Summary: Move Into Resilience host Pamela Stokes teaches us in today’s episode about a fascinating part of our brain—the insula—and how it allows us to connect with ourselves and with others. We will be using EFT Tapping to help us connect with our body, so that we can connect with others more easily.
- [00:00] Introduction
- [02:45] The insula
- [05:21] EFT Tapping background
- [11:01] EFT Tapping Script using CALMING HAND
- [21:03] Science and history of EFT Tapping
- [22:02] EFT Tapping resolves PTSD
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Hello friends! And welcome to Move Into Resilience. I’m your host, Pamela Stokes. In today’s episode we will be learning about a part of the brain designed to help us connect with others and ourselves—the insula. We’ll also experience some EFT Tapping to help us connect with our body in pleasant ways. So let’s begin.
Hello, my friends! Pamela here. Today we’re talking about relationships and how they begin within. Relationships can be challenging, no doubt, and especially right now when we’re stuck at home with the same people again and again without any respite, and having anxiety, maybe a little or a lot, about our future and overthinking. We can’t control what’s happening in the future, so the only thing that we can do is be in the moment, be in the now. And as I talked about in a previous episode, Mindfulness Through Movement, being in the now is something that is part of mindfulness. And it’s helpful to be able to be in the body to be in the now, to be in the moment. And all of the practices that we do in this show, Move Into Resilience, are here to help us to become more aware of what is happening in our bodies so that we can help ourselves to be in that moment of now and have actual presence. This helps us to feel more comfortable because we’re not worrying about the future or regretting or resenting things from the past. The practices that we’re doing are helping to do that, but there also may be some subconscious thoughts that might be getting in the way. In our episode from last week, around the adverse childhood experiences, the ACEs, we learned that these young experiences can sometimes put a thought or a belief in place in our subconscious mind. And if that thought or that belief has to do with “it’s not safe to be in my body”, now we are going to have some difficulty feeling ourselves in our body, being present there. And the motions that we’ll be doing will help to some degree, but clearing those subconscious thoughts away will also be helpful.
The insula is a fascinating part of the brain because it allows us to notice what we’re noticing. It allows us to connect with ourselves and it also allows us to connect with others, so it’s a pretty cool part of the brain. If we can connect easily with others then we can connect with ourselves, and if we can connect with ourselves, we can connect more easily with others. This is helpful, especially right now, because we might be living with people that are difficult or it might be difficult to be with them for so long, so many days. And we also may be missing connections with other people outside of that sphere. Being able to connect with ourselves in easy ways in our body allows us to connect with other people and to feel connected even if we’re not with them. So we can get this sense of being connected to the whole, to everyone in the world. And also if you’re working with a difficult person, living with a difficult person or it’s challenging for you, what will help is reconnecting with yourself so that it becomes easier to connect with those other people. And that’s all because of the part of the brain called the insula.
Now, the body may be an uncomfortable place because of an experience that we had as a younger person, either a trauma or a compounded stress, or toxic stress like we talked about with ACEs. And because of this, we may not want to (and this is not necessarily a decision), we may not want to be able to connect with our body because it’s uncomfortable or because it’s numb. And these are reflexes. These are not decisions that we’ve made to do this. This is just there to keep us safe. And so these subconscious thoughts are getting in the way of true awareness because they’re not allowing us to connect with the body, because they’re saying things like “It’s not safe to be in there” “Don’t go in there”. And what we’re going to be doing today is we’re going to be using a technique to help us clear away the underlying subconscious thought that you may have and clients of mine have had which is it’s not safe to be in my body. The process that we’re using is called EFT tapping and EFT stands for Emotional Freedom Techniques. And I have been certified in EFT and I had the pleasure of working directly with Dawson Church who is the head of EFT Universe. Dawson worked directly with Gary Craig who’s the founder of EFT, and when Gary Craig decided to focus in a different direction, he handed it over to Dawson Church, who has created EFT Universe. And it’s called, the process is called, Clinical EFT. And what we’re doing with EFT is we’re using acupoints. And I’ve described acupoints in previous episodes as places on our body that are of a higher electrical conductivity than places nearby. And they respond to touch, electrical current, sound, and even just awareness. So these acupoints are very helpful for us when we’re working with these subconscious beliefs because what they do is they send a message to our nervous system that says “all is well”. And when you have that “all is well” signal at the same time that you are repeating thoughts that are already being said to you in your mind, things that aren’t nice or things that maybe aren’t true, we can change how much power those words have and how they affect how our body responds to them. So that’s what we’re doing when we use EFT. We are connecting the “all is well” signal with the limiting thought or the belief. And in today’s episode we’re going to be working with the limiting belief it’s not safe to be in my body.
As a practitioner I have worked with people using these words that we’re going to be using and I’ve seen it be very effective. Sometimes it just takes minutes, but you may find that you’ll need to do this more, a few times more after we finish. And so you can listen back to the audio or watch the video if you happen to be watching this on YouTube. And this will allow you to free yourself of any kinds of reactions or responses to the words that are being said. Some of the words may sound not very true to you, but that’s OK, just keep going all the way through to the end. And I’d like you to make sure that you’re in a quiet place where you have no distractions. Turn off your phone so that you have no calls coming in or text messages coming in while you’re doing this process. It’s just going to take a few minutes, but treat yourself well, be kind and give yourself this time and space to do this. What we’re going to be doing is holding our hand in the position that we’ve learned about before called the CALMING HAND. What you’ll do is you’ll spread your thumb away from your fingers and place that spread hand underneath your collarbones so that your thumb is touching one acupoint and the fingers are touching the other. Feeling that warm connection of your hand on your chest is also very comforting to your body, to your nervous system, so that’s where we’ll be holding it. Before we begin it’s important for us to establish a rating of how strong or how true this belief might be for you. So I would like you to say the phrase out loud or in your mind, “It’s not safe to be in my body” and just see what comes up for you and identify for yourself the truth of it. How true is that? Zero would be it’s not true at all and 10 would be completely true. So go ahead and give yourself a rating. And you may want to write it down so you don’t forget. And then what I’d like you to do now is we’re going to take three calming breaths. These breaths are going to be through the nose, and when you breathe them in I want you to imagine the air going into the deep parts of your lungs, the bottoms of your lungs. So let’s do this together. Please join in. Inhale (for a count of 4) and exhale (count of 8) inhale (4) and exhale (8) inhale (4) and exhale (8). And then I’d like you to invite your subconscious mind to say yes to this, and then we’re going to repeat some phrases. I’ll say something and then you say something. You can say it either out loud or in your mind. So let’s begin. Repeat after me.
Even though I am not in my body, I don’t know what is going on in here, and I feel so anxious, I choose to love and accept myself fully now.
Even though I’ve been completely disconnected, disconnected from my own body, I choose to love and accept myself fully.
Even though I’m not in my body and I don’t know if I want to get in my body, it’s uncomfortable in there, I’m going to choose to love and accept myself fully.
I’m not familiar with my body
And it feels so foreign
I’m not comfortable in my body
So I spin out and try to stay in action
Maybe checking my email or social media
Or looking for someone to connect with outside of me
I don’t connect with my body
And I don’t really know what’s really happening in here
I’m trying to figure it out
I’ve not been taught to just feel it
And it’s so uncomfortable
It goes against everything I’ve been taught
I’ve been taught to abandon myself
I’ve been taught to look outside of me for the answers
And now it’s time to come back in
Come back into my body now
Let’s pause here and take a breath. A nice breath through the nose and deep into the lungs. And a slow exhale. And we’ll continue.
Coming home in my body
It’s so unfamiliar
It’s kind of excruciating
I really don’t want to do it
Everything good is happening out there
And I believe that nothing valuable is in here
That’s what I’ve been taught
And now I’m losing
My body does not feel good
I’ve been abandoning my own body
I wonder if there’s something valuable in here
I wonder if I’ve been going about it all wrong
There really isn’t so much I need to do
But to connect with myself in peace
Would I be willing to bring peace to this anxiety
That is telling me so loudly that it’s not ok?
Would I be willing to bring stillness and calm?
To just be present in my body?
To just be present to what is?
My body is telling me what is, what’s going on
Would I be willing to be present and listen?
It’s not so fun
I’m meeting some very hard places
Loss and sadness
All of this fear
And I don’t understand it
And I really want to run away
But I’m going to stay present and meet this
Meeting my body like meeting a beautiful child
Staying calm and inviting it to open up
Even if it’s kicking and screaming
Like it feels like what’s going on inside of me now
Can I stay present and meet it with love?
Can I come into a space of allowing?
Allowing that much pain
Allowing that much fear
And just staying present
I know in the past I would run
And freak out and try to stay in action
Because certainly I had to fix it
I had to fix this screaming child
And I have judged it unacceptable
And refused to accept myself
No wonder my body is calling out
I’m going to bring even just a bit of calm
As I slow myself down and meet these spaces
Let’s take another breath here. Inhale through the nose deep into the lungs and a SIGH OF RELIEF this time.
Allowing myself to be with my body
Finding some peace in my body now
Finding some calm in my body
Just being present with what is
Just being ok with what is
And then you can take your hand and relax it down. And we’ll take another breath in through the nose and exhale SIGH OF RELIEF. Great! And now I’d like you to check back in saying that phrase again that we said at the beginning, “It’s not safe to be in my body”, and notice what rating you might give it now. Zero being not true at all, 10 being completely true. I would imagine that it has decreased somewhat, if not all the way down to zero, but it may take more than one attempt. Oftentimes these things may bring up other thoughts or other emotions, and just placing your hand on your chest in the CALMING HAND position you can say those things too and just get yourself to be calmed around those thoughts. Just taking the power away from those words. Thank yourself for doing this today. Give yourself appreciation. As you move into your day, drink extra water so that you can help to move some of these things through your body. And also very nice is to take an Epsom salt bath, if you have that opportunity, for about 20 minutes. That will help to clear some of these things as well. And notice what thoughts and feelings arise. Notice what sensations arise. The more we notice ourselves noticing, the more we’re using that insula which allows us to connect with ourselves and with others, making our relationships much easier.
That’s all we have for today’s show. To recap, we talked about how relationships begin within, and what that means is that we need to find a way to connect with ourselves in gentle and easy ways so that we can then connect with others more easily. With the Holidays coming up, this may be a challenge, a challenging time, so use these tools for yourself to help yourself stay in that place of ease, of being in the moment, and not fretting about what isn’t, instead being with what is. We learned about EFT tapping and its ability to help the nervous system know all is well when we are trying to remove subconscious thoughts. A little bit of the history of EFT is it has over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles of studies that have been done, controlled studies. And one of the areas that it has been most effective and is accepted by the Veterans Administration is for PTSD. They have shown that in six sessions traumatic events can be completely resolved. So it’s a very effective method and I really enjoy using it with my clients. If you find that this was helpful to you, I would love to hear your comments. If you have any questions, I would also appreciate that. If you would like support in working in deeper ways I would love to hear from you as well. You can reach me through the email for the podcast which is Podcast@MoveIntoResilience.com. Thank yourself so much for doing this today. Give yourself appreciation. And I thank you for joining me. This has been Move Into Resilience. I’m Pamela Stokes. Take it easy!