I have superhero powers. I use them in a relentless quest for justice and the American way.
I’m legally blind with nearsightedness. I can see fine with glasses, and when I remove my glasses, I can read the smallest type and see the smallest things. I could split an atom with my powers of nearsightedness. Call me “The Microscope.”
I have osteoarthritis in my thumb, which makes squeezing painful. So when I write in my journal, I hold my pen without tension. The gentleness then flows through my wrist, into my heart, then into my soul, making me Captain Calmness.
My looks are deteriorating. I’ve never been inclined to lechery, but this takes me out of the game altogether. Attractive chicks hold no promise for me and, therefore, no temptation either. I’m Chastity Man.
Reframing: Negative into Positive
I’m just rationalizing my shortcomings, right?
I’m “reframing” my negatives: taking negative things and making them positive
It works with pretty much anything. I’m not sure how well it works when a pit bull is latched onto your genitals or if you receive a terminal medical diagnosis. But within the realm of everyday hurdles? I think everything can be reframed.
An Example: Reframing Hunger
It’s pretty rare that I find a consensus about health. The experts, fads, trends: it’s a deluge of conflicting opinions and advice.
But when I hear the same advice coming from entirely different quarters, I take notice.
Stretching, for instance. Pretty much everyone agrees we need to stretch a lot. And drinking water: everyone seems to agree that we daily need at least half an ounce for every pound we weigh.
And intermittent fasting.
Yup. “Time-restricted eating.” It means going at least 14 hours every day without eating. It helps mental acuity (fact). It helps with cholesterol problems (opinion). It helps you lose weight (probably). It helps energy levels (my experience). It seems like everyone from my chiropractor to Kevin Majeres at Optimal Work to Joe Rogan to Andrew Huberman recommends intermittent fasting.
But man, it sucks.
I usually go for at least 18 hours. The hunger pains get intense.
But then I remember that the pain means I’m helping myself. I remember that I’m doing the best multitasking ever. Taking care of daily life while increasing my energy or mental acuity, as well as losing weight. And then the pain feels good.
Reframing Makes the Left and Right Hemispheres Work Together
Reframing is a simple way to force your left and right hemispheres to work together properly and, therefore, it’s a great way to kick against a modern world that wants the left hemisphere to control everything.
The left hemisphere of your brain is a scout: It goes out, looks for food, espies enemies, looks at the terrain, then reports to the right hemisphere with a quick and efficient recommendation. The right hemisphere then takes the information, considers the recommendation, and makes a final decision.
When we don’t eat for a long time, our left hemisphere sends a basic message to the right: “We don’t have enough food. We’re going to die. It’s time to freak out . . . or at least be an irritable dick to everyone around us.”
The right hemisphere takes the information and recommendation, processes it, and comes up with a more balanced response to hunger.
Reframing occurs in the right hemisphere’s processing stage. It takes the negatives and, if we keep the left hemisphere’s immediate reactions at bay for a spell while the right hemisphere processes things, puts the negatives into the spinner along with positives, to come up with a final course of action. It might accept the left hemisphere’s recommendation, it might modify it, it might reject it altogether.
Regardless of the final response, it’s going to be better than the left’s solution. It won’t be sudden and fueled by passion. It will be weighed and measured, with a bit of passion thrown into the mix as well. Everything will get blended.
I might wish I had good eyesight, but I can see the benefit of nearsightedness. I might wish my right thumb worked properly, but it’s not the end of the world. I might, indeed, be starving every day by noon, but I’m not dying and don’t need to panic and, in fact, I might actually be living better.
It all requires the right hemisphere to be the master.