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About the Author
Nicole Franklin, MSW, RSW

Nicole is a graduate of Ryerson University, who currently works as a Social Worker in the Children’s Mental Health field. With a background in Child Welfare, Child and Youth Work and Community Development, Nicole has always been passionate about working alongside women, children and their families. Nicole is also the co-founder of Dare2B Toronto, a project that aims to empower young women to empower themselves and their communities through arts based workshops. Nicole is a dynamic woman, who is dedicated to aiding others in transforming their lives from the inside out.

For professional inquiries contact Nicole at:

Working with the Negatives

By Nicole Franklin, MSW. RSW

This quote from a popular song by a Toronto artist, Drake speaks to the direct connection to finding your solution to these feelings. It may seem like there is no solution, when you are stuck in a negative frame of mind, but feelings are a fluid entity that are constantly changing and we can influence and manipulate their change. Drake’s words speak directly to how we can begin to change our lives by changing our minds and within this article I will aim to explore this further alongside you.


I begin by revisiting the thought that we have control over our lives and ultimately over ourselves and at the core, control over our being. This thought allows us to slightly shift our focus from the disillusioned belief that things happen to us, as if we are not a part of the process, but simply an innocent victim of circumstance. This allows the necessary space for the thought that rather than things happening to us, they happen through us, wherein our inner beings are entwined with our outer experiences. Through reflection on this thought, you may then be awoken to the idea that you have more control than you know, over your experiences.

Truly, we all already hold the power over our lives that we often deeply yearn for and this can be a scary thought for most people. This may then trigger feelings of fear to seep through the layers of who you believe you are, however Fear is a Liar. Let’s pause for a moment and reflect on what I mean by Fear as a Liar. Fear can be a very controlling force and if we allow it, it can determine our mind and our lives. When you feel fear, especially when it stems from a new thought or idea you have a choice to either allow the fear to hold you back or force fear to be a positive experience, empowering you to realize your true capabilities through embracing what is, change. The next time you feel Fear, I challenge you to recognize and name it and reflect on the ways in which Fear is a Liar.


Returning to the idea of having the power to change our lives by changing our mind, I bring your attention to some of the ways we can awaken these powers. There are many ways to enlighten ourselves of our diverse power within. However, it is never an easy task, mainly because in order to change something in our lives, we must first become aware that we need to make change. The first steps on the long, ongoing journey stem from discovering the root of the ‘problem’. Often the first place we search for the ‘problem’ and the solution for that matter is externally, outside of our selves. For example, if you are running late for work, you may arrive only to mention to the first colleague in sight that it seemed absolutely impossible to surpass all the ‘obstacles’ in your way and arrive to work on time this morning. You may even reach your desk, drop your bags, slump down on your chair and sigh as you say to yourself ‘ Why does it seem like everything is going wrong?’


With the previous thoughts in this article in mind, why not move our search for the ‘problem’, inward? Why not allow the solution to come from within ourselves? We can begin by changing our feelings and in most cases this starts by altering our attitude. It is imperative that we understand that sometimes the only thing that needs to change in order to solve the ‘problem’ is our perspective. By shifting our lens from negative thoughts and ideas and focusing on the positives in any given situation we have immediately opened the gates towards creative solutions, we have changed our mind, dismissed fear and begun to take control of our experience and shape our own lives.


In closing I bring forward an exercise to help you on your journey towards working with the negatives to make for better pictures in your lives. The next time you find yourself saying ‘Why does it seem like everything is going wrong?’ I challenge you challenge yourself to find your own creative solutions to ‘the problem’. Ask yourself some questions and complete these brief exercises that are interconnected to the above thoughts we have reflected upon. These exercises are intended to help awaken your powers within and bring awareness to the power of positivity.

 

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The Exercises:


Part 1. Relaxation

Part 2. Redirecting your Mind

Part 3. The Questions

Part 4. Repeat Relaxation (Part 1)

*Please note the exercises can be used in full from Part 1 through to Part 4, but are equally effective by following an exercise on it’s own.

*Caution: Users of these exercises may experience life changing breakthroughs and an overwhelming feeling of joy and happiness through the possibility of change. Use at your own risk.


Part 1: Relaxation Exercise


Follow these 3 steps of square breathing to relax your mind, for the questions ahead.


1.BREATH IN (hold for 4 seconds)

2.BREATH OUT (slowly 4 seconds)

3.Repeat four times



Part 2: Redirecting your Mind


Follow these steps to lead your mind through a redirection and relaxation exercise.


1.Close your eyes and Think of your favorite “Calm Place” (This might be your favorite relaxation destination as an adult, your fondest memory as a child or a made up perfect place of your choice. Examples may include a private island in the sun, your bed, your backyard, a beach, the café downtown or the quiet little bookshop around the corner. It’s up to you to decide your “ Calm Place”.)


2.Now that you have chosen a Calm Place, think of every single detail about your Calm Place in your mind. With your eyes still closed, imagine the vivid scenery, smell the distinct scents in air, hear the varying sounds in the distance as you touch and feel the multiple textures of the space around you. Awaken all of your senses as you imagine your being in the core of your Calm Place.


3.Open your eyes and reflect on your feelings in the Calm Place and bring them from your Imagination into your Reality. Allow yourself to feel the pieces of Calm in your moments of Now. Carry the thoughts, feelings and pieces of Calm with you throughout your day. Bring forward your Calm Place flash backs as needed throughout the day. Become at peace through the warmth of your Calm Place.

 

Part 3: The Questions to Ask Yourself

 

When you find yourself stating: ‘Why does it seem like everything is going wrong?’ Ask yourself the following questions in that moment, which may be challenging at times, but will lead you towards the answer to the question if you allow it.

 

1.When was the last time you laughed out loud and why? (Now that you’re probably laughing or smiling again, please continue)

2.Who are two important people in your life?

3.What are two things you are grateful for?

4.What are two things you are good at?

5.What are two fundamental values in your life?

6.What are two of your dreams for yourself?

7.What are two things that are not going wrong?

8.Develop two new questions of your own for yourself to answer, the next time you complete the exercise or for when you share it with a friend.

Part 4: Repeat Relaxation Exercise.

 

Thank you for joining this journey alongside me,



Nicole Franklin, MSW, RSW

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