The event never dictates the response

It dawned on me at 4 am this morning as I lay there wide awake, my mind uploading everything I had to do today, that I had been lying to myself again.

My mind felt crazy, out of control, and I began to feel anxious – the speed of the download and the chaotic thinking… To be honest, it felt just like it had before, when I’d forgotten to practice what I preach.

As I lay there, hands on belly trying to breathe deeply – in for one, out for two – I realised that I’ve been fooled again. Fooled into thinking that this situation is different, that this situation demands something different from me. But it doesn’t. I was lying to myself.

Corona is an event. And life is just a series of events that appear one after the other. Most of these events we have no control over, they just come, and we respond in our own way.

Control comes however, in how we respond. The thinking we hang out with and the behaviour we choose in relation to each and every event. I had no control over corona landing on our shores but I do have control over how I respond to it. My response has not been to panic, get anxious or down. I’ve done what I can to keep myself, my family and my team safe. But I’ve worked nearly every hour available. I’ve told myself that we are in extraordinary times and that requires an extraordinary response. I’ve been telling myself that in this event, the event does actually dictate the response, but I was wrong.  And, while I have been believing that story, I’ve stopped meditating and stopped doing yoga, both things I know l need for my wellbeing.

But…  the event never dictates the response. If someone shouts at me, I know I have a choice whether or not to shout back. When a pandemic hit, I had a choice about how I looked after my inner peace. I had a choice about my self-care – but I forgot that for a moment. I told myself a different story.

So, for now I’ve remembered – I am back on my path – choosing how I respond to each event that appears. And, my invitation to all of you is to join me here for a while, remembering, we get to choose – no matter what is going on around us.

By Elke Edwards, The Ivy House Award
21st April 2020

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