How Bundling Baggage Heals the Past

 
One of the first tapping techniques I learned years ago was called the Personal Peace Process.
It involved making a list of all of the events, relationships and circumstances from the past that you want to heal.  Then tapping on one item each day, until you have reduced the intensity on it all.
Ahhhhh…
And then I learned a much quicker and more effective way to heal and release the past called Bundling Baggage.
We’ll practice this in class together this week and you can practice this on your own as well.
1.  Choose the topic for your tapping session – an illness, a relationship, an event, such as an accident or a big disappointment.  You might even choose your childhood or past relationship for the session.
2.  Imagine that all of the details of your chosen topic are placed in front of you in a big pile.
3.  Describe the pile visually – size, color, shape, smell – is it like a big pile of steaming dung?
Is it as big as a car, as big as a house, as big as a mountain?
4.  Take note of the intensity of the pile when you begin.  On a scale of 0 to 10, with 10 being the highest, how intense does the pile seem?
5.  Tap on the pile with your Set Up Statement:
Even though I have this big, steaming pile of dung – and part of me is holding on – for whatever reason, I choose to release and let go with love and acceptance.”
Even though I have this huge pile – it’s as big as my house and it’s dark and scary looking, part of me is holding on, for whatever reason – maybe it’s keeping me safe.  I now choose to be open and release this pile.  I love, accept and forgive myself, and I am safe.”
5.  Tap around on the body points with your Reminder Statements:
This big, steaming pile of dung – big steaming pile – big steaming pile.  It really stinks!  This big, steaming pile.”
You can speak about the details as you are tapping, or simply repeat what you are calling the pile for now.
6.  Continue to tap on the pile, seeing it in front of you, until the intensity begins to come down.
7.  Close your eyes and Check In with the image of the pile in front of you.  Has it changed?  Gotten smaller?  Transformed into something else?
8.  Come back with a revised Set Up Statement and tap around some more on the body points.
9.  You may be amazed that the pile gets smaller, less intense and may even transform into something else.
When I first did this tapping exercise I started with a swamp and it turned into a meadow.  I was amazed!
 
Be gentle with yourself – be playful with this process – pretend you can see the pile.  
 
Your subconscious mind works with imagery and may surprise you with information and details you haven’t expected.  Allow this to be light and enjoyable.
Your willingness to release the past is the key to releasing your accumulated baggage and it’s effect on your life and health.
Happy Tapping!

Welcoming Anxiety As A Path To Acceptance

As many of you know, I have lived with chronic anxiety for most of my life.  I have chosen not to take medication and have continued to search for healing through meditation, tapping, Matrix Reimprinting (an advanced form of EFT) and acupuncture.
For some time I have been free of my familiar morning anxiety, until the past couple of weeks.  Perhaps it’s flared up when I began to have more seasonal hay fever and wake up congested, achy and grumpy.
Who knows …
Two days ago I woke up feeling anxious and found a wonderful video lesson from Pema Chodron on-line (pematonglen.shambala.com).
She was teaching a Buddhist meditation practice called Tonglen.  She describes this as a practice to remain open – it’s also referred to as sending and receiving.
In the past when I’ve heard of this practice, I was not willing to apply this for myself.  It felt too challenging and scary, actually.  This time when I heard Pema suggesting that we can begin this practice with our own challenges, then I felt that I was receiving the lesson at just the right time for me.
This is very real for me.  I did this practice while listening to Pema’s lesson and doing my standing sun salutations.  Breathing in my own anxiety and breathing out well being for myself and all beings.  You may breathe out anything pleasurable to share.
Here are the four stages of Tonglen practice as Pema Chodron teaches:
1.  First, rest your mind briefly, for a moment or two, in a state of openness or stillness. This stage is traditionally called flashing on absolute bodhichitta, or suddenly opening to basic spaciousness and clarity.
2.  Second, work with texture. Breathe in a feeling of hot, dark, and heavy-a sense of claustrophobia-and breathe out a feeling of cool, bright, and light-a sense of freshness. Breathe in completely, through all the pores of your body, and breathe out, radiate out, completely, through all the pores of your body. Do this until it feels synchronized with your in and out-breaths.
3.  Third, work with a personal situation-any painful situation that’s real to you. For instance, if you are feeling inadequate, you breathe that in for yourself and all the others in the same boat, and you send out confidence and adequacy or relief in any form you wish.
4.  Finally, make the taking in and sending out bigger. If you are doing tonglen for someone you love, extend it out to those who are in the same situation as you or your friend.
I encourage you to see how this practice might help you calm your own anxiety and share the ease and well being with others.

Tapping To Clear Food Cravings

What tapping does incredibly well is disrupt the fight-or-flight response, quickly allowing your
body to return to a more relaxed state in which it can digest food properly and support healthier digestion and faster metabolism.”  
 
Jessica Ortner, author of The Tapping Solution
for Weight Loss & Body Confidence
As we move into the summer holiday, BBQ and eating more season, I thought I would share a new book from our friends at The Tapping Solution.
Whether your goal is releasing excess weight or simply feeling better about your food choices and therefore feeling happier and more confident in your body, these simple practices may be helpful.
Because it’s not about the food!  Ahhhh…
 
The foods we crave may very likely represent comfort, safety, fun or fulfillment in ways that we don’t feel able to access in other, healthier ways.  Be gentle and patient with yourself.
Perhaps eating comforting foods helps us prevent uncomfortable feelings or painful memories.  That’s where tapping helps us to acknowledge those memories and feelings and release the past, so that we can make healthy choices in the present.
Tapping To Release Food Cravings
One of the simplest ways to relieve the struggle, is to tap directly on the cravings, for example:
Set Up Statement:  “Even though I crave this chocolate, I accept myself and all my feelings.”
Reminder Statements:  I need this chocolate now *** I need this chocolate *** I have to have it now *** This craving for chocolate *** I need it now *** This craving for chocolate *** This intense craving *** I can’t focus on anything else!
 
Tapping On the Underlying Feelings
When you are willing to gently explore what may lie beneath your cravings, practice noticing and being present with your feelings – before you reach for the food.  I’m not saying this is easy to do.  Acknowledging and releasing the past with relaxation and tapping can be very effective and help you welcome change into your behavior.
Set Up Statement:  “Even though I crave this food to quiet my feelings, I accept myself and I am safe.”
 
Reminder Statements:  “I need to eat this now *** All these powerful feelings *** I don’t want to feel this *** It’s too much to handle *** So I need this food *** I don’t feel safe *** It’s the only way I can get through this *** All these feelings *** It feels overwhelming.
 
Continue to tap until you feel relief from the intense feelings.  Take a few deep breaths when you next feel the craving and tap before you act on the craving.  Continue this practice each day as you continue to release and heal the past.
Complete your practice with Happy Tapping:
“I’m healing and releasing the past *** I’m grateful for the healing *** My body is my teacher *** I’m feeling so much clearer now *** Making healthy choices *** I’m giving my body love and support *** I’m grateful for my strong, flexible, healthy body *** Thank you, thank you, thank you!

The Amazing Vagus Nerve Complex

The Amazing Vagus Nerve Complex
 
The Vagus Nerve is a cranial nerve that extends up into our brains, even though it is not shown in this image.

Following is a somewhat technical description of our amazing vagus nerve complex.  This is a cranial nerve which, quite elegantly, travels from within our brains, down through all of our major organs, and into our gastro-intestinal system, governing taste, speech, circulation, digestion and so much more.
I am suspecting that our so called gut-brain is influential in so many of our chronic illnesses and conditions.
In our practice on Monday, let’s see if we can imagine sending loving kindness and appreciation to this wonderful and complex part of our bodies.
The vagus nerve is the 10th cranial nerve.
Sensory: Innervates the skin and larynx. Provides visceral sensation to the heart and abdomen.
Special Sensory: Provides taste sensation to the epiglottis and root of the tongue.
Motor: Provides motor innervation to the majority of the muscles of the pharynx, soft palate and larynx.
Parasympathetic: Innervates the smooth muscle of the trachea, bronchi and gastro-intestinal tract and regulates heart rhythm.

Anatomical Course
 
The vagus nerve has the longest course of all the cranial nerves, extending from the head to the abdomen. Its name is derived from the Latin ‘vagary’ – meaning wandering. It is sometimes referred to as the wandering nerve.
In the Head
 
The vagus nerve originates from the medulla of the brain stem.
Within the cranium, the auricular branch arises. This supplies sensation to the posterior part of the external auditory and canal external ear.
In the Neck
At the base of the neck, the right and left nerves have differing pathways:
  • The right vagus nerve passes anterior to the subclavian artery and posterior to the sternoclavicular joint, entering the thorax.
  • The left vagus nerve passes inferiorly between the left common carotid and left subclavian arteries, posterior to the sternoclavicular joint, entering the thorax.
Several branches arise in the neck:
  • Pharyngeal branches – Provides motor innervation to the majority of the muscles of the pharynx and soft palate.
  • Superior laryngeal nerve – Splits into internal and external branches. The external laryngeal nerve innervates the cricothyroid muscle of the larynx. The internal laryngeal provides sensory innervation to the laryngopharynx and superior part of the larynx.
  • Recurrent laryngeal nerve (right side only) – Hooks underneath the right subclavian artery, then ascends towards to the larynx. It innervates the majority of the intrinsic muscles of the larynx.
In the Thorax
In the thorax, the right vagus nerve forms the posterior vagal trunk, and the left forms the anterior vagal trunk. Branches from the vagal trunks contribute to the formation of the oesophageal plexus, which innervates the smooth muscle of the oesophagus.
Two other branches arise in the thorax:
  • Left recurrent laryngeal nerve – it hooks under the arch of the aorta, ascending to innervate the majority of the intrinsic muscles of the larynx.
  • Cardiac branches – these innervate regulate heart rate and provide visceral sensation to the organ.
The vagal trunks enter the abdomen via the oesophageal hiatus, an opening in the diaphragm.
In the Abdomen
 
In the abdomen, the vagal trunks terminate by dividing into branches that supply the oesophagus, stomach and the small and large bowel (up to the splenic flexure).

Sensory Functions
 
There are somatic and visceral components to the sensory function of the vagus nerve.  Somatic refers to sensation from the skin and muscles. This is provided by the auricular nerve, which innervates the skin of the posterior part of the external auditory canal and external ear.
Viscera sensation is that from the organs of the body. The vagus nerve innervates:
  • Laryngopharynx – via the internal laryngeal nerve.
  • Superior aspect of larynx (above vocal folds) – via the internal laryngeal nerve.
  • Heart – via cardiac branches of the vagus nerve.
  • Gastro-intestinal tract (up to the splenic flexure) – via the terminal branches of the vagus nerve.

Special Sensory Functions
 
The vagus nerve has a minor role in taste sensation. It carries afferent fibres from the root of the tongue and epiglottis.

Motor Functions
 
The vagus nerve innervates the majority of the muscles associated with the pharynx and larynx. These muscles are responsible for the initiation of swallowing and phonation.
Muscles of the Pharynx
 
Most of the muscles of the pharynx are innervated by the pharyngeal branchesof the vagus nerve:
  • Superior, middle and inferior pharyngeal constrictor muscles
  • Palatopharyngeus
  • Salpingopharyngeus
An additional muscle of the pharynx, the stylopharyngeus, is innervated by the glossopharyngeal nerve.
Muscles of the Larynx
 
Innervation to the intrinsic muscles of the larynx is achieved via the recurrent laryngeal nerve and external branch of the superior laryngeal nerve.
Recurrent laryngeal nerve:
  • Thyro-arytenoid
  • Posterior crico-arytenoid
  • Lateral crico-arytenoid
  • Transverse and oblique arytenoids
  • Vocalis
External laryngeal nerve:
  • Cricothyroid
Other Muscles
 
In addition to the pharynx and larynx, the vagus nerve also innervates the palatoglossus of the tongue, and the majority of the muscles of the soft palate.

Parasympathetic Functions
 
In the thorax and abdomen, the vagus nerve is the main parasympathetic outflow to the heart and gastro-intestinal organs.
The Heart
 
Cardiac branches arise in the thorax, conveying parasympathetic innervation to the sino-atrial and atrio-ventricular nodes of the heart.
These branches stimulate a reduction in the resting heart rate. They are constantly active, producing a rhythm of 60 – 80 beats per minute. If the vagus nerve was lesioned, the resting heart rate would be around 100 beats per minute.
Gastro-Intestinal System
 
The vagus nerve provides parasympathetic innervation to the majority of the abdominal organs. It sends branches to the oesophagus, stomach and most of the intestinal tract – up to the splenic flexure of the large colon.
The function of the vagus nerve is to stimulate smooth muscle contraction and glandular secretions in these organs. For example, in the stomach, the vagus nerve increases the rate of gastric emptying, and stimulates acid production.

Total Lunar Eclipse on Friday – Transformation or Chaos?

“The full moon on the night of July 27, 2018, presents the longest 
total lunar eclipse of the 21st century. The total phase of the eclipse – 
called the totality – spans 1 hour 42 minutes and 57 seconds.” www.earthsky.org
That’s exciting news!  And, unfortunately, we won’t be able to see the eclipse from north America this time.  I did find a place in Israel that will be live casting at www.bareket-astro.com, if you would like to follow the event. If you are in Asia or Africa – enjoy!
I’ve also been hearing a lot of conversation about the astrological and emotional implications of this full moon and the eclipse.  So I got curious to see what I could learn.
1.  Be aware that we will feel the emotional effects of the eclipse before, during and after the event.  No wonder I wrote about all of the dust and emotions I stirred up last week in my garage.  Ahhhh…
2.  This is a great time to review, reconsider, rethink and reflect on your core values.  As a life coach, I get excited about Visioning meditations and asking powerful questions:
–  What have I been resisting, denying or putting off?
–  What are my core values and how do I honor them?
–  Where am I out of alignment with what is truly important to me?
–  How may I deepen and nurture my relationships?
–  What will give me greater ease, comfort and wellbeing in my body?
Now is the time to be open to change.  Be patient with yourself and others.  Be open to surprises and unexpected opportunities.  Practice extreme self-care and patience with the process.  Ahhhh…

Honoring the life of Louise L. Hay

“The very person you find it hardest to forgive is the one
you need to let go of the most. Forgiveness means giving up,
letting go. It has nothing to do with condoning behavior.
It’s just letting the whole thing go. We do not have to know
How to forgive. All we need to do is to be Willing to forgive.
The Universe will take care of the hows.”
You Can Heal Your Life by Louise L. Hay
Louise L. Hay, who just passed away on August 30th at the age of 91, was one of the most influential teachers in my life. I am deeply grateful for her wisdom, compassion, humor and guidance.
In 1985 when my mother passed away and I was falling apart emotionally, one of my friends in my Al Anon twelve step group recommended Louise Hay’s book You Can Heal Your Life to me.
I still have that very tattered book and look to her insight and wisdom about healing and forgiveness often.
Louise led an extraordinary life as an author, speaker, publisher, artist and so much more. Her publishing company, Hay House, continues to bring inspiring books, affirmation cards, calendars and much more into the world. Please visit www.louisehay.com for more information and a timeline of her achievements.
When I was first practicing affirmations, over 30 years ago, I was still learning that the key to healing is forgiveness and letting go.
In recent years, Louise has collaborated with Nick Ortner and the Tapping Solution to add EFT tapping to her affirmations. I have found the addition of tapping to my affirmations to be extremely powerful and effective.
Perhaps you are already familiar with affirmations, or perhaps you are new to the tapping practice. In any case, I encourage you to combine your affirmations with the EFT tapping practice for amazing results.
And join me in honoring the life and work of this beautiful, gracious, talented and inspiring teacher.

Restful Sleep & Sweet Dreams

  • Are you having trouble sleeping sufficiently?
  • Is lack of sleep effecting your quality of life?
  • Does grumpiness get in the way of your JOY?
I hear you!  So many of my clients express their difficulty with sleep – either getting to sleep or getting to sleep and then waking up and not being able to get back to sleep.
Ahhhhh…
Here are several suggestions to improve the quality and quantity of your sleep – leading to peaceful rest and sweet dreams.
1.  Turn Off the TV – To improve your sleep, you might consider improving your sleep environment. Clear your bedroom of your TV or other distractions, including computers, work materials, and any noises and bright lights.
Research also suggests that TVs and computers generate electromagnetic fields (EMFs). These may disrupt the pineal gland, the source of the hormone melatonin, which regulates the body’s circadian rhythms responsible for maintaining sleep cycles.
2.  Replace Worn-Out Pillows and Mattresses – I just realized recently that I can’t remember the last time I replaced my pillow.  We do enjoy our Tempurpedic mattress and it’s such a delight to sleep on new sheets and pillow cases.
3.  Reduce caffeine consumption and/or avoid caffeine later in the day.  For an all-natural energy-booster, try taking a vitamin B-12 supplement. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition shows that this antioxidant is vital for energy production. B12 may also help to metabolize carbohydrates, fat and proteins, and promote healthy growth, cardiovascular and neurological health.
4.  Listen to relaxing music – Listening to relaxing music signals your mind and body that it’s time to slow down and sleep. A Journal of Advanced Nursing study found that soothing music had a very positive effect on the sleeping habits of adults.
5.  Bedtime routine is important – Your brain and body need to unwind before sleep can occur. That’s why you need to establish
bedtime “rituals”; take a bath, meditate, do some easy stretches or yoga — anything that lets the stress and chaos of the day melt away.

Perform your routine in the same way, in the same place, and at the same time each night. This repetition triggers your mind and body that it’s time to relax and sleep.
Also eliminate negative activities or items, which are associated with sleeplessness. For example, if looking at a bedroom clock makes you anxious about how long you have until you need to get up, move the clock out of sight.
6.  Acupuncture or EFT Tapping – Multiple clinical studies found that acupuncture may provide relief for insomnia. This technique involves inserting and manipulating thread-like needles into hundreds of “acupuncture points” on the body.  Or simply tapping around on the body points will relax and calm your body and mind.
7.  Stimulus-Control Therapy for insomnia:
a.  Go to bed only when sleepy.
b.  Allow yourself 15 – 20 minutes to fall asleep.
c.  If not asleep within 15 – 20 minutes, get out of bed, go to another room, and engage in a calming activity (such as reading) until you feel sleepy.
d.  Repeat steps 1 – 3 as often as necessary.
e.  Get up at the same time each morning, even if you had a difficult night.

8.  If All Else Fails – One of my favorite natural remedies is Bach Flower Essences.  I’ve used Rescue Remedy for years and they also have Rescue Sleep.  Both are available at Whole Food or Pharmica.

How Bundling Baggage Heals the Past

One of the first tapping techniques I learned years ago was called the Personal Peace Process.

It involved making a list of all of the events, relationships and circumstances from the past that you want to heal.  Then tapping on one item each day, until you have reduced the intensity on it all.
Ahhhhh…
And then I learned a much quicker and more effective way to heal and release the past called Bundling Baggage.
We’ll practice this in class together this week and you can practice this on your own as well.
1.  Choose the topic for your tapping session – an illness, a relationship, an event, such as an accident or a big disappointment.  You might even choose your childhood or past relationship for the session.
2.  Imagine that all of the details of your chosen topic are placed in front of you in a big pile.
3.  Describe the pile visually – size, color, shape, smell – is it like a big pile of steaming dung?
Is it as big as a car, as big as a house, as big as a mountain?
4.  Take note of the intensity of the pile when you begin.  On a scale of 0 to 10, with 10 being the highest, how intense does the pile seem?
5.  Tap on the pile with your Set Up Statement:
Even though I have this big, steaming pile of dung – and part of me is holding on – for whatever reason, I choose to release and let go with love and acceptance.”
Even though I have this huge pile – it’s as big as my house and it’s dark and scary looking, part of me is holding on, for whatever reason – maybe it’s keeping me safe.  I now choose to be open and release this pile.  I love, accept and forgive myself, and I am safe.”
5.  Tap around on the body points with your Reminder Statements:
This big, steaming pile of dung – big steaming pile – big steaming pile.  It really stinks!  This big, steaming pile.”
You can speak about the details as you are tapping, or simply repeat what you are calling the pile for now.
6.  Continue to tap on the pile, seeing it in front of you, until the intensity begins to come down.
7.  Close your eyes and Check In with the image of the pile in front of you.  Has it changed?  Gotten smaller?  Transformed into something else?
8.  Come back with a revised Set Up Statement and tap around some more on the body points.
9.  You may be amazed that the pile gets smaller, less intense and may even transform into something else.
When I first did this tapping exercise I started with a swamp and it turned into a meadow.  I was amazed!
 
Be gentle with yourself – be playful with this process – pretend you can see the pile.  
 
Your subconscious mind works with imagery and may surprise you with information and details you haven’t expected.  Allow this to be light and enjoyable.
Your willingness to release the past is the key to releasing your accumulated baggage and it’s effect on your life and health.
Happy Tapping!

Forgiveness & Letting Go of the Past

We are all affected by the world around us, as well as our own thoughts and beliefs.  Sometimes the world feels like a scary place and we are not sure how to respond or maintain our balance.
This week I want to share some thoughts on forgiveness with the hope that these suggestions will help you return to your center, open to wisdom, insight and clarity and gain peace within.
Ask For Guidance to Healing
When centering in Meditation, you might ask to be guided to a memory from the past that will assist you in your healing.  Trust where you are guided and work with that information with tapping, journaling and in forgiveness practice.
EFT tapping is very effective to help us re-imagine and heal something from the past that may still be held in our subconscious mind.
Add Forgiveness to Your Set Up Statement
 
I find it helpful and comforting to say “I love and accept and forgive myself” when I begin tapping with a Set Up statement.  I also find myself saying “I am open to the healing and I’m willing to let go of the past”.
What Does This Remind You Of?
When a condition or circumstance is disturbing us in the present, it can be enlightening to ask “What does this remind me of?”  “When have I felt this resentment and frustration before?”  Or “Might there be a pattern here that I might be willing to release?”.
All of these suggestions come back to our willingness to forgive ourselves and others.  When we realize that holding onto the past does not serve us, it’s time to relax, release and let it go.
Freedom To Choose
This does not mean that we passively accept behavior or circumstances that are harmful or unhealthy.  A practice of forgiveness actually frees us to choose our response – to choose how we behave in the present moment.  We are able to establish healthy boundaries and ask for what we need to feel safe.

Is my pain physical or emotional or both?

Is my pain physical or emotional or both?
As you continue down the path of practicing Meditation and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) tapping to support you with your health and well being, you may have already enjoyed the amazing benefits of pain relief with this practice.
Thank goodness for EFT!  It’s simply magic.
If you have yet to try tapping or have yet to truly integrate it into your self-care, now is the time to begin.
Pain relief is one of the simplest and most effective applications for EFT.
When I first learned tapping, it was for relief of really nasty chronic back pain.  I tapped every day for two weeks and the pain was gone!  Really. It’s never come back, except briefly last summer, when I changed my exercise routine.
Yes, it scared me and I tapped and went right back to the strength training exercises that had been working for me.  Within three days, the pain was gone.  Yay!
You may also have discovered that pain is not simply physical.  Often we have strong emotions, memories and beliefs associated with the pain.
This is significant.
It can be effective to ask for clarity in your Meditation and then tap on the information that is revealed about the SADNESS, ANGER, FEAR OR FRUSTRATION that comes with the pain.
Simply say, “All this sadness”, or “All this fear”, as you tap around on the body points.
Then check in with your physical symptoms and sensations.  Most often you will gain relief, clarity and ease with the physical pain.
Remember to add CHOICE STATEMENTS to your final round as you relax and let go of the pain:
“I now choose to relax and let go.”
 
“I choose to accept this healing now.”
 
“I give thanks for the comfort and ease that I feel.”
 
And practice a little bit every day to really see results.
May this practice help you to be a healthier and a happier you.