More on Borrowing Benefits

By Carol Look, EFT Master

Thought for the day….

“Two men look out,
From behind prison bars.
One sees mud,
The other sees stars.”

Doug Hooper

I started hearing about the phenomenon of ‘Borrowing Benefits’ during the first EFT class I taught in New York. Participants came up to me at the break and told me how their issues were partially resolved or mysteriously diluted as a result of tapping for the person involved in the demonstration in front of the group. This has been my experience in all subsequent classes. Group benefits never cease to amaze me.

I conduct telephone sessions with clients all across the country, and many people audiotape the sessions. I usually assign between-session ‘homework’ of listening to and tapping along with our taped session. No extra work, no thinking or analyzing is required. What could be easier than just mimicking words and the tapping directions from our tape? (Over the phone, I instruct the person when to move from spot to spot so this is clear on the tape).

Nearly 100% of the time, clients tell me they enjoy this assignment. They land on new insights, and they feel as if they have been given the advantage of another session free of charge. Many clients report that new aspects surface, deeper layers emerge and are then cleared, and that listening to a tape of themselves allows them a healthy emotional distance that feels empowering. The clearest articulation of this benefit came from Kishan Ballal, who gave me his full permission to quote him: ‘It occurred to me to hear it as if I was listening to a complete stranger, who I have NO emotional history/entanglements with that mental dissociation seems to allow me to get out of the way and be lightly curious rather than desperately trying’

Another kind of borrowing that I have found helpful came out of my hypnosis training. Clients often ask what they should do when in a public setting where using EFT would seem socially awkward. I suggest that they use basic visualization techniques by closing their eyes and acting as if they are using EFT. I recommend that they BORROW me during this exercise by pretending to ‘see’ me tapping with them, ‘hear’ me making suggestions of what to say, and to ‘feel’ me (or themselves) tapping their spots. Many of them also ‘borrow’ me when they feel stuck and lack the confidence to come up with the right set-up phrases in the privacy of their living rooms. This works consistently well. (As you can imagine, many clients love ‘borrowing’ Gary in this same way and pretend he is the one making suggestions and tapping for them. Imagine where we’d be if we hadn’t been borrowing from Gary all these years. :-)

Additional Angles on Borrowing:

1) Look into a mirror as you tap for your deepest emotional conflicts. This works especially well for chronic low self-esteem issues. Sometimes my clients who are calling for a phone session from their office look at their reflection in their computer screen to enhance the emotional release during the session. In the same way that affirmations will automatically bring up a ‘tail-ender’, looking in the mirror when you say ‘I deeply and completely accept myself’ will trigger discomfort that is then exposed and addressed during the treatment.

2) Pull out old family photos and notice how you look/feel in them. First, tap as a surrogate FOR the younger you in the photo: ‘Even though she looks sad, she was a good daughter’ and then directly, ‘Even though I felt angry during this family holiday, I deeply and completely accept myself.’ This technique accesses vivid feelings and thus leads the way to profound healing and emotional integration.

3) Finally, I ask clients who watch a great deal of television or frequent movie theaters to tap for the characters’ distress; ‘Even though she feels insecure around that man’, ‘Even though she won’t admit the failure is her fault’, ‘Even though he’s afraid to confront the situation’ The clients do not have to identify their own issues first, just tap for the distress that their own system can’t help but tune into as a result of witnessing someone else’s discomfort on the big screen.

A final note about borrowing:

Many thanks to all of you from whom I have borrowed strength, compassion and hope throughout these past few years. Two weeks before Christmas, less than three years after her initial diagnosis, my sister Charlotte died of cancer. Without the potency of EFT or your support and kind words, I am certain I would never have been able to tolerate the months preceding or the weeks following my sister’s death. Nor would I have been able to gather and maintain the energy to deliver a triumphant funeral eulogy in front of 400 profoundly bereft friends and family. I was asked, ‘Where did you get the energy?’, ‘How did you pull that off?’, ‘Were the words channeled from God and your sister?’ Needless to say, I had few answers. What I do know is that I have never been alone, was not alone when speaking in the church, and have not been alone in my grief.

My sister’s enduring courage and grace, palpable even when she knew she was about to leave behind her husband, two small children, our parents and three sisters, will serve as a model from which I will borrow for the rest of my life. Our lessons seemed different, however, we were both deeply nourished from sharing this experience. I borrowed from her impressively simple acceptance of death while she borrowed from my love of life. And as I told the funeral crowd, I would gladly go through this pain again if it would give her the relief she earned and deserved the night of her death.

Many of you have no idea how generous you have been. Often, without your knowledge, and frequently with your permission, I have borrowed heavily from your wisdom and your courage to share and grow. Your strength, your stories, your perseverance and your willingness to embrace vulnerability through risk and self-revelation have all been of deep value to me.

With my profound gratitude,

Carol Look

January 21, 2006

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