Saturday, September 25, 2010

Family Knots

I want to be the mother that practically trips over her adult children with every turn.  I want to be the mother that can say something and have her adult children hear it without making a long distance phone call.  I want to be the grandmother who has to clean up crayon drawings from her furniture and witness her grandchildren repeatedly remove their diapers only to pee on her carpet.

I want to be the mother that I know exists but isn't exemplified in my familial world.

When I was growing up, I envied my friends who had cousins they saw daily or weekly.  I envied those friends that would talk about 'aunt' and 'uncle' in the same breath as 'mom' and 'dad'.  I heard about huge weekend gatherings, family celebrations, and wondered what that felt like.

I love my family.  Each of my parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. - they are a part of me and each has an important place in my life - my history and my future.  But no two of us live in the same city, with the exception of my sister and father.  While I was fortunate enough to live with my mother recently, we are now once again in different towns, albeit neighboring ones. 

My relatives on my mother's side are all in different states - most of them in the same state, but again, spread out in different cities.  My mother left home and moved to a different state.  My mother's parents and their families were all spread out in the United States and the older generations - far away in their home country.

My relatives on my father's side are in different countries.  My father and his brother left home as soon as they could, moved to different countries and raised their children far away from their own parents and from each other.  My father's mother left her country and siblings as well. 

My family tree literally spans the globe.

Some of us try to stay in touch, have family reunions whenever we can, but we are not 'close' in proximity, and because of this, we are not close in life.  In essence, we are like individual pieces of rope dangling from the branches of our family tree - some of us connecting and forming knots that keep us close together in life, but many of us remaining just out of reach.  Even if two ends of a rope can touch, there isn't enough slack to tie them together.  We connect through blood but fail to be close enough to connect in everyday life.

Is it just the distance that separates us, or is it something greater that pushes us apart?

While each of my relatives has their own varying degree of connection to each other, from my perspective I am knotted only to my children - and to them I'm so tightly bound I'm certain they feel suffocated.  At ages five and three, however, I say - too bad!  I believe it's important they have that sense of security and 'attachment' as they grow.

But how do I keep them from untying my knots when they reach adulthood?  Sure, one day they'll go to college, travel the world - but I want it take place while still tied securely to me and to each other. Stretching out as far as they need, providing freedom to breathe and grow independently, but assuring that it pulls us right back together when they are ready to settle down.  How do I begin the process of tying knots today that will hold steadfastly when my children become adults and start their own families?

Until my children were born I felt alone in the world.  Not because I didn't have the support of my siblings and parents, but because physically, proximally, I just did not feel connected to my relatives.  I could call them, email them, etc., but we weren't together.  None of us tried to stay together - I'm just as responsible for this choice as they are. We moved away, in different directions. Perhaps it's because we're all different people.  Individuals in thought and ambition, and therefore sharing a parallel life is impossible.  We love each other, but from afar.  We go through our lives alone, forming connections and bonds with those people we find in life, not those on our family tree.

With EFT, Emotional Freedom Technique, we gain freedom from emotional blocks that cause physical manifestations of something - from a headache, to a bad relationship, to maybe even a family pattern.  Sometimes we learn that we carry down emotional blocks (issues) from our parents and grandparents.  It's why we have the saying 'She married her father' - good or bad.  How do we clear an issue that may come down through generations and not even be something we're aware of?  How do we break free so that we can walk a different path, form a new pattern? 

I'm thinking all I need to know is what I don't want to repeat. Perhaps being aware of the pattern is the biggest challenge. But then what?

As I look at my beautiful, sleeping children tonight, I wish with all my heart that the pattern that seems to be inherent on every branch of my family tree can stop with me.  As I examine my family pattern, examine how I'm unconciously a part of this pattern, how can I change it for my children?  How can I break the pattern for the next branches of our tree and create a genuine desire for each of us to want to remain tightly clustered together as we grow through life?   

I want to be the mother that I know exists but isn't exemplified in my familial world. I want to be the mother that starts a new pattern.  I want to be the mother that makes family knots and watches proudly as they multiply and tighten, generation after generation after generation.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

So what is EFT?

I like to think of EFT as acupuncture without the needles, combined with positive affirmations.  When I first learned about EFT, I already had a good idea of how the human body worked thanks to my Master's education in Forensic Anthropology.  I also had used an acupuncturist on several occasions to help me stop smoking, lose weight, get pain relief, etc..  Yet, just about anyone knows the general placement of the brain, digestive system, bones, etc.  Unless we are specialists, we likely don't know the names or placement precisely, but most of us can still conjure up a rough sketch.  We can picture our circulatory system of arteries, veins and vessels branching out through our bodies.  Just as blood flows through our veins, energy flows through its own intricate system of channels. EFT operates on the same system of energy lines that acupuncture does. Acupuncturists spend years studying and memorizing this intricate system - if you want pain relief, they stick you in one place; want to stop smoking, they have a different set of points for that.

So EFT founder Gary Craig, now retired, came along and found a shortcut.  If you tap along the meridian at the end point, that pulse from the tapping will travel throughout the length of the meridian and clear out blocks whether you know they are there or not, just in the same manner as a needle being placed in a blocked spot would. 

But how do you know which meridian to tap on for, say, pain in your leg?

Well, there aren't that many meridians that you need to tap.  Gary Craig developed a technique for tapping where you can work through each of the main meridians within just a few minutes!  By going through all of them, you don't need to know where the block is specifically.

The trick comes with knowing what to say while you're tapping.  Self-examination is a challenge for most of us, especially the honest kind, so I think while we can effectively tap through some problems very successfully (I have a headache), knowing that buried reason what keeps causing that problem (I get daily tension headaches, my children are screaming and they don't listen, so I'm shouting because I'm frustrated with always being ignored, which stems way back to when I was a kid feeling frustrated with my mother for ignoring or shouting at me) sometimes takes an outside observer to help uncover.  But once you discover the root, you can easily tap it out yourself.

The theory is that a large percentage of our physical ailments stem from emotional 'blocks'.  When you suddenly can't find your child and you get that wave of panic, that sinking feeling in your stomach - those are physical responses to an emotional state.  When we are terrified and get that release of adrenline to help us run away - that is a physical response to an emotional state.  The problem is, if we get lots of physical responses to all of our various emotions - stress, heartbreak, fear, anger - we get, in a sense, blocked up.  We start to feel sick, we get headaches, random pains in our bodies.  If we continue being blocked up, the theory is that we develop conditions like depression, chronic fatique, tumors, etc.  EFT helps us clear out those blocks to prevent and/or heal.  Since we are such emotional beings, using EFT on a regular basis to deal with all the 'downs' in our lives, will help us to have more 'ups'.

Now this is all a theory, and my explanation of EFT may or may not be how others explain it, but what I do know is that if you are interested, research it.  Try it!  Lots of practitioners offer free generic scripts for you to try out.  Pam Powers, my friend and EFT 'guru', shows you how to tap on her website, and will be posting EFT scripts here after I blog about a problem or challenge I'm dealing with.  If you're dealing with the same issue, tap with me!

In the last six years I've married, had two children, divorced, moved fived times to three different states, had lots of money, been completely broke, been employed and unemployed.  EFT has been there to help me with ALL of it.  I've decided it's time to do my part and spread the word about this amazing new healing technique that everyone should be using, because everyone can be helped by it, whether you pay for it or not.  This blog will serve as a 'fly on the wall' opportunity for you to hear details of my conversations with Pam - what problems I'm experiencing, and what to tap through.  And I'll do my best to always post follow-ups.  If you try it, please share with us your experiences as well!!


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Why this blog?

As a single mom of two young children I feel the spectrum of emotions on any given day - from joy and pride and complete happiness, to frustration, anger and sheer misery. Each day seems to present a new challenge, whether I've conquered the previous ones or not. It is with EFT that my kids and I survive these challenging days. This 'new' form of therapy has proved invaluable, so I'm opening up my therapy sessions with Pamela Powers - an expert in EFT as well as a published author - in order to spread the word and hopefully help (and entertain) parents everywhere. Pam's insights will provide a perspective that I am certain you will not likely run across elsewhere, and the results will make you wonder how you've managed without her!