Common definition of responsibility: Being held accountable and liable for something.
Nobody has to be responsible. We don’t have to take responsibility for ourselves or others. It is a choice.
Choosing to be responsibility for myself means taking care of the needs of my body and mind. If my body is hungry I feed it healthy food. If I am not responsible, I eat what’s convenient, and my body suffers. When I feel stressed, I can meditate or do something relaxing. Otherwise, my mind will suffer. The more responsibility I accept for me the healthier my body and mind are.
There was a time I did not believe it was OK to take care of my own needs. I thought it was selfish, so I ignored what my body and mind needed to feel healthy. I got sick, and felt helpless to change. I felt like a victim. By not taking responsibility for our body and mind we become a victim to them.
By choosing responsibility I gain power! It is part of the package. By being responsibility for my body and mind, I have the power to impact them. I have the power to improve my diet, or increase the time I take to relax in the day. If I do not take responsibility for them, then I am a victim to them. I am stuck, unable to act, for I am waiting for something outside of me to fix me.
Personal experiments with this include:
v When I was very sick, I eventually choose to take responsibility for my illness, even though I did not know why I should at the time. This gave me the power, though, to heal myself.
v I ran into many road blocks in producing new products for my business. I felt like a victim to other businesses and manufacturers that were not in integrity. By taking responsibility for choosing to work with them in the first place, I gained the power to find other more reliable companies.
Responsibility does not stop with my body and mind though. There is a sliding scale of responsibility that starts with accepting responsibility for myself and extends to taking responsibility for the world I am a part of.
My favorite definition of responsibility is one given by a teacher of mine:
“Responsibility is acting in the moment with love for my-self first and then others.”- Oceana
On a physical level we breathe each other’s air; we pass molecules to each other when touching. The sounds and words we speak vibrate each other’s ear drums. The light our bodies emit is absorbed by the retinas of others eyes. It is a fact that we all impact each other, intentionally or un-intentionally.
In fact, the impact we have on each other is greater still…
I was talking with a friend the other day. I had a migraine (which includes light sensitivity) so had a mask over my eyes. During this time only I was talking. My friend was a distance from me; however, I could feel her reactions clearly. To be sure I was feeling her accurately I asked her questions like, “are you feeling a sense of openness now?”…”are you feeling angry and upset now?”….”are you thinking ____ now?” And so on. Her thoughts and feelings varied greatly during our conversation. During this experiment the only time she replied (until a juicy conversation later) was to briefly answer my questions. With promises of total honesty we discovered I had 100% accuracy. This experiment validated the connection beyond the physical we were both feeling. I believe everyone has the ability to connect with each other in this way.
This type of interaction is called Kything. Kything is something I have worked at for a long time now. Here is a definition:
“Kything is a wordless, mind to mind communication in which one person, in essence, almost becomes another, seeing through their eyes and feeling through their senses.”
“In such a frame of mind, the two people intuitively know the meaning of what the other is telling them. The idea may be based on the concept of Oneness, which states that all that exists is one in its source and end.”
Kything requires releasing all ideas and feelings about oneself and the other person. It means experiencing another with brand new eyes, like seeing them for the first time. When our noisy thoughts and feelings are quieted, a serene emptiness remains. In that emptiness we experience awareness outside our body, including in others around us. Kything allows us to share our being as well as our thoughts. This experience helps me realize I am not only this body and mind, but something subtle, peaceful, and very big.
Chaos Theory’s Butterfly Affect demonstrates our inter-connectedness. The Butterfly affect was discovered by meteorologist Edward Lorenz. He found that minute changes in his initial data (.506127 was rounded to .506) while simulating weather patterns had unpredictably huge affects in the resultant weather model. The Butterfly Affect states that something as subtle as the gentle flap of a butterfly’s wings can stir up a whisper of air, tickling a draft, forming a breeze, triggering a chain of atmospheric changes that culminates in a killer tornado ripping through some seemingly unrelated part of the world. The Butterfly affect states the giant impact every small action has on the world around us. It shows our interconnectedness and the power our actions have on the world.
Science states that every sound we make travels into infinity, forever impacting, and spreading through the universe. Musicians have a huge impact on the world. Consciously created music affects listeners deeply. We all know the power good music has to change our mood or create a cool ambience. This is a wonderful service to the world. Furthermore, recorded music multiplies this affect as it is played over and over again. The photo is of Jamie Cullum charming his audience.
Accepting responsibility for the impact our words and actions have on the world around us gives us the power to choose new words and actions that will get the positive responses we want. We no longer need to feel like a victim to the events happening in our lives.
Personal experiments with this include:
v After getting divorced I felt like a victim to my x-wife. Our relationship was not very good at that time either. Choosing to take responsibility for the problems my marriage had gave me the power to heal my hurt and create a new me who would not repeat the same mistakes again. It also created a beautiful space of peace and caring between my x-wife and I so that we could have the healthy and caring relationship we have now.
v By taking responsibility for my lack of clarity in business production, I gained the ability to learn how to be crystal clear with production processes. I was then able to hold the space for greater clarity with my work partners as well. That clarity snowballs with those I now choose to work with too and we produce incredible products.
I used to think it was arrogant to think my words and deeds affect others. After all, doesn’t everyone have their own free will? Yes, they do. However, since we are all interconnected, we impact those around us whether we choose to believe it or not.
Taking responsibility for our inter-connectedness allows us to create the outcomes we want with others, and in the world!
Even if I am being treated poorly by another, by taking responsibility for their mood, I can then respond in a way to help alter their mood for the better. This usually means communicating and acting with compassion and kindness.
A fact often missed is: If I respond to a negative situation with compassion and kindness, I get the experience of compassion and kindness. It is not possible, then, to be a victim to other’s negativity.
Also, because we are interconnected, I am holding the space for others to access that kindness in themselves. Hence, I often find that kindness gets reciprocated. By being an example of what we want, the world will follow suit. It has to. We are interconnected with the world and our actions help create it. It works like magic!
This is why I pick up garbage in the park. It is my park and I choose to be responsible for it. In so doing I experience a connection with the park. I experience a sense of pride that I previously did not have. On a large scale if everyone chose to be responsible for our planet, pollution would go away. Imagine everyone picking up the pollution around them in this very moment. Some would clean up parks, others their factories. The affect would be huge and beautiful.
I am no master with responsibility, but I experience its truth profoundly.
It is fact that we are all inter-connected and if we don’t take responsibility for our world, then we are powerless to affect it. Responsibility allows us to change things for the better. It is what gives us that power.
Y The more I accept responsibility for the way my thoughts, words, and actions affect ME the more peace and power I experience in myself.
Y The more I accept responsibility for the way my thoughts, words, and actions affect OTHERS the more peace, connection, and power I experience in myself and with others.