How many times have we heard the authority figures in our lives bemoan the fact that we are “irresponsible, ” and how many times have we heard those same people tell us that we really need to learn responsibility? What does the word “responsibility” begin to mean to us when used repeatedly in that context? To me, responsibility began to mean being locked in a cage, a commitment from which I would never be free.

What does the word responsible really mean? Taking just the two parts of the word “response” and “able,” it means “able to respond.” What an interesting and neutral definition! When applied to life, the art of being responsible means that we are able to respond to what is being asked of us, whether we ask something of ourselves or someone else asks something of us. This is an important concept, since a large part of the magical and shamanic techniques are to train us to be responsible. If we, as humans, were a single unit rather than being made up of body, mind, and spirit, we wouldn’t have such a difficult time being responsible. It’s usually the conflict between spirit and mind that keeps us from being able to respond to any request. More importantly, the ability to make choices is a spirit ability, and while spirit can and does make choices, mind will not always obey those choices. So we begin to see that being able to respond is strongly related to spirit and mind acting in agreement.

Something else that’s important to consider is the value of being responsible. Having had the word used in such an authoritative way, many of us groan at the thought of having to be responsible. So the question we must ask ourselves is, “Is there any value to being responsible?” Absolutely. Being able to respond is one of the keys to manifestation. The ability to produce the response that is asked for when it’s asked for, without added resistance, negative self-talk or complaints, preserves the force that we use to manifest. It also purifies our vibration so that we can attract what we want faster and easier, since negativity or self-complaining or procrastination all muddy and lower our vibration.

How can we become responsible? By training ourselves a little bit each day. For a short segment each day, choose something to do. Select the time you will start and the time you will stop doing the chosen action, and then follow through. At first, keep the action you choose very simple, and the time period very short. For example, for the first week or two you may choose to do a 3 minute meditation, wash the breakfast dishes or spend a few minutes with your animal companions. Choose something different every day if that helps keep the exercise fresh and new. Then, begin choosing tasks that are a little more difficult and take a little more time. As you train yourself to produce the asked for response each day, you will begin to notice less and less resistance to carrying out the choices that spirit makes. Spirit and mind will begin to act in accord with each other.

Have great fun becoming a truly responsible being, and remember that in the end, there is no path to happiness – there is just the choice to be happy!