Reactive Living

REACTION – CREATION

When we look at these two words, they have the same letters, however very different meanings. They also both involve action. By definition, creation means “the action or process of bringing something into existence.” Creating something from nothing.

When I look around, I see people living reactively. What I mean by this is, they are in reaction to almost everything that happens to them. Generally, reactions are unconscious. We have a mechanism in our brain that triggers the fight, flight, freeze response in us and this is automatic. We don’t think about it. In relationship conflicts, people will often say they said things they did not mean, and this would be the reason.

In a situation of ‘being in reaction,’ the content of your life remains the same. Ultimately you’re pushing the same content around unconsciously and expecting different results from the said reaction.

To be in creation means responding to your life and situations that happen, consciously.

Think about a recent situation where you reacted. What was driving your reaction? If you’re honest with yourself, you were most likely being right about something, like your opinion, justification, or reasoning, which meant you had an unconscious or conscious agenda to sway the situation your way.

This is reactive living.

Being in creation means I am considering what is best for all involved and choosing my response from there. It means that I let go of my opinions and justifications and I am aware of the reaction impulse. From this point, I can slow down, which then enables me to step into a reflective process that will support me to respond consciously.

I’m not saying that this is easy, by any means. It is a muscle to build.
Therefore, to support you moving towards creation, observe your reactions.
Ask yourself, “what is driving my agenda?”
What perspective could you drop or embrace to shift the situation to one of mutual benefit?
Integrate or implement accordingly. Review the outcome and your experience.

I hope that there was a nugget in here for you to inspire you to choose creation rather than reactive living!

 

Conscious, freedom

The Trap: ‘THIS IS IT’

To the seekers, to those of us on a journey of life long learning or personal discovery, I don’t believe one could ever think ‘this is it.’

And yet, we do. We get stuck in a trap of ‘this is it.’ The trap of, ‘once I have XYZ, then I will have made it.’

If you are a learning freak – like me – you might be enrolling in many training courses with the hopes that the next training will be everything you’ve been waiting for and answer all your unanswered questions. The missing pieces of the puzzle will finally fall into place!

We can get hooked onto a path of learning, trying to fulfill what we think we may be missing. Maybe it is to create a feeling of worthiness, accomplishment, and success.

Are you relating to what I am saying?
If yes, have you stopped to wonder why you are doing this?

I’ve come to realize that we get attached to our journey and the thought or belief that there is a destination.

“Finally! I have arrived.”

In this ‘having arrived’ thought, we would be implying that we have learned everything we need to learn. Which could mean we are now everything we ever wanted to be. Until of course, we aren’t anymore because this is life and we’re evolving beings. By the mere fact of being human, we exist in a world that evolves.

You see, it is limiting to say “this is it” or “I have arrived.”  Any experience can expand our awareness, so we develop in consciousness and growth happens. When we are actively engaged in a process of personal discovery, we grow faster.

I have personally found, there is no arriving. There is just journeying.

We can arrive on a level in consciousness and when we step into expanding, we’re on a new level with new awareness and new challenges.

I heard someone say recently, “If you think this is it, it’s not. If you think you’ve got it, you don’t.”  How profound!

It inspired me and I realized the truth in it. I have always described personal development like layers of an onion. We continue peeling back the layers through a process of discovery, and just when we think we understand or have transcended a challenge, a new layer is revealed and there is something new to work on.

Exciting, isn’t it? Growth is on the horizon! Yet again.

Imagine at age 30, arriving at what you think is IT, and then living another 50 years in that same state. Wouldn’t that be incredibly mundane?
Would you want that for yourself?

If you reflect and think for a moment, what area in your life do you want to develop? Which part of you needs attention and growth?

Consciously choose a path to support this rather than chasing fulfillment.

By consciously identifying and choosing, you can empower yourself rather than unconsciously jumping from one form of development to another because you think you are missing something. Worse yet, believing you have arrived and not being genuinely curious about what else is available to you, living life in ignorant ‘bliss’ for years.

I wish to leave you with the following thought; rather than searching for your ‘this is it’ moment, live life as a journey. Transformation is never a done deal. You already have meaning and are worthy. If you think or feel otherwise, it is time to examine your thoughts and beliefs. Discover what will support you in being a conscious choice-maker on this journey and let the adventure begin!

RESPONSE-ABLE

Following on from my previous blog, I have been reflecting on the theme of responsibility. In our Academy, we define 6 levels of responsibility.

For the purpose of this blog, I am going to share the first three:

  • “To accept and demonstrate responsibility for all your actions and non-actions.”
  • “To accept and demonstrate responsibility for being the creator of every experience.”
  • “To accept and demonstrate responsibility for everything that happens and occurs in your reality.”

Have you ever considered this perspective of being responsible? If you did, what would change in your life?

The Epictetus quote indicates that we are responsible for our response,

“We cannot choose our external circumstances, but we can always choose how we respond to them.”

When applying the levels of responsibility, the question to ask is:

“What responsibility can I take for the circumstances happening in the first place?”

Responsibility is a big theme for me in my life. It has caused many challenges and at the same time has been a great blessing in my process of growth. When I’m having a look at my life experiences – be it good or bad – I look at how I am responsible for these experiences.

If one can apply just these three levels of responsibility, they’ll already start to create shifts.

I see many people who are stuck at some level of complaint or frustration due to circumstances. They haven’t yet quite pinpointed what they are responsible for. When we don’t take responsibility for what we want, we give our power away. This leads to disappointment and a feeling of not having control of outcomes. We may even start to blame others for our misfortunes. Eventually, we end up in resignation, thinking nothing we do is good enough.

Taking responsibility can be very loud or very subtle. It can make all the difference.

Reflect on the following:

What are you currently not taking responsibility for?
Where can you shift into responsibility?

In the words of Spider-man, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Similarly, “With great responsibility comes great power.”

 

What if it is about YOU?

In so many ways, I deny myself the right to make things about me. Why? For some reason, we think that when we make it about ourselves, we’re selfish.

What if everything I do is about me? Even though I’m doing it for someone else.

We say in coaching that you’ll attract clients that are going through similar experiences to your past experiences or to what you’re currently going through. On some level, these clients resonate with you (as coach) and, there is something for you – Me – to learn from them. In helping them, I ultimately help myself, so then it is about me.

What a paradox.

In the teachings of Yogi Bhajan, the first sutra of the Five Sutras of the Aquarian Age is ‘Recognize the other person is you.’

“We can only truly see ourselves reflected in another person. If we admire qualities in another, those same qualities exist within ourselves. These qualities may not yet be developed or expressed. On the flip side, if we see qualities that we dislike in another, again, we only see ourselves. Perhaps a disowned part called “the shadow.” The more we identify with our ego, the more judgmental we will be toward others, and the more we will project our personality traits onto others.

In the Age of Aquarius, the age of enlightenment, we are being called, to take full responsibility for our experiences and to live the Truth, which is we are ALL ONE.”

~ Extract from: https://www.3ho.org/3ho-lifestyle/5-sutras-aquarian-age/1st-sutra-recognize-other-person-you

I think this is a beautiful perspective to have. I’ve recently been pondering on the parallel between my clients and myself. What do I see as a reflection?

I found this an interesting exercise to do. I saw enlightening truths about where I don’t honor myself, where I don’t back myself, where I am leaving gaps and lacking commitment to myself. The reality of this isn’t always easy to face. However, the beauty lies in seeing it, becoming aware of it, so that now I can integrate and grow from it.

All interactions are an opportunity to learn and grow. When we have this awareness, we enter a whole new ball game. What it requires of us is to take a step back and observe – observe yourself, observe the other.

What do you see?
What do you like?
What don’t you like?
What are you avoiding?

You can find answers to important questions when you take this time and heighten your awareness.

To conclude, when I THINK it is not about me, it IS actually about me. And, when I can reflect on it this way, I can position myself as a conscious choice-maker which ultimately is the deciding factor in how I experience life.

Wrapping it up here leads me into one of my favorite topics – RESPONSIBILITY – which I am going to leave for my next piece. For now, embrace making it about you!