The frame.

I was facilitating a lesson in a classroom the other day. I had my slides for the presentation projected onto the teacher’s smartboard. My slides showed up on the smartboard by using the split screen. The teacher held down my laptop ‘mouse’ and literally slid (with a finger on the screen) the slide presentation to the right – it magically left my laptop screen and showed up on the smartboard.

Yep. Totally normal. 

Some version of this small and unnotable instance happens gazillions of times daily. And it just is. Our experience of the magic and mystery of digital technology is just normal. Much like the functioning of all living systems when you think about it – the systems that run our physical body, nature, the planet, etc. 

The awe of existing is evident always.

Now let’s consider the stories we tell in day to day life. The stories that get our attention and the stories that we tend to share with others first. The story of lack? suffering? A story that includes external powers in charge resulting in a theme of powerless-ness. Insert anger, an ensuing fight, shutting down, or getting sick. 

All this magical stuff happening and yet what do we say about the powerless story? “It’s real.”

The movie themes that inspire and delight MAJORITY (based on popular culture – superheros? harry potter?) are those of good triumphing over evil and magic being ‘real’. Yet, we may say that ‘that’ only happens in ‘movies’ – again something that is external, something that ‘others’ control. It’s not ‘real’.

In the spirit of a themed holiday that is rooted in one of magic and possibility, let’s consider a tool that I use specifically from a curriculum called ‘top twenty teens’. The tool is not any different than what you may have learned in a psychology class about cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). The difference in the tool (the frame) that I want to share, is that our focus is going to be on our feeling state rather than observable behaviors.

The frame:

Imagine a frame and within the frame is the picture of an event, circumstance, or situation in your life.

the frame.

Considering the ‘picture’ you choose…what do you say about the picture? What is your mindset, paradigm, belief (the story you tell) about the circumstance, situation, or event?

How do you ‘see’ the situation, circumstance, event? Hint: the ‘story you tell’ has a theme.


The theme, the ‘story you tell’, is connected to a ‘state’ – a mood or a feeling.


Your ‘state’ (mood, energy in motion – emotion, feeling…drives behavior – action). The behavior, what you choose to do or not do, is observable. This is where it gets confusing in ‘real’ life. When we don’t take time to slow down, we just observe behavior and react to it. It creates a sense of ‘others in charge’ and that power is external rather than an internal state (the feeling of empowerment).

do. (or don’t do)

Our action or non action drives our own data – the results that show up in our lives. What we ‘get’. 

The observable results, the ‘get’ reinforces the story we tell (“See! I told you!!”).

get. * this is supposed to look like a data point, a graph

And the cycle continues. See.Feel.Do.Get. How I see things is directly connected to a feeling state that drives behavior and influences results. The results further demonstrate evidence of our beliefs and the cycle perpetuates itself. 

When we practice self-awareness and take the time to slow down – we can recognize our patterns. We can influence outcomes when we choose to disrupt the story we tell AND intentionally create new desires – outcomes that match our preferences…or more importantly, we can create desirable outcomes that match our preferred ‘state’ or mood. Our desirable or preferred outcomes resonate with a state of possibility – or well-being.

So. If we take time to slow down and care for ourselves, we can practice skills, tools, and strategies that shift our feeling state – to a preferred state. 

The more practice, the easier it is to catch limiting beliefs that link to a powerless state, or limiting beliefs that link to a false sense of power and a NEED to control outcomes by our actions, and we can resonate with an internal state of true power – our own ability to connect to a feeling state of possibility. Empowerment.