“not doing, not reacting, inactivity”
Do you ever react impulsively and then question your actions later?
Someone says something we don’t like – we react. Someone does or doesn’t do something – we react. We feel a certain emotion – we react.
We react instantaneously, and at times, it isn’t thought out, it isn’t intentional, and it isn’t in our best interest.
What if we slowed down our rate of reaction?
What if we allowed the stimulant to hang out in the air in front of us without rushing to grab it, bat it away, own it, or destroy it?
What if we sat back and watched the mind do its song and dance.
When we create this space, we build strength, resilience, character, we build integrity because we start to act from a place of truth and love.
Why do we have a hard time with inaction?
We take everything so personally.
Someone interrupts us and they have disrespected us. Someone didn’t say thank you and they have taken us for granted.
“No one walks all over me, no one talks to me that way – I’ll show them.”
And so we react, we hurt back, we bully back. It becomes a game of win or lose and so the cycle continues.
Let’s re-frame. Let’s realize that we also sometimes say or do things that could be perceived as hurtful – intentionally or not.
Most of our negative actions can be linked back to fear. It’s hard to admit it. We don’t want to see it, acknowledge it, because many of us see fear as a sign of weakness.
We’re afraid of not being enough. Intelligent enough, loved enough, attractive enough, successful enough.
We function from a place of scarcity.
We feel this nagging sense of lack. And so we look to the outside world to be filled up, to feel more worthy and deserving. But when we look externally to be filled up, to be validated, then we are also susceptible to external things threatening our value.
We give our power away.
To money, to fame, to people, to external things. When these things go our way, we feel powerful, grand, enough. But when they don’t go our way, we feel helpless, weak, dis-eased, lacking.
We give our power away to forces that are not in our control.
When we’re searching for a job, a partner, a certain goal, we may feel insecure in the process. We may feel less than, doubtful, rejected. But when we obtain the goal, we feel validated, worthy, successful.
This external target holds power over us. Without it, we feel drained, frustrated, anxious, dis-eased.
So, what do we do?
Identify where your power lies.
We start by defining what holds power over us.
What do we feel lacking without? What are we afraid to give up? What do we crave with urgency?
Making this list creates awareness, the first step to any intentional change.
Build your personal power.
You have to go inwards. It’s about clearing the clutter. All the bags, boxes, dust that have built up over the years.
Clean up your mind by seeing your mind.
Allow the negative, self-destructive thoughts to purge out. We tend to stuff the negative stuff deep down or ignore it and this is how we end up with all that clutter. Instead, allow the negativity, the fear, to come up, out and float away. Then, intentionally fill your mind with positive and productive thoughts.
When you feel the impulse, notice and take a pause.
Inaction isn’t forever. It’s meant to create space between an emotion and a reaction.
Taking a pause allows you to see more clearly.
When you feel reactive, rushed to respond, ask yourself, what is driving my reaction? Do I feel threatened? Have I given away my power to this person or situation?
See all the options for action.
The first few responses or reactions that come to you are often in the interest of the ego. They serve to make the ego feel grand, make someone else feel worse, to lessen any threat. Allow them to come up and float away.
Once the murky ego-driven water has passed and things are flowing smoothly and clearly, see the options that come from a place of truth and purity. Then with intention, choose your direction to act.
It may take some time for the murky water to run its course, days, weeks – be patient, be strong.
Keep at it.
As you continue to practice, it will get easier, less uncomfortable and faster.
The patterns of your mind will become obvious. You’ll find yourself less rushed, less anxious, more settled and acting in ways that serve you best.
Let’s be inactive for a bit?