342: Tap into Your Best Self
Brad Yates and Ashley James
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) expert Brad Yates describes how tapping relieves stress and cultivates a healthy flow of energy. He teaches the importance of emotional hygiene — tap daily, feel better, think clearly, and make true health choices. Exciting bonus, he guides us through a live tapping session!
[00:00:03] Ashley James: Hello, true health-seeker and welcome to another exciting episode of the Learn True Health podcast. I am thrilled to have you learn from Brad Yates today. I love his technique. In today’s interview, he had me do it, and he has you follow along and experience this type of acupressure that you see instant results with.
It’s really funny because as I was following along with his instructions, I’m tapping on the different acupressure points, and I wasn’t noticing while he was doing it. But then by the time we were done, I felt drunk. I was so calm and relaxed. It was really interesting how quickly it lowers cortisol.
In fact, he talks about some studies that prove using this technique significantly lowers stress hormones. He’s going to be coming to some major cities live and teaching his daylong class.
As you listen to this interview today, if you think yourself, “Man, I love to join Ashley and do Brad’s live event,” it’s called “Tap into Your Best Self.” He teaches you all the techniques to take EFT into your daily life to decrease stress and stop cravings. He has a technique that completely has you stop craving, allows you to lower anxiety, increase happiness, and increase productivity. He has 800 different videos on YouTube using this technique in different ways in your life to enhance and enrich your life. You get to learn all about it in person with him.
He’s coming to Austin, Texas, Saturday, June 8. You can go to learntruehealth.com/austin to get tickets to June 8th’s “Tap Into Your Best Self” class.
For Las Vegas, it’s Sunday, June 9th, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can go to learntruehealth.com/vegas.
For Atlanta, Georgia, he’s going to be there Saturday, June 22nd, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Go to learntruehealth.com/atlanta to sign up there.
He’ll be in Philly on June 23rd. Go to learntruehealth/philadelphia.
I know you’re going to love today’s interview. Please share with those that you know would love a powerful technique to help them get better sleep, focus more, better energy, decreased stress, and increase the feelings of joy and happiness in their life and an overall sense of awesomeness. I think all of our friends could use that, so definitely share this episode with your friends.
Have a fantastic day and enjoy today’s interview.
[00:03:43] Today is going to be so much fun. We have with us Brad Yates. He is an expert in emotional freedom technique. If you’ve never tapped yourself into better health or a better mood, then you are in for quite a ride.
EFT is very interesting if you’ve never experienced this. I’m looking forward to those who’ve never experienced EFT to hear what Brad has to say and to follow some of his wonderful tools. He is going to guide us through some techniques.
For those who have experienced EFT, you’re going to appreciate how Brad teaches it today.
Welcome to the show.
[ 00:04:25] Brad Yates: My pleasure. Thanks so much for having me on.
[ 00:04:28] Ashley James: Absolutely. You came highly recommended. One of our avid listeners, Naomi, told me that I absolutely had to have you on the show. You were coming to Seattle to teach a class here locally, but you also teach all around the world. Online, you have teleseminars, and you teach in person as well. We’re going to discuss how people can learn from you later in the show, but first I’d love to get into your story. I am curious, how did you become an expert in emotional freedom technique?
[ 00:05:02] Brad Yates: How does a grown man find himself tapping on his face for a living?
[ 00:05:06] Ashley James: Right, exactly.
[ 00:05:08] Brad Yates: Well, I knew from a young age that that’s what I was going to do — hardly. I was a professional actor. I got a degree in theater. I had traveled around the world doing children’s theater, and then I moved to Hollywood to become a movie star, you know, as one does.
While there, I met a woman, fell in love, and got married. When our first child was on the way, I was thinking, “Maybe I should have a back-up career, too?” Rather than finding the normal, steady kind of job, I trained to become a hypnotherapist because I’ve always been fascinated by the power of the mind.
I started doing that and fell in love with it. It was great transitioning from being an actor into being a hypnotherapist because I had a trained actor’s voice. That was really helpful. For a change, when my audience fell asleep, that was actually a good thing. So I enjoyed that, too.
I was still pursuing my career as an actor while building a practice as a hypnotherapist. After a couple of years, when our second child was on the way, it really hit me that this is the career that I was meant to have, doing personal development work. As much as I loved acting, this was much more fulfilling. It just felt like a better use of my gifts and talents.
We made the decision to leave Los Angeles and move to northern California. In that process, through some other hypnotherapists that I had gone to know online, I kept hearing about this tapping process. There was this energy psychology conference going on in Las Vegas, and I really ought to go check it out.
So I went and I took a one-day training with Gary Craig, the founder of Emotional Freedom Techniques or EFT. It was fascinating. This process of tapping on your face, which admittedly looks a little strange to people when they haven’t seen it before, looks a little odd. But having come from my acting background and one of the things I’ve done as an actor was I had gone through Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College, at this point, tapping was not the strangest thing I’d ever have to do. I was a little more open-minded than some people might otherwise be doing this tapping.
What sold me on the tapping process was he passed out Hershey’s Kisses to everybody and said, “On a scale of 0 to 10, how much would you like this chocolate right now.” I was an 8 or 9 because I was a bit of a chocoholic. Then we did some tapping on chocolate cravings, and after a couple of moments of tapping, I could not eat the chocolate. I had as much interest in it as I did in the foil wrapper. I didn’t eat chocolates for two years after that. Just no desire whatsoever.
I was thinking, “Hmm, this is very interesting. There’s something to this process.” When I came home from that conference, I started experimenting with hypnotherapy clients. At the end of the first session that I tried, I said, “We’ve got a few minutes left. I just want to try this simple little technique,” and did the tapping. Little by little, it became my main modality. I still use a bit of hypnosis in a lot of my sessions, but tapping became my main modality because it’s so simple to use.
It quite literally puts the power in the person’s own hands. They have the power at their fingertips so that wherever they might be, they’re able to use this technique. So I started building my career as a tapper.
Right around this time or shortly afterward, YouTube happened. I thought, “Wouldn’t it be cool if there was a tapping video that people could use to start their day? I’ll call it Tap of the Morning.” It was the only video I ever intended to create. I put it up, and then about six months later, I had an idea, “There really ought to be a video to end the day, and I’ll call it Tap of the Evening, and now I’m done.” And then a few months later, I had another idea, and then another idea, and now it’s been a decade and I have over 800 videos on YouTube. So here I am.
[ 00:10:01] Ashley James: Very cool. I have to ask you to teach us the chocolate tap. Can you do that?
[ 00:10:09] Brad Yates: Yeah, and it’s very much the same as any other tapping protocol. Tapping or emotional freedom technique is originally based on acupuncture. For thousands of years in Chinese medicine they’ve said there is this flow of energy through the body along these pathways called meridians. When this energy is flowing naturally, we experience our natural state of health and well-being physically and emotionally.
When this energy gets disrupted in some ways, then we don’t feel so good. We have discomfort, stress, anxiety, fear — things like that. So by stimulating the same kind of points that would be used in acupuncture, we cultivate that healthy flow of energy. We start to feel better. When we feel better, we think better, and we make better choices.
We also have modern research. You mentioned that you’ve spoken with Dawson Church. Dawson had done a research study where they measured people’s cortisol levels. Cortisol is one of the stress hormones. They did a double-blind study. The group that did the tapping, their cortisol levels dropped by an average of 24 percent, which was so remarkable. The lab technicians throughout the first batch, saying something had to go wrong because that couldn’t be possible, ran it again and found, “Oh, wow, that really did happen.” It is that effective as a stress relief.
When we look at the fact that we make most of our choices at an emotional level, especially when we’re not feeling so good, we look for “What will make me feel better? What has traditionally made me feel better? What do I associate with happiness?” Chocolate, ice cream, cake — all associated with parties. Besides the sweetness level, there is all these emotional stuff around sweets.
As we tap, we clear out whatever stress we might be experiencing that’s telling us to go and make a questionable choice from a health perspective and try to take care of ourselves. And then we look at it and say, “That’s not something I want to put in my body right now.”
[ 00:12:34] Ashley James: Very cool. It doesn’t just have to be chocolate, but when we have that craving, or we feel like we’re moving towards using food to comfort us, then you can use the tapping to decrease the stress, so then we’re not going to be using food to soothe us.
[ 00:12:57] Brad Yates: Right. We’re no longer using it as a drug, and we’re able to say, “What do I want that’s healthy for my body?”
[ 00:13:05] Ashley James: My concern with EFT — and maybe this is my misconception — is that people are not having a conscious experience of their unconscious resolution. They’re tapping and they’re feeling better, but what if there are stuff at the unconscious level that they need to process and learn from and move through? Does EFT allow for that?
[ 00:13:32] Brad Yates: Yes, I think that EFT allows for more than a lot of other processes, which is why it can be so beneficial in conjunction with talk therapy. I always look at it as a complementary therapy rather than an alternative therapy. But the reason that we so often don’t see that unconscious stuff that’s bothering us is because it doesn’t feel safe. Part of us says, “Don’t go looking at that.” We have a stress response that tells us to look away.
One of the analogies I love is, a couple of years ago, we got my wife a new car. We went all out and got the car with all the bells and whistles — literally, like all the chimes. It has this chime that when you cross a lane on the freeway, a chime goes off unless you’ve used your turn signal. It’s letting you know you’re crossing the line that you weren’t maybe supposed to. So if you’re drowsy and you’re weaving, it’s letting you know that.
We have that internally as well. We have this line around our comfort zone, and when we start to cross that line, a chime goes off. We have a stress response. Something says, “Warning! Stop!” and tries to course-correct us and keep us back in our comfort zone. When we go looking for those things that are uncomfortable, it tries to stop us.
So many of those things that those lines are defined by are things that have happened in the past. If we have an incident where someone has mistreated us, we will make a decision about ourselves based on that — like, “Oh, I just don’t deserve nice things,” or “People are always going to be mean to me,” or “I’m not good enough.” That memory, that belief is going to get stuck in there and create that line to keep us safe in our lane.
It’s not going to want us to know what’s there. It’s like, “No, you don’t have to worry about what’s going on here. You stay in your lane. Don’t worry about all that other stuff.” We have a stress response when we go looking for that, and so we often avoid those places where the healing could happen.
With the tapping, we’re clearing that stress response. We relax, and we’re able to say, “No, I’m okay. I can take a look at this. I can go up in the attic and start looking through the boxes to find out what might be creating the problem.”
I believe it creates more of an opening. Now there are times when we don’t have to, and when I’m working with clients, I’ll often use the wording, “I’m allowing myself to see whatever I need to see and clearing whatever I don’t need to see.” Like taking the trash out from your kitchen — you have your trashcan in the kitchen, you put stuff in there, and at the end of the week, you tie up the bag, you take it, and you throw it in the garbage.
You don’t have to open the bag up and go back and reexamine, and it’s like, “Here’s the milk carton I finished yesterday, and there’s the egg carton from three days ago. I don’t know what that is. Maybe I should figure out what that is before I can throw it away.” We tie up the bag and throw it, and we know that it’s gone. Very often, it happens like that.
The tapping — it’s peeling the layers of the onion, so we’re able to see what we need to see. Sometimes we’re able to clear something, and we know that we have that freedom because we’re able to cross that line without the chime going off anymore.
[ 00:17:05] Ashley James: That makes a lot of sense because it’s not the day to day or the week to week stressors like, “That person cut me off,” or “Someone didn’t put their shopping cart away.” The little things that might set us off because when we have an accumulation of many small negative events, and we haven’t figured out how to deal with stress on a day-to-day basis, then it can add up.
We don’t need to sit there and emotionally process why that person not putting their shopping cart away made us so angry because really what it is is an accumulation over time of the garbage that we’re not dealing with and the stress level was getting higher and higher. But then also, every time something little happens that makes us angry, we’re lighting up that Gestalt neurologically inside us of all the major events that we haven’t resolved yet.
We need to take out the trash. We don’t have to examine the trash, the little day-to-day things, but we want to get to a safe place where we can examine the underlying root of the major issues that we’re still holding on to — the sadness, the anger, the fear delimiting decisions. Those major past events that are unconscious, tapping allows us to clear out so much of the junk so that we can feel safe enough to process those events to release them as well.
[ 00:18:43] Brad Yates: Right. So if there’s something at the bottom of the trashcan that is stuck in there and has been rotting, in general sometimes we’ll focus on the simple, little things in the trashcan and go, “I can look at this. It’s probably this that smells.” I believe that tapping allows us to fill more confident and feel safer to go and say, “What’s really in there? What do I need to deal with here?”
As you said, it does build up. That’s the thing. That’s why I always recommend to folks, tap on a daily basis. Make it part of your energy hygiene. We have physical hygiene, and most of us wouldn’t go more than a day or two without taking a shower or brushing our teeth because we don’t wait until the people around us are holding their noses and saying, “Hey, dude. Take care of that.” We do it as a maintenance thing to make sure that the filth and grime don’t build up.
But stress, most of us have no way of dealing with that on an effective level. We may have ways of masking it, whatever our drug of choice might be — chocolate, alcohol, reality TV. People of all kinds have different ways of trying to mask it, “so I don’t have to look at what might be bothering me.” Tapping is a great way to re-mediate that stuff just like taking a daily shower or brushing our teeth.
[ 00:20:13] Ashley James: I love that you said energy hygiene. I’m also imagining that this is emotional hygiene as well.
[ 00:20:19] Brad Yates: Sometimes I say that as well. It’s almost interchangeable in many ways because how we experience energy is that people say, “You know what emotion is — it’s energy in motion.”
[ 00:20:33] Ashley James: When I interviewed Dawson Church, he talked about how there are studies now showing that using EFT is incredibly effective at addressing post-traumatic stress to the point where it’s now starting to be implemented with vets.
Something that’s in my mind, I think it was today or yesterday, a teenager shot herself to death in Florida in a high school. Just thinking about the suicide rates in our teens, which is out of control — it’s unacceptable. One death is unacceptable, but now it’s almost like a common occurrence to hear this violent acts that are happening in our teens. We don’t have anything set up in our education system to teach emotional intelligence or emotional hygiene to our youth.
Can you talk about your experience with EFT, since you’re a father, in working with children and teens?
[ 00:21:40] Brad Yates: Yeah. Dawson has done great work in speaking with the VA and getting them to see the benefits of tapping for PTSD. I have another friend of mine, Dr. Laura Laden, who went to Parkland in Florida after the school shooting to work with people and also in Sandy Hook in Connecticut to deal with the trauma. She’s also worked with genocide survivors in Rwanda and using the tapping to clear the stress from that.
The thing is that we don’t have these tools. Stress relief tools are not taught to children. There are starting to be more schools that are introducing mindfulness, and that’s great. Several years back I kept working with clients, and as we were tapping and peeling layers of the onion, so many of the issues that were troubling them were rooted in childhood events.
I thought, “I got to do something here to introduce tapping to kids so that they can learn how to deal with that day.” Something unfortunate happens, they clear that day rather than having that lane change chime, keeping them in a very narrow lane for the rest of their lives. So I started to write a book called the Wizard’s Wish about a wizard who discovers tapping, and they shot some videos with my daughter, so I have a brief series of videos for children for tapping.
I have a new book called “Garden of Emotions” that has QR codes throughout the book that take folks to tapping videos for kids on how to have a great day, how to have a positive attitude and all kinds of things like that.
There is a lot of effort right now to get tapping into more schools. I have a friend, Dr. Peta Stapleton in Australia, who is a university professor of psychology. She has a program called Tapping in the Classroom. This is a program for teaching teachers how to introduce tapping into their classrooms to deal with stuff. The cool thing is the country of Slovenia has paid for their teachers to go through this program. It’s like, “Okay, US. If Slovenia can do it…”
[00:24:14] Ashley James: Right? Oh, my gosh. What are the results? Have the children in Slovenia improved? Statistically, has there been a noticeable difference?
[00:24:28] Brad Yates: That I don’t know. I have to check in with Peta and find out if they’ve done any research in follow-up in Slovenia. Apparently, the government in Slovenia was impressed enough with the research that Peta had done in the schools in Australia working with test anxiety because there’s a place where kids get all stressed out, and nothing is teaching them how to deal with that stress.
There’s also nothing teaching them to deal with the stress they might be feeling in their lives anyway. You have a child who maybe that morning their parents had a huge fight. They come in, and they’re expected to take a test and they’re going to be graded on their knowledge based on how they do that day, which may have been the worst day they’ve ever had because there’s nothing to help them be in the right state of mind for the most beneficial learning environment.
There are numerous studies now with all kinds of benefits from it. But absolutely, being able to introduce this to kids so that, if you get to teach it young enough, then long before they get to high school, they already have coping mechanisms that can help them deal with so much of the stuff that comes up by at school. We say, “Wow, high school. Someone that young is feeling drawn to hurt himself in that way.”
Or even in lesser ways — all kinds of different traumatic things that kids do themselves. But even at that young age, they’ve already gone through years of traumatic events maybe. And so often, without any acknowledgment of it, and parents do the best they can based on their limited programming, a kid might be going through something tough and the parent will say, “Just walk it off,” or “Don’t talk about it.”
The stories of children who have been molested. They try to tell their parent, but because it’s some other family member, it’s like, “No, you can’t talk about that.” It just has to go inside eating away at the person.
As we build these resources, we’re dealing with that stress with the tapping and not just talking about it, having that mind-body approach and dealing with the physical things that go on with trauma, which can be so effective.
[00:27:13] Ashley James: Absolutely. Stress alone can create ulcers and can epigenetically trigger dormant diseases like autoimmune conditions. There’s a big link. I believe the statistic was like 70-something percent of those with fibromyalgia have had more than three adverse childhood events. You look at those who are morbidly obese and more than not they will talk about the trauma they experience ongoingly as a child.
We’re using food, , and substances that might not be healthy to cope with the day-to-day emotional stress of growing up, and then our parents not having the resources. So this, we can stop. We can stop that vicious cycle that’s getting passed down from generation to generation because the parents can learn to tap, the children can learn to tap, and they can learn how to pause.
You can unpack it and explain there are so many reasons why EFT works. The first reason that I like is that it’s a break state. We’re stopping, and we’re just doing a little bit of an internal check. We’re breathing, and it’s just that slight pause in between the stressor and allowing it to bottle up inside and eat us alive, and that pause is so helpful.
And then, of course, you mentioned that you were tapping on meridians, these energy centers in the body. Can you go deeper and talk about maybe your favorite aspects of why EFT is so interesting?
[00:29:02] Brad Yates: So many things. So much of it is fascinating. One of the catchphrases with EFT is “Try it on everything — whatever is bothering you.” As you said, stress is so prevalent. There are those who will say that stress is at the root of at least 95% of our issues. It’s either the cause of our issues, physical and/or emotional, or at least it worsens it. There may be things that there is an actual physical component that’s not based on emotional stress, but feeling stressed about it makes the problem even worse.
Sometimes, when I’m tapping with somebody who has some physical condition, I was like, “I’m not going to say we’re going to cure cancer or whatever issue it might be — physical issue. But if we can lower the stress about that, lower the different emotional pains that might be coming with that guilt, sadness, anger. The body has such powerful natural healing abilities that as we free up our emotional resources from that stress, that gives us a better ability to heal.
[00:30:32] Ashley James: That’s a great point. Even if it only did one thing — because it does a bunch of things. Even if it only decreases stress in the moment, how incredibly powerful is that. So many of us haven’t been taught because our parents didn’t know and our grandparents didn’t know. We haven’t been taught techniques for how to deal with stuff in the moment without reacting.
Think about road rage, for example. It’s just a bunch of babies with cars reacting. We’re just over-reacting to each other. It’s incredibly unhealthy. Especially with social media, we see all these bullyings, and it’s just reaction, reaction, reaction. We read something and immediately we’ll spew out hateful things. There’s no emotional intelligence, that pause between the feedback whatever the input and then how we choose to react to it. We're just like babies.
[00:31:26] Brad Yates: Yeah, we’re triggered emotionally, and we go into fight or flight, which made a lot of sense a hundred of thousands years ago when there were actual life-threatening situations. But our mind still responds the same way. Someone looks at us cross-eyed and we go, “What?” and we go into that thing. When we go into that fight or flight, our prefrontal cortex goes offline. All of our creative, clever thinking, bye-bye.
Then we do something reactive, and then someone else gets triggered, especially with social media, as you said. There’s so much of it and so many of the things that are put out there are triggering. So many of them are meant to be triggering. There are people who want you to be triggered because the more triggered you are, the less clearly you think. The less clearly you think, the easier you are to control. There’s a method to that madness.
Tapping is a great technique to use when you’re driving and someone cuts you off. We feel like there’s a personal threat. It means we attach meaning to all these things — “Oh, that person cut me off. They think they’re better than I am. They think that I don’t deserve to be able to drive where I’m at.”
No, they didn’t think that at all. They didn’t even see you. They’re probably completely unaware of your existence, and they may be rushing to the hospital because a loved one has just been admitted. You have no idea what’s going on for them, but we create these meanings that are stressful to us. EFT works to reduce stress, that’s why it’s so effective with so many things.
I was introducing this to someone years ago, I think it was in Stanford University. I was talking about doing a workshop there, and they were put off. They said, “Yeah, it sounds like a panacea. It just cures everything.” I was like, “No, I’m not saying it cures everything. It helps deal with the stress, but since stress is involved in almost everything, that’s why it’s so beneficial with all these different things.” But it’s not looking at it as some magic bullet that we can understand.
We’re still figuring out the exact mechanism, but we do see that the stress was reduced. In fact, there are more different physiological markers they’re finding — an improvement in gene expression, lowered cortisol, various other things that they’re seeing with groups doing the tapping. With all of those different benefit, it just makes sense to do this if you can get over the fact that it looks a little strange at first.
[00:34:41] Ashley James: How similar or different is it to acupuncture or acupressure? Acupuncture and acupressure use meridians of the body, and they create similar results in that they lower cortisol and stress levels, but you have to go to an acupuncturist. In the middle of your exam, when you’re stressed out or at night with your choco craving, you can’t get up and go to your acupuncturist. It’s utilizing meridians of the body. Is it similar or is it totally different?
[00:35:13] Brad Yates: It is a form of acupressure, the difference between, as in one of the catchphrases, “it’s emotional acupuncture without the needle.” Certainly, some acupuncturists have their own needles. They can apply to themselves on their own, but most of us wouldn’t want to. Most of us should not be applying needles to ourselves. To have this tool literally at your fingertips wherever you are is amazing.
What I also love about it is that it’s so simple. When I do the tapping, it’s a very creative and intuitive process for me. I say all kinds of things. It’s an exploratory process of looking for what might be the underlying issues here, what could be at the root of this. But the tapping on its own, even without any words, will help us relax.
It’s something you could immediately start doing. As you’ve said, if you’re feeling stressed about a test, you can’t suddenly go to the acupuncturist. But you can tap, and there are subtle ways to tap where people won’t even notice that you’re doing it. This is what makes it so profound in terms of stress relief techniques because you can go to a number of stress relief workshops and they’ll tell you about all these things you can do, like meditation and making sure you get a good night’s sleep and eating a healthy diet.
But when you’re in that moment, taking the test or about to have an interview or whatever it is and you’re feeling stressed, it’s too late to be able to go and get a good night’s sleep the night before, or you may not have the time to take a long walk, and you may be too stressed out even to try to meditate, try to close your eyes and breathe steadily.
But tapping is something that doesn’t require anything else. It can be done almost anywhere. I look forward to the day when tapping is known by enough people, that someone can be tapping in public and nobody will look twice. Or they’ll see someone tapping and go, “You know what, that’s a reminder. I didn’t tap yet today, and I have a little bit of stress that I should clear.” It’s just a friendly reminder, folks.
Before big meetings, treaty signings and meetings over economic or whatever, people tapping beforehand to clear the stress that comes up when they get triggered, and then everyone will have their prefrontal cortex engaged and look for the best solution as opposed to that one that serves their emotional needs. Like you said, these babies looking to suit themselves and looking to “I need to get what I want right now.” That’s just a fear response — people acting out of fear.
As we calm ourselves down, we say, “There isn’t a saber-toothed tiger here. My life isn’t really in danger right now. I can take the time to look at what’s going to suit me at this moment.”
[00:38:21] Ashley James: Imagine 20 years from now in Slovenia, we’ll visit there, and on some street corner will be just people tapping. Just look around busy streets, people coming in and out of banks, tap, tap, tap. It’ll be great. They’ll be the prime example for the rest of the world to follow in their footsteps.
[00:38:44] Brad Yates: Those lists on happiest places to live — Slovenia right at the top. What is it about the Slovenians?
[00:38:53] Ashley James: How old are your kids now?
[00:38:54] Brad Yates: My kids are now 19 and 21.
[00:38:57] Ashley James: Oh, my gosh. So they really were raised tapping.
[00:39:01] Brad Yates: To a certain extent. I wish that I had written my children’s book when they were younger. They were both almost too old for it when I wrote my first children’s book. I would certainly do tapping at times with them, but what your parents do is always uncool especially if what your parents do is tapping on your face. So there was some push back.
[00:39:32] Ashley James: Really?
[00:39:33] Brad Yates: Yeah. Now, I would sometimes find that they would do tapping without letting me know because they certainly weren’t going to admit it, but later they might admit it and use it at times. But it was one of those things that I didn’t want to push, so it wasn’t something that they were forced to do like so many parents force their kids to do things, and there’s just resentment and resistance and things like that.
[00:40:00] Ashley James: Got it. So get them while they’re young, right?
[00:40:03] Brad Yates: Yeah. Teach them before their resistance builds. I’m always inspired when I hear from teenagers who are using the tapping. That’s so awesome because that’s a tough time when you’re caught up in the hormones and need to look cool to try something like this. So yeah, to teach it to kids who aren’t yet worried about that is really beneficial.
[00:40:34] Ashley James: Can you share some stories of success of anyone? If teenagers come to mind, can you share some stories of success that you’re really proud of?
[00:40:44] Brad Yates: I worked with a young man who loves playing baseball but got beamed. He was at bat and the pitcher hit him with a ball. Events will happen to kids, and we see the sort of thing that happens to people all the time and go, “It’s no big deal. Just walk it off,” without recognizing that for some reason, how it affected that child at that moment was not the same as how it would affect them at some other time, or how it might affect some other child.
For some other child, that moment getting beamed by the ball, it’s like, “Ouch, that hurts,” but they walk it off and they walk to the plate. But for some reason, it had an emotional impact on this kid. He couldn’t play baseball. He was afraid to go up to bat. We did some tapping and the next thing I hear from his parents, he’s loving baseball again.
Working with older folks, one of my favorites was a woman whose husband had served her with divorce papers on her birthday. Twenty years later, she was still thinking about it and had anxiety.
We were able to get to the point where she was laughing about it. It was like, “Boy, he was never good at birthday presents,” and she was then free from that to look at it and go, “Yeah, it was an unfortunate situation, but I don’t need to stress out. It was bad enough that day. I don’t need to feel bad about it anymore. Given that he was that kind of person, I’m better off without him.” So it was a gift.
To have those, to be able to change your mind about the situations, and then the freedom that we see — I always love hearing stories from people saying, “I’m in a situation that used to cause me a lot of upset, and I don’t feel that now.”
For me, I had this occur with flying. I had a traumatic event with flying years ago, and after that every time I went to the airport, I suffered. I was flying to Houston once, and I was at the airport on my phone trying to calculate how long it would take me to drive instead of flying. I realized that I wouldn’t be able to make it to my event on time even if I drove all night. So through tapping, I can now be very relaxed in an airport and walk on the plane and not feel uptight. It definitely makes life a whole lot easier.
[00:43:42] Ashley James: Yes. I had a lot of anger that I was having problems processing from someone who had done a very large, harmful thing to my family, something that was unforgivable. I realized that forgiveness isn’t about forgiving the person. It’s about letting go for you. I’m not harming him by holding on to my anger. The person is out of my life. It doesn’t matter whether I’m happy or I’m angry. Either way, it’s not going to hurt him. But somehow, we hold on to anger like it’s going to hurt that other person. It’s just hurting ourselves.
[00:44:26] Brad Yates: Right. Taking poison and hoping the other person suffers.
[00:44:29] Ashley James: Exactly, but tell that to someone who’s angry. I was trying, but at the same time the effects of what he did were still harming my family, so I was in it in the moment. I was in it, being triggered by it.
And so I used EFT, and I like to say I’m the most open-minded skeptic. I’m open-minded enough to try everything, but the placebo effect does not work on me. I’m a mismatcher. I don’t believe anything is going to work anyway, but I’m not going to get the nocebo effect. I’m not going to talk myself out of a benefit. I’m just an open-minded skeptic.
By the end of it, I was laughing. Now, I just had neutral feelings about that person. I went from almost obsessing, thinking about that person, and how many ways I could strangle him for what he did, to just going, “Yeah, whatever. Take it or leave it, that person is not in my life, and I’m just going to move on.” That was less than 15 minutes of EFT, so that was a really interesting experience.
[00:45:44] Brad Yates: Yeah, it’s amazing how quickly it can happen. To make it clear, it doesn’t always happen. These one-minute wonders, that can occur. It doesn’t always happen that way. Sometimes it takes quite a bit of tapping to clear out the emotional distress because there may be all kinds of different aspects. Sometimes it happens very quickly and sometimes it very slow.
Unfortunately, because people will sometimes hear about those very quick shifts, they expect that it has to happen that way or it’s not working. I’ll say, “It’s like taking supplements. The results might not be immediate.”
[00:46:28] Ashley James: Right, take one vitamin C and then get angry that your cold isn’t gone.
[00:46:33] Brad Yates: Right. Expecting that you should suddenly all feel all this vim and vigor from taking one vitamin. Or even doing sit-ups. If you’re really out of shape and you do the three sit-ups and go, “Hey, I don’t have a six-pack yet. What’s the deal? Sit-ups don’t work.”
[00:46:51] Ashley James: Yeah, lies. [laughs]
[00:46:53] Brad Yates: It might take a few more, like a couple of hundred or thousand more. But what happens is it’s always providing some benefit even if it’s very subtle.
[00:47:07] Ashley James: Do you tap every day?
[00:47:10] Brad Yates: I do. It’s generally the first thing I do in the morning. For me, it’s not just a matter of if I’m distressed. Like taking a Tylenol — you take a Tylenol when you have a headache. There are some people who take that on a daily basis for whatever reason, but for me tapping isn’t just a solution to a problem that I am aware of. It helps clear out stress that I’m not aware of because I just sort of take it for granted that there may be things at a subtle level that I’m not aware of.
Just like I brush my teeth even if I don’t see anything sticking out between my teeth. I take a shower even if I’m not aware that I stink because it’s a daily process for me. I just like to have my energy as clean as possible.
We’ll often block ourselves from taking positive action in the world in terms of our career, our health, so we might resist doing certain things because we have a little programming telling us it’s not safe, it’s not comfortable — “Exercise, that’s going to be so uncomfortable.” So I’ll do tapping to clear any resistance to going out and doing what I can do today so that I can have the best day possible.
[00:48:42] Ashley James: Very cool. Can you walk us through that tapping exercise, the Awesome Day tapping exercise? Let’s do that one.
[00:48:54] Brad Yates: I have two videos called Amazing Day. One of them is a shorter version of it. For anyone new to tapping and not familiar with it, what we’re going to do is we’re going to take our index and middle fingers. You can use either hand and tap on either side of the body. Many people will switch back and forth, or they’ll tap both sides at the same time with both hands. I often tap with both hands at the same time. In all of my videos, I tend to tap with the right hand just because it’s simpler that way to demonstrate it.
But right now, go ahead and take your right hand. With the fingertips of your index and middle fingers gently tap on the side of your left hand. We call it the karate chop point. So if you’re to imagine you’re going to use a karate chop to break some board, you’d use that edge of your hand right between your wrist and your pinkie. Just a light tap, tap, tap motion. Gently tap in there.
[00:49:52] Ashley James: Is it like up and down the flesh part that’s below the pinkie finger?
[00:49:58] Brad Yates: Yeah, just right in the middle between your pinkie and your wrist. While we’re tapping there, we state what the issue is. Tapping is generally used with a negative statement, and this freaks a lot of people out. It’s like, “What? I’m supposed to do positive thinking. I’m not supposed to think about negative things because that will make negative things happen, so I should only focus on the positive.” So when we do EFT and say, “Even though I’m so angry at this person…,” it’s like, “What? You can’t talk about anger.”
[00:50:32] Ashley James: Traffic, taxes, doctor bills, mortgage…
[00:50:34] Brad Yates: Yeah. You don’t mention any of those stuff. Ssh, quiet, quiet, quiet! Politics — No, don’t say that word! [laughs]
But what we resist persists. So it’s like if you have a beautiful living room with a beautiful carpet and you also have a beautiful dog, and one day your beautiful dog leaves a not so beautiful gift on your carpet. You are not going to stand there and say, “I’m not going to focus on that. I’m just going to look at where the carpet is still clean and beautiful.” Because if you do that, you’re going to step on it and you’re going to spread it around.
Besides, you’re kidding yourself because as you’re looking at the clean carpet, part of your mind is going, “There’s poop there.” So we’re just lying to ourselves if we’re just trying to focus on the positive when something is bothering us.
[00:51:30] Ashley James: Icing on a mud pie
[00:51:32] Brad Yates: Yeah. Now, this is not a matter of just sitting there on the sofa and looking at the dog poop and going, “Oh, there’s dog poop.” We don’t just want to keep going over and over the problem and focus on it, but we do want to clean it up.
So the tapping is we’re going in, we’re acknowledging it’s there, we’re cleaning it up, and we get rid of it. And then we can go back to enjoying our living room without having to worry about walking around. So that’s why we focus on the poop.
And then we’ll rate that on a scale of 0 to 10, whatever the discomfort is. If I’m feeling angry, I would say, “On a scale of 0 to 10, how angry am I at this person? It’s about an 8. Where in my body do I feel it? It’s a tightness in my stomach.” There may be different physical symptoms of whatever is bothering us.
Just like with the chocolate craving where we asked on a scale of 0 to 10, how much do you want that chocolate. So you have a measurement of where the distress is, so then we’ll tap on the side of the hand and say, “Even though I have this anger or even though I want this chocolate, I chose to love and accept myself.”
Then we make that statement three times, and that’s just creating some room to work with. It acknowledges the issue but also that we accept ourselves because all of the issues that we have are there to protect us. Our anger is there to protect us. It’s like the smoke alarm going off and telling us. Now, it may be a false alarm, but most of us don’t deal with what the issue is, we just sit there and try to drown out the sound of the smoke alarm. We actually want to do it and find out what’s going on. We would state the issue and say, “I love and accept myself even though I have this issue.”
The next part we’re going to tap is the eyebrow point. Right at the beginning of your eyebrow, just above your nose, just about the middle of your face, and gently tap there. We’ll generally tap five to seven times depending on what wording we’re using. So I may say a phrase that is a little bit longer, and this way we may be tapping the point twenty times and that’s okay. It’s not like it has to be exactly between five or ten or the whole thing doesn’t work.
Gently tap right at the beginning of the eyebrow, and we would say, “All of this anger.” Follow the eyebrow out to the side of the eye, the corner of your eye socket and gently tap there — “All this anger.” Then following the edge of your eye socket to under the middle of your eye just above your cheek — “All of this anger.” Then right below your nose, just above your upper lip, gently tap in there — “All of this anger.” And just below your lower lip, just above your chin — “All of this anger.”
Then we go to the collarbone. If you feel your collarbone just about come together, there’s a little U-shape at the base of your throat, and you can tap all of your fingers there or even make a fist and tap where the collarbones just about come together — “All of this anger.” Now, about four inches below your armpit, just right about bra strap level and I’m sure even the guys can figure where that is, just tap in there with all of your fingers and say, “All of this anger.”
[00:55:09] Ashley James: So it’s below the armpit?
[00:55:11] Brad Yates: Yeah, four inches directly below your armpit. And then finally, the top of your head. So using all of your fingertips again, just tapping around in little circles around the crown of your head — “All of this anger.” And then take a deep breath. And then we check again and say, “Now, on a scale of 0 to 10, how angry do you feel?” particularly paying attention to wherever in your body you might have been feeling that.
[00:55:39] Ashley James: Like super calm.
[00:55:41] Brad Yates: Yeah. So you’re already feeling the benefits of that stress relief. Even in the example like this where you might not have been feeling angry, hopefully after an hour talking to me, you’re not feeling angry.
But even without feeling any anger and being in a relatively relaxed state, you can also say, “Yeah, but I’m even more relaxed now just after this little bit of tapping” because we’re just calming the body down and clearing out any level of stress that you might not have been aware of ahead of time.
So that’s the basics of tapping and EFT in a nutshell. Now we’re going to have some fun with it.
[00:56:21] Ashley James: Good. Yeah, I didn’t really have any anger to begin with, but I was going with it and I tapped my hand for a while as you were talking, and I’m like, “Okay, I don’t feel anything.” And then we’re tapping the forehead, don’t feel anything, tapping the eyebrow, cheek, nose, lip — don’t feel anything. Tapping by the throat, I’m like, “Okay, he’s cool.” I’m tapping down below the armpit, and I’m like, “Whoa! Wait a second. I’m feeling like really good right now.”
It’s interesting. Don’t judge it. Just do it because it’s–
[00:57:02] Brad Yates: And we’re peeling layers of the onion, that’s the thing. With the tapping, we create a safe place for things to come up, so even though you weren’t aware of anything bothering you, through the tapping, some things might have been coming up and getting released without you even having to know what they are. It’s like, “I’m suddenly feeling better. I just took the trash out. I don’t know what was in there, but the room feels fresher now.”
[00:57:29] Ashley James: Have you worked with addicts who want to stop using drugs or alcohol?
[00:57:35] Brad Yates: For three years I taught a course at Sacramento Drug Court, and this was a court-mandated program for people coming out of jail on drug offenses, and they have to go through a recovery program. So for three years, I taught a class once a week. That was very interesting. It was a very different audience for me.
[00:57:56] Ashley James: Did they like it? Were they receptive?
[00:57:59] Brad Yates: Not everyone was receptive to me coming in and telling them to tap on their face. But those who were willing, it was so awesome when they were open to it. Some guy would come back and say, “This blip really works.”
I was like, “That’s why they bring me in here each week to teach it to you.” This is not just, “Hey, you know what, we’re letting them out of jail, but we still need to punish them, so we’ll make them tap on their face each week. That will be further service to society, a little bit of extra punishment for their crimes.”
[00:58:42] Ashley James: [laughs] I bet.
[00:58:45] Brad Yates: So it was awesome to see that. And I have worked with folks with different addictions. Again, whether it’s chocolate, or drugs, or alcohol, there is that part of this that is looking for some relief as you’re saying earlier about. Kids looking, they’re not learning from their parents how to deal with that stress, except that they are because they’re seeing their parents drink or smoke or do whatever it is that they do, and from a young age, we’re just learning by example.
As a small child, we learn everything from watching and emulating parents that’s around us. That’s how we learn how to talk. That’s how we learn how to walk. That’s why we have the same accent that our parents we have. Wherever we come from, we speak the same language.
As a small child, it’s not that we say, “Okay, this is how people talk. All right, I’ll do it that way.” “Oh, this is how people walk. I’ll do it that way.” “Oh, this is how people deal with stress, eating a pint of ice cream. No, that didn’t sound healthy; I’m not going do that.” We don’t have that reasoning ability. “When people get upset, they yell at each other, and maybe they throw things to each other. Yeah, that doesn’t sound like a good idea. I won’t do it.” No, we learn that this is how adults, this is how people are supposed to deal with a situation, and so we pick up so much of that stuff.
[01:00:12] Ashley James: Absolutely. My son is turning four this month, and I can’t believe how many times I’ve caught myself going, “Oh, my gosh. I’m just like my parents. This is crazy because it’s so unconscious.” As much as we don’t want to be like our parents, it’s just reactionary. I can definitely see EFT being a tool to help us to put that break state in there, so we can stop that vicious cycle.
[01:00:39] Brad Yates: That’s what the tough thing is about, knowing the stuff that with my children, when I’d find myself losing my temper and saying things like, “Oh, dang it, I know better than this.” Ignorance is bliss, and then I can just yell at my kids and not worry about it. But knowing this, but not yet being perfect…
[01:01:00] Ashley James: Well, there’s no such thing as perfection when it comes to parenting. It’s just love them as much as you can and you’re going to be great at it.
The tapping exercise you just taught us, if we don’t have anger but we want to do it every morning to take out the garbage, what can we say during it?
[01:01:16] Brad Yates: Now, we’ll do our Awesome Day tapping. First, I want to give you folks that demonstration of the very simplest form of tapping. Obviously, the simplest form is just tap, and you already know the points now, and of course, as I said, I’ve got over 800 videos on YouTube that you can find.
But if you’re feeling stressed, you can just tap. You can tap while saying prayers, while saying affirmations. You can sing a song, or you can just be silent. The tapping is going to be beneficial.
But if you want to use words to focus on a particular issue, what I just showed you is the way to do it and say, “Even though I have this issue, this anger, this chocolate craving — whatever it might be…” And at each point, repeat that phrase, and that will be beneficial.
Now, the way I do it, I like to be a little more creative and explore what might be going on. But we can also do tapping with a positive statement. There’s some controversy about this. Some people say, “No, tapping is only to re-mediate negative things, and you should always just focus on the negative things.”
For me, the joy, love, and peace are our true nature, and anything else is just covering that up. So as we focus on the positive, we’re naturally going to be addressing whatever is in the way. If I say a positive affirmation, if I say I’m healthy and I don’t feel like I’m healthy, I’m just naturally going to be bringing up the arguments. So I will be doing the tapping on anything that is not health-minded, that is not positive, that doesn’t feel good.
So I find that by tapping on the so-called positive, we naturally clear out whatever is covering up the positive. So I’d refer about the Michelangelo process. Michelangelo said that the statue is already there perfect inside the marble. All he had to do is chip away what didn’t belong to reveal the masterpiece inside. To me, that’s a perfect analogy for what we’re doing with the tapping.
Whether we’re focusing on, “Here’s a piece of marble that doesn’t belong, like this anger, this chocolate craving. This is a block of rock that doesn’t belong here, and I could chip that away.” Or I can be focusing on, “There’s this magnificent statue inside, and I’m clearing away what doesn’t belong with my focus being revealing that masterpiece.” Either way, I’m chipping what doesn’t belong.
With that in mind, go ahead and close your eyes. Take a deep breath and hold it, and let it go. Just go ahead breathing comfortably. Just follow your breath through your body. Allow yourself to check in with how you’re feeling emotionally and how you’re feeling physically. Go ahead and rate yourself on a scale of 0 to 10, 10 being awesome — “I feel awesome right now.”
If it’s less than a 10, don’t judge yourself for where the number is at. It’s not a matter of you should be a 10, or you should feel awesome 24/7. It’s not a test. Just allowing yourself to get an idea of, “Where am I at right now?” Allow yourself to be aware of what might in the way of that being a 10. Just allowing yourself to be aware of whatever might be going on in there. Allow yourself to be aware of any thoughts, beliefs or memories that might be coming up, that might be lowering your feeling of awesomeness. Just allow yourself to be aware of what feels relevant and what feels important.
Take another deep breath, and open your eyes if you like. Go ahead and start tapping the side of your hand. Ashley, if you will be my echo voice and repeat back what I say, and then everyone else, just tap where I tell you to tap and repeat back what I say along with Ashley.
[01:05:44] I choose to have an awesome day, and I choose to love and accept myself. I choose to have an awesome day, and I choose to love and honor myself. I choose to have an awesome day. I mean because why not? I think I deserve that. If I have any doubts about deserving it, I choose to clear that because I choose to have an awesome day. And I choose to deeply and completely love, honor and accept myself, and maybe anyone else who might show up today because I choose to feel that awesome.
Tapping the eyebrow point — I choose to have an awesome day
Side of the eye — I choose to have an awesome day
Under the eye — I choose to feel awesome
Under the nose — I choose to do awesome things
Under the mouth — I choose to perform in an awesome way
Collarbone — I’m allowing myself to be awesome
Under the arm — Because the more I allow myself to be awesome
Top of the head — The more I’m likely to feel awesome
Eyebrow point — And create an awesome day
Side of the eye — Because I get to create my day
Under the eye — What I’m thinking and feeling
Under the nose — Is going to contribute to the kind of day I have
Under the mouth — So if I choose to have awesome thoughts
Collarbone — And feel awesome feelings
Under the arm — That’s what kind of day I’m going to have
Top of the head — Part of me might be saying
Eyebrow point — Yeah, right
Side of the eye — You know some of the steps you got to do today
Under the eye — And some of it is definitely not awesome
Under the nose — How could I possibly have an awesome day?
On the mouse — It’s not up to me
Collarbone — All these beliefs
Under the arm — That it’s not up to me
Top of the head — Who taught me that crap?
Eyebrow point — And were they a Nobel Prize winner?
Side of the eye — Who says they’re right?
Under the eye — If I choose to have an awesome day
Under the nose — I can even deal with these things
Under the mouth — And still feel awesome
Collarbone — And I might even have an awesome outcome
Under the arm — I’m certainly going to have a better outcome
Top of the head — By approaching it this way
Eyebrow point — I’m open to the possibility
Side of the eye — That even if some of the things I have to do today
Under the eye — Are not exactly fun
Under the nose — I can still choose to have an awesome day
Under the mouth — And I’m clearing whatever might get in the way of that
Collarbone — Whatever fears might be coming up
Under the arm — Whatever doubts might be coming up
Top of the head — I’m letting that stuff go
Eyebrow point — Whatever resistance I might have to having an awesome day
Side of the eye — And part of me might say
Under the eye — What a silly thing to say
Under the nose — Why on earth would I resist to having an awesome day?
Under the mouth — I don’t know. Why do I do that on a regular basis?
Collarbone — Because the extent to which we’re not experiencing what we want
Under the arm — Tends to be the extent to which we’re resisting it
Top of the head — Whether that’s health or money
Eyebrow point — Or just having an awesome day
Side of the eye — I don’t do it consciously
Under the eye — But at some unconscious level
Under the nose — I have this belief that my day shouldn’t be awesome
Under the mouth — Once in a while I’m allowed an awesome day
Collarbone — But certainly not on a regular basis
Under the arm — And it’s not because I’m bad or stupid
Top of the head — It’s just my programming
Eyebrow point — I probably haven’t known a lot of people
Side of the eye — Who usually have awesome days
Under the eye — In fact, I’ve known an awful lot of people
Under the nose — Who very rarely had awesome days
Under the mouth — And I learned to expect that
Collarbone — And I really love and appreciate myself
Under the arm — For creating a life that makes sense to me
Top of the head — And now I’m open to changing my mind
Eyebrow point — Why not have awesome days most of the time?
Side of the eye — I know that life can happen
Under the eye — And sometimes it’s challenging
Under the nose — So I’m not setting up an expectation
Under the mouth — But every moment of my life
Collarbone — From this moment forward
Under the arm — Is going to be pure bliss
Top of the head — Although I’m totally open to that happening
Eyebrow point — I won’t set up an expectation
Side of the eye — Such that I then have to be disappointed
Under the eye — But I choose to make it as awesome as possible
Under the nose — And I’m clearing any reason why I couldn’t or shouldn’t
Under the mouth — I’m clearing any belief that I don’t deserve an awesome day
Collarbone — Clearing all these old messages
Under the arm — That might tell me I don’t deserve it
Top of the head — That was just misunderstanding
Eyebrow point — The truth is
Side of the eye — I’m a magnificent child of the universe
Under the eye — Worthy and deserving of the best this world has to offer
Under the nose — Nothing is too good for me
Under the mouth — Because I could go outside
Collarbone — And see the same beautiful sky as anybody else
Under the arm — And I choose to see this as a sign
Top of the head — That as far as the universe is concerned
Eyebrow point — I’m just as deserving as anybody else
Side of the eye — So I choose to have an awesome day
Under the eye — I’m worthy and deserving of an awesome day
Under the nose — I’m clearing any old reason
Under the mouth — Why I couldn’t or shouldn’t have an awesome day
Collarbone — All those old arguments
Under the arm — About how it’s supposed to be hard
Top of the head — It’s supposed to be a struggle
Eyebrow point — And clearing any fear
Side of the eye — If I do have an awesome day
Under the eye — That’s going to really upset some people
Under the nose — I’m going to be sitting here having an awesome day
Under the mouth — And some people that I might care about
Collarbone — Might get really pissed off
Under the arm — Oh, sure, you’re having an awesome day
Top of the head — And in the past
Eyebrow point — My programming might have told me
Side of the eye — Oh, I’m upsetting this person
Under the eye — In order to make them feel better
Under the nose — I need to feel less awesome
Under the mouth — I’m not sure how that really helps them
Collarbone — Me feeling less awesome
Under the arm — It’s not going to make anyone else feel more awesome
Top of the head — That would be like standing at the beach
Eyebrow point — Enjoying the view of the ocean
Side of the eye — And having someone with me
Under the eye — With their back turned to the ocean
Under the nose — Complaining about the view that I get
Under the mouth — So I turn my back to the ocean
Collarbone — Now we’re both missing the view
Under the arm — I choose to keep enjoying the awesome view
Top of the head — And encourage this other person to turn their butt around
Eyebrow point — As a matter of fact, I am having an awesome day
Side of the eye — I encourage you to do the same thing
Under the eye — And if you have to tap on your face to do it, fine!
Under the nose — I think it’s worth it
Under the mouth — I choose to have an awesome day
Collarbone — I choose to feel as awesome as possible
Under the arm — Letting go of whatever gets in the way
Top of the head — Setting myself free to feel awesome in body, mind and spirit
And take a deep breath.
[01:16:20] Go ahead and close your eyes again, and go inside, and check in with how you’re feeling on a scale of 0 to 10, 10 being awesome. See if that number has gone up. For a lot of you, the number will go up. For some, it may go dramatically up.
If you don’t feel like the number has gone up, and it is possible that for some folks the number may have gone slightly down because what we’ve done is we’ve uncovered some stuff that you may not have been consciously aware of — that stress that you’ve been avoiding because it didn’t feel safe to look at.
So it’s like, if you’re going to clean your living room because you have company coming over, and you look at it and go, “On a scale of 0 to 10, how clean is it already? It’s probably about an 8, but I want it to be a 10, so I got to clean it up.” In the process, I lift the rug, and I find there’s dirt that was swept under there. I removed the sofa, and I find there’s dirty laundry under the sofa. It’s no longer an 8 out of 10 on how clean it is. Now, it’s like a 3 or a 4.
Would we say, “Oh, man. I never should have gotten to clean my living room. It was much cleaner before I started cleaning.” No, because now you can clean it out. When it’s clean, it really will be clean as opposed to just looking like it’s clean. So if the number feels like it’s gone down or it’s just the same, hopefully, you’re aware of, “Yes, but now I’m more aware of why I’m not feeling as awesome as possible right now, and now I can do something about that.”
[01:17:54] Ashley James: I feel like I just got off the elliptical trainer after exercising for 45 minutes. I have that endorphin high. I feel really good.
[01:18:03] Brad Yates: Cool.
[01:18:05] Ashley James: Seriously, I feel like I just walked out of the gym. Pretty awesome.
[01:18:11] Brad Yates: In a way, you did.
[01:18:13] Ashley James: My arm definitely feels it got a workout. That’s for sure.
[01:18:19] Brad Yates: As I demonstrated the first time around, some of the tappings are just really quick and you can tap just one point. I’ll even do a full round. You can tap for a few moments.
But when I’m doing around like this, I go with whatever word you’re coming up, and sometimes it will go on for 20, 30, 40 minutes as the ideas are flowing and just covering all kinds of bases. As you could hear through that, it’s like I’ll be going off on one idea, and then an idea will come up about, “Well, here’s another reason why I might not allow myself to feel awesome. Oh, it might upset other people. Okay, I want to deal with that. I want to try to explore any of the reasons that I might have at an unconscious level as to why I couldn’t or shouldn’t feel awesome.”
As I clear up those misunderstanding, it’s like, “Oh, actually it makes sense for me to have an awesome day. I’m giving myself permission to have an awesome day.”
[01:19:17] Ashley James: I can definitely see that your experience as a hypnotherapist has come in handy and your ability as an actor to improv and to use hypnotic language to help that person to bring stuff up to process while you’re tapping.
[01:19:36] Brad Yates: Everything we do leads us to where we are. For better or for worse.
[01:19:43] Ashley James: Right. So cool.
[01:19:44] Brad Yates: We could make it better.
[01:19:46] Ashley James: So we do this every day. That will be awesome. Coming back to the idea of food addiction, like someone addicted to chocolate, will they do this? Will they do the tapping those points that you’ve shown us? Is there a different set of points that they tap for that?
[01:20:06] Brad Yates: I would use the same points, and you could say, “This chocolate craving,” as I had set it up when I was talking through this. Ask how on a scale of 0 to 10, how much I wanted the chocolate, and I said it’s about an 8 or 9, and then tapping to the point, you could say, “This chocolate craving.”
I remember Gary saying some things like, “Mmm, yum. It’s going to taste so good. Oh, I’m going to enjoy it so much. It gives me such happy feelings.” Just playing with the wording like that, then stop whenever you like to stop after one round. You can go a couple of rounds, and then say, “On a scale of 0 to 10, how much is that craving there?”
As I’ve already said, I didn’t eat chocolate for two years. And then I went back, and I will go through periods where I’ll have some chocolate. Just recently, the Easter candy has come out, and those Reese’s peanut butter eggs are a soft spot for me. I have a couple of those, and I’ll be, “That’s enough. Now, I’m going to clear my system, and I want to go off sugar for a while,” and I’ll tap. Those things can be sitting out in front of me. I’m just likely to eat those as I would a rock because it doesn’t look like food to me. There is no craving there.
What will that take to get to that point? I don’t know. It will vary for some people. For some folks, they can tap a couple of points, and they’ll look at them and go, “Yeah, I won’t eat that.” That first time with the Hershey’s kisses, he had us then take a bite of it. I couldn’t eat it. It tasted too sweet and chalky. It felt like compressed chemicals, which in many ways it is. You couldn’t force me to eat it at that point.
You can get to that point, and I remember someone in the room saying, “Please don’t make me tap on this because you’ll ruin french fries for me. Please don’t ruin chocolate for me.”
[01:22:23] Ashley James: That’s so funny.
[01:22:25] Brad Yates: You might go through this, so don’t use this on something that you don’t want to give up forever because you might. But again, it might come up again because you have years of programming telling you that this is what fixes the problems for you. “When I’m upset, chocolate makes me feel better.”
That’s why you see people with drug addictions. It’s like, “I know that I’m likely to wake up tomorrow in my own vomit, but still at this moment right now, it’s worth it.”
That’s the brain. That’s allowing ourselves to recognize that the self-sabotage is just misguided self-love. When we are harming ourselves in those ways, it’s not that we’re trying to do ourselves in. Even though it may look like it, like “Wow, I’m trying to kill myself here,” whether it’s quickly or slowly with unhealthy food.
But we’re not thinking that way. What we’re thinking is, “I’m in pain at the moment, whether it’s just mild anxiety or stress, or actual, real, gut-wrenching emotional pain, and I need to fix this.” Over the years, “Hey, chocolate always made me feel better. Ice cream always made me better.” Cookies, cigarettes, alcohol — whatever it might be. “Even though I know there are going to be unfortunate consequences, I will deal with those later. Right now, I have to deal with the pain that’s present in this moment. I can’t be bothered with possible pain that might happen in the future. “
And as one might start saying, “I’ve heard of people who lived to 120 years, even though they drank and smoke. So, hey, there’s no guarantee that drinking and smoking are going to cause me pain and hurt me. But I do know that the pain I feel right now is real.”
Allowing ourselves rather than beating ourselves up for our unhealthy behavior, really having some self-compassion and appreciating the love and intention, and then choosing to find a healthier alternative, you generally drop a habit. You have to replace a habit.
Tapping is a very simple and effective way of really dealing with the pain that’s right there and clearing it out. Because that emotional pain, as you’re saying about the person that you’re angry at, something that happened in the past is not happening in the present right now.
So often, when we look at the fact that the body is constantly regenerating itself — old cells are dying off, new cells are growing — virtually the entire body is replaced over a period of seven years or so. So many of the things that are bothering us happened to a person that doesn’t even really exist anymore at a physical level. We’re just holding on to the energy field, and we can change our mind about that if we allow ourselves to.
[01:25:30] Ashley James: I like that you brought up that this is the habit that we can use to replace. We can replace those other habits with this. We learn coping mechanisms from our parents and the people that were around when we were growing up. Those coping mechanisms might not serve us right now, but we don’t have anything else. So now we can go, “I’m not going to run to the cigarettes or the alcohol or the sugar or the porn addiction.”
As you said, it’s a misguided self-love because we’re in pain, but we can use the tapping, and if we want to also in addition to that, use affirmations or positive self-talk or positive imagery, or use tapping and then make sure we go to a therapist or hypnotherapist or some counselor to augment.
[01:26:24] Brad Yates: Yes, I’m a big proponent of 12-step programs because I’ve known people in the past who were not aware of how challenging addictions are. I’ve known people who said, “This person was saying they needed a drink and it was like a 10, and I tapped with them, and it was a 0. So they’re cured of alcoholism now.” I’m like, “No, no, no!”
The fact that you’ve helped them clear the craving at the moment doesn’t deal with a lifetime of addictive behavior. So if you’re dealing with addiction, especially one that has life-threatening consequences, have a program of continued support.
I’m open to the possibility that in some cases you could tap away so much that kind of unhealthy craving never shows up. But I would never tell somebody after losing the craving at that moment that they’re done because that would be highly irresponsible.
[01:27:28] Ashley James: But it’s a tool that we use at the moment, and we can use it preventively every morning when we wake up. We can also use it at the moment during times of stress at stoplights, in between business meetings, throughout the day, and when we go to bed at night. Use it for like one to two minutes a few times a day to clear out the stress, lower the cortisol, so then we’re not going to get to a point where we have to self-soothe.
[01:27:58] Brad Yates: Right. The tapping, in terms of addiction, helps in two ways. One, it deals with the immediate issue of the craving and whatever is bothering us at that moment. It can also be used to heal those past injuries that contribute to the addiction.
Over time, we can clear out so much trauma and emotional pain that we rarely, if ever, feel inclined to do something self-destructive. It’s what helping at both levels. It’s not just a band-aid at the moment, but it does help to clear the pain that’s underneath the addiction. Don’t assume that it’s all gone after a few minutes of tapping.
[01:28:49] Ashley James: When I say addiction, I’m referring to 100% of the population. I think that a small percentage of population will use addictive substances where it’s obvious. But 100% of us have been known to use something to self-soothe, whether it’s bingeing on Netflix, eating a pint of ice cream, choosing to smoke cigarettes or whatever — do behaviors that we know aren’t healthy — play video games all night. We have self-soothed. When I say addiction, what I meant was unhealthy coping strategies.
[01:29:25] Brad Yates: Yeah, we all have drugs of choice. We all have to face challenging situations, and we all have our different ways, our learned behaviors, our defense mechanisms, our different ways of self-soothing, of making ourselves feel better. Unfortunately, so many of those are unhealthy things.
Some people learn very healthy coping mechanisms — lucky them. But you’re learning healthy mechanisms now. Virtually anyone has some less than ideal way of dealing with emotional or physical discomfort.
[01:30:09] Ashley James: But now we have a new tool that is safe, effective, healthy and a great alternative.
[01:30:16] Brad Yates: Yes.
[01:30:17] Ashley James: Awesome. This was so much fun, Brad. I know we could talk all day long, but I’m really excited for you to tell the listeners more about how they can learn from you. The links to everything you do are going to be in the show notes of today’s podcast at learntruehealth.com, including access to your 800 YouTube videos. But I know you also have online workshops and in-person workshops. Tell us how people can work with you.
[01:30:43] Brad Yates: Thank you. You can find that information on Tap With Brad and in the links in the show notes. Besides the YouTube videos, I do have online courses, and I also do live workshops. Coming up very soon, I’ll be up in your area, in Seattle. Thank you for helping me find a venue.
[01:31:07] Ashley James: Absolutely. You’re doing it at the Lynnwood Convention Center, right?
[01:31:11] Brad Yates: From your recommendation.
[01:31:12] Ashley James: Yes, I’m so glad that you chose that. I’ve been there several times for events, and then I’ve been to events where people who aren’t from Seattle choose to rent a venue in the downtown Seattle, and no one goes downtown Seattle for events. It’s just like crickets.
I hope that you get standing room only at your event to the Lynnwood Convention Center, and then in the same parking lot is one of the best spas for women. It’s a Korean spa. Only for women — sorry, Brad. But all the women afterward could go to the spa. It’s this amazing, very relaxing spa. So they’ll already be relaxed, and then they could just walk across the parking lot to the best spa, my favorite spa to go to.
So Brad, tell us about Seattle — what are the dates and how can people who are local buy tickets.
[01:32:13] Brad Yates: The Seattle workshop is going to be on April 13th. The workshops that I have coming up will be daylong workshops, from 10 to 4. It’s a lot of tapping. It’s peeling a lot of layers of the onion. I sometimes do two-hour workshops, and sometimes I do full weekend workshops.
I like having the longer workshops where we have a chance to clear stuff out, then find the next layer, clear stuff out, and get to an amazing feeling place.
And then in June, I have workshops coming up in Austin, Las Vegas, Atlanta, and Philadelphia. Later in the year, I will be in Toronto and Vancouver, and probably in some other places. I just haven’t gotten beyond the next several months.
[01:33:18] Ashley James: Fantastic.
[01:33:19] Brad Yates: Hopefully back in the UK maybe this summer.
[01:33:23] Ashley James: Very good. Those are some great cities. I know we have wonderful listeners in all those cities. Looking forward to them attending your live workshop. What’s the difference between watching YouTube videos and attending a live workshop?
[01:33:38] Brad Yates: The live workshops — one, they’re a lot more fun just because you have a live audience. It’s fun for me as an actor to have an audience. That’s my favorite thing to do. But also the group energy is also powerful, and everyone who goes to live events says that you feel the other people with their energy shifting and it’s combined energy.
So many people have said, “I have something that I want to bring up, and I just couldn’t. And then someone else said exactly what I wanted to say, brought up exactly what was bothering me,” and that happens all the time. So those things that we feel unable to voice or we didn’t even know. That happens all the time too. People would say, “I didn’t know that was bothering me until this person brought it up, and it feels so much better now.” There’s an amazing group energy that’s really powerful.
Not that tapping through the videos is not powerful on its own. I try to make it as fun as possible. Bring in some humor, so it’s the spoonful of sugar that helps the medicine go down as opposed to, “Alright, now let’s deal with this unhappy situation and tap, tap, tap.” It’s already painful enough. Why do I want to do that? Not that we don’t deal with some heavy stuff sometimes, but taking that lighter approach.
I say to folks, “If you like my videos, you’re going to love the live workshop. If you love my videos, you should already be signed up for a live event.”
[01:35:19] Ashley James: Very cool. Yeah, that sounds like a lot of fun. I like that you brought up you might not think of your problem in that way, and then you hear someone else say it. So people can grab the mike and share, but the introverts who are listening right now are freaking out. You don’t have to put your hand up or share the mike, but someone who does, you might start to see your problem in a different light. That’s very cathartic to hear other people resolve their problems. Do you do on-stage one-on-one coaching with people?
[01:35:54] Brad Yates: I rarely do that now. Sometimes if I do a longer workshop, there might be times where it feels appropriate to bring somebody up to work more specifically on them. But in general, I’ll ask the audience. It’s all created by the group that’s there. Every workshop is different because it’s always a different group. But I tend to leave them in their seats so that the tapping around that I do is for everybody and I’m looking at everyone as we go through it. It’s only in the longer workshops where there may be times where that feels appropriate.
[01:36:31] Ashley James: Awesome. This has been so much fun, Brad. I am very excited to hear about all my listeners, their results working with you. We have a great group of our listeners, our Facebook group, the Learn True Health Facebook group. After we publish this show, I’m sure we’ll be chatting in that group about you and my listeners’ experiences as they follow your YouTube videos and hopefully also see you live.
Is there anything that you’d like to say to wrap up today’s interview?
[01:37:04] Brad Yates: The last thing I always like to say in interviews is to express the importance of self-love and learning to love yourself. I do believe that we all do love ourselves, that’s why I say that self-sabotage is misguided self-love. But allowing ourselves to acknowledge that love, because so often so many of us have programming saying that loving yourself is wrong, it’s arrogant and conceited, and things like that.
It’s really at the root of turning things around for yourself and your relationship with others and the world at large as you allow yourself to love yourself more — real genuine love. Arrogance is trying to pretend, trying to convince yourself that you’re better than other people. If you’re doing that, that’s because you have some doubt.
When you acknowledge how awesome you are, you can’t help but start to see how awesome other people are and help them to realize that too. It’s a total win-win situation.
Any reasons you might have as to why you couldn’t love yourself more, please tap those away. Allow yourself to acknowledge your awesomeness and share it with the world, and thank you for doing that.
[01:38:15] Ashley James: Awesome. Thank you so much, Brad. It’s been such a pleasure having you on the show today. You are welcome any time if you want to teach us more EFT and how to have an awesome day and awesome life.
[01:38:28] Brad Yates: My pleasure. Thank you so much for having me on the show, Ashley. I had a great time chatting with you, and I greatly appreciate this opportunity to share this work with your listeners.
[01:38:39] Ashley James: Wasn’t that a fantastic interview with Brad Yates? Don’t you love EFT, and won’t you love to go and meet him live and in person and do his class? If you can, you should do that.
I’m going to make sure the links to all of the dates of his live events are in the show notes of today’s podcast at learntruehealth.com. But to iterate in case you don’t have a pen handy, I want you to know that the upcoming dates are: Saturday, April 13th, at Seattle. You can go to learntruehealth.com/seattle to sign up there. Saturday, June 8th, in Austin, Texas. You can go learntruehealth.com/austin to sign up there. Sunday, June 9th, in Las Vegas. Go to learntruehealth.com/vegas to sign up there. Saturday, June 22nd, in Atlanta, Georgia, and go to learntruehealth.com/atlanta to sign up there. Finally, to come to his Tap Into Your Best Self class in Philly. Go to learntruehealth.com/philadelphia.
I hope to see you there in Seattle if you’re local. If not and you do go to one of the other classes, make sure that you say hi to Brad and tell him how much you love his interview. We should definitely have him back on the show.
If you like this interview, too, come to the Facebook group and comment. Let me know what you think. I know we’ll start a discussion about this interview after it goes live in the Learn True Health Facebook group.
Funny story I have to share with you — just today, one of our listeners, Mercy, posted in the Facebook group, and she said, “Can I just say how much I love Ashley James and Learn True Health. My husband just called from the car on his way home from a business trip and said, ‘Hey, I’ve been listening to your girl Ashley James,’ and then he started telling me about one of the episodes like I haven’t heard it yet. He was pumped up about minerals and several other tidbits. Thank you, Ashley, for putting out the best podcast on true health.”
I got to tell you, I was smiling ear to ear. It totally tickled me pink, and I said, “Hey, tell me his name. I got to do show notes.” So his name is Neil Westfallon, and I hope I said that right — big shout-out to Neil. I always love it when husbands and wives, or boyfriend/girlfriends or partners, sisters, brothers, and I love it when friends get together and listen to the show. I always love it when I hear that someone said, “Yeah, my friend turned me into this, or my sister or my cousin turned me on to this.”
What I get a lot is, “My mom turned me on to this,” or I’ll get a mom saying, “My daughter turned me on to this,” and I love it. I love that we can share this information and that we could have this common ground of wanting to celebrate and build and cultivate true health together.
Isn’t it amazing that we can express our gratitude and love for one another by sharing podcasts like this that will help enrich their lives? Thank you so much for sharing this podcast. Join the Facebook group if you haven’t already and join the fun discussions there.
Neil, big shout-out to you. Thanks for having a fantastic business trip traveling home while listening to the Learn True Health podcast. Can’t wait to see you guys in the Facebook group, and have yourselves an excellent rest of your day.
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Health Coach, Podcast Creator, Homeschooling Mom, Passionate About God & Healing
Ashley James is a Holistic Health Coach, Podcaster, Rapid Anxiety Cessation Expert, and avid Whole Food Plant-Based Home Chef. Since 2005 Ashley has worked with clients to transform their lives as a Master Practitioner and Trainer of Neuro-linguistic Programming.
Her health struggles led her to study under the world’s top holistic doctors, where she reversed her type 2 diabetes, PCOS, infertility, chronic infections, and debilitating adrenal fatigue.
In 2016, Ashley launched her podcast Learn True Health with Ashley James to spread the TRUTH about health and healing. You no longer need to suffer; your body CAN and WILL heal itself when we give it what it needs and stop what is harming it!
The Learn True Health Podcast has been celebrated as one of the top holistic health shows today because of Ashley’s passion for extracting the right information from leading experts and doctors of holistic health and Naturopathic medicine
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