I just realized that, without even knowing it, I have been celebrating the ten year anniversary of my discovering EFT, healing my depression and changing my life!
About a week ago, I was lounging on the guest bed in my friend Carole’s house in Los Angeles, recovering from the intensive 4 day Clinical EFT training I had conducted in San Diego a couple of days prior. I was looking out the windows at the green canopy of foliage, musing about how happy I had felt on this trip so far - happier than usual - and how much the trees had grown since that time I stayed in the little granny flat below…
Thinking about my stay in the granny flat made me smile. It was a joyful time, that month all those years ago. So joyful that I had kept jotting down details in a little notebook, not wanting to forget...
...the funny comment this person made, or the lovely beach walk with that person, or the deliciousness of the meal had at that new restaurant. My note-keeping was sporadic and ultimately incomplete because despite my desire to record every minute, I was having too good a time to always remember to do it.
It was the first time I had ever tried travel-journaling — and also the last. So why that trip? Was it that I was having such a wonderful time? Was it that I had been walking around with a dreamy smile on my face, feeling like I was bouncing on a cushion of air, my heart 24/7 bubbling with laughter?
Upon reflection, it was that I was afraid I’d stop feeling that way. I think I was leaving myself a map back to happiness, a breadcrumb trail to follow back to the sun should the dark clouds gather overhead again. I had only just, two weeks before, become free of the debilitating situational depression that had robbed me of my desire to live. I was living again - that was for sure! For the first time in what felt like an eternity I could taste food, smell flowers, feel amused. Everything delighted me. Everything was a gift. And I kept expecting something to break the spell.
That something never happened.
When I returned to Sydney a month later to continue on with what I’ll call the Australian leg of my life’s journey, and strep throat prompted an emergency midnight self tapping session that killed the pain within 5 minutes, I knew I had a tool I could use forever. I didn’t need the chronicled details of happy times to get me back on track if the depression ever came back, I just needed to tap.
I wasn’t aware when I planned this trip and booked my flights that I would essentially be retracing my steps almost exactly (seriously - to the day) ten years later. From the Sydney to LA flight, the stay at Carole’s, the flight to Toronto to spend a week at a lakeside cottage with the same three close friends and their families…
The whole time I was planning that ten years ago trip I was dreading it. Depression makes fun times with friends and family unbearable. It shines a light on your misery to see how happy “normal” people are. And don’t get me started on all that pesky togetherness, making it hard to sneak off to a dark room to cry each day. I was perplexed as to why I was committing myself to spending all this time and money just to put myself through that. Perhaps for this reason, I finally confessed the scary extent of my pain to Carole, Laura and Elizabeth on that Skype call with them a month before the big lakeside reunion. I didn’t want anyone expecting too much from me.
That call, as I have now recounted a million times, was fateful. (Turns out sharing your bleakest inner truth with other humans that love you really can make all the difference…Who knew!) Laura begged me to try this weird thing called Emotional Freedom Techniques, made me promise to read the free manual she had just received an email link to, and the rest is history.
Within ten days of printing out the manual, I had taken myself from misery to elation with about 12 hours of self-tapping done in the space of less than a week. The me that boarded that plane to LA two weeks later was not the me I had been for the past year and a half - nor was it the me I had been for the previous decade. It was a refreshed me, cleared of the pain of a raft of life-challenges - yet full with the wisdom and growth that it seems can only come from living through those challenges. I hadn’t merely returned to my pre-depression self, I had gained access to a wiser, deeper, more empowered self. Me 2.0!
In the ten years since that summer in LA and Toronto (Australian winter), I left behind a career I had been expecting to carry me until the day I died - screenwriting - traded in for a calling that wouldn’t leave me alone. I became not only a Clinical EFT practitioner but also someone who trains others, from doctors to plumbers, to be practitioners as well.
The me that boarded that plane to LA ten years ago wasn’t the me that I had been three weeks before - and the me that boarded the plane three weeks ago wasn’t the same me that boarded it a decade ago. Life has had its ups and downs, to be sure, but nothing resembling anything close to depression and nothing that hasn't responded to tapping (even though sometimes I wait too long to sit myself down for a session because, knowing I have the tool to clear it, I’m not scared of emotional pain anymore).
I think it’s particularly wonderful that what drew my attention to the significance of this timing was the feeling of happiness, like cell-memory, making me look at that time I felt the same way ten years ago. With EFT, we are usually tracing present pain to its feel-alike origins to clear challenging events that are still influencing our emotions but the principle is the same: Ask yourself, “what does this remind me of?”
It’s a lovely testament to the relationship I have developed with my body from using EFT that it was able to tell me “Hey, guess what happened ten years ago that was so fantastic. We should celebrate”…but the best part of all is that I was able to hear it.