By Kay Packard
Think of your life as an academy award winning movie. You are the creator, writer, director, producer, editor and STAR of your life-movie. Become more empowered by watching, responding, rewriting and acting with words that will bring you an Oscar.
Let’s begin by observing the words we use. Out of routine, we often repeat the same words and phrases. Where did these words and phrases come from? Family, friends, bosses, TV, and society can greatly influence the vocabulary in the scripts we recite. It’s important to look at the words we rehearse so we can see if they are taking us closer to or farther away from our goals, personal power, and ultimately our life-movie-mission. Our words reflect thoughts and feelings that not only touch us, but others in remarkable ways.
Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote “Imitation is suicide”. To live a genuine, optimum life, take some time to reflect on this. If we don’t take charge of our words, thoughts and feelings someone else surely may. Are you acting out someone else’s script or your own?
Here are four steps you may find useful for your film-making.
Step 1: Watch. Be aware of the words you articulate. If you’re not speaking, reflect on the thoughts you’re thinking. Our brains contain mental-highway neuro-systems paved through habituation. Ask yourself ‘who’ authored my screenplay? In this moment your thoughts and words come to you based on the scripts written in the past.
The first step in making a change is to be curious; notice what you’re doing, saying, thinking and feeling. No change can be successfully made without awareness. Awareness requires being conscious. You’re moving between unconscious and conscious acts. Notice the feeling in your body when thinking or speaking associated words. Your body is an excellent indicator of what is working and not working for you. Observe the responses in your body as you say to yourself the following words and phases:
- Purring kitty
- Petting a golden retriever puppy
- Winning $250 on the nickel slot machine
What’s happening in your body when you think these thoughts? Just notice the feeling. When does it feel good, peaceful or uncomfortable? Can you feel it in a particular location in your body? Does it feel heavy or light? Do you feel a pain anywhere? Do you feel a sense of peace and relaxation? This is where you freeze frame. Momentarily freeze or stop your life-movie. Sit with the feeling. Acknowledge the feeling. This is about immediately recognizing your feelings as they occur in your body, so you can accurately choose your course of action.
Step 2: Respond: In responding you are making a decision. You are deciding to accept, enjoy, honor, change or cut what you noticed. No one else is making the decision for you. You are managing the entire movie set. If someone else is doing the directing, remember, you hired that ‘someone’. After saying “Taxes” you may have had a sensation, then decided to respond: “I hate taxes” or “taxes don’t bother me.” You have choices; not to pay, how to pay and when to pay. Do you like the current scene in your movie or do you want to edit and rewrite?
Step 3: Reframe - What is reframing? It is looking at a situation differently, seeing it differently, maybe for the first time, and exercising our choice in words for the situation. During a reframing process ask yourself, “Does this thought or word lift me up, do I feel better, more joy and peace, or does it take me down, do I feel uncomfortable? Feeling ill at ease guides us toward reframe! If the thought doesn’t take us closer to our ideal scene, we can change it.
With taxes, for instance, we can coordinate with an accountant to have the precise amount deducted from our income so that we never owe money on April 15. In movies, the camera and lighting directors create their art by shooting from different angles and using spotlights for focus. In reframing, we focus on words from several angles to see which one is best for the movie.
Step 4: Act - It’s now time to act. The cameras are ready to roll, in accordance with your script and direction. You may be in the mode of self-correction or self acceptance. You’ve done a lot of preparation up to this point. You’ve memorized your lines, the stage is set, the other actors are in place and the clapperboard is slapped shut. We’re at Life University where we’re graduating from one grade to the next and the next. This is a work-in-progress. It’s not about getting to perfect. Rob Reiner and Clint Eastman are writers, directors and actors of their movies. You are too.
Gary Craig, the founder of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), inspired me to create and lead workshops on this topic. I’ve taken words he used and added others. During a number of my workshops, participants have added alternate words for the potentially less-constructive ones. For example, “problem” could be replaced with “challenge”. However, “problem” may not be a negative word in all instances. It makes some people feel better to have a problem to solve. In hand analysis, the head line in the hand reflects the internal computing system. The longer the head line, the longer the time the person spends computing. A long head line needs ‘problems’ to solve. So, choose words that best define you.
Let’s further explore and test some of the words we use and notice how they encourage or derail our sense of well being. This is about seeing and hearing differently. For example when we say the word “can’t”, we may really mean something like, I don’t know how to do that yet or I’m not up for that or I don’t want to do that. To repave your well established mental-highway neuro-system, consider playing with alternate words or phrases. Say some of the words, in bold font below, and see how you feel. Then respond (step 2) and reframe (step 3) to boost your wellbeing.
Angry – challenged, energy release right now, opportunity to connect with my self and see what I value because it’s currently being ignored, I’m on fire (think of the benefit of fire – beauty in the colors and sounds), I’m experiencing a conflict right now, I’m allowing my buttons to be pushed.
Anxious – energetic, contemplative, thoughtful, opportunity to be curious about the cause of this feeling, feeling a little uneasy or a bit restless.
Exhausted or tired – refueling, recharge, revitalizing, replenishing, rejuvenating, renewing, replacing my batteries, back burner processing for healing.
Failure – stubbed my toe, when a door closes another opens, opportunity to overcome, gaining experience, the most successful people have a high tolerance for failure, “I think I can, I think I can”, lesson learned, an opportunity to improve, to do over, a new start, every ‘no’ gets me closer to yes.
Overwhelmed- my cup is overflowing right now, a bit busy, practicing multitasking.
Panic – exhilarated, excited inside, watching what’s going on, observing what’s going on, my nerve endings are reacting, I’m alert, excited inside, amped up.
Paralyzed – temporarily stuck, flat tire, standing my ground, time to take a breath and slow down, balancing my boundaries.
Problem – challenge, opportunity, blip on the radar screen, issue, situation, minor inconvenience, bump in the road.
Rejected- I feel I was misunderstood, been given new input, freed, liberated, released, exploring new ways of receiving and giving recognition and appreciation, becoming immune to rejection when it happens enough, being true to my calling.
Stressed – energized, challenged, involved, active, driven, excessive energy flow, opportunity to be deformed- like rock lava without cracking or rupturing – rocks & minerals do this, diamonds are created under pressure. Instead of stressed, I’m creating a diamond.
Why do this exercise? What is the value in monitoring the words you use? How do the words you employ affect others around you? This is to remind you that you affirm, confirm and reinforce the influence of the words you insert after “I am ______”.
The director and the editor have final say of a released movie. Keep in mind, you have the last say in your Life-Movie – make it an Academy Award winner! I’d like front row seats – please!
“Everything can be taken from a person but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose ones own way.” – Victor Frankl
Kay is an Advanced Hand Analyst and a Certified EFT Practitioner. She regularly leads workshops for positive change and personal empowerment. She gladly travels by invitation. Please visit www.handfactor.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org