According to dictionary.com, these words are defined as follows:
React: to act in response to an agent or influence
Respond: to react favourably
I love the definition for respond. To react favourably. That means, that there are many ways to react – and not all good.
For me, the difference can be felt in my body.
Reacting is quick. Often tight. Sometimes stressful. Can be automatic, almost involuntary.
Responding is thoughtful. Takes more time. Feels more open and free. Often requires presence.
I’ve done my fair share of reacting. Some times it works, but often times with less than stellar results.
Slowly, I’m learning to respond. To take my time. To listen to that small quiet voice within that’s trying to be heard.
In order to do this, I have to present. To remember to think.
One thing I do to be present, is take a deep breath.
This calms me, and focuses my mind so that I can respond.
This is easy when I have time. When I’m feeling calm…cool…collected.
It’s a lot harder in the heat of the moment – when I feel like I need to answer right now.
What sorts of things do you do to bring yourself to the present moment, and respond vs. react?