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Posts Tagged ‘Acceptance’

Haystack-Rock-Cannon-Beach-Oregon

 

A few posts down I quoted some from Tara Brach, she illustrated the use of a question that I then used. Using that question became the pivoting point out of a dark place I was in at the time. The question was:

“Ok, what is actually happening right now?”

The ice bucket challenge is en vogue at the moment. Asking myself that question was like throwing a bucket of ice water on myself – it woke me up! I could see immediately how all my suffering was from past and future thinking.

And with that question, I followed the breath into the body and I let myself feel the breath move, feel where it got stuck, be with that, and continue breathing some more. A softening then begins to happen, because I’m inhabiting this moment fully present in the body, my home here on earth.

I don’t recall Tara’s exact words but it was something about those of us who have experienced a lot of wounding in our lives, benefit by a regular spiritual practice of some sort. Now that I’ve emerged from that dark place, I’ve taken her advice to heart. I’ve continued to practice this question many times a day, any time I recognize I am in a story. It’s a new muscle I am learning to develop and flex.

What I have found is, the question can so effortlessly turn my attention to right now. Yet, I noticed something else was temporarily at bay in the background. It, of course, was the story that jibed with wherever the breath got stuck.

I listened to another talk by Tara Brach “The Freedom of Yes”, and I heard her respond to the story with this statement:

“I give myself permission for this. Permission for this. Permission for this.”

The next time I had an opportunity to use that original question – “Ok, what is actually happening right now?”, I followed the breath into the body and I felt the familiar tightening right in the solar plexus. Being with it and breathing, I gave the tightness a name and gave it permission to be there:

“I give this struggle permission to be here.”

I did not go into the attendant thoughts that match struggle, I’m still staying present in the body, and breathing slowly and consciously, repeating – permission to be here, permission to be here.

If you try this, observe how it softens, how you start to relax, a truce has come, the inner struggle is dissipating because it’s being met with at last, acceptance. Struggle is defined by our unwillingness to be with whatever arises. When the unwillingness is dropped, that’s the sweet spot.

My dear friend has always said: “whatever you can let yourself have, you can let yourself release.” I’ve heard these principles said dozens of times in different ways, but until someone could mentor the way in for me (Tara Brach), it looked good on paper, but was a nebulous concept just the same.

I hope this was as useful for you, as it was for me, and a deep bow to Tara Brach for the wisdom, support, and inspiration!

 

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Image

 

Below, I have appended today’s posting on Jeff Foster’s Facebook wall.  For more information on Jeff Foster, visit lifewithoutacentre.  It’s a relevant follow up to my last post which expressed that there really are no “bad neighborhoods”.   

“Nothing and nobody, no outer circumstance or event, no word or deed, can cause you to suffer. Suffering is always your own internal resistance to the Way Things Are Right Now, your hidden refusal to experience what you are experiencing. Suffering always originates from a NO to the Universe as it is, a NO to life in all its pain and glory.

But remember, acceptance does not mean that you have to give up on the possibility of future change. Acceptance is not passivity or disengagement from life. Not at all! True, intelligent, compassionate, creative, and often unexpected change arises from a place of absolute alignment with the Way Things Are Right Now, a profound and intimate engagement with this juicy moment as it actually is, however ‘bad’ you label it.”

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Can I accept this moment exactly as it is?

Really taking a moment to stop and breathe, amidst thoughts and feelings and sensations in my body …

Can I accept this moment exactly as it is?

Inherently, what I am really asking:

Can I accept myself in this moment exactly as I am?

It’s not something I answer with a literal yes or a no.  I lean into it with a breath, a release, a letting go.

My new practice is to ask it again and again as I move about my day, as I sense the familiar habit of judging, labeling, and pushing against, creeping back in.  It’s not that old habits die hard; it’s that new ones need nourishment to take root and thrive.  Mindful, compassionate awareness is that nourishment.

Can I accept this moment exactly as it is?

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tetons-snake-river

We’ve all had them – challenges and circumstances that leave their unforgettable impact and change us forever.  Abraham aptly terms it: the contrast.

I would like to believe that we have chosen the contrast on some level before we ever fully emerged into these bodies.  I don’t believe we chose the specifics of it so much as the generalities.  I do believe we chose it before we were capable of feeling fear and before we formed individual ideas of what’s good and what’s bad or even what’s right and what’s wrong.

The beautiful thing about making peace with having chose it all on some level is that I don’t have to understand why – just know that whatever it is, I chose it. This is a far more empowering feeling than the victim stance of this happened to me and I have no control over it and it sucks.  And I feel it’s even more empowering than searching for positive aspects in certain situations where I just can’t come by it honestly.

I actually dreamed one night about someone very close to me who is a heroin addict.  I dreamed we were in non-physical and talking about how we were going to come down to earth in these bodies and have this relationship with each other.  We spoke eagerly about this adventure we were going to have and there was this sense that this undertaking meant lots of challenges with thrilling twists and turns.  But there was no fear, no judgement at all about it, the only feeling was one of enthusiastic anticipation.

The dream scene then changed and we were in physical bodies here on earth.  We were in a small boat on a river and we were still happily awaiting the contrast we were about to experience.  Then the water became choppy, darkness descended and one of us was thrown overboard into the water.  At that moment, the drama began to unfold and we were both lost in the dream.  We forgot the initial agreement we made in non-physical.  We become immersed and lost both literally and metaphorically in the water, in the dream I was dreaming, in the drama.

The dream ends but leaves behind its message: this was all a choice and from your non-local vantage point, you were not afraid, nor did you say this is a good pile of things to experience and this is a bad pile of things to experience.  You wanted it all.  You didn’t just come to paint with the color yellow, you didn’t just come to ride the smooth train from point A to point B.  You did want it all.  And remembering this, I step out of immersion and I make peace with where I am and what I have lived and will live.  Making peace, I pass from moving against the current of life to moving with the current of life.

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Closet_Monster_by_sim83

Yes, that was me – aspiring Spiritual Goody Two Shoes.  Just before I was about to receive my certification in Spiritual Goody Two Shoes, I had the sudden realization that I have a dark side.  Well, let’s be clear it wasn’t a sudden realization so much as a willingness to take a look in my own spiritual closets and acknowledge there was in fact a monster in there.  I’d closed that door on my monsters many a time.  I denied it and privately lived in shame.

Perhaps it’s the toughest door to open and yet, ironically requires an innocence of us.  An innocence of mind to open that door and be willing to look at whatever is in there.  Rummaging through my spiritual closets, illuminated a new meaning for the term “mercy and goodness”, taken from the 23rd Psalm.  It required of me a readiness to show myself that mercy and goodness even as I revealed my darker sides.  Now that I’ve opened that door, I’ve discovered I’m not unlike anything or anyone else, this Universe consists of shades of light and dark and I am not exempt from that.

I also learned there is a softness, a leaning into life when I cease to resist this dark side.  My world becomes a more welcoming one.  No more running from what’s behind that closet door.  The monster can come in bed with me now, we’ll read each other bed time stories.  We’ll talk, we’ll have our giggles and tears.  We’ll hug and sleep next to each other and in the morning we’ll step out into the full light of day and walk with an open hearted transparency about us because suddenly our world is a friendlier one and all the demons are no more.

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081205_rainier_cloud_02Learn to be present.

Practice hearing the voices in your head
without becoming involved and without
judgment.

And take it on faith that any
voice, internal or external, that is
telling you that
SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH YOU
is not the voice
of your
Heart,
God,
True Nature.

The reason acceptance isn’t more popular
is that in acceptance
there is nothing to do.

In acceptance there is nothing “wrong”
that needs to be changed, fixed, worked
on or otherwise improved.

And the simple,
astounding
mind boggling amazing
FACT
is that as soon as you accept yourself
EXACTLY
AS
YOU
ARE…

…all those “character flaws”
ANGRY
SELFISH
STRESSFUL
SHY
AGGRESSIVE
DEPENDENT
SNOBBISH
RECLUSIVE

BEGIN TO FALL AWAY

BECAUSE

those “flaws” have their
only existence
in nonacceptance,
in self-hate…

Once I catch on to how this
self-hate process works,
I see that it goes on all the time,
everywhere…

When I see this to be true,
self-hate ceases to be a private,
secret thing I do
that proves I’m a bad person.

I can begin to take it less personally.

At some point,
now or later,
you’re going to have to risk
Being You
in order to find out
who that really is.

Not the conditioned you,
not the you you’ve been taught
to believe you are,
who you really are.

And this perhaps will be
the scariest,
the most loving,
the most rewarding
thing you have ever done.

excerpted from There is Nothing Wrong With You:
Going Beyond Self-Hate
Author: Cheri Huber

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Meadow
Come with me now, down this garden path, and sit with me at this stream.  Watch how the water flows by.  See how it flows over and around the rocks.  See how it flows even where there are obstacles; even a dam of rocks, higher than the bed of the stream, cannot stop the flow.  It may hold back the water for a time, but eventually, the water will prevail.  It may rise up and flow over the top of the dam.  It may simply leave the banks of the stream, spread out and go around the dam.  Or it may find the weakness in the dam and through its relentless pressure cause the dam to crumble as the water is let loose to flow freely again.

This water is love, the source of all being.  It is freedom and power, unrelenting, unending.  It overcomes all barriers which lie before it through its unending flow.  But yet its pressure is gentle.  For the rocks over which it flows, it is soothing and purifying.  For that which dwells within it and on the banks along the side, it is a life giver, flowing and gentle.  And yet, when it is thwarted, as with the dam, it prevails through its unrelenting nature.

There is nothing that you can do, nothing you can fail to do, that will keep love from you.  There is no blame you can place upon yourself that will stop the flow of love in your life.  Love is the blood that flows in your veins, the breath that goes in and out of your body.  Love is an essential part of who you are.  It cannot be stopped.  It cannot be overcome.  And even if it is forced underground for a time, still it flows and will again be made visible in your life.

You are blameless before this love.  You are not judged and found wanting.  You, exactly as you are right now, are deeply loved, are a part of love, are made of love eternal.  You breathe and it flows.  You live and it flows.  You are love.

The life-giving source is within you and it is the foundation of your freedom.  The more you allow yourself to become one with the flow of love, the more freedom you will experience in your life.  The more you give it away, the more it will flow in to fill you.  The more you acknowledge its presence within you, the more you will flow and glow with love and freedom, going so deeply into the holy center of love that you finally see and know and feel who you are:  a shining beacon of love and light in human form, as holy and free as anyone who has ever walked the earth and ever will.  You–yes, you–are the ultimate expression of love.

The rocks of fear may pile up around you and in front of you, but you are not those rocks.  You are the flowing stream of love and you will prevail over the barriers and watch them crumble and tumble before you.  Such is your power, the power of love.

~Quado, as channeled by Carrie Hart

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