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.