Iyanla Vanzant, EFT and The Four Steps to Forgiveness
How does The Four Steps to Forgiveness fit in with Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)? In this article I am using the work of Iyanla Vanzant, who is well-known for using EFT in the forgiveness field, as an example of how the two approaches harmonise very well.
Working in the forgiveness field, as I do (as an author, workshop leader and founder of The Global Forgiveness Initiative) it is inevitable that I would come across the work of Iyanla Vanzant. She is well-known from her books, TV appearances ("Iyanla: Fix My Life," and apperances on Oprah), as well as being a # 1 New York Times, Best-Selling Author.
It was only recently that I got around to reading some of her books, such as; Trust: Mastering the Four Essential Trusts, and, certainly, I had to read her book about how to forgive - Forgiveness: 21 Days to Forgive Everyone for Everything. I avoided other author's material on forgiveness for years, so as to not be unduly influenced by them, but now my own work is flourishing and well-established I feel more willing to explore.
Iyanla has been throught some very serious issues, such as the death of her daughter from cancer, and has plenty of life experience behind her. This shows in the wisdom, clear insights and practical good sense of her teachings.
I like Iyanla Vanzant and I like her books. I get the impression of a good, kind person who learns from life and then passes along what she learns so others can benefit. She loves to share what she has learned to help prevent other people making the same mistakes. More than that, it seems to have become her mission to help people live better, happier and more empowered lives. And, she is very good at it.
Coming back to her books, as could naturally be expected, there is quite a bit of overlap in her work and mine. We have come to a similar understanding about some things like the need to let go of judgment and how that our tendency to judge causes us a lot of unnecessary suffering. There is also a lot on “reconciliation"; reconciling with ourselves, reconciling with others, as well as reconciling with life, in her work. Reconciliation seems to be an underlying theme of her material. These are themes I also cover in my book Forgiveness is Power, which came out the same year as Iyanla's Forgiveness book.
Another thing I like about Iyanla’s approach is that she offers a straightforward method on how to forgive rather than just telling people they “should” forgive (which so many others stop at, unfortunately). The method she offers is based on Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). In essence, in her book Forgiveness, she teaches a form of EFT with a specific focus on using it to forgive. The book takes us through a 21 Day program. It is thorough, in-depth, and sparkling through it are Iyanla’s wisdom, intelligence and heartwarming, insightful stories from her own experience.
Note for those unfamiliar with EFT: EFT is a method where we use our fingers to tap on specific parts of the body. It is based on the idea from healing traditions (such as Traditional Chinese Medicine, Reiki, some types of Yoga, and others) that there are energy paths through the body. By tapping on specific place on the body, the intention is to affect the flow of this energy so as to benefit our physical, psychological and emotional healing process. The type of EFT that Iyanla Vanzant uses is based on ProEFT developed by Lindsay Kenny.
In comparions, EFT is not essential for doing The Four Steps to Forgiveness, but it can be used along with it very effectively. It works particularly well as part of “Step 4”, as by the time you get there you will have created a “Forgiveness Affirmation”. For example, you might have come up with a sentence such as “I forgive John and I accept the peace and freedom that forgiveness brings”. You could use EFT along with that affirmation, if you were having a particularly hard time forgiving that situation. Therefore in this way both EFT and The Four Steps to Forgiveness can be simply and easily blended together.
It behooves all of us to have a few different methods, a sort of “toolkit”, of approaches to forgiveness, so that we can work on some issues from a couple of different angles and in a couple of different ways. Even if one of those methods becomes our go-to method for a while, we can still benefit from trying out a different method. After all, just because someone really prefers, say, Chocolate ice cream does not mean they don’t ever want to try another flavor sometimes for an enjoyable change. We can all benefit from different "flavors" of forgiveness.
If you are not familier with, The Four Steps to Forgiveness, you can try it for free (without even giving out your email address) via the links on this page. If you are already familiar with The Four Steps to Forgiveness and want to try something else, by all means check out Iyanla Vanzant's book, Forgiveness.
Whatever path you choose to follow on your way to greater forgiveness, may you find it as enriching and rewarding as I have.
By William Fergus Martin, Author: Forgiveness is Power.
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William Fergus Martin