Our thoughts and memories have a pattern to them. When we change that pattern or structure, our experience will automatically change. We can naturalize unpleasant memories and enrich memories that will serve us.
Think of a Problem Situation. Think of another, somewhat troublesome experience, or everyday difficulty. The more you use situations and feelings that recur often, the more quickly the changes will begin to radiate through your life. If your negative feelings from the last exercise haven’t completely diminished or changed as much as you’d like, use that situation again here.
See Yourself in a Snapshot. Quickly go through your memory of this incident as if it’s a movie, but this time pick out one moment, like a frame from a film, that best symbolizes the whole experience for you. As you look at the picture, notice if you are seeing yourself, that younger you, at the time, as if you were looking at a snapshot of yourself at the event. If not, simply begin, in your mind’s eye, to pull back so you can see more and more the scene until see yourself, a younger you, wearing what you wore at that time. See it all as an observer looking on.
Add a Picture Frame. Holding that image in mind, consider what kind of picture frame you might want to put around this snapshot. Do you want a square or round frame, or perhaps an oval one? How wide should this frame be, and what color? Perhaps you’d like a modern steel frame, or maybe an old-fashioned gold with swirled decorations and doves on it. When you’ve picked out a frame, add a museum light.
Make It into a Painting or Photograph. Hoe could you transform that picture into something more artistic? You might even want to see it as an artistic photograph, or in the style of a famous painter, as if it were a Renoir or a Van Gogh. Now take your framed moment and place it between other pictures in the private gallery of your mind.
Check Results. Take a moment to clear your mind… Breathe. Now, think of that incident that used to trouble you. Your feelings have probably changed. If not, repeat the exercise using a different frame and a different style of painting or photography until you find one that changes your feelings in a satisfactory way.
Notice that you didn’t force the change