Flexible Frames

Flexible Frames — if we miss our frames of reference, we’re in for a miserable life. If we expect the wolrd to agree with our internal frames, we’re in for a miserable life.

In This Moment

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frames of reference
It’s interesting, travelling. Frames. Of Reference. And expectations.

Flexible Frames

I’m writing this in La Fortuna, Costa Rica, one of our favourite towns. It’s nestled at the foot of Volcan Arenal, a now dormant volcano. There are hot springs everywhere.

volcan arenal

Last trip, we went to a resort called Baldi, which has 17 or so hot pools of various temperatures. Loved the pools, loved the included buffet lunch.

Last time, a couple of pools were under repair, and the whole place was open to everyone.

This time, other pools were closed, and the top end pools and waterfall were marked VIP access. (Darbella and I went in anyway — we figured they could toss us out…)

And no buffet. Lunch was in one of their restaurants, and was from a menu.

So, frames.

Expectations. Things were not as we remembered them, and not what we expected. My initial reaction was to tighten and annoy myself. For a minute.

Then, (and here is what we think makes sense) we had a breath and adjusted our expectations to reality. As opposed to expecting reality to shift to meet what we expected.

What we did

Breathed. Noted what was closed for repairs, sighed, and went into the open pools. Walked up to the buffet, got turned away and pointed to the restaurant. Had a breath. sighed, went to the restaurant and had the best sea bass ever.

Now, I know. Everyone would have done the same, right?

Not necessarily. As we travel, we meet lots of people that totally lose it when unexpected things happen. Melt down. Shut down. Start making demands. And the demand is this:

You need to change what you are doing so I don’t upset myself!!!!

Not helpful. Because… No. “They.” Don’t.

Two other examples. I subscribe to a YouTube channel on massage (among other things — nutrition, etc.) And I subscribe to a yoga site that has a paid video membership. You can also buy individual videos.

On the massage site, you’ll see: back massages with the recipient nude to the waist, and cloth over her butt. Front massages, a little bandeau top is added.

They have comments turned on (something I’d never do…) and in come the complaints, based upon the “complainer’s” frame:

  1. The model is “wrong”: too much butt crack, too fat, too thin (same model)
  2. The massage therapist almost touched her…
  3. The model is / isn’t hot

Now, clearly, one frame is “horny teenage boys,” who are there for titillation. Another frame is the “body averse.” (see also the example below!)

But get this: the videos are great teaching tools. I’ve learned a lot of new Bodywork techniques there.

Yet, that is MY frame of reference too! I’m not right. I just have chosen to watch the videos for new ways to do stuff.

And, sometimes I look at a video and think, “That’s not something I’d do…” or “That’s boring…” So… here it is!!!… I click to another video or site.

Here’s the thing. I wonder why the creators leave comments on. I’ve scrolled several of the video’s comments, and have yet to see a comment I’d judge to be helpful.

For some reason (their frame of reference) the creators seem totally locked into the dumb comments.

Before and after

So much so that the last video, on sciatic work, the model was wearing tights.

The massage therapist spent the first minute saying: “You might notice that [she] is wearing tights. That’s because some of you have made comments about our models being dressed inappropriately. This is a teaching site… etc.”

I did leave a comment (;-) ) “Turn off comments! Solves the whole thing!”

On the Yoga site I subscribe to, similarly: a video goes up and is for sale. The people doing the yoga were dressed in spandex shorts and sport tops. Very buff — six packs, etc.


Out popped the “I’m a spiritual yogini” crowd.

Too sexualized! Focussed too much on butts and abs. Too much attention to mountain scenery. Too much music. Too many camera angles.

A few comments: loved the routine, got my heart rate up, etc. — were lost in the drone.

In popped a comment from the director of the series. I think I’m in love. She noted that the series was originally created for tv. That a real production company produced it. And key: “If you look at the sample and offend yourself, a) don’t buy it, and b) go get therapy.”

If you don’t like it, don’t buy it!

Don’t expect that, if you whine loud enough, others will change so you aren’t upset.

The pools that are open are the pools that are open. The food on the menu is the food that’s available. The way the book is written, or video is made, is the way it is.

You have 100% freedom to live your life as you choose. But just remember that your frame… your filters, your expectations… are also, 100%, about you. Just because you see things one way, this doesn’t mean others do (or should!) too.

If you are teaching something, teach it!

If you endlessly modify what you do so that others don’t offend themselves, you are, guaranteed, producing pap.

On the other hand, if you want to make a ton of money, then choose to cater to the lowest common denominator. And do it well, without whining.

Just don’t dress your models in tights so that no one gets their shorts in a knot.

Because then the trolls will complain about the colour of the tights!

Make Contact!

So, how does this week’s article sit with you? What questions do you have? Leave a comment or question!

About the Author: Wayne C. Allen is the web\‘s Simple Zen Guy. Wayne was a Private Practice Counsellor in Ontario until June of 2013. Wayne is the author of five books, the latest being The. Best. Relationship. Ever. See: –The Phoenix Centre Press

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