So I think it’s safe to say 2020 didn’t quite go the way any of us planned! But I have found some pretty exciting things happening amidst the chaos, and one of those is that I recently took the plunge in starting my training as an EFT practitioner, alongside my dance career. Excited! Now you may be wondering firstly- what is EFT, and secondly how is it relevant to me as a performer/creative person?
These are great questions! In answer to the second, I think it’s important to note that we have to put who we are before what we do. As humans we are a magnificent tapestry of every past experience we’ve ever had (both good and bad.) Really when you think of it that way, each of us carries a whole world inside of us. We’re planets constantly orbiting one another. So it’s not surprising, that life (and by that I mean we) get a little messy sometimes. And this is where EFT comes in. In order to be the most effective performers and creatives we can be, we need a way of navigating the highs and lows that come our way. It’s never fun when we feel stuck experiencing a yo-yo of emotions that we’d rather not. It’s like a rollercoaster we didn’t pay for! (Honestly I’d rather go to Alton Towers :P) EFT however puts us back in the drivers seat, so we can clear negative unwanted emotions in situations that are triggering, thus giving us back control over them. With EFT, we are able to step into the most empowered version of ourselves. It may sound a little cuckoo that you can feel so differently about something (in some cases after as little as one session,) but I promise you it is totally possible!
So with that a little clearer, I will now address the first part of the question: what is EFT?
What EFT Is Not…
Perhaps when you’re reading this, you are thinking you’ve tried many things, so first of all let me put your mind at ease and tell you what EFT is not. It is not some form of magical thinking based on hard work where you just have to ‘think’ more positively. Nor is it therapy. You don’t sit around talking about your problems all day (although there may be some talking, but only whilst clearing an issue, and once it’s done, it is done!)
So What Is EFT?
EFT is short for Emotional Freedom Technique (also known as tapping- but not the dancing kind) and is essentially an energy therapy with a growing body of scientific evidence to support it. It involves tapping on the body along various meridian points whilst thinking about an issue you are wanting to shift. I am aware that it may sound a little ‘out there,’ (I myself when I first came across it thought it was a bit quirky to say the least!) However I always encourage people to never take things on blind faith (I’m always that person placebos never work for anyway) so I always advise just approaching things with an open mind and getting to feel the difference for yourself! I would also say, please don’t worry about whether you subscribe to the whole energy idea- it won’t interfere with the effectiveness of it (although these things do benefit best from keeping an open mind) and you don’t even have to believe it’s going to work. If it’s more comfortable for you, you can look at it from a scientific perspective instead (yay for science!) I’ll be discussing the science behind EFT in another post so stay tuned for that (yes I know, I sound like a TV presenter) but in this post I’m going to be sharing what EFT does and how it’s relevant for us creative types.
What Does EFT Do?
The reason I’m so passionate about EFT is because it can change the way we emotionally experience and recall memories, which is huge- AND it can do it in a relatively short space of time. It can also take the charge out of limiting beliefs (thus giving us the freedom to choose new ones, huzzah!) Most importantly, the differences are TANGIBLE. It’s wonderful to have something that isn’t just about thinking a new thought over and over again, or just having to ‘try harder.’ And let’s face it, we’ve all been there and got the t-shirt! How many times do we find ourselves in situations where we are fighting to be free of the same thoughts, or limiting beliefs, feeling like no matter how determined we are, something just isn’t shifting. If it were simply a matter of trying harder, I truly believe we’d all be walking on sunshine! As humans, it is in our nature to TRY. And to keep trying. But what’s great about EFT is that it is NOT about trying harder. In fact, it’s about making things easier. It’s about making the hard things effortless, and experiencing greater freedom in who we really are and who we want to become.
What Can Emotional Freedom Technique Help With?
The list is pretty extensive, so below is just some of the most common issues that it can help resolve:
Eating disorders and body dysmorphia
And much more!
To Be Clear…
Obviously this is only just the basics, and really this post only just scratches the surface but it’s important to note that with EFT, it is never about making an unpleasant thing pleasant. It is-put simply- just about taking the negative emotional charge away where it is unwanted and impacting on our present. We don’t have to keep reliving things that are unhelpful to us, and it allows us the freedom to take something from emotionally charged to factual. Think of it a bit like a filing system: it enables us to file away the things we don’t want to look at every day. At a very basic neuroscience level it essentially allows us to change the amygdalas emotional memories where they are problematic, and helps us retrain pathways in our brain. Don’t panic if that sounds like word salad as I will be explaining about this more fully in a separate post! You don’t need to understand all this for it to work, but if you’re anything like me and you love to know the how, then I wanted to include this!
You may wonder why I’m including posts on EFT on a dancing blog. It is common for us creative types to feel things deeply, and the demands of the industry are high. It takes a lot of guts and courage as well as being a high demand on your energy to put yourself out there for auditions, or perform night after night- not to mention that sometimes we are our own worst critics. It is paramount as performers that we cultivate resilience, not from a place of having to ‘toughen up’ but from a space of being able to listen to ourselves and know how to heal where needed. For this reason EFT can be a wonderful tool in our self care toolkit. But truly it is relevant for anyone 🙂
The great thing to remember about EFT, is it is long lasting! You don’t have have to keep revisiting the same thing over and over which is pretty impressive. It allows us to heal beautifully and with ease but can also just be really good for the every day stuff too. If you’re wanting to know more about Emotional Freedom Technique, or you have any questions, feel free to pop them in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!