As in puppet strings; as in who is in control? The only good answer is “I do!” Yet even in the 7th decade of my life, even after a lifetime searching for my path, wanting to grow, to be my best self always, I know that I still hand my personal power away at times, to events, to triggers, to others.

To increase that space between stimulus and response, to be more self-aware, to stay calm, cool, and collected, that’s the goal! I journal and I reflect back, I think of better ways to respond, visualize myself reacting differently, write myself new scripts, practice them until they feel natural and comfortable, and create new, different, more empowering patterns.

As I build myself new behaviors to move forward to, I also create “moving away” visualizations. I have a STRONG sense of independence and I have a DEEP aversion to be controlled. Thus the idea of someone or some situation or trigger “controlling” me, “making” me angry, taking away my free will, is powerful motivation for change. My response is always my choice, so I take great pleasure in visualizing myself cutting those puppet strings, taking back my power.

Closing Quotes:

“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” Marcus Aurelius, 121-180 AD, Roman emperor, 161 to 180, last of the Five Good Emperors

“Never respond to an angry person with a fiery comeback…Don’t allow his anger to become your anger.” – Bohdi Sanders, Warrior Wisdom: Ageless Wisdom for the Modern Warrior

“The best fighter is never angry.” – Lao Tzu, semi-legendary figure from 6th to 4th century BC China

“The ability to subordinate an impulse to a value is the essence of the proactive person.” – Stephen R. Covey, 1932-2012, 7 Habits

As always, I share what I most want and need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier