- How Stephanie is combining EFT and the Three Principles
- The benefits of giving our cognitive brains something to do while we’re learning about the Principles
- How a lot of thinking about money can create problems for us
- And how EFT and the Three Principles can shift us out of that over-thinking
- Why money isn’t what we think it is
- Freedom for coaches and practitioners who see it’s not their responsibility to make create insight in clients
- Is money a heavy issue or do we just have heavy thinking about it?
Stephanie Wood is passionate about helping people get unstuck, especially around their finances. She’s a financial therapist, an EFT trainer and practitioner who has found a way to incorporate the wisdom of the Three Principles into her groups, programs and sessions in something she has created called ULTRA EFT.
The ULTRA stands for Understanding Life Through Realization and Awareness. And Stephanie has an upcoming book, which is called Money Is Not Scary Unless You Think It Is.
You can find Stephanie at InnerPeaceAndFlow.com.
Transcript of Interview with Stephanie Wood
Alexandra: Hi everyone, I’m Alexandra Amor from stopsufferingabout.com and I’m here today with Stephanie Wood. Hi Stephanie.
Stephanie: Hello. How are you today?
Alexandra: I’m awesome. How are you?
Stephanie: I’m very well also.
Alexandra: Let me give a little introduction to you to our listeners.
Stephanie Wood is passionate about helping people get unstuck, especially around their finances. She’s a financial therapist, an EFT trainer and practitioner who has found a way to incorporate the wisdom of the Three Principles into her groups, programs and sessions in something she has created called ULTRA EFT, which I’m going to ask you about.
The ULTRA stands for Understanding Life Through Realization and Awareness. And Stephanie has an upcoming book, which we will also talk about today, which is called Money Is Not Scary Unless You Think It Is. Welcome, Stephanie.
Why don’t you just give us a little bit about your background to start things off.
Stephanie: OK. So through my own personal healing I ended up stumbling upon EFT and really, it just stuck with me. That was almost 20 years ago and I immediately became an active practitioner because I knew I wanted to help people and I could do it in a way that didn’t drain me. So that was amazing. I didn’t have to take on their stuff. It was really fantastic.
And also, over the years that I became a trainer and then I stumbled upon the Principles and whoa, it blew my mind and changed everything.
The reason that I focus on money is because my partner and I – she’s co-author of the book – we’ve always had a unique perspective on money. And so we realized after all these years that when we were writing a book, in our mind we realized there are talks on the couch needed to get out to other people. Because we’re doing something right and we’re looking at things in a different way than other people and we need to share it with others. So that’s where the book was kind of born.
Alexandra: Oh nice. I love hearing that.
So then tell us maybe how you came to integrate EFT and the Principles. I think that’s a really interesting thing that you’ve done.
Maybe we should just back up a little bit explain a little bit about what EFT is, what it stands for and then tell us how you merge the two.
Stephanie: Sure. EFT stands for Emotional Freedom Technique and that’s been a technique that was created by Gary Craig about 30 years ago and it’s basically a tapping technique.
You tap on your meridian points, acupuncture points, while you’re focused on an emotional problem or a physical problem. And by doing that it calms the amygdala. There’s been a lot more scientific research supporting EFT in terms of what it does to the body. And I found it really worked quite well.
I was so comfortable using that over the years and got really good results and of course, like anything else, not perfect results and there’s places even for myself where I was pretty stuck.
When I stumbled upon the Three Principles it was just such a game-changer because I could see what I had been doing for all these years in the same light. And I also started to understand very clearly and deeply that what I thought was the mechanism behind the changes that I was witnessing for myself and others, my clients, had nothing to do with the tapping. It was all about facilitating insight.
Just seeing that was really helpful.
I did entertain and I still entertain the idea of possibly moving away from the EFT and just talking and having coaching sessions. But what I found when I started to do some of that with my clients was they love the tapping for a lot of different reasons.
There’s a soothing quality to it. There’s something about incorporating the body in a somatic way and also what I found is people want to do something. And I know with the Three Principles, at least for the first couple of years that I was exposed to it, tell me what I can do. I want to do something.
I spent three years after I learned about the Principles and nothing happened so it wasn’t till I revisited and my understanding and grounding started to grow.
I think if we can hook our cognitive brain on something to do, which I find the tapping is useful for with clients, then the teaching kind of sneaks in past your brain. So that, for me, is how I see it right now that could change. I might see it very differently in a few years or tomorrow. And again, people like something to do, even though I know what’s really happening and I can teach while they’re kind of distracted with doing something.
Alexandra: Yes. There’s so much to love in what you’ve said and one of the things that occurs to me: I did EFT for a while and it is so soothing. I just found it so soothing and calming.
I imagine there’s two things going on. One is that the meridians that you’re tapping on are actually soothing your body. But then the other thing I think I noticed was that when I started doing it, it was almost like a Pavlovian response. My body would just go, “Oh OK, I’m safe now. We’re doing this.” I loved that about it as well.
But then what you said about facilitating insight. I love that so much because one of the things people talk about him in the Principles is that insight can happen at any time, which of course it can and our wisdom can reach us at any point. I do personally find that I tend to get more insights when I’m in a calmer state.
I can see how using EFT to kind of facilitate that calmer state would be such a great thing for people. I also loved what you said about giving people something to do because you get stuck.
You touched on it briefly about writing the book with your partner and that you wanted to share your outlook about money. So maybe give us an overview.
What is that that you guys do differently that you want to share?
Stephanie: I think what we do differently with money and our finances is that what we’ve noticed over the years is the way we look at money and resources and the material world is significantly different than other people. We take a very long-term perspective.
For one thing, we’re both unusually rational. I’m grateful for Karen’s mother because her mother is super-rational and I think she really instilled her with that. My parents, not so much, but somehow it came anyway.
In the principles, people talk about having something ‘on something’. You’ve got thinking about something. I’ve got this issue because I’ve got a lot of thinking on it or there’s something on it.
Well for us both, we’re fortunate enough that we don’t seem to have a lot on money. So it’s been fairly easy for both of us to have clarity around it and to make very solid decisions. So from a Three Principles perspective what I’ve realized and with the EFT and my practice with clients is when you can get people out of their own way with respect to all they’re thinking about money and their ideas and beliefs and all the subconscious stories and stuff so that they can have clarity around just what might be the actions they’re taking and not taking which might be just money itself.
All of a sudden, your decisions change. The way you look at it changes. You don’t necessarily feel the need to have money burn a hole in your pocket. It just doesn’t make sense anymore. And you’re not afraid to look at your budget, or you’re not afraid to do your taxes. It’s just it’s a complete game changer with respect to that.
So with the book there’s that piece. But then there’s also the practical perspectives of just kind of being very unusual in like how we’ve never had debt, either one of us, because it never made sense. But we’re in a society where that’s really important. People are used to debt. People think that’s a given. Our grandparents didn’t.
We’re trying to bring some of these concepts that people have either forgotten about or just aren’t popular in our culture. They are common in some other cultures to people’s awareness. Because from those perspectives you just make better financial decisions.
Alexandra: Right. It’s like looking at it with a different kind of lens anyway.
So one of the things I loved in your book, right at the very beginning you talk about – I was going to use the word delusion. I’m not sure if that’s the right word – what an interesting concept money is because it used to apply to the gold standard. And you explain that briefly. I don’t know a lot about the gold standard but you mentioned, and I didn’t even realize this, that there is no gold standard anymore.
One of the things you say is money isn’t what we think it is. Can you talk about that a little bit?
Stephanie: That is the bottom line right there. Money isn’t what we think it is. That could be the whole book.
But really, that is the case because a lot of people don’t know that our money is not backed by gold anymore. There’s nothing. So it is a total and complete construct, which is kind of mind-blowing just in itself even without it Three Principles approach.
Now take in what that really means on a consciousness level is that collectively we create the value that is money and individually we also create that. So we have an idea of what something’s worth, or what we’re worth, or what we deserve. And it’s just not true. None of it’s true.
And in fact, one of the things that I’ve really been playing with the clients recently is I’ve had an insight about it about and about deserving and worth. So often with money people have this idea that I don’t deserve a better life or don’t deserve that much. Even if it’s not conscious they might recognize that it’s an old story or that yeah I’m not worth this or I’m not good enough.
What I really started to see is that worth and deserving are irrelevant, like profoundly irrelevant. That we even think that we have worth or deserving based on anything other than just our essence of consciousness is a completely made up.
It’s just not real. And so when people are able to see that and sometimes get a glimpse of it, it’s mindblowing because most people are walking around with this idea of issues around deserving and worth and which are totally connected to money. And when that dissolves …
What is worthy? It’s not even that. Is consciousness worthy? What does that even mean?
So when we put it to money then again, it’s like this idea that it’s just what we think it is. It’s what we think our material world needs to look like or be. It’s what we have expectations about all the things that hold us back from having more. That’s all fine.
No really. Money itself is what we think it is. Our relationship to money is what we think it is. So from the Three Principles perspective it’s fantastic news because anybody in the Three Principles community has a sense that they’re comfortable. We know that whether we see it insightfully or not most of us get it from that conceptual way and they’re like oh that’s interesting. That’s kind of yummy. I can see that a little differently.
Alexandra: Yes. It’s such a deep topic and it is kind of mind bending in a way when you start to think about it in relation to the Principles I love that.
One of the things you touched on in the book too a little bit, is limiting beliefs and how those are made up.
Maybe for those in the audience who are new to the Principles, could you explain that a little bit. How are limiting beliefs are made up?
Stephanie: Sure. We’re all walking around with this idea of who we are and what we believe in our opinions and our preferences. And that comes from somewhere. We were just born with a set of beliefs. We were born with a set of opinions. That started to grow over time based on what information came to us from our environment so or our experience.
We draw conclusions based on things when we’re little. OK well we see something happen and we have to make sense of it. I call it the writing on your wall.
We start getting this writing on our wall about what we believe, who we are, what our place is in the world, what things mean, what money is, what our resources mean, what it means to have and have not, what it means to be good enough or not good enough. And that can come from our parents, that can come from our peers, that can come from experiences at school. It comes from TV. It comes from the stupid magazines people read.
How many magazines do you see when you’re standing in the line up at the grocery store and they’re telling you how to have better everything. It’s everywhere. It’s ubiquitous. So that all gets written on the wall of who we think we are. And we’re constantly referring back to that subconsciously, usually unconsciously. That really creates this filter of how we see everything.
But from a Three Principles perspective, we get it. That’s all fine. And it’s all made up. It was never real. Even when we put it there ever it never was real.
It just appeared real because it made sense at the time and explain something so bang. We just put that on our wall OK. That makes sense. I feel safe when or whatever conclusion we draw to let that be there. Well my parents think it’s true so it must be true. I need to fit in with my family so I’m going to write that one on my wall.
Every place it came from with made up. Everything we wrote down was made up. And that is what forms our beliefs about ourselves in the world. So starting to see that it’s very freeing because you kind of go whoa. When you run into one and they’re there all the time you kind of like oh look at that.
That’s a big one. That is a loud one that plays a lot on auto play in my background that is like whoa, I got the “I’m not enough” playing all the time. I can just tune it out because I know it’s not real or I could really put it in front of me and really believe it.
Alexandra:Yeah and one of the things I love about the Principles working in a situation like this with limiting beliefs, or with beliefs that we have about ourselves, is that in the past if I found a limiting belief I would work really hard to dissolve it or get rid of it or change it or whatever the thing was.
But now with an understanding of where experience comes from there’s so much less weight. I find when I discover a limiting belief because I know it’s just thought and insight will help to dissolve it or shift it. Or it won’t. But that’s OK too. Just recognizing it as thought is helpful.
Do your clients find that as well?
Stephanie: Totally. Yeah.
With the tapping when I’m bringing the EFT what I’ll have people do is repeat that limiting belief. If they can name it and then you just keep tapping and you keep saying it over and over and over. And when you start to introduce the idea that it’s all for it’s all made up.
Often they’ll just have an insight that they see how funny it is. Usually it turns into ridiculousness. It seems absurd and more often than not. That’s one of the common things that happened in one of my favorite things in the session is when a client just gets out. Oh my God this looks ridiculous. Believing that and it just it pops. It just pops a belief and it’s gone.
Alexandra: I love hearing that. We’ve touched on EFT a couple of different times so explain ULTRA EFT which is the name that you’ve coined. Tell us a bit more about that.
Stephanie:What I realized was after I came back to the Three Principles and went deeper and deeper that it was really changing my EFT practice and I could not do it the same way. So after a very short while I realized wow I’m not actually doing traditional EFT at all so I better call it something different, just so people know that they’re getting into something different.
I’m not going to go dive into your past. We don’t need to be a detective and go searching for every aspect of something. And so I really struggled with what to do at that point and I realized I still love tapping. So I just need to rename it and I thought about what rename it and it came to me and it’s like how can I bring in the Three Principals? Understanding life through realization and awareness. So it sounds really fun. Ultra.
Alexandra: I’m curious about this for myself, have you received any pushback from the EMT community or from the Principles community because sometimes people can get a little caught up in what they think is the right way to do something.
Stephanie: That’s a very interesting question. I haven’t brought it to the Three Principals community. So even just having this on this podcast. Oh my God. The Three Principles police are going to come after me.
But what I’ve just started to realize that I don’t care so much because that’s all I thought. And that’s it. I’m open to the tapping falling away. I don’t really care but it’s it seems to be working right now.
For me it just feels like if you had a stiff muscle you go to a massage therapist. Is that Three Principles based? No, it’s not. So that’s how I how I’m seeing it right now.
So I haven’t even brought it really to the Three Principles world at all so I don’t know what people would think of it.
For the EFT world that has been interesting because I’m going to be bringing it more to the EFT world and I am sure that there’s going to be big pushback. What I have noticed is when I have introduced it to a handful of few practitioners they didn’t like it because they want to go back. There’s an attachment to finding that exact belief and thinking that it’s real. So that’s been interesting when I bring it to people who don’t know or who just been clients and they’re just open everybody time. It’s so interesting how a structure of beliefs no matter what it is can get in the way. Isn’t that funny? That’s human.
I might get a lot of pushback from the EFT world. We’ll see.
Alexandra: Yeah. Oh interesting.
As long as you’re helping people you know who cares?
Stephanie: I think it’s an opportunity to bring the Three Principles to a larger audience. That’s one of the things that I’m really hoping to do with bringing in the EFT as well because I think all of us who have had the good fortune of encountering the Three Principles, I think all of us have that feeling in our cells that we need to bring this to more people. And so this is kind of my way of hoping to bring it to all people.
Alexandra: Yes lovely. And so the book Money Is Not Scary. It’s your first book correct?
Alexandra: If someone were to read it, what would sort of be your ideal outcome for them?
Stephanie: My dream outcome would be that they read it and they just have insight after insight.
That is my dream. That it drips. What I’ve tried to do with the book is pepper the whole book with pointing to the Three Principles, although not so super overtly. I don’t even name consciousness and mind but I talk a lot more about thought. It’s peppered through every chapter.
The reader is going to be like, “Why is she talking about thought again?” For somebody who doesn’t know the three principles. I’m pretty transparent about it. I’m hoping that people will start to see something by the end.
So one is that they see something. The other is that there are some practical new vantage points that people can see from. We introduce some new lenses, like you said, lenses to look through about their money and the material world. So if someone could just even take one of those I would be delighted that they could make a change for the better in their finances and their financial world.
Alexandra: Lovely. And one of the things I thought was really interesting is that you’re going to have links to videos to introduce people to tapping.
It’s kind of like you’ve written sort of an interactive experience in a way because of that.
Stephanie: I hope so because I thought that would make it more fun. I was hoping to bring some fun into it.
Alexandra: That’s great. Let’s see, how do I want to phrase this question?
Money can be such a fraught subject. I have a friend who said the big three things in our lives with really a lot of energy attached to them are money, relationships and oh geez I forget what the third one does.
I imagine with a Three Principles approach and the awareness that everyone is connected to their own well-being and wisdom and that you’re not really having to carry that load for them. You’re just pointing them in the direction of what’s already there.
As a practitioner there’s less weight or pressure on you. Would you say that’s true?
Stephanie: Totally. Oh yeah.
Recently in different groups I’m in, I’ve heard some different Three Principles teachers and coaches talk about that. It seems like a lot of people when they start to realize that it’s not their job to make somebody have an insight or take an action, there’s a lot of freedom in that and it’s not our job to do that. So all we can do is point to the truth of what how it works.
Letting go of that expectation that something has to happen, because sometimes you plant a seed or something happens months or years later, you don’t know when that’s going to happen. We just do the best to share from where we are now.
Alexandra: As we’re chatting, I can just feel a difference between working in this way the way that you’re working in and then the way maybe a traditional money coach or counselor would work.
It just feels so free and light and for you and for the client as well. And that’s definitely the sense I got while I was reading your book too. So it’s a good feeling.
Stephanie: Awesome. It’s all energy. It really is and we’re the ones in our own way and we just don’t see it. And that’s OK. And it’s kind of funny when you start to see it. It is light. It can be light.
People might feel like it’s still heavy. Money is such a heavy issue. Debt is such a heavy issue. But is it or do we just have heavy thinking about it? What if there are solutions? And even though we might not like them because we have thoughts that say I don’t like what I have to do, it doesn’t have to be hard.
Alexandra: That’s such a great point. It doesn’t have to be hard.
And I think so many of us do walk through life with so much weight on our backs about money, thinking it does have to be hard. We have to be worried about it and it has to be fraught was the used word I used before. That weightyness to it that isn’t necessary really.
It’s like anything else; it’s made of thought.
Stephanie: Yeah. And we’re just feeling that has nothing to do with the money at all. Not even a little bit.
Alexandra: For myself personally, the Principles have helped me an incredible amount with anxiety around money. I used to wake up in the middle of the night with knots in my stomach and lie awake for hours worrying about money. And just over the course of time understanding more about where my experience is coming from, that’s completely dropped away. Which has been extraordinary.
It’s sort of like a side effect of learning more about this understanding. It’s been great.
Stephanie: Really cool. But that’s how it works right?
Stephanie: People might be focused on or hoping to have an insight about money and the next thing you know like you’re dropping weight or your relationship is better.
It’s like with anything that happens with EFT alone as well because it’s something that affects every area of their lives.
Alexandra: I love that expression that a rising tide lifts all boats and that’s what the principles are really like.
I imagine your clients must have insights not just about money but about other things in their lives.
Stephanie: Yeah, totally.
Alexandra: Do you do tapping with them as part of your coaching?
Stephanie: Yes. Sometimes, I do. I used to tap on people in person. Which I like, tapping on a person. A lot of the EFT practitioners don’t do that but.
But now I just have the client tap they follow while we’re talking. So we’re kind of having a 3P conversation while we’re tapping.
Alexandra: I’m just fascinated. This is so incredible. This has been amazing chatting with you.
Before we go, let people know where they can find out more and about you and your new book.
Stephanie: Sure. You can check me out at innerpeaceandflow.com. Stephanie Wood was taken. There some Stephanie Wood who’s a porn star.
I’m hoping the book will come out by the end of the summer.
Alexandra: Great. OK, so this show will go live on July 31 so if it’s not available then I’ll go back and put a link in afterward to the book.
Thank you so much Stephanie, it’s been lovely chatting with you.
Stephanie: Likewise. Bye.
[Piggy bank image courtesy Fabian Blank and Unsplash.]