The Power Of Framing - Change Your Language To Change How You Feel
The Participatory Universe
We live in an energetic universe that is held together in what I refer to as The Energy Of Life.
My lived and observed experience supports the view that this is not just a passive or neutral energetic universe, but that we live in a participatory universe and it is by the exercising and management of our energetic state that we align with, and attract, experiences to ourselves.
So the creation of anything that we apply ourselves to is through our energetic state.
Unfortunately since this creative process take place automatically and largely outside of our conscious awareness all too often we end up "chasing our tails" to make up for the impacts of the unintentional miss-creations of our negative energetic states.
An Important Caveat
This is absolutely not to say that we create everything that happens to us and that every circumstance – the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” – are caused by our internal energetic state. Put bluntly bad things do happen to good people.
In “Misguided beliefs and the BIG lie” I noted that:
There is a prevalent belief circulating the western world in general and the US in particular that our thoughts create our total experience and that ultimately we are responsible for everything that happens to us.
This belief postulates that at some deeper level - or maybe in a previous existence or pre-existent state - we have chosen these things that happen to us. This beliefs is present in the "science of the mind" teachings, positive thinking teachings, and more recently the "law of attraction" teachings.
I call this "the big lie" because in my experience the lie is in the overstatement of a partial truth and in the misdirection that anything can be resolved anywhere "if I put my mind to it".
The Relationship Between Our Thoughts, Words & Emotions And Their Results In Our Life Experiences
What we are talking about here is the causal link between inner states and external events.
We are energetic beings. The inner associations that we make and the meanings that we ascribe to those associations are all energy based.
It is those associations, meanings and labellings that forms the inner "map of reality" that determines how we interpret, interact with and react to life experiences.
By changing the words we use to reframe an experience we change the underlying energetic state.
This change in energetic state changes the results that we create.
So there is a direct causal link between how the think about a situation, the words we use to articulate those thoughts, the energetic state associated with those words, and the results we create.
Words Are The "Shortcut Keys" To Our Energetic States
The words that we use have power because of the underlying emotional associations that they invoke..
This applies to our inner dialogue as much as it does to the words we use in everyday speech.
This is also applies - as outlined above - to the unconscious nature of the vast majority of these emotional/energetic associations.
Our words matter!
The Stoics Challenge
In the The Stoic Challenge William Irvine observes:
...the Stoics’ contribution to psychology is particularly impressive; indeed, the Stoic test strategy is based on their appreciation of a phenomenon that has been rediscovered by modern psychologists, who christened it the framing effect:
How we mentally characterize a situation has a profound impact on how we respond to it emotionally.
The Stoics realized that we have considerable flexibility in how we frame the situations we experience.
They discovered, more precisely, that by thinking of setbacks as tests of our character, we can dramatically alter our emotional response to them.
As we have already observed, changing our dominant emotional or energetic state has a profound effect on the positive creations and results that we experience, so any change to the way we reframe a situation is going to have a significant impact on those creations and results.
The Power of Reframing
A personal example
About 15 years ago I got into some serious financial difficulties with my business which eventually led to me going bankrupt.
As you might expect this was a tough time but I made it far harder on myself than I needed to because the word "bankruptcy" had such negative connotations and associations to me - deep powerful associations of failure and shame.
Given the amount of files and documentation involved in filing for bankruptcy I had many physical and electronic files and folders with the heading "Bankruptcy".
So everytime I accessed one of these files I saw the dreaded, horrible, repulsive and loathsome word "bankruptcy".
Given that I had need to access these files many times a day I was constantly exposed to these extreme negative reactions.
Eventually it occurred to me to reframe the naming of these folders and files to "Debt Freedom" - words which were loaded with positive and uplifting energy.
The effect on my psychological and emotional state was massively liberating!
Framing our experiences of Covid-19
As I wrote in a recent article on coping with coronavirus :
"The meaning, point and purpose of your experience of current times is entirely what you choose it to be.
You can allow this time to weaken you and diminish and disempower yourself, OR you can choose to create your own meaning and purpose and use this time to strengthen, refresh and empower yourself!"
How we choose to frame this experience and the words we associate with it can have a major bearing on we deal with it, and the effect it has on us.
When is a lockdown not a lockdown?
Answer: When the Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong addressed the nation on Tuesday (Apr 21 2020), giving an update on the COVID-19 situation in Singapore and refers to what every other country is referring to as "lockdown" as the "circuit breaker".
This is an great example of a positive framing of what otherwise is felt by all the rest of us as a negative experience.
Here in the UK, in common with most countries, we refer to it as the lockdown.
However, the term "lockdown" has associations of prison and prison life and lack of individual control; whereas in contrast, the term "circuit-breaker" implies positive group participation in a collective action to break the grip of the virus and this sounds, and feels, rather more empowering!
If You Change The Way You Look At Things, The Things You Look At Change
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