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The Reactive Mind

By Dr. Sheri Rosenthal

It's amazing how easily we're taken in by the things our ego-minds tell us and how we automatically default to believing that what we are thinking is truth. We immediately react to everything we see and hear around us, thinking that we clearly understand what we're perceiving. But this is not the case, what we are thinking is not necessarily the truth at all.

When someone says something to us that we don't agree with or that we don't like, what do we normally do? We immediately project outwards and say that "they are wrong or that "they have a problem and we use what they are saying to further cement our personal point of view and beliefs. If anyone says something that we don't like, rather than projecting outwards, take a moment to ask why we're in reaction. If we are having any reaction at all, it's about us, not about them.

As spiritual warriors we seek to take responsibility for what's happening in our own ego-minds, rather than being concerned about what others are thinking and believing. Any idea we have about the way a conversation should look is problematic. In fact, the expectations we have about anything and everything regarding others is worth taking the time to investigate. The ego-mind drains us of our personal power and energy by creating fear-based reactions within our bodies. Every time we react to something we are being given the opportunity to perceive our ego-mind at work.

For example, many times I've made the offer for people to email me if they have a question, are in reaction, or have an issue after a workshop but it's rare that people take me up on my offers! People would rather be right or martyr themselves then pick up the phone or send an email. So what's that saying to me? It's telling me that people's ego-minds are stopping them from learning and growing because of some nonsense they believe. Nonsense like, "I don't want to bother her, "I don't like what she's saying, "I don't need her help, and so on rather than taking action and calling me. In essence, we're creating limitation by refusing an opportunity that life is giving us.

Whenever my teacher made himself available to me, I took him up on the opportunity. Why? I realized that he was testing me to move past what my ego-mind was telling me and take the minimal chance to freedom. He was making an offer; it was up to me to take him up on it rather than letting my mind steal an opportunity from me. Ask yourselves how often your ego-mind has stolen an opportunity from you in order to further support your personal point of view and beliefs?

When any teacher, myself included, takes the time to share with others, we're sharing ourselves and the way we live our lives. We don't need to defend our lives, or prove ourselves to others; we're already happy. It's up to you to decide if what we have to offer might be what you would like in your life. The way to figure that out is not by thinking with your mind, but instead by feeling it in your heart. If you want to be free, I encourage you to take the actions necessary to get past all the justifications and rationalizations of your ego-mind.

About The Author
Dr. Sheri Rosenthal is a master Toltec teacher and author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Toltec Wisdom. Having trained with don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements, she currently takes students on spiritual journeys, works with personal apprentices and enjoys being extremely happy. You can reach her at or at

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