One of the transformational moves I use with my students is “flipping the context.”
Context is decisive, and the context inside which you live your life is what makes your life great or horrible… not what happens to you.
Here is an example of flipping the context from my favorite horoscope writer, Rob Brezsny:
FLIP-FLOP THE TRAUMATIC IMPRINT
Beauty and Truth Lab researcher A. had just begun her period, and was suffering from debilitating cramps. Massive doses of ibuprofen were not relieving the distress, so she went to her regular acupuncturist, Dr. Lily M, to get relief.
Dr. M. had A. lie down on the table and proceeded to insert 10 needles in her belly and hand and ear. Then Dr. M. introduced a treatment that A. was unfamiliar with: She lightly pounded the nail of A’s left big toe with a small silver hammer for a few minutes.
“Why are you doing that?” A. asked.
“It is good for the uterus,” the doctor replied.
Indeed, A’s cramps diminished as the doctor thumped, and in the days to come they did not recur.
After the session, as A. prepared to leave, the usually reserved M. started up a conversation. A. was surprised, but listened attentively as Dr. M. made a series of revelations. The most surprising was Dr. M’s description of a traumatic event from her own childhood.
During the military occupation of her native Manchuria, a province of China, she was forced to witness Japanese soldiers torturing people she loved. Their primary atrocity was using hammers to drive bamboo shoots through their victims’ big toes.
The moral of the story: Dr. M. has accomplished the heroic feat of reversing the meaning of her most traumatic imprint. She has turned a symbol of pain into a symbol of healing.
Now, although it is easy to write a story like this, it is easy to see that it makes a difference, it is very tricky to create one: you are so stuck in your view of life, that it is hard to move you to look from another angle.
It is also easy to see the changes, but it is near impossible to see what one must do to accomplish that.
I have heard thousands of success stories that were non-repeatable (I call those flash-in the pan results) for a simple sounding reason: unless you know exactly how you produced the result, it happened to you… so all you can do in the future is pray for miracle.
The source of every breakthrough, the source of every unpredictable result is a distinction or a series of distinctions.
The first problem I have encountered so far is teaching students what’s a distinction. And without that the whole thing doesn’t work. What I mean is that unless you can see your “path” from no success to success as a series of blockages, and distinctions to release them, you will never be able to repeat them.
I won’t attempt to teach you what a distinction is in a post… but I have been teaching it on the coaching calls, and as a result students are starting to have real, repeatable successes.
Why do you need to be able to repeat your successes? Because life is not simple. Life is cyclical, life runs by a pattern, and unless you know how to get out, again and again, from the rut, from the trap, from the predictable downward cycle, you had a fortunate event, but not a new and successful life.
In my own life I have had a one-year money and a 3 and a half year health cycle, and they were as predictable as the change of seasons.
Both cycles went so deep down that I would be broke and deadly ill in the deepest point.
Using the exact technology I teach, I have managed to change those cycles. As long as I practice what I teach I can now count on staying on top of my money, and staying well…
My purpose is to give you all the power. My purpose is to become not needed by you. My purpose is to set you free.
Unlike most other “practitioners” that want you to be dependent on them forever.
Because being stuck with the default, the original meaning of an incident is what clipped your soul’s wings in the first place. And you want your soul to fly, you are born to make it fly… that is what it means to be a human being. 1
- One rudimentary way to reverse meaning is saying: She beat you because she loved you… Normally beating means the opposite, but in this example it is flipped. Another well-known way to flip the meaning is asking the student to see who said what was said… and put all responsibility on the speaker’s shoulders… and making the student now have nothing on him, no guilt, no worthlessness. The default meaning is gone. These are simple examples, but they illustrate the principle well.