What is a Reframe, Anyway?

July 28, 2020

I have a client who is diligently doing Radical Forgiveness Worksheets and experiencing surprising shifts in her relationships! She came to me to work on her relationship with her husband and is discovering new openings in several other relationships as well – mostly with herself! During our third call, she said, “My mom called me! She never calls me! And, she was supportive of me too! She has rarely been supportive of me!”

How does this work, anyway? How is it that filling in the blanks in the Making Room for the Miracle Worksheet results in shifts in our situation that could sometimes be described as miracles?!!

According to the late Colin Tipping, author of Radical Forgiveness, it has to do with getting our conscious mind out of the way and allowing Spirit to guide us and to make changes in the “morphogenetic field”, the energy field that connects everything.  We do that in five stages:

  1. Tell the story – our old, victim story, that is
  2. Feel the feelings – feelings is where the energy is stuck in our physical body
  3. Collapse the energy in the story – just be willing to be open to the idea that there may be something else going on besides what we have been attached to as our reality
  4. Reframe the old story
  5. Integrate the new story in our physical body

Today, I want to elaborate on whate “Reframing the old story” means.

We can look at this in quite a literal sense, actually! Have you ever taken a painting or photograph to a shop to have it framed? That’s the most challenging and time-consuming part, right? The effect of the picture changes with each color, texture, size, and thickness of the frames the technician tries! When you find one that works just right, that’s the one you order.

Well, it’s like that with reframing our old stories when doing a Radical Forgiveness Worksheet. You see, in our old story, our picture was framed by our limiting beliefs. Frames like “I’m not good enough” or “I will always fail” or “Life is always a struggle” or “I’ll never have enough money” surround our picture of an event or set of circumstances. We get pretty attached to these frames and keep seeing the same pictures over and over again.

Then, we hear about Radical Forgiveness and try out a worksheet or The Thirteen Steps or play a game of Satori. Something happens! We feel lighter and get the idea that maybe the way we’ve been looking at this story in our lives could just maybe have a different meaning that we have been giving it all these years! We play around with possible “New Stories”.  That’s what happens in Step 19 of the worksheet or when we land on “New Story” in the Satori Game. We hear new ways of looking at our situation or try out a new way of seeing our lives. “I’m perfect just the way I am” or “When I show up as me everyone loves me” or “Money flows easily in my life now” or “My life is an exciting adventure”.

These stories are examples of putting a new frame around our picture! Nothing changes about the facts of the upsetting event. What changes is what we have  made that event mean in the context of our lives. Many stories can take on a new look right within our “world of humanity” view.  For example, my story of rejection by my friends when I was 13 was fairly easy to see as an opportunity for me to grow in self-respect and careful choosing of friends. Other stories, however, seem much more difficult to reframe in a way that gives us peace.

  • Untimely death
  • Divorce
  • Violence
  • Genocide
  • Betrayal
  • Etc.

Even these, however, when we allow an energy bigger than our world of humanity view, can be reframed as Spiritual Big Pictures. If we become open to the idea that from a Spiritual, big picture view of what has happened, then our inability to understand the purpose makes sense. Of course, we wouldn’t know what Spirit has designed for our situation! For these types of Victim Stories, if we allow ourselves to simply state a vague reframe, then step aside and let Spirit do the rest, we can experience peace.

What’s an example of this kind of reframe? Here are a few:

“Even though I don’t understand why, I am now open to the idea that so-and-so came into my life to help me learn and grow in love. I am willing to release my attachment to my old story and refuse to put any more energy in it. I surrender to my Higher Power and trust in the knowledge that this will continue to unfold for the highest good of all concerned.”


“Even though I can’t see it yet, I can now see that so-and-so has been mirroring back for me something about myself that I have not been able to love or some new way of seeing myself that I have not been able to be. In that sense, he/she has been here in my human world to play a role for me to urge my soul to become more loving or more courageous or to experience the opposite of love, or something I may not even recognize. Now that I see that, I can thank him/her for playing this role and maybe I won’t even need him/her to be that for me anymore!”


“I now see that this person came into my life to help me experience the pain of separation from love by showing me the opposite of love. Maybe I had an agreement with Spirit to bring a certain quality of love to the world – like _____ (e.g. forgiveness, or tolerance, or courage, or fairness, etc.). I needed somebody to help me become that and they did! Now that I see that, my soul can thank his/her soul for that lesson and I can be love! It’s my true nature! ”

Is this giving you an idea how to play around with a reframe? Remember, there’s no way we can actually KNOW what Spirit’s purpose is for our lives. Moreover, this whole way of looking at our life is a story itself! What’s different about our reframed story, is that it feels better! We have more energy and better relationships when we look at our situation that way. So, why not use it?

If you’re struggling with reframing your story, let’s have a chat! Make an appointment here and bring your story!


Sun shines through trees
A new day dawns





How to Start Your Appalachian Trail Walk

I’ve walked the Appalachian Trail twice, plus another 2,000 miles working as an Appalachian Trail Conservancy ridgerunner for seven seasons.. How did I start all this? By locating the nearest trailhead to my home and setting foot on the trail. That one hour greeting let me hear my call to the trail “If I just keep walking, I can get all the way to Maine!”

Next step: a half day walk with my husband, exchanging the car key in the middle as we walked in opposite directions. Over the next four years, we built up to a full month on the trail, two trips per year, from over night to three nights, a week, two weeks. There are landmark steps, I think:

  • Connect to the trail.
  • Stay out overnight.
  • Do a resupply and go out again.
  • Walk 100 miles.

I would focus on training on the trail, itself. What I discovered by talking with thousands of hikers is that those who have a connection with their Inner Journey more than the physical athletic accomplishment of the trail feel fulfilled by their walks. In addition, those having a true connection and an enjoyment of Nature seem happier and more fulfilled.

So much to talk about! Oh! One thing that makes a big difference is having a method for easily climbing mountains – a breathing technique. Contrary to a familiar saying, which I will not repeat here – “Virginia is not flat!”

Here’s the method I came up with:


How Much Food for Vegan Hiking?

In response to the question “I’m vegan. What food do I take hiking?”

I sprout mung beans and lentils on trail. Hummus, olive oil, sweet potatoes, corn mush, maple syrup. Did I mention olive oil – most calorie dense food? I was soooo afraid of being hungry and not getting enough calories when I started my thru! My first week southbound from Katahdin, I carried 13 lbs of vegan food for my 10 days to Monson. I had several pounds left!!! What I’ve discovered in my 15 yrs and 10,000+miles of walking is that food can be lightweight, easy, tasty and nutritious. When I count the calories of my day, feeling energetic and satisfied, its more like 2,000 calories. I haven’t consumed 5,000 calories ever! Maybe I don’t hike as hard? Dont know, but the advice that I’ll need 5,000 calories a day (hmm. used to be 3,000) doesnt seem to be real for me. I enjoy fresh foods and have my favorite dehydrated staples to build meals around. I eat pretty much the same foods on trail as I do off trail. Happy to explore this with you!

  1. For detailed video instruction on my favorite trail foods, check out Fabulous Foods For Backpacking.

Sunrise Steps

Damariscotta, Maine.
June 8, 2020
I see it! I open my heart and mind to the metaphor offered. A new day’s light beams through the trees in the sky and in the world and time I am in…
The light calls me to see my own path in creating racial justice, to see the true history of the horrendous enslavement of black people, the disingenuous “freeing” of black people, and the disgusting and conniving suppression of black people as you courageously fought and must still fight for your full humanity to be respected in my white world. I HAVE been blind and tolerant of the deep and orchestrated systemic racial discrimination in the US, assuming that it has been enough for me to be kind to the black people I meet and know personally. I now see that I can DO more. Today, I let the Light reveal that path for my best way.
Thanks to Clara Martin for revealing a step I could take today on a path toward racial healing. I registered for a training tomorrow offered by the DC Peace Team. Non-Violent Communication. One step. https://dcpeaceteam.com/

There Are Bears on the AT!

My 10,000 miles of walking after the age of 52 have helped me see is that detractors are reflecting in me something that I have not yet fully processed myself because I truly lack an answer from experience. Their questions and doubts invite me to do my research, look at what I really am unsure about, and yes, how the questions reveal that they care about me. What ARE the realities about bears? (they do live in the AT corridor and have been disturbingly impacted by hikers’ ineptness at food storage). What ARE the risks and dangers we take when walking solo and what precautions ARE we taking? I now know that those can be known, articulated, and practiced. As a ridgerunner in VA for seven seasons, I would have loved to have seen more of the thousands of hikers I met be more concerned about respecting the needs of bears and be more knowledgable about the unique challenges of trail life and willing to choose behaviors that support community and stewardship of the resource.

Getting Started on the Appalachian Trail

“I think I want to do a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. How should I prepare for that?”

Here’s my answer:

Go out for a day, then a night, then three or four nights. Go out for short walks in all four seasons to test your gear. One landmark in preparation is to go out long enough to have a resupply or maildrop, say 8-10 days. With the experience of finishing a 3-5 day section, taking a townstop, then going back out, you’ll have the basic idea of a long distance walk, which is really a long string of 4-day walks without going home in between! That’s the best part of long distance journeys. Resupply, rest, cleaning up and going back out!!

After 10,000 miles of long-distance walking, I’ve realized that creating a fulfilling walk relies on addressing 5 essential areas:

  • Know your trail,
  • Consider your timing,
  • Love your gear,
  • Magnetize your support network, and
  • Nourish your Inner Journey with specific
  • Bonus: Above all, know your “why” for choosing the AT.

Read my complimentary report:

Love Your Gear: Toiletries

Here is my backpacking toiletries list:

Hotel bar soap, tiny sponge, lidded bowl for taking wash water to my tent; lip balm; .5oz teatree oil (or eucalyptus or peppermint); tiny tube of general salve; travel toothbrush; sometimes a tablespoon of baking soda for tooth powder + deoderant; large bandaids that can be cut to size; roll of stretchy gauze; dental floss for teeth and thread; comb.

This is one category where the moniker, “If I don’t have it, I don’t need it” is useful. Going without something for a few days helps me clarify what I want vs what I need.

I want to love everything I carry! 3rd of my 5 essentials is “Love my gear”!

Delayed Package

May 29, 2020

When I dropped off two large flat rate packages at the P.O. in Borrego Springs, CA, I believed Bonnie, the postal clerk, when she said they would arrive May 26th. “That’s perfect!” I said. “I’ll be there May 27th and we leave there May 29th.” The USPS has been reliable with their priority mail service for years, starting with its inception at the same time I started hiking long trails!

Package delivery has turned out to be an emotional parachute drop! I was delighted when my son said on Saturday – the next day- “Oh, your package arrived.” I was amazed at the speedy delivery. “Oh good! Inside there’s a present for Sebastian”! That’s my grandson. “There’s only one package,” Adam said. ” “We’ll watch for the other one.” The one that arrived was loaded with dry food in preparation for quarantine in Maine.

What USPS tracking reveals is that that second package – the one do containing my Satori game, paint brushes, tent stakes, pocket knife, supplements, and a list of other useful items – has apparently stopped at a distribution center in Massachusetts where it arrived on May 25th.

Since then, the tracking site says “Your package is moving internally. Moving to the next facility.”

I must do The Thirteen Steps to clear my energy! Feel my feelings – anger, guilt for including bottles of watercolor, sadness for missing my precious things which cost way more than the $50 free insurance!

Step 6 am I willing to just let the situation be perfect just the way it is? This is one time I say “NO! This sucks!”

Step 9 am I willing to see the others as healing angels, doing a healing dance with and for us all? Huh? Dang! It’s a COVID thing! God knows what all will have to shift in my perception! I’ll lose some things. Others are losing their loved ones.

Wait! Just when I finished typing this, I get a text message: “USPS 9505516192610143180942, Departed USPS Facility 05/29/2020 6:07am CHARLESTON SC PROCESSING CENTER Reply STOP to cancel”

What! It’s here in Charleston?! We might still miss it! Should I wait? It will have to get forwarded to Maine! Oh no! Another opportunity to learn and grow!

Stay tuned for the unfolding saga!