Don’t you love when a new and unexpected insight comes into your awareness?
Last week I had the opportunity to learn something very important about reactions… an insight that will expand your capacity to create rapid transformation and positive change in your life!
Before we get to that though, have you ever considered the difference between reaction and response?
Don’t worry if you’re a little murky on the difference… even the dictionary links them together.
Here’s one of the definitions of reaction:
“an action performed or a feeling experienced in response to a situation or event.”
And here’s a definition of response:
“a reaction to something.”
Those definitions get to the heart of the problem… and the opportunity.
We often act as if there is no difference between our reactions and our responses…
But there IS a difference… a very important difference.
And when you understand and recognize that difference you can use it to make more empowering choices in your life!
To give you an idea… here are some of the ways Reaction and Response are different:
Reaction is passive – Response is active
Reaction is subconscious – Response is conscious
Reaction is disempowering – Response is Self Empowering
Reaction solidifies the walls of your comfort zone – Response softens and stretches the walls and opens doorways to new insights and awareness outside of your comfort zone.
I think it’s safe to say that, given those differences, most of us would choose response over reaction.
How do you do that? How do you make the choice to move from reaction to response?
Well I love what Viktor Frankl, the author of Man’s Search for Meaning, says:
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
~~ Viktor Frankl
Find that “space” and you will find the way to shift from reaction to response.
Not sure how to find that space?
Start with the old piece of advice about “counting to ten” before responding when you’re angry?
Here’s are the wise words Thomas Jefferson shared with the son of a friend:
“When angry, count ten, before you speak; if very angry, an hundred.”
This continues to be very good advice, although I would probably change the word angry to “triggered.”
If you feel triggered by something someone said or did, count to ten before your speak… If you’re feeling VERY triggered, count to one hundred!
And then there’s the Buddhist concept of Mindfulness.
Set your intention to become mindful and aware of your physiological/emotional experience. This would be what Frankl calls the “Stimulus.”
And then from that place of mindfulness you can more easily CHOOSE to respond to the situation rather than react.
So bringing Mindfulness, Counting to 10 (or 100) and finding the space between stimulus and response… these are ways to begin your shift from Reaction to Response.
But what about that new insight about reactions I mentioned…
Well, it has to do with the nature of reactions… where they come from and what they really are.
Can you fill in the blank below?
Reactions are hidden __________.
While you’re pondering that, let me tell you a quick story.
Last week when I led the Tropical Transformation Transmission call I was incredibly excited to share the energies of the Elements and Dolphins with you.
And, I was also super excited to welcome our last few “pod-mates” to our Dolphin Awakening Adventure in Hawaii in May.
The call itself was fantastic… the energies of the Elements and the Dolphins came through so powerfully. And the feedback from participants on the call was awesome.
But… no one registered for the retreat immediately after the call.
And I found myself face to face with reaction!
Disappointment, tightness, constriction, self-doubt and even fear.
The old voices of doubt trying to convince me I had “messed up” and “done something wrong?”
And on top of the doubt… because I have worked with these inner doubts and fears and voices for decades… the fact that they were coming up AGAIN caused the reaction to expand even more!
Now as I’ve shared before, the awakening journey is like peeling an onion.
As you peel away the “layers” you get to ever deeper levels of understanding and clarity… but of course, before you get to that understanding and clarity, you first have to get through the layer.
So when I caught myself getting wrapped up in the energy of reaction, and knowing that I often get powerful insights while I’m out in the wild, I took the rest of the day off to get out into the woods and explore this deeper layer.
(Sometimes counting to 10, or even 100, isn’t enough!)
As I walked in silence and felt into the energy connected to my reaction I was given a very powerful insight about reaction…
I was shown where this particular reaction energy lived within me!
And more important…
I was shown WHEN it lived within me!
What do I mean by that?
Stick with me here:
Normally when we think about reactions we look at them as a reaction TO something that happened.
So there is an assumption that the energy of the reaction did not exist until after that something happens.
As I walked through the woods, I was shown, very clearly, that the energy of my reaction existed within me long before the reaction.
In other words, the reaction to the external “thing” is an expression of something already present.
So for the “riddle” above: Reactions are hidden ______
What did you come up with?
Did you get that…
Your Reactions are Your Hidden Expectations coming to the surface.
Yes. Every time you react you are experiencing a hidden expectation coming into the light.
You might be thinking… “No way, I don’t have an expectation that people are going to show up late/let me down/insult me/stand me up/whatever it is that triggers you.”
But before you accept that as true, I invite you to feel into it.
When I felt into it, I realized that my conscious expectations and goals for the Tropical Transformation Transmission call were positive – I envisioned the last few spots in the trip filling up during the live call!
But when I was shown the “timeline” of the reaction energy field, I could see that my subconscious expectations were negative.
On that new, deeper “onion” layer that was being peeled away, I was holding an energetic expectation that no one would register.
And when no one did… it allowed that subconscious expectation to come up to the surface as a reaction.
Which is great… because once it’s on the surface and in the light… it can be cleared!
And that’s exactly what I did!
And that’s exactly what YOU can do!
The next time you feel yourself entering into a reactive state remember…
Stimulus SPACE response…
Count to 10 (or 100)
Explore what the Hidden Expectation is that’s coming into the Light to be cleared and released.
Coming to the surface to be cleared.
Coming into the light to be released.
“When you REACT, you are giving away your power. When you RESPOND, you are staying in control of yourself.”
~~ Bob Proctor