Insights, innovation and inspiration at Ilkley

gathering 2010

Ranjana Appoo reports on Gathering 2010, the UK’s biggest EFT event of the year.

What a way to start the year. If I was asked for three words to describe the event I would say that it was one full of insights, innovation and inspiration. This is truly a groundbreaking event where the audience are the presenters and the presenters are the audience, each inspiring the other to shine in every sense of the word. The presenters all glowed. If asked to pick a favourite I simply could not, because they were all brilliant, but more than that I found them uplifting.

One moment that really stands out for me when one of the presenters asked the audience how many people practised an EFT style that they had combined with other skills. 95% raised their hands ... isn’t that amazing? So what we were really learning is how each of us is using EFT in a unique way to heal ourselves and then to share this process. Our creativity and connections were clearly on show. It was wonderful hearing people going up to each other and share, “you know I am doing something similar ... or you have shown me my missing piece ... let’s work together”. It’s music to my ears. For me this event was also about community spirit and collaboration and about nourishing this so that:

  • we can collate a body of work that will give credence to EFT through EFT Research
  • and we can also bring further credibility to EFT by being part of a professional body, The AAMET, which is about maintaining high standards of professionalism, setting useful training guidelines, and about creating a support structure for all its members.

So without further ado, the highlights:

Dr Kate James chatted informally with Gwyneth Moss, setting the tone of the event; she focused on EFT being an important part of Integrative Medicine. She emphasised that along with a green diet and good breathing practices, EFT can support the healing process especially for those with cancer. At this point Mair Llewellyn shared a small part of her own journey with breast cancer and how Kate had been a part of this.

Sarah Marshall discussed the many ways she works with ME clients. She shared the importance of breaking the stress cycle, how personality drivers, cultural understanding and beliefs keep people stuck in the stress cycle and most importantly how to change focus to increase periods of calm.

“A wonderful weekend of companionship, joy and discovery ...”
Heather Carter

Heather Smiles delighted us all with the quick tap process that works on animals, children and maybe even spouses. By simply changing the inner negative picture dialogue to a positive one and then tapping on the positive can quickly shift where we are at. She also shared that if we are getting stuck and it is not working it is because our own issues are coming up.

Masha Bennett enlightened us on pyscho babble and how to speak to NHS personnel and conventional medical officials who are happier to hear that EFT can be self administered rather than a self help tool. Percussive as a term would be more user-friendly than tapping and definitely do not tell them to try it on everything. Avoid anecdotes and start using questionnaires to quantify results.

Joan Draper has the challenging task of working within the NHS in Stop Smoking clinics. She knew more about smoking than most smokers. She has incorporated EFT and found that with EFT she is more likely to get fewer relapses and better results. At present she is compiling data to check her theory.

Dr Rangana Choudhuri shared a process with which to discover passion and purpose. It was an ingenious method that got everyone writing, tapping and discovering their purpose, the blocks that hold them back and how to get the resources to experience the heart’s passion that ensures the fulfilment of their purpose.

After this Helena Fone spoke about the developments with the AAMET and how the new changes means that the AAMET is now a legal non profit professional body dedicated to supporting EFT professionals. This is a big step forward and although Helena did not share all the challenges the executive committee and other volunteers had to overcome it was clear that the changes ahead, especially the new website, were not just to support the EFT practitioner but also to make EFT accessible to all.

The day ended with filming a tribute for Gary Craig. I was at first sceptical of this idea, how do you share personal gratitude and all the times when we did not love Gary in such a public way, but being EFTers we found a way. This was so much fun. We had tears and laughter and “awesome” energy. I am hoping that Roy Martin who filmed this will make it available to all of us soon.

Dinner and dance followed.

The next day, Bennie Naudé acquainted us with that old friend, shame, that some would much rather not talk about. He discussed the difference between healthy shame and toxic shame, how the cycle of shame manifests, the internal experience and some ways to work with Shame. When discussing how shadow work helps heal toxic shame issues he asked for more ways of describing “issue” ... so, Bennie, this is for you: how about instead of issue challenge, concern, project, ordeal?

Soshana Garfield was next, her experience with trauma and her path of healing was profoundly moving. She described the various myths that come up when dealing with trauma and how to meet them. She wove personal experience with wisdom and so the energy of transforming great pain into forgiveness and freedom became real for everyone.

By this time the atmosphere was quite charged and Michelle Hardwick took over. She demonstrated using EFT for clearing intense emotions in an intuitive and leading fashion. Michelle also pointed out the value of big (man sized) tissues and a way to clear the stomach meridian by a vomit action.

I noticed that a few EFTers were concerned with Michelle’s extract from Brian Weiss, advising practitioners to never touch a client while they are having an abreaction because the practitioner may embed the trauma into the client and yet Michelle also stated that energetically we are all one and when we tap on ourselves we tap for each other (a contradiction, because if we are one then tapping on someone, a bear or ourselves will have a beneficial result depending on the intention).

As a few therapists came up to me and shared how this statement shocked them and they were concerned about all the times they had touched their clients while the client was experiencing an emotional hijack, my advice then and now is Intuition and Discrimination. If a child has remembered a traumatic moment and is experiencing high emotional intensity, do you say to the child, tap on yourself, this will empower you or do you gently stroke their meridian points? Another good question is in your own experience when you have experienced intense emotional pain and a friendly EFTer is on hand has their touch taken away your power, embedded that experience into you? Or has it helped you find freedom? Having worked with many clients who have experienced abuse and trauma, I found that for some of them touch would have been inappropriate but for some it was deeply healing. Intuition and Discrimination are crucial.

Enid Welford then described the many ways in which Transactional Analysis has supported her use of EFT and vice versa. She delighted us with practice exercises and insights into the many ways in which writing on our walls happen. She described the use of family constellations and how our internalised family talk affects us.

After this, Ann Unsworth shared her experience of getting tapping into schools. This was informative and educational as it was coming from an ex-head teacher! She advised us to get in touch with the special needs coordinator but make sure that when we booked an appointment to have the head teacher present. Focus on how EFT can help with behaviour problems and make everyone’s job easier.

Next was Ruth Ablett with Cuddle Therapy. We were now definitely stretching the boundaries of Weird Energy Work. It was inspiring to see Ruth with her daughter Meg hold lifelike baby dolls and share stories about how simply holding these dolls brought up core issues for people for them to heal, and how she took her baby dolls to nursing homes for elderly people to hold and find peace.

Roy Martin was the last presenter and definitely not the least. He was all about integrity, authenticity and ethics in action. His depth of experience and his understanding of the tragedy of war held powerful messages of compassion. He spoke about business practices and marketing, making it easy and just doing one thing, acting on a thought, follow through and you will make it happen, whatever it is.

The event closed after we met the panel of people who were in charge of EFT Research. For me seeing this was amazing, how far we have all come. When I started using EFT in 1999, all I could get my hands on was Gary’s DVDs and now we have an EFT research panel.

As Gwyneth Moss (the inspired imagineer of the Gathering) said, there are great advantages when working together, doing EFT, in groups.

The changes are more profound when there are more people tapping.

“Thank you all for a wonderful day and weekend. I put my new techniques to good use before I even left the hotel. The receptionist, puzzled after seeing people distressed and upset one minute, only to be bright and happy a short time after, asked what we had been doing. When I explained a bit about the weekend, she said her son has terrible anger problems. I advised the finger holding technique! A quick and easy thing to explain and put to immediate use.”
Deborah Thorpe

Are you ready for travelling up the EFT healing high rise? Let us gather and journey together: the next EFT Gathering 2011 will be in the Midlands.

Ranjana Appoo collaborated with Martine Moorby on the Joy and Endorphins Workshop, one of the post EFT Gathering events. They will be sharing more of their experiences, techniques, tips and artistry in relation to the Alchemy of Change in June.

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