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We dissolve stuck and rewrite patterns. We apply radical playfulness to life (when we feel like it!), embarking on internal adventures (credo of Safety First). We have a fake band called Solved By Cake. We build invisible sanctuaries, invent words and worlds, breathe awe and wonder.

We are not impressed by monsters. Except when we are. We explore the connections between internal territories and surrounding environment to learn what marvelously supportive delicious space feels like, and how to take exquisite care of ourselves. We transform things.* We glow wild.**

* For example: Desire, fear, worry, pain-and-trauma, boundaries, that problematic word which rhymes with flaweductivity.

** Fair warning: Self-fluency has been known to lead to extremely subversive behavior, including treasuring yourself unconditionally, unapologetically taking up space, experiencing outrageously improbable levels of self-acceptance, and general rejoicing in aliveness.


Not everything requires a response.

Among the many weird, marvelous and extraordinary things that happened at the Rally (Rally!), this one was possibly the most surprising.

After some badass spiral practice, I chose six questions and we let those questions be like stones skipping through water.

We scribbled furiously, documenting whatever emerged from the brain-scramble. From our mathematically-overloaded chaos-infused beautifully restructured minds.

And, among other things, this one VERY clear, very insistent sentence:

Not everything requires a response.

It kind of shook me up. If “kind of” = a lot.

To be clear! This is all me-talking-to-myself, yes? The responses are also me.

The conversation.

Me: Wait, what? WHAT?! WHAT?! What is that even supposed to mean?
Response: Not. Everything. Requires. A. Response.

Me: But that’s crazy. Also: that cannot possibly be true.
Response: And yet, not everything requires a response.
Me: *finds nearest fainting couch and collapses upon it dramatically*

Assuming truth and going from there.

Me: If not everything requires a response, what does this mean for me?
Response: Well, it gives you a lot of freedom.

It also gives other people a lot of freedom. They are sovereign beings. They can either deal with their stuff or not deal with their stuff.

It can actually be very respectful of you when you intentionally don’t respond.

When this lack of response comes not from avoidance or resistance but consciously recognizing that this is not something that needs to be responded to.

Me: Overwhelming resistance jumping on giant trampolines in my belly!
Response: Nu …? So what does the resistance have to say?

But everyone else does it.

Me: X always responds! Y always responds! Look at all these people I hugely admire who always respond to everything! How can I not respond?

Response: You are responding.

By determining that a response is not necessary. By respecting their sovereignty.

Not everything has to do with you or requires your attention or needs to be in your world. Part of not playing kindergarten teacher is practicing discernment about what gets to come in.

Sovereignty includes this certainty: knowing that not everything requires a response.

How do you know what needs a response?

Me: How am I supposed to know what does or doesn’t need a response?
Response: If it’s a hurt, sad, scared part of you, that always needs a response.

However, it doesn’t have to be an immediate one and it doesn’t have to be a jumping-in-and-helping one. You acknowledge your hurt and discomfort, and that is enough.

Me: And if people are upset with me or say hurtful things?
Response: If you are hurting, you interact with your pain around being misunderstood.

That is the response. The first response is to you. Always. If you choose to respond to them, you can choose if that happens internally or externally.

You can use compassionate communication with them to meet them with love. But that process can just as easily take place in your head or on paper.

After that, if you truly wish to respond out loud, you may do so. While still knowing it isn’t required of you.

If people hate me for not responding?

Me: What if people hate me because I’m not responding to them?
Response: Unless they’re trolls, they’re working through their own stuff anyway.

It is not your mission to be the acknowledger for every single person in the world. One of the things you model is how to acknowledge your own stuff and destuckify.

They can either use those tools or not. It’s up to them.

If they can’t handle it, that’s their stuff. If you’re bothered by whether or not people like you, that’s your stuff.

But what about …?

Me: What about how A says “every conflict is an opportunity”?
Response: Well, he is correct in a sense. There is truth in that.

And yet, not responding at times when no response is required of you is ALSO an opportunity for establishing the culture and for learning.

It’s actively, consciously not taking responsibility for other people’s stuff.

And that is part of what makes the culture you are establishing so brilliant, so safe, so grounded, so loving and so full of freedom.

Anyway, when has A ever been 100% right? He is never more than partially right, at most. So assume only-partial-truth by default, and then find what is true.

How do you find what is true?

Me: How do I find what is true?
Response: Part of you believes you absolutely have to respond to everyone in order to acknowledge them and set the culture. What is her hidden truth?

Me: That there is tremendous power in acknowledging things.

That when you acknowledge something you release the essence, just like I’m doing now. That love is what is given when you acknowledge pain.

And that when I consciously choose to not give something a response, this is also an acknowledgment, both internal and external. It’s like answering a greeting with a smile. Responding can happen on many different levels other than verbally.

Response: Yes.

But but but. Again.

Me: I still have this but but but feeling coming up.
Response: And what is feeling uncomfortable for you with this?

Me: Okay. So theoretically I can consciously choose the response of not responding. But then all this negativity is headed my way. I will be flooded in negativity.

Response: And whenever you remember that a) it is not yours, b) it has nothing to do with you, c) there is nothing you are required to do, it is transformed.
Look at how little you respond emotionally now when someone throws a shoe at you now compared to a few years ago. You have worked miracles.

How is this connected?

Me: Alright. How is this theme connected to my project of getting ready to announce the mindful, hilarious, intense, life-changing Week of Biggification in Asheville?

Response: You will know how to give people structures and space to have their own experience and work through it. Right now what is needed is this:

Me: I cannot wait. I love it when you say shit like that. Tell me what to do!
Response: What’s needed is this:

Continuing to have this conscious relationship with yourself. Resting. Saying no to things. Not responding to things. Rallies and mini-rallies and Rally-like things as a place to practice this. While wearing costumes!

But louder.

Me: So basically … keep doing what I’m doing?

Response: But louder. More intentionally. More transitions. More actively recognizing the ways in which receiving supports you.

Taking care of yourself is a requirement, not something to consider thinking about.

Me: Tell me more about the power of not responding.

Response: People appreciate it when you hold back.

They will recognize that it is respectful of them and their process. They see it as modeling. They are intelligent enough to recognize that this is what you’re doing.

Your work is becoming more and more a meeting of equals. Caretaking and over-responding won’t be appealing, and you’ll encounter fewer people who want it.


Me: Really?
Response: This “always-responding” is attractive to you because it was modeled for you your whole life. You were repeatedly taught that the “good” teachers and educators are ones who give of themselves, who put other people’s needs above their own and who are always care-taking.

You were not taught, explicitly or otherwise, that there are better ways to respect people’s sovereignty and to give them space to work things out on their own. If you give your people the techniques, the culture and the containers, and then challenge them to help themselves, they will.

This is all new to you so no need to be so hard on yourself. Of course this concept challenges you. It’s not part of the culture / vocabulary / training you grew up with.

Me: You’re right. I didn’t really get it before.
Response: You’re getting it now, and this is good because this will help the Week of Biggification be even more of a success in the world.

Wait, what?

Me: What do you mean?
Response: The people who come there are going to do big and beautiful things in the world.

They will be part of EVEN BIGGER things than anything you can imagine.

And the reason they will be able to do this is that they will not have you as a crutch.

They will know their own capabilities because you have backed off.

They will trust themselves more. They will BLOSSOM through the experience of being treated as a capable, competent, sovereign being who knows her (or his) own heart.

You will show up with the pirate ship, with the magic, with the zaniness and the process and the tools … and they will have their own miraculous experiences that are not because of you but because of the way your essence and your radiance contribute to spaces in which anything is possible.


Me: Wow.
Response: Yes. Wow. This is really big stuff. You have no idea.

Me: So what happens next?
Response: You commit to practicing the art of not responding.

You say: “I am choosing to not have to respond. Because not everything requires a response.” That is your response.

Me: THANK YOU. This is crazy and awesome.
Response: Uh, okay. Glad to be of assistance by repeating back to you the stuff you know already.
Me: *giggles*

And comment zen for today.

This is a tough subject, conceptually and really in every other way too.

It’s something I’m still working through, processing, assimilating, trying to wrap my brain around.

We’re all working on our stuff. It’s a process. We let each other have our own experiences, we don’t give advice (unless someone wants some), and we meet ourselves with love. I adore all of you.

I hope you know that each of my posts here is a response to something. And that I am always responding to your you-ness with appreciation and sweetness, even when I don’t always do it out loud.

27 Responses to Not everything requires a response.

  1. Jesse
    Twitter: persnicket

    A beautiful post. Thank you for sharing more about this concept! It’s powerful stuff and it’s good to see sovereignty modeled (and figured out along the way there) at a higher level than I’m currently feeling capable of. Definitely inspiring and not intimidating (unless you feel like being intimidatingly awesome in your queenly boots!).

    Also want to say that I feel some of my most intense moments of learning from your writing and your style have been exactly when you have NOT responded. Like I wrote a comment to an older blog post of yours, to which there was no response (understandably!); the moment of learning about this was much, much bigger for me than if I had received a response. Because part of me knew what the Havi Essence would have said if you had spoken back — the response would have had love and radiant peace in it. So I still learned from it, except I got to access the Havi-like part of me that understands that I need peaceful acceptance no matter how I’m feeling. (ack. lump in throat and crying about this one right now. in a good way.)

    Don’t know if I’m articulating this very well but just want to emphasize that I learn very well from you when you respond but it’s also profound when you don’t. So I feel you are doing this already, in some way!

    Big big hug and kisses. For sharing this. For the tears and the learning and for everything you’ve brought into my life already.
    .-= Jesse´s last post … Rally thoughts- Part One =-.

  2. Hiro Boga
    Twitter: HiroBoga

    Beautiful, Havi, you got it!

    When a response comes from love and fullness, it emerges out of wholeness and is sovereign, whole, perfect.

    Standing in wholeness, we see the wholeness in everyone else too.

    We can choose our own responses, and sometimes that choice is simply to witness, to be present, rather than to respond in more seemingly active ways.

    When our responses emerge from a fragmented part of ourselves, they aren’t really responses to the situation or person before us. Rather, we react from our own unmet needs, which generally leads to transactional encounters: I’ll acknowledge/love/heal/take care of you, if you’ll________.

    I so love your commitment to sovereignty, for yourself, and for everyone around you. I love how deeply and tenderly and fearlessly you are exploring this territory, and sharing the fruits of your explorations here.

    Love, Hiro
    .-= Hiro Boga´s last post … Pattern Makers and Playpens =-.

  3. Liz
    Twitter: lizemmettmattox

    Ever since the last installment, I’ve been pondering the notion that ‘not everything requires a response.’ One of the things I realized is that parenting is a fantastic training ground for this concept. When your baby is born, EVERYTHING seems to demand a response. A cry, a squeak, even (or especially) their silence is interpreted as a demand for something: attention, food, change of pants/scenery/position, etc. As parents we’re on hyper alert and feel the pressure to constantly respond to our baby’s needs.
    And then you learn to chill out- otherwise you’d just go batshit crazy. You learn to distinguish the emergency/pain cries from the I’m-so-tired-I-just-can’t-stand-myself cries. Not that you ignore the latter, but they don’t bring you running from across the room like the former.

    And then the kids get a little older… When my son was about 3 or so, sometimes he’d be having a hard time with a puzzle or something and ask for help. Sometimes I’d go over and help. But if I had my hands full and told him I’d be there in just a few minutes, more often than not, before I got to him, he’d have figured it out. And he would just carry on having extended his own problem-solving skills.

    These days, he will sometimes come home fuming about something that happened at school- a teacher was unfair, a friend was mean, etc. So often I have to bite my tongue not to jump in with advice, or pumping for more information, solving the problem for him or telling him why this isn’t really the problem he thinks it is… etc. etc. But as you said… not everything requires a response. What he needs most of all at these moments is just to be heard.

    Assessing when something needs a response and when it doesn’t is a constant practice for parents and I’m starting to see other areas of life to bring this mindful not-responding into.
    .-= Liz´s last post … Registration is open! =-.

  4. Kathryn
    Twitter: KathrynTHunter

    I have such a need to respond, to say the thing that will fix it all. I’m so happy to be reminded that the ‘fixing’ is not really my job. I can be there and listen, and that can be enough. Thank you.
    .-= Kathryn´s last post … Stuff and Stuffed Up =-.

  5. Kathleen Avins
    Twitter: spiralsongkat

    Egad. This is huge. There are so many ways that this is helpful. I can feel it tugging at me from at least two directions.

    First, there is the me who (yeah, me too, Kathryn!) wants to fix, to soothe, to heal, to make it all okay. And then collapses in despair every now and then because I can’t always do it. There are even times, plenty of times, when the perceived need to respond backfires on me, big time. Sometimes the gift of not responding is what’s needed.

    Then, too, there is the part of me that is learning more and more about how to take care of myself, to honor and appreciate whatever others give me without feeling as if I desperately need it, as if I don’t already contain everything that I truly need.

    (P.S. I do know, Havi. Namaste!)
    .-= Kathleen Avins´s last post … This has been the hardest day I’ve had all month =-.

  6. Larisa
    Twitter: larisakoehn

    I love this post.

    So much of my work with clients involves not responding, at least not verbally. Through not responding, through not telling them my experience/thoughts/opinions, they are able to more fully feel and trust their own experience/thoughts/opinions.

    Most of the work I do when I am with clients is simply regulating my own internal responses (noticing sensations of tension, tightness, anxiety, fear, etc) and then re-finding wellbeing in myself.

    Through me noticing my own reactions while connected with them and then re-finding my own wellbeing, I model *how* to return to wellbeing for my client. And, it’s so amazing how quickly and fully they (their bodies) get it.

    I call it magical listening, btw, and wrote a post about it here: http://www.larisakoehn.com/magical-listening

    The way you are you and allow me to be me is what draws me to your work. I want to be surrounded by people practicing this way of being, in my everyday life. I find it pretty easy to model/do in the client-part of my work. It’s much more of a challenge in daily life.

    Super, super happy you are here with the consistent reminders and modeling of this possibility.

    One thousand sparkle points for everyone!
    .-= Larisa´s last post … Raccoons- Relaxation- and the Absolute Rightness of Being YOU =-.

  7. Cathy
    Twitter: cathyyardley

    I love all of this. I love how it encourages healthy boundaries, and I especially loved the part where your Response said “Taking care of yourself is a requirement, not something to consider thinking about.”

    In a program I’m working, they stress that taking care of someone else’s responsibilities isn’t helping them — it’s not giving them the dignity of doing what they need to do for themselves. This feels very similar. I am going to need to let the non-response-response concept sink in more.

    Thanks, as always, for a lovely, insightful post.

  8. Susann says:

    Wow, not only is this post mind-blowing, but the timing is . . .eerie. 3 weeks ago, I went on a rampage, angry, fed-up, frustrated. “These people,” I declared (referring to people at work, people at home), “are driving me CRAZY.”

    Of course, as I well know, if there’s any driving being done here, it’s my foot on the accelerator & mine alone. Your stuff is not my stuff, right? My stuff is my response to your stuff. Most life-changing thing I’ve ever read, and I read it right here.

    Getting back to the point (believe it or not, there is one): 3 weeks ago I decided: “I do not have to respond to every request, every question, every demand on my time, heart, spirit.” At work, where I used to be the Fixer of Problems & the Go To Person for every damn thing, I started saying, pleasantly, “Oh, I’m sorry, I don’t know, I can’t help you”.

    Figuring you can’t be a drama queen without an audience, I have taken my attention (& automatic responses) off the resident DQ & the on-going psycho-drama that is her life. I don’t engage or attempt to fix, correct, solve. A lot of the time, I have literally no response at all to her daily theatrics & while that’s nearly sent HER over the edge, I’m doing better with every passing day.

    Three weeks later, I have gained 2 extra hours/day to get my own work done, I am more relaxed & stress-free, the sky hasn’t fallen and everyone is doing just fine, taking care of their own problems, questions, projects. Even the drama addict has dialed it down & we have to interact, she’s almost normal.

    None of this is easy for those of us who need to be liked & needed & are terrified of having someone angry at us, but, man, this is Life Changing shit, Havi. Seriously. Life. Changing. And having you confirm for me that I’m not being cruel, mean, awful, that I actually DO have every sovereign right in the world to not respond to everything. . . well, all I can say is thank you.

  9. steph says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this, Havi (and thanks too for the folks who have commented before me, for sharing your experiences and reactions). I feel so wonderfully heartened to hear this talked about and to see it modeled as a process of discovery.

    ‘Not everything needs a response’ is *such* a challenge for me. I’ve gotten a lot better about being able to take time (days or weeks, even) to formulate a response, but the concept of not responding at all is still really difficult for me to wrap myself around. (Well, I guess it’s actually more the practice than the concept that’s difficult, but they’re kind of tied together.) In any case, I can sense how vital it is for me to learn to do this. But yeah, it’s very hard. I especially appreciate your explicitly stating, Havi that you’re responding to us, to me, with appreciation and sweetness, even if it’s not out loud. Reading that touched something in me that needed touching, softened some walls that were ready to shift. Thank you.
    .-= steph´s last post … good things 11 =-.

  10. Heidi
    Twitter: HeidiDobbs

    Thank you for this post Havi, it’s an important reminder of something I’ve been working on for awhile… I know that I have a tendency to want to “fix” everyone and everything, but I recognize that it’s not my place to solve other people’s problems. Even when I have really good input to offer, unless they ask for it, it’s not appropriate for me to push it on them. Also, I’ve discovered that when they can work through their stuff themselves (as opposed to having a “solution” handed to them), it’s much more powerful for them.

    I do have to say, the first thing I thought of when I was reading this, was being at Camp Biggification. During the Spy Missions, you encouraged us to be supportive towards one another, but without trying to give advice. It seems like that was very much similar to the concept of not responding. Which in a way, is less about not responding at all, and more about not imposing your response. If that makes any sense lol
    .-= Heidi´s last post … Six Tips for Recharging an Energy Slump =-.

  11. claire
    Twitter: claireofRA

    Right on.

    I think the internet is sometimes a difficult venue for distinguishing whether something needs a response or not because there are no nonverbal cues here (assuming we exclude photos and video). That’s what lead to the ubiquitousness of emoticons, after all, the need to convey the flavor or tone of our type-written responses. And yet there are still misunderstandings.

    “Your work is becoming more and more a meeting of equals.” Dig it. It reminds me of something I learned about dealing with people in college. A friend was forever getting into romantic entanglements that resulted in what we called “monsters” when they broke up. She elicited crazy, obsessive behavior from people because of the way she treated them after they broke up.

    The same year, I told a different friend that I had a crush on her, and she was so gracious and cool about it that it was not a big deal at all that she wasn’t interested. If you don’t treat people like monsters, they don’t become them.
    .-= claire´s last post … Hard workin dog =-.

  12. Emmanuelle Archer
    Twitter: emmanuelle_a

    Larisa, you took the words out of my mouth (er, keyboard). Because it wouldn’t serve the work I do with my clients, I have trained myself not to jump in with advice, not to try to fix people and situations.

    Im my private life, though, it’s a completely different ballgame. Actually, I am becoming better at not responding – what I struggle with is dealing with the resulting guilt. Definitely a big trigger for me.

    Susan, I went through the exact same process you did, at the exact same time. Taking responsibility for my stuff (and choosing to withdraw from their stuff) felt really, really good, even though it was humbling to face the fact that my frustration was entirely of my own making.

    Thank you for this post, Havi. Powerful words, as always.
    .-= Emmanuelle Archer´s last post … 3 job search tactics that don’t work and a magic formula that does =-.

  13. Kerry
    Twitter: kerryrowett

    There is a lot in this post for me to absorb.

    I agree with Heidi, I know I have a tendency to want to “fix” things for people. In my work (Holistic Kinesiology), I’ve recently started attracting a few people with issues they’ve had for a long time that I can’t really make a dent in, let alone solve (some have been seeing a range of therapist for years).

    I know it’s partially because I need to really understand that I can’t do the work for anyone else, and I can’t be attached to their outcomes. I *try* to do this, and I’m aware of it. But still it lingers, this wanting to “help”, albeit not by telling them what to do or providing solutions, but wanting the process to work, wanting the awareness they gain to be what they need.

    This is so helpful: They will know their own capabilities because you have backed off.

    I wonder what would happen if I could back off?
    .-= Kerry´s last post … What would happen if you let go of trying =-.

  14. Rupa
    Twitter: theyogaofliving

    Wow, Havi, this post seems like Shiva Nata for the mind. Thank you for the opportunity to contemplate it.

    For me, the concept is easier to grasp if I substitute the word “reaction” for “response”.

    It seems like we’re always responding somehow to external stimuli, if only passively (As Hiro beautifully put it, a legitimate response can be simply bearing witness.).

    But reaction…that is always optional.

    Further, I’m learning that acting rather than reacting is the more “sovereign” place for me (Would that be the equivalent of ‘sponding instead of re-sponding…As in “Lucy, you’ve got some ‘sponding to do.”?)

    Hugs! :)
    .-= Rupa´s last post … Bruce Lee and the Lost Art of Ping Fu =-.

  15. Me (you): “Really?”
    Me: “Yeah, REALLY!”

    This is biggification in the truest sense. Amen.

  16. julekucera says:

    Havi, I am especially treasuring this part:

    “The first response is to you. Always.”

    Thank you, again.
    .-= julekucera´s last post … 58 Clinging =-.

  17. Holy crap. You are seriously channeling someone wise here. And again, you are serendipitously posting something at exactly the same moment I needed to read it.

    If you were local, I would bake you a cake. :)

  18. Willie Hewes
    Twitter: williehewes

    This! Yes! I am excited!

    This is beautiful. I feel like bouncing up and down on my chair. I don’t have anything clever to add, I just wanted to share my appreciation. Also for this: “To be clear! This is all me-talking-to-myself, yes? The responses are also me.” Even though of course, even though I would have assumed that, I appreciate you saying it. You are the most awesome person.

    *Throws confetti*
    .-= Willie Hewes´s last post … Win a MonsterSkine! =-.

  19. Inge
    Twitter: _i_n_g_e_

    Wow, indeed. Nothing to add, I just wanted to express thanks for this post AND the wonderful comments. Very insightful and yet another thing to ponder, explore and experiment with.

  20. Cathy Wilke
    Twitter: cathywilke7

    This post was just exquisite and full of so much wisdom. I had a therapist who, when I was contemplating what to do when a very good friend wrote me a very nasty letter put the concept in such simple terms–she said, “no response is a response.” She shocked me with those words–#1 because of the simplicity and truth of the statement, and #2 I had never considered that option.

    I love what you said about acknowledging your own hurt and discomfort as a legitimate response and sometimes how that’s enough.

    I’m taking some very, very valuable teaching away from this post which is:
    You were not taught, explicitly or otherwise, that there are better ways to respect people’s sovereignty and to give them space to work things out on their own. If you give your people the techniques, the culture and the containers, and then challenge them to help themselves, they will.

    And I would like to respond by saying Thank You Havi for sharing something so personal and profound.

  21. Marianne
    Twitter: zenpeacekeeper

    I’m off to have a very interesting conversation with my monsters about this one. I think I may fortify with tea first.

    Thank you Havi. This is big.
    .-= Marianne´s last post … Not a manifesto- just a list of 10 things I’ve learned lately =-.

  22. Karen Sharp
    Twitter: karen_sharp


    This is so big it’s going to take some time to integrate it. It is so truetruetrue on such a base level, that I feel all kinds of relief beginning to percolate through me just at the mere suggestion that not everything requires a response, and that my fundamental responsibility is to resoond to myself. But I feel like it’ll take time to really take this in. Thank you, Havi, for such powerful powerful wisdom.

    A different part of me, evidently a part that’s more comfortably familiar with the idea, not the part that’s still reverberating in wowness, wants to offer this:

    This idea is very much akin to the Jewish concept of tzimtzum. Where it’s suggested that the way that God created the world was by withdrawing a part of God’s self from the world, to create space for creation. It’s the comfortable calm withdrawal that’s the tzimtzum. Not responding. It’s not a contracted cramped making-oneself-small so as not to take up too much room, it’s not that at all. Calm. Sovereign. More being less doing. Ease. Welcome. Uninvolvedness.

    Hmm. That wiser part of me evidently knows very well what this feels like. Very interesting.

    Thank you Havi.
    .-= Karen Sharp´s last post … opening to a different way of being =-.

  23. Elana
    Twitter: vuelacara

    The things you have said in this post…The conversation you are having…It’s broken the yolk for me. THank you. It’s wonderful, useful and delicious.

  24. Miriam Dyak
    Twitter: mdyak

    I loved this! Especially “That is the response. The first response is to you. Always. If you choose to respond to them, you can choose if that happens internally or externally.” My breathing got deeper reading this. Thank you, Havi!

  25. jessie
    Twitter: roomtosmile

    amazing amazing amazing. letting other people have their space as an empowering gift. being patient and trusting that their space will eventually get filled–and it doesn’t have to be by me. as a teacher, this is such a challenging and ever-present lesson: having time–tons and tons of time–to fill, and yet reminding myself to leave space for their minds to unfold, as well. i’m noticing some worry about “rightness” and “wrongness” of another’s response, too, as i write this.

    out of total curiosity–what were those 6 questions you asked, if i may ask?

  26. Jill Chivers
    Twitter: JillChivers

    I appreciate the comments here so much… one thing is I obviously didn’t read your post with my Detail Hat on because I kept finding things in the comment that were quoted from the post and were, like, NEW to me. Hmmm, re-read may be in order.

    But, mainly, I want to tip my cane to you, Havi. A friend sent me an email last night with the sword of Damocles hanging from it – “let’s discuss your visit with me [a few weeks ago] panned out for me”.

    Oh, shit, I thought. I’m in trouble. I’ve done something wrong. Did I run up the water bill? Eat too many oranges? Cause a schism in the cat?

    I ended up an emotional pretzel over one freakin’ sentence in an email… “responding” like crazy with this bizarre outward flow of energy toward this statement, these words on a screen, my complete hallucination about what she might want to say.

    So, without even making one sound or exchanging one word, I’ve been “responding”.

    What my wise old owl (who’s been shut up in the basement) knows and you’ve reminded us of, Havi is

    * my first response is to me. That can be All.
    * if we do talk about whatever my friend wants to say, I don’t have to respond. Verbally or energetically.
    * Not Responding is not about an attack of the silent sulks. It is not about the withdrawing of emotions or affection, or any other attempt to manipulate or control the interaction through Withdrawal. It is about honouring the sovreignty of BOTH of you. My right not to respond, her right to work on her own stuff without my stuff clouding the issue.

    Brilliant stuff. Can you hear me sighing with relief over here? Oh, yeah, it’s huge.
    .-= Jill Chivers´s last post … 3 Clues Jedi Listeners Leave =-.

  27. Claire P
    Twitter: making_space

    I <3 the Archives. Love them with a deep and joyful, bouncing delighted love!

    I read this when it came out, and it was cool, but today…. well, it's cooler.

    Which actually means it's me that's changed, more receptive, ready. The original reading planted the seed, etc.

    And the fact that I can ALWAYS find Just The Thing in the Archives? Oh, the bouncy and the delighted about how that's how things WORK around here!! Magic, MAGIC pirate ship that I LOVE. Superpowers and awesomeness.

    (Do you get it yet? Do you feel the gratitude and delight I'm sending you yet?? Good, okay, I'll shut up and move on to the ACTUAL point then!!)

    Which is this: sovereignty rocks. And having someone you love and admire have enough faith in you to challenge you to figure out your own solutions, is a really really great endorsement.

    By not letting my 'need' trigger a need response in you (to fix/soothe/heal), you acknowledge my wholeness (the solution lies within me) and your own.

    And when I say "you" there I mean you Havi and also "one".

    Om baby!!
    xxxx so much love.

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