Apr 23 2012
”How does one become a butterfly?” she asked pensively. “You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.” -(Trina Paulus) I love that quote! It speaks to our willingness to let go of old patterns and choose a new higher way of being. This is not an easy task. Why is it that our negative patterns are so highly addictive? A recent article, “Anatomy of a Tear Jerker” by Michaeleen Doucleff, sheds light on this with fascinating research that shows something amazing: sad songs stimulate dopamine, the pleasure hormone! “The results suggest that the more emotions a song provokes – whether depressing or uplifting – the more we crave the song.”
Intrigued, I researched this further and found that dopamine, the hormone most responsible for addiction, is triggered by things that arouse us, such as food and sex…but also drama and pain, making us crave and recreate them over and over again. That explains why many people hang on for dear life to their misery, their sad stories, their anger and resentment. I spent a good part of my life stuck in the mire of misery about feeling alone in the world…until I had a life-changing epiphany during my first week of dating Tom, twelve years ago:
We were massaging each other’s feet, (my very favorite thing!) and I thought to myself, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have this man in my life on a permanent basis.” Just then a Bonnie Rait song began playing on the radio and I was singing along with it, “I can’t make you love me if you don’t.” That song activated the neural pathways of my old familiar story that said, “I will always be alone. He won’t want me. I can’t have this.” I began slipping into the dopamine-fueled sweet melancholy of that story, pulled by the addictive lure of deep sorrow. But then, in a sudden splash of invigorating awareness, I stopped myself and thought, “Wait a minute – why can’t I have this? It’s just habit programming. I’m just as lovable as the next person. I can have this! I want this!”
It was a butterfly moment – a clear awareness that I wanted love in my life so much that I was willing to give up being a caterpillar! I was willing to give up my addiction to my sweet sad miserable story. That determination has resulted in a dozen of the best years of my life with this wonderful man. My former caterpillar self is now flying with the butterflies!
However, in the last 3 years, my diagnosis of cancer sometimes challenges my butterfly status, stirring old neural pathways of doom and gloom. Fortunately, when that happens, I have a repertoire of tools for launching myself airborne once more. I’d like to share 3 of them with you:
- NOW Freedom Formula – NOW is an acronym for: Notice that negative thoughts and feelings have taken over. Oxygenate by taking ten deep breaths, thereby shifting the body and emotions. Wonder, “What’s the higher truth of this situation?” The reality is I’m all right right now. I know that I’m loved and guided. Cancer was the kick in the can that helped me be more vividly alive, more on purpose, more connected with my spirit. I trust that I’m right where I’m supposed to be.
- EFT – Emotional Freedom Technique involves tapping on certain meridian points on the body, clearing negative thoughts and feelings and replacing them with positive ones. It is a highly effective way to shift out of addictive patterns. (See simplified instructions below)
- PLAY With Your Misery – Give it a name. I’m calling mine Debbie Downer (like the character on Saturday Night Live) and recently played a fun game with her cancer worries. I let her exaggerate her woebegone plaintive grumbles and after each one I had some friends chorus the muted trombone sound “Wah waaah.” It went something like this: “I ate healthy food and drank wheat grass every day…and still I got cancer.” Wah waaah. “I’m eating lots of tofu because I’ve heard that it’s good for healing cancer…but I read recently that it does more harm than good.” Wah waaah. “I’m doomed.” Wah waaah. This cracks me up and I shift to a lighter, clearer perspective.
All of these techniques help release debilitating hard-wired patterns and fire and wire a new life-enhancing state of being. I strongly believe that is one of the important things I came here to do on my great earth adventure: to want to fly so much that I am willing to give up old addictive stories. Who knows how many lifetimes I’ve been stuck in those stories. I know I can do this! I feel the dopamine high of this exciting challenge and possibility (so much more powerful and fulfilling than the dopamine high of misery). Singing now, “I believe I can fly. I believe I can touch the sky.”
How about you? Are you aware of addictive negative patterns that are holding you down? Are you willing to give up being a caterpillar, and become your beautiful butterfly self? Come fly with me!
EFT TAPPING INSTRUCTIONS:
Connect with and feel the issue you want to work on.
Use two fingers tapping 5-7 times per point.
Just do one side of the body.
Choose a number from 1-10 gauging the intensity of the issue. Do several sequences, and at the beginning of each one decide what the number is. It will usually go down considerably as you repeat the cycles.
TAP on side of hand, between base of pinky finger and wrist and repeat three times: “Even though…(state the issue, example: “I feel scared about cancer.”)…I deeply and completely accept myself.” (This first tapping area is done only at the beginning.)
TAP Top of head – summarize issue in a few words (such as “this fear”).
Continue to name issue throughout the tapping sequence, letting the words naturally shift and unfold as you go along. For Instance “This fear of cancer.” “Feeling scared of dying.” “Feeling scared of pain.” Etc.
TAP Inner eyebrow
TAP Outer eyebrow
TAP Under eye, directly under pupil
TAP Under nose, in the little crevice
TAP Chin, in the depression between lip and chin
TAP Collar bone, just below knob of collarbone
TAP Under Arm, about 4 inches below arm pit
Go back to head and repeat sequence
Eventually as your number decreases, you can add positive words about what it is you’re wanting and beginning to feel. Such as: “Feeling calmer.” “Feeling peaceful.” “Feeling safe now.” Etc.
This is a very simplified, bare-bones description.For a free tapping e-book with more information, go to: http://www.thetappingsolution.com/