client?
Tap to clear any of your own limiting responses to these questions.
Be really honest. By making the effort to do this you will clear your own limitations, and very soon you will find you can run this movie- review in a flash and then its only a small step to having it happen simultaneously as you work, without you consciously attending to it, like a dance between you and your client. And your work will be beautiful.
Look out for the pitfalls.
Cultivating your ability to really get out of the way takes practice. Be very aware that without rapport you cannot go anywhere. The foundation for Reframing is always connection with the client at conscious and unconscious levels. It’s a form of getting permission.
You cannot change someone else’s mind. You can only create conditions whereby they have the experience of seeing something differently. You do not have the power to ‘reframe’ someone else, it happens internally.
If you get too hung up on the power of your own words and ideas you will be persuading rather than truly connecting at the level where healing happens. For instance you may believe your reframe is the best ever and yet it may not work for the other person simply because they have a different model of the world than you do — and it’s not your job to convince the client, just to be the means through which a bridge to understanding is offered and he or she comes to see differently.
Trying to persuade or lead the client towards your way of thinking (albeit from the best of intentions) is a common pitfall. But if you are willing to see when you are doing this it becomes another great learning opportunity.
You are likely to be ‘leading’ the client whenever you pick up on the clients pain – or it matches your own, and you want to ’save ‘ them from it, or persuade them out of it – and as quickly as possible! Whenever this happens you have really lost your connection to the client and are getting in your own way. And although something may be happening, it is not EFT at its best, as you are now giving conflicting messages through demonstrating that certain beliefs or painful feelings are not ok. This, of course, runs counter to the power behind “I deeply and completely accept myself “ (which is the intention for complete acceptance, whatever, and which the therapist needs to hold for the client when they are not able to for themselves).
Taking it further.
Since developing the art of reframing is more about mindset rather than a particular technique it is a great opportunity to keep on going beyond your own limits. If you focus on working on yourself, mastering practical observation skills with clients and learning to trust, the rest will take care of itself.