It has opened my mind so much that I want to share it, even though I would normally have kept such things very private. So here goes…
A part of me believes my family should always be happy and healthy. After all, I clearly believe that I have the ability to help others become healthier and happier. I have helped enough people, to know that there is some truth in that belief. So a part of me, feels we should always be leading from the front, always full of health and happy. I know that Debbie often thinks the same, as she has also mentioned feeling the same way.
So one of our guilty secrets is that our 3 year old daughter, Honey, would wake up most mornings crying and distressed. It seemed to me in particular, that every morning started early (around 4 to 6 am) with a crying unhappy child and it was getting to me. I was noticing thoughts I did not want, “it’s always like this”, “here we go again” and I knew thoughts like this would not help.
For over three years I felt a bit powerless to change it. I had a feeling that it all stemmed from the family tragedy that occurred just before Honey was born. At the time, which was just weeks from Honey’s expected delivery, we used hypnosis and emotional freedom technique daily to try and shield our unborn daughter from the flood of emotions that coursing through Debbie’s veins. These emotions, grief at the loss of her younger sister and unborn nephew during childbirth, fear that what had previously seemed safe and natural may now be a life threatening event, had overtaken those of joy and anticipation of the arrival of our baby girl.
We were both experiencing our versions of the natural feelings of grief, sadness and loss wrapped up with those of fear. I feel that we did the best we could, but it is also my belief that Honey had learned that life was scary and distressing even before she was born and so maybe that was why she woke up each morning sounding distressed.
Now over the past three years there have been a sequence of events that has pushed me towards believing in our bodies subtle energy systems. Possibly being more open to that concept, I also came across EFT Founder Gwyneth Moss’s talks on surrogate tapping. This is where you use Emotional Freedom Technique or tapping for someone else, by imagining you are them! I’ve discarded this idea in the past without any real thought, but Gwyneth’s background is in science, she graduated from Cambridge in physics and worked worldwide as an oil exploration geophysicist and project management consultant before retraining as a therapist. Her thoughts mirrored mine when she explained her initial reaction to surrogate tapping which was “that’s too weird, that’s for Reiki people, not me”. So if someone with a proven record as both a physicist and a therapist can observe the benefits, would I be able to? After yet another morning of being woken early to the sound of Honey crying and distressed, I very strongly suggested to Debbie that we should try surrogate tapping for her.
How We Did It
As I said before, surrogate EFT involves tapping on yourself on behalf of someone else, so we decided I would ‘pretend’ to be Honey and Debbie would be the therapist. EFT works best when you are not attached to the outcome though, so we spent some time clearing our own issues and emotional responses over Honey’s behaviour. Then I pretended to be Honey and Debbie acted as practitioner. We ended with the choices method around feeling safe and happy in her room. I just imagined myself as Honey and said what came into my mind, in the kind of words she would use. Our session probably lasted for around an hour and half, with around 1/3rd of it being the surrogate tapping.
The Following Morning
Around eight hours later at about 6:45 I almost cried as I lay in bed listening to Honey chat away to herself contentedly. I finally got up and popped my head around her door to be met with a cheery “Morning Dad”.
This blew me away. It was a like a dream. I had expected a change, committed myself fully to the process and believing in it, but such a profound difference, so quickly, was beyond my expectations.
Friday she woke with a cold and feeling ill, but still wanted to stay in her own room…
To date, each morning (to date around six weeks later), she has woken with a much more contented state of mind.
How Could This Work?
Some of you reading this will believe it a mysterious consequence, or wishful thinking. Personally I believe now more than ever, that we are all energetically linked in some way and this is why it has worked.
For now I’m avidly reading postings and books by those who understand what might be happening better than I do.
But I wonder, have you experienced anything like it?
Is your mind busy when it’s time to rest and sleep? Do you have problems switching off at bedtime? Mind active and won’t slow down? Do you toss and turn because your thoughts won’t let you rest?
If that image of being too restless to sleep sounds like you, you have a lot in common with many of the people I help and there is a good chance your flight or fight response is active.
So lets talk about one way to switch off the fight or flight response and quieten the mind down at bedtime. There are many ways to achieve this, and one I really like is to keep a gratitude journal.
Spending a few minutes each night to think about things you are really grateful for is a great way to calm the mind and body and trigger the relaxation response. Focusing on the things you have been grateful for during the day will help you to let go of the things that were worrying you and help you get a good nights sleep.
But you do need to do it properly; robotically going through things you think you should be grateful for is not the same! If you are aware of the work of Candace Pert, you will know that your thoughts trigger the release of chemicals that flood the body, but that does not really happen if you think the thoughts in a detached fashion. You need to think the thoughts with your heart too.
Why is this Important?
It is really important that the fight or flight response is turned off and the relaxation response is triggered for sleep. Normally during sleep our bodies and minds should go through cycles of healing and repair, but these cycles are associated with being in a relaxed state. When we are stressed they are put on hold and your body does not heal and repair as it should.
So if you want to be healthy and happy triggering the relaxation response just before sleep will help.
It seems odd to think we can be stressed while sleeping, but studies have shown that some people, like those with CFS/ME, do actually stay stressed during their sleep. So spending a few minutes contemplating what you are grateful for or what has gone well during the day is one way to switch off the fight or flight response.
Gratitude is great because it focuses you on what you have, not what you want or what you would like. I buy a nice little note pad for those that take part in my workshops, so they can use it as a journal and I urge you to buy something special too. Having a nice book to write in and maybe a nice pen will make the activity special and keep you motivated.
How do I Use This?
Personally I would prefer a paper based journal as modern technology like phones tend to keep us stimulated, alert and possibly stressed. Much better to create your own paper based journal which can become a treasure trove of positivity for you, as it fills with things that you have been grateful for. Something like this is ideal.
Spend a little bit of time composing your thoughts and then write down what you have been grateful for today. Feel the feelings as deeply as possible with your heart.
One lady I was talking too, said how truly grateful she felt for the home she lived in, even though it was nowhere near as nice as she would like. This was something she had moaned about and criticised until hearing of a tragedy the other side of the world where people had lost their homes and were spending night outside. Another lady spent ages trying to think of something only to realise she was grateful for the comfortable warm bed she was laying in.
Another chap said he thought of a different person he knew each night, spending time remembering how they have or had positively contributed to his life. It’s a good thing to vary what you write to keep it fresh and relevant.
Sometimes when times are tough, or we are busy and tired it is easy to answer with our head only. You know what I mean, when you say something but it does not have that emotional resonance, that physical sensation that lets you know you have felt something with your heart. Notice the difference between thinking what you are grateful for and feeling it with your heart. It can help to place your hand on your heart and allow the thoughts of gratitude to flow from there.
I wonder if you maybe surprised at what you have been grateful for today?
The power of gratitude
Do you believe other people are more interesting and loveable than you are? Do you feel your opinions do not matter? Do you lack the love and attention you need? Do you feel out of control of your life, finances and relationships? Do you believe nothing will ever change?
“Put your own oxygen mask on first. You can’t take care of others if you’re running out of air yourself.”
What is this About?
This concept of self-love is about having a good relationship with yourself and your life because it takes a strong caring and nurturing relationship with yourself to do what is necessary to improve your health, well-being and happiness.
So the first step to improving your health, well-being and happiness is to improve the relationship you have with yourself.
Sadly, many people are stuck believing that taking more care of themselves will mean others suffer, or they will be seen as selfish. Women in particular are often taught by example that they should always put other people’s needs first and may feel guilty about taking time for themselves. In many ways this is ironic because to care and help other people we really need to full of energy and enthusiasm and for that to happen we need to take care of ourselves first.
Why is this Important?
Improving your relationship with yourself is vital to taking the next step and seeking help or making changes to your life. Believing that you do matter, that you are loveable, important and in control will help to you to embark and sustain your healing journey.
This is important not just for you, but for those you love, because you will be able to help them so much by being healthy and happy.
How do I Improve?
Make a conscious decision to change and you may be surprised how you gently and slowly you begin to be kinder, more loving, more permissive and more responsible to yourself.
Take the first step and print this worksheet: Improving My Relationship with Myself. Working through it and creating some personal positive affirmations to help you become your own best friend is great way to start.
If you are a woman who has lost hope of regaining or even improving your health my next webinar is for you. It’s so easy to lose hope, a careless word from a Doctor, an unhelpful chat with another patient, a program on the TV. Sometimes it’s the little things that erode your hope over time, sometimes your hope is discarded ignorantly during a consultation. Maybe your diagnosis was a crushing experience, taking your breath away, leaving you numb, scarred, unable to think.
Studies have shown that if you want a chance of being healthy again, the worst state of mind is a stoic acceptance of fate, to become hopeless. One of the things I will show you on this webinar is that hope is vitally important.
In the face of ‘expert’ opinions and a system that seems most proficient of stealing control from you, it is understandable why you can end up feeling hopeless and like a mythical phoenix from the flames you can regain your hope of being healthy.
To help we will be discussing three reasons why your body has the potential for ‘self induced healing’ and looking at some real life stories. Most importantly we will be giving you practical steps to get started with. Choosing to register now is the first step of taking back control, deciding how you want to live you life.
So I really do hope you will choose to join us and just register now.
Looking forward to talking to you again.