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Mind the Gap. Thursday March 5, 2015

I am grateful to Frankie for the idea for this week's blog.

Frankie stated on Tuesday: "So, what can I do? Well lots of things really, if I choose to...and that is the point; I, and only I, can choose my response to my situation.

As I read that, I immediately thought of a model I use which could offer further clarity to that very point, that each one of us is responsible for our response to any situation.

Between stimulus and response there is a gap and in that gap (unlike any other animal on the planet) lies our unique human abilities that enable us to consider and respond appropriately.We have the power or wisdom, not simply to react like a knee jerk reaction – as all other animals do.

Humans have such a great ability to 'choose' their response.we are response-able, as well as responsible.

If we are however emotionally imbalanced, given that all 4 'qualities' that stem from the freedom to choose are emotionally based, we will simply react like animals, as our full cortical ability shuts down in states of anger or distress. Only when we are emotionally balanced can we truly use our full capacity to create a better future. This is where I find Heartmath useful and some may use other bio-feedback devices.

We can place ourselves in heartfelt balance before making any important decisions – if we have the desire to do so and use all our human abilities. I remind myself that I am responsible for my actions and I only 'lose' when I blame anyone else for my challenges or failures.

To Frankie again: "For it is in changing my response to the situation AND in reminding myself daily of my choice that will enable me to challenge my feelings of inadequacy."

And when we are mentally ill, we may well rely on someone we trust, to use their unique human abilities to either help or even make some decisions for us.

Dare I say 'mind the gap'...or should that be 'mine the gap'?

A Moodscope member.

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Hopeful One Thu, Mar 5th 2015 @ 6:45am

Hi Les- a very helpful blog reminding us that whether we react to anything or respond to it lies within us. Unfortunately this is far easier said than done. The systems that drive this process have an inherited component situated in the' flight and fright 'center in the brain designed to respond in mili seconds. Unless this is controlled/subdued in some way before it sends out a burst of' warning /preparing the body' cortisol , the respond centers in the cortex don't stand a chance. to bring.It can be done of course by deploying the compassion caring centers of the brain. This needs constant practice and and mind training.As far as I know ,apart from drugs,meditation is the only programme that achieves this -unless anyone knows different.

Les Thu, Mar 5th 2015 @ 7:24am

Hi H.O.

Self-awareness, independent will, Self-respect and imagination & creativity are all human traits along with experience, mindfulness, wisdom and education are all components of the humans ability to alter their behaviour......otherwise we still be living like animals.

We constantly learn through life - even as you have said yourself through loss we learn.

Imagine if we had dare I say fight or flight as the Wright brothers!!

Humans are the most unpredictable animal on the planet....which is why we keep pushing the boundaries of understanding of our world and each other - out, not staying trapped as any other 'species'.

Julia Thu, Mar 5th 2015 @ 8:48am

For me, it's the small choices I make every day which I need to think about before I make them. The large choices are easier for me as usually one has a longer period of reflection before one commits.
With small every day choices e.g how I react to a certain situation or act towards people, stopping for a few seconds and thinking a bit can help enormously and should build up into better self protection. I say "should" because more often than not, I'm either impulsive or continue with the same behaviour patterns; it's easier especially when I have no energy or enthusiasm to change.

Mary Blackhurst Hill Thu, Mar 5th 2015 @ 10:48am

Got it was you on the third line, Les! Great post. Sometimes being responsible can mean letting someone else take the decisions that you are not capable of taking. Very hard - but it's not abdicating responsibility, it's delegating.

Anonymous Thu, Mar 5th 2015 @ 11:15am

So true Hopeful One "far easier said than done"
Frankie (still struggling)

Anonymous Thu, Mar 5th 2015 @ 11:18am

Yes Julia - really hard to respond (rather than react) with limited energy and will-power! I can really relate to this ...
Frankie xx

Anonymous Thu, Mar 5th 2015 @ 11:21am

Thank-you Les; wishing you and everyone peace of mind and heart, as ever

Anonymous Thu, Mar 5th 2015 @ 11:43am

P.S. Am writing out "I am response-able" to stick up by my desk ... love it!

Les Thu, Mar 5th 2015 @ 2:12pm

Hi Julia

Yup - its easy when we are making big decisions....our values (conscious or unconscious) take us quickly there on BIG issues as it is VERY difficult to make BIG changes.

Life is almost all about small decisions.

Like a compass bearing, everyone is going in the direction they thought was correct and it is those small adjustments where we continually clarify things as we go through life, that shape our future and legacy - especially our children.

Compass before Clock every time!
Heart before Head
EQ before IQ
Character before Competence

As I have said before, the clever (IQ) person knows the answer - the wise (EQ) person knows the questions.......which is why coaching and mentoring is not about knowing ANY answers - it is all about asking questions that help the person (family / team) find their own answers (which you could even disagree with) - it however THEIR life.

Even teachers (experts) need to move from sage in the stage to guide by the side......if we want people to grow (EQ), as well as pupils to learn (IQ).

'Both and' (EQ)......not 'either or' (IQ).............just EQ B 4 IQ for B 4 temptation.

Julia Thu, Mar 5th 2015 @ 3:30pm

Yes I agree with you here Les. I just wish I had known all this in my 30s. Oh well, better late than never. Great stuff nonetheless Les.

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