How To Tap Into The Gifts Of The Shadow

Shadow

Image courtesy of LaVladina

In ‘How can the people who annoy you help you get more from your tapping?’ I wrote about a tapping technique that can help you work with the ‘negative’ parts of the ‘shadow’. Using people’s ability to annoy us we can identify some of the disowned parts of ourselves that need to be released with tapping.

Our shadows are formed in childhood where certain parts of ourselves that are deemed unacceptable by our family, friends or culture are suppressed so that we can get along with the people we are with.

Because these impulses and feelings are so unacceptable to us that we may not know they are there. We project what we cannot own ourselves onto other people. When we can spot the projection, we can use that to access the unacceptable impulses in ourselves and process them with tapping.

So far so good, but there’s more to the Shadow than bad or negative impulses.

When most people talk about the Shadow they tend to emphasise the bad or negative aspects. As if the Shadow was the repository of everything that is unworthy or destructive.

But our caregivers, family and culture may have rejected all kinds of impulses, emotions and capabilities that we might find beneficial.

For example:

If you had a love of music from an early age, singing at the top of your lungs at every opportunity and your father didn’t like the ‘noise’ you might have been told to “Shut up! Be quiet!”. After a while you learned that singing was a ‘bad thing’ (at least in your home) and hid the disallowed urge to sing into your Shadow.

Many years later you are still reluctant to sing, but you admire people who love to sing.

Or, imagine that you were a very enthusiastic child, full of energy, curiosity or excitement. So much so that your mother found it hard to handle and told you “Settle down, be quiet, don’t bother anyone!”. You learned to settle down and be quiet, that exuberant outgoing quality was consigned to your Shadow along with all the other unacceptable parts of yourself.

Years later you admire people who are easy and outgoing, secretly you wish you could be like them.

In both examples the ‘suppressed’ quality in yourself is demonstrated by someone else and you resonate with them. That resonance and admiration gives you a clue that some part of that ability lies dormant in you, hidden away in your Shadow.

Just as we used tapping in ‘How can the people who annoy you help you get more from your tapping‘ to accept the parts of ourselves that were unacceptable, we can use tapping to help access those dormant abilities we desire now.

In January I presented at the EFT Gathering an annual event for EFTers held in Ilkley in the north of England. I was due to give a presentation about using EFT to work with annoyances and the Shadow.

I wanted to be able to be enthusiastic, warm and friendly towards the audience. In my childhood I would have been one of the children who had been told to be quiet and settle down. So I grew up somewhat reserved (even for a Brit), reluctant to be too excited.

I wanted to be able to access some of that discounted enthusiasm to bring to my presentation.

So, this is what I did on the morning of the presentation.

I thought of someone who to me exemplifies warm enthusiasm. I thought instantly of Islay (named after the Scottish island) who personifies warmth, friendliness and enthusiasm. A perfect role model for this quality.

Then I thought about the presentation and imagined how reserved I would feel (7/10) and how enthusiastic if felt (3/10).

Then I tapped to access some of my enthusiasm.

Using “Even though I feel reserved, I would like to be enthusiastic like Islay” as a set-up statement.

Then I tapped on the eyebrow point using “I feel reserved” as the reminder phrase.

Then I tapped on the side of the eye point using “and in how many different ways can I be enthusiastic like Islay?” as the reminder phrase.

Then I completed the round of tapping paying attention to whatever arose in awareness. (I had a flood of images and thoughts about how I could be more enthusiastic in a way that would work well for me).

I repeated that process a couple of times and then checked my level of reservedness (3/10) and my level of enthusiasm (8/10).

That felt about right to me.

The presentation was a lot of fun for me (and I think the audience) and by my standards I was both warm and enthusiastic in a way that felt very natural to me.

If you would like to try this for yourself, here are the steps

  1. Identify the quality or state you want to change.†
  2. Give a 0-10 intensity measure for both the problem quality and the desired quality so that you can measure your progress.
  3. Think of a role model who exemplifies the quality that you want and that you sincerely admire. The sincere admiration is a clue that you have at least some of this quality available to you.
    This is important we are trying to access qualities of your own, not inject qualities from someone else.
  4. Use the following set-up statement to begin your tapping sequence “Even though I [problem quality], I would like to be [desired quality] like [role model]”. Tap three rounds of the set-up statement using the side of hand point (karate chop spot).
  5. Tap on the eyebrow point using the reminder phrase “I [problem quality]”
  6. Then tap on the side of the eye point using “and, in how many different ways, can I be [desired quality] like [role model]?” This question is important, it is designed to help you access your unconscious mind so that you can access the desired quality that was suppressed so long ago. The question takes time to process.
  7. Continue tapping a full round without reminder phrases. Pay attention to whatever you are aware of in your mind as the tapping works on the unconscious answers to the question.
  8. At the end of the round of tapping assess your level of the original problem quality and the desired quality.
  9. Repeat the process as necessary to boost the strength of the desired quality.

† If the ‘problem quality’ is still strong you may need to spend some time doing regular tapping to reduce the strength of that quality before returning to this routine. For example tapping for: “Even though I have homicidal rage, I would like to feel forgiving like the Dalai Lama” probably isn’t going to neutralise the homicidal rage.

Note: The role model doesn’t have to be someone you know. They can be someone you have read about or seen on TV, an historical character, or a fictional character.

Islay

Photo courtesy of Jamie Boynton

They don’t even have to be human. In my example, Islay is in fact a delightful Cockapoo who belongs to my friends Maureen and Jamie, she ‘personifies’ warm enthusiasm for me in her own unique doggy way!

About Andy

2 Responses to “How To Tap Into The Gifts Of The Shadow”

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  1. Sarah Alvarez says:

    Thank you for sharing so much value Andy I’m very grateful & plan to use this sequence on myself & clients it sounds great! Your talk was one of my favourites at the EFT conference, your authenticity & wisdom shone through

    • Andy says:

      Hi Sarah, I’m glad you enjoyed the article and the EFT Gathering presentation. My shadow and I enjoyed it greatly! All the best from both of us 🙂

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