Books that change lives
Mind-Lines: Lines for Changing Minds by Michael Hall & Bobby Bodenhamer
You’ve been told to see the glass half full, but how do you do it? How can you reinterpret worries, fears, disagreements, interpersonal conflict, anger, and misunderstandings, for example, to empower you, instead of disempower you? Michael Hall and Bobby G. Bodenhamer’s Mind-Lines: Lines for Changing Minds will show you exactly how with the magical neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) technique of reframing that shows a new way of living through interpretation.
How you interpret events determines how you feel and the quality of your relationships. Most people, unfortunately, use harmful interpretations. A father sees his son watch television while lying on his bed. The father gives his son’s behavior a meaning of “laziness”. As a result, the father starts criticizing his son out of the lazy frame. There’s another father and son in the same scenario. This other father gives his son’s behavior a meaning of “relaxation” then lets him be.
The premise of reframing in the world has no meaning by itself. What you see around you means nothing until you give it meaning.
“By mind-lines we refer to the lines (the linguistic constructions) that we connect and associate to things that create meaning formulas,” write Hall and Bodenhamer. “By the changing of meaning, our emotions change, as do our behaviours, habits, moods, attitudes, skills, health, etc. and our life.” You become empowered to transform your world when you see that you give “reality” its meaning.
Each of us has what the authors call a “map”. Our map is our understanding of reality that provides us with a direction in this world. The map is only a construct of reality (a NLP presupposition); it’s not reality itself. Mind-Lines will have you analyze your map, see its many faults, then help you construct a healthier one for your mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing. The same lines used on yourself can be used in your communication with others to change their behaviours, habits, moods, attitudes, skills, health, and life.
It is a practical book. All 26 reframes get applied to six specific statements plus many additional statements scattered throughout the chapters. The authors encourage the reader to try each reframing on the six provided statements, and then comparing one’s answers to the authors’ answers. I encourage you to apply your limiting beliefs to each reframing technique to feel the magic of instant change in how you view your problems.
To give you an idea of how reframing is used and the power it possesses, I’ll give you an example of positive prior intention framing, the eighth reframe. The foundation under positive prior intention framing is that every behaviour has a positive intention behind it. Even hurtful behaviours contain a hidden positive intent, which you sometimes must dig for to discover. A positive intention reframe in response to, “I hate it when you treat me badly” could be, “It’s good to hear that you want to be treated well. What can I do to treat you better?” This is a drastic and powerful change to a reply of, “I DON’T treat you badly! You’re the one who is mean to me!” that most people would use.
Here’s an example of criteria and values framing, the fourteenth reframing technique. This reframing technique puts into perspective what the person deems important. You give people, or yourself, motive to change. A criteria and values reframe in response to, “You’re rude for not washing the dishes” could be, “When you tell me I’m rude for not washing the dishes, it hurts me which makes me feel bad about our relationship. Is our relationship more important than the dishes? If so, would you prefer to tell me about the need to do the dishes without hurting our relationship?” What a wonderful example of reframing a person’s behavior.
Another interesting aspect of the book is something called a “meta-state”, a term that describes a state about a state. For example, you can be angry about being stressed. Our meta-states get multi-layered and confusing. Let’s say you experience guilt from hurting your partner. You then wrap the guilt with anger by becoming angry about the guilt. The anger leads to depression about the anger. The methods in this book allows you to overpower “lower levels” with “higher levels” that give you more productivity, efficiency, a better mood, relieve stress, and generally anything else that is beneficial for you.
I have experienced the NLP technique of reframing in changing my behaviours, moods, and fears – as well as helping other people change themselves – more powerful than other NLP techniques like the swish pattern. Knowing how to reframe is a skill for life you can use anywhere at anytime to improve something about yourself or another person. The book is helpful for your personal development and relationships with everyone as it changes everyone’s perception of reality. Mind-Lines is a great book that teaches a great technique.
The six pages straight after the preface titled “Mind-lining a Toxic Idea”, is worth a thousand times the book itself. I say this with confidence that reading those six pages will change your life. In those six pages, the 26 reframing techniques are applied to “failure”. The word “failure” will be eliminated from your life for good if you apply the simple reframes – but it doesn’t stop there. The reframes will not only cancel limiting feelings and thoughts towards failure, but the reframes transform the concept of failure into a power energy source for better behavior mood, skills, and health. Is living a life absent from seeing yourself as a failure important to you? Imagine the happiness and success you would experience when failure isn’t even a concept in your life? (Notice the reframes I just used.)
Everything depends on how you frame it
A powerful example of the underlying premise of this book is explained through the mind-line of story-telling. There was a poor illiterate man who lived isolated in the woods. One day while walking through the woods he stumbled across a piece of paper. It was written in Chinese with a few strange diagrams he couldn’t understand. Because of his confusion, he threw away the paper. Years later, a few Chinese tourists were visiting the area and found the same object. With a scream of excitement, the tourists realized they had accidentally stumbled upon an ancient Chinese document. The tourists later sold their discovery to a collector for a large amount of money.
The map is your understanding of reality. It can give you more things than wealth if you pay attention to it. Learn to alter your map to empower yourself to change your own, and other people’s behaviors, habits, moods, attitudes, skills, and health. Be the best for yourself and your relationships. Everything you experience in this world depends on how you frame it.
Review by Richard Cotter
Student of Executive and Life Coaching Diploma with PSG
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