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Reactions: An Opportunity for Freedom

Updated: May 1


“One of our greatest freedoms is how we react to things.”A quote by artist and poet, Charlie Mackesy – a personal favourite of mine. 


Freedom can mean so many different things depending on who you ask: political freedom, freedom of speech, freedom from an abusive relationship. Freedom on your lunch break to float away with your headphones on, to a place you’d rather be. I believe most people see freedom as a juxtaposition from someone, or some-thing, thereby giving that person or thing power to control it. 


But what if we internalize it? What if we are our own purveyors of freedom? No one or no-thing would then have the power to withhold it from us.


Think about the last time someone cut you off in traffic, or just when you get to the front of the line at the grocery store before thanksgiving weekend, that one person in front of you decides to dispute the 10cent discount on their bag of cranberries. I am absolutely, 100% guilty of picturing a scene so violent in my head that involves fire breathing dragons and scorched earth. (I am dealing with this) 


That is why this quote made me cock my head to the side like a Pitbull who’s just been asked if he wants a treat. I have a hair trigger reaction to the aforementioned scenarios which typically results in restless leg syndrome, opening and closing my phone, clenching my jaw and a plethora of other unhealthy habits…so, perhaps it’s time for a change.


I’ve listened to a number of podcasts about self-help and meditation, many of which address manifestation, emotional responsiveness, how to calm the mind, etc. But it’s not until I read this quote that it fundamentally changed the way I thought about reaction.


“One of our greatest freedoms is how we react to things.”A quote by artist and poet, Charlie Mackesy – a personal favourite of mine. 


Your entire day is made up of engagement and reaction. How many times has someone’s engagement toward you, provoked you to react negatively, and consequently, put you in an awful mood? “The worse your mood the more assholes you meet” *Writer Uknown* 

Maybe it’s not even another person. Perhaps, you wake up and immediately stub your toe, squeeze toothpaste into your hair, and spill your morning coffee, at which point you’re just ready to call it quits and it’s not even 8am (speaking for a friend as this clearly has never happened to me in this exact order). No matter what happens, to think about your reaction as being your ultimate freedom is a bit mind blowing. No one has control over my reaction, no person, no thing, no podcast… just me. This is my freedom, and this can, and ultimately will, determine the succession of events in my day. I can choose to have a really shitty day, react in fury and anger which will no doubt beget more of the same. Or… I can think for a split second… do I want to be free? 


Freedom can mean so many different things depending on who you ask… if you ask me these days, I’d tell you: It’s how I react to things.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Sasha is a resident of beautiful Victoria, British Columbia. When she isn’t selling craft beer for a living she’s hiking with her three rescue dogs, riding her horse or camping and exploring the island with friends. Sasha hails from Toronto, Ontario where she studied marketing and went on to work in advertising and digital media sales for several years before deciding west coast life really is best coast life. She has a passion for the arts, photography and writing which is evident by her multiple social platforms. She currently resides in the westshore with her partner and pups.


You can find her online at @slaurinproductions

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