The pathway to living with what coach and EFT practitioner, Jess Johnson calls “space & grace” is paved with self-acceptance. Jess shares how the Emotional Freedom Technique makes this not only possible but effortless.
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Our bodies hold the energetic patterns of all that we experience in our lives. If we have trauma that remains unhealed, it is stored in our bodies, and the Emotional Freedom Technique is uniquely designed to transform it.
EFT & Self-Acceptance
Zette Harbour 0:02
Welcome to Love Lies Beneath. I’m Zette Harbour. I’m glad to have you here. Do you feel like stress, fear or pain take up way too much of your energy? Have you wondered if you’ll ever be free of that heaviness of your past? Do you long to feel as good on the inside as your life looks on the outside?
Zette Harbour 0:44
In this podcast, you’ll discover the story of who you really are, and how to set yourself free. Together, we’re going to travel into those wild spaces of our inner landscapes, and dive deeply into the rich soil of our lives, reclaiming Soul through Story and healing our Hearts. My book, Love Lies Beneath is the map. Be sure to subscribe to this podcast so you don’t miss any of this enriching journey. And now, let the adventure begin.
Zette Harbour 1:43
In Episode 11, I share a conversation with Jess Johnson, life coach and master practitioner of the Emotional Freedom Technique. Jess is a spiritual teacher and money mentor. And she helps ambitious, soulful entrepreneurs live their purpose, so they can realize their unique potential for profit, impact, and freedom. Jess and I speak about the power of the connection between our bodies, our minds, and our souls, and Jess shares with us some of the really important aspects of Emotional Freedom Technique. I hope you enjoy this conversation with Jess as much as I did.
Zette Harbour 2:41
Hi, I’m Zette Harbour. I am here with Jess Johnson for Love Lies Beneath. Jess is a certified coach and an EFT practitioner, as well as many other things that we are going to get to hear about today. So Jess, tell us about yourself and the work you do.
Jess Johnson 2:59
Thank you. I am a therapist turned life coach and certified EFT practitioner. EFT standing for Emotional Freedom Techniques, which a lot of people know as tapping. And I have been working in the coaching space for about four years now. I was working for a small nonprofit, actually. Here’s part of my story. Going back I joined the military when I was 32. And I commissioned into the army I worked as an army therapist on active duty for five years and when I got out three and a half years ago, is when I pivoted for the coaching space. I was working with veterans helping them transition in their own journeys from active duty life to civilian life. Regardless of what you did during your service, whether you deployed or not, there are a lot of transition pain points for those of us as we navigate the world out of uniform. And so I was working for the small nonprofit, running kind of adventure-based retreats in Maryland, and I lost my job due to COVID. Last March. I actually live in Hawaii, I worked in Maryland, and I was flying back and forth once or twice a month to continue my work there. So when COVID happened, retreats weren’t happening, group stuff wasn’t happening and travel certainly wasn’t happening. So I pivoted quite quickly to start my journey as an entrepreneur. So now within my practice, I mainly I’m a general life coach. I’ve really embraced that. And I love to help my clients find their confidence develop their inner trust and intuition by giving themselves space and grace. And when I talk about space, I’m, lots of times, I just mean, time. So often we just, you know, we know something’s there. We even know how to deal with it, but we push it off, push it off, push it off. And with grace, I believe in personal responsibility. And when personal responsibility is a core value, you have to have a lot of grace to forgive yourself, and just be able to see every failure as a learning opportunity and move on.
Zette Harbour 5:26
Yeah, I love that phrase, space and grace. It sounds very lyrical, and also really powerfully beautiful. If we had that opportunity, if we took that opportunity to give ourselves space, and then the grace, how much different would our experience of life be? How much more of ourselves could we actually bring to the world? Right? Yeah, absolutely.
Jess Johnson 5:47
I so often, I hear my clients saying, I don’t know. And when you say, I don’t know, often, it’s it. You mean, I don’t want to speak about this right now. Or I don’t want to know. And often that’s because we’ve fear whatever the worst case scenario is. So we don’t want to think about it. But I’m almost every single time I have ever sat with myself or helped a client be like, let’s just three minutes, give this three minutes right now, it’s often not as bad it’s not ever as bad as we think it’s going to be, or if it is, it’s so unrealistic that we’re like, oh, okay, I can move on from this now.
Zette Harbour 6:25
Yeah, cuz it’s really interesting. What we fear is really all about the story we have inside of our heads about something about ourselves. And you know, when you do invite your clients to give themselves a little bit of space around that, to let that story take up some space and approach that story with grace, that they recognize that they are the ones who can control how bad that story gets to be. And in the opposite truth is that then they get to control whether that story is more helpful to them, right, as opposed to what serves them.
What Is Emotional Freedom Technique?
Zette Harbour 7:03
So tell us a little bit about how EFT helps with that.
Jess Johnson 7:06
EFT involves principles of traditional Chinese medicine, psychology, and NLP or neuro linguistic programming. And you are tapping on points in your energy meridian system, which runs parallel down both sides of your body, while acknowledging the truth of how you feel, and combining that with an affirmation of acceptance. So lots of times we, especially if we follow a law of attraction, or we believe in positive psychology, a lot of times people think positive psychology means we have to see the silver lining and everything and good vibes only. And we only get to talk about the good things when No, there’s that’s that’s a part of it. But I really believe what has been the most helpful in my journey. And my clients journey is self-acceptance. And when we accept ourselves exactly as we are in any given moment, and we give a voice to that we’re unable to enjoy the journey. We are always hearing the kids, it’s about the journey, not the destination. And that’s something we give lip service to we say it, we we want to believe that but we don’t really know what that means. And to me, it means just that accepting yourself at every single phase, not waiting until you’ve met some goal, to give yourself to celebrate yourself, or let yourself feel good about something. And when you are tapping on these points, you are lowering cortisol and you are sending a calming response to the part of your brain, the amygdala that houses your fight or flight response. And when you think of the amygdala, like kind of like a scout, and so it is like literally trained from caveman era to protect you to think everything is a tiger. And so when you’re standing in the middle of Baltimore, and your brain is freaking out telling you that there’s a tiger coming out to get you. And you’re just like, no, don’t be stupid. There’s no tigers in Baltimore, there’s no way that could be there. You know, that scowl at the amygdala feels really dismissed. But if you think like, Hey, we’re in Baltimore, it’s okay. Hey, look, no, it’s just it’s not a tiger. It was just a car. It’s going a little fast, but we’re just gonna stay on our side of the street. The amygdala is like, Oh, all right. Cool. Cool. Cool. Cool. Thanks. I can move on now. And so that’s what you’re doing. When you are tapping on these on these points. You’re just saying, Hey, we got this. It’s okay.
Zette Harbour 9:47
So much sense to give the space again, to the part of you that’s very naturally designed to let you know that there’s something to be worried about. And sure, maybe they don’t have it right. This part of you doesn’t have it right about the extremely you know how extreme The danger is. But as you’re saying the system was designed to save, save us in really extreme, you know, physical situations. And now we’re not in those extreme, dangerous physical situations for the most part, there’s so much chronic stress, isn’t that kind of keep us in that sort of heightened awareness state longer than we need to be?
Jess Johnson 10:24
Yes, exactly. And think about all of what when things happen to us in our lives, it is stored as energy in our bodies. And so this is exactly why it is important to deal with these stressors as they happen. Let’s say it was real, we were attacked by a tiger. And when I say that, let’s say there is like a huge traumatic event that happened to us that we just have not been able to move through, or that we developed certain coping skills that popped to serve us at a time. But now the danger has passed, we no longer need these certain coping skills, we want a relationship and we want to be able to trust people being able to apply EFT in order to alleviate that stored stress around those old memories. EFT is just such a powerful tool to be able to do that I actually worked with a client the other day, and it had been two months since I hadn’t seen him. And he I had asked him at that point, we had tapped on a memory that he had told me, you know, was pretty profound in his life. And afterwards, he was like, I need to write you a testimonial. Like this was so incredible. And so this week, we just met two months later, for he was actually consulting me on on a case he’s working on. He was just like, you know what, I totally forgot about that testimonial. And I know I need to write it. Because the memory that we tapped on was something that has haunted me for so long. And seeing you right now, it’s just now hitting me in full that I have not thought about it since we last did this. And this was something I thought of every day. And I thought was just so incredibly powerful to me being able to hear that and knowing him seeing how he is kind of interacting the world since we be released all that old stress around this memory.
The Power Of A Tapping Circle
Zette Harbour 12:23
That is so amazing that really once something is gone, we tend to forget that it was present all that time and the constant stress and fear and worry around those things. I recently just a few days ago did one of jesses. EFT tapping circles. It was beautiful. It was really beautiful. I’ve had loads of experience with personal work and as well as with the acupressure. I just really felt such a tremendous shift come over, I was sharing with you that this was a thing that I was very consciously aware of it, you know, it hurt, I knew that. But I was you know, making sense of it. I wasn’t shoving in a corner anything because I get that I you know, through my own work that I share in the book love lies beneath I, I really give that space and grace to my feelings no matter how warty they may be. But even so doing the EFT technique with you the way you guided it and guided us in the group I was describing to you that suddenly it was as if my awareness expanded around this situation. So it got even more clear, more clarity. At the same time, less and less painful to the point where Honestly, I don’t even think it’s painful anymore. It’s maybe not how I still would like it to be. But it’s so quite, it’s really been transformed quite a bit. So. So thank you for that.
Jess Johnson 13:46
Thank you. Thank you for sharing that. I’m so happy to hear that. And I’m you know, I’m a bit silly. I’ve got a great sense of humor. And so sometimes I have one client in particular, she’s always calling me her witch and I love to play that up. Because sometimes EFT does feel like magic. It doesn’t. My my mentor, Naomi Jansen loves to say that it doesn’t make you an idiot, you still know what happened, you know, you’re not erasing anything, you are just alleviating all of that tension in your body keeps the score, right. All these events that have hurt us in the past, even when we think we’ve dealt with them, they get stored as energy in the body. And one of the things that I work a lot with clients, particularly with clients who because I work oftentimes with other coaches, and in the coaching space, as you’re aware, we you know, we try to make a lot of sense or, you know, we tried to you know, give acknowledgement to how we feel while you know, moving forward but sometimes there’s that thing that we find keeps coming back to us. It’s a thought it’s a memory it’s maybe a vision of a you know, something that happens In the past, and we’re able to make sense of it, our rational brain kind of is like, Okay, this is what this is, now I got to move forward, but we keep coming back to it. When we tap on that, that’s when we’re able to just fully get rid of whatever is coming. Maybe when we think back on it, we still remember it. But it’s no longer something that we have to exhaust ourselves dealing with, I kind of think about it, like when you have a bunch of tabs open on your computer, and they’re all like sucking your bandwidth, you keep meaning to go back to them. But you know, you know, you’re not because they’ve been open for weeks. And they’re just like weighing down your Wi Fi slowing down everything else drawing your attention there when really you just want to focus on what’s in front of you. So that’s what I really one of the most powerful ways I think about EFT and, and why it’s important to kind of deal with those pieces, all those pieces of it.
Zette Harbour 16:00
Yeah, well, I love your analogy of the tabs. Boy, that makes total sense. And yeah, and it’s true, we can use our rational mind, you know, for a lot of things for a lot of problem solving. But we cannot use our rational mind to explain to our limbic system, that there is no danger, because they’re operating on two sort of totally different kind of perceptions of what is and isn’t dangerous and what is and isn’t stored.
Transforming Your Story
Zette Harbour 16:36
So tell us a story. What are your story about you maybe a time from your life when you yourself had a story maybe that was causing you either stress, fear or pain. And by being present to that story, you recognize something brand new, and it opened up a whole world of possibility for you?
Jess Johnson 16:55
Yeah, absolutely. I think that when I got married, I was a therapist. I was a therapist in the army. And that was the plan. My husband and I were still separated in terms of he was in Washington State stationed there. I was stationed in upstate New York and a limiting belief that I had, and that lots of coaches have when they pivot to over there when they become coaches after they are already in a long term relationship or marriage with somebody is what happens if I become so self actualized that I no longer relate to my partner? because lots of us are, I know I do. And I have a lot of friends who are coaches who feel this way or husbands or partners do not care about personal development or working on ourselves. You know, as nearly as much as we do and my husband he is so supportive, but now he does not get it if I asked him to tap quite frequently his he’ll come to me he’ll be complaining about something he’ll be angry upset and I’ll be like, Alright, babe, let’s do you want to tap on this? No, I’m just hungry, by eat a snack and I still feel this way Allah, maybe we can tap on it then. And he very infrequently taps with me. And and that is something I really in my first days of AIPAC, the Institute for professional excellence and coaching which I know both of us are certified to that. My first days with that I carry a lot of fear around like what happens if, you know deeper, more deep I become because when Eric met me, you could not get me to meditate let alone tap or anything like that. I was like, go go go. And and I worried about all these things like changing too much becoming a different person, not only my partner, but what are my friends gonna think about me now. And through EFT, I have been able to really gain clarity on Well, I’ve really learned to like myself, and I’m so confident in liking myself. Like why wouldn’t my friends and my partner still want to like me still want to love me? Like, Eric is supportive of me. He asks questions. He’s curious, he’s proud. He tells other people about me, I don’t need him to do all the work with me, quite frankly, like the two of us like sitting there. Doing all of this together. Sounds more scary to me now. And you know, just being able to exist continuing to understand one another and, and be really confident in that. Hmm, well,
Zette Harbour 19:33
that is beautiful. Thank you for sharing that. So often, when we do change, it does alter the landscape of our lives. And we never know really, whether it’s going to shift in a way that we’re going to be really excited about or ways that might feel less exciting and what’s really beautiful and I hear your story but tell me what you think is the more you came to accept yourself. It seemed like the less it mattered whether he changed With you,
Jess Johnson 20:01
100%, we work every day at you know, at choosing each other. And I love how we still have conversations and still have conversations. We’ve only been married like four years. So we’re kind of relatively still newlyweds. But I really I appreciate this all the more because of our differences, I’m able, instead of looking at them and seeing all of the ways that they can erode or chisel a relationship, and like, Wow, look at, you know, because I’m this way his this balances each other out. And we work that much more strongly together. Unless he is leaving his surf bag on the table for the ADF time after. We still have our arguments, right, like, but it is never through this like lens of going to the worst-case scenario catastrophe. Look at us, we’re going so far apart, we’re never going to be able to recover from this. And that’s,
Zette Harbour 20:59
I mean, you’ve got the added challenge of you know, being apart from each other for extended periods of time, because it’s definitely there’s lots of gaps between the time when you can talk and work things through really effectively. Right, it’s really hard to do that at a distance. Yeah,
The Fear Of Public Speaking
Jess Johnson 21:15
I think one of the biggest ways to that in my journey that I also got to see as a result of probably the pandemic, because I had time to do this, but I had just started my certification of right before the world shut down February 2020, is when I did my four day, which is what you have to attend to this four day in person workshop before you can move through the rest of the certification process. And so I started that there and then came lost my job pandemic, we’re all on lockdown. I started doing my certification, I did a three month program, separate from the certification just working on my personal issues with my mentor. And I, you know, I was seeing shifts in my life. I was feeling them. But it wasn’t until I went, I’m very involved in the Disaster Response Team Team Rubicon. And I went, I responded to Louisiana after Hurricane Laura. And the whole organization had had to pivot and everything and disasters are in the middle of a pandemic, how do you respond to natural disasters such as a hurricane or tornado where, you know, usually it’s volunteers that are coming from all over the country, living in close quarters. And so it was a pretty big responsibility to be able to respond to this. And so I went down to Louisiana, I spent one week learning how to operate a chainsaw, which was intimidating in and of itself. And then the next week, I stayed on and they asked me to be a task force leader, which required Well, a, I was like managing 40 of the volunteers, 90% of them that week, were brand new to the organization. This was their first operation. And it required me to give daily briefings every day on the fly in front of people. And whereas I have always been like, a very friendly, like, kind of extroverted people look at me, and they’re like, there’s no way this girl like is scared of public speaking, haunting, like most of the population, right? I know, I don’t have a monopoly on fear of public speaking. But I was just part of me Initially, I don’t know how to describe it. Actually. It almost panicked that the panic wasn’t there. My initial reaction was like, Oh, my God, I’m gonna have to do public speaking and they’ll think send me home. But instead, like, barely, clearly, like that wasn’t even there anymore. I was just like, Oh, yeah, you got this, you can do it move forward. And that is when I realize I’ve never tapped on public speaking or fear of public speaking. But I’ve done so much inner work on other things that I could see. And then because we were on lockdown, I didn’t quite know how impactful all of that work had done until like you placed me in in a completely new environment. And I behaved in a way that was completely opposite as to how I would have done a year earlier a year earlier. It would make me sick to my stomach to even think of introducing myself in front of a group of people and having to talk a year ago, even doing this interview, I’d be like, I gotta say things perfectly. It’s got to come out just right. Even though it’s just you and I
Zette Harbour 24:39
well, so the kind of really points to the idea that people are really afraid of the public speaking, they’re afraid. They have stories about themselves about being found to be you know, foolish or embarrassed or, you know, stupid or being seen in a way so they have stories, that being in a, you know, the public or standing up in front of a group of people, we just expose them to the things that they’re afraid of. Right?
Jess Johnson 25:06
Yeah. And I had such a story of being misunderstood. And what that would possibly mean, part of my fear of public speaking was this, and even like a little bit of writing. And I was finding that I had this story about social media and how I never wanted to be on there in a way that was meaningful, right? I post pictures of my cats, my travel, things like that. But when it came to being in a coaching space, so many stories about why would I even want to do that, like, my whole message, I want people to get off and be more present to their lives and not be on social media. But I was still on social media doing all these other things with my cats and my travel, I finally kind of realized, this is just a story, I’m telling myself because I’m terrified of being misunderstood. And when I would go to write, I would be like, I need to make this sound so perfect, because anybody who needs to read this has to it has to be able to resonate with every single person. No, how realistic, is that? How exhausting is that? And in when I let go with that, I have been posting so much more meaningful stuff on social media. And sometimes lots of times Actually, my rule around posting on social media, when I’m writing something may be personal or vulnerable, or what I hope to be inspiring is doesn’t have to inspire anybody but me. If future, if I think at any point, like just a week, a month, a year from now needs to go back and Facebook memories and see this, this is enough, even if nobody else likes it.
Zette Harbour 26:48
Yeah, oh, that’s really powerful. Because in truth, when we show up truly is who we are, when we allow our light genuinely beam into the world, right? It’s really that’s what the point of sharing through writing through speaking, whatever it is, in and so anytime you see that light, you can feel reinvigorated by that light, right, you can connect to and say, I’m so grateful that I showed up at that moment and shared my light in a way that yes, if it if someone’s inspired by it, or it opens their awareness in some way. That’s wonderful. But really, it’s showing up authentically as who you are and and fearlessly to express your truth. So it’s great to you know, as coaches, we can offer different ways for people to really hold that story out there and say, Oh, that’s not really me. That’s a story. And you know, I saw you do that with the EFT. And I know that we do it with our coaching and especially with the energy leadership work that we do.
Jess Johnson 27:46
You know, EFT helps like, you don’t have to have the memory right, then you can just say I am feeling, she just said this, and this is making me feel sick to my stomach. And oftentimes you can use EFT to help pinpoint, either What is this really about for me? What am I telling myself ? Or, and then even not, – and, and not or – And from there typically find those other those supporting events in your life that led you to create this story.
Zette Harbour 28:29
Well, this has been a wonderful conversation. I’ve really enjoyed it. And I know that we’re gonna have a number of conversations still and we have some rooms on clubhouse schedule. tell people where they can find you.
Jess Johnson 28:39
Absolutely, thanks. I can be found on Facebook at Jess Johnson Coaching. Or Jess Kissane Johnson. I can also be found on Instagram at seekingagreatperhaps1. We could talk about why that’s my handle at another because it’s a great story. And if you are interested in learning how you know my mindset coaching and EFT can help you change your story please, or if you just want to follow me and watch my videos and learn more about EFT and how you can use it, because it is a self-healing modality. Like therapy or coaching, you turn to an EFT practitioner once you feel like hmm, I’m not shifting here, I’m unable to change my story, then reach out to me. But I am very passionate about teaching people how to use this in their daily life and, and being able to do more tapping circles to get people in groups together.
Zette Harbour 29:39
So people will follow you on Facebook to find out more about that. I highly recommend the tapping circle for sure I’ve done that. And it’s really a beautiful experience that the other people who have participated were wonderful. It’s really something because you’re witnessing their release, their evolution, as well which I think does so much fo for doing it all together.
Zette Harbour 30:02
Yeah, doing it all together really, really makes it wonderful and powerful. So I’m really glad that you were here today and look forward to the rest of our future conversations. Thank you.
Zette Harbour 30:21
I’m Zette Harbour. This is Love Lies Beneath. Please subscribe to this podcast so you don’t miss a single episode of this exciting adventure. You can also find me at LoveLiesBeneath.com. There you can find the transcripts for each episode, and any resources that may support you on your journey. You could also set up a virtual coffee date with me. I’d love to hear your story. Go raibh míle maith agat!