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Life is not always fair. We are constantly barraged by news of war, terror, poverty, inequality – internal and worldwide – and all the fear and anxiety that these issues cause us. Reverend angel Kyodo williams, a guest presenter in Mindful at Work, explores how we can transform our reactions.

Every individual reacts to issues – situational or emotional. And our instinctive coping mechanism can often be the well-known “fight or flight” response. Some of us may choose to walk away, a self-preserving choice that brings guilt along for the ride. Others may want to help to repair the damage in some way. But where and how do we begin with such an overwhelming and seemingly impossible task to change the world?

Without inner change there can be no outer change. Without collective change, no change matters.  Each of us are encouraged to go beyond our self-preserving, deep-rooted fears and anxieties and embrace changes within ourselves in order to bring about effective transformation in society.

When most of us are under pressure, we react by becoming absorbed in the feelings that we are having. We internalize about how we feel about the situation, not about how it is affecting others who are also experiencing it. By concentrating only on ourselves and our feelings, we become more self-centered and helpless because we have no sense of control over the situation.

Instead of instinctively focusing only on ourselves, you are encouraged to expand our mind space, center ourselves and become totally present to the experiences we are having. By transforming how we perceive ourselves, we can begin to apply these principles toward our relationships with others within the framework of our society.

Only when we, as individuals and a society, have fully embraced the paradigm shift that “changes the way change is done,” can we begin to build a social justice movement that is the foundation for a just society.

(Adapted from eNaropa.

(image description: on the left side of the image is a picture of Reverend angel Kyodo williams.  She is smiling with her hand holding her chin.  On the right side of the image is the quote: without inner change there can be no outer change. Without collective change, no change matters. angel Kyodo Williams.)

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