IT IS WHAT IS… ACCEPTING THE MOMENT
It’s all in the reaction. I’ve noticed through the years of reading, studying and talking with others that often the bad days in our lives are actually more about the way we react and less about the actual reality of that news, experience or situation.
Let me explain.
I’ll use yoga as an example here, because this is how I first opened my eyes to this concept. Imagine you are in a pose. It hurts. Alot. Mostly, it hurts in places that you’ve never felt before. So your mind starts to turn.
“This is uncomfortable. No, this really hurts. Why is the teacher making me hold this. I wish she’d just shut up and let me out of this pose. Maybe if I move my leg here it’ll feel better. Nope. Still bad. Oh god. I can’t bare it”
And on it goes.
You can see in that moment there is alot of chatter. Alot of back-chat, even, to the experience, the situation. There is resistance.
Resistance is key. How much do we resist the things in our lives that are unchangeable, unavoidable… the things that just are? Do we accept and find the silver lining, or make the most of it? Yes, often we do. But mostly, we resist. Now I don’t mean we should lay down and just take it… no, that would be defeatist. I mean, do we ever truly just soften, let go and move in to the situation.
Why do I ask this question? Well, because if you go back to that moment, in that painful yoga pose, imagine the situation and how different it would be if you just stopped. Stopped the fidgeting, the internal abuse, the resistance. And maybe just found a little stillness. Breath into the moment, focusing simply on that breath. The inhale and the exhale.
Do you imagine, then, that the moment would be a little less anger-fuelled?
I think so.
I try and live by a little concept that I appropriated from Eckhart Tolle. In every moment, conversation, situation that brings about a feeling of anxiety, confusion, tension… I ask myself these three questions.
1) Can I leave this moment?
Yes? Then as skillfully as possible, I make that happen.
If no… onto the next question then!
2) Can I change this moment?
Yes? Well then I change it!
But if no… the next is a question with an answer I already know.
3) Can I accept this moment?
There can only be yes. Because if I choose to not accept, If I choose to react with resistance, with annoyance, with frustration, I then invite the suffering and further deepen the annoyance and frustration.
So it has to be yes. I have to take a moment, take a breath and ask myself – did that person really upset me? Well yes, but I can’t change it. I’ve now left that situation. So let it go and accept it.
This is what I mean about reactions and the fact that our reactions make a mountain out of a molehill. I am not saying you need to rise above your human emotions, feelings, responses. We live in this world, we are part of this world and are susceptible to all the trimmings – good, bad and ugly. But, just because we are part of it doesn’t mean that we have to be a slave to every emotion. We are not our emotions and nor do we have to be governed by them.
I find it quite liberating to realise that I am much more in control of how situations and experiences will pan out for myself. I don’t want to live a frustrating, angry, unhappy life. And I certainly don’t like it when something comes along to challenge my attempt at happiness, contentment, balance. But I realise now, that they do come along to show me that happiness is all in my hands. It’s all possible, no matter what I have (material or otherwise) that I believe will bring me happiness.
Do you find that some things are often ‘worse’ because of your reaction or resistance? Or have you practised the art of acceptance?
Wishing you a week of living in the moment and accepting, open-heartedly, all that comes your way.
Signing off with an exhale.
Pause. Listen. Live
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