The evolution of the brain dictates that the first question we ask in ANY new situation is, “Am I safe?”
With lightning speed the reptilian part of your brain scans people, the environment, the energy in the room, the smells, etc to determine whether you’re okay to proceed or not.
Look up the word orient and you’ll see that to orient is to determine one’s place in reference to another point. I imagine the great explorers looking out over the ocean and wondering where they are. Assessing the environment and asking where you are gives your nervous system the opportunity to say, “I am in a room with people who aren’t out to destroy me.” When you orient, you are literally taking in all the external stimuli and you come back into the present moment. Peter Levine, author of Waking the Tiger, created Orienting for those with a history of trauma and it’s a fantastic way for drawing you back into your body and gaining almost instantaneous peace.
To do EFT Orienting, tap on the Side of Hand point continuously. While tapping, begin to look around the room you are in. Take in the color, pattern, texture, and shape of everything in that room from ceiling to floor to people. This is done very slowly. Once your brain has taken in enough information about the environment and knows that you are safe, you will likely sense an involuntary sigh. Some people sigh almost immediately while others take a bit longer.
I use this technique when I have a client who is activated, at the start of a session to ground him or her, to bring a person’s attention back into the room, and for them to attain a deep sense of peace. I might verbally guide them to keep their eyes open and scanning if they are really activated.
Practice orienting next time you have a disturbing phone call, when you’re stuck in traffic, when you find your mind wandering to a fearful situation, experience anxiety, or need to connect with the present moment in a quick and easy way.
There’s another more regimented way of doing Orienting EFT that we created for the Tapping Summit a few years ago.
Side of the Hand Point:
1. Even Though I know I’ve had negative experiences happen to me in the past, the truth is, right here, right now, in this moment, I’m perfectly safe.
2. Even Though I am noticing some stress and discomfort in my body and I’m not sure exactly what it’s about; I can accept that this is how I am feeling right now.
3. Even Though, in this moment, I just don’t feel anything, in fact I feel kind of numb; I can still bring myself to the present moment.
EB: I can keep my eyes open with a soft gaze
SOE: I can look around the room very slowly…
UE: I am able to notice the color, texture and patterns that I see around me in the room
UN: I am noticing variations of shadow and light throughout the room
CP: I am going to notice the small details of the ceiling, walls and floor
CB: I notice the pressure of my feet on the floor
UA: I am aware of the sensation and contact of sitting in my chair
TOH: I feel the temperature of the air on my skin
EB: I am paying attention to the sounds that are in the background
SOE: I am giving more attention to the sound of my voice
UE: I am directing my breathing to being slow and rhythmic
UN: Now I’m focusing on any smells I sense in the room
CP: I am now cognizant of the time of day it is right now
UA: I am sensing a softening of the tension throughout my body
TOH: I feel calm, relaxed, peaceful, settled and in the present moment where I am perfectly safe