guiding you through grief, loss, and new life
Choosing Your Response

Choosing Your Response

Life is so fast; we are often so reactive. One way to manage stress is to take a pause to breathe mindfully a bit and then respond, rather than react automatically. By tapping into the holistic brain, resting into the more relaxed parasympathetic nervous system, we can give a wholehearted response. We are at choice.


The Anticipated Message, collage by Carol Harada


Shifting into parasympathetic mode can be done quickly with mindful breathing, especially belly breathing. Try it now.

It also helps to bring your awareness back to what we in Intuition Medicine® call the meditation sanctuary. Often our awareness is in the frontal cortex, the focused analytic mind. But when we shift our awareness back to the hypothalamus, roughly in the center of the head, we have access to more complete information. In the meditation sanctuary, you are receiving holistic input from olfactory, auditory, and optic nerves. You have access to all the senses and intuitive ways of knowing.

So when we take a moment to reflect, we often make better choices. Being in anxiety and fear only brings more of the same. (This reactivity is so present in divisive politics and violent incidents around the world.)


A friend who is a single parent recently told me about his practice of coming back to choice. He’s caught himself sometimes reacting with yelling, escalating his teen’s drama. But he always tries to come back to choice, to take a do-over to respond mindfully. He told me that being a parent is the guaranteed way to be forced to deal with his own issues daily.

As someone who is not a parent, I bow down to all those raising kids and coming back to choice. And yet we are all in relationships with important people who are mirrors and teachers for us. So find your way back to your meditation sanctuary, your reflective pause, your mindful breath.


Leave a reply

Healing Quotes

“There is deep wisdom within our very flesh, if we can only come to our senses and feel it.”

– Elizabeth A. Behnke

“Your absence has gone through me like thread through a needle. Everything I do is stitched with its color.”

– W. S. Merwin

“We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”

– E. M. Forster

“Joy moves always to new locations,
the ease of its flow never freezing.
A long winter’s tale is over. Now
with each spring day, a new story.”

– Rumi

“Grief is not a task to finish,
And move on,
But an element of yourself –
An alteration of your being.
A new way of seeing,
A new definition of self.”

– Barb Mather

“In order to be a good warrior, one has to feel this sad and tender heart.”

– Chogyam Trungpa

“The next message you need is always right where you are.”

– Ram Dass

“Human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them…life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves.”

– Gabriel Garcia Marquez

“It’s time again. Tear up the violets and plant something more difficult to grow.”

– James Schuyler

“Don’t run away from grief, o soul
Look for the remedy inside the pain.
Because the rose came from the thorn
And the ruby came from a stone.”

– Rumi

“The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty YES to your adventure.”

– Joseph Campbell

“Everything in life that we really accept undergoes a change. So suffering must become love. That is the mystery.”

– Katherine Mansfield

“Our only security is our ability to change.”

– John Lilly

“We are the facilitators of our own creative evolution.”

– Bill Hicks

“The absolute tranquility is the present moment. Though it is at this moment, there is no limit to this moment, and therein is eternal delight.”

– Hui-Neng

“Now is the moment, Here is the place of Liberation.”

– Alex Grey