Our Kin: Erin Laishley | Sydney, Australia
Erin Laishley is an accredited EFT Practitioner, life coach and mentor. In this journal she shares her story facing grief and loss and allowing it to transform her perspective on life and success.
Who modelled “success” for you growing up?’
I was blessed to be raised by a single mother, who worked very hard to give me as many opportunities in life as possible. She was a nurse, a midwife, a strong Sagittarian woman who followed her heart and paved her own way in life. She showed me success was not necessarily about money, a relationship or even a career, but rather the connections you forge in life, the way you treat people and your ability to be a kind, caring influence in the world.
How did this shape your early career?
I moved out of home at 19, determined to make my own way in the world, and I suppose on reflection this was a by-product of my upbringing. Initially I attempted a Bachelor of Fine Arts but soon dropped out, and in reality I did not know what I wanted to do. I fell into Life Insurance and worked my way into different areas, always seeking to progress to the next role and build stability in my life. I learned constantly, put my hand up when others wouldn’t and kept my momentum, another lesson from my Mum.
Was there a turning point for you when everything you thought you wanted changed?
Multiple times. But a gigantic turning point came for me in September 2019, when I lost my Mum after a lengthy battle with cancer. I was already, in part, at a crossroads after a redundancy from a job I’d worked very hard for (but had in return burnt me out) - I was again unsure of where to turn next. But the loss made me realise, viscerally, that time here is short. That it is not my duty to climb the ranks or waste time in a job that was unforgiving and beating me down. So I sought something new - from grief I discovered my resilience, my ability to truly connect with, soul, spirit, others and myself. It was a needed redirection, a path I’m still following.
What does your version of success look like now?
There are two parts of this for me.
Firstly, acknowledging and embracing my desire - the things I truly want to create and receive in this life. For years I worked hard because I didn’t feel worthy of what I wanted, so I worked to please others and receive their admiration, praise and acceptance. This is a belief that I’m unravelling so that I can enjoy the fruit, the joy of success on my own terms.
And secondly, success is alignment. It’s flow. Feeling in the zone. Connected, like I’m making a difference and creating a positive ripple effect in the world.
When did you first discover EFT?
EFT was first introduced to me by a Wellness Coach I was working with around 7 years ago now and it’s a tool I’ve danced with ever since, using it to clear various relationship hang-ups, beliefs habits and patterns that irked me over the years.
But I re-discovered EFT in the throes of grief, and it’s a tool that has powerfully transformed my relationship with loss, allowed me to process the complex emotions that come with losing a parent and ultimately find the light, the wisdom and the strength that is present within the pain.
It’s important to note here, that it was not just a tool that saved me, but my willingness to front up, be vulnerable and heal.
The magic of tapping is not the tapping itself, but rather our ability to safely acknowledge, process and release all that we find difficult.
BTW, WTF is EFT?
EFT stands for “Emotional Freedom Technique” - and it does what it says on the box, it allows us to find freedom from the heavy emotions that keep us feeling stuck, stressed and overwhelmed. It’s also known as tapping and combines gentle touch of specific acupressure points on the body whilst voicing our thoughts and feelings in order to release and transform whatever is present.
EFT does not fix or remove emotions, rather it creates a safe space for us to release stress so that we can process emotions fully - and when we process we also have the potential to fully release trauma, physical pain, and patterns.
Do you weave your own EFT practice in with other rituals, or is it a stand-alone thing?
I’m quite intuitive with how and when I use EFT. It’s such a versatile tool - sometimes I use it when I’m feeling especially anxious or unsettled to ground me before focusing on what’s in front of me.
If I’m having a wobble, I’ll use it to process emotions or clear the ripples of grief. Sometimes I just use it in the bathroom at my day job when I feel like I need a perk up. Other times I find it a helpful anchor to bring me back to my heart - to feel more centred and in tune.
Often, I use it in combination with meditation, breathwork and cacao, and if there’s a belief I’m working on unravelling I’ll use journaling to really help me hone in on the various aspects and layers of the story so that I can dive deep and keep track of my own resistance to change. But the amazing thing about tapping is that even after a few rounds of practise you can feel yourself softening, releasing tension and amplifying feelings of groundedness and peace - it’s magic enough of its own accord. No frills required.
You’re also a coach, how do coaching and EFT work together?
My coaching background allows me to ask the right question. To listen deeply and reflect back to whoever is in front of me, exactly what it is they need to confront and clear. It broadens my practise beyond guided tapping and helps me create the space for true acknowledgement, true surrender. I don’t see myself as a healer in my practise, but rather the facilitator of the space for my clients to discover their own healing, their own path to peace.
How do you pause and remember your essence if you have…
2 minutes: Closed eyes. Deep belly breath. Deep exhale. Repeat.
15 minutes: Journalling, a few words about what’s heavy on my heart and some tapping to lighten the load. Normally after a few rounds, the fog lifts and the solution presents itself.
1 hour: I love a big, juicy breathwork session. Nothing makes me as tingly and ever-connected as breathwork.
Tell us what you’re…
Reading: Pretending by Holly Bourne & Untamed by Glennon Doyle
Watching: We’ve just started Season 3 of The West Wing, a bit behind the times but thoroughly enjoying it.
Listening to: I am obsessed with the podcast ‘You’re Wrong About’. I have a real issue with false information (that’s often rife on social media) and I value listening to people who dive deep on subjects so I don’t have to. This podcast is golden and once you start you can’t stop.