The 5 Stages of The Empowerment Process

blog May 18, 2021

(This Blog is taken from the transcript of Episode #3 Podcast, if you would prefer to listen to the podcast you can find Episode #3 at www.thetappingmama.com/podcast)

 

Welcome to the Single Mom Empowerment Podcast. I am so excited to take you through the 5 stages of The Empowerment Process. I often have people tell me that they don’t use Tapping because they don’t know what to tap on or they don’t know what to say. EFT Tapping is an incredible tool but only if you use it. I created The Empowerment Process as a guide for where to start, how to build a strong foundation for your practice and how to use Tapping to progressively grow and heal little by little to create real lasting transformation. As you move through the 5 stages, each stage builds on the last. You continue to use the tools, techniques and strategies from the previous stages, adding in the new resources from the next stage. 

The reason that I want to share The Empowerment Process with you is because I feel there is so much value in it. The entire process as a whole is very powerful but also each stage has multiple aspects to it, many of which have a lot of value all on their own. My hope is that you will feel inspired to incorporate some of the ideas that I am going to share with you into your own self care practice. Whether you already use Tapping or if you have another self care practice, I am sure you will find some pieces of The Empowerment Process that could enhance what you are already doing. And if you are new to Tapping or if you don’t have a Tapping practice yet, I really hope The Empowerment Process will inspire you to start Tapping! 

So let's get started with Stage 1 - Commitment.

The tools and techniques you use for personal growth and healing are only as good as your commitment to them. To get the results you are wanting, you need to commit to showing up, doing the work and being consistent. When you are willing to take responsibility for your own well being and make a commitment to yourself, then you can create real transformation.

You may have heard me talk about my journey with Tapping. For the first 5 or so years that I used Tapping I was not consistent with it at all. I used it on and off, I definitely experienced some of the benefits but not the transformational benefits that come when it is used with consistency. When I finally made the commitment to myself and to my family that I was going to be consistent and do the work even when it felt hard, that is when my life really started to change. Here is a little snapshot of where I was at before I made this commitment; I was always feeling like I was on the threshold of what I could handle, every little thing would push me to my limit, I was impatient, always tired, I didn’t feel present with my family or with my work, and I just wasn’t enjoying my life. Then after making this commitment and being consistent for a period of time, I felt more calm and relaxed, I was definitely more present with my family, I was not triggered as easily, I was able to make better decisions and overall just a lot happier and I was enjoying life so much more. 

A commitment is not really a commitment until it is crystal clear. To get really clear about what it is that you are actually committing to, it is important to actually write out your commitment. It is much more difficult to stay committed to something if you are not really sure what you are committing to. In The Tapping Mamas Empowerment Community, our members write out a commitment statement and post it in the area where they do their Tapping so they can see it everyday to keep it in their focus. 

Another thing that helps with your commitment is becoming very clear on your “WHY”. One way to get really clear on your “WHY” is to use journaling to explore all areas of your life. Explore where you are right now in each area and where you would actually like to be. 

You can journal on a series of questions to help discover your why.  Questions like: What are the things that are not working in my life? What are my biggest challenges? What is my least favorite part of my day? If I could change one thing right now, what would it be? Really explore the answers to these questions, dig deeper, allow yourself to just flow with whatever comes in your journaling.

Then think about the stress and/or overwhelm in your life right now. What are the things that cause you stress? How does the stress you are feeling affect your life? How does it affect your productivity, how does it affect your relationships, how does it affect your level of joy?  Does the stress affect your health? your sleep? How does it affect your family? Again, just really allow yourself to explore what comes up.

Then you can spend some time thinking about how things from your past might be affecting your current stress levels and your current life experiences. How are unprocessed emotions from your past affecting your thoughts and decisions today? How do your self limiting beliefs and fears affect the current level of stress and the amount overwhelm you experience? 

Becoming aware of all the ways stress affects your life helps you to see how valuable it is to minimize stress as much as possible.

Take some time to get real clear on how you would like things to be. By looking back at the questions you answered about the things you would like to change helps to get clear on how you would like things to be. Get really clear on where you are now and where you want to be. Most importantly, how you feel now compared to how you want to feel. Again, journaling can help you get really clear on this. 

The reason it is so important to get clear on your WHY is because we often have a resistance to change. The survival brain is actually wired to resist change so you need to arm yourself with tools and strategies to break through the resistance. When you feel the resistance or notice you are self sabotaging yourself, you can look back on what you wrote to remind yourself why it is so important that you stick to your commitment and keep doing the work. Use your WHY as the fuel to stay motivated.  

So to recap Stage 1 of the Empowerment Process - The foundation of your self care practices comes from your Commitment to yourself and your family and your WHY is vital in overcoming the resistance and the self sabotage. 

The second stage of The Empowerment Process is Relief

This stage is all about creating relief from what we are experiencing in the moment. Relief from stress and overwhelm, relief from an intense emotion, relief from fear. When someone asks me where do I start with Tapping, I always tell them, start with where you are right now. This stage is all about giving you ways to start with where you are at and get relief in the moment. 

One of the reasons Tapping is so effective is because you can do it any time, anywhere. I tap in the car, in the shower, in bed, in public washrooms, sometimes even in the grocery store..... Really I tap any time and anywhere. And usually if I am tapping anywhere it is because I am wanting relief from what I am experiencing in that moment. 

Another one of the ways I encourage people to use Tapping for Relief is by Creating a Tapping Ritual. So, in addition to using it anytime, anywhere, creating a ritual where you use it at specific times in a specific place. 

Having a special space that is just for you is so important in creating a Tapping Ritual. Somewhere you can go to reflect, explore, and get present with what is happening for you in different areas of your life. Find a space somewhere in your house that is just for you. A space that allows you to go inside and connect with yourself and what is happening for you. Somewhere you can get a bit of time to yourself. It could be a corner of your room, your office, a closet, anywhere that you can close a door and get really present with yourself and with what you are experiencing.

Having a special space just for yourself is so important for any kind of self care practice you do. Make it your space by adding special things in it; pictures, objects, stones or crystals, anything that you enjoy that makes you feel good. 

In The Tapping Mamas Empowerment Community, one of the tools we use in the Relief stage is morning and evening check ins. In the morning, we use a series of questions to check in and explore any worry, fears or stress we are feeling about the day ahead so we can tap on them and release them. We then create an intention and a feeling that we want for our day. Starting your day free of any stress or worry and with a clear positive intention and feeling sets us up for the best possible day. As I am sure you know, if you start your day in a negative way, it doesn’t usually get much better. 

Then in the evening we use another series of questions that helps us discover anything we might be holding onto from the day so we can tap on it and let it go before going to bed at night. Calming the nervous system and quieting our mind at the end of the day makes falling asleep easier and it helps us get a deeper, more restful sleep. And it also helps us to prepare for the day tomorrow. 

It is also good to take a few minutes a couple times throughout the day to check in with yourself and see where you are at and what you are experiencing. If you are feeling any kind of stress or elevated emotion, or if you find your mind is racing you can take 5 or 10 minutes to tap to quiet things down and to get some relief in the moment. For me, this is something I often do while driving or while waiting to pick up one of my kids.

Another way we do Relief Tapping in The Empowerment Community is by going into the Tapping Video resource area. If there is nothing coming up when we read through the check in questions we can just scroll through all of the categories and titles of the videos, there will often be one that resonates with us or one just jumps out at us. For people that are not comfortable with Tapping on their own yet, they can use the video library for their morning and evening Tapping as well. We are always adding new Tapping Topics to the video library.

One interesting thing about Tapping is often when you are Tapping on something, thoughts, memories, ideas or insights will just pop into your mind. It is really important to take note of these things. Almost always this is something deeper that you need to Tap on. It is important to always keep a Tapping Journal nearby so you can write things down as they come up. My experience with my own Tapping as well as Tapping with clients is that these insights almost always lead us to exactly where we need to go.

A few of the other strategies we use in the Empowerment Community are a Habit Tracker, Monthly Reflections, a Points System and proven techniques for easily creating new habits. Tapping as well as other self care practices are most effective when we are consistent. The habit tracker gives us a visual tool to know exactly how consistent we are and how much time we spend Tapping. Then doing a monthly reflection at the end of each month allows us to assess where things are going well and where we would like to improve. If we don’t know where we would like to improve we can’t make a plan for improvement. And most importantly, knowing where things are going good and where we are making progress gives us an opportunity to celebrate our wins and accomplishments!! The Points system adds a little fun to our practice by giving us points each time we do specific activities. We can use this to create a little competition with ourselves, seeing if we can hit a certain number or we can compete with other members which can  give us motivation to show up and do the work when we don’t really feel like it. We also use a few proven strategies for making our Tapping Ritual a regular habit such as Habit Stacking and Implementation Intention. I learned about these strategies from a book called Atomic Habits. It is a really great book if you are trying to start any new habits or stop any old ones. I highly recommend it. 

Let's do a quick recap of Stage 2 - Relief is about starting from where you are right now. Checking in with yourself a few times throughout the day and taking a few minutes to Tap to give yourself relief from the stress, worry, anxiety, or whatever you are feeling at that moment. 

One thing that I want to say is that Tapping is not about avoiding feeling the emotions. It is important to feel the emotions, it is more a matter of how long are you going to feel them for. The key to getting Relief with Tapping is to get present and really allow yourself to feel what we are experiencing. Tapping then helps you to process and release the emotion so that you don’t carry it with you for extended periods of time.  

Stage 3 of The Empowerment Process is Healing

This is a very powerful stage. I believe this is where the real life changing Transformation happens.

In this stage we use a process called The Personal Peace Procedure. The Personal Peace Procedure was created by Gary Craig, the founder of EFT Tapping. He described it as an exercise that we use to make peace with our past by releasing the emotional charge that any past memories still hold.

Why is this so powerful? Every action and decision you make shapes your future. Your actions and decisions are almost always based on your thoughts and your feelings. When you are holding onto emotions from the past, they influence your thoughts and feelings in this moment. So all of your actions and decisions today are based on unprocessed emotions from your past. This is what keeps you stuck in the same patterns and keeps you recreating your past over and over.

By releasing and clearing away the emotions that are still attached to past memories, you are then free to make decisions and take actions based on the future you actually want to create, not based on past emotions that keep you stuck.

Are you starting to see how powerful this can be? 

This is what gets me really fired up inside. Because I know how my life changed from doing this work. I can see so clearly how much my thoughts and decisions have changed and continue to change as I continue to do this work. I really believe I am a completely different person today because of this process and I know that by continuing to do this work I continue to grow and become more free to choose to be the person I really want to be. 

So I want you to just take a minute to think of a past memory that still holds an emotional charge to it. Do you have a memory from your childhood that still brings up difficult emotions when you think about it? If you were to really spend some time thinking about this memory how intense would the emotion get?  

Now I want you to think about how that memory might still influence your life today. Does it affect how you think in any way? Does it affect any decisions you make? I am going to suggest that it affects you more than you probably realize. 

Your survival brain is always on the lookout for potential negative experiences that resemble past negative experiences. And it will do whatever it takes to avoid them. Sometimes it even avoids positive things or things that you actually want because it resembles something difficult from your past. Here is a little story to demonstrate what this could look like. 

Sally was in grade 5.  She was a really good student, very confident, had good grades and really enjoyed school. Her class had been given a research assignment and they would have to present their assignment to the class. She didn’t really like speaking in front of the class but she was confident in her work and she knew she was smart so she was ready.

When her turn came to present, she went to the front of the class. As she was about to start her presentation there was a bit of a distraction in the classroom which caused some kids to laugh. She lost her focus and forgot what she was going to say. This added to the kids laughter and now more kids were laughing. By the time the teacher got the class settled, Sally had lost all her confidence and she struggled throughout the entire presentation. The sounds of the kids laughing was stuck in her head and she was horrified.

From that day on she avoided speaking in front of groups. She still did well in school but the emotions of that experience never left her. 

Now, it is 30 years later and Sally is working for a company that she loves and she really likes her job but she feels like she could be doing so much more. She really feels that she deserves a promotion. A new position opens up and it is the exact job she wants and it has a really substantial pay raise. Her supervisor came to her and told her that the reports she had recently done were really great and asked her to present them to the team at the next meeting. Sally felt herself sink inside. She was instantly filled with fear and anxiety, the same feeling she had 30 years ago in grade 5. The last person that was asked to present at a team meeting got a promotion. She knew this was her chance to prove herself and if she did a good presentation and showed her leadership skills at the meeting she would get that promotion that she really wanted and knew she deserved. But she just couldn’t bring herself to do it, she couldn’t break through the fear and anxiety she was feeling. Sally did not get the promotion. 

This story is a pretty obvious example. It might not always be this obvious how some memories from our past are still affecting us today. But if the memory still holds an emotional charge it does have some influence over us and the decisions we make. And it can be the less obvious ones that we have to dig to find but they are just as important to clear. 

So how do you do the Personal Peace Procedure? You make a list of every memory that you can think of that still holds an emotional charge. It doesn’t have to be a super intense emotion. If there is any emotion at all when you think about it, put it on the list. 

You then start Tapping on each memory one by one, working through the list. I often recommend starting with the memories with the highest emotional intensity unless you have experienced big traumas that are too much to think about. In that case start with the easier, less intense memories when you are working on your own. For the more intense trauma memories please find a qualified Tapping Practitioner to guide you, do not go into the memory on your own. A Tapping Practitioner has techniques to help you release the emotion without having to go right into the memory. 

Before you begin tapping, you will want to rate the intensity of the emotion on a scale from 0 to 10. Then, using the basic Tapping sequence, you Tap on the memory to reduce or eliminate the emotion. Some memories have many aspects to them and can require you to tap on all of the different aspects in order to totally clear the memory of all of the emotional charge. 

Sometimes it can take a few minutes to clear a memory and sometimes it takes multiple sessions. But it is such an incredible feeling of freedom to be able to think back to a memory that has always brought up difficult emotions and to no longer feel anything. 

For me, the real excitement came when I started to notice changes in my behavior and my reactions to things. I was not feeling triggered by things that would normally trigger me. I was not reacting in my usual habitual ways. I was then able to think about how I want to act, I was able to choose my action rather than just react. This is real Emotional Freedom!! 

A recap of Stage 3 - Healing. By clearing away the emotional charge still attached to past memories you are free to really choose your thoughts and feelings in any given situation. You are in control and get to choose how you react. Those old emotions of the past are not longer influencing your thoughts and feelings so the past is no longer creating your future. 

Stage 4 is Growth. 

In this stage of The Empowerment Process we use a number of different tools to explore self-limiting beliefs and fears and phobias. Self-limiting beliefs and fears come from one or more negative experiences. To overcome the self-limiting belief or fear with Tapping it is helpful to find the root cause of it. 

In The Tapping Mamas Empowerment Community we use a number of different tools and strategies to discover the potential root causes. One of these tools is journaling, we use regular journaling prompts to get us to explore new thoughts and ideas. The act of writing opens up the mind and can lead us to new places. It is a great way to just let the thoughts flow and to explore feelings. 

Another tool we use is Affirmations. When doing self-limiting belief or fear discovery work we use affirmations in a different way from how they are normally used.  First, you take a few minutes to get really present with your body and with your thoughts. Then you read through a list of affirmations one at a time, stopping after each one and just tuning in to what you are experiencing. What thoughts come up, what feelings or sensations are you experiencing in your body. By paying attention to the reaction of your body and mind you can get some good insight into your self limiting beliefs.

Mind Mapping is also a great tool for exploring possible self-limiting beliefs and fears and the root cause of them. Again, it is helpful to take a few minutes to relax and get really present. Doing some breath work can help to get connected. Then, using a mind map, allow yourself to just free flow brainstorm whatever just comes naturally. One thought leads to another. Allow what comes naturally without judgement. 

Another way you can work to discover the root cause of a self limiting belief or fear is to just Tap directly on the belief or fear itself. For example, if you have a belief that you are not lovable, you can just tap on all of the points repeating a reminder phrase like “I am not lovable” while paying attention to any thoughts and/ or feelings that come up. You will get some calming relief from the Tapping and you might get some good insight into that limiting belief or fear.

As you are using any of these strategies to discover self-limiting beliefs or fears and their root cause you continue to add things to your Personal Peace Procedure list. Anytime you discover a new thing that needs to be Tapped on it gets added to the list. I like to add it to my list even if I Tap on it at that moment. It is a way of keeping track of all of the things that you have Tapped on. It is always good to go back and revisit things you have Tapped on to see if the intensity level is still down or if it has come back up. If the intensity of an emotion has come back up after some time, that usually just means that you missed an aspect of that issue and you just need to go back and Tap on it again. Eventually you will cover all the different aspects and the emotion will not come back when you think about that memory.

Let’s recap Stage 4 of The Empowerment Process - Growth. There are a number of different tools and strategies you can use to discover self-limiting beliefs and fears and the root cause of them. In the Empowerment Community we use Journaling prompts, affirmation work, mind maps and generalized tapping. 

The 5th and Final Stage is Empowerment. 

This is where you start to create our future. Starting with getting clear on what you really want, what does our ideal life look like? We use visualization and journaling to paint the picture of our ideal life, getting into the details of how it looks and how it feels. Once you have a clear detailed vision then you can break it down into Goals. Longer term goals as well as shorter term goals. You then go through a series of exercises to discover where you might have blocks to achieving these goals. This helps us to identify more self limiting beliefs as well as other ideas or issues that could be blocking us from achieving these goals.

Often when you are focused on working towards our goals and dreams our thinking is coming from a place of lack, from a place of not being where we want to be. One of the most important things you can do when you are working on creating your ideal life is to live your life with the emotions and feelings of your ideal future that you are working to create. If you are always focused on what is missing and what you are lacking, you are not in a vibrational match to what you are trying to create. You are living in the emotions of your past which keeps you from enjoying the moment.  Living life right now with the energy of your future allows you to not only be a vibrational match for what it is you want but it allows you to experience and enjoy your life right now rather than waiting for a time in the future to enjoy it.  Once you get to a place where you are spending more time in the energy of your future, you are no longer controlled by your past. You are then free to create your future starting right now. 

So this gives you an overview of the 5 Stages of The Empowerment Process. I really hope you will implement any pieces of it that resonated with you. If you would like to have more support and guidance working with this process you can join The Wait List for The Tapping Mamas Empowerment Community and you will be the first to get notified when the doors open again. You can join the waitlist at www.thetappingmama.com/community-wait-list.

If you would like to get started with the first few stages of The Empowerment Process you can register for the Stress Free Start workshop where you will learn how to start your day free of the stress and worry. Starting your day feeling stressed and worried about having too much to do and not enough time generally doesn’t lead us to a productive enjoyable day! So if you are ready to start each day calm, relaxed and positive go to the link in the show notes below. 

In the next episode of the Single Mom Empowerment Podcast I am going to share with you The Power of Community: 7 Ways Community Empowers Single Moms.  

See you then!