There’s a fun game I learned in my comedy improv class that goes something like this: One person in the group is chosen to be, say, the Mayor of a town. Another is chosen to be the Mayor’s PR person, or “spin doctor”. The Mayor takes questions from the rest of the group who are acting as investigative reporters asking tough questions. The Mayor must fully admit to the charges and, in fact, go overboard with too much information about his failings. The spin doctor must reframe the Mayor’s words into a reasonable, rationalized explanation of the Mayor’s actions.
“Mayor, it’s been all over the news that you have done crack cocaine. Is that true?”
“Why, certainly, son! I did the crack cocaine while I was in one of my drunken stupors!”
Spin Doctor: “What the Mayor is saying, is that in order to govern most effectively, he must gain an understanding of the criminal drug element in our city, thus, by doing this sort of research, he has learned valuable information with which to make our communities safer.”
I oftentimes find myself being my own spin doctor–attempting to rationalize and make reasonable decisions I’ve made. It is a type of “reframing”–making the negative look like a positive. There is power in this, because we are much more willing to take responsibility for our actions if we know they are making a positive contribution to society. Of course, there’s a big difference between rationalizing away a crime and reframing your worldview, but it’s a similar mechanism.
Well known corporate trainer, Karen Sladick, says, “Reframing is used to alter the meaning of something. When you use reframing, you look for something positive in everything that happens, regardless of how bad it might seem initially. In every situation, you can learn something to help you grow. Reframing can work wonders and keep you in a positive state more often. To reframe, you need to:
- Change the meaning from negative to positive.
- Identify what you can learn.
- Focus on the benefits to be gained.”
In this way, all information coming to you about you, is framed in a positive context, with both praise and criticisms becoming valuable treasures you can use to create a more and more positive worldview.
A personal example, chronic pain has said to me, “You are doing something wrong in your life and it is diminishing your health and hurling you down to death.” Or, by reframing, pain becomes: “My body is re-adjusting to my positive affirmations and my intention to live a vibrant, ecstatic life. I’m de-toxing old energies, and replacing them with exciting and wonderful feelings.”
By reframing, you are telling your body that you acknowledge its pain, and believe in its intelligence. Of course, by listening you will also receive information about anything you can physically do to help the body along in its journey to happiness and comfort.
Many of my friends know I’ve been going through some physical issues, and I’ve been answering inquiries as to how I’m doing with, “I’m under construction” or “onward and upward”. This way, it’s much better than saying, “fine,” which is actually a lie, and makes me feel isolated. By assuring your friends and loved ones that you are steadily improving, without having to tell a story, they can lend their positivity to yours and the energies can build into a wonderful driving force for good.
As this reframing process continues, you will start to hear positive things about yourself from others which re-enforces your frame of mind, and actually adds energy to the body in repair.
The body wants to follow your intention. Give it something positive to follow!