Reframing the past

The second half of April saw me take an inaugural trip to New York. Whilst ‘The Big Apple’ had never been on my bucket list, when the opportunity arose to visit I took it.

One highlight of my ten days there was a conversation with Fredrik Eklund, #1 New York real estate broker and host of the reality TV show, Million Dollar Listing New York. I asked Mr Eklund to expand on a comment he made regarding an aspect of his nature which he had once seen as a curse.

He responded by saying that he has an innate restlessness which had troubled him when he was younger. However, he has been able to channel this energy, which he described as being “chemically charged”, so that it now fuels his passion for life and business.

As someone who works in the realm of backstories, of what is happening ‘behind the scenes’, I was fascinated by how Mr Eklund had recognised an aspect of his nature and then reframed it from a potential negative into a positive power for his life.

In what may seem at odds with restlessness, My Eklund has discovered that he can channel his energy through the practise of meditation and, while he still finds it hard to sit still, he radiates a quiet centeredness and maintains that real joy comes from within.

The concept of backstories is not a new one, nor is the work I do unique to me – as evidenced by Fredrik Eklund’s own experience. However, a backstory journey is essential if life is to be lived to its fullest potential. If Mr Eklund had continued to view his restless energy as a curse, that attitude would have limited him, perhaps kept him making decisions that he has since come to see as less than the best.

There is much in our lives over which we have little to no control. We do not choose the moment or circumstances of our birth. We do not choose our family or the culture into which we are born. We do not choose or seek out many of the experiences that come our way and, when we do get to choose, sometimes the choices turn out to be poor ones or the consequences considerably different to what we anticipated.

One choice we always have is what we do with the past. It is tempting to want to lock the past away, or pretend it didn’t happen. But as Fredrik Eklund has discovered for himself, if we own the past it loses its power to shame us or have any other sort of control over us. Owning the past and reframing our understanding of those experiences shifts the power back to us.

We can then channel it into shaping a future we choose.

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