A few weeks ago, which feels like the Paleolithic Age at this point, I found myself sitting at my kitchen table one morning doing a round of vowel screaming.
I imagine my next-door neighbors might have paused over their strawberries and cream oatmeal and tilted their heads to the sky. Surely that couldn’t be their quiet, unassuming neighbor yelling out “a,” “e,” “i,” “o” and “u?” Aah, but it was.
No, I hadn’t already lost it after a few days of working from home. I was being coached by Baerbel Froehlin, a HypnoCoach and Emotional Freedom Technique expert. Perhaps you’ve heard of tapping? Same thing. It’s using your fingers to repeatedly tap certain spots on your body to help relieve emotional distress, such as anxiety. I’d interviewed Froehlin for a column about tapping many years ago and she reached out to reconnect in this tumultuous time.
Before we yelled through the vowels together — she did it on her end of the line, I did it on mine — Froehlin led me through a tapping session after asking how I was feeling. Sad, I told her. We talked about a few things that were making me sad, of which most I’m sure you can guess. Then she had me use the tips of my fingers (not my thumbs) to gently and repeatedly tap on the bones under my eyes as she spoke affirmations and had me repeat them. She made sure to phrase the thoughts as though they were already happening: “I am healed, whole and healthy,” for example.
“When you get into a light trance state, when your eyes are closed and you’re breathing and tapping, that’s a trance,” Froehlin said. “That’s when the door to the subconscious opens and all the good wishes can go in there. Every single person benefits every single time, no matter what, from a light trance.”
And then we hit the vowel work. Big breath in and yell “a” for as long as you can. I can see how it’s a stress reliever, much like it might be for those who take to the privacy of their vehicles to scream. I might have done this once or twice. It’s also a nice spot to have a raging cry, for whatever that’s worth.
Froehlin says each of the vowels connects to a body part: “a” to the brain, “e” is in the throat, “i” is in the heart, “o” is for intestines and stomach, and “u” is the pelvis area.
“Notice how light you feel,” she says about the exercise. “Families should do this. Pause three times a day and do this. Kids and parents will love it. It gets the tension out, especially at night, when you can get rid of all the stuff that worried you during the day. And you can laugh afterwards. That’s a bonus.”
What you have to say
Readers, last we met I asked how you were doing and you responded. Here are some snippets:
“Every night I walk outside to look at the sky and thank the creator for this beautiful world. Last night with the new moon and less traffic noise was particularly peaceful. Quietly slowing down and listening to what nature has to say helps to calm the fears,” B.J. Moser wrote.
“Since the food tours job I was doing has temporarily shut down, my baseball presentations and craft shows events canceled, I do have more time. I reopened my Etsy shop,” Roger Hadix said.
“On the downside, we canceled our camping vacation to Arizona and California. Bummer. On the upside, I now have a month of clear calendar and no social gatherings. Property and house projects that have been on the to-do list for months or years are getting done,” Steve Fuhrmann wrote.
“One really bright spot in this awful mess comes from the Metropolitan Opera. They are streaming operas from past years on their stage, free, every day for the duration of the shutdown. To be able to see full operas in my own home has been wonderful beyond words,” Carol Wilson said.
“Write a story from your life. I know, I know. You say you can’t write, you hate to write. Whatever. But everyone has a story. Write one down. You’re not trying to get an A on it. Just tell it. Share it with your great aunt in North Dakota, if no one else,” Lucy Bell wrote.
“I have been able to do very little in the frontal lobe department, but for some reason, thinking up silly limericks has helped me,” Amy Brooks said.
Dress in vogue with fresh stay-at-home slouchy,
Use your Zoom, and embrace the new grouchy,
Heed the Shelter-in Place,
Keep your hands off your face,
Hunker in, and believe Dr. Fauci
Contact the writer: 636-0270