Maggie was a bright vivacious, dynamic woman in her 30s. She was a successful recording artist, had a happy, loving marriage and exciting prospects for her future. However she always held an underlying level of anxiety and although she found yoga, chi kung and meditation helpful for her wellbeing, she was unable to shake off this feeling. Now as a a young mother with two small children she found her level of anxiety had increased to the extent that it was negatively impacting her ability to enjoy simple pleasures such as a trip to the park with her children or sitting and watching them play. Her inner critical voice running in the background was always reminding her that she needed to be doing something to make sure that they were entirely safe and if something did happen, then she would be responsible because she had not done enough.
She had experienced EFT before with me before and found it helpful so was keen to get to the bottom of this anxious feeling. I decided to use a free flowing form of EFT instead of tapping. As Maggie entered my room we started working almost immediately tapping on affirmations that came up for her.
She talked about her children and her hyper vigilance around their safety and that she needed to be present at all times to protect them. She felt if anything happened to them she would be responsible for not doing enough. This had come to a head during a recent incident involving her young son. Whilst she was doing home improvement there was a new door that had not been fixed on the hinges and was resting against the wall. Suddenly the door slid down and narrowly missed her son. We tapped on her shock and her guilt and horror that the door was in that position.
We tapped on why she felt this overriding sense of responsibility and suddenly she flipped back into memories of her own child hood where she heard her father telling her that whatever she did at home or at school, the results were not good enough. If she got 95 percent in an exam he asked her why she did not get 100 percent. Her father was unable to encourage her or congratulate her on any of her successes. Maggie was a driven and award winning recording artist and even at the pinnacle of her career he was unable to recognise her achievement and she cried as she said the words “your father is suitably unimpressed”. As we tapped on this, Maggie’s breathing changed, her hands became clammy and her voice became very young and frightened.
We explored the themes deeper, that she was not able to fulfil her father’s expectations of her or win his approval which left her feeling she would never be good enough and the only antidote to this was to take masses of action and total responsibility for everything and indeed everybody in her life. She had spent many years trying to please her father and do things that would get his attention and approval to no avail. We kept tapping on these memories and feelings until spontaneously she said: “I don’t need to please him anymore, it is me I need to please” We worked with the “I am good enough” affirmation in various formats, We used a standing like a tree Chi Kung meditation posture to root her new emergent knowledge about herself and this helped her anchor this state into her mind, body and nervous system whilst repeating the new affirmations.
She found the experience quite life altering and several days later she reported that she was able to sit down and not feel guilty. She reported that she felt calmer and more trusting that her children were able to learn their own safety boundaries through play and this in turn would build their own self confidence and inner worth.