EFT Universe Fire Recovery Fund

$46,710 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 692 people in 12 months
Created October 11, 2017

You may have heard about the massive fires in Northern California, which burned 20,000 acres in just a few hours Sunday night to Monday morning. We lost the EFT Universe office building, as well as my home in the massive fire. We were home at the time and here’s what I shared with my close friends and family at 4 am Monday morning:

*** "We feel incredibly grateful to be alive.

At 1:30 a.m. on Monday morning, Oct 9, a wildfire consumed northern Santa Rosa, our home, and the EFT Universe office.

My wife, Christine, woke up at 1 a.m, woke me up, and I saw a glow on the horizon. A minute later, I looked out the window again and I could not believe how fast the fire was moving.

I yelled, "Christine, we are leaving right now." I threw on my clothes, grabbed the car keys and my wife’s hand, and sprinted to the car, which was parked at the office building in the back of the property. As we got to the car, a 40-foot high sheet of flame erupted behind a nearby storage building.

I drove as fast as I dared down our long driveway, past the house, and onto Mark West Springs Road. Smoke filled the air, but the night was lit with a bright yellow glow. The wind howled. We drove out through a firestorm of cinders hitting the car.

A few seconds later and we would not have made it out. I saw one or two cars behind us, but I don't believe many more people made it out of the inferno." ***

We’re creating this GoFundMe campaign as a commitment to live through the destruction of this fire and go on. We are determined to rebuild our lives and to EFT Universe surviving and growing.

As we're mourning our losses and the losses of our neighbors, our hearts have been touched by the incredible outpouring of love and support from our community. Thank you! Our family and friends have taken us in, given us clothes and food, and most importantly, their love and understanding.

Our property is insured, but only part of the contents of the office and house are covered. It will be a while before the insurance company can even start to assess the damage because the area is under a mandatory “no go” evacuation order and ours was one of over 500 homes destroyed on Monday morning and there are still fires burning in the area, as well as smoldering “hot spots” nearby.

We will get the work of EFT Universe up and running as soon as possible. If our work has helped you, and you’d like to give back, we graciously welcome your contributions at this shocking and difficult time. We need $50,000 immediately to help with computers, furniture, and countless other business necessities. All contributions are deeply appreciated and contribute to the immediate continuity of our work.

On a personal note, for me, asking is very difficult. One friend of mine once joked, “Dawson, if you were given a choice, ‘ask’ or ‘die,’ you’d choose die!” But in the last 48 hours, an outpouring of generous support is making our loss more bearable and our family and friends have wisely urged us to simply ask for what we need.

My wife’s daughter Julia brought us to a shelter to get clothes. My son Lionel flew in from New York to help. Christine’s other daughter Jessie accepted a friend's offer to watch her kids so she could come to us. My daughter Rexana arranged for her UC Berkeley classes and a midterm to wait until next week. All of our adult children converged in Northern California Santa Rosa to take care of us. Friends and family have made food and brought meals, and complete strangers have shown us kindness.

It seems the Universe is determined to assist me in learning to receive and to ask! Thanks for being part of this wonderful effort, and I’ll keep you posted as things unfold.

Please read Dawson's blog post #2 for an update:

Please read Dawson's blog post #1 for an update: http://www.eftuniverse.com/blogs/santa-rosa-fire-we-are-safe%E2%80%94house-and-eft-universe-office-gone

A WORD FROM LIONEL (Dawson's son):

This campaign is for my dad, Christine, and the staff of
EFT Universe. I feel deeply shocked and saddened by the loss of my dad's home and the devastation of large sections of my home city. What's unexpected for me is how meaningful and significant the gathering of family around a tragic loss is feeling. We're helping Christine and my dad with love and pride, as they've given us so much and we want to give back.

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Your Losses as Opportunities to Reinvent Yourself

One of the very strange aspects to disasters is the quest to restore survivors to the state they were in before the tragedy.

Before the Tubbs Lane fire, my wife, Christine, and I had a lovely house on a big piece of land. My favorite view was from the kitchen window: The green valley below, and the rolling hills in the distance.

The nearby building that housed our office had floor-to-ceiling windows, and as our team worked there we often saw deer and squirrels scampering by. One of the reasons we stayed there so long was that everything worked. The layout of the space. The ample storage. The flow of activity. The way the property supported our social and professional lives. All the possessions that made our lives flow.

When we began to piece ourselves back together again during the first weeks after the fire, we had many conversations with our insurance company. Once you’ve filed a claim, an insurance company has you make an inventory of everything you owned, and then pays you the depreciated value of those possessions.

The big items are easy to list and remember. Refrigerator, desk, computer, washer, generator. When it gets down to how many sleeping bags or board games you owned, the details are fuzzy. We’ve already put over 200 hours into our inventory over four months and it still isn’t done.

But the insurance company pays you the full price for items you replace, at least up to the coverage limits of your policy. So in the weeks that followed the fire, we bought this and that item that we’d had before. The company also helped us move into a rental that was roughly the equivalent of the home we’d lost in the fire.

One day I stopped in my tracks. I exclaimed to Christine, “Why are trying to re-create exactly what we had before? Are we sure we want to become exactly the people we were before the fire, at least as defined by our possessions?”

Of course the answer was no. I’m never going to restore 1970s British sports cars again, as I did before the fire. I’ve moved on to less space-intensive hobbies. Christine is never going to operate an art school again, with 2,000 big project bins that require an entire garage to store.

The whole mindset of relief agencies, insurance companies, and social support systems after a disaster is to make the survivors whole again. They take a snapshot of what people’s lives looked like before and try to recreate it.

Yet what if we look beyond restoring ourselves to the people we were and instead focus on creating the people we want to become?

Christine and I have decided to change our lifestyle completely. We’re going to travel light and live elegantly. Spending time in boutique hotels has made us think: “What if we decorated our house like a luxury hotel, and pretended we were living in a resort each day? What if we had far fewer possessions, but they were all exquisite? What if we radically simplified our lives and lived free of clutter?”

That’s a whole different mindset.

It applies to the mind as well as the physical world. We ask ourselves: “What habits do we want to keep and which ones do we want to ditch? Which of our previous behaviors and thoughts were self-sabotaging, unnecessary, blind, unconscious?”

These questions lead you recreate your life consciously. You use a life shakeup as an opportunity to define a new vision. The loss of the old does not set you on a quest to rebuild memory lane. Like the phoenix rising from the ashes, you use the loss to birth the new.

You don’t need a fire or other disaster to start living a conscious life. You can use the loss of an old day and the birth of a new dawn to reexamine your priorities and lifestyle and make healthy choices.

Reinvent yourself to your highest vision every day! The conscious life is the one truly worth living.
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Tapping Script for the California Wildfires and Other Disasters

Our hearts go out to all of those affected by the wildfires in California and disasters in other areas. We lost the EFT universe office as well as my home in the Tubbs Lane fire in October. Fires are ravaging Southern California.

At times like this it's hard not to feel helpless and upset as you watch the scenes of wild destruction in the news. Yet it's possible to keep your center even in the midst of tragedy.

I have been keeping a blog here and on Huffington Post describing the emotional stages we've been through, as well as the relief efforts. The post “The Saint in the Ashes” has reached thousands of people and comforted them with its message of hope.

Here is a tapping script you can use to help you regain your peace of mind and find meaning even in a tragedy such as the wildfires. Tap continuously as you repeat these words. Continuous tapping means starting with the head points and working your way down. When you get to the last point, you simply start at the top again.

First, assess how upset you feel on a scale of 0 to 10, with 10 being maximum and 0 being minimum. Write down your number. Then tap along with me while you say these words. (You can change the words to match the disaster you are living through or witnessing.)

This seems overwhelming.
There's nothing I can do to help these poor people.
The images on the news are terrifying.
The flames are out of control.
Everything is burning.
People are dying, and homes are being consumed.
Animals are dying, and trees are being consumed.
There's nothing I can do about any of this.
I feel so helpless.
The fires are out of control, just like parts of my own life are out of control.
I can't control the fires, I can't control the world, and I can't control my own life.
These forces are bigger than me.
They're overwhelming. I don’t know what to do.
I'm trying as hard as I can to manage the world, and it isn't easy.
I'm trying as hard as I can to manage my own life, and it seems impossible.
I can't help these people and I can't help these animals.
I can't help nature and I can't help myself.
It's hopeless. There's nothing I can do.
In the face of senseless tragedy, there is nothing I can do.
In the face of disaster, there's nothing I can do.
In the face of the challenges of my own life, there's nothing I can do.
In the face of so much suffering, I feel helpless.
But I am still me. I am safe, and I am kind
It's only because I am kind that I care about the suffering of all these people.
It's only because I am kind that I care about all the suffering.
It's only because I am loving that I care about the animals and the trees.
It's only because I am safe that I can even worry about all of this.
I love and accept myself where I am.
I love and accept the world the way it is.
I love and accept the world even when it seems outside of my control.
I love and accept my life even when it seems outside of my control.
I don't understand why all these bad things are happening.
I don't understand why bad things happen to other people.
I don't understand why bad things happen to me.
I don't understand why bad things happen at all.
But they do happen, and I'm helpless to stop them.
I love and accept myself even though I'm helpless.
I love and accept myself even though I'm scared.
I love and accept myself regardless of the disturbing images I've seen on the news.
I love and accept myself despite all the death and destruction.
I am safe and I am me.
Nothing can take away who I am.
Nothing can take away my love.
Nothing can take away my kindness.
Even all this death and destruction cannot take away my love and kindness.
I choose to fill my mind with love and kindness despite all the death and destruction I see.
I choose to fill my mind with peace and joy despite all the tragedy.
I can't help others when I am upset myself.
So I choose to remain centered.
I choose to stay in peace.
I choose to stay in love and joy.
When I stay centered, I'm able to think wisely.
From this perspective I can make good decisions about what to do. I am in control.
Despite all the tragedy and suffering in the world…
Despite all the tragedy and suffering in me…
I choose to remain centered.
I choose to give myself the gift of love.
I choose to give myself the gift of inner peace.
Even though all these tragedies are happening in the world, I love and accept myself.
I am at peace, despite all the tragedy in the world.
I cannot change the world, but I can change myself.
I can choose to be at peace, despite the tragedy in the world.
I can choose my inner state, regardless of what is going on around me.
I love and accept myself, even in the midst of chaos.
I affirm the love within me, even when the world is in turmoil.
I send love to those engulfed in tragedy, even as I stay centered myself.
I love and accept myself just the way I am.
I love and accept myself even with all the tragedy in the world.
I love and accept myself and…
I choose to stay centered regardless of what happens in the world.
I am me and I am strong.
I remain centered, strong, and wise regardless of what happens in the world.
I love and accept myself just the way I am.
I send healing and light from my own strong center to those engulfed in tragedy.
In my strength I offer love and healing to everyone who is suffering.
In my strength I offer love and healing to myself.
I especially send love and healing to the parts of my life that feel out of control.
I send love and healing to the parts of myself that are engulfed in tragedy.
I affirm the strength and wisdom of my being.
I am safe and at peace.
I feel that sense of safety and peace throughout my body, mind, and heart.
This is the truth of me.
This is who I am.
I love and accept myself.

Now, tune in again to your body. How upset are you? Rate your number from 0 to 10 again, and see how it’s changed. I encourage you to tap any time you feel upset. You truly will be more centered and at peace. From that perspective you will make wiser decisions and be more effective in responding to any challenging situation whether it’s in your personal life or the life of the planet.
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Butter + Coffee

Yum! Coffee blended with a couple of tablespoons of unsalted organic butter. If you haven’t tried it yet, it probably sounds weird to you. If you have tried it, you might well become an addict, like I am.

A cup of butter coffee in the morning fills you up for hours. It’s part of the new fad of “intermittent fasting,” which means limiting your food intake to 8 hours of the day. Intermittent fasting can be as effective as fasts in which you eat nothing at all, and which are notoriously difficult to sustain. I’ve been enjoying butter coffee for a couple of years.

This week I made my first cup of butter coffee since the fire. It’s been two months. Our lives have been so disrupted that even the morning ritual of making butter coffee, which requires only a blender, coffee maker and fridge, became impossible.

As I ladled the butter into the coffee, my body swelled with an inordinate amount of satisfaction. Butter + coffee meant normalcy. The morning ritual was a tiny symbol that my life was returning to normal.

It’s hard to explain how far from normal life has been. You’re dressing in the morning and you want to match a shirt with a pair of pants with the same color socks. You realize that the socks are in a friend’s garage, half an hour away, while the pants are at the cleaner’s.

You want to charge your Bluetooth speaker, and then it dawns on you that the cord is in a distant storeroom and the power supply is missing. Tasks that take minutes when all your possessions are in your house take hours when they’re scattered among different locations. You get further and further behind, even as the urgency increases.

Your inbox is full of messages from friends wanting to help. People a thousand miles away are offering you shelter. It makes you feel loved, and you appreciate their concern. Yet responding to their emails consumes yet more of the time you need to accomplish the simplest of daily tasks and get your life back into some kind of order.

So the simple act of making my routine morning cup of butter coffee made my body feel warm all over. Two months after the fire, it was a symbol of normalcy in a world turned upside down. When those symbols are few and far between, you treasure them.

We go through our lives taking those normal routines for granted. Our houses, families, and possessions are all around us, and it’s easy to think they’ll be there forever.

They may not be. Savor them while they last! That little ritual you engage in each day might be far more precious than you understand.
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It’s 12:45 a.m. and I’m wide awake.

I’ve been wide awake at that same time every night for the previous week. I can’t get to sleep for at least two hours, and then I toss and turn uneasily till dawn.

I can’t figure out why. I may have the occasional struggle with insomnia, but this is uncanny. Nothing I am able to do is able to calm my racing mind. I tap, I meditate, and I still wake up at exactly 12:45 a.m.

Finally, it hit me. That’s when I woke up on October 9 with the realization that something was wrong, the night I looked out the window and saw a wildfire racing toward our house.

Now my body knows that something bad happened at 12:45 a.m., and it wakes me up with a surge of cortisol.

I performed a key study on the effects of EFT tapping on stress hormones. Our research team randomized people into three groups and tested their cortisol levels before and after therapy. One group got regular talk therapy, one group rested, and the third group tapped. Anxiety and depression went down twice as much in the tapping group, and cortisol declined significantly.

So I know that these techniques work and I know what a cortisol surge looks like. I remember the story of a particular man treated in the Veterans Stress Project, which I founded. He’d endured a mortar attack at 4:45 a.m. on his first day of deployment in Vietnam in 1968. When he came in for treatment, more than 40 years later, he still often woke up at 4:45 a.m.

That’s a typical cortisol surge. Though it was adaptive at getting our ancestors out of danger in past epochs, when it keeps on repeating, it plays havoc with the biochemistry of today’s humans.

Since I’m waking up at 12:45 and staying awake despite my best efforts, I decide to make friends with the pattern. As I lie awake, I focus on being mindful of all the happiness in my life. The fact that I survived the fire. That I have a loving wife, successful children, and a magnificent community. That I have deeply meaningful work that contributes to the healing of thousands of people each year.

Exactly a month after the fire, to the day, I woke up at 1:45, an hour later than usual. And went back to sleep quickly. That meant my body was becoming convinced by my mind. It was no longer repeating the story that death is imminent unless we’re on full alert at 12:45. The same thing happened the following night.

That’s a positive change!

It’s important to love our bodies. So often when they don’t behave, by getting sick or developing patterns like insomnia, we want the problems to go away. We ignore them, deny them, suppress them, get mad at them, or medicate them.

If instead we can strive to understand them and accept our bodies just the way they are, we open the door to healing. Carl Rogers, the great client-centered therapist of the 20th century, called this the paradox of growth: We need to love ourselves just the way we are, with all our problems and limitations. When we do that, we start to change.

When your body knows it will be listened to, it can speak quietly. A little rumble here. A slight pain there. We hear the message and take care of its needs.
When I teach live workshops, I often work with people who’ve been ignoring their bodies or even hating their bodies for many years. They aren’t attuned to the body’s messages. They aren’t picking up those subtle signals.

When its soft communications are ignored, the body has to speak more loudly. The small pain might become arthritis. If ignored, it might become a full-fledged autoimmune disorder. So many people are at war with their bodies, trying to mute their messages with medication or addictive substances.

Growth begins with self-love. Healing begins with self-acceptance, even when circumstances seem unacceptable. Practicing self-love lowers our stress levels and opens our awareness to the potential of our lives. Through that window of possibility, the love, peace and beauty of the universe can shine.
Walking in ashes
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$46,710 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 692 people in 12 months
Created October 11, 2017
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