Moving a Feeling State: Setting the Frame

Now we’re going to take a feeling that you’ve mapped and alter the image as a way to transform the feeling itself. (If you haven’t mapped a feeling state yet, see the post on Mapping a Feeling State.) Return to your notes and drawing of the feeling you previously mapped. Read through your notes and refresh your experience of the feeling state. If needed, intensify one or more of the parameters of the image in order to feel the visceral twinge of the tangible link between the image and your state.

Moving a state is pretty straightforward but incredibly powerful. So before we start, make yourself comfortable. I want to talk about three frames that we need to set before moving forward. Read the following as if I am speaking to you, leading you through this preparatory stage of the work. I encourage you to revisit this frame-setting in preparation for every time you move a feeling state.

First of all, I want to acknowledge that this feeling you mapped is a part of you that has been expressing itself in a particular way. It took that form at some point in your life where that was necessary to signal that something was out of balance for you. At that time, it might have been that you weren’t allowed to feel that, and you had to push it aside. Or it might have been that you weren’t allowed to act on it, you didn’t have the power to make the changes necessary. Or perhaps you weren’t supported in the way you needed, to become aware of what that feeling was trying to tell you and take the action necessary to restore balance and harmony and wholeness in your life. So it had a function, that feeling. But that function was interrupted.

In this process, we want to restore this part’s natural functioning so it can signal you, in an ongoing way, about the state of balance in your life. And the way that we’re going to do that is we’re going to reconnect this part of you with its original or ideal state. This part has a particular feeling state that is what it will feel in an optimal situation, in a perfect world. We want to reconnect with that. We’re going to expand its horizons and reconnect it to the full range of expression that is available to it.

Safe to Move

As we begin, we want to set three frames. First, as we go through the questions, we’re going to be inviting specific properties of the feeling, specific qualities of that image you mapped, to shift. As those qualities shift, the feeling itself is going to shift along with them. By mapping, we’ve created this tangible image that serves almost like a visual handle, and we can take that handle and we can move it, and the feeling will move along with it. It’s an amazing process.

I want to reassure this part of you that this process is safe. We’re going to be shifting it – the feeling will become something new – but you can always put it back.

We’re not taking away the option for this part of you to signal you in exactly the same way, if for any reason that would be most appropriate. We are adding to its repertoire. We’re adding a range of motion, but we’re not taking away the possibility for this part of you to feel exactly what it has been feeling, if that is ever necessary.

In a Perfect World…

The second frame is, because it’s safe, I want to invite you to go for it. In this process, we’re going to move the feeling. I want to invite you to allow this part of you to move as far as it can go.

What could this part of you experience in a perfect world, a world in which all of your needs are met, fully and completely, exactly the way you want them to be, and you know how to keep them that way? So, shifting this feeling, what could it become in a perfect world?

All Parts of You

The third frame I want to set is to acknowledge that this feeling is not alone. There are other parts of you, other feeling states, that have an intimate relationship with this particular feeling. And sometimes that relationship seems to be one of dependence or control, in some way. Shifting this feeling might make another part come to the foreground and say, “Hey, wait a second. I’m not sure I want that shift to happen.” For example, a feeling of shame might feel exposed if a protective feeling of anger transforms into something else.

Recognize, first of all, that this feeling we are moving can always go back the way it was, if that’s necessary or desirable. Second, these other parts can learn that this process is available for every part of you. I want to invite any other parts of you, any other feelings, to participate in this process as passive witnesses, learning from this process what is possible for every part of you.

With that out of the way, let’s move forward into the actual moving questions. (See next post.)

Want to dive in more deeply to feelingwork and further explorations of feelingmind? In 2020 I’ll be I’ll be opening a learning and practice community with live, group calls where we can go much deeper into the material and practice the skills. If you think you might be interested, please check out the community website at If you might prefer working with me one-on-one, consider booking a private pession. If you’re already clear about what you want, contact me. Looking forward to connecting!