Food and Weight: An Ongoing Journey

Reframing and The Law of Attraction

Posted on: October 10, 2012


Christine Hassler has written an excellent article on The Huffington Post called “The Flaw with the Law of Attraction.”

Now you may wonder why I’m noting an article about attracting things into our lives here.  The thing is, we do want to attract something into our lives when we make the effort to do a weight loss program.  But what exactly are we trying to attract?

The Law of Attraction is fairly commonly stated as: “we will bring into our lives what we focus on, visualize, think about and affirm with our words.”  Or, as my friend Vanessa Talma used to say:  “Whatever you focus 51% of your attention on is what you will have in your life.  Would you rather focus on gardens or gutters?”

You might say you want to have a better figure, or be a certain weight, but let’s go a little deeper. My WW leader often notes that there is a reason for every action we take — we just have to be willing to look to find it.  So, whatever our goal is, what do we perceive as the results that follow reaching that goal?  For some of us, reaching our goal will have results such as attracting a better quality of possible mates, for others it might be being perceived as more professional or polished, for still others it might mean having more energy for trying new things.  Whatever it is, the more clearly we can see what we really want the goal to deliver to us, the more likely we are to get it.

Now, Ms. Hassler posits a flaw with the Law of Attraction:  that even when we think we are doing all the right things to make it work, if we don’t believe at bottom that we are worthy of the things we want the goal to deliver, even if we reach the goal (which will be much harder to do), those things won’t bring us what we “really, really want,”* nor will we be able to sustain the changes necessary to maintain the results

Ms. Hassler provides us with some steps for discovering and getting rid of those limiting beliefs, which I will list here:

  1. Discover it. 
  2. Acknowledge it. 
  3. Ask it what its highest purpose is. 
  4. Thank it.
  5. Bust it.
  6. Upgrade it.
  7. Set an intention and keep your word!

Sound familiar to you?  It should.  These  steps are the process we call reframing.

In reframing, as we discuss it at meetings, first you identify a behavior or pattern you want to change (Discover it).  Then you look to see what the payoff for doing that action (or having that pattern) is (Acknowledge it; Determine its highest purpose; Thank it).   Then we consider how we can change that behavior or pattern, and what the desired outcome of practicing the new behavior or action will be (Bust it; Upgrade it).  Mindfully implement the behavioral changes (Set an intention & keep your word).

In her novel, 2150, A.D., Thea Alexander puts it a lot more succinctly; her teaching characters note over and over (as part of their Macro Philosophy) that, with sufficient desire and belief, anything is possible.

My point is that, with a willingness to face oneself warts and all, one can change one’s behavior in such a way that the changes will stick.  I’m not going to say it’s easy…looking at ourselves with the cold, hard light of truth can be damned uncomfortable at times.   But it is a worthy endeavor.

Let me give you an example from my own life.  As many of you may know I was a battered kid.  Not only was I physically whomped on, but my father took every opportunity to tell me how stupid and substandard I was.  Over the years, my grades declined, and I became convinced that I had to try twice as hard to be even a quarter as good as others.  It took me two years to get my first two college credit.  It took me two and a half years to get a two-year degree as a secretary.   At some point, I started looking at my life, and discovered that this voice telling me how stupid I was wasn”t even my voice, but Dad’s.    Once I did that, however, I began to realize that maybe I wasn’t stupid.  I went back to school, and got my Bachelor’ of Science in Business Management.  I have been coming more and more into my own as I am able to let go more and more of what my  father drummed into my head. It’s not easy to do — I’d be lying if I said I could do it all the time and easily; Dad’s voice pops up at the damndest times.  But I now know that voice for what it is, and I can combat falling victim to it a good deal of the time.

One thing I know for sure (sorry, Oprah) is that for me, the Law of Attraction has always worked by bringing into my life the people and situations I need in order to learn and grow, and I am grateful for that.

So My questions for you are:  Do you believe in the Law of Attraction?  How does it manifest in your life?  Who do the critical voices in your head really belong to? 

Further, if you really want to play along at home:

  • Pick a behavior or pattern you really want to change.
  • What is the payoff for doing that behavior or following that pattern?
  • Who triggered the behavior or pattern?  
  • What were the circumstances?  
  • Whose voice is it in your head?
  • What can you do differently?
  • If you do change the behavior, what will the results be?
  • Are you willing to commit at least a month to changing your behavior or pattern?

If you have said yes to the above, what I have to say is “GO FOR IT!”  And if you need or want someone to cheer you on, I got your back!

*Apologies to both the Spice Girls, and to those who are appalled that I would know anything by them.

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1 Response to "Reframing and The Law of Attraction"

My friend Miriam emailed me the following comments on this entry, and gave me permission to post them for her:

“I am also focused on lowering my weight and I really liked your blog entry on reprogramming habits by reframing. It was fabulous!

While I have used reframing sucessfully, I find my biggest problem is the inertia of going it alone. I find it difficult to remain motivated unless it involves some type of interaction with others. Somehow, my basic childhood programming was to work as part of a group of women, performing tasks. It seems that I’m somehow ‘addicted’ to the social feedback that results from working with others. My iteration process has an external loop. Do you have any ideas on this?

Actually, this stumbling block seems to apply to much of my endeavors. I seem to be listening for an external group consensus with my subconscious and it is very difficult to isolate & defuse that. Not quite parental approval, rather a commitment by the group that it’s now my turn to use their collective effort. Over the long haul, I find that people reject my leadership style, regardless of my efforts to be supportive, fair and free with praise. I feel that it is somehow tied to my assertive personality incongruously asking for help. For example, ‘That self-assured person couldn’t possibly need my help because I need them to be strong so that I can rely on them.'”

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