Ep.05: 90 Seconds to Reframe and Release Any Negative Emotion
In this episode we explore how you can in 90 seconds or less metabolize, reframe, and release any negative emotion. It’s a technique that I learned a while back that has really changed my life. It’s changed the way that I react to low vibration people or negative events so that I can maintain a consistent positive vibe.
IN THIS EPISODE YOU’LL LEARN:
- 6 questions that help you metabolize, reframe and release any negative emotion.
- 2 personal stories that illustrate this process in action
LINKS AND RESOURCES:
Grab your 90 Second Emotion cheat sheet HERE
Keep in touch by liking our Facebook page!
This transcript has been edited for clarity.
Robyn: Welcome to our fifth-ever episode. I’m so grateful for your support.
The “Your High Vibration Life” page on Facebook is growing and it makes me so happy to see your comments in the reviews on iTunes. It makes me feel like my work matters and that’s what we want from our work, right? We want our life and our work and the love and service that we give to matter.
That brings me to today’s topic that I’m really excited about, and that is how you can, in 90 seconds or less, metabolize, reframe, and release any negative emotion. In this episode, I’m going to share with you something that I didn’t develop for you. I developed it, as they say, “to scratch my own itch.”
It’s a technique that I learned that has really changed my life. It’s changed the way that I react to low vibration people or negative events in my life.
We talked about the base of the wellness pyramid last week and we talked about one simple strategy. I gave you our green smoothie grid. But you know, what’s just as important is how we deal with our emotions and how we deal with conflict.
None of us get through life without some significant conflict, and the differentiator between those that are happy and those who aren’t (I’m convinced) is how we break down those conflicts, how we react, what we do with it after it happens. Very frankly, for my life to go where I want it to, I do not have time to have dumb little papercut problems, or other people’s words or actions weighing me down or putting me in a bad mood, or bleeding my energy away with negative thoughts or having negative charges against other people, and so to solve that issue, I’ve got another quick and dirty hack.
I developed this [technique] to completely shift my own energies and make negatives into positives. I developed it by doing it, by practicing it, by keeping it around in my life because it’s so useful and it’s really helped me solve countless problems.
In today’s show, I’m going to walk you through [this technique] and I’m also going to give you a cheat sheet in the show notes to be able to print this off, these six really important questions, and you’ll memorize it really easily after you do it just a few times. I hope for this to be as helpful for you as it has been for me.
I developed this 90-second technique in the wake of a childhood of a lot of physical and emotional abuse, in the wake of a tough divorce. I’ve been divorced now for eight years after being married for 20. I developed this as I parented teens and young adults as a single mom, which is a tough job, and I developed this through a very traumatic experience in which I found myself in a fight with a billion-dollar company that I thought at various points would destroy me financially. Also, I developed this just living life.
Let me ask you two quick things. First of all, have low vibration people come into your world? Second of all, have really lousy things randomly happened to you? Of course they have. Of course you said yes to both of those things and I don’t believe, like a lot of people who talk about vibration and a lot of people who talk about energetics and the law of attraction, if something happens to you that you must have attracted it, that there’s something that you can do. I believe in randomness. I believe that some things are completely random. I do believe, however, that we can always learn and grow and increase our vibration based on our reaction to what happens to us.
What I want to dive into here is how you can have a really lousy thing happen to you and within minutes, in your head and in your heart, you’ve come to an understanding of it, you’ve made decisions from a calm, centered, neutral place, and then you’ve released the negative energies and you’ve kept some positive ones and you’re actually happier than you were before the whole lousy thing happened to you in the first place.
The way I like to tell this isn’t so much to tell but rather to show, as much as that’s possible with a podcast. I’m going to tell you a story.
90 Seconds to Reframe and Release Any Negative Emotion: My Story
To set it up, I started to discover this the day that I turned 40. I woke up and before I got out of bed, I thought, “Today is the day that lots of things change. I don’t say that I hate things anymore. I no longer hate country music. In fact, I like it. I don’t dislike dogs jumping on me and licking me anymore. In fact, I love dogs.”
I was saying things to myself before I got out of bed on my 40th birthday. There were several other things that don’t seem like a big deal, but they were my early practice in how sometimes turning things 180 degrees is easier than turning them 30 degrees. I think there should be a Pareto principle for that, you know the 80/20 rule, because I think it applies to many things in life.
This 40th birthday, where I decided that I don’t hate country music anymore and that I don’t dislike dogs jumping on me and licking me anymore, after the success I had with that that I’m about to tell you about, I decided (this one was just a few years ago) to stop saying, “I don’t like marketing.” I decided to stop saying, “I’m not a natural CEO. I just landed here. I really just wanted to be a teacher.” I stopped saying that. I decided to stop saying, “I hate spreadsheets.” That was a common refrain. My employees always had to hear this, and they would send me spreadsheets and they would say, “I’m really sorry. I know you hate spreadsheets.”
The results have been really remarkable as I decided to stop putting myself in little limiting boxes and stop using extremely negative words and actually practicing positive words, sometimes even the opposite. Now I might say, “I’m learning to love marketing. I love what spreadsheets do for my business. I’m a CEO of a successful business and I’m learning and growing and stepping into my power.”
Back to the morning of my 40th birthday. Having decided I now love country music, I went to get in my car and my husband had a country music station blasting which had become a common occurrence. Now this morning, I got into my car and I smiled instead of feeling annoyed because he had recently told me that he was going to get cowboy boots and I had felt about that like, “Wait a minute. Who did I marry here? I didn’t marry a guy who’s going to wear cowboy boots. He didn’t like country music when we got married. When did he become a redneck?”
I made this total energetic shift and it was a choice; I learned from it that you can choose to like things. You can even choose to love things, this being just an example.
Onto the story that leads us to discover how to resolve any negative emotion in 90 seconds or less. A few years ago, I got on a plane to Chicago, and I was really excited because a few years before that, I had reframed my really frequent work/travel schedule and I decided that I absolutely love a day that I get on an airplane. You’ve never heard anybody say that, right? We all love getting there, especially if it’s a vacation, but we don’t love the process and I decided since this was such a big part of my life that I wasn’t going to grumble about it anymore.
I’m a person who loves productivity. I love checking things off a list. I love getting stuff done and I used to resent the packing and the unpacking, the drive to the airport, the long, uncomfortable plane rides, squeezed in next to strangers in a small space, the fact that I couldn’t get any healthy food on the plane or in the airport, the big time waste on both ends.
Then in my reframe, I decided that the drive to the airport was the perfect time to listen to podcasts which is education for me, and it raises my vibration. It’s time on the airplane when I’m getting away from the paper cut days of email and phone calls and meetings where I could devote my entire brain to business planning, to outlining my next book, to dreaming up some big plan. That’s what I do on airplanes now and when I’m walking around the airport waiting for my plane, I have people watching games that I play, and they are fun.
All in all, I seriously love travel and not just the part when I get there, not just the vacation and the beach or the conference that I’m going to, but the whole process, including airplane time. I get so much done and I’ve had some of my very best business ideas on flights.
I get on this plane to Chicago and the guy sitting next to me is clicking his pen over and over again, nonstop, thousands of times. This went on for 10 or 15 minutes to the point where I realized this is just what he does. This is my reality for the next three and a half hours. I felt the sound interrupting the flow of the work I was trying to do and I could not think clearly and very frankly, I was annoyed.
The first thing that I did was to metabolize what was going on. If you eat a banana (imagine you have a banana in your hand right now), you know what it looks like: the curve of it, it’s yellow, it has a peel. That banana sitting there in your hand isn’t doing anything for you, right? It’s not even doing anything for you when it hits your stomach. It’s doing something for you after you metabolize it and it goes through many processes and it moves through different parts of your 35-foot gastrointestinal tract and eventually it becomes energy in cells, or ATP.
The banana in the form that you’re imagining it in your hand has no use to you. It’s when it’s metabolized into its parts that it’s very valuable. So we can metabolize this entire situation. I begin to ask myself questions and they start very, very simple. The first one is with pen-clicker guy, number one, what am I feeling right now? Why am I uncomfortable or unhappy? I’m annoyed. I’m inconvenienced. I wanted to concentrate and get in a flow with my work and instead I’m thinking about this dumb guy and his obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Next question, could I solve this problem? If so, how? Well, yeah. I could ask him to stop really nicely. If that doesn’t work, I could ask the flight attendant to reseat me or I could ask the flight attendant to ask him to stop. Things might get pretty uncomfortable and people around us would probably choose sides and I could even go to the microphone and I could grab it and I could ask if there is a psychiatrist on the plane because a mentally ill gentleman is next to me and I need an intervention. My mind gets a little bit carried away. The point is I could solve this problem. I can ask him to stop. He probably will stop.
Next question, what else could I do that is for my own growth and learning, coming through a completely different door that doesn’t involve so much negative vibration? Anything? If I didn’t ask him to stop, what would be the opposite of that, or at least very different than that, and what might that feel like?
I could do a little experiment. I could take a few minutes and take slow, deep breaths and I could tell myself a story about what this man has been through to get to the point of having some nervous habits. Clearly, he has anxiety. I wonder if he has Asperger’s and he doesn’t read social cues very well from other people around him to know that people don’t like constant pen-clicking right next to them. That would be really stressful and scary and sad. I bet that’s hard for him. His mom isn’t in his life anymore and his dad has had a string of subsequent wives and he’s never been a priority. I bet he has a cat who just died.
Clicking a pen is a pretty small thing that doesn’t really hurt anyone. Geez, there are people who hurt others when they’re hurting. All he’s doing is clicking a pen. I feel sad for him. I love him. I want the best for him. I hope he gets to a happier place.
Let me tell you what happened next. I was so Zen. I felt totally at peace in my cramped little space that, having fully immersed myself in the high vibration emotions of compassion and love which were a challenge to feel but I can totally do it at will and by choice, I felt free to be creative, writing in my notebook. I felt 100% at peace with the pen clicking. It literally did not bother me anymore, not one second. I cranked out a bunch of work that was meaningful to me. I was in the zone. I enjoyed the flight like I always do, and I reinforced an important lesson.
This is a dumb little example, right? Worse things happen to you in any given month than having to sit next to someone with an annoying, noisy habit on a plane. In fact, probably every day.
I could share with you though some really serious, very difficult situations where I’ve applied this same concept with beautiful, miraculous, healing vibration raising results but then I get all emotional and you know what? There are some other people in those stories who might or might not want me to share that story publicly.
What Happens if You Don’t Release?
My stories tend to be small examples but that’s on purpose too, because while pen-clicker guy is not a devastating event in my life, it’s a papercut event, and you’ve heard of being papercut to death. People who don’t metabolize their negative emotions get papercut to death. Literally there are at least 10 studies that people who have a lot of stress and anxiety or anger are more likely to die of a heart attack or cancer than people who smoke.
Over time, small things that we can’t let go of become cancer. They become a hard heart. They become inability to engage authentically in a vulnerable way with other human beings.
I made a quick cheat sheet for you of these exact questions that I ask myself so that you can metabolize an emotion by identifying it, breaking it down so you fully understand it, then reframing it and letting it go. I put it in the show notes.
I’m going to share one more story here. It’s a really magical process that will allow you to feel pure peace, total forgiveness, while, for example, someone flips you off while you’re driving. This is an actual thing that I do. This isn’t the story I’m going to tell you but when I’m out driving and I make an error and someone flips me off, I say, “Gosh. I would really like when this person makes a driving error that he remembers what I’m about to do,” and I wave and I smile.
Usually, they act really startled because nobody waves and smiles when they flip you off. First of all, they’re sort of bugged because they’re like, “Did you not see that I flipped you off, lady? I’m not waving at you,” but the second reaction they have, and you could read it on their face, is that they go into a very quick momentary panic because they’re afraid that they just flipped off somebody they know.
It’s kind of fun, and it’s an example but here’s another fun story that I think you’ll enjoy to help drive home this 90-second metabolize, reframe, and release technique.
Fear and Anger: A Story
I was in the Long Beach airport about four or five years ago and a GreenSmoothieGirl employee and I had been at Expo West for a few days. We go every year. We just want to check out what’s new in the world of health products. For some reason for the flight home, we got to the airport really early. It was actually a few hours before our flight and the waiting area was totally empty.
We were the first ones there and lots of the chairs were metal seats, but there were about four or five really comfy couch-like sitting spaces. Tiffany and I sat on one of them and we spread out all our stuff and we were kind of having a meeting. We wanted to talk through all the different products we’d seen at the show and sort through all of our samples.
We’re having our little business meeting and we’re working and chatting and we’re taking up the whole couch when an older couple walked into the waiting area and the woman walked over to me and she said really angrily, “Why are you taking up that whole couch,” and I said, “Well, because there’s only a few people here in this really big area and if you look over there and over there, there’s some more of them available just like this one,” and she stormed off in a huff.
She wasn’t having any of it. She got an airport security guard and brought him over and told him that Tiffany and I shouldn’t have our backpacks and books all over and that we didn’t need that whole padded bench to ourselves and he told her the same thing. He pointed out to her that she had several other identical options throughout a very large space and so she went over and sat down in one of them with her husband, but she grumbled to him for quite a while really loudly.
Suddenly, I saw her get up, storm across the room, and plopped down right next to me. When I say right next to me, what I mean is she was as close to in my lap as you can get. She was very much in my personal space, right up against me. You can imagine it’s kind of a shock when a hostile stranger suddenly sandwiches her entire body next to you.
Let’s do this together. In my mind, I asked myself some questions, like a doctor trying to come to a diagnosis. We’re stepping on the clutch. We’re putting ourselves into neutral before we react.
So, I asked myself, “What am I feeling right now?” That’s where I start, and it seems like a dumb question but it’s not. As a psychotherapist, we were trained to identify anger as just a reactionary emotion, but it’s a cover up emotion, and underneath it is almost always something much more real and much more important. I’ve developed a really clinical curiosity about what’s really going on when I have an anger emotion or when someone else does.
When anger or fear surface, those are our two lowest vibration emotions, but something is usually underneath them. I want to be more than just a mess of reactions. Don’t you? I want to choose my reaction so when you ask yourself, “What am I feeling right now,” you can acknowledge that you feel anger but then you must ask, “But what else? What is under that?”
When you find out what that more legitimate emotion is, only then can you metabolize it. If all you know is that you’re angry, then you can’t metabolize emotions effectively because we don’t operate well in anger. We have to check in with ourselves, shift into neutral, before we react.
I answered the question, “What am I feeling,” and then when the answer is anger, I say, “And what else?” The answer was, “I feel shocked. I’m scared. I feel unsafe. This was so unexpected,” and then I wondered, “what is she trying to accomplish here?” I realized she’s trying to be provocative. She’s trying to prove a point and because she is angry, she wants me to be angry. She wants to engage me. She wants a conflict.
Again, back to my background as a therapist, we loved a metaphor of the mud puddle. This is a really effective one in divorce. A lot of times, a former couple who’s raising children together but they’re divorced, maybe one or both of them is remarried, one will throw a rope across the mud puddle.
Imagine two people in conflict, there’s mud puddle in between them, and one of them will take a rope and throw it across to the other person. In any conflict, you can stop, shift into neutral, and you can ask yourself, “Do I want to pick up the other end of the rope? What happens if I pick up the other end of the rope and ex-husband is on the other side of the mud puddle? We are going to have a tug of war and one of us and maybe both are going to be covered with mud when it’s over.”
You can always ask yourself, “Do I want to pick up the rope? I don’t have to. This other person may have thrown it across the mud puddle, but it is my choice whether I pick it up or not.” Then I ask myself this very important question. Don’t forget this one. “What would happen if I did the exact opposite thing of what is expected here?”
In other words, now that I’ve shifted into neutral that I need for a few seconds to choose my reaction, I give myself permission to not pick up the rope. I don’t have to give her the conflict she wants and that is when I imagined the angry lady, who has just plopped herself down next to me, to be my grandma and I did this. I laid my head on her shoulder. I nestled into her and I embraced the whole situation of this stranger right up next to me, angry and scary, and I treated her like my safe, kind, loving grandmother.
You can imagine what happened next. She didn’t really plan on being my grandma. She got up and stormed off and I don’t really remember what else happened except that by then, there were a few dozen other people in the waiting area who saw the whole thing and they thought it was a riot. I actually wasn’t trying to be funny. I just chose the opposite of pure reaction.
What ended up happening is that I made a bunch of new friends and everyone there resonated with a process that they hadn’t even seen because it had all happened between my ears and it was the most unexpected thing they’d seen in a long time.
I highly recommend it that you check in with yourself before you react, you break down and metabolize the situation and the emotion, you ask yourself how you might see it differently, and deal with it differently than, for instance, a Neanderthal man would, and then try doing the opposite. Or at least doing something completely different than your first response, something compassionate, something so unexpectedly merciful that it changes your heart.
It completely changes the electrical charge between you and a stranger, or between you and a friend. This works with anyone and anything. Remember, you never know what burden someone is carrying, so be kind.
I hope these stories show you the control you have over your own energetics. If you choose it, you don’t have to pick up the rope that’s been thrown across the mud puddle. There’s a different way to position almost everything. Of course I’ve had times in my life where I’ve reacted, but you know what you do then is you end up telling that story over and over again and the more you tell the story, the more negative charge it has, and the lower your own vibration goes.
You know what they call that, when you refuse to forgive or when you carry grudges or when you nurture and nourish a negative charge based on someone wronging you? It’s like drinking poison and expecting the person who gave you the cup of poison to die. I didn’t make that up. You’ve probably heard it before. But it’s a good reminder, right?
We’ve discussed how our words and our stories and our spin on events in our lives have an effect on others. Next time in episode six, I want to share with you one final story. It’s from my very recent past and it’s something I’m still really emotional about. I want to share it with you because it’s an example of being a master of reframe, how to reframe whatever happens to you for your growth, that middle step, it’s so critical.
Thank you for being with me. I can’t wait to share more about the power of reframing those hard things that happen during the course of a day or a year. That’s next time. See you then and thank you so much for rating and reviewing this podcast in iTunes. I read every single one of them and your love and support mean the whole world to me.