responding vs. reacting: living a guided life in chaotic times

July 1, 2020

The other week I decided to take a personal retreat. I do these retreats at best, once a year, but really should do them more often, considering how instrumental they are in bringing grounding and refreshment. I always come away with a clearer lens through which to view the world.

Given Covid restrictions, I debated whether I should do one at all, as I usually travel to a different location for a couple of days. Doing so now felt somewhat risky. But as I considered the fact that I was planning to be alone the entire time, it didn’t feel that much different than being alone at home. So I began to pack, eagerly anticipating a few days to re-center, still my spirit, and listen for guidance regarding both present and future steps.

Even if you don’t currently have the opportunity to leave your responsibilities for a day or two, there is tremendous value in withdrawing from our overly stimulated world, no matter how briefly ~ even if just for a few hours. There is power in retreating. It gives us the space to unhook from external forces for awhile ~ daily distractions, the weight of the news cycle, other people’s voices, and the viral fear that has become such a constant companion in these times.

Retreating gives us a chance to listen. To our own voice. To our higher self. And to the Divine.

Too often, instead of living guided lives, we live reactive lives. Especially now, in these turbulent times. Every day a single glance at the headlines gives us a multitude of things to react to, and fear, anxiety, and unrest fill our spirits. Unhooking gives us a chance to leave these emotions behind and take a few steps back, helping us gain clarity and vision again.

I moved to Mexico from Los Angeles in 2018, and people sometimes ask if I relocated because Trump was elected (for the record, the answer is no). But this question always strikes me as strange, because I have never been inclined to make decisions that are simply reactions to what is going on around me. Instead, I’ve chosen to navigate my way through life from a deeper place of purpose and divine guidance.

And this deeper knowing isn’t dependent on pandemics, riots, what people get elected, or what institutions crumble. It is an internal GPS that serves as a mooring in turbulent times. This is both the power and the fruit of being anchored in a higher vibration ~ you are not as easily buffeted by the waves of the planet.

Right now, we are experiencing a lot of waves. And with them, we are being given ample opportunity to learn how to respond instead of giving in to gut reactions. But to do so, we need to give ourselves space to be still in the midst of chaos, and then trust and expect that whispers of guidance will come.

These times, like perhaps never before, call for us to intentionally center ourselves and ask what our highest purpose is on the planet. What actions do we need to take to bring about a more elevated world? We cannot rise collectively until we each do the work to rise individually. That is the task before us in this challenging era ~ to deeply listen, and then to respond. Together, may we help our planet heal.

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