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Weekly Insights

There is Always a Gift – Kate Helder

By Weekly Insights

It’s 10.55am, one week after my mothers passing and I’m sitting in my car awaiting the update in Melbourne regarding COVID numbers and next steps to ‘secure’ the State of Victoria. In my heart I already knew that our plans for mums’ funeral were about to be thwarted, yet I still held onto a glimmer of hope that we could proceed as planned with family and friends present. Alas, no such luck – funerals would now proceed capped at 10 people!

I sat, with the sun streaming through the windscreen, watching the breeze gently moving the autumn leaves and felt fully present in this moment in time. I did not yell, yet I felt deep disappointment and sat in silence as I digested the information. A couple of days prior I didn’t feel so balanced when it was announced we were all going to have to wear face masks as well as socially distance during the upcoming funeral service. The thought of not being able to see facial expressions or to be able to hug at this time, really triggered me.

Today was different though, I was numb, I was numb to the news and in the cycle of grief, now trying to navigate my way through these emotions to a place of acceptance was challenging. I tapped on some of the EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) points, I turned my attention to my breath and made sure I was able to take slow and deep diaphragmatic breaths just to regulate my body and bring me back to what was needed in this moment. The next steps for the service, do we go ahead, do we postpone, who will be the ten people?

During times of stress as our body is flooded with the stress hormone cortisol and our ability to access problem solving skills goes offline, it’s really important to have access to a technique that allows you to calm your physiology in the moment and for me Tapping and being fully present to my breath, did the trick.

Having made all the necessary arrangements, here’s my flip side, I opted for the salty crisps and a glass or two of wine that evening to ‘ease the pain’ and you know what, in the moment, it really helped. I went to bed, shed several tears and turned my attention as I drifted into slumber, to the desire to find a place of acceptance and calm with this situation.

On waking the following day, the morning of mums’ funeral I had found a sense of peace. Hey, we were just one of thousands of others who had been impacted by this lockdown and it wasn’t as if mums passing was unexpected. Today’s funeral service wasn’t about me, what my brother, our extended family and friends would have preferred, it was about honouring the process of transition from the physical, to realms beyond and apparently this is how we were doing it thanks to the pandemic. My brothers and my immediate family and three of mums oldest and dearest school friends were together, to honour this next phase of her journey.

“In every Moment of your life your choice is always the same: to move into Reaction or Creation.” – Neale Donald Walsch

Reading a eulogy in front of a room full of empty chairs, mums’ casket to my right, nine others seated and remembering to glance up at the camera in the ceiling for the benefit of our virtual audience was challenging. I desperately wanted to get through the eulogy without losing it and to express in an honest and tender way my journey with mum from the depth of my heart. I had envisioned this process in my mind’s eye, I had practiced the delivery a handful of times and then in the end I just surrendered to the process, breathed and allowed the flow. As an aside, I’d given permission for a dear friend and EFT expert to surrogate tap for me to ‘get through this’ and seemingly it worked.

With lockdown in full swing in Melbourne, we were not able to gather after the ceremony for a glass of bubbles, even a cuppa, or in our homes with the support of friends. Instead, we said our farewells in the carpark on this gloomy Melbourne day and I watched mums’ three dear friends in their 80’s return to their cars. They did not have the support of a partner or one of their children at this time of need as they too managed their grief. It was heart wrenching.

That afternoon I got really still and present to all that had unfolded. The intimate service, the beautiful messages from friends who joined us virtually and the love that was present. At home, surrounded by flowers, I went through items of mums that I had collected from her aged care facility earlier in the week, played soothing music and just allowed myself the space and time to BE in the process.

I truly feel, even though the day wasn’t as we all would have liked, it did present me with the opportunity to sit in the stillness, the un-comfortability and bear witness to my vulnerability and willingness to accept the here and now. The way my awareness of this space-time supported my healing, was profound.

I do wonder how it may have been different if not for the lockdown and how I would have felt with the social aspect of a funeral under normal circumstances. A lot of ‘small talk’ with distant friends of mums who may have turned up on the day. The gestures of kindness extended and my need to feel as if I gave my full attention to others, so they knew they were appreciated for their connection and their presence on the day. Has this possibly been a true gift for me?

It’s interesting how we react to challenging situations differently, but there’s one thing I know for sure and that is if it hadn’t been for my embodiment of self-care practices, I could still be having the best of pity parties rather than feeling comfortable just to BE! What is it for you, that brings you back to centre in the moment?

If you’re facing challenges, feeling stressed and EFT/tapping is new to you, this is a great place to start.

OR if you’d like one-on-one support, I’m here and my next 5-week coaching program, Inner Light Alchemy, commences mid July – details here.

There is always a gift –  let’s choose to notice.

Photo by Chris Lawton on Unsplash

A Journey into the Heart – a memoir from our Co-Founder, Kate Helder

By Weekly Insights One Comment

Is it human nature to resist change until the stakes are so high that we do so out of necessity rather than choice? We often hear stories of significant change when people are faced with a health crisis – the daunting announcement of a terminal disease; for example, the big C for Cancer. Or today perhaps, the big C is for Coronavirus. We hear of miraculous healings as a result of people embracing radical change; we learn of planetary healing as a result of enforced change imposed by a virus affecting the way we exist. Could it be possible that we can pre-empt change and navigate this space more elegantly with the knowledge and tools of those who have gone before us? What does it take for us to collectively wake up, to emerge from our cocoon of supposed safety – this place which for many, is not nurturing as we might expect but rather a place of ‘dis-ease’, stifling our creative passion and ability to shine our light in the world? Could it be our firmly held beliefs that have manifested from our deep wounds that are the obstacles holding us back, keeping us from a life filled with passion, purpose and abundance?

This is my story – a story perhaps no more remarkable than your own but a journey into the heart nonetheless. It is my search for passion and purpose, the challenges I faced, the life lessons, the choices made and the miracles that came into play. From scepticism fuelled by a life lived in the ego, one of suffer and struggle to one of surrender and flow from the heart, this is the divine contrast and my story. You may see yourself in these pages and choose to join me, as we emerge collectively as conscious evolutionary ‘heart beings’.

‘Why Go There?’ is your call to action. We don’t have to wait for a personal crisis or a pandemic to explore the unknown, to explore living consciously. You may feel: why would I want to spend my precious time considering another technique or process that will supposedly make a positive difference in my life? I know, you’re busy, you’ve heard it all before, you’ve tried many self-help techniques, you’ve read all the books and attended all the seminars. I hear you. I had, too. Yet from personal experience I believe there’s possibility in these pages. Possibility for you, if you’re open to it, of feeling called to a new way of being, a new way of be-ing in your life. Is NOW the time for nourishment of your soul? Are you feeling called?

If this speaks to you, make a cup of tea, put your feet up and spend an hour or two with me – I’d be honoured.

Deep Gratitude, Kate.

PS. Here’s the link, download it to your device and access when you’re ready.

Stages of Life – Tapping for Teens (Goals) – Dr Peta Stapleton

By Weekly Insights One Comment

Some years ago when I was teaching a group of Year 11 students how to use tapping for things like exam anxiety and fear of failure, one of the students asked about using tapping for goals. So we taught them the EFT technique for goal setting.

All the students wrote down a list of goals they wanted and then a list of excuses or reasons the goals might not come true. One of them volunteered to tap with me as a demonstration. He really wanted to become the School Captain for the final year of school (the following year).

His list of reasons that he might NOT become school captain were:

– No one really knows me as I am quiet
– I haven’t been at the school for the whole time (he came in Year 10)
– I don’t know if I can give a good enough speech at the assembly where potential students vied for the position (for voting)
– I have never really won anything before, why would I win now

We used those exact statements and put them in the formula (Even though…) – and tapped our way through them. The other students tapped along with us. We got to the end and he felt pretty relaxed. I asked what his BELIEF was now that he might become the school captain, and he said 10/10! He didn’t feel like there was any doubt left in him.

Obviously he still had to give the speech at the assembly later that year and then be voted in. I suggested he use tapping leading into that event, in case he was nervous or doubtful.

About 8 months later, and into the following year, I had just about forgotten about that student and his goal. But I ran into a teacher from the school. This triggered my memory and I asked about who was school captain that year.

You’ll never guess who they said (that student above).

And I just laughed.

(If you’d like some resources to get your teen interested, here’s a starting point.)

Great Reading for the Start of 2019! – Dr Peta Stapleton

By Weekly Insights One Comment

I always have a pile of books next to my bed (sometimes piles around the house!). I don’t know about you, but I just like the feel of a paper book and not a kindle version. It means my luggage is heavier when I travel with a book or two, but I can cope with that! Here are some goodies to get 2019 started!

  1. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking  by Susan Cain is made for people like me! I know you may not believe I am truly an introvert at heart (but I really am) – Celina Tonkin and I have even written a book about how introverts can use tapping (EFT for Introverts). In Quiet, Susan Cain shows how the brain chemistry of introverts and extroverts differs, and how society misunderstands and undervalues introverts. She gives introverts the tools to better understand themselves and take full advantage of their strengths. It is a GREAT read! Read this first then read our book on how to use tapping as an introvert to embrace your strengths and decrease your anxiety.
  2. Ask my girls and they will tell you I am VERY strict about the importance of sleep. The Sleep Revolution : Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time by Arianna Huffington is such a practical guide to quality sleep, and eye opening about the issues people have, that every teen should have this on the book list at school! Read it this month and set up the year with great habits.
  3. Thank & Grow Rich : A 30-Day Experiment in Shameless Gratitude and Unabashed Joy by Pam Grout is another Hay House favourite of mine. Pam wrote the very funny and highly practical E-Squared : Nine Do-It-Yourself Energy Experiments That Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality and E-Cubed: Nine More Energy Experiments That Prove ManifestingMagic And Miracles Is Your Full-Time Gig (both of which are so worth the read- you get to do all these cool experiments!). Thank and Grow Rich though is more about observing the world from a place of gratitude, using our attention to spot beauty, to focus on possibility. Pam says “Ever wonder why your thoughts easily create up-front parking spaces but don’t always produce the fat wad of cash or the hot guy? Could it be you’re on a different frequency?” Get this book going for the start of the year and report back in December!
  4. How Your Mind Can Heal Your Body has its 10th-Anniversary Edition out now! Dr David Hamilton (my favourite Scottish placebo scientist) has updated the original book out 10 years ago to include MORE on the effect of visualisation, belief and positive thinking on the body. David shows how using our imagination and mental processes can stimulate our own defences and healing systems to combat disease, pain and illness.  In another post I reviewed the CD of one of the visualisation techniques from this book – read here.
  5. Zero Limits: The Secret Hawaiian System for Wealth, Health, Peace, and More by Joe Vitale (featured in The Secret) was gifted to me by one of my lovely sisters. It is the story (and technique) of Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len who cured every patient in the criminally insane ward of a Hawaii`i State Hospital — without ever seeing a single patient. Now this may seem a little “insane,” so you are going to have to read this! The book outlines the legendary Hawaiian healing and cleansing method of Ho’oponopono. I loved the book and practice the technique regularly (you would never know!). A graduate of mine does the same and we tell each other amazing stories as a result!

That’s all for now – more on recommendations on EFT /inspirational books in other posts, and specific topic areas.

Please note I do recommend Book Depository for books as I love that they have free postage worldwide. I am also an affiliate for them given the amount of books I purchase! Of course you are welcome to shop at your local store or favourite site online!

Using Tapping to Quit Smoking – Dr Peta Stapleton

By Weekly Insights 2 Comments

We all know that if you quit smoking, you will experience the following benefits:

  • Feel better physically
  • Breathe easier
  • Save money
  • Smell better on clothes, face, hands and breath
  • Improve circulation
  • Be less winded when exercising

However, despite these known benefits, people have difficulty quitting their smoking habit. What stands in their way?

Cigarettes as Tranquilizers?

Clients wishing to quit smoking admit that they use cigarettes to avoid, numb or suppress a variety of feelings that are uncomfortable. Some people use cigarettes to relax and calm down, some use them to give them an energy boost, while still others use them to feel safe or protected.

When using EFT for smoking cessation, you need to investigate and address any underlying emotions that cause the person to reach for cigarettes. EFT can be aimed at feelings of loneliness, emptiness, rejection, anger, fear, etc. Once these underlying emotions are detected and treated with EFT, a person’s cravings to smoke and numb these feelings is reduced or eliminated. If EFT is new to you, check out ‘About EFT’ on our page here before you go any further.

Withdrawal Symptoms

One of the biggest fears clients share before we begin the quit smoking treatment is their fear of painful or uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. We interpret withdrawal symptoms as the body’s way of expressing anxiety, physically or emotionally, about giving up the drugs and chemicals in cigarettes. The body literally craves the drugs and nicotine, and war stories from friends who have gone “cold turkey” abound. EFT can be used for each specific symptom as well as the fear of the future and what withdrawal may feel like.

Favorite Times of Day to Smoke

When people quit on their own, they fail to honor the intensity of physical and mental associations they have with cigarettes. These associations are so powerful that they can lead a person to sabotage and failure as early as the first few days of quitting. Classic associations that must be addressed and treated are (1) smoking while on the telephone, (2) smoking while in the car, (3) smoking after a meal, (4) smoking during stressful times, and (5) smoking before going to bed.

All of these emotional links can be eliminated with EFT while stress in general is being neutralized. Ex-smokers feel quite confident that they can handle formerly difficult scenarios or times of day after learning the EFT procedure.

The Essential Questions!

  1. What is the downside to quitting smoking?
  2. What is the upside of remaining a smoker?

The answers to these two questions must be uncovered and treated in order for smokers to successfully quit. Examples of answers to question #1, What is the downside to quitting smoking, are as follows:

  • I won’t know what to do with my hands
  • I need the cigarettes for my identity
  • If I quit, I won’t know how to relax
  • If I quit, I will have to achieve more
  • If I quit, “they” will expect too much from me
  • If I quit, I’ll probably gain weight

Examples to question #2, What is the upside of remaining a smoker are as follows:

  • If I remain a smoker, I can hide from others
  • If I keep smoking, I will remain thin
  • If I stay a smoker, I can get away from people when I smoke
  • If I keep smoking, I can clear my mind on a regular basis
  • If I keep smoking, I will be like my father
  • If I keep smoking, I’ll feel better

Let’s Get Started! 

Even though I can’t quit as no one in my family has ever successfully quit, I deeply and completely accept myself  

Even though no one in my family has ever quit for good and therefore I can’t quit,I deeply and completely accept myself  

Even though I think it’s my destiny to be a smoker…..    I deeply and completely accept myself  

Reminder Phrases –

I can’t quit
No-one in my family has quit
It’s my destiny
I’m stuck with it

Even though I’m afraid to let go of this problem, I deeply and completely accept myself    

Even though I don’t believe in myself, I deeply and completely accept myself

Even though I don’t believe I can reach my goal, I deeply and completely accept myself anyway    

Reminder Phrases –

Don’t believe in myself
Can’t reach my goal
Don’t believe

Be creative! Tap around with whatever presents itself. Pull out the cigarette and do some exposure therapy – whatever strikes you about the cigarette, tap on it!

How you can have More Energy Everyday! – Dr Peta Stapleton

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This is a favourite topic of mine! It seems to be a natural byproduct of EFT (Tapping) that you increase energy, or feel ‘better’ in general (even if you are not sure if the tapping helped the issue you were tapping on).

But what if you just feel tried all the time? And you haven’t yet tapped on it?

How tired is TOO tired? Fatigue is a lingering tiredness that is constant and limiting. With fatigue, you have unexplained, persistent, and relapsing exhaustion. Tips to fight fatigue include drinking lots of water, limiting caffeine, improving your diet and getting enough sleep (more on that in future blogs). Activity and physical exercise help fight fatigue. Fatigue can have a medical cause so please check with your doctor. Fatigue can also be a symptom of stress, anxiety, grief or depression.

For everyday tiredness, or general fatigue, you could try EFT.

Use some setup phrases such as:

  • Even though I am just too tired, I accept this is how I feel right now
  • Even though I wake up feeling exhausted every day, I choose to do something about this with tapping
  • Even though I can’t get out of bed / feel tired all day / feel tired after lunch / …. I deeply and completely accept myself.

Focus on the feelings, thoughts and beliefs that are present for your reminder phrases – or focus on any sensation in your body you might be aware of. There may be layers so stay with it.

Brad Yates (EFT leader) shares a video on tapping for tiredness and I include it here for your viewing pleasure.

Until next time, happy tapping!

How Tapping Calms the Body – Dr Peta Stapleton

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I am often reminded of how useful EFT, or tapping, is as a tool to calm the sympathetic nervous system, when it is running out of control.

The sympathetic nervous system is part of the autonomic nervous system, which also includes the parasympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system activates what is often termed the fight or flight response. While its job is useful when you are needing to flee, or fight, or faint or freeze (a few new Fs these days!), many people operate in this state daily – reacting instead to daily stressors like traffic jams, crying children, electricity bills, or burnt toast!

So, one of the more easy ways to calm down, if you don’t have time to meditate, take time out, or freeze the world around you for some peace, is to actually do some tapping to calm your nervous system. You might just think a little clearer about those other stressors in the process 🙂

Here’s a way to get started:

While tapping the side of the hand, on either hand, repeat these phrases out loud, (or change the words to fit your exact situation).

“Even though I feel completely overwhelmed at the moment, I deeply and completely accept myself anyway.”

“Even though I can’t believe what is happening in the world around me (my own backyard), I accept how I feel.”

“Even though I feel sad, depressed, lonely, overwhelmed, tired, exhausted……., I deeply and completely accept myself.”

***Now for the reminder phrases ***

Eyebrow: “I feel so tired”
Side of Eye: “I’m feeling overwhelmed.”
Under Eye: “I feel angry.”
Nose: “I can’t believe what is happening.”
Chin: “I can’t change other people and this is overwhelming.”
Collarbone: “I am SO exhausted.”
Under Arm: “I feel so much resistance.”
Head: “I don’t know how to change all of this.”

Tap around and see how your body feels after a few rounds. Try and identify areas which might be holding tension, emotions or overwhelm. Keep tapping until you are a 0 or a 1 out of 10 (10 being the most overwhelm, and 0 being complete calm). Jot down your notes to check in later.

Enjoy the calm you can create – whenever you feel the need!

An Easy Way to Improve your Memory – Dr Peta Stapleton

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I thought I would share a trick I have been using EFT for – remembering! Not just the ‘tap on my memory issues’ idea – but for everyday things like walking into a room, and asking yourself “why did I walk in here again?” Who hasn’t done that at some point?

So now I just tap. I stand there in the room, and start tapping (eyebrow, side of eye …) – and say something like “why am I here”, or “what was I going to do here?”

In a snap, it comes to me – none of this, I better walk out of the room and walk back in to jog my memory – this is much QUICKER. I never normally get through all eight points before I remember why I was there.

Try it 🙂

A Simple Way to increase your Self-Compassion Level

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Straight from the source, Dr Kristen Neff, self-compassion  involves acting the same way towards yourself when you are  having a difficult time, fail, or notice something you don’t like  about yourself. Instead of just ignoring your pain with a “stiff  upper lip” mentality, you stop to tell yourself “this is really difficult right now,” how can I comfort and care for myself in  this moment?

In contrast to self-esteem, self-compassion is not based on self-evaluations.

Research has investigated the relationship between self-compassion, health behaviors, and reactions to illness.  In 4 studies in 2013, self-compassion was related to health-related cognitions and affect for healthy and unhealthy participants, and it predicted participants’ reactions to actual illnesses beyond the influence of illness severity and other predictors of health behaviors. Self-compassionate people also indicated they would seek medical attention sooner when experiencing symptoms than people lower in self-compassion. Self-compassion was also related to health-promoting behaviors even after accounting for self-regulatory capabilities and illness cognitions.

Can we use EFT (tapping) to increase our own self-compassion levels? Absolutely!! Brad Yates has a great 5 minute YouTube clip you can tap along to.

You’ll find some other guided meditations and questionnaires to measure your own level of self-compassion here.