We launched our new website a week ago and we’ve been inundated with questions about the “ReDo.” So we’ll tell you a bit more about this powerful principle, behavioral tool, and way to liberate yourself.
How does a ReDo work, why is a ReDo possible and what does all this mean?
How does a Redo work?
Only human beings can ReDo themselves. We can stop and pause, then in that precious space between the stimulus and the response, we can re-consider our behaviors, ideas, and attitudes. We can make internal adjustments—re-calibrating ourselves—and then we can ReDo ourselves, behaving in ways that we feel good about.
This is quite amazing when you think about it. We don’t have to be stuck inside of our misstatements or momentary lapses. When we make mistakes, we can liberate ourselves, instead of shaming ourselves. Of course this depends on the magnitude of our mistakes, but for most of them we can opt for a ReDo.
Why is a ReDo possible?
Because the meaning of everything is made up. It’s all subjective, open to interpretation. What’s warm to an Eskimo is cold to a Hawaiian. There’s a Zen poem that says, “To her lover, a beautiful woman is a delight; to an ascetic, a distraction; to a wolf, a good meal.”
At times we may interpret things in one-way and other times we interpret—or re-interpret—the same thing in a completely different way. Do you remember dating someone who slurped their soup and you thought it was cute. A year later the same noise was as irritating as nails on a blackboard. Or, the first time you heard the soup slurp you wondered why this person lacked etiquette, now, after being married for twenty-five-years you’ve come to love the very same sound that s/he makes.
Many things influence how we make meaning, but few things influence us more than fear. When our survival system is aroused we interpret things through a different neurological set of filters. Our range of interpretations and responses are dramatically narrowed when we feel under threat. Basically, our responses are limited to fighting, fleeing, or freezing.
But not after we learn the ReDo. The ReDo broadens our range of interpretations and responses. We increase our behavioral flexibility. Of course, this isn’t the case if a tiger is chasing us—but when’s the last time you were chased by a tiger? A more interesting question—when’s the last time you responded as if you were being chased by a tiger? Most of us are incredibly safe 99.9% of the time, but we don’t act like it. If you start using the ReDo you will calm your survival system and begin to have more choices in your life.
What does a ReDo mean?
It means that we can open the space between the stimulus and the response. We can buy ourselves more time to re-consider, re-lease anxiety and fear, and re-right ourselves so that when we speak we are expressing ourselves from a higher place, a more mature place, a more thoughtful and caring place.
If we embrace the ReDo we are embracing one of the greatest gifts of being human—our ability to make meaning and make choices so that we re-create our lives as we wish them to be.