Sunday, March 13, 2016

I Choose... Response-Ability

I Choose… Response-ability

Hello all!

Something that I learned almost 17 years ago was that I cannot control my conditions, but that I CAN control my responses within my conditions, and when I do that deliberately, purposefully, and consistently, those conditions will become different right around me without me doing anything to change them.

Here’s a description of what that can look like.
·         I’m living in a circumstance that is painful to me in some way
·         I decide to start responding differently within that circumstance (circum stance literally means “that which stands around me.” And “that which stands around me” is completely neutral. It doesn’t care what I think of it or how I feel about it. It just is. Whatever meaning that it holds for me, is determined BY me.)
·         I’m not very good at deliberately choosing my responses at first, but because it’s important to me I continue to practice
·         All hell appears to break loose and it looks like my life goes into chaos
·         I do the work of paying attention to my responses in the midst of the chaos. Am I reacting to it according to the pattern that I’ve always lived from? Or am I responding deliberately within it for the purpose of creating a new pattern?
o   “Reacting to it” is easy. It requires no deliberate thought or self-discipline, and it keeps me in the role of “victim of circumstances,” with the belief that it’s all “out there” and that I’m powerless to do anything about it. And if I’m powerless to change anything, that absolves me of any responsibility for it, right? Easy.
o   “Responding within it” does require deliberate thought, self-discipline, and a willingness to do something that feels hard to do. It also requires the recognition that there’s no “out there” out there, and that my experience of this circumstance – however I’m choosing to experience it – belongs solely to me.
o   Which one is my choice right now?
·         The more consistently I choose my responses, the more opportunities I receive to choose those responses deliberately. I find that I’m getting LOTS of practice, and I choose to be grateful for every opportunity that arises. Thank God for chaos!
·         Eventually—and the amount of time it takes always depends upon my level of consistency—my responses become automatic.
o   Something that I’ve noticed with regard to this, though: If I am wishy-washy instead of consistent and persistent, I often end up giving up on myself and getting sucked back into the old pattern, because that old pattern is ingrained and its current is like an undertow in the ocean. A big part of my work is to be aware of that, and I must, must, MUST be willing to make this practice so important to me that I stay strong in it so that the old pattern’s current cannot suck me back in.
·         As my new pattern is established, I see that my conditions have changed to match it, because I, myself, have changed within the conditions!

So what IS “response-ability?” It is what I choose to do with my ability to respond in the midst of whatever is going on (inside me OR around me). It is the act of owning my own experience. And it is the most powerful “action” that I can ever take toward changing my circumstances, because as I do this work, I become different within my circumstances. This is what I mean when I say that change has to happen from the inside out. It has to begin within. Only from within can the “out there” be changed. Ever.

And one very powerful way to do so is with this “Personal Response-Ability” practice.

I Choose… Response-Ability

This week I begin a diligent, consistent practice of choosing to be deliberate with my ability to respond within the conditions that surround me. I choose to be response-able for—and in—my current experience, recognizing that my experience is unique to me and that I am the only one who will ever have the power to change it. I choose to use my response-ability for the purpose of changing my circumstances from the inside out, which I understand is the only way it can ever be done.

What are you struggling with right now? If letting go of that struggle is at all important to you, I encourage you to choose response-ability and watch what happens.

Join me in this if you choose to, and—as always—I would love to hear your thoughts, comments, breakthroughs, etc.

Love to you all.


Have an awesome day if you choose to!

Rev. Sandra Daly

“Speak your Soul into this space.” Em Claire 


I continue to ask. Trusting. Because that is what I'm choosing to do with my ability to respond within a circumstance that appears to be stalled. :-)

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