Sep 27, 2022

The second between stimulus and response

Today marks an important milestone in my awareness journey - the day when I consciously paused and avoided my habitual reaction! It might sound too silly but believe me, I have been struggling to get rid of this reaction for years.

I get so annoyed whenever something gets spilled at home - either by myself or by D. Though I know it happens by accident, I immediately yell or shout due to habit.

D often tells me, "Mummy, you become a She-Hulk whenever I spill something". I seriously couldn't recollect how I picked up this habitual reaction or understand why I get so triggered - is it the wastage, is it the post-clean-up effort?

This afternoon, my mind was reeling with 100 different thoughts and I was going over a complex spreadsheet related to work, just before I stepped into the kitchen. D wanted me to bake a mug cake for her. It's been so long since I made it and I was looking through the recipe on my phone. As I started adding the ingredients to my favorite coffee mug, I accidentally toppled the mug. Thankfully, it didn't break, but the ingredients had partially spilled out, creating an oily mess on the kitchen counter. My immediate reaction of shouting "yammaaaaa" happened, which, btw got added to D's vocabulary too!🙂 But after the habitual shouting, the response took a positive detour this time.

I told myself, "it's okay....it's a small cleanup effort. Let it go. Don't get angry with yourself for spilling". I cleaned it up immediately with a few kitchen towels and took a couple of deep breaths. Better sense prevailed :-)

I read this statement in a book - "There is a split second between a stimulus and our reaction/response. That's where our power lies."

I realized how that moment can be so powerful when we are aware of it.

Had I not caught myself in that moment, I would have gotten angry with D for no fault of hers. I would have been angry with myself, spoiling my mood for the rest of the evening.

Baked her mug cake, made myself a cup of chai, prepared green moong sundal for neivedyam and chanted shlokas! All is well! 

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