The story in the video, of this weeks’ “water shortage”, was just the beginning. Later on, I was at an event where some women and I shared our stories and a concept from one of them struck a cord.
The woman told a powerful story and one of the messages was about how we can become so Reactive in our lives. Going through situations and spaces in life almost on auto pilot, unaware of our actions and/or feelings because of how automatic they have become.
As with my water experience earlier this week, there were multiple times where I went to turn on the tap, in such an unconscious fashion. Only to be reminded that there was none!
In a post on Facebook this week I referenced the analogy of learning how to drive a standard (stick shift) car and it was in a different context as to why I used it as an example but I am going back to the car reference today with the idea of Reactive. Driving a car was once a skill that I had to give thought to of every step in the process; when to push down the clutch, knowing when to switch gears, etc.
Years later, I get in and GO! If I were to be asked today, how to drive a standard car I would struggle to be able to break down each step, one by one because it was so second-nature.
And when I heard the woman’s story about being Reactive in our lives it hit me – I hadn’t thought about it in a while and just after she said it , I had various areas of life (besides with running water LOL) go through my mind and I questioned whether there were spaces that I had became reactive to again in life.
There have certainly been more than one big significant event r time in life that has shaken things up and been the exact opposite of reactive. One of them was when I spent time in South East Asia in 2016. It was the first time in a long time that I was the exact opposite of reactive. From not knowing where I was going geographically (which I was usually always in control of back home because I drove myself everywhere and had not relied on public transit in years), to brushing my teeth with a water bottle to not risk contamination from the water. Some times the washrooms were simply cement sink holes that you stood over. That’s right, no toilet seat, no toilet paper! … thank gosh for the abundance of hand wipes that I carried with me 🙂
And every day choices; sometimes there was a tour guide with specifics of where to go and what to do, but there was so much choice, deciding each day how to spent it, what would be fulfilling for ME, in that day, in those moments. There was something about being completely out of my home environment that shifted inside of me. I felt freedom to make decisions for me and only me. And yet, it was foreign at the beginning. I was so used to basing decisions on other people, what they would think, what would they want to do for SO much of my life at home in Canada.
I completely respect when in a group travel experience, business collaboration, etc. for including others in decisions. For me, this time, it was the ability to make individual decisions for myself and get rid of the filters I used to run my decisions on, basing them on other peoples wants, needs, preferences and ‘what would they think of me’ attitude.
What that experienced allowed me to do was to come back to Canada to start fresh. From the day I returned from SE Asia, I decided to live a life that fuelled my passions and ignited a fire within me. To choose every day, the path and decisions that I most want for myself. The things that take me towards my goals and saying no to what doesn’t serve me. To constantly check in with myself to ensure that I am taking response-ability and action every day.
One of my favourite quotes, is something that I feel has been used in the reverse for so long, but this quote exactly pegs how I feel empowered to life life today:
The way I encourage you to move from reactive living to purposeful living is to ask yourself what it is that you can create. Who is it that you want to be and then what is it that you want to do most, when you are being your authentic self? When that is aligned, you are in the ‘flow’ of creation!