Back Home Again…

…in Indiana!

Back Home Again In Indiana–Straight No Chaser

I know that “they” say, “you can never go home again…”

I’ll find out if that is true tomorrow. Tonight, we are at Doris and Ray’s cozy home in Clay City. After a delicious dinner of homemade vegetable soup, topped off with that famous custard pie for dessert, my body has reached new levels of satiety (thank you to Renee LaReau for introducing that delightful word to my vocabularly). Anthony, Doris and Ray are in the living room watching Jeopardy, and here I am in the office, doing what I do just about every evening.

I want to share this with you. Earlier this evening, Doris said to me, “have you seen my new towel rack?” Even though I was comfortable in the recliner with a good book (which you will be delighted to hear about in just a bit), I felt compelled to get up and see it immediately. How many people do you know who would do such a thing for a towel rack? Well, wait until you see it! And, here it is:


“Where in the world did you find that,” I asked her. “At a garage sale,” she replied. Of course, Ray made the brackets. Now, I thought that was an incredibly clever way to re-use an old rolling pin! It may not be evident from the photograph, but it’s enormous. I don’t even have a countertop big enough for a rolling pin like that. Few people do these days. Thoughts of new uses for old things got me thinking about a good book that I just finished by Steve Andreas, Virginia Satir: The Patterns of Her Magic. Virginia was absolutely exquisite at her work with families. In this book, Andreas sets up for us sixteen major patterns that Satir uses in her work:

1. A Solution-oriented Focus on the Present and Future

2. Positive Intentions

3. No Blame

4. Equality

5. Providing Positive Alternative Choices

6. Reframing Behaviors and Perceptions

7. Action

8. Association/Dissociation

9. Expressiveness

10. Humor

11. Shifting Referential Index

12. Amplifying Positive Feelings and Behaviors, and Interrupting Destructive Communication

13. Identifying Limiting Beliefs and Challenging Them

14. Specific Verbal Patterns for Gathering Information Gracefully

15. Specific Verbal Patterns for Helping People Change

16. Physical Contact

Following thorough descriptions of these patterns, Andreas then takes a transcript from a seminar in which Satir works with a woman named Linda, and helps her to see her relationship with her mother in a new, more useful way. Here’s the beginning of that session:

Virginia and Linda

One of the things that Satir does so exquisitely that stands out to me is her way of reframing–that is, changing the perception of an event in order to experience it in a more positive way. Context reframing deals with placing a “problem behavior” in a new situation so that it now becomes useful. Think about it…the rolling pin gathers dust on someone’s garage shelf, and takes up space, or it now becomes a beautiful towel rack! The other type of reframing is Meaning Reframing, when a behavior is assigned a new meaning to understand its positive attributes. “I am too easily sucked into others’ pain,” to “I have amazing skills of empathy towards others in need.” My examples might not be the most elegant you could imagine, but you can see how powerful this pattern can be, and how wonderful would it be for you to come up with your own examples of reframing now, which can bring you new freedom, and help you to express gratitude for all that you are.

I plan on spending a whole lot more time with this excellent book. For those of you who are familiar with NLP, you might begin to wonder about the familiarity of these patterns. Well, guess what? This is where a lot of it came from! You might remember that Bandler and Grinder modeled NLP after the work of Virginia Satir and Fritz Perls.

For now, back to gratitude, recreational TV, and stuffing…me! Tomorrow I promise to have some news and a post that will amaze you!

Be well, and at peace,


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