November 2008 Jo Hainsworth
Gratitude and EFT - Emotional Freedom Techniques
Gratitude can be such an amazing force in our lives. As we focus our mind on all that we are thankful for, we are putting our energy directly into what we want in our lives, and putting out the vibration to attract even more of it. Gratitude can really help us to keep a positive attitude while we work towards true health.
Many years ago when I was seriously ill with CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) I saw a T.V. show on Oprah about an author who suggested keeping a gratitude journal. I was in so much pain and so low in energy that I was finding it very difficult to be thankful for anything. Determined to change that, I decided to commit to what the author suggested, and write at least five things I was thankful for each day. In the beginning it was really difficult, some days all I could write was that I was still alive, that I had people who cared about me, or on a good day I could write that I was thankful for having had enough energy to have a shower. Over time however it was amazing, I found myself writing more and more entries each day. Where initially I had struggled to find five, after a couple of weeks I was filling a page with things I was thankful for. I’m sure this was a big part of me turning things around in my personal journey to health.
While I am a real gratitude junkie and live the energy of gratitude every day, I am concerned to see that sometimes people use gratitude, like positive thinking in general, to simply place a thin coat of paint over a wall covered in unhealthy feelings and beliefs. The so called positive thinking movement over the last couple of decades has led to many people thinking it’s not OK to have feelings or thoughts that are in any way negative, and instead focusing entirely on seeing the good in a situation. This is where I feel that methods like EFT really help us so much. Gratitude is so important, and one of the ways to bring more of this energy into our life is to work to clear all the writing on our walls – beliefs, feelings, points of view – that undermines our ability to be truly thankful for everything in our lives.
EFT has also taught so many of us that self acceptance is often the key to our healing. True self acceptance means that we need to learn to accept all of our feelings, not only the “positive” ones, but those that we so often consider to be negative as well. Being thankful for those things and people and situations in our lives that we are truly grateful for is wonderful, however to fully accept ourselves, we also need to find a way to accept those aspects of ourselves that we aren’t currently feeling thankful for.
If you would like to work with EFT and gratitude, here are a few ideas that you could incorporate into your day:
- Start you day with an EFT Choices statement that reflects how you are feeling about gratitude in the moment. For example, you may tap with “Even though I have been so focused on what is going wrong in my life, I now choose to notice all the great things in my life and give thanks for them throughout the day.” (If you don’t know about the EFT Choices method, you can download a free copy of EFT Master Patricia Carrington’s e-book The Magic of Choices in EFT which teaches this method.)
- Make a list of all the things in your life that you are not feeling thankful for. Find some time each day to pick one item from the list and work with it with EFT. This way you will be able to clear issues that are causing you concern, instead of just painting over them and pretending they are not there, only to find them surfacing again at a later date.
- Spend some time thinking about all the things you don’t accept about yourself, and do some tapping with these. This doesn’t mean that you have to accept that you will always have a particular challenge in your life, it simply means that no matter what is happening, and no matter how you are feeling, you accept yourself and your feelings right now. It is only when we truly accept ourselves and how we are feeling that all of our energy is aligned and able to move forward on a particular issue. This is one reason why EFT is so very powerful – each time we tap on an EFT statement we are moving ourselves closer to self acceptance. Often when we tap, we are able to see that a particular behaviour pattern was formed in order to protect ourselves and keep us safe when we were young, and then we are able to be thankful for that part of us, knowing that although we don’t like the behaviour, that part of us is driving us in that direction for what it perceives to be good reasons. Once we accept that part of us is working for our good, we are able to get it on the same team as us and work together for a better solution.
- In the same way as you did with aspects of yourself you can’t accept, think about the aspects of someone close to you that you are struggling to accept and be thankful for. Use EFT to clear the issues surrounding your relationship, and you may well find yourself much more able to focus on the things about the person that you love and are thankful for.
Clearing our blocks to gratitude enables us to be thankful for more and more each day, and in doing so really helps us to heal with hope.
Jo Hainsworth is the creator of the Self Healing Portal, a website devoted to making available free information to empower people to take their health and happiness into their own hands. Jo is also author of the free book “You CAN Heal with EFT”. Having healed a long term chronic illness with the help of EFT, Jo is passionate about the potential for EFT in self healing and is always thankful for the opportunity to help spread the word about this amazing method of healing.