Preparing Educators for a Happy, Healthy, and Courageous School Year


Scarlett Lewis introduces Dr. Maria Ortner to the conference attendees

After losing her son, Jesse, to the Sandy Hook School tragedy, Scarlett Lewis knew she had an important job to do to honor her son. Over the years, she created the Jesse Lewis Choose Love (JLCL) Movement. Scarlett created this Movement, alongside many educators, to establish a free and comprehensive social and emotional learning (SEL) program in all schools. The Choose Love Enrichment Program™ was born. It is a no-cost, downloadablepre-K through 12th grade, evidence-based social and emotional classroom program teaching children how to choose love in any circumstance. The program focuses on four important character values – Courage, Gratitude, Forgiveness and Compassion in Action – which cultivates optimism, resilience and personal responsibility. Included elements are positive psychology, mindfulness, neuroscience, character values and more.

On August 23, 2018, the JLCL Movement hosted a professional development conference for school personnel at the University of Rhode Island in partnership with The Center for Nonviolence & Peace Studies. The conference was entitled “Nourishing Insights, Preparing Educators for a Happy, Healthy and Courageous School Year.” 

As an avid fan of Tapping, Scarlett and the JLCL Movement reached out and asked The Tapping Solution Foundation to be a part of their day, teaching educators about how to use Tapping in schools to give students a tool to self-manage their emotions and become resilient learners.

Dr. Maria Ortner, from The Tapping Solution Foundation, demonstrated the value of using Tapping in schools. Participants learned how to use EFT Tapping, and ways to incorporate it into their school day. Dr. Ortner shared stories of success including how Tapping has positively impacted students’ self-awareness, resiliency, problem-solving skills, and social and emotional learning. Through the use of Tap-Along Videos and Tapping lessons that accompany the JLCL program, educators had take-away action steps for using Tapping once returning to their classrooms.

To-date, the Choose Love Enrichment Program has been downloaded in all 50 states and Washington DC and over 55 different countries more than 16,000 times by more than 7,600 educators, which is collectively reaching about 1,400,000 students.

Together with The Tapping Solution Foundation, students and schools around the world are learning the skills to manage and cope with their feelings, giving them the opportunity for life-long success academically, emotionally and socially. To find out more information about how to use EFT Tapping in your school, visit our collection of free resources.

Self-Care Habits for Mentally Strong Children

Mental health is a common consideration when it comes to children’s overall well-being, as previous research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that one out of seven U.S. children had a diagnosed mental, behavioral, or developmental disorder. Both mental health and emotional development are fundamental aspects of children’s development, however, psychotherapist Amy Morin notes, “Emotional intelligence is part of mental strength. But mental strength goes beyond emotions and addresses the thoughts and behaviors that affect the overall quality of your life. Mental strength involves developing daily habits that build mental muscle.”

Developing habits that help children cope with the different ramifications that accompany mental health issues is a critical aspect of childhood that also extends into adulthood. As children grow and begin to develop a sense of self, they begin to identify emotions, understand why they happen, and how to manage them appropriately. As children develop, the things that provoke their emotional responses change, as do the strategies they use to manage them. We can guide our children with the following ideas that will foster fruitful self-care tendencies.

Creative Expressions
It’s not always easy to verbalize negative feelings or emotions that are festering within us, especially for children. Journaling can be a great form of release because of its simplicity and versatility. For younger children, provide them with a notebook or coloring book that allows them to switch their focus from negative thoughts to the present moment. Certified art therapist Marygrace Berberian notes, “Coloring definitely has therapeutic potential to reduce anxiety, create focus or bring [about] more mindfulness.”

For older children, encourage them to use a journal to write down their feelings and any questions that may accompany them. Incorporate mental health materials such as discussion guides that provide a list of questions to spark meaningful and informative conversations, which can be especially helpful if your child has an upcoming appointment with a doctor or therapist regarding a mental health diagnosis.

Sensory
Using tools easily available to children gives them the opportunity for continuous success as they create habits of caring for their mental health. Tapping, or EFT, can be used anywhere at anytime, and learned by children as young as 3 years old. Using their hands and voices to Tap on meridian points, children acknowledge their feelings, calm their stress response, and learn to self-manage any issues that arise during the day. By doing so, children become resilient problem-solvers who feel in control of their mind and body, developing their mental strength. This technique provides children and teenagers with the tools to understand and manage emotions, develop social awareness and relationship skills, reduce academic stress, and become resilient learners.

Help your child practice mindfulness – a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. There are many ways to teach your child mindfulness through breathing. Using “mindful breathing” teaches children how to use their breath consciously to change the emotional and biological state of their body. It is important to have a space and set time of day for this practice, allowing it to become an easy-to-use habit of self-care. There is also power in modeling mindful breathing yourself and encouraging little ones with positive affirmations. The interactive children’s book, My Magic Breath by Nick Ortner and Alison Taylor, is also a great tool to teach children how to practice mindfulness and use their breathing to manage any negative feelings, bringing their attention to the present moment.

Exercise
The physical benefits of exercise are well-known, however, the benefits exercise has on mental health are less obvious. Physical activity stimulates the production of endorphins– naturally occurring chemicals in the body that reduce your perception of pain and trigger positive feelings. Exercising regularly can improve overall mental health by reducing stress, decreasing feelings of anxiety and depression, and boosting one’s self-esteem. Children can include exercise into their daily routines effortlessly through activities they already enjoy such as biking, swimming, or dancing. As a parent, you can encourage physical activity and show support by engaging in physical activities with your child through simple things like going for a walk around the neighborhood together. Exercise is an easy yet fun way to get outside, become energized and even interact with others.

By instilling self-care habits early in our children’s lives, such as Tapping or mindful breathing,we are providing our children the opportunity to overcome any emotional and mental challenges they may face in a healthy and productive manner.

10 Tips for Teaching Your Kids Mindful Breathing

Just like adults, children will experience the same emotions of stress, anxiety, worry, sadness, anger, fear, etc. as they go about learning and growing.

However, the main difference is that the young developing mind doesn’t always know how to process, release, or properly categorize these emotions. So we need to help them learn, using the right tools and methods.

A lot of these methods are actually pretty easy to teach to our young kids. One of these is Tapping, which I love to use with children because it’s a physical activity that keeps them engaged, while encouraging them to really tune in to their feelings at the same time.

Another technique that is really simple and powerful is learning how to breathe mindfully. Now, we all know how to breathe, and our bodies do it naturally without us having to think about it.

But “mindful” breathing is a little bit different because it pairs our breathing with our conscious thoughts and imagination. Just through the proper use of our breath, we can change both the emotional and biological states of our bodies. It’s super-easy to learn, but simply just isn’t taught very much in Western culture.

Teaching kids how to breathe mindfully to let go of stress and their bad feelings is the inspiration behind my newest children’s book called “My Magic Breath: Finding Calm Through Mindful Breathing”. So be sure to pick up a copy!

But in addition, I wanted to add some other helpful tips to go along with the book itself that will help your child learn the technique of mindful breathing. Here’s a short list to get you started!

1. Set aside some time every day

Children are very accustomed to doing things every day on a routine schedule, starting from their days as an infant. Feeding time, nap time, play time, school time, reading time, quiet time, etc.

So by designating a specific time every day to practice “breathing time”, your kids will get into a habit of practicing it.

2. Have a special “breathing space”

Similar to above, children associate their environment with specific activities. The crib is for sleeping, the changing table is for changing diapers, the high chair is for eating, the potty is for using the bathroom, the rocking chair is for feeding, and so on.

For making a space for your kids to practice breathing, it should be quiet, comfortable, and relaxing. A big fluffy pillow, a furry soft blanket, a colorful corner of their room, or a cozy sitting chair works great.

3. Make it fun

We all know how quickly developing new habits fizzle out when they seem like hard work. And for children especially, you want to make sure that learning how to breathe mindfully is fun! The goal is to make it relaxing and enjoyable, not just another chore. 🙂

4. Practice it yourself

Children learn by mimicking those around them, so why not set a good example? As a parent, teacher, or anyone who works closely with kids, using mindful breathing techniques yourself to release stress and other built up emotions won’t just provide a good example to follow,  it will also do wonders for your own relaxation too. 🙂

5. Ask your kids better questions

A part of mindful breathing is actually focusing on those negative emotions you want to release, while bringing in those positive emotions you’d like to feel. So for children, a big part of that is asking them the right questions.

For example, instead of asking, “How was your day today?” try asking more questions like, “What was the most exciting part of your day? Is there one thing that made you feel sad or angry today? When that bad thing happened, how did it make you feel? If you could change one thing today that would make you feel better, what would it be?”

Questions like these will not only encourage them to identify the parts of their day to practice mindful breathing with, it will also help to develop your child’s emotional intelligence, communication skills, self-esteem, and adaptability.

6. Include some props

To add to the fun of teaching children how to breathe mindfully, include things like pinwheels, bubbles, wind chimes, or a stuffed animal “breathing buddy” they can practice with. Adding in sensory stimuli (sounds, colors, movement, touch, etc.) helps to associate the practice of mindful breathing with making things change.

Just like blowing on a pinwheel or blowing bubbles will make them move or float away, the same thing will happen with their bad emotions on the inside.

7. Offer some positive incentives

There will probably be days when it will be difficult to help your child to practice mindful breathing, so sometimes offering a positive reward like their favorite piece of fruit or extra playtime before bed will do the trick!

Avoid doing this too often, however, because you don’t want to create the habit of substituting the outer reward for the inner reward of having them feel better. That’s the true prize.

8. Have your kids measure their feelings before and after breathing

Just like we do with Tapping, you can have your kids measure their feelings before and after the breathing exercise. If they are feeling sad, ask them on a scale of 1-10 how sad they feel.

Or if they don’t know numbers yet, have them measure with their hands. Holding their arms out wide will be really sad, while bringing their hands close together means less sad. And, of course, make sure to have them measure their happy feelings too! 🙂

9. Give lots of encouragement

Everyone thrives on encouragement, especially children! Let them know they’re doing great, even if it takes some time to get into the habit of mindful breathing. Every step is a positive one, and every stumble is a learning experience. This mindset alone is the basis for many self-help books and a highly recognized success principle.

10. Pick up a copy of my book, My Magic Breath: Finding Calm Through Mindful Breathing

Books are a wonderful way to teach children how to do lots of things, and I just love writing children’s books. My newest one, called “My Magic Breath: Finding Calm Through Mindful Breathing” was created just for this purpose.

With co-author Alison Taylor and beautifully illustrated by Michelle Polizzi, this picture book will help your child find a sense of calm through the magic of mindful breathing.

 

I hope this list is helpful to you! Pick up a copy of my book here and practice the tips above to begin teaching the wonderful skill of mindful breathing with you children!

If you’d like a downloadable infographic of the 10 tips above, you can find that here, designed for us courtesy of Venngage. 🙂

Until next time…

Keep Tapping!

Nick Ortner


Here are some other children’s resources that you can also explore:

Bring Tapping to Your School
Tapping for Kids Video – YouTube
The Tapping Solution for Parents, Children & Teenagers
Gorilla Thumps and Bear Hugs: A Tapping Solution Children’s Story
The Big Book of Hugs: A Barkley the Bear Story

Tapping for Parents, Children, and Teenagers

With the release of my newest book, My Magic Breath: Finding Calm Through Mindful Breathing, I realized just how large our library of Tapping resources for parents, children, and teens has grown over the years.

While we have no intentions of stopping here, I thought it would be great to start compiling a resource list in one place so that you can easily find what you’re looking for when it comes to Tapping with youngsters. 🙂

So here you go! We’ll continue adding to this list as new content becomes available.

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Books

My Magic Breath: Finding Calm Through Mindful Breathing

My Magic Breath: Finding Calm Through Mindful Breathing

The Tapping Solution for Parents, Children & Teenagers

The Tapping Solution for Parents, Children & Teenagers

Gorilla Thumps and Bear Hugs: A Tapping Solution Children’s Story

Gorilla Thumps and Bear Hugs: A Tapping Solution Children’s Story

The Big Book of Hugs: A Barkley the Bear Story

The Big Book of Hugs: A Barkley the Bear Story

The Tapping Solution for Teenage Girls

The Tapping Solution for Teenage Girls

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Websites

The Tapping Solution Foundation

The Tapping Solution Foundation

Tapping for Teachers Facebook Group

Tapping for Teachers Facebook Group

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Multimedia

Tapping for Kids Video (YouTube)

Tapping for Kids Video (Facebook)

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Tapping for Kids Video (YouTube)

Tapping for Kids Video (Facebook)

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Tapping for Kids Video (YouTube)

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Resources

Tapping in Schools Quickstart Guide

Tapping in Schools Quickstart Guide

How to Bring Tapping to Your School

Until next time…

Keep Tapping!

Nick Ortner


Have any of these resources been helpful to you? I’d love to hear your comments!

How to Be Mindful of Young Minds

You can teach children how to breathe mindfully to let go of bad feelings and encourage happy ones!

When we get a bruise or a scratch on our bodies, we are typically very certain that it will heal with time, because that’s what the body is designed to do. And because we can actually see it happen, we become very familiar with the healing process.

For young children, we even go out of our way to ensure that everything will be alright after a tumble or a scrape. We offer added attention, we pour on the encouragement, we kiss the boo-boo, and we bandage up the injury with care.

But what about the emotional stings and wounds that we can’t see? Don’t they deserve as much attention as physical ones?

What I’ve experienced time and again when Tapping with clients (and what any academically trained and board-certified psychologist or therapist can confirm) is that a great majority of our adult problems are rooted in unresolved emotional events from our childhoods.

That’s because the child’s mind is very much influenced by their immediate environment and can’t always correctly process the events that take place. Something simple like an embarrassing moment at school can be misinterpreted as “dangerous”.

Feelings of anger, stress, sadness, fear, or loneliness can remain with the child for long periods of time if not properly released.

Whether they are big or small, we all have emotional wounds. But what if we were able to teach our kids how to properly take care of them and heal them when they happened, so that they wouldn’t be carried into their adult lives?

Healing the emotional wounds of our children

The good news is that there ARE tools we can teach our children, and they need nothing more than what our bodies are already equipped with.

One of these tools is Tapping, of course. And we are building quite a library of resources to help kids learn how to tap. You can find a few of those at the bottom of this post.

Another tool that every single living human on the planet has is our breath.

Yes, that’s right, simply breathing in a certain way can help to reduce and even eliminate many of the negative emotions kids can experience.

Mindful breathing has been practiced for thousands of years, and is a core component of most meditation practices.

It’s also the focus of my newest children’s book, “My Magic Breath: Finding Calm Through Mindful Breathing”.

With co-author Alison Taylor and beautifully illustrated by Michelle Polizzi, this picture book will help children to find a sense of calm through the magic of breathing.

Whether read and practiced during story time, or even as a bed-time story to help your kids relax for a more peaceful sleep, this book is a wonderful tool to have on hand.

In a fun and interactive way, “My Magic Breath” will teach youngsters how to use their breathing to make themselves feel better. And the more we can help kids release their negative emotions and stress, the better off they’ll be as they grow into adults!

Until next time,

Keep Tapping!

Nick Ortner


Here are some other children’s resources that you can also explore:

Bring Tapping to Your School
Tapping for Kids Video – YouTube
The Tapping Solution for Parents, Children & Teenagers
Gorilla Thumps and Bear Hugs: A Tapping Solution Children’s Story
The Big Book of Hugs: A Barkley the Bear Story

The Tapping Solution Foundation Partners with GRACES to Bring Tapping to Children in Guatemala

The Tapping Solution Foundation recently visited Antigua (the ancient capital of Guatemala, now a bustling colonial city) to teach and promote the use of EFT Tapping in the classroom. We visited the “Escuela Integrada de Niños Trabajadores”, a private school dedicated to serving the children of several communities around Antigua. These are children who live in extreme poverty and who, were it not for the efforts of the school, would probably be out working at a very tender age.

The school had learned about EFT Tapping through the outreach efforts of the Tapping Solution. They realized the value of implementing this technique for school children, and reached out for help in implementing a program locally. Dr. Maria Laura Ortner, Director of Global Outreach for the Tapping Solution Foundation, replied and, over the course of several months, met over Skype with both their school psychologist and their school counselor, teaching them and guiding them on how to best use tapping with the children. Delighted with the initial results, we eventually travelled to Antigua and spent three days teaching the tapping techniques to the schoolchildren, as well as to their teachers, school staff and parents.

We visited each of the classrooms, grades K through 9, for a full period, adapting the presentations to each age level. The results were amazing! The children were avid learners, and were particularly entertained by the animal associations to the tapping points described in Alex Ortner’s book “Gorilla Thumps and Bear Hugs.”

Most of these young boys and girls have been severely traumatized in their infancy, through poverty, malnutrition, and in general very poor living conditions. The tapping techniques work extremely well to relieve them of these emotional burdens, and to give them a sense of self-worth. One of the teachers at the school, Sandra Flores, told us about Daniel, a 16-year-old boy who goes to a night school at which she also teaches. It is a school for adolescents and adults to complete their primary education. She told us that Daniel has nervous ticks, and often gets anxious and stressed; she did some Tapping with him, and the next day Daniel came to her and wanted to learn more, because he said it had really helped him. And they even did it in Kaquikel, one of the local Mayan languages!

We also gathered with all the teachers at the Escuela Integrada, to discuss the benefits of EFT, some of its subtleties, how best to use it with children, etc., and gave a full presentation to a large group of parents, perhaps 50 or 60, many of whom came from quite far to attend. The receptiveness at the Escuela Integrada was amazing! The children loved it, and the teachers and staff, seeing the immediate positive effects it had, bought into the concept wholeheartedly.

At the conclusion of our stay, the school also organized a workshop where we were able to introduce the technique to other community members from Antigua and the surrounding area, including psychologists, teachers, and social workers, among others. 95 people attended, with most of them paying an entrance fee that went to the school as part of their fundraising. It was a roaring success!

The Escuela Integrada is supported 100% by GRACES, a US-based charitable organization. The country of Guatemala has a very limited public school system, so these children, whose families for the most part live in abject poverty, would otherwise probably remain uneducated. In addition to the schooling, they provide the children with two nutritious meals per day, counseling to the parents, water filters for their homes, as the water quality in the area is very poor, and food and domestic supplies to many of the families. They even organize volunteer teams who come from the USA to help with building homes, and other necessities. The work they do is quite amazing, and is without a doubt making a huge impact in the lives of these people. Visit their website at WeAreGraces.org.

For more information on The Tapping Solution Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization, and on how you too can implement Tapping in your schools, visit their website at TappingSolutionFoundation.org or contact us at info@tappingsolutionfoundation.org.


Dr. Ortner is teaching EFT Tapping to a kindergarten class in the Escuela de Niños Trabajadores in Antigua, Guatemala. The kids had fun and loved it!


Approximately 100 people attended this Tapping event in Antigua, Guatemala. Dr. Ortner held a Tapping Workshop for teachers, therapists, psychologists, social workers, police officers and government officials.

Project LIGHT: Australia From Trauma To Hope

The Tapping Solution Foundation has supported the ongoing efforts of Dr. Lori Leyden and Project Light by providing training resources, outreach and funding. Dr. Leyden’s innovative and heart-centered “Create Global Healing” organization introduced Tapping in Rwanda to help bring hope and healing to the survivors of the Rwandan Genocide. Now, Dr. Leyden is working in Australia to bring the same relief to Indigenous and Refugee Youth.

Here is an update from Dr. Leyden about their continual work, now in Australia:

“Project LIGHT: Australia – From Trauma to Hope:

The expansion of Project LIGHT continues to bring miracles beyond my imagination! Our intention for Project LIGHT: Australia is to work with Indigenous and Refugee Youth and those who support them. In May, we were honored and deeply privileged to spend 4 days in Robinvale with an amazing group of Aborigine Elders and young adults. These wise women have suffered egregious traumas effecting many generations of Aborigine people because of government policies that took their land, their children, and perpetuated violence against them. Many are living with the loss of their adolescent children to suicide (highest suicide rate in the world) and drug addiction, and experience domestic violence, cancer, chronic pain, depression, anxiety as well as other debilitating life circumstances.

Using the EFT for Trauma protocol I developed in Newtown and Rwanda, we were able to lift significant traumas allowing these Elders and young people to feel a renewed sense hope and deep commitment to personal and community healing.

We also had the honor of leading an EFT for Trauma workshop for 50 staff members of Foundation House, an impressive organization working with refugee youth and families.

As promised, I returned to Australia again at the end of October to conduct various workshops, including an Advanced Trauma Relief and Resiliency training for EFT/Tapping Professionals, to begin building EFT/Tapping trauma healing capacity in the country.

We’re also building relationships with individuals and organizations such as the Asylum Seekers Resource Center, Foundation House, Melbourne City Mission and Igniting Change to offer collaborative trauma healing training for professionals serving those with the greatest need for emotional healing in Australia. Plans are already underway for more trainings in May 2018!

One of the greatest privileges I experienced was being invited to participate in the Return to Country: Mungo Man events. What an honor to meet First Nation dignitaries as well as Jim Bowler who discovered the 43,000 year-old Mungo Man bones and worked tirelessly for over forty years to return them to sacred ground. We deeply hope that these events have created a momentum of reconciliation and healing for all Australians.”

-Lori Leyden, PhD, MBA


Because of your support for The Tapping Solution Foundation, we are able to provide communities worldwide, including in Rwanda and Australia, with the healing effects of EFT Tapping. Thank you!

Turning Bullies Into Enlightened Leaders

Bullies are made, not born, and yet, many of us, quite understandably, struggle to feel compassion for them. What then happens is that bullies lose their voice, often even their right to speak, except when they’re behaving like bullies.

So what happens when we go out of our way to give bullies a voice – and then, a chance to heal from the pain that is causing them to behave like bullies? It was the question The Tapping Solution Foundation got an opportunity to answer when we first began working with Shyla.

During her last year in middle school, Shyla had suddenly turned into a dark, brooding teenager. Now in high school, her grades had been on a downward spiral, and nearly every week she was being sent to the principal’s office for bullying.

Prone to rage-fueled outbursts, Shyla had become a source of disruption and frustration for teachers and administrators alike. Unfortunately, the ongoing negative attention she was getting – in the form of school detention, reprimands, and more – only seemed to worsen her attitude, behavior, and performance.

What few at her school initially realized was that Shyla’s transformation had taken place soon after a shooting had taken place at her former school. Forced to remain still and quiet in the dark for five agonizingly long hours of city-wide lockdown, Shyla, then a middle schooler, had huddled alone under a desk listening for gunshots while helicopters flew overhead and sirens blared nearby.

Although she had survived that day, all these years later Shyla was being haunted by the trauma of that experience. To make matters worse, Shyla’s family life was unpredictable. Whether at home or school, Shyla felt she had nowhere to turn for support and guidance.

Fortunately, one administrator at her current school looked into Shyla’s history. After realizing that Shyla had been caught in that shooting, the school reached out to The Tapping Solution Foundation, which is increasingly being recognized for the success of its trauma relief programs in schools nationwide.

Soon after sitting down with Shyla, it was clear to Lori Leyden, Director of The Tapping Solution Foundation that Shyla was suffering from untreated Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) incurred during the school shooting.

After explaining how tapping accesses the amygdala in the brain and then lowers cortisol levels in the body, Lori asked how her body feels when she’s overcome by rage. Shyla described a burning sensation in her stomach, and an inability to think before acting out her rage.

Hoping to motivate her to do trauma-healing work, Lori asked Shyla what her goal was. Kids who are labeled as “bullies” are often punished, but rarely asked what they want or how they feel, so giving Shyla a voice in the process was critical. “I want to improve my grades so I can transfer to the school I want to go to,” Shyla replied without hesitation.

While many of her teachers saw Shyla as an out of control problem student, it was clear that Shyla had done extensive independent research about attending this one specific school. In order to attend that school, however, she had to maintain a higher grade point average and receive positive reviews from teachers.

With that long-term goal clearly in mind, Lori then asked Shyla to focus on a petty annoyance she’d recently experienced. Before diving into trauma healing work, it’s important to experience some kind of results from tapping, as those initial results make people more invested in the process.

Shyla’s petty annoyance had happened a few days earlier, when her sister had borrowed Shyla’s favorite shirt without asking. Using that event as a starting point, Lori led Shyla through a few rounds of tapping. Within just a few minutes, Shyla could recall the event without feeling any irritation. She also shared that her body felt more relaxed.

Over a period of several weeks, Lori had weekly tapping sessions with Shyla, focusing on clearing the emotional intensity of her memories of the school shooting. When the focus turned to Shyla’s bullying behavior, it became clear that she, like many kids, had only begun bullying others after being continually bullied by a small group of students at her current school.

Her bullying was a coping strategy, a way to appear tough so that she herself would no longer be harassed.

There had been one especially traumatic day when a student had called her fat, and then ripped her shirt and pushed her into a nearby crowd to be publicly mocked. Just recalling that day, Shyla could feel rage burning in her stomach before racing up into her head. With that memory fresh in her mind, it took just two rounds of tapping to get Shyla’s rage from a 10 out of 10 down to a 2.

After releasing the emotional charge from these events and others, Shyla once again became a different kid. This time, however, the transformation was a reflection of her positive mental and emotional well-being. The next time she was bullied, instead of lashing out in rage, she stayed calm. She also reported the bullying to school administrators.

Her goal of getting into the other school was so important to her that, for the first time ever, Shyla was willing to risk being called a “tattle tale.”

Since then, Shyla has become a leader at her school. Teachers and administrators alike now see her as an example of the transformation they want to see in other students.

Once she’d used tapping to heal from the trauma of the school shooting she’d survived, Shyla no longer needed to use bullying behavior to defend herself. Instead, she can rely on positive forms of leadership to move her life and school community forward.

By giving Shyla a chance to heal and reclaim her voice, Shyla could see that she didn’t have to be victim to others’ bullying. Nor did she need to use bullying behaviors to protect herself. What a difference!

I’m thrilled to share that The Tapping Solution Foundation is doing this kind of work at a growing number of schools around the country, helping students, teachers and administrators to heal from trauma, and to support them all in fostering a positive environment for learning and social/emotional development. Just imagine what could happen if all children everywhere had easy access to the kind of healing that Shyla and her school community received.

Download Your Free Tapping Quickstart Guide for Educators:

Turning Adult Trauma Into Healing For Childhood Wounds

How do you tell parents that their elementary school child was just shot to death at school? That was the challenge facing Dan, one of first responders at the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting that tragically took the lives of twenty children and six adults on December 14, 2012. Although trained to deliver this kind of news, Dan’s memories of that day had haunted him in the years since.

When Dan first sat down with Lori Leyden, Director of The Tapping Solution Foundation, they began tapping on the trauma of that day. Dan was suffering from a mental replay loop he couldn’t stop – images from the school that day, as well as the looks on parents’ faces when he delivered the tragic news about their children.

After a few rounds of tapping through those traumatic memories, Dan recalled a pivotal moment from his early childhood. It was the day when his mother had sat him down to tell him that his brother had been killed in a car accident. He’d never forgotten the look on his mother’s face that day. It was the same look he’d seen on the Sandy Hook parents’ faces.

While tapping, Dan realized that he’d made a promise to himself very early in life – that he would do anything, including abandoning himself and his emotions, to avoid seeing the look he’d seen on his mother’s face on anyone else, ever. As a result, when he’d seen that same look on the Sandy Hook parents’ faces, it had re-ignited the trauma of his brother’s young death.

As Dan continued tapping through these traumatic memories, he realized that the anger he’d been holding in since his brother’s death had been limiting his ability to feel joy. All these years, his energy had been consumed by keeping that anger inside, and as a result, he’d experienced ongoing challenges in his marriage, and in his relationships at work.

Once Dan had tapped through his anger, he no longer felt burdened by repressed emotions. He soon began to open up to the idea of feeling more love and connection with his wife, and with the children who had been lost during the Sandy Hook shootings.

Even as adults few things limit us more than unresolved childhood trauma. When those deep wounds are finally healed, the transformation that happens is profound and sweeping. Relationships improve, careers take off, and most importantly, people’s sense of their own value and worth returns. As was the case for Dan, daily life becomes an entirely new experience, and in all the right ways. J

So often, though, people get stuck before they take that critical first step – reaching out for help in releasing trauma. If you or a loved one is struggling to seek support in overcoming a childhood (or adulthood) trauma, here’s a short tapping script that may prove helpful:

First, take 3 deep breaths and notice how much resistance you feel around seeking out support in overcoming the trauma you or a loved one survived. Give that resistance a number on a scale of 0 – 10, with 10 being the highest intensity resistance you can imagine.

We’ll begin by tapping three times on the Karate Chop point:

KC: Even though I don’t want to face what happened, it’s just too terrifying, I accept how I feel.

KC: Even though I can’t seek out support to overcome this trauma, I just can’t face it, the pain is too great, I accept how I feel.

KC: Even though I can’t face this, it’s too excruciating and I really can’t look at it too closely, I accept how I feel.

Eyebrow: I just can’t face this
Side of Eye: It’s too much
Under Eye: I can’t look at this
Under Nose: I need to push it away
Under Mouth: This is too terrifying for me to look at
Collarbone: So many emotions I can’t face
Under Arm: This trauma is bigger than me
Top of Head: I just can’t face it

Eyebrow: There’s so much tied to this trauma
Side of Eye: I feel paralyzed when I think of it
Under Eye: I just want to push it away
Under Nose: But pushing it away isn’t working
Under Mouth: I can’t seem to get rid of it
Collarbone: I know I can’t release it on my own
Under Arm: But I’m so scared to seek out support
Top of Head: I’m so scared what will happen if I face this

Eyebrow:  I know I need to, though
Side of Eye: I know I can’t do this on my own
Under Eye: I know I need help
Under Nose: I want help
Under Mouth: But it’s so scary to seek it out
Collarbone: Maybe that’s okay
Under Arm: Maybe it’s normal to be afraid
Top of Head: Maybe I can seek out support anyway

Eyebrow: Maybe I can face what happened
Side of Eye: And my first step can be to seek out support
Under Eye: It’s okay that part of me is resisting this
Under Nose: I can still seek out support
Under Mouth: I can seek out support for overcoming what happened
Collarbone: I can allow myself that opportunity to let go of this
Under Arm: I don’t have to let this fear stop me
Top of Head: Allowing myself to feel safe in seeking out support now

Take a deep breath and check in with your resistance to seeking out support from overcoming trauma now. Where is it on a scale of 0 – 10 now? Continue tapping, if you like.

The Key To Being An Effective Change Agent

A passionate and dedicated educator, Barbara had spent years advocating for special needs children in schools. When the Sandy Hook shooting took place in her town, however, Barbara’s entire world was shaken. After spending hours in lockdown that day, she’d felt powerless, overwhelmed by guilt that her efforts had failed to prevent this incredible trauma. How could the shooter have fallen through the system? she wondered. Consumed by guilt, she felt that she had failed all those who had been lost that day.

As time wore on and her guilt intensified, Barbara began having panic attacks. This formerly active, social woman soon began to withdraw from her colleagues and students, as well as friends and family. As more time passed, her panic attacks became so severe that she’d been unable to return to the school where she’d worked.

Thanks to the support of The Tapping Solution Foundation, Barbara had one tapping session that changed her life. By using tapping to process and release the traumatic guilt she was feeling, Barbara was able to identify the core issue behind her panic attacks – a belief about being “not good enough” that she’d been carrying since early childhood.

After tapping on releasing that belief, Barbara’s panic attacks stopped. She also began advocating for special needs kids in schools again. This time, however, she took a different approach. Instead of focusing on what was broken in the current system, she began to approach her work from a more positive perspective.

Using this more balanced, healing vantage point, she’s become a more powerful change agent. As a result, her work is having a bigger impact than before the shooting. In addition to helping special needs children, she is now helping an entire community and school system to heal.

Barbara’s story is a powerful testament to what can happen when we stop resisting what we want to change, and instead, become part of the change process. Instead of pointing fingers at what’s wrong, we can get involved in a deeper way. We can make ourselves accessible to the system or process we aspire to change, and in doing so, support true and sustainable transformation, which almost always happens from the inside out.

Is there an institution or process you aspire to transform? If so, are there any beliefs you’re holding onto that could get in your way – for instance, about a system that’s “broken,” or a process that “can never work”? Take out a pen and paper and write down any resistance you experience about the way things are now.

When you’re done writing the list, read through it and notice how true these beliefs feel. Pick one or two beliefs that feel very true – say, that a system you’d like to change is “broken” – and give it a number on a scale of 0 – 10 with 10 being totally true, and 0 being not true at all.

Now, let’s do some tapping to lower your resistance to how things are now. Keep in mind, this exercise isn’t intended to make you complacent about the current system or process or organization you aspire to change. Instead, it’s intended to allow you a more balanced perspective so that you, like Barbara, can become a more powerful change agent.

To begin take three deep breaths. We’ll begin by tapping three times on the Karate Chop point:

KC: Even though I see no good in this system/process/organization I yearn to change, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.

KC: Even though I can’t see anything positive about this system/process/organization I yearn to change, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.

KC: Even though the system/process/organization I yearn to change looks so broken, I just can’t see any good in it, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.

Eyebrow: All I see is how broken this is
Side of Eye: All I can see are the problems
Under Eye: There’s nothing good about this system/process/organization
Under Nose: It needs a complete overhaul
Under Mouth: There’s just nothing good about it as it is now
Collarbone: I’m so mad about how broken it is!
Under Arm: It’s got to change!
Top of Head: I hate how it is now

Eyebrow: All this anger…
Side of Eye: Maybe it’s time to let it go
Under Eye: There are so many problems with this system/process/organization
Under Nose: But I can’t change it with all this anger in me
Under Mouth: I’ll only see the bad things when I’m feeling this angry
Collarbone: Letting go of this anger now
Under Arm: Releasing this need to focus only on what’s wrong
Top of Head: Allowing myself to see some positives, as well

Eyebrow: I can’t transform what I’m determined to resist
Side of Eye: It’s time to open up to some good
Under Eye: To allow myself to see the positive when it appears
Under Nose: To allow myself a more balanced perspective
Under Mouth: And to allow that balance to make me a more powerful change agent
Collarbone: I can allow myself to notice good things, even if they’re very small ones, in the current system/process/organization
Under Arm: And to then use those bright spots as impetus for positive, sustainable change
Top of Head: I am a positive and powerful change agent!

Take a deep breath, and look back at your list of beliefs around the system/process/organization you desire to change. How true do those beliefs feel now? Continue tapping, if you’d like.