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Yoga Teacher Training in the Finger Lakes

React or Respond

Yoga Teacher Training in the Finger Lakes

Responding instead of reacting is a shift. It is how we change our lives. It is how we change the planet.

How much of your day is spent reacting?
How often do you find yourself bouncing around like a pinball, leaving you drained, distracted and dissatisfied?

We’ve been conditioned to react to our circumstances and our stories. A primary example is politics, which is entirely reactive, often devolving into “You’re stupid!” “No, you’re stupid!”, leaving no room for listening or change. Circumstances define us by our gender, age, job, geographical location, political affiliation and relationship status. But those are details, they are not who we are.
We are not our circumstances.

We are dynamic beings who are here to remember who we are, share our unique gifts with the world and to experience joy. We are all ambassadors, ushering ourselves and this planet into a new era of peace. We can infuse peace into our daily lives instantly by choosing to vision instead of react.
A vision invites us to step outside of our status quo, drop our expectations, and let something better come into existence through our choices and attention. In the space created by our visions, we can choose to respond instead of react. We are used to reacting to our day from the get go. The cycle of reaction begins when we get up and instantly react to what is outside of ourselves.

We can interrupt this habit through a change in sequencing.

Beginning our day with visioning, intention and prayer creates a fresh context for the day ahead. We can choose what we wish to experience. That might sound like “Thank you for this wonderful day. Thank you for all my interactions being filled with grace. I am grateful for the opportunities to use all of myself today in positive ways.” With a context for the day in place, when something happens, we can buffer our reactions with grace, love and humor.

In the core of our being — our soul — all of us reside in a reservoir of peace.
This peace becomes available when we choose to respond instead of react. When we do, we can witness the grace and power already present in our lives. We can see how much support is in place for us. We can garner more energy and insight from nature. By noticing a hummingbird, we can experience how connected we are to everything. All of this takes us outside of a sense of separation and isolation. We are all connected and included.

When we anticipate the day ahead by visioning it first, the things that would jar us into agitation can simply be observed. We can stop being surprised by our own lives and the people in it. We know who is who and what is what. If we are experiencing something we don’t like, what we would call a bad day, we have the power and the tools to change it.

Once in New York, I was working on my computer in a cafe, feeling overwhelmed. By not doing my usual morning visioning work and saying affirmations that day, I was in a funk. A young guy walks by and says “Hey, man, what are you working on?” Some spiritual writing, I replied. He immediately lit up and said “You know what are great?? AFFIRMATIONS!!!!” He never broke his stride and kept walking, but his clarity changed my day.

by Mark Mezadourian