Recently I found an article I wrote during the “Global Financial Crisis”. I was surprised to see how much of it applies to today’s Covid-19 challenges so I’ve borrowed heavily from it whilst updating it a little and including how Intention Tapping can help:
By Steve Wells
I just revisited the work of Byron Katie in her brilliant books, Loving What Is, and, Who Would You be Without Your Story? I think Katie’s approach has much to offer for helping us to get beyond our suffering over the coronavirus pandemic and other issues happening in the world right now.
As many of you know it was re-reading Byron Katie’s wonderful book Loving What Is that helped lead me to the discoveries I now use in Intention Tapping!
In her process, called The Work, Byron Katie outlines some powerful questions you can ask whenever you are upset.
The core of her process rests upon the question, Is it true?
This is followed up with: Can you absolutely know that it’s true?
This and two further questions, How do you react when you believe that thought? And, Who would you be without the thought? are applied to whatever is disturbing you at the moment.
These 4 questions, followed by considering several opposites to the problem thought, which Katie calls the turnaround, can lead you to realise that the only thing you can really know is real is what is happening right here right now. And that is all you really have to deal with.
What a relief to find that what you have really been upset about is just a “story” about what is happening, or a concept or judgment that you have attached to.
The process of questioning your thoughts and focusing on only what you can really know as true can be liberating.
As I often say to my clients, you only have to deal with what you have to deal with … and you won’t know what that is until you get there! Everything else is a story...
Katie’s simple proposition is that the only way you can really suffer is when you believe a thought which argues with reality.
The way I would put it is you suffer when you emotionally attach to an idea or concept about reality.
Reality is much kinder than we think.
William Hablitzel, author of Dying Was the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me, puts it this way: Nothing in this world can be as bad as that which we can imagine.
How relevant is this to our time?
All over the world right now, people are being “inducted” into fear-based thinking and feeling through fear-based marketing and politicking. We are daily being encouraged to attach emotionally to thoughts and images of doom and gloom.
As my wife Louise pointed out when we went through a similar process in the “Global Financial Crisis” some years back the worst of this is all those news shows and articles purporting to help by offering suggestions for how to cope.
Back then they were all about “making do with less”. “How to budget”.
Now we have “how to survive the virus”, “how to cope in difficult times.” And more recently some eerily similar to the GFC such as “How to survive the coming crash.” Or “How to survive the recession / depression / property downturn / (insert alternative dire scenario here).”
And this is supposed to help us?
Actually, it’s designed to get more ratings for the shows and sell more newspapers, because fear sells. These shows and articles purporting to help actually reinforce a perception that things are worse than they really are, or going to be… And so they feed the fear and stir up more panic…
If you have been panicking too as a result, don’t worry, it’s perfectly normal… and there is a way out…
Many scientists now believe it is normal to think “negatively”, that our minds have developed an evolutionary capacity to project images of possible future danger in order that we can avoid it, or work out how to deal with it.
All of which is good when that’s all that happens. Any number of options and possibilities can be considered, and even dealt with, as long as we continue to ground ourselves in what is real and true and live our lives based on that.
But how tempting to go into the possible future scenario and start to see it as inevitable, so much so that ultimately you step into it and experience it “as if” it is real. And then you suffer it, like a movie you believe is real just because the camera presents it to you from the perspective of being inside it…
The challenge is to realise it’s not real, it’s just a projection of the mind.
Reality is quite different.
So, in your mind you may be eating gruel when in reality your fridge is full.
In your mind you may be dying from the virus when in reality you are healthy and well.
So you suffer.
And what’s even worse, you become distracted from focusing your energies around what is most important in our life…
Maybe you miss out on the joy of following your bliss because you are “holding back”, believing it’s too dangerous right now to take a step towards your dream…
Or you sit, panic-stricken with worry about losing your loved ones while your kids stand right in front of you smiling, wanting to play…
Back in 1933, in his inaugural speech made right in the thick of the great depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt asserted, “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
That applies here too.
The feeling of fear is something we will do almost anything to avoid. Butdo we really need to fear these feelings? Do we even need to fear these thoughts? Do we need to accept any of it as real?
Wouldn’t we be better to understand that our biggest problem is that we have bought into a negative Belief System? That the only problem we really have is in the story we attach to the current world situation and the feelings this provokes in us?
To free yourself from emotional suffering you only need to free yourself from attachment to this story.
Byron Katie’s work helps brilliantly with this. Tapping does too. And now we have Intention Tapping, which can help us gain rapid relief from false emotional attachments and body energy disturbances which make the thoughts seem real.
When the emotional attachments are released and our body energy returns to balance and flow then thoughts have no power to control us.
So, if you find yourself experiencing fear over the current virus “story”, or the looming global depression story, or any personal story that your mind has thrown up for you and which you have started to believe, start tapping.
Don’t oppose your thoughts and feelings. Simply allow them to be there, without trying to oppose them. Katie would say, meet them with understanding.
It isn’t the thoughts that are the problem; it’s the emotional attachments to them which are causing you to suffer.
If you are aware of your thinking, and can identify the story you are telling yourself - perhaps something along the lines of “I'm going to die…” or “We’re going to be financially ruined” - then let those thoughts and that story just be there as you tap.
Then use this intention statement:
I release all my emotional attachments to this projection that (this doom and gloom story will happen).
If you want to accelerate the results, include some provocation and exaggeration, a la Provocative Energy Techniques (PET) and use the word “fantasy” instead of projection, as in:
I release all my emotional attachments to the fantasy that I will catch the virus, suffer severely and die a cruel death all alone and nobody will come to my funeral!
I release all my emotional attachments to the fantasy that I will go broke and end up on the streets.
It’s normal that you will then become aware of your body, and all the tension and constriction caused by emotionally attaching to these thoughts.
Use this intention statement on any bodily disturbances:
I restore the right energy flow and balance to this (body area).
As you continue to flip through your mind-projected scenarios of gloom and doom, and hear the inner voices of fear, and instead of just believing them or acting on them you instead tap and release and restore using Intention Tapping, you will almost certainly find your thoughts and feelings start to change.
Typically, the thoughts and images become less compelling and harder to focus on.
Your focus starts to move more to the now.
And if you have difficult situations to deal with, practical things you can do right now to improve things start to come into view.
You start to recall and get in touch with strengths and resources you had forgotten.
Maybe you also become, as I have, even more focused on and committed to centring your life around what is really most important to you.
After doing this process repeatedly on your own thoughts and feelings, you become more able to see other people’s reactions as just "their stuff”, as in thoughts they've emotionally attached to, and not as something you need to be triggered by.
You aren’t triggered any more by fear-based news programs. Your mind may continue to create projections, but you no longer see them as real or inevitable.
They are just thoughts.
Here’s how Katie describes the process (which also applies to tapping):
“You’re walking through the desert and it’s a beautiful day and you look down and see a big fat rattlesnake and you’re terrified of rattlesnakes. You jump back, your heart is racing, your pulse is beating, you’re paralysed with fear… Then the sun goes behind a cloud and you look again, and it isn’t a snake after all – it’s a rope.
Now I invite you to stand over the rope for a thousand years and make yourself afraid of it again. You can’t. This is self-realization. You have realized for yourself what is true. And you can never be afraid of that rope again…”
So, if you find yourself reacting to negative stories about the world, your health, or your finances, I highly recommend the work of Byron Katie.
Especially Intention Tapping.
Use it to release the emotional attachments behind your suffering, until you end up back in the here and now where everything that’s real is happening.
And if it’s right for you, consider joining us at one of my upcoming Online Intention Tapping Workshops and spend some time releasing the BS that’s been distracting you and get back in touch with what’s real and what’s most important in your life!
David Snow wrote me this lovely email after I send out this article in my newsletter:
Thank.you so much for this particular post containing your updated explanation of how to cope with Mainstream Media B.S.
Early Wuhan Virus fear-filled blogs, articles and videos of people dying in the street, having their apartment main-entry doors welded shut and pictures of overwhelmed hospital facilities with corridor floors littered with bodies and grieving relatives triggered me deeply.
During the very early stages of the virus outbreak, I searched relentlessly online for any scientific/medical sources that estimated the survivability of males in the 75 age range (with underlying medical issues, including hypertension). What I found was a disturbing prognosis for such folk as myself.
Then I found the two main COVID-19 "dashboard" websites showing confirmed infection rates and deaths, complete with an interactive world map allowing close-up scrutiny of infected regions. They illustrated the inevitable march of the virus along air-transportation routes to transfer hubs, sub regions and (in my mind), into my house!
The fact that it is "novel", invisible and highly infectious with unknown means of transmission (at that time) unnerved me, so I made early shopping expeditions to stock up on medical supplies, food and water (we can't drink the tap water in Asia), and went into solitary confinement at home, refusing to attend medical appointments unless absolutely vital to my wellbeing.
I sincerely expected to catch the virus and die from it within a month or six weeks of it arriving in my country. I contacted my family in Australia and let them know I had come to terms with the inevitable, and hoped they could accept that my lifespan was coming to an end. One daughter told me "not to give up".
My obsessive daily scrutiny of the "dashboards", ABC News "Coronacast", and any other headlines on my smartphone were limiting my life in a serious way. Then via this Newsletter I saw your Intention Tapping for COVID-19 videos.
I got great relief from your videos by following along with tapping, and writing out the Release and Restore statements on a piece of cardboard which I used daily. Eventually I could remember the wording, and used them in self healing sessions which released lots of quite unexpected sadness.
Now I'm no longer triggered by the "dashboards" or COVID-19 news, but still scan them occasionally and think how lucky we are in Asia (and Australia) to have such effective Public Health containment strategies.
Your description in today's Newsletter about how the feelings of being triggered are reduced, and eventually fade away is exactly my experience with this 4 to 5 month saga. I continue to be cautious and follow the guidelines carefully, but with a sense of my "old self" in charge rather than the terror I'd previously felt.
It is clear that Intention Tapping has been the agent of change, bringing me great relief.
Thank you so much, Steve.
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