Responsibility » How do you respond to this now moment? And the next?

The deeper meaning of responsibility

All these years, I’ve thought that responsible means accountable, trustworthy, reliable.

It does, I know, mean all of those things. But just recently, someone was talking about the meaning behind the meaning. The word responsible comes from the Latin (responsus) and French (responsable) words for answerable. How do you answer for your actions? How do you respond to this now moment, especially when it’s not going the way you planned for it to go?

birdsheartI’ve been sitting with this for a few days now, feeling how much a difference it makes in my relationship to what is when I can weave responsibility together with self-compassion. Can you feel the difference?

I’m responsible for this problem! I have to step up, show up, and fix it!


Oh wow. This is not what I was expecting to happen. [Gentle breath.] I will make time to let people know what’s going on and do what I can to get things back in order.

Think about it.

  • When you’re working on a project for a client, and something happens that affects your planned timeline (a technology fail, for example), when and how do you let your client know? What do you say?
  • When you’re looking at your finances—at your income and your expenses—how do you honor your obligations and your financial reality as it is? How do you find your balance when you’re being accountable for your money?
  • When it’s your planned time for your daily spiritual practice, how do you respond to the call to turn away from the world and toward spirit for the allotted time?

I’d love to hear from you. How do you respond to this now moment? What tools and practices do you rely on to allow ease and grace to accompany the powerful action of taking responsibility? Let me know in the comments right below the article.


New Moon in Pisces on Monday, March 11th, 12:51 pm Pacific

waterpiscesWe’re coming up on this month’s New Moon—a good time to turn your attention inwards, to your own quiet center. A good time to set intentions for the next Moon cycle. It’s helpful to align your intentions with the energy of the Moon sign. Because we’re dealing with Pisces this month, we’re looking at creativity, healing and surrender. Keep this in mind; with Pisces, you are simultaneously letting go while opening up.

And keep this in mind too, precious: Mercury is still retrograde until the 18th.

Slowing down the kickoff of your new plans and new ideas and new actions for another week would be a very good idea.

Three suggestions for your New Moon working, for your business, for your body, for your soul:

Take some time, as close to the actual New Moon as you can to do this work. (Any time in the three-day-window of Sunday–Tuesday will work just fine.) You can work at your altar, or be outside, or any place you feel connected to Spirit. As always, pick the one question that rises to the top, that feels most important, and take some time meditating on it. I find that in New Moon workings, dealing as we are with internal energies, it’s more useful to concentrate on one idea rather than many.

  • Am I remembering to think before I speak? Your words have a lot of power now, maybe even more than usual, with all this Piscean energy creating more psychic openness and sensitivity.
  • Am I keeping the focus on myself and on my sacred commitments to my business and my clients? Resist the temptation to check out in escape from what is. Use this time to be extra-gentle with yourself, to trust the healing and self-forgiveness process that’s so necessary to turn your wounds into wisdom.
  • Am I taking responsibility for myself in this now moment? Remember that Pisces carries the potential for spiritual breakthrough, deep healing and manifestation of your heart’s mission and soul’s purpose, as long as you stay away from self-pity, victimization and disillusion. How does your spiritual practice support you in staying in the positive aspects of this lunation?

The good news (?): The energy is going to change, real fast now.

Pisces is the end of the astrological year, and if you’re feeling stuck in spiritual sludge, hang on, and fasten your seat belt. Here comes Aries, with all its new year, new actions, new life, look at me, let’s go! zip. The energy will shift from watery Pisces and move into fiery Aries just after the New Moon. Even though Mercury is still retrograde until the 18th, activity levels will pick up and continue to increase gradually as planets move into fiery Aries:  Mars on 3/11, the Sun on 3/20, Venus on 3/21, Mercury on April 13th (Neptune’s already there)

How are you dropping into the energy of this Pisces New Moon? Please let me know in the comments.


IMG_0072I am grateful woman in this now moment.

  • I am grateful for celebrating 22 years of sobriety this month.
  • I am grateful for the beauty I see all around me.
  • I am grateful that I can let others shine, take a back seat, and be humble.
  • I am grateful for my spiritual life, for meditation, for yoga, for t’ai chi.
  • I am grateful for my new haircut. I got my old haircut back and I’m so happy about it!
  • I am grateful for my clients and the way they inspire me.
  • I am grateful for the teachers in my life, who share their practices and lessons so generously with me.
  • I am grateful for technology that supports and enhances my life.
  • I am grateful for family, for gathering to support my brother-in-law mourning the loss of his dad.
  • I am grateful for warmth, and light, and humor, and love, given and received.
  • I am grateful for Barney’s sweet potato fries, an occasional and much appreciated treat.
  • I am grateful for gifts I have made for my sister and a friend who have birthdays this week, and now I’d better finish printing and framing them!
I found the first two beautiful images on stock.xchang. The heart of birds is by twitchtoo. and the watery one is by dcubillas. And the picture of me is by me!

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I’m a barely tamed hippie, sage, seasoned, sarcastic (not all the time any more, but still). I’m a mom, a daughter, sister, a neighbor, and a friend. I’ve been on this meandering journey — like you, probably — seeking a better connection to and experience of peace, harmony, and fun in every bit of life. I’m single, quite good at it, and mostly love it. I’m here for the conversations I get to have with you, which these days center on exploring the mystery and beauty of life, work, health, aging, and creative expression. Want to know a little more about me and my journey? Explore the site. Read the blog. Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

Join the conversation!

  1. I find it easy to take in the now moment by using all my senses. That way I’m interacting with everything around me.

  2. I generally deal with a ‘new moment’ by making sure I’m responding from a centred place. If I’m discombobulated by the new situation, I’ll walk away for a few hours/days until I can respond…and if I’m struggling, I ask my spiritual team for help! x

  3. Beautiful writing about responsibility, Sue. I’ve been in the middle of a situation where I’m called to be the one reminding others that responsibility does not equal blame and shame. Whew! So much old paradigm energy!
    Thank you for the New Moon writing. It was lovely validation of what’s feeling right and coming up for me right now! I truly appreciate these.

    • @christijarland Thanks, Christi! How will I respond to this? is such a helpful way for me to shift away from blame and shame. Enjoy the New Moon, precious!
      Love and light,

  4. Responsibility is a word/concept that has freaked me out, yet somehow I seem to be managing OK at life as a working mum of 2 teenagers. So I’m coming to the conclusion that it’s a mistaken belief I’m carrying and your article helped me to pinpoint it. Being responsible has always meant not making any mistakes – yikes! Also committing energy to something no matter how much it feels yucky and out of alignment because the responsibility trumps my need to do what feels right. Responsibility has always seemed to be a judgment from outside of me. So I love your question: What tools and practices do you rely on to allow ease and grace to accompany the powerful action of taking responsibility?
    I have been immensely responsible for my own life, often being the one who sits with a problem to see where I’ve contributed to it, or what message there may be for me to learn some new and more heart-centred way of being. I will sit with this one to see what comes forward.

  5. Thank You Sue for your help and insights. I am grateful. I’m feeling appreciative for the information around the planetary/moons cycle and encouraged with the timing as I launch the transformation of my biz “Many Roads” and work around the time of “action” in Aries! Also,…I like your haircut!

  6. What a beautiful post. I love splitting out responsibility into response-ability – it is my ability to respond adequately to any given situation that I have manifested in my life. Gratefulness is one, beautiful response – I’m staggered at how this amazing life showers blessings on me

  7. What a beautiful post. I love splitting out responsibility into response-ability – it is my ability to respond adequately to any given situation that I have manifested in my life. Gratefulness is one, beautiful response – I’m staggered at how this amazing life showers blessings on me

  8. I generally panic when faced with the above scenarios. Technology fail?
    OK, when on deadline I just have to ‘fess up. I can try and get around
    it but if the power’s gone, I am stuck. That’s what old skool telephony
    is for I guess but I will still panic. I think people will think badly
    of ME. As for money – I hate feeling as if I have let someone down. I
    always try to pay bills although have had to admit defeat a couple of
    times and try to let it go, because otherwise the stress will eat me up.
    Some great points there….love it.

    • positivesarah Hi Sarah. I’m glad this resonated for you. Every moment of ease and grace, as opposed to moments of panic, well I’ll take ’em any day!
      Love and light,

  9. Breathing is important. I’ve been practicing taking three deep breaths before any response that feels overly reactive. So far, so good. 😀

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