Choosing A Path

Recently I was driving along a lovely road in the mountains of North Carolina. The rain has been abundant here and so the grass, trees, and shrubs are all rich variations of green. Passing an expansive meadow on the right, I saw a small group of cows all walking earnestly in one direction across the green grass. They traveled a well-worn path toward a gate from which they instinctively knew good things often arrive. All except for one cow…

A single cow had diverged from the group and was traveling along a more narrow, less worn path. This path took a slightly longer and higher route than the other and ended at the same gate.

This scene was captured as a snapshot in my mind. As I drove on, I thought about the dynamics of this small community of cows. I wondered what made the single cow choose a different path. Perhaps there was a patch of especially sweet grass on the alternate route. Maybe the view was better from the higher vantage point. Perhaps she needed some alone time, which I completely understand. The reason for this act of independence and courage was known only to her.

It takes courage to follow a less traveled path. The so-called normal paths are much easier to find and follow – there is less risk and more company. But what if you want to branch out and try alternate paths that others may regard as a little ‘out there’ or unusual?

Meditation, Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT Tapping), breathwork, Reiki, and even yoga may be considered ‘out there’ depending on where you live. Practices like these may mean traveling the less worn path, opening yourself up to criticism and judgment. Peer pressure to conform may make staying on this path a challenge. But trying these alternate paths may also mean finding practices that work exactly right for you, bringing joy and happiness.

These practices have made a world of difference in my life. I love the less worn path because it works for me. These practices help me recognize and easily work through any negative emotions that come up. They help me be a calmer person, which has a beneficial effect on all those around me.

And even after almost 30 years of walking an alternate path or two, I still have a few people who literally laugh at me for my practices. And that’s OK. It can be hard for some people to step outside of their version of normal. They’re doing the best they can with what they have in each moment.

As more scientific evidence provides proof that these techniques work, more people are giving them a try and even incorporating them into teaching modules. For example, the Faculty of Medicine of Lyon-Est in France is offering a university degree in “Therapies Breves,” (short therapies). This degree includes the study of Clinical EFT as part of their mission to bring greater awareness of and acceptance for Energy Psychology in clinical practice throughout the world! The less worn path is becoming more traveled!

If you are considering an alternate path like learning to practice meditation or EFT Tapping, have courage and step onto the path with full intention. You are definitely not alone and there is growing evidence to support you on your journey. With practice, you will begin to notice subtle (and not so subtle) changes for the better in your life. Others may begin to notice, too. Comments like “You seem much happier lately…” may come your way. A knowing smile and a “Thank you” is all the response you need.

Keep Calm and Tap On!

Please remember: It's important to contact a professional if things feel too big for you, whether it be a physician, psychologist, psychiatrist, or certified EFT practitioner. Never discontinue your current medications without first consulting your doctor.