How to Get Unstuck: Moving Your Emotions With A Set-Up Statement

Karate Chop PointHow many times have you felt something but didn’t want to feel that way?

Have you ever felt anger but then tried to rationalize your anger away? I’m sure she didn’t mean it that way. I’m overreacting again.

Have you ever felt ashamed but then swallowed that feeling, hoping it would never surface again, if only you could keep pretending it didn’t exist? What’s wrong with me? Nobody else seems to have this problem. Why can’t I get this right?

What about sadness? Have you ever felt tears prickling your eyes and a lump swelling in your throat, only to dismiss these emotions and to ‘not let them show’?Ā He can never see me cry or know how much this is hurting me.

IMG_9837All of us have experienced emotions that we don’t want to feel at some point, and

Each of us has an assortment of ‘signature moves’ when it comes to dealing with these feelings.

Maybe you bury your feelings. Or deny them. Or ‘talk yourself out of them’. For some people, it’s all about projection: She’s so immature! I hate it when she does that! And for many people, the way ‘out’ of feelings (…but not really) is to judge and criticize yourself for feeling that way. Uh-huh.

For most of us, the idea that we can actually feel our emotions and then let them go seems too simple to really work or be effective. This idea is way too ‘out there’ and ‘woo-woo’, am I right? We have been trained our whole lives to work hard and to achieve more, so this notion that we can simply acknowledge our feelings in order to release them causes us to narrow our eyes in suspicion. (Yep, speaking from personal experience here.)

It’s true, though:

Sometimes the best way through our most difficult and uncomfortable feelings is to simply acknowledge them as they are.

Even if you feel like this.

Even when you feel like this.

How can we do that? I’m happy you asked. šŸ™‚ In today’s post, we’re going to learn ‘The Set-Up Statement’ from the EFT/Tapping sequence, which is a quick and easy way to name our feelings and to keep that energy moving healthily. The general ‘formula’ for a Set-Up Statement is as follows:

“Even though _____________, I love and accept myself.”

(Fill in the blank with what it is you want to address and also how you feel about that topic, e.g., “Even though I’m super angry with my son for never cleaning up after himself, even though he’s 16 and he totally knows better, I love and accept myself”. -OR- “Even though I have this killer pain in my lower back and I can barely move it hurts so much, I love and accept myself.”)


The Set-Up Statement is usually the first part of a Tapping sequence, and it is normally said three times while Tapping on the Karate Chop point. As you can see in the example above, the Set-Up Statement introduces the topic that you will be Tapping on, and it also acknowledges how you feel about that particular issue (or emotion, person, situation, etc.).

The Set-Up Statement combines the physical motion of Tapping with the totally transformative act of talking to yourself out loud. (I know this seems silly– if not a little horrifying– but trust me: it works.) Together, the electrical impulse of Tapping and your true acknowledgement of how you really feel work to calm your stress response down and to communicate to your nervous system that all is well. This helps to ‘un-stick’ your emotions and to help you feel lighter and brighter overall.

Yes, lighter and brighter like this!

Yes, lighter and brighter like this!

The Set-Up Statement is usually considered the ‘preamble’ to a full Tapping sequence, but I have often done just the Set-Up Statement for myself and left it at that, without proceeding to tap through an entire round afterward. Depending on your particular topic and feelings, it can be just as effective to do the Set-Up Statement by itself as it would be to work through a whole Tapping routine, and especially if you’re pressed for time, energy, or privacy, a small amount of Tapping is always better than no Tapping at all. Definitely don’t feel that you need to commit a whole hour to Tapping– 5 minutes works wonders as well!


In this video, I’m sharing an example of what it looks like to create and work through a Set-Up Statement. Each of my three Set-Up Statements in the video is different (partly because I was improvising and couldn’t remember what I had said earlier- ha!), but when you are making your own Set-Up Statements, it might help at first to just repeat the same statement three times while tapping on the Karate Chop point. It’s all good!

Here is what this video covers:

  • What a Set-Up Statement is
  • The “Even though _______________, I love and accept myself” format of the Set-Up Statement
  • Using the Set-Up Statement to tap on the issue of body weight: feeling uncomfortable with your weight and feeling critical of yourself for being uncomfortable with what you weigh (!)
  • Variations on the theme– you’ll be able to see me improvising and personalizing the basic Set-Up Statement formula on the spot, which demonstrates how flexible and customizable the ‘formula’ really is
  • The benefits of using a Set-Up Statement: keeping your energy flowing and your emotions ‘in motion’

Want to get the hang of creating Set-Up Statements for yourself? Try it out in the comments below! Use the formula: “Even though ________________, I love and accept myself”, and fill in the blanks with your chosen topic and how you feel about that topic. I’m happy to guide and steer you if you’re feeling stumped or if you’re not sure if you’re on the right track. And until next week, xo! –Dana


PS: Very important!

As I mentioned in my previous post, I’m in the process of creating my new website (and it’s nearly ready, which I’m sooooooooo excited about!) It will be live really soon, so if you want to stay in the loop and not miss out when I migrate over to my own domain, I’d totally encourage you to sign up for my newsletter here. (I will be sending out my post notifications via a third party service instead of directly through WP on the new site, so signing up is the best… and only… way to keep receiving posts from me. Thanks a bunch!)


Introduction to EFT Tapping Points (Video)

the tapping points

One of my favorite things in life is a little technique called ‘Tapping’. It’s also known as EFT or Emotional Freedom Technique, and it’s basically a magical (and simple!) procedure you can use for everything in your life– from overcoming pain and phobias to losing weight and earning more money. For real. Even though the effectiveness of Tapping has been fully backed up by a bunch of science now (not to mention thousands and thousands of personal testimonials), it’s still not 100% clear exactly why or how Tapping works on such a wide spectrum of issues, but hey: I’m not one to argue with skinny jeans and extra $$$ in the bank. šŸ˜‰

I first came to Tapping in early 2013, and I did so out of desperation.

I had been involved in a very heated confrontation with a friend of mine back in 2011 (two years earlier!), and no matter what I tried to do to heal and move on, I just couldn’t shake the emotional charges that this experience brought up for me. Every time I saw her (or even thought about her– which was a lot), I’d go through the same emotions all over again: a fresh wave of anger, hurt, betrayal, frustration, and bitterness. It wasn’t a pretty scene, and I hated that I couldn’t be a good ‘self-help student’, apply all the New Age techniques I had read about, and just move on with my life.

I tried forgiveness.

I tried using this person as a ‘mirror’ to my Shadow Self. I tried justifying her behavior and feeling compassion for what she must be going through in life, in order for her to be mean to others. Nothing worked, and as weeks turned into months and months stretched into years, I still felt wounded and tender. I ended up feeling like something was very wrong with me. Why couldn’t I move on? Why was I wasting my time and energy on something that was so not worth it? How could I possibly let this go– finally?

That’s when Tapping came into my life. (Alleluia!)

I had read about Tapping before and I had even worked my way through a number of Tapping videos and “scripts” online. I had okay experiences with these online tools (meaning I usually felt calm and peaceful afterward), but when I discovered that I could work one-on-one with somebody to process my specific feelings and my distinct situation, I jumped at the opportunity.

My first one-on-one Tapping session was nothing short of miraculous.

Seriously. My initial experiences with standardized “scripts” online did not (and could not!) prepare me for the depth and degree of healing that took place in that personalized, unique-to-me Tapping session. My teacher intuitively guided me through the Tapping points, articulating my emotions for me and having me repeat these phrases back to him. I felt like a torrential storm of feelings was brewing inside of me, but I definitely felt safe in that context with him. Eventually, tears (and, I’m afraid to admit this: snot!) started spilling out of me with no reserve whatsoever… in front of this man I had only known for 15 minutes. Classy.

By the time my session finished, I felt an incredible lightness inside of my spirit. It felt like I had been walking around with a gigantic backpack of bricks strapped to my soul for the past two years, and after 60 minutes of Tapping, I was a new woman: fresh, curious, joyful, and ‘me’ once more. The anger had dissolved. The resentment and the rage were gone. And all those feelings of being a victim to somebody’s bullying were replaced with a quiet, unshakable trust inĀ my own strength and power.


It’s great that Tapping resources are so widely available online, and I’m all for having easy (and free or inexpensive) access to general healing techniques. Power to the people, yo! But…

I also have incredible respect and mad admiration for the healers (ahem, including myself) who offer customized, in-depth, totally personalized versions of these same techniques, for a fee. I have experienced, first-hand, the transformation that can occur in a single session– with Tapping acting as the catalyst– and honestly:

There is no comparison between a generic Tapping “script” (e.g. Tapping for Stress Relief) and being led through your own situation and your own range of emotions by a trusted guide. No. Comparison. Whatsoever.

When you are led through the Tapping process by someone– a real person, not the internet– you don’t have to worry about getting lost in your sadness or stuck in your fear. Instead, you are led and you are held as you work through whatever is keeping you stuck and ‘small’– safely and effectively.

Destination? Healing.

Destination? Personal transformation.

Destination? Releasing and letting go of that which no longer serves you.

Destination? Stepping back into your own, divine, power. (Boo-yah!)

It’s utterly, profoundly magical.

So. All of this lead-in is meant to introduce you to Tapping. (Read: Here, finally, is the point of this post!) If you’ve never heard of Tapping before, heads up: I believe it is one of the best healing tools out there. If you’re already familiar with Tapping, did you know that you canĀ superchargeĀ your Tapping experience by working one-on-one with a guide? It’s true, and not-so-coincidentally, this is one of the services I offer. šŸ˜‰


See? Doesn’t this look fun?

One of my intentions is to make Tapping easy and accessible for you, which I’ll do, in part, by creating videos about the different Tapping points and how you can create your own (personalized!) Tapping session. The first of these videos is below:

This video provides a short introduction to the nine different Tapping (acupressure) points along the body’s meridians.

Here’s what’s covered:

  • What a Tapping sequence involves
  • Where the Tapping points are on the body
  • Different variations for Tapping each point


Also: For those of you who want to go deeper with this process, or for those of you who feel more comfortable being guided safely and effectively through their own emotional terrain, I offer customized Tapping support over Skype, so please feel free to contact me if that seems like a fit for you.

–xo, Dana

PS: Reactions to Tapping definitely vary, and just because my first experience with EFT deserved its own fireworks show, it doesn’t mean that I’ve felt the same way about every session I’ve ever experienced. It’s normal and expected to experience some (or all) of the following responses to Tapping:

  • charged emotions (‘good’ or ‘bad’ feelings)
  • itchiness
  • boredom
  • yawning
  • ‘zoning out’
  • not being able to focus well
  • tingling
  • sensations of hot or cold
  • remembering ‘things’
  • seeing ‘things’
  • and occasionally– not feeling anything whatsoever.

All of these are good. šŸ™‚

PPS: Very important!

I’m in the process of creating my new website (which I’m sooooooooo excited about!) It will be live within the next few weeks, so if you want to stay in the loop and not miss out when I migrate over to my own domain, I’d encourage you to sign up for my newsletter here. (I will be sending out my post notifications via a third party service instead of directly through WP on the new site, so signing up is the best… and only… way to keep receiving posts from me. Thank you!)

If I Could Make You Do Something Every Day… This Would Be It

The sweep and the holdI’m not one for forcing things on people, whether it’s a belief, a practice, or– um, myself. Heh. Most times, I prefer to let people find their own ways in life, and usually, I’m quite content to mind my own business.


Let me show you a video where I (gently) force some concepts onto you. šŸ™‚

In this video, I introduce two quick and simple techniques that can be used on a daily basis to lower the stress response and to keep your brain in creative-thinking mode. Put together, these techniques take less than three minutes to do, and really simply:

They just feel good.

(So get on it, yo!)

Disclaimer: I didn’t invent these points. No, that honor goes to the legendary Donna Eden, who has taught millions of people worldwide about the benefits of energy medicine through her books, workshops, and certification programs. I first encountered Donna’s work through my teacher, Dr. Leonard Thornton, and have since been faithfully incorporating many of her techniques into my daily routines. I really swear by them and hope you will benefit from them as well!

[Now, allow me to step up on my soap box and say with the utmost sincerity:]

If everybody did these two things every day, the world wouldn’t just be a different place– it would be a better place. So watch the video, learn the techniques, and see how they work for you.

Are there routines, techniques, or points that you use on a daily basis to help with stress?

How do you keep your mind clear and your energy in balance?

Finding a Cure for Over-Giving

This is a big one for me: balancing the energy I give with the energy I receive. And once again, it all comes back to boundaries.

Weighing out what I give with what I receive.

Like a lot of women especially (although men can definitely be affected by this as well), I have a history of pleasing— taking pains to be of service to other people in some way but not always stepping back and making sure that my own energetic cup is full. To phrase this in ‘boundary’ terms, my track record features loose and lax boundaries when it comes to my energy expenditure but really tight and strong boundaries when it comes to my willingness to receive energy.

A lot gets out, but not a lot gets back in.

Thankfully, with practice and awareness, I’m getting so much better at receiving energy, whether that energy is in the form of love, money, time, support, or relaxation. Every now and then, I will relapse into Super-Woman mode, thinking I can handle everything without any assistance from anyone or anything (um, haha?), but as I engage with my own practices and personal growth tools, this imbalance between giving and receiving is definitely becomingĀ less frequentĀ andĀ less intense.

Just look at me receiving fun and love! Hooray for me!

Just look at me receiving fun and love on a mountain top in Tucson! Hooray for me!

If you are a giver, if you are a nurturer, and if one of your greatest desires in life is to be helpful to others or to lift people up, then today’s video is for you.

In the video, I cover:

  • Energy imbalances– when giving outweighs receiving
  • The issue behind the issue– it’s not about “other people not giving back to us”; it’s about our willingness toĀ receiveĀ what other people already give to us
  • How to create an Energy Inventory to see how balanced you are with giving and receiving right now
  • Strategies to help you amp up your capacity to receive

Also, when I was creating this video for you, something dawned on me: I have inadvertently been blocking myself from receivingĀ your energy for the past few weeks. Ahem. Remember when I had the insight to close comments on the blog? Well, during the time that comments were closed, I allowed myself the space to sift through my own energy, searching for intentions behind my actions. I realized that my intention toĀ be of serviceĀ to you, my beloved reader, runs deep and strong. However, in order to be of theĀ mostĀ andĀ highestĀ service, I also need to be willing to receive energy back. (Otherwise, there’s an imbalance!) My experiment in closing comments will be short lived, although there is still no pressure to leave evidence of your visit here. šŸ™‚ Give and receive what feels best and right for you. Thank you!

–xo, Dana