Monday, December 18, 2006

The Energy Psychology of Debt and Other Addictions

Yesterday I watched back to back episodes of a programme called Spendaholics.

It is the story of individuals who get into debt through their out of control spending and lifestyle and they are advised how to control and curb their spending.

Unresolved emotional issues

What makes Spendaholics different from most debt programmes is that it believes that the root of the spending lies in unresolved emotional issues and until these are resolved, the debt is likely to continue to grow. And what is even more fascinating about the programme is the unearthing of the emotional issues that fuels the spending.

On many of the EFT DVDs, Gary Craig frequently references addictions of all kinds: chocolates, coffee, food, shopping, nicotine, surfing the Internet through to the "harder" addictions like Class A drugs and alchohol. He provides a fascinating anecdote when he and his partner went into a clinic to demonstrate EFT. The people involved were recovering alchoholics. What was interesting about this was although they no longer drank alchohol, they were drinking black coffee and smoking cigarettes consistently.

Your drug of choice is really a tranquilizer

And this provided the basis for Gary's belief that our drug of choice acts as tranquilizers for underlying anxiety. So even if one addiction is "kicked", others surface to take its place. And it doesn't matter what the drug of choice is, if the underlying anxiety is not addressed, then it just gets transformed to another vehicle.

People talk about having an addictive personality, but it may be more accurate to call it an anxious personality.

What also surfaced in the Spendaholics programme was that the free spending individuals were spending money in an attempt to feel better about themselves. Spending over the hole of emptiness and sadness inside of themselves. Instead of acknowledging and releasing the sadness and keeping their money in their wallet.

Another theme in the programmes that I saw was of "creativity denied". One woman was jealous of her older sister's glamorous lifestyle, while she was a relatively impoverished student. So she tried to spend her way to mimic what she thought her sister had.

She was a talented writer and had written several stories, including some for children, but because her family had a very strong practical work ethic, she had dismissed her skills, talents and qualities and didn't think that she could make money from writing. Once she allowed herself to "own" this part of her self, then she had also released the emotional drivers that were fuelling her spending.

Another woman had been offered a place at a musical college when she was younger, but her mother had forbidden her to take the place because she didn't think that it was appropriate for her to concentrate or have a musical career. Once the grief and sadness over this had been uncovered and released, she was free to start having singing lessons again and recover her voice which grieved through her spending.

It's interesting that I pick out these two examples because I believe that if we don't nurture the creativity within ourselves and release the pain and hurt through past transgressions, it can go astray with devastating effects.

In fact in Gary Craig's view, low income, obesity, all forms of addictions are merely symptoms of underlying unresolved emotional issues. And unless the emotional and energetic issues are addressed then no matter how much anyone diets, exercises, uses the often ineffective tactic of "willpower" to make changes, then they are doomed to failure (now you know why there is yo yo dieting)

However, EFT offers a way to reduce the craving and the related anxiety and also reveal the emotional issues behind the addictions, by placing the energy system in alignment.

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