- Thoughts for inspired living

August 17, 2017

Burst of Air

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 5:05 am

Screen DoorIs it “Throwback Thursday” already? I was going over some old notes and found something I called “Burst of Air.”

Screen doors let the air in while keeping the flies out. What a cool invention.

What if you could install a screen door in your mind? It could let in the air but keep out the pesky gnats.

Criticism is a stimulus we all receive and the responses to it vary with every individual. What if you could let the criticism in and keep out the piece that causes a conditioned response? The piece to screen out is the solid meaning that we attach to the criticism.

When someone criticizes you, they are giving you an assessment based on their angle of view. We tend to take it personally but when you think about it, it’s only a burst of air. Criticism is a stimulus and whatever happens inside of you is a response.

Between the criticism and response is meaning. The diagram would look like this:

Criticism ➔ Meaning ➔ Response

Meaning is something we add automatically due to our conditioning. This automatic addition robs us of “free will.”

Free will is something that most people rarely demonstrate though they will jump up and down and claim that they have it. If someone calls you a name and you immediately retaliate with a name of your own, where was the free will in your response? It was side stepped by the lightning quick meaning that you attached to the name you were called.

So let’s pretend that someone calls you a “fuzzy bellied lint licker.” Your normal response may be to respond in kind. What would happen if you threw in the clutch, and transformed the meaning of what they said to be just a burst of air? What meaning does a burst of air have? None! It’s just a burst of air. My guess is you would have a different response to a puff of air than you would to a name you have added meaning to.

This practice is a conditioning exercise. Condition yourself to have the free will that is always available but hardly ever used.

Think of your screen door as a meaning converter. It takes something that seems solid and turns it into something that isn’t. It’s like the transformation of an ice cube to steam.

You do have a choice. You can take the automaticity out of your response and move the conversation to a more productive outcome OR you could escalate it to Hatfield & McCoy proportions. You do have a choice.

Choosing takes practice and flexibility and it’s worth it. Remember this:

The person who is more flexible has more options.

All the best,


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