Response & Responsibility

In the last two blogs, I talked about self-regulating and finding the tools and practices that support you in showing up as you desire to be and live. If you didn't get a chance to read them, check them out here.

This idea of self-regulating goes along with something I say to myself every day, you are responsible for your energy. When you walk into a room, or into an interaction with someone, you are responsible for what energy you are bringing into that space or conversation. I remind myself of this daily because it’s very easy to get caught up in our own little world and to bring emotions and energy from one thing to the next. Have you ever found yourself angry or upset with someone or a situation only to realize later that your reaction had very little to do with that person or the situation? That you were just a ticking time bomb? It’s easy to justify our attitude and actions, to say, “I’m stressed, I’m in a rush, I don’t have time, I can’t, I have to, you don’t understand…..but these are all excuses that distance ourselves from our responsibility. It’s no one else’s responsibility or “fault” that you are stressed, anxious, don’t have time, etc. You are 100% responsible for how you feel, for your energy and for how you respond to life.

Now, that may have triggered some of your minds to launch off into a story about how I don’t understand, and….bla bla bla…LISTEN, let go of your story. Let go of the struggle. Own your responsibility. With that, there is great power.

I’m going to share with you something that if you ingrain it into your system, you can have a very different life.

E+R=O.

This means, any event or experience that’s happening in your life (E) and your response or reaction to it (R), gives you the outcome. (O) Responding is where our power is. Our ability to respond determines the outcome, 100% of the time. We can’t control everything, but the one thing we can always control is how we respond, how we interpret the things that come up. That is in our control. If we are just reacting to the events and experiences in our lives and being a victim of our circumstances, we are not in control of our lives. If you feel like life is driving you rather than you in the driver's seat take this equation and engrain it in your body and mind.

You are responsible for your internal world, for your actions, your words, and your energy towards others. A lot of us live in denial of how much we affect the world and the people in it. Your actions and words matter. How you show up matters. You can bring pain to someone with your words, actions, and energy, or you can bring joy and love. It’s your choice, every time.

So what are our tools we can reach for in those moments when we want to react with the first negative thing or action that pops into our head? Well, in the last two blogs I talked about some of the most powerful tools I use in my life, and I invited you to implement them in yours, adjust them, and find some of your own to add to your personal toolbox. I hope you took the time to begin to develop your toolbox! Need help? Reach out! The four we discussed in the last blog are the ones I use the most to keep myself conscious of the energy I have, and to clear and release what needs to go through so that I can show up fully and intentionally. Another one I will share with you in regards to this equation E+R=O is the power of the pause. So there is a moment between the event and our reaction to it, and if we are able to pause and get some perspective at that moment we can then respond rather than unconsciously react with our habitual pattern of behavior or story.

So how do you pause?

Well, from my personal experience I find the most effective thing to use is your body. Wherever you go, you have your body. So with that, you have your breath. Taking a deep breath, grounding your feet, softening your knees, relaxing the front of your body, standing up tall, resting the tongue on the roof of your mouth, breathing into the sensations in your body rather than the story in your head. Breathing into that moment, not equating it to something in the past and bringing in old baggage, but being present in this one event and instance, and connecting.

I’ve spoken about connect before you correct, and this is a great use of a pause before you respond. Connect to your breath, connect to your intention (whether that be from your release tension and create intention exercise. or from your morning intention that you set for yourself, or your monthly, weekly, annual intention.) I suggest always having an intention, if not several, to come back to time and time again, throughout your day and your life. By living intentionally we are living on purpose.

Pausing allows us to presence ourselves in the here and now. A very simple technique that I love is looking down at my feet, and asking “where are my feet?” The answer is always, “here.” Where your feet are is where you are. It may sound simple but we can easily get swept away and out of the present moment, and that’s when tension and turmoil can accumulate. Come back to yourself, breath, calm the system. And then also connect to the person if this event or experience is with someone else. If you are in the middle of an argument with your partner, PAUSE, breath, connect to the sensations in your body, change how you are standing, the physical part of your body, and connect back to them. Connect to how much you care about them, how much you know they care about you. In partnership, you can help each other pause. You can implement a rule that at any time one of you can say PAUSE. And that means you both STOP what you are doing, or talking about, and you take a break. You both do whatever that is that works for you to reset and connect, before coming back. Whether it is going outside and taking a few deep breaths, looking down at your feet and connecting back to the present moment and what really matters. Or if it’s going and screaming into a pillow and then meditating for 2 minutes. Every time I implement the PAUSE, whether, in an interaction with someone else, an event or with my own internal world, it ALWAYS creates a shift, a relaxation, a new moment. Sometimes just by taking this pause, I am able to see more than I could before. It allows me to take off the blinders, to stop before more damage is done.

I have found that learning practices, and implementing tools like the pause, that calm the system is absolutely KEY. When I am in a highly emotionally charged state, when I am in the E of the equation, if I don’t calm my system and come back to earth I will react. I will not show up how I want, I will cause damage, stress, and unneeded crap in my life. I equate it to being “drunk.” In therapy, they use the terms rational mind, emotional mind, and wise mind. So when I am fully in my emotional mind, aka "drunk" as I said. I can’t see clearly, I can’t communicate clearly, and I react emotionally from one thing to the next. In order to get into my rational mind or my wise mind-(in-between the emotional brain and the raitonal brain)-I have to calm the system. I have to relax, shift out of fight or flight, quite the mind and calm down. The best way to do this is to PAUSE. When I remember to pause, and to use my body and breath to come back to the present moment, my intention, release stuck energy and the story in my head, then I am able to communicate, able to move through whatever is happening. I am able to course correct, to begin a new moment, and to respond, therefore owning my responsibility for the outcome. My partner says a beautiful thing sometimes when we are in breakdown, turmoil, or just in a funk that is not serving us, he will say, “Can we create a new moment?” And it’s a beautiful reminder that with each passing moment we have a new opportunity to create what we want, to shift and to start a new page.

Look, turmoil and breakdown happen. They are necessary. There have been so many breakdowns in my life that lead to incredible breakthroughs. However, I don’t want to live there. I want the turmoil, the breakdowns, and the shit to last only as long as it is serving and necessary. The second that it’s time to shift, time to PAUSE, time to move through, I want to do so. So that the majority of my time, of my day, of my life, is spent in the positive feelings, the higher vibrations, the joy, and love. There is great wisdom in the darkness, but it’s not where I want to live. I want to visit and learn and then come back home to myself, to this moment, to the here and now, and live awake.

So the next time something happens (an event or experience) whether it’s external or internal, I invite you to remember that your reaction/response equals the outcome. That you have full ability to respond, and that how you respond is 100% in your control. I challenge you to FIND YOUR PAUSE. Learn what that feels like in your body, what it looks like to you. Experiment and exercise. Be a practitioner of the pause. And remind yourself that you are responsible for your energy. If you are feeling like crap, or if you are stressed, do what you need to do for you so that you can show up in your life how you want, and be a source of love and light to the people around you. And let me know how it goes. I’m here on this journey with you. We are all in it together.

Best, Aspen

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