I am free to choose in every moment to respond instead of react,

Responding and reacting are very different ways of approaching a conversation, a challenge or a situation. Responding means that I have listened, processed and thought about a response and possibly responded and gave feedback, where reacting generally has lots of emotion and energy, typically there is no thought and it is usually followed by an outburst or an eruption of words full of venom and then an apology or regret.

Have you ever stopped to ask yourself why there are certain people, phrases and/or moments that “set you off”? It’s almost as though you don’t have any self-control and that all of the self-development, or self-control you thought you had was suddenly lost…

Generally, we find every reason to judge, blame and find excuses as to why “that person” is the cause for my upset or my inability to reason or respond and although we can go our entire lifetime with that kind of a perspective- there is an opportunity to look at “those people” and “those events” as an opportunity to go inward to investigate.

If there is negative energy around someone specific when you think about them, or if you find yourself unable to feel grounded because of all the things going on around you, it might be a good time to be mindful about how often that is happening. If you find yourself yelling all of the time to get your point across, or if getting mad and loud is your way of being heard, it is possible that it’s time to take a look at that too.

We tend to spend most of our time in our heads; figuring things out, analyzing, judging, condemning, justifying, controlling, projecting and resisting what is.

Being mindful and paying attention to what is going on in our though process, how were thinking, feeling and reacting is really the beginning of awakening.

Being able to respond instead of reacting in many cases is a result of feeling grounded and safe. It has to do with feeling anchored in our physical body and in our own truth and not feeling like we are controlled by those things around us or things that are out of our control. There are certainly many practices for feeling grounded although meditation, prayer and breathwork tend to be among the most effective.

Meditation and stillness is such an incredible practice, and when made a priority it is life-changing. When we go within, when we take time to be still and anchor to that greater something ( the power that is literally breathing and sustaining us in each and every moment ) we feel a sense of belonging and purpose that does not and cannot come from the outside world, or the acceptance or approval of others.

Interestingly enough, our ability to respond to another from a kind and loving perspective, or even to be neutral and to see a situation from more than one vantage point is related to this sense of connectedness, just as an inability to respond is related to a disconnectedness.

This week I pay attention to how often I respond and/or react to others, especially around the unexpected. Do I flow with or am I resistant? Am I a team player or in my head am I projecting feelings of anger or rage? How do I feel in my body? Is there pain? Am I feeling contracted? Am I willing to pay attention to what is happening with me? Do I spend more time in my head than anywhere else? How am I BEing?

Today I am willing to begin a practice in one of the three areas of either meditation, prayer or breath-work. Taking at least 15 minutes per day to be still. My commitment is to pay attention to how I BE…




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