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the responsibility in a response

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“The whole universe is change and life itself is but what you deem it.” Marcus Aurelius

After a week of warm sunlit afternoons and occasional light rainstorms, this morning I woke to snow. Enough to coat the branches, cover the trees, bury the crocus and bellflowers.
It’s April. In Montana. Though I have deeply appreciated the feel of sun on my bare skin these past few days, there is a quiet calm to the fresh snowfall. The majestic landscape communicates with me at a cellular level and the residue noise of the past week falls away.

“Though she be but little, she is fierce.” Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare

I read something last week, comprised almost entirely of lies, piously posing as truth. My response was a roar and a clear articulation of my frustration, as I sputtered around the house, spurting random energy bursts like a leaky hose.

(A force of nature, I created quite the windstorm in our living room.)

“What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow: our life is the creation of our mind.” Buddha

I had forgotten a few things I’ve come to believe: Interconnectedness, and that I am in charge of my own joy. This means, I get to choose the way I respond to any given piece of information that comes into my awareness, and that I've got a responsibility in these responses. 

The root of my upset was the deliberate omission of information, which resulted in distortion and an inequality of voices.

And while it's not my way to keep silent in such a moment, I could have responded differently. I could have acknowledged the ferocity of my opinions, seen them for what they are... opinions... and offered the missing information into the conversation without the noisy storm of sound and fury that resulted in an emotional hangover.

Like a smoke alarm, my body gave me signals of stress, but I chose to keep on that path of thinking that if I could just give enough accurate information, it would cause change. It's binary thinking... and pits one view against another, which immediately makes someone wrong. Judgement is not useful in creating sustainable solutions. 

And, my response not only affected my well-being, it affected the well-being of the space I share with others. 

“There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.” Hamlet, Shakespeare

I read somewhere that at every moment, humans are emotional, social, biological, spiritual, and intellectual. And any attempt to suppress any one of these, results in a tightening in the entire self. I love this because it's an invitation, a reminder that we are always whole. That we consist of indivisible parts, interdependent, and that at every moment our body, intelligence, emotional and sensual awareness is available as move through the world. 

New information continually bombards us throughout the day, and we're going to have opinions about it, so the question becomes, what is a flexible practice of well-being that attends to the whole self…

Knowing there are options in the way we respond allows that extra split second to choose toward rather than react against. It's a way of reframing.

Reframing is a superpower we all have. 

There is a lot going on for all of us these days, and maybe it's time to take a few cues from the calm of snowy spring skies... it may change the life we build for tomorrow... 

always in motion, Fia

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  • This is so helpful. I get mired in, and infuriated by….well, perhaps the same things that set off your tsunami of emotions. I end up not liking myself or the world any better as I rave irrationally about things I truly can’t change. I need to reframe, yes, and to bring my better self to the table, always. (or, ineloquently, to “not let the bastards bring you down.” I’ve been slowly coming to the same realization that you have come to. Nice to know there are others on the same path.

    Sibyl McNulty on
  • Again,I am caught in your positive attitude towards respond instead of react:) You are a genius of light in my heart:) Thank you, Ardyth Shapiro, receiver of the beauty in your positive thoughts…….

    Ardyth Shapiro on
  • Reframing….I am feeling my super power.
    Thank you Fia.

    Jan Heaton on
  • I don’t normally do anything twice, ie., see the same movie twice, use the same diet, read the same book, however I make an exception when it comes to your insights Fia. Your thoughts, wisdom and ways of sharing goes straight to my heart. My heart’s a sponge and your words are life-giving moisture. Thank you.

    Karen on
  • Thank you for the gentle reminder that we are in charge and can choose JOY – to remember to pause and not just react before responding to whatever it is that life is presenting. Bright Blessings Maelani…♥️🌺 Southern Oregon

    Maelani Darcy on

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