The Emotional Gardener

Weeding your Emotional Garden with EFT

Just as our physical health requires cultivation through good nutrition, rest and exercise, our emotional health requires us to use our imagination and thinking skills and to de-clutter ourselves of emotional baggage. The past is to be learnt from, not lived in.

Maintenance of our emotional gardens is a process of weeding and planting and EFT is an ideal gardening tool. We all have our emotional garden and like any gardener we choose the look and feel of the place and what we wish to have growing there. Is it formal and structured, or wild and rambling? Is it a practical garden of fruits and vegetables or a decorative place of delicate flowers? Is it wide spacious lawns or a crowded riot of colour and variety. Or is it all of these?

An old friend of mine who’s garden is scarcely distinguishable from nature once said “One person’s weed is another person’s wildflower” Only the gardener can decide what plant belongs in their garden and what plant does not.

Gardens need tending, they need care and maintenance. The earth must be watered and fed with good nutrients. There must be light and air. Plants need space to grow or may need pruning when they grow too fast. And of course we need to pull up the weeds.

Those who garden will know that sometimes you grasp a weed, pull gently and the whole thing comes up roots and all and doesn’t grow back. Other times we pull on the weed and the stem breaks off leaving the root in the ground and the weed will grow back again. Some weeds we can’t shift at all by pulling and need to dig down to get them out. Some weeds protect themselves with thorns or have other unpleasant ways of making us keep our distance. So it is with EFT.

Many of us have experienced applying a few simple rounds of EFT to a problem, without any questions as to its cause or origin and it disappears never to return. Becky and the fear of rats, featured in Gary Craig’s EFT videos, is a classic example.

Or we may apply EFT and the symptoms clear temporarily only to return a few hours or days later.

And of course there are those surprising times when EFT has no effect on the symptom at all and we need to dig deeper with detective’s questions to find the core issue (the root) that supports the symptom.

Soraya came on one of my EFT workshops and used EFT to give temporary relief to her back pain and was pleased with the results. Recently, she called me hours before a planned meeting to say that her back had let her down, she was lying on the floor, mad with frustration and pain, and predicted that she would be for the next 48 hours. I started suggesting how she might tap to help herself and then found that it was easier to start tapping with her than to describe to her what to do.

We started with “Even though I’m so frustrated that my back has let me down, deep, deep down I’m all right” and as we tapped for frustration the emotion shifted to aloneness. She said “It’s about being alone, so profoundly and deeply and awfully alone” so we tapped with that referring to “oceans of aloneness in my back”.

This led to a body feeling of blackness around her navel and she said “I think this is something about my birth”. I asked her to guess what is was about her birth that gave her that blackness and she told me that her mother is from a culture that gives a high value to sons and to the mothers’ of sons and that her mother must have shown extreme disappointment when her eyes first met her daughter’s eyes. At this stage, not wanting to get too serious and knowing my client well I went for humor and offered:

“Even though when my mother first saw her baby she didn’t see a willy, she was looking for a willy and she didn’t see a willy, there had to be a willy for Mother, tough shit Mother, we don’t always get what we want, its me mother, you’ve got me”

“Even though mother wanted a willy and mother’s family wanted a willy and mother’s country wanted a willy and mother’s culture wanted a willy, tough shit Mother, tough shit family, tough shit culture, you’ve got me, yes me”

“Even though Mother gave me life and wanted me to live it on her terms and her family’s terms and her culture’s terms, tough shit mother, its my life now and I’m living it my way”

By this stage we are both laughing and Soraya has found a completely new perspective on her birth, her mother and her relationship to her mother’s culture. Her voice has lost the blaming frustration and the wining sadness and is full and clear. I ask her what her back is like now and she says “lighter and happier” and then she says: “that would have taken years of painful psychotherapy, how on earth did we get there in 10 minutes?”

Did we get to the root? I don’t know, time will tell and I do know that we got much further than simply tapping with “this sharp pain”. Soraya reported the next day that her back was much less stiff and more fluid and that her roommate said that she looked much better.

Gwyneth Moss

by Gwyneth Moss EFT Master First published by Gary Craig, EFT Founder on

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