si dawson

experiments in self-improvement

Category: healing

Not Every Picture Needs A Title

When people first start learning EFT, one of the biggest confusions is “What do I say?” Now, with EFT the primary reason you’re talking is simply to keep you focused on the issue at hand – although often stream-of-consciousness verbalisation does lead to unexpected break throughs.

The commonest answer to this question is: “If your situation was a movie, what would the title be? Use that.”

The more I’ve thought about this though, the more I’ve realised – I’ve seen this reaction before. It’s fairly typical if one of my young nephews is asked what they’re feeling for them to answer “I don’t knoooooow!” (typically accompanied by whining and a sad face, but I digress).

Not being able to articulate what you’re feeling is a totally normal thing.

As I’ve gone further on this healing journey, I’ve started to notice this more and more. Many of the things I’m healing are so nebulous they really can’t be explained. Even vague descriptions like “a grey cloud kinda over there” don’t adequately sum them up – as much as simple focusing clearly on the specific energy in question.

If we have an upset stomach, that’s not really an emotion, is it? And yet, it’s still a form of energetic upset – manifesting strongly enough that we feel it physically.

Emotions that we can easily put into words (fear, anger, hate etc) are only the grossest, most obvious forms of non-physical energy passing through us.

That tingling we get when we sense someone looking at us – that’s energy passing through too.

Everything is, after all, just energy.

Once we’ve dealt with most of the big stuff, we’re left with only the small. The perturbations that really can’t be explained any more clearly than “that feeling”.

And that’s ok.

The good thing is, once the obvious stuff is mostly shifted and you’re not experiencing physical or emotion upset as regularly, it gets much, much easier to focus on the more subtle energetic misalignments.

At this point, yes, you can simply draw your attention to whatever energy is clouding things and let it go (using whatever tools work best for you).

Not everything needs a name, and the more quickly you’re able to focus your whole attention on an issue, the easier & faster it is to drop it completely.

It can be easy. It can be fast. It doesn’t always need words.


    Loving More Closely

    I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about love. Like, a lot a lot a lottttttttt.

    Love in the sense of the active unconditional verb, not the passive romantic version we’re constantly fed by media.

    As I get deeper into this journey, I’m realising there’s degrees and depths to which we can love.

    I’ve learned a bit just by watching my own journey, especially since (intellectually) I realise where I’m going to end up – so I know roughly where I’m headed. More on that in a bit.

    I’ve talked in the past about “loving to hate” something. It’s a reasonable starting point, particularly if we’re really struggling with an issue.

    For a long time I talked about saying I love you to things, as a way of helping us release our energy around a topic (trauma, event, others). I’ve recommended this really. Quite. Often. (ETC. lol)

    To jump ahead a little, where will this end? Well, reading things written by genuinely enlightened souls, there is a common thread of the interconnectedness of all things. Feeling one with the universe, and so on. Now, ha ha, I’m definitely not there yet, but knowing where we’re heading gives us a better sense of direction.

    In terms of being loving, surely the less distance between us and the thing we’re loving is going to be better? Ultimately we’ll feel completely one with it, but in the meantime, the closer we can get, the more effective our tools. This is both in terms of how healing that loving will be (for us – traumas, events) and the effect on whomever it is we’re loving (for them – others).

    • “loving the hate” is pretty distant.
    • Saying “I love you” is definitely better – although there’s still a subtle element of separation going on there – the difference between “me” and “you”.

    A while back I started instinctively saying “I love that” to things that occurred around me. By “things”, read “things that pissed off or upset me” (ha ha).

    That was definitely an improvement (in terms of effectiveness) on saying “I love you” – but notice how there’s still a little keeping ourselves separate. “That” is not “us”. It’s still something other.

    From here, I’ve since transitioned into saying “I love this.”

    If you think about anything “less than fun” in your life, notice how confrontational it is to say “I love this”. Our brains will instantaneously start screaming how of course we don’t love it, yadda yadda yadda.

    Well kids, that’s kind of the point here.

    Remember, one big reason we’re choosing to love is to regain control over our brains. We’re not our minds. We’re the boss here. It’s just our automatic thoughts, our egos that like to keep us anxious, worried, stressed. Since we’re the boss, we can (permanently) change those thoughts.

    So, by consciously saying “I love this” – we’re intentionally bringing all that internal noise to the surface, where, of course, we can simply let it go.

    We’re regaining control over our minds.

    Notice also that “I love this” is much more connective. It’s less “us” and “them”, it’s more “we”. It’s more inclusive. It’s much closer to that end goal of realising the interconnectedness of all things.

    This is, of course, one reason that saying it makes our brains scream in terror. Our minds, our egos like to keep us separate. It’s easier to keep us fearful that way. It’s easier to keep us feeling out of control. Suffering. Which is a good hint that anything that helps remove that separation is probably good for us.

    Anyway. I don’t have much more to add. This is just another tool. Feel free to give it a bash, see if it resonates and if it’s as helpful for you as it has been for me.


      Recovering After A Sociopath

      I’ve written about sociopaths before. It’s taken me decades to a) fully understand, b) identify, and c) get the hell away from several of them.

      Having a sociopath in your life can be extremely destructive. Apt descriptions tend to be phrases like “wrecking ball” or “shit tornado”.

      The core of a sociopath is this: they have no conscience. So, they can (and will) do anything, to anyone, with zero regrets. They only care about themselves.

      Some examples (all from personal experience):

      • Stealing entire life savings (from you, from little old ladies, from kids)
      • Lying (to everyone – family, friends, partners, the police, judges, government investigators)
      • Putting their girlfriends in A&E (and then lying about that)
      • Manipulating (aka charming and lying to) everyone around them to get what they want
      • Frequently saying the cruelest, most guaranteed thing to hurt you
      • Cheating on you and then lying to your face about it (or just dismissing it out of hand)

      Needless to say, sociopaths thrive in war zones. After the above, killing women and children with no remorse or regrets is child’s play.

      The good news is, (from people who study these things) sociopaths tend to self-implode. Treat enough people badly and eventually it all catches up with you. They typically end up in jail, their lives destroyed, or worse. Karma, I suppose.

      The bad news is, if you have something a sociopath wants (money, skills, power, lifestyle), they will attach to you like a limpet, and it can be very hard to get away. This means they can easily be in your life, damaging you, for years.

      Important reminder: the key attribute to watch for is this – a sociopath will use pity to get what they want from you. They want you to feel sorry for them. Why? Because that’s the easiest way to manipulate someone. It’s hardwired into us non-sociopaths to respond compassionately to pity.

      Anyway, this isn’t about them. This is about you. What do you do after one of these human destruction machines has come ripping through your life?

      Let’s assume you’ve seen through their charm, broken ties, and – critically – made it obvious you have nothing left they could want (so they’ll leave you the hell alone). How do you clean up?

      The physical stuff is obvious. Mostly it’ll be – try to recover your finances and pick up what’s left of your life.

      The internal stuff – emotional, mental, spiritual, that’s much trickier.

      I’ve had sociopaths in my life at various points over a 20+ year period. Here’s what I’ve learned.

      It Takes Time

      Some of this damage I’m still working on almost a decade later. It can take a while to see just how much you’ve been affected.

      On top of that, you have every reason to be upset, to be angry, to be resentful. These people ripped your life apart, and didn’t even care that they had.

      The problem is – hanging onto all this isn’t helping. Sure, it’d be nice if they apologised. Or said thank you for the countless hours your poured into their businesses. Or repaid you for your time. But listen: IT’S NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN.

      In the meantime, hanging onto that pain is only hurting you. You have to to let it go. Not for them. For you. They certainly don’t give a shit if you do or not.

      Some Of It Can Be Very Subtle

      A lot of the obvious mess is very easy to see – and thus relatively easy to clean up. Getting them the hell out of your life completely is A Very Good First Step.

      What’s harder to see is the stuff that lingers on after they’ve gone:

      • Resentment – why should they have such a wonderful life when you’re still suffering?
      • Anger at the pain and damage they’ve caused and are still causing
      • Indignation at how they’re able to get away with it (breaking the law, treating people so badly etc)
      • A strong sense of injustice

      It Can Be Hard To Clear

      A lot of these feelings we have are very justifiable. The trouble is, while we’re focused on our “rightness” (wanting to be right), we’re blocking ourselves from letting go of this pain and truly healing.

      We have to decide that our healing is more important than their suffering (or repentance, or justice). Because really, it is.

      Hanging onto these non-loving thoughts about them are only hurting us. And sociopaths are lightning rods for non-loving feelings, trust me.


      All these reasons are why I continuously keep coming back to love. Love love love. It’s damn hard to do towards someone who has caused you so much pain. The good news is, it’s hard because of all the crap we hang on to. Which means we’ll benefit the most by pushing through and letting all that pain go.

      If (WHEN!) we get to the point of genuinely being able to hold loving feelings towards whomever has hurt us? That’s when we’ll know we’ve genuinely let go of all of our pain around the situation.

      There’s a critical distinction here. Does “holding loving feelings towards them” mean we should invite them back into our lives, or otherwise put ourselves in harms way? If you’ll excuse me a little vernacular here, fuck NO.

      What it means is that we have no non-loving feelings (anger, resentment, bitterness, violence, retribution etc) towards them. It means we are in a state of peace. It means we’ve healed EVERYTHING.

      So, what are the thoughts and feelings we’ll commonly end up hanging onto, once these sociopaths have gone from our lives?

      As is often the case, we can find these issues most simply by breaking them down into the three primary wants (plus fear)


      • Wanting them punished or to suffer
      • Wanting them to stop hurting us
      • Wanting them to stop hurting others
      • Wanting other people to see the truth about them, and escape too
      • Wanting them to acknowledge and/or apologise for the damage they’ve done

      These are all forms of wanting to control others – which you can’t do, so you might as well let go of wanting it.


      • From them hurting us
      • From them taking things from us or damaging our life further
      • From them hurting people we care about


      • Wanting their approval/love
      • Wanting them to be grateful, or express appreciation for everything we’ve given them
      • Wanting recompense for our time/efforts/investment (debatably this is control too)

      Wanting their approval is particularly likely if you have low self esteem (as I certainly had in the past, when I first met these sociopaths). Remember: sociopaths can be incredibly charming, and will promise the world to get what they want. They just never actually deliver on those promises. And they won’t.


      • That they’ll hurt us more
      • That they’ll take more from us
      • That they’ll stop liking us or “being nice to us” (an especially ridiculous fear)

      There’s much overlap here with the three wants, obviously.

      It’s important for us to identify all these thoughts and feelings, so we can work through and get rid of them.

      In a way, they are further damage that has been left behind by the sociopath.

      What tools you use to do this is up to you, of course. I definitely have my favourites (as I’ve discussed on here extensively). A good therapist is also always recommended (and possibly medication, if you’re really struggling). Clarity and objectivity can be incredibly difficult when you’re still inside this mess looking out and a therapist can help provide that.

      Another important benefit of this work? The more of these feelings we let go of, the less influence the sociopath will have over us. Why? Because the less emotional resonance we have, the less they are able to push our buttons and manipulate us.

      By healing ourselves we start to inoculate ourselves against sociopaths.

      So, not only will we feel better in the short term, we’re protecting ourselves in the long term. Both goals that are well worth the effort.


        Are We Allowing Ourselves To Be Happy?

        Recently I’ve been thinking about happiness.

        Obviously, there is some level of conscious control involved:

        Additionally, if we choose to be loving, that’s the quickest path to feeling deeply happy in any given moment or interaction.

        The weird thing I’ve noticed is that despite years of healing, I’m not particularly happy.

        These days I’m incredibly peaceful, centred, content and mostly pretty calm – which for me are HUGE steps forward. I just haven’t felt any noticeable level of deep happiness.

        Joy? Hell yes, just not consistent happiness.

        So what’s been going on?

        Eventually, I’ve realised that I’ve had a whole list of conditions that had to be met before I would allow myself to be happy.

        While consciously I may have been choosing to be happy (and taking appropriate steps), subconsciously I simply wasn’t allowing it to occur.


        So, what next?

        I got a piece of paper and wrote at the top “I’ll be happy when…” then made a giant list. All the conditions, all the expectations that had to be met before I was “allowed” to be happy.

        (and yes, the alert among you will have noticed I’ve written about this before – but then, as with so many things, it’s not about knowing them intellectually, it’s about living them every day, in our hearts. Reminders are good, even for me. Especially for me. Also, there’s been a subtle shift. Before when I was doing this exercise it was to “get” something. Now it’s just to remove all limitations. Ie, for the sake of the exercise itself.)

        All these conditions are, of course, utterly ridiculous. But then, this is just how our brains work half (all?) the damn time – against us.

        Once I had the list, it was pretty straightforward (and as usual, quick) to just take each item back to wanting approval, wanting control or wanting safety, and simply let it go.

        Of course, this isn’t going to be a one-off task. As we peel back layers of the onion we’ll see deeper and deeper into ourselves. We’ll be able to identify more and more subtle limitations.

        The good news is, it’s a super quick exercise, and really, once you’ve got the hang of it, you could do it anywhere. While sitting at a bus stop. In the shower. While having a sandwich. In the shower with a sandwich! Just say to yourself “I’ll be happy when…” and see what your brain fills in for you.

        All these conditions are standing between you and happiness. The more you let go of, the easier it gets to make that simple choice. To actually be happy. To feel happy.

        To be honest, while I wouldn’t say I am now deliriously happy, I do feel as if several huge weights have lifted off me. I’m no longer dragging myself around quite as heavily. My soul is lighter and genuine smiles are closer and easier to reach.

        I just need to keep doing this exercise. Keep working my way down through the layers till there’s nothing left.

        Of course as with all of life, it’s a journey, not a destination. Today is better than yesterday, and tomorrow will be even better. What more can I ask?


          You’re Nobody Till Somebody Loves You

          I’ve been on a dating site recently. Not with any significant expectations (I trust the universe to look after me), more just about “keeping the door open” and passing the time.

          However, I noticed myself slipping into compulsive behaviour. Checking the site way more times than strictly necessary. And really, how often is “necessary” anyway? Once a year? Once a week? Once a day? Once an hour?

          But I digress.

          As with most forms of escapism, once I spotted it, I wanted to get to the root of it, and clear it out.

          After I got quiet and focused in on what I was feeling and what my motivations were for constantly checking the site, I realised Dean Martin summed it up perfectly decades ago.


          See, the real problem is, this concept is insidious. It’s everywhere.

          How many films are there where a couple start out together, then breaks up and are happier being single at the end of the movie?

          How many adverts involve someone being perfectly happy being by themselves?

          Versus, of course, the exact opposite.

          The media tells us, constantly, that we can only be happy if we’re in a relationship. That really, we only have value, that we’re only lovable if we’re in a relationship.

          None of this is news to you, I’m sure. But holy crap, how twisted is that?

          And of course, I realised this was exactly the rabbit hole I’d fallen into.

          I had a whole raft of beliefs along these lines:

          • I need the love of a good, beautiful woman
          • I’m happiest when I’m loved – I feel I can kick ass and achieve anything
          • I have no value unless someone else values me
          • I’m not lovable unless someone else shows this by loving me
          • I’m somehow failing unless I’m in a relationship
          • I’m not important/don’t have value unless someone better than me loves me (whoa!)
          • I’m not attractive unless someone attractive/amazing wants me

          … and so on.

          You can immediately see how these beliefs both set me up for instant failure (default mode: unhappy, unattractive, unloved), but also are self-defeating. Why would someone else want to love me if I don’t love myself?

          Of course, the good news is – as always – the hardest bit is seeing these beliefs.

          Once you see them, you can very easily drop them.

          So, just to be thorough, how can we get all of these beliefs to the surface?

          What worked for me was asking myself questions like:

          • How would I feel if I never had another partner?
          • How do I feel about being alone?
          • How do I feel about being alone for the entire rest of my life?
          • What if no-one attractive ever wanted me again? (ie, I had to compromise or settle not to be alone)
          • What if I was never loved again?
          • What if I never experienced love again? (slightly different phrasing often helps)
          • What feeling will I have when I have this partner?

          (then imagine, and feel these feelings as strongly as you can – to really dig everything up. Tapping 2″ down and across from the beginning of your collar bone (point 7) can also help you “tune in” to these feelings more strongly)

          As well as these, there will always be the ever present feelings of “wanting or lacking love/approval.”

          To some of these, you may feel a general, non-specific energy coming up. To some you may get specific phrases or beliefs bubbling to the surface.

          To the non-specific energy, I’d recommend just letting the energy go – you don’t need to know what it is to get rid of it.

          Specific beliefs or thoughts are pretty straightforward to dump too. Use whatever tools work for you. These days I tend to simply choose to let the belief/energy go, or let the picture go. You could also tap them out, etc etc.

          Either way, once you can see/feel these things coming up you can easily drop them all.

          Then, just go back to the questions, and keep going over them until you feel completely at peace. Completely at ease. Completely loving about being alone.

          Take that, Dean Martin. You can be somebody, even if nobody loves you. Hello? Who should love us the most? US OF COURSE!

          The paradox here is that when you’re in this state, you immediately become more attractive. Why? Because you’re dropping any sense of neediness or desperation. You become more loving. You become more centred and connected with yourself. Less pulled around by the vagaries of other people.

          Which of course, makes you more attractive.

          Hilariously ironic really, this life of ours.

          Oh, and the dating site? Yeah. I’m now checking it 10x less, but more importantly, with a definite feel of “Well, this is very nice, but really, whatever.” Win.