In contrast, responses are deliberate. They come from the conscious mind as a result of thoughtful consideration of the present circumstances. Responses have an advantage over reactions because they are unconstrained by past experiences. They provide us with the freedom to consider how the present is different from the past. The awareness of unique aspects of the present moment yields the opportunity to step out of past patterns of behavior and replace them with better ways of being here and now.
Reflect on challenging situations that you face on a regular basis, like traffic or an irritating coworker, and try to come up with a new response that makes them less bothersome. If you can’t come up with a way to turn an apparently negative situation into a positive one, try substituting indifference; for example, how you would react to a tree you pass on your way down the road. Then practice anticipating these situations and implementing your new, improved responses.
The process of reevaluating your reactions and improving them through substitution with conscious responses has applications throughout life because almost everything you think, say, and do is a reaction controlled by the habit function of your subconscious mind. By reclaiming your present from the limitations of your past you can literally remake your life for the better.
BODY – MIND – SPIRIT