By now, your clients should be at peace with where they are in regards to their health and body. They should know what they want and when they want it, be inspired by what they want because they truly understand why they want it and feel confident that they can have what they want. Now it’s time to clean up their action plan. In this article, I will cover why it is important to understand what you believe you need to do in order to get what you want, so you can maximize the time spent doing the action. I will also give you some ideas to help your clients shift their perspective on actions that they are not aligned with (meaning, actions they are not inspired to do but believe they need to do anyway), and I will also present a powerful shifting tool called Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), which you can use along with any of the questions from this series.
Being Aligned with the Action
Up to this point, everything I have discussed has been about the mental action of getting into a positive emotional frequency, but since we are physical beings in a physical universe, physical action is always going to play a role. At some point, we are going to have to take some action. Working through the previous four questions in the previous two articles should have your client in a state where taking action now would have good results, but there may be more room for improvement when it comes to taking the physical actions of getting in shape or being healthier.
In Part 1, I talked about how mental stress can trigger the HPA Axis and potentially work against the results you want from exercise. This applies to doing anything that the client does not like. Why would anyone do something they don’t like? It’s only because they have the belief, whether they obtained that belief from their trainer or somewhere else, that if they don’t do those things, they won’t get results. There certainly may be some things that won’t happen unless you take specific actions, like taking muscle to failure to increase strength or size. This won’t happen just by thinking about it—you do have to stress the tissue in order to get it to adapt. But any time people do something they don’t enjoy, they put themselves in a stressful environment that will stimulate this HPA Axis, along with other chemical and frequency signaling, and thus potentially nullify the results they were hoping for from the exercise.
This is not to take away from the fact that doing something that they hope will change them can have the potential to bring about some form of change. It just doesn’t have to be something they don’t want to do in the hope that it was enough to stimulate some change. There may be another way to do what it is they think they need to do to get the results, or they may be able shift their beliefs so as to not have to include that activity or action in their plan.
What the client already believes he needs to do is like a recipe. Wherever he learned it, he already has an idea of the actions necessary to get results. Knowing what he already believes will be essential for you to know what it is he is aligned with. Once you know what he believes he needs to do but doesn’t like to do, you know where he can improve.
Fifth Question: What actions do your clients believe they need to do in order to bring about change?
Having your clients make a list of the things they think they need to do in order to get where they want to go will be helpful, but what makes this powerful is getting to know whether they are inspired to do these actions.
Start by having your clients write down what they believe they need to do to get to their goals. Have them include things beyond just weights and cardio. They should include what they believe they need to eat or not eat, drink or not drink, and maybe even how much sleep they need to get.
Once they have made that list, have them mark everything they are inspired to do. Make note of everything on the list they did not mark. These are the things that are potentially going to work against them, and it will be your job to either help them feel comfortable to get rid of the belief that they need to do this to get what they want or help them become inspired to do this activity by looking at it differently.
Education here can be very effective. If you did not tend to this list, your clients would potentially have a lot of mixed emotions surrounding those uninspired actions. They would either do the action they don’t like and be stressed about it, thus creating a negative chemical and energetic environment, or they would not take that action (because they are not inspired to do it) and then would feel guilty that they didn’t do it, which would create a negative chemical and energetic environment, again holding them back from success. Either way, this is how most people sabotage themselves.
If one of your clients believes she needs to eat a certain type of food that she doesn’t like, that would be the same as doing an exercise she doesn’t like. You can’t be in a foul mood and expect your body to work well enough to maximize the digestion process in order to take full advantage of the nutrients in the food. The opposite is also true: if she believes she shouldn’t eat certain types of food, but she is not ready or inspired to leave that food out of her diet, when she eats that food, she would most likely feel guilty or disappointed that she ate something she believes is bad for her. If there was any chance that her body (virtually the most advanced chemistry set ever made) was going to be able to make use of this “bad” food (it would have to compensate greatly and work extra hard to make use of potentially low-nutrient foods, but it can do it), that chance is now gone, thus making this food just as “bad” as she thought it was going to be.
Also, if she feels guilty after eating such foods, if the body did have a preference of what it needed to run optimally, the signal to tell her that would be masked by the sensation of guilt, meaning there is no way she would be aware enough after eating something she felt bad about to heed the feedback of the body. Had she felt neutral about the food that was not so great for the body, she would be able to get a sense as to whether her body thrived with that food or not, and from there, she could make a choice about food that was more about what felt good rather than only what tasted good.
Making a Shift in the Action Plan
As I mentioned earlier, you have two basic ways you can go about helping your clients clean up this “uninspired” list. You can either help them find a way to be inspired by their actions—that is, if they wanted to keep that action—or you can help them remove their beliefs about having to do this action altogether.
Let’s say your client likes the idea of running to get to her goal and believes that is the best way to achieve success but really doesn’t like the actual physical process of running. Since she wants to keep the activity, it will be your job to help her become inspired.
One thing you can do is to ask her what she thinks she is going to get from doing this activity. Let’s say she thinks she will burn a certain amount of calories and work her leg muscles in a specific way. Knowing this bit of information might help you to educate her on something else that may provide a similar benefit, something that she might enjoy. Another thing you can do is to find out why she doesn’t like the activity of running. Maybe she has some negative associations with running or doesn’t like the feeling of it or it bores her. Whatever it may be, knowing her negative associations are surrounding this action will help you to know what needs shifting. You could either apply the techniques described in this series to help her find the next best way of looking at that scenario, meaning if it feels bad for her to think about, she just might be thinking about it the wrong way. Or you could help her find a different way of looking at the activity by finding out what she does like to do and applying those same virtues to running. For example, if she likes to garden, find out what it is that she likes about gardening and see if you can find a parallel with running. Changing the context in which she views running may change the experience altogether. Again, that is if she does not want to remove or change her belief about having to run.
If your client is open to the idea of eliminating this action, it will be your job to coach her into a state where she feels comfortable not doing that action. In this case, education from the perspective that it is not necessary to do this action to get similar results will be very helpful. Also, using the techniques in this series might help to remove any negative feelings so as to get her to a place of alignment where she would have the awareness and knowledge of what was necessary. It’s easy to know what the right path is for you when you are truly connected and feeling good because you have less resistance to hearing the answers to your queries.
In the previous four questions, there were opportunities to help your client get to a high emotional frequency. At that high emotional frequency, the client will have access to higher centers of creativity and thought, which should help her to understand what she needs to do action-wise to bring about change. Most of this should have already been figured out, but since people tend to rely on action to make themselves feel better, there still may be some old patterns of belief about the actions she needs to do that will work against the results she wants that will be worth cleaning up.
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
I would now like to give you a brief overview of the EFT process I mentioned earlier so you can have another tool to help you create a shift. EFT is an acupressure technique designed to reduce the charge of an emotion by gently tapping on the meridian points (acupressure points). Acupuncture/acupressure, which has been around for thousands of years and has been shown to be a useful tool in reducing emotional stress, is effective when you have thoughts that are going against what the broader part of you (your command center) knows to be true or against the direction of what you want, and as a result, you feel negative emotion. Remember, the negative sensation in your body feels bad for a reason: to get your attention. One of the reasons you feel negative sensations is a disruption in your energy system.
Acupuncture and acupressure work to address the flow of energy going through the meridian channels, which are energy conduits designated to 12 channels (all named after the organs in which they are connected to) including two main meridian channels. When you have a negative point of focus, not only does your chemical system create physical sensation changes in your body, but there is a disruption in the flow of energy in those meridian channels that you also feel as the physical discomfort of negative emotion.
The great thing about using something like EFT is that, while you are experiencing a negative emotion, you can reduce the negative emotional charge for long enough to free yourself up to find the next best perspective. Once you are calmed down from the initial emotional sensation, which people often get stuck in, you naturally feel better, and feeling better brings about a new perspective, usually the next best perspective.
It is also helpful to do something with the intent of trying to shift to a better feeling thought or perspective. The intent to shift will usually release the resistance of staying where you are. If you combine that with a mechanical process like EFT, which helps when you are used to taking external action to fix something, creating a shift becomes an easier task than if you just tried to think your way to a better feeling thought, especially if you are new to tending to your thoughts.
The EFT Process
Basic EFT is a four-part process. The first part is the set up phase, designed to eliminate a Psychological Reversal (PR) when it is present. PR occurs when we have a thought of doing something, like getting leaner, but because of hidden things like limiting beliefs and emotional blocks, our flow of energy gets going the wrong way. Meaning, we say we want one thing but our vibrational frequency, which is based on our deep seated beliefs, is offering something different. The energy polarities are somehow reversed when these thoughts are present, consciously or unconsciously.
The set up phase has two aspects to it. One is either rubbing a neuro-lymphatic spot or tapping on the side of your hand (see images below), and the other is saying a set up phrase that is made up of two parts.
While either rubbing the neuro-lymphatic spot or tapping on the side of your hand (the original way was to use the neuro-lymphatic spot, but the hand spot has been shown to be just as effective and is what I personally use), you want to say the set up phrase three times. The basic set up phrase has two parts: the issue at hand (the problem) and an affirmation (something positive in light of the problem but not the solution). The beginning part always starts out with, “Even though,” and is followed by the “problem.” I try to include three things in my problem statement: the emotion felt (e), the subject at hand (s) and the reason why the emotion is felt, or the thought (t). The second half of the statement could be something positive like, “I love and accept myself,” or “I deeply and profoundly accept myself” or something as simple as, “I am willing to see this situation a bit better.”
Here’s how a set up phrase could look: “Even though I am discouraged (e) about my body being overweight (s) because I have been overweight for a long time and that means I’ve been really lazy (t), I deeply and profoundly accept myself.” Adding something like “anyway” at the end may take the edge off saying something too positive, as that may be too far of a leap if you are at a very negative place.
The second step in the EFT process, which will also be repeated after the third step, is the actual tapping on the designated meridian points. You will have a reminder phrase, a derivative of the negative part of the set up phrase, which will be repeated while tapping throughout the entire step. From the example above, it would be: “I am discouraged (e) about my body being overweight (s) because I have been overweight for a long time and that means I’ve been really lazy (t).” It does not have to be the entire sentence and can be broken down into different parts while tapping on the different meridian points. Here are the meridian points, each of which you want to tap on at least seven times while repeating some form of your reminder phrase.
Start with the point on the inside of the eye using either hand. (It does not matter which side of the face you start on.) Continue around the eye (outside, then under), then to the two points above and below the lips, on to the chest points and finish with the hand points. There is also a point on the crown of the head, which I use for the short cut method that I will get to later. Don’t worry about getting these wrong. EFT is very forgiving. As long as you are near the point, it will have the desired effect.
The third step is called the 9 Gamut Procedure. This process involves different brain activities to get the brain “in tune” while tapping on a designated meridian point.
While tapping on the back of the hand between the pinky and the ring finger and keeping your problem in mind, start the following series of exercises:
- Start with closing your eyes.
- Then open your eyes.
- Look hard down to the right.
- Then look hard down to the left.
- Then roll your eyes up and over back to the right.
- Then roll them back to the left.
- Next, hum a few bars of “Happy Birthday” (or any other easily hummed tune).
- Count from one to five.
- Finish with “Happy Birthday” again.
Finally, we repeat step two. You can use the same reminder phrase, or you can change it so it’s new aspects of the same problem. Or if you find yourself at a higher perspective and emotion, you can use the second round to anchor in your new perspective. Once you are done with a full round of EFT, I would suggest checking back in on where you are with your emotion and perspective. Chances are, you will have shifted at some point in the process. If not, repeat the process and try to elaborate on your issue. If you have moved on, use where you are now as your new starting point.
You can download the EFT manual for free at www.emofree.com/downloadeftmanual.asp, or go to my web site for my version of the technique at www.thethoughtdiet.com/layout3/efts/ along with some examples of the technique.
I often use a short cut method for the EFT process. The short cut method starts with the same set up phrase while tapping on the PR point on the side of the hand. I leave out all of the rest of the hand points and the 9 Gamut Procedure. Also, I will tap the top of my head to make up for many of the points I am leaving out from the hand. I use this almost exclusively and have tremendous success, but every now and again, I get stuck. When I do, I return to the full recipe, and that almost always does the trick.
I hope the questions and techniques I have discussed in this series will be useful to your work with clients and maybe even in your own life. Happy shifting, and remember that as we expand into being true exercise professionals, it becomes our job to train and coach the whole person, which includes the being behind the doing!