1) Using EFT on Autism With Dramatic Results
2) Power of forgiveness and reconciliation
3) Make peace with where you are
4) Why optimism is your best strategy
Using EFT on Autism With Dramatic Results
(as published on the EFT website Jan/07 at emofree.com)
by: Sandra Lewis, MA, EFT-Adv.
I have had many dramatic events in my practice using EFT, but I wanted to talk about one in particular, because there seems to be such a great need for good news about this condition right now. My client, Katia, who is happy to share this information with my readers, has a 7-year-old son who was diagnosed many years ago with severe autism. Her husband quit his job and devoted himself full-time to helping David function as well as might be hoped. And her husband was certainly able to make a difference, after three years of enormous effort. But like many parents of autistic children, he began to run out of steam. Its a very demanding role for a parent to fill, as you know.
Katia came to me without her son, David, and together she and I worked on some of her frustrations as a parent. And I gave her some statements to use with David. We decided that we would work initially on making him more responsive to his parents and less of a challenge to their patience. Katia told me that David was very sensitive to noise, and would scream and cry when she turned on the blender in the kitchen. He would also scream in the car if she had the radio on. The statements she began to use with him were: Even though the sound of the blender bothers me, I completely love and accept myself. Even though it hurts my head, etc. Even though I hate those noises, etc.
Katia also told me that, like many autistic children, David had suffered a trauma when he was born. The doctors had to use a vacuum and then forceps. Katia couldnt see this, but she could see the expression on her husbands face, which went white with anxiety. As well, he was vaccinated 12 hours after being born.
So we added statements to release this trauma Even though it was terrible when I was born Even though I was afraid Even though it didnt feel safe when I came into the world Even though it hurt my head
Katia would tap every evening while David was going to sleep. She would tap on herself as a surrogate and on him. She added statements for his speech problems, and his difficulty communicating.
All this time Katias husband was away on a trip. When he returned after one month, he noticed immediately an enormous change in his sons behaviour. He said he hardly recognized David. These are some of the things he and Katia saw in just one month:
- David's speech improved dramatically. He would answer questions, something he never did before, even when they were simple yes or no questions.
- He would ask for things in complete sentences: "I want bread" instead of using one word bread".
- He started noticing other children and wanting to play with them (before he seemed lost in his own world).
- When he was playing with children, he would follow the rules of the game.
- He was visually focusing on his parents, making conscious eye contact and holding it for minutes at a time (before he would look all around the room, but not at them).
- He was clearly processing information from them when he was making this eye contact (his eyes seemed active instead of vacant).
- He stopped screaming when he heard loud noises, and even asked for the radio to be turned on in the car (in Katias words, there was no chance this could happen before he didnt like music from any source except TV).
- It was possible to negotiate things with him for the first time, i.e. If you eat this apple, then you can have a cookie.
- He started eating apples bananas were the only fruit he would eat before.
David's grandfather was away as well for a month and he agreed that his grandson had made a big shift while he was away. Normally it might have been difficult to clearly identify EFT as the cause of this change. But because Davids father, Yuri, was the one who usually worked with him, while Yuri was away, virtually no extra time was spent with David on his autism. Katia was busy just taking care of the house and preparing meals, and so the only extra time spent with David were the few minutes she devoted to tapping in the evening.
Katia continues to work on David and he continues to make progress. Interestingly, Katia and Yuri feel that part of their challenge is to work on their own issues, that in some way David is reflecting their own unresolved stuff. But right now they both believe that Davids autism can be completely overcome and that his developmental delay is the main thing now holding him back.
Power of forgiveness and reconciliation (as published in Canadian journal, Conflict Resolution Today)
by: Sandra Lewis, MA, EFT-Adv.
it is in giving that we receive
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned
-St. Francis of Assisi:
Graham Snyder is, by his own admission, not a dynamic speaker. And yet when he walked to the podium as keynote speaker for Conflict Resolution Network Canadas conference this June in Winnipeg, a respectful and anticipatory silence descended upon the packed room. And for the 45 minutes or so that he took to tell his story, no one stirred, no one left, no papers were shuffled, no chairs scraped, no coughs, no whispers. While the rest of the conference was filled with many interesting experts discussing everything from community mediation to conflict resolution in postwar Bosnia, Grahams talk was different: it was deeply personal, it was gripping, and it was hard to imagine.
Grahams son, Dan, was killed as the result of a car accident in 2003, at the age of 25. Dan had just been accepted into the permanent roster of the Atlanta Thrashers hockey club, fulfilling his dream of being in the regular NHL. His best friend and teammate, Dany Heatley, was driving the car too fast as they returned from a Meet the Players event organized by the team.
"Dan had overcome every obstacle in his short life. Why this? Why now? How could my family cope or find blessings in this tragedy?" Graham told the audience. "And I began to realize, in those dark days, that we cant choose what happens to us, only how we will respond. We chose forgiveness and reconciliation," he said. "And its so powerful... this one act of forgiveness has reinforced its healing strength over and over in our lives."
The value of forgiveness is, perhaps surprisingly, not something that has interested social scientists historically. Prior to 1985, only five studies had been done on the subject. Then in 1986, Lewis Smedes, professor emeritus of theology and ethics in California, published his book Forgive and Forget: Healing the Hurts We Don't Deserve, which inspired a wave of forgiveness research. Eight years later the International Forgiveness Institute was established in Madison, Wisconsin. And in 1997, the Templeton Foundation sponsored "The Science of Forgiveness," a research symposium during which more than 130 scientists were invited to submit proposals for funding. By 1998, dozens of studies had been completed, and the Campaign for Forgiveness Research was launched to raise additional funds. Co-chairs of the campaign include Archbishop Desmond Tutu and former President Jimmy Carter.
As the forgiveness project writes on its website:
"The need to understand the power and place of forgiveness in our world was defined on September 11, 2001. It is urgent that we examine the steps that lead to justice and strengthen society. Now more than ever, we need to understand how forgiveness improves the human condition." 
Wherever there is conflict, there is the potential for forgiveness, so the studies covered everything from adolescents who have been physically and emotionally abused, to Vietnam vets with PTSD; from survivors of suicide victims to people living with HIV/AIDS. International studies looked at: the role of forgiveness in Northern Ireland ; the results of South Africas Truth and Reconciliation Commission; and, in Rwanda, whether forgiveness groups could promote healing between Hutus and Tutsis.
What did their research show? Well, they discovered that forgiveness can be an incredibly healing process, when its done in certain ways. And that it can backfire or simply be ineffective, when its coerced or done without laying the right groundwork. For instance, the study on South Africas Truth and Reconciliation Commission concluded:
"the TRC portrayed itself as a body promoting a restorative approach to justice among victims. The evidence shows that most victims continued to demand some form of accountability from perpetrators. The TRC is widely viewed as a mechanism that successfully promoted forgiveness and reconciliation. Analyses question the willingness of the majority of victims to forgive perpetrators and offer criticisms from a variety of groups, including religious leaders, of the TRCs model of unconditional forgiveness. While the project found many positive ways that the TRC had contributed to reconciliation, it also suggested the need to reconceptualize the meaning and relationship of forgiveness and reconciliation in a transitional justice process." 
But other studies showed that when forgiveness is done properly, it can have beneficial results on not only relationships, but also personal health and happiness. One research project conducted by Charlotte VanOyen Witvliet at Hope College, called Embodied Forgiveness: Empirical Studies of Cognitive, Emotional and Physical Dimensions of Forgiveness-related Responses, concluded that forgiveness strategies created a significant variance in measures of PTSD, anxiety, depression, hostility and physical health complaints:
"These findings suggest that researchers and clinicians serving combat veterans should continue to evaluate the relevance of forgiveness and religious coping to veterans mental and physical health." 
A second study by the same researcher measured immediate physiological effects when participants rehearsed hurtful memories and grudges and found that:
"Unforgiving thoughts prompted more aversive emotion, and significantly higher electromygram, skin conductance, heart rate, and blood pressure changes from baseline. The effects persisted after imagery into the recovery periods. Forgiveness thoughts prompted greater perceived control and comparatively lower physiological stress responses."
There have been many other forgiveness projects since then, including one at Stanford University. Its studies have indicated that forgiveness can be taught, that it decreases mental and physical symptoms of stress and that it will increase the willingness to forgive in the future. The director of the project is Frederic Luskin, Ph.D. a senior fellow at the Stanford Center on Conflict and Negotiation and an Associate Professor at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology.
"It is not therapy. It is teaching people how to learn this kind of skill," he said. "We can teach people to forgive and that will improve their well-being." 
The Woodstock Theological Center, about ten years ago, began a multi-year project investigating "Forgiveness in Conflict Resolution: Reality and Utility". That project ended a couple of years ago with the publication of the book, Forgiveness in International Politics: An Alternative Road to Peace. Among the subjects studied:
"truth commissions and facilitated small-group reconciliation as well as the ambiguous role of religious communities in both perpetuating conflict and promoting cultures of forgiveness. It also helped identify what the book calls "transactions of forgiveness," such as acknowledgments of political atrocity and gestures of forbearance from revenge (of the kind offered by South Africas Nelson Mandela and South Koreas Kim Dae Jung during the political transitions in those countries)." 
Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heal that has crushed it.
In teaching forgiveness, studies show that it is important to make a distinction: forgiving is not forgetting. It is not condoning an act or becoming friendly with the perpetrator. Although in Graham Snyders case, he is not only friends with Dany Heatley, but also a great supporter of his. But that result is not always possible, or even desirable. At the end of Grahams talk at the CRNCs plenary that morning, he was approached by a woman named Wilma Derksen. We dont know of what they spoke, but we can guess. Wilma Derksen has been on a healing journey of her own since her 13-year-old daughter, Candace, was abducted and killed in Winnipeg more than 20 years ago. She and her husband made a decision at that time: that learning how to forgive would be preferable to a lifetime seeking vengeance. That decision motivated her to begin a program called Victim's Voiceat Stony Mountain Prison in Manitoba. She coordinates meetings of victims and offenders, where victims can ask the questions that sometimes never really get asked during a trial. She herself has been denied even that; the person who killed her daughter has never been caught. Still:
"Forgiveness, she says, is a key component in the healing process. She describes forgiveness as letting go of the need to retaliate, letting go of the need to hurt back and letting go of revenge. "We have to let go of that and learn to trust again," she explains." 
Whats remarkable about many stories of forgiveness are the rewards it seems to bring the victims. The Snyders have discovered that for every kindness they have shown, it has come back a hundredfold. Graham says "we are not walking alone on this journey. We have received phone calls and letters from people who have suffered similar losses around the world telling us how our story has changed their outlook. We have met so many wonderful people along this path".
As William Shakespeare said nearly 500 hundred years ago, (and a favourite quote of Graham Snyders):
The quality of mercy is not strain'd,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice bless'd;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:
Make Peace with Where You Are
Excerpted from Abraham-Hicks Workshop G-1-29-05, San Antonio, TX
We always begin by asking: Those manifestations that have not yet come about are still pleasing to you, yes? And some lie and say yes, others say no, but we want you to come to the place where you say yes and really mean it. "Yes, there are things that I want that have not come into manifestation yet. There are things I want that I can't even see any way of them happening but they are still refreshing and delightful to me. I still feel anticipation. I still feel encouraged."
We want your unfulfilled desires to feel good to you, because, well, there are two reasons: If you cannot make peace with where you are, then the unfulfilled desires are very slow in becoming fulfilled because that angst you feel about things not yet happening, is an indication of a vibration that's literally holding it apart, from you.
So, when you're sick, and you've been sick for a long time and it doesn't seem like you're getting better, or when you have one of those diagnoses that says you're probably not going to get better, and so, instead of feeling hopeful, you feel afraid, then in fact, improvement cannot come under those conditions.
The vibrational difference between feeling hopeful and feeling fearful is the difference between getting well and not getting well. It's the difference between holding this condition on and on and on, or letting it go.
So, in the same way, your current financial affairs might be not good. You could have more bills than you have income. You could have people hounding you on the telephone or beating on your door every day. But you could have that financial condition and still you could feel hopeful, or, you could have that condition percolating along and you could feel fearful. And the difference between fearful and hopeful is the difference between things improving for you or not improving.
This is a Vibrational Universe and you are Vibrational Beings. You don't set your radio dial on 630 AM and expect to hear what's being broadcast on 98.6 FM. You understand you've got to line those frequencies up, and so you do. You don't stubbornly set it on the station that you don't want to hear and then demand that the laws of physics change so that you can hear it anyway. You can't be beating the drum of things gone wrong and offering a vibration about things going wrong and be in the vibrational place of receiving what you want.
Make peace with wherever you stand. And here's the most important part: When you feel despair, or anything that doesn't feel good, and you reach for a thought that feels better, what comes right along with that is a conscious awareness that you do have some control of your experience. And friends, we cannot emphasize enough the importance of that conscious awareness that you can do something about the way you feel.
When you choose a thought that feels better than the thought that you were choosing before, and you consciously acknowledge that you had the power to choose it, and that you did choose it, and that it did change your vibrational frequency, there's no place you cannot go. Now, that cloud of despair, that cloud of not being able to control your own experience goes away.
When you show yourself that you can feel better just because you've decided that you want to feel better, and that you have the power to choose a thought that feels better, now, you're on your way. And there's nowhere that you cannot go along this Emotional Scale. And when you make it up there into the consistent range of feeling pretty darn wonderful, then wonderful things become the basis of your experience.
Sometimes well-meaning people will encourage you to get happy faster than you can. And the reason that we say that is because, as we said earlier, you cannot put your radio dial on 630 AM and hear what's being broadcast on 98.6 FM; the frequencies have to match up. And if you are in despair, or fear, or anger, you can't jump all the way into bliss; you can't even get a whiff of bliss. It's a different vibrational frequency.
So, what we have noticed as we've been watching you, we notice that when you try to jump from anger or despair all the way to bliss, you don't make the jump; you can't possibly do it. And it's not because you're not good; it's because the Law of Attraction is not going to give you access to thoughts or memories or experiences, or other people, that's very far from where you are offering your vibration.
It is so important that you decide today (well, you can decide tomorrow; you can decide any time you want to, but it will be important to you when you make this decision) that you're not going to try to jump frequencies. It doesn't matter where you are; you can move gradually into increasingly better places.
The thing that is so important is that you, now, once and for all, make a decision that your dominant intent is to find the best-feeling thoughts that you can find from where you are. Not the best-feeling thoughts you've ever thought, or not the best-feeling thought that anybody has ever thought, but just the best-feeling thought that you have access to, right now.
Decide, really soon, that you are not going to compare your emotional state with anybody elses, because their emotional state is only about their emotional state; it doesn't have anything to do with you. Your friend who says, "Cheer up; be happy; come with me," say to your friend, "I was depressed yesterday, and today I'm really, really angry. And it's the best I can do. So, don't ask me to jump up there in your bright, fluffy, sunshine, lollipop and roses vibration; it's not possible. It's a quantum leap I cannot make. Go away, unless you like to be around an angry person."
Decide that you're going to be aware of how you feel, and that how you feel really matters, and feel exhilaration when your vibration shifts. When you move from despair or fear into anger, we want you to have a triumphant feeling of celebration because that was an enormous, important movement, vibrationally, and because once you get angry, you can move rather quickly into frustration, and when you find that fresh breath of air that frustration gives you, we want you to stop and celebrate your achievement but you're not going to be able to do that if you are trying to compare yourself with where others are.
Your creativity has only to do with your relationship with the Source Energy that creates worlds. And your emotions tell you everything you need to know about that relationship. So, it doesn't matter how happy somebody else is; it only matters how happy you are.
Do you know how, in the classroom, theyll give you an A for this behavior, or an E, or an F for that behavior. And so, you begin to think that somebody up there in joy and appreciation should get the A, and somebody down here in depression should get the E or the F. And what we want to say to you is, when you move from depression or fear into anger, give yourself an A, because that movement means everything.
What it means is, you've shifted enough vibrationally that you now have access to a whole other range of thoughts and experiences.
If you'll look back into your experience, you will begin to notice (and we don't want you to look back too much, but just begin to viscerally feel around) that emotions are always coming in response to what you are giving your attention to. And with far less effort than it takes to learn QuickBooks on your computer, you're going to discover that you can be in control of the way you feel, which means, you now have mastered the Art of Allowing.
Esther talked to a friend who's a magnificent counselor, (using many of the techniques that Abraham has offered over the years with her clients) and she says, "I tell my clients, find the eye of your hurricane and stay there." And Esther said, "I sort of like that. When you think about all the things that are going on in the world that could be upsetting to you, but there is this calm here where I am. In other words, I don't have to change the world; the world doesn't have to change for me." Do you know that is truly what the meaning of unconditional love is?
Most people, when they see conditions that seem bad, they just feel bad. And when they see something that makes them feel good they just feel good. And then they conclude, "We've got to control the conditions." And so, they make laws, and they get all kinds of people who then try to enforce the laws because they believe that if they could just control conditions, they would never have to look at anything that upsets them again. But then you discover that the tsunami will come, and that there aren't laws or rules, or armies, that can stop that. Or the hurricane will come, or the earthquake will come. In other words, there's always going to be something to challenge your idea that you can control circumstances.
You cannot control circumstances. You never intended to control circumstances. You intended to discover unconditional love. You intended to discover a way to feel good, no matter what, because you have the facility; you have the power; you have the ability to focus. You have the ability to choose where you focus, therefore you have the ability to choose the way you feel. But it takes some practice.
As you practice, every day, something will happen and you will feel it viscerally in your body. Somebody says something or does something, or you see something on television, and then you've got to stop, right then, and you have to say, Nothing is more important than that I feel good. And, right now, I'm going to do my best to find the best-feeling thought that I can find.
Now, sometimes, you can change the subject. It's easy to change the subject. Or, you could meditate; just quiet your mind; put your brain on pause; that makes you feel better immediately, too. But if there are circumstances that are hammering you, things that come up often, somebody in your experience that is there every day, or often, if there's something happening in your experience that you consistently feel bad about, then you've got some work to do on this Emotional Scale.
Once you show yourself that that person, or that circumstance, does not have to change for you to move from fearful up to hopeful, or from despair up to anger to frustration, once you show yourself that nothing has to change, for you to have real movement in the emotional journey, then watch what happens to your action journey. Once you shift, once you beat that drum, once it settles in, once you find the groove of that, once you are there, once you've shifted that belief, once you've modified that vibration (far less effort than you think), everything will begin to shift in your experience.
Contrast causes you to offer rockets of desire. The desire may be nowhere near where you're vibrating. So, you've given birth to an idea of something you want that you are not a vibrational match to it. Just do your best to find thoughts that feel closer and closer and closer to it. And when you begin to feel the elation that you will feel when that manifests, even before it manifests, it must manifest, and it must manifest fast.
That's why it's important to have unfulfilled desires that still excite you. We want you to work on getting to the place where you say, "Yes, I love this unfulfilled desire! I love knowing that there's something in the offing for me. I love knowing that it's out there percolating, and I love doing my work, which is, gradually, gently, consistently bringing me into vibrational alignment with it."
When it feels like the next logical step then it comes right in. So your work, as you stand in the absence of something wanted, is to pretend it, to imagine it, to become so familiar with the essence of what it would feel like when it comes, that even though it hasn't come, you still feel good. (You get this?) Even though my lover hasn't arrived yet, I'm excited about the idea. I'm anticipating. But if I'm depressed, if I'm discouraged, if "all the good ones are taken," then, it's not the next logical step.
We think you heard that. Our work here is done.
Excerpted from Abraham-Hicks Workshop G-1-29-05, San Antonio, TX
Why optimism is your best strategy
Everyday reality seems to leave little room for optimism. Television and front page news report mainly on failure and misery: Terrorism, violence, intolerance and climate change. People everywhere are under a continual onslaught of negativity. No wonder more and more people are depressed. Under these circumstances, how can you stay positive and optimistic? In an exhaustive cover story, the French magazine Psychologies (January 2005) explains that optimism is a quality that anyone can learn. True optimism isnt about denying reality against our better judgement. And optimism is not the same thing as idealism, which also reflects a tendency to push up against harsh realities. The idealist is chasing after a big ideal and runs the risk of big disappointment.
Psychologies calls for "intelligent optimism." Intelligent optimists dont deny problems, but adjust to them, while still seeking an opportunity for progress. Intelligent optimists dont allow themselves to get carried away by circumstances they cant change, but focus on things that are within their grasp and that they can enjoy. The magazine quotes the diary of Etty Hillesum, a Dutch Jew who wrote a journal describing her life in a Nazi death camp: "Today we walked along little German roads past lilacs and roses."
You learn to become optimistic by concentrating on things that give you a sense of satisfaction, and you remain an optimist by feeding those things to make them grow. Intelligent optimists also know that for every problem there is (at least the beginning of) a solution and that the search for that solution can be inspirational in itself. They are also not afraid of negative thoughts, which they realize offer some protection and help them stay realistic.
Psychologies confirms that very little research has been done into factors that influence optimism because "science is not interested in happy people." Nonetheless, the psychologists and psychotherapists quoted in the magazine believe that the aptitude for optimism is not genetically determined. In other words: anyone can learn to be optimistic. All it requires is courage and practice, along with a good grasp of reality. Positive examples around can also help: people associating with others who are optimistic become optimistic themselves. And just as children of depressed parents are more prone to depression, psychologists believe the reverse is also true. Optimism breeds optimism.
The U.S. magazine Balanced Living (winter 2004) also comes to the same conclusion: that an optimistic attitude can be "cultivated." You have to "work" at it, according to the magazine. "Satisfaction is something you have to practise." And therein lies a challenge. Most of us are more aware of how to practise dissatisfaction: we worry about money, complain about our boss and compare ourselves to others. But satisfaction starts with accepting what you have and what you cant change. Balanced Living advises regularly saying the following affirmation:
What I have, is enough.
What I am, is enough.
What I do, is enough.
What I've achieved, is enough.
This consciousness teaches you to value what you have and to enjoy the moment-which is the beginning of a satisfied and optimistic attitude towards life.
The American business magazine Fast Company (April 2005) adds that optimists understand that change is a given. History teaches us that unpleasant circumstances ultimately fade away. But change is a slow process, "one person at a time." So theres no point in getting depressed about any current situation. Optimists can enjoy a half-full glass in an imperfect world, according to the publication. In other words: optimism is a choice.