My city, London, is suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder*. In the last ten days, the energy of the city has shifted from stupor to disbelief, finally into division and niches of despair.
Wherever I go, people are mistrusting their fellow human beings – on the tube, in the pubs, in the many London parks.
Brexit seems to be the only subject everybody is worryingly talking about. London, the colored, tolerant, multicultural, inclusive city, is now wounded by a spike in hate crime.
Rain, drizzle and clouds are ever-present in our sky and the summer somehow did not blossom yet – maybe it won’t this year in London – and it appears to match perfectly with the uncertainty and fear that’s all aroud us.
Whatever we voted for on this referendum, the other half of the Country voted otherwise. To heal the collective trauma we need to accept this and honor it. We need to start a journey from division to harmonious diversity, and we need to do it together.
The best tool I know for trauma is Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT – aka Tapping). I introduced this technique in a recent article, and if you want to know more about how it works, you can read my blog post, or go deeper with Nick Orner’s book “The Tapping solution” (from Amazon Uk and Amazon US). (I highly recommend Nick’s book to anyone interested in Tapping. Very practical and clearly written, I could not put it down).
Here is an EFT script we can use to address this fear of uncertainty:
- Visualize your Most Pressing Issue (MPI) – I would suggest something like “I feel anxiety about the future of my country”.
- Rate your MPI on a scale from one to ten, ten being the highest. Write down this number;
- Start tapping at the karate chop with your fingertips (see pictures above for location of the points);
Karate chop: “Even though I don’t feel safe enough right now, I completely and deeply accept myself”
Karate chop: “Even though I don’t undestand why half of the voters did not agree with me, this is where I am at now”
Karate chop: “Even though I feel resentment and judgment rising in the city around me, and even sometimes in me, I am open to accept this, myself and these feelings”.
- Now tap through the points:
Eyebrow: “I feel powerless about Brexit…”
Side of Eye: “And yet it seems the only topic everywhere around me…”
Under Eye: “I felt betrayed by half of the people in the country…”
Under Nose: “I don’t know what to do…”
Chin: “It’s scary to look at this…”
Collarbone: “I am not sure of the consequences of this in our future…”
Under Arm: “Lately, one of the first things I find myself thinking of new people is: how did they vote?…”
Top of Head: “I get pretty anxious just thinking about it”.
- Tap through the points, in the same order as shown in the picture, as many times as you feel comfortable. Feel free to adjust or change the sentences if you want – use only words that sound true and authentic to you. You will know it is time to move on to the positive round when the last sentence on Top of Head point will not feel entirely true: you are not feeling as anxious as you did before. Time to add a positive round:
Eyebrow: “Maybe there is something that can be done…”
Side of Eye: “And probably I am not as powerless as I thought at first…”
Under Eye: “What if I tried to do the best with the cards I have been dealt?”
Under Nose: “There is surely something I can do…”
Chin: “It might not be the tragedy that I feared…”
Collarbone: “I know that everything happens for a reason even when I cannot see the reason…”
Under Arm: “The people that voted differently from me are humans exactly like me and they did so with good intentions…”
Top of Head: “We can try and work together as a community to put trust back into our wonderful city”.
- Stop and take a deep breath;
- Rate again the intensity of your MPI;
- Continue until you feel much better. Usually three to five rounds are enough to have a visible results – sometimes once is enough.
- When you have finished, rate again the MPI. Is the number now lower than it was when you started?
In London the majority of people, me included, voted for Remain. This post reflects this. By no mean though it is solely intended for them. Quite the opposite, actually. I strongly believe in oneness and this is even truer when it comes to the multi-faceted identity of a complex and fascinating city.
At the end of the day, we are all together in this. And it is in everyone’s best interest to make it work.
In my last post I said that I would have taken a break in the next few weeks – but the trauma London is suffering was too strong to ignore. Few people have asked me if and how to apply EFT to it, so here it is. The sooner we heal the trauma, the better.
I hope this serves you.
*Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England, was by all means focusing on the economic aspects of this “Brexit-induced” stress when he talked about it few days ago. I obviously tried here to work on the emotional collective stress.