No. 22 – Reframing

No. 22 – Reframing

Dear One,

My heartfelt intention is to share with you realizations from my previously obstacle laden path which I used to change my life for the better such that these may aid you in navigating through difficulty and, even, finding your Light.

‘Reframing’ was another aide in my return from a chasm of challenge.

Avinash Vagh summarizes this better than I; “Reframing is about creating a new mental landscape with a larger scope of freedom, a greater degree of Flexibility, and a set of alternative ways of approaching any problem.”

Reframing is a “conscious process of trying to see a situation from different perspectives.  …  Another way to think about Reframing is as reinterpreting a difficult or stressful event by working to see it in a different way,” per Tim Jackson, PhD in his article Reframing: Coping Strategies for Resilient Leaders which I found chock full of Reframing ideas.  

Honestly though, when it was suggested to me to Reframe my struggles as opportunities and my endings as possible beginnings, my insides screamed ‘Bunk!’ or, ahem, perhaps something rather less lady-like. 

So, I let the idea just be.  Yet, in time and with reading, I wondered about Reframing; it seemed I could use some Gray Thinking – or rethinking – to move through profound adversity. 

Because, as Ryan Holiday notes in ‘The Obstacle is the Way’, just “because our doubts (and self-doubts) feel real, they have very little bearing on what is and isn’t possible.” 

The recognition slowly dawned; how I saw enormous challenge, what I Focused upon, my perception of what could and couldn’t be done seemed to impact what I actually could do – or not.  Sigh.

As Albert Einstein stated, “we can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”  

So, I gave it a whirl, practicing Re-framing in little ways.  Slowly and Incrementally, new possibilities began forming within.  I opened to considering what I had not previously mulled, nor might never have, had I not begun Reframing and peeking at my circumstances through different lenses.  The point was not to invalidate my feelings but to honestly explore alternate ways of seeing challenging situations – which ultimately, actually changed how I felt about them.

Ryan Holiday’s words further buoyed my hopes; “it is often in [a] most desperate nothing-to-lose state that we are our most creative.  Our best ideas come from there, where obstacles illuminate new options.”  

People who found opportunities within struggles via perspective shifts increased my willingness to authentically Reframe in ways like:

• when ‘What a mess’ came to mind, I added something like, ‘and I’m human; maybe there is a way,’

• if Thoughts catastrophized to my never getting better, I curiously considered others I knew or read about who’d gotten well hence perhaps I could too,

• for times when hopelessness arrived on my scene, I mulled the possibilities of what ‘new’ may be taking shape in my life (even if it was itty bitty or farfetched seeming), and/or

• asking myself different ways to see something.  As Jackson noted in his article, “try to think of as many as possible.”

There’s myriad ways to do this – and more examples are in the above article.  In time, with effort, and continued-keeping-at-it – with mistakes and doubts along the way – Reframing helped Create fruitful shifts. 

When I fell off the Reframing wagon, instead of quitting altogether, I went easy on myself – well, more often – and returned to practicing.  Eventually, I more quickly caught myself when I backslid. 

Looking at hardship in new ways, nearly miraculously in the long run, resulted in Gratitude for what I had been through and for discoveries which I began sharing with others and then via this endeavor.  A nod of thanks to the Divine… 

With Reframing, it’s rather remarkable what can be uncovered and what is, actually, possible.


With my heart-deep belief in you … and with hope that you may consider Reframing to assist in moving through whatever challenges you are – or may – face,


Original Email Date:  October 4, 2020

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