January 23, 2020 by Cathy Vartuli

Tapping for Dealing with Surprise!

You can watch the video, read below, or both! And tap to increase resiliency and ease in your life!

Hey everyone. I’m Cathy Vartuli from www.thrivingnow.com and today we’re talking about dealing with surprise.

When we get surprised it hurts.

A lot of us were taught that surprise is painful. We were brought up in an environment where there wasn’t really a lot of help for dealing with surprise. We might have been left alone, or yelled at, if we reacted to something that wasn’t pleasant.

If you got a D on a report card you might have been blamed rather than helped given support to feel your disappointment … to feel what was going on and then try to improve it. Most parents that I know of wouldn’t say:  “Oh, sorry Johnny. Let’s figure out what’s going on.” More likely, parents would blame and shame: “Why didn’t you work hard enough?!!”

The blame was put back on us. Even if it was something like a beloved pet dying or a parent dying, there generally wasn’t the calm understanding that we would have loved to have, the space holding that would let us process through the shock or the surprise.

Now when we’re surprised, we often remember that old pain and we react as if we are that 3-year-old, or 4-year-old, or 5-year-old who doesn’t have support and doesn’t have skills.

What I would like to do today is do some EFT tapping to help you create the space for yourself, so that you can hold space for you when you feel surprised. You can always come back and do some tapping… tap along with us again if you want to calm down.

The first thing you can do when you feel surprised is put your feet on the floor and take a nice deep breath.

Some of us as adults have learned from our parents to blame someone else, so if someone blurts something out that surprises us we react: “How can you tell us that now?” or “Why would you say something at a time like this!”

There are good and bad times for telling people things about difficult situations, but blaming doesn’t generally help the situation have more ease.

When we first just take that nice deep breath we’re reminding ourselves we’re in our body, we’re breathing, and we start calming ourselves down.

The primitive brain knows if there’s really a lion or a bear about to eat us we wouldn’t stop and take a nice deep breath because we’d be lunch for something. Just by breathing deeply you’re telling your primitive brain “I don’t need to run. Things may not be as scary as I think they are.”

Now let’s just do some tapping.

Karate Chop: Even though I’m so surprised… I really didn’t expect that …. I’m feeling all this stuff going on in my body, and maybe I’ll be OK anyway.

Even though I feel so surprised, how could he do that … how could she say that… maybe I’m OK right here, right now.

Even though this surprise feels really big, maybe it won’t seem so bad once I take a couple deep breaths.

Top of the Head: I hate surprises like this.
Eyebrow: I feel overwhelmed.
Side of the Eye: I feel like there’s something wrong.
Under the Eye: The truth is this really surprised me.
Under the Nose:  I didn’t plan for this.
Chin: I feel scared.
Collar bone: My primitive brain thinks I’m not going to survive.
Under the Arm: But the truth is this is just unexpected.

Top of the Head: Maybe there’s nothing really wrong.
Eyebrow: Maybe there’s nothing I can’t really handle.
Side of the Eye: I seem to make better decisions when I calm down first.
Under the Eye: Maybe this will seem more in control when I take another couple of breaths.
Under the Nose:  Or take some time to sleep on it.
Chin: I don’t have to make a big decision right this second.
Collar bone: This did surprise me.
Under the Arm: And I can give myself space to process this surprise.
Top of the Head: And make a really good decision for me.

Take a nice deep breath.

Now admittedly some surprises are big and negative and really overwhelming and if it’s one of those, get help if you can.

We have some grounding exercises on www.thrivingnow.com/grounding where you can help yourself be more present in your body. Just notice your surroundings. Notice that there are no lions or tigers. Notice the touch of the chair or couch on you wherever you’re sitting. Just to bring yourself back in and be more present.

We also encourage creating a circle of support. Have friends you can call. The grounding exercises PDF actually has a space to go through and write down the names and phone numbers of a couple of friends you can call if you get surprised or triggered by something.

Talk to a friend, do some more tapping, drink some water, take care of yourself. Do the things you would do for a friend who was surprised by something negative and be there for yourself.

Karate chop: Even though no one used to hold space for me, I can hold space for myself right now.

Even though this was really unexpected, I actually am OK right now.

Even though I don’t feel OK at all, I can take some deep breaths and I probably will get through this.

Top of the Head: I can be there for myself.
Eyebrow: When I was little it was all too big.
Side of the Eye: It was just too much.
Under the Eye: And now I get to be there for me.
Under the Nose:  I invite the adult responsible parts of me to step forward and take care of me now.
Chin: I am safe, just a bit surprised.
Collar bone: I could use some nurturing and love.
Under the Arm: And I can ask for that from my friends.
Top of the Head: And give it to myself now.

Take another nice deep breath.

Just remember you’re not alone and that you have resources that you didn’t have a child.

We have a lot of people around us now, and we are a lot savvier then when we were kids. We are a lot more aware of how to support each other. There’s the internet. We can find solutions to problems that would have taken weeks to find in the past, and when we do tapping we get the fear out of the way and we can bring in surprising resources.

Sometimes we find amazing solutions, ones we never would have thought if we hadn’t removed that fear out of the way and held space for ourselves just to process through.

Emotions do change over time. Emotions are fluid so when we give ourselves space to be just where we are and not try to fight it or run away, they often move to something else. I hope this helped and that you’re feeling surprisingly resilient no matter what your surprise is!

With love and supportive energy for you,


P.S. Rick and I have co-created a space where you can find support through calls together and community sharing. If having an ongoing connection where you know you can bring your surprises appeals to you, we enthusiastically invite you to join us!


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