Sunday, June 6, 2010

Reactivity and Response

"If peace is really what you want, then you will choose peace. If peace matters to you more than anything else and it you truly knew yourself to be spirit rather than a little me, you would remain nonreactive and absolutely alert when confronted with challenging people and situations. You would immediately accept the situation and thus become one with it rather than separate yourself from it. Then out of your alertness would come a response. Who you are (consciousness), not who you think you are (a small me), would be responding. It would be powerful and effective and would make no person or situation into an enemy."

Eckhart Tolle from Oneness With All Life

Reaction to what is happening "to" us versus thoughtful response based on our active participation in life. Gut reactions as opposed to calm. Possible?  Yes. Simple?  Yes, that too. Easy? Not so much.....

At the core of this principle which is so eloquently stated by Tolle is detached awareness, the ability to maintain perspective in the midst of what might be an onslaught of challenges thrown our way by people, places, and things.

We can begin to change our old patterns of reactivity by first becoming aware of and accepting the world as it is rather than maintaining how we want it to be. Faced with a stressful situation, we become alert and aware of our essential selves which are not reactive, not fear based, but instead are responsive and peaceful.

Our essential selves do not need to be right, to be understood, to be heard, to be accepted, to be perfect, in the way our "little me" does. Rather, our essence sees the divine in everyone and knows that we are are connected and that peace and harmony exists in all moments. The mantra "I am aware" is a good starting point for redirecting your attention to essence and away from gut reactions, promoting acceptance of what is and creating more harmony in life which is all to the good.

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