Observe, Acknowledge, Relax and Reframe


What are the sources of our vices? That urge to indulge on an extra slice of pizza when we are full, or our need to escape through alcohol or our cravings for sweets. What drives this in us? These urges tend to originate within so that we can medicate ourselves to gain short term relief. We gain a temporary sense of comfort, certainty, and instant (easy) gratification through a series of compulsive behaviors such as drinking, over eating, cheating, and yelling, etc. Once you develop a set of behavior patterns (whether good or bad) and you repeat it often enough, you get good at it and it becomes a habit.

These impulsive behaviors that drive us to react can be observed best when one meditates. Have you ever in the middle of meditation session felt itchy? If you pay attention to it, the feeling of itchiness gets greater, or another equally distracting sensation might arise, like a strong scent or a sharp pain. If you decide to react to all these types of sensations, then you’ll get hooked on reacting to every sensation that might arise throughout the day. You might ask what I should do then.

The answer: Observe, Acknowledge, Relax and Reframe.

Every time you react to a sensation that arises, you create a habit to react to every situation, to the point it becomes a habitual, unconscious behavior that is integral to who you are. Instead of doing this, I want you to start observing when a sensation rises during your meditation, acknowledge it, relax into the sensation and reframe it instead of reacting to it.

What about if you don’t meditate. How can you use this technique in your daily life?

Well, the next time when a situation arises like someone yelling, or even worse cursing at you. I want you to just observe his or her behavior then tap into your own feelings and become completely aware and present. Next, here’s the key, instead of reacting quickly or hastily by yelling back, acknowledge that this is their state of being, and tell yourself that you don’t have to get into the same state by reacting the same way. Then relax and bring back your heart rate and physical state to the normal state. Reframe the situation, so you refuse to take on his or her negative energy by reaction.

Practice to be an observer, to acknowledge, to relax and to reframe throughout your day and your life with every situation that arises when you feel the urge to react. Remember it’s always a process and it takes time to change a behavior. As Wayne Dyer says, “How people treat you is their Karma; how you react is yours.”

– Live and breathe every Instants of life, to shape your creative Being

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