Let’s talk about tapping.
No, I’m not talking about the dance (though if anyone has any class recommendations, hit me up!). I’m talking about Emotional Freedom Technique, or EFT for short.
I’m no stranger to therapy, and to be honest, I thought I had seen it all when it came to self-help. After all, I’ve seen a talk therapist for over a decade now to deal with OCD, anxiety, and an eating disorder, and I’ve tried art therapy, meditation, and yoga (meditation and yoga are the ones that stuck!). But when my therapist mentioned Tapping to me about a year ago, I sort of brushed it off. I thought that where I was then was the best it would ever get, so I didn’t really buy into it. We briefly talked about it and then went back to our normal sessions.
Fast forward to this past spring, I was introduced to Daniel Sonntag at a meditation event. We spent the entire day learning about how meditation works and techniques to help you connect to the Universe. Daniel taught a section of the workshop on how to use EFT, or Tapping, to heal both physical and emotional wounds. I thought it was really cool, but the day after the workshop, it had once again slipped my mind.
Going into summer, Jared and I signed up for a meditation class that dove deeper into each of the key points we touched upon during the one-day event. One of the bonuses of signing up? Daniel taught a group session of Tapping! Leading up to the day, I was really excited; I wanted to learn more about EFT and see if it really could be beneficial.
Then we get an email from our meditation teacher, Sage. She wanted to know if anyone would volunteer to be the person that Daniel would lead through the Tapping. What possessed me to email Sage back that I would volunteer is beyond me. I felt like it was a Hunger Games moment (cue the I volunteer as tribute! memes of Jennifer Lawrence looking particularly haggard…no offense, J.Law). One second, I’m reading Sage’s email and then the next, I was pressing send, which moments later cued the anxiety.
I don’t like being the center of attention. In fact, I hate it. But for some reason, my subconscious decided this was what I needed. I needed to experience Tapping first hand to see if this was for real.
Well, let me tell you, it is. Leading up to the session, I was racked with anxiety. I kept going back and forth in my head, debating about whether I should just text Sage and say I was sick (or, you know, actually be honest and say that I no longer wanted to do it). But I held to my commitment.
After starting the group Skype session (Daniel does the Tapping sessions on Skype if you’re not located in Massachusetts!), Daniel asked if there was anything in particular I wanted to work on and how I was feeling. I immediately said I had no idea what to work on, and right now I’m just a ball of anxiety and hate having everyone listen to me.
And so we began by tapping away the anxiety. Gentle taps with the pads of my right fingertips against the side of my left palm. I feel anxious. I hate being center stage. But right here and right now, I’m okay. We moved to tapping on my cheekbones, my forehead, my chin, underneath my arms, and at the top of my head, inhaling deeply, and then exhaling it all out.
Cycles of this movement were repeated, each time diving deeper into what was behind the anxiety. With each new round, I felt looser and more at ease, comfortable and open. This was repeated for an hour or so, but I could have gone on longer. Answers to why I despised having attention on me started to surface, and the anxiety actually being in the spotlight started to dissipate. I had to go further.
A month after first working with Daniel in that group session, I reached out to him to do a private. Jared had already started working with him, and to say that I saw changes in Jared from just one session would be an understatement. I won’t go into what Jared’s session uncovered for him, but it was incredible to see the changes from an outsider’s perspective. There was a new light to him, and a new sense of compassion. Jared has always been extraordinarily compassionate and kindhearted, but now he has a love without fear. This extends to his family, his friends, acquaintances, strangers, me, and most importantly, Jared.
However, seeing these changes in Jared made me feel pressure to have the same level of experience. Which made me even more hesitant to sign up. I’m not going to be as successful at Tapping, so why even try? I kept putting it off, letting it slip my mind again, until one day (thankfully), Jared said just email Daniel and set up a time (one of the benefits of us living together is that he doesn’t let me get away with anything! Accountability is a blessing, my friends!).
Well, when I commit to something, I commit to it. I go full force in and don’t come up for air. So I scheduled my first session with Daniel, and as the anxiety built up again, I resisted pulling back.
After a brief 30-minute call before the actual session so that he could get to know me better and what I wanted to work on, we began. Even though I feel this anxiety, I deeply and completely accept myself. Even though I have all of this guilt and I feel it in my chest, right here and right now, in this loving space, I am okay. We repeated mantras with every cycle of tapping, unlocked new emotions that were hidden beneath the conscious mind, and started to slowly excavate the old feelings that were holding me back.
How I see Tapping is much like Linkin Park’s song, “Bleed it out.” I bleed it out. We let go of the emotions we feel on the surface. I dig it deeper. Once we are free from those emotions, we can uncover what evoked them in the first place. Then I throw it away. We can rewire our brains to let go of these negative beliefs, emotions, and feelings and repave a more positive, lighter, and more loving way.
I left my first session feeling alive. Like I just broke out of jail and was finally free, or at least running towards the light. Tapping allowed me to hang my conscious mind’s coat on the hanger and sit with myself beneath the surface. You’d be surprised what you’ll dig up when you’re down there too. Any pain you’re holding on to, physical or emotional, any anger, fear, anxiety, we all know it and we could all stand to let a bit of it go.
Obviously not everything is solved in the first and only session. There’s a lot more work to do, but I feel like I got a pretty good start on my first round. I’m excited to see where it goes!
If you’d like to learn more about Tapping, I’d suggest starting here.
If you’re ready to start working, I can’t recommend Daniel enough. This was in no way a sponsored post, I genuinely just think that the work he is doing needs to be spread and accessible to everyone. I want to help spread the word. Daniel is incredibly sweet, brilliant, and one of the most knowledgeable people I’ve had the pleasure of working with. He is also very intuitive and empathetic. I don’t trust people easily, but he was different.
Feel free to reach out to him through his website or directly through email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Daniel does both Skype and in-person sessions (I can attest to the Skype sessions, they are powerful!). Please also feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions about my experience or if you would like an introduction!
With love always,