To respond or to react?

This time of year…the commitments of the holidays, spending more time with our families, even the cold and inclement weather can put us on edge. We find ourselves feeling out of control… our lives are pushed this way and that way by the weather, by the expectations of others and even more by our own expectations of ourselves.

When find ourselves in circumstance we deem negative, we react, we get whipped around and around, our way of being constantly fluctuating according to our circumstances. This has the experience of being very harsh. However, when we create a neutral space for ourselves, just a moment to step away from judging our circumstances as negative or positive, we can flow with the fluctuations of life with grace and more ease.

It’s like the difference between an expert paddler using the currents of the river to move her forward and a novice being pummeled by the whitewater. You’re not actually in control in either situation, but the expert uses the currents to their advantage rather than being a victim to them.

The less we resist, the easier it is… The less we resist, the more connected we become to the bigger energy. So we use these practices called yoga to a kinesthetic reservoir of spaciousness that we can eventually learn to tap into. When we are in that state, we are able to respond to the situation appropriately rather than react. From the neutral ground of being, we can choose the good, we can choose love. If we don’t come to neutral first, we very often forget that we have a choice.

For a moment, let go of your story. It’s not that your story isn’t valuable… but for this moment, feel what it would be like to be without it. As we let go of good and bad, there is a spaciousness. And within that spaciousness, ironically, there is feeling that is best described by the word joy. How is it that when we let go of the need to feel joy…it arises spontaneously? It is one of the great mysteries. Some people say that it is because this is our true nature. That when we let go of expectations, desires, stories, etc, when we empty ourselves of the relative, the idea of good and bad, then what is left is as close to the truth with a capital T as we can hope to get.

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.
–Rumi

2 Comments

  1. Needed to read this, and it was just the perfect time. Loved the part about letting go of my story, and letting go of the need to feel joy, and how my joy and my story may arise spontaneously. You’re generous to take the time to write, I’d like you to know it helps.

  2. It means a lot to know that people are reading and getting something out of what I write. Thank you for taking the time to comment.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: