Auto response?


There are many happenings in every day that we respond to. Each happening can cause different thoughts and emotions to arise within us, whether we express them or keep them to ourselves.

Often we use an ‘auto response’: an automatic, unintentional, and unintended reaction. Without even being aware of what is going on inside us, we respond. We are in auto pilot.

By learning to pause – to notice what is happening within us and around us – we can change our auto response to an intentional response. It’s part of living mindfully; living with awareness.

Look out for a situation today where you feel an emotion, perhaps of impatience (it’s a common emotion!). Notice the reaction you have: how you feel, what you are thinking, what is happening physically in your body. Pay attention. Notice. PAUSE.

You may find focusing on your breathing for a moment helps you to pause.

And now make a choice on what you do next. Not an auto-response; an intentional response.

Just maybe, you notice the sun is shining on you – or an equivalent in the situation – that you would have missed in auto-response mode. Perhaps you take a different course of action to what you would have.

It isn’t easy to change our auto response: we need to practice. It helps to practice with others at times. The reward? A fuller experience of life, this moment, this day.

Join Julie Hill and Sara Shailer for an evening of mindfulness this evening, 25 March 2019, at the Oasis in Cheltenham. Book your place by emailing

What if . . .

What if . . .

What if we did everything we do with love?

It’s a bold thought. And I have been observing myself over recent weeks.

I do a lot of things on auto pilot, in neutral. Of course I only even realise this as I look back at what I have just been doing – you don’t notice much in auto pilot!

I do other things with a meanness, a lack of generosity to myself and others as I seek to achieve a goal in my mind regardless.

When I do seek to do something with love, it changes what I am doing. I am not thinking here of our nearest and dearest relationships but the everyday relationships with others as we journey through our every days.

I claim no massive changes; the changes have been small. Like not interrupting someone when they are speaking or going out of my way to give someone a lift when they missed their bus. They have cost me a little patience, a little time. But they have changed everything. There is richness, a beauty, when – however clumsily (in my case) – there is love in the action.

I came across this from Mother Teresa

“I am not sure exactly what heaven will be like, but I know that when we die and it comes time for God to judge us, he will not ask, ‘How many good things have you done in your life?’ rather he will ask, ‘How much love did you put into what you did?'”

This is Mindful Monday on 15 October 2018.

Live in or near Cheltenham? Join Sara Shailer and Julie Hill for an evening of mindfulness looking at growing in love tomorrow – on Tuesday 16 October – at the Oasis Centre in Cheltenham. You can book even on the day.