Leaning Into The Feeling

Increasing your effectiveness with EFT, part 121.

I’ve always wondered about the “internal” aspect of EFT, meaning not the words we say out loud while we tap, but our inner experience: what goes on mentally and emotionally “on the inside”. Reflecting on my own experience with EFT, I believe this internal aspect has played a big role in why EFT works much better for me now than it did years ago. That’s what I’d like to talk about today.

There are two main aspects I’ve improved on when tapping on my own issues (whether by myself or with a practitioner): knowing how to “tune in” and “remain tuned in” to the emotional charge of the issue I’m tapping on, and meeting myself where I’m at, without trying to bypass any part of me that might be feeling or thinking something I don’t like. Both these aspects might be summed up as “leaning into the feeling”.

For example, years ago, the only time EFT would bring relief was when I was so sad that I would be crying and tapping at the same time. I think the reason it worked so well in those moments was because I allowed myself to lean into those sad feelings.

On the other hand, when I felt anxious or nervous about a social situation and tried tapping frantically with the agenda of making the feeling go away as fast as possible, the tapping didn’t work. It didn’t matter if I used the phrase “I deeply and completely accept myself” or any other variation. I wasn’t really meeting myself where I was. As they say, “what you resist persists”. It’s not about the phrases we use. The phrases, in any case, can invite us to adopt a certain mental attitude.

Sometimes what might get in the way of that is self-judgment. In these cases, rather than trying to bypass the self-judgment (or whatever “negative” thought or feeling that seems to be getting in the way), it’s best to meet ourselves where we are and change our focus towards that. Let’s lean into that, “give the microphone to it”, and allow it to be listened to.

A caveat worth mentioning is that it’s important that we don’t force ourselves to “lean into the feeling”. If you find yourself feeling, for example, afraid to do this, don’t try to bypass it. Instead, meet yourself exactly where you are by shifting your focus towards it and, in any case, “lean into” this fear by giving the microphone to it. 

This gentle approach is known in EFT as “Sneaking Up”, for example, when we use a phrase such as: “Even though I feel afraid just thinking about the possibility of working on this issue, this is just where I’m at right now”. Rest assured that by doing that you are in fact working on the issue, but in a more gentle and “titrated” way.

I’m Bruno Sade, a clinical psychologist and Certified Advanced EFT Practitioner. My approach is compassionate and tailored to your unique experiences and needs.

What do you think about this approach? Have you or your clients found certain attitudes helpful during EFT? I’d love to hear about your experiences. Your feedback is crucial for shaping our discussions. Please share your thoughts below or reach out to me directly.

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