Acceptance as a Form of Empowerment

Is much of your day taken up by preoccupations of some sort?  It can be helpful to distinguish between a preoccupation that results in productive or creative thinking that helps you to move through something as opposed to a preoccupation with something or someone that you are unhappy with and unable to change.  How much of life is passing you by  while you are consumed with the latter kinds of rumination?  How many sunsets or sunrises have been missed, lost in thought?  If you would like to turn this around, see if you can catch yourself throughout the day when you are ruminating in a non-productive way on a particular topic, a person or situation that is irritating you.  Once you notice this, follow these steps:

  • Ask yourself, “Do you have any power to change the situation in this moment?”
  • If not, then shift your awareness out of your head and into your body. How does your body feel on the inside? Is it tense? What sensations are there? How are you carrying this problem or dilemma in your body?
  • Can you acknowledge that this is so, just for right now. Take your time with this and allow it to register fully in your head and in your body. See if you can yield to this. Let go of the future and the past, you only need to acknowledge that this is so, in this moment.
  • Now see if you can accept that this is so right now. (If this is too hard, then see if you can be gentle with this place inside that is having such a hard time accepting.)
  • Breathe into this place with compassion. (Remember, you only need to accept that you are powerless right now.) See if you can stay in this place of acceptance for several minutes.
  • Remind yourself that the future hasn’t happened, you have no control over the past, all you have control over is how you are in this moment. Allow yourself to deepen into this realization.
  • Take a few deep breaths and look around, take in your surroundings, notice what is in this moment. See if you can enter fully into the wonder of the Now.

If you can do this several times/day, you can begin to change the way your brain operates. It takes a lot of psychic energy to battle something you are powerless over. In this way, you are tying up valuable resources that can be used to enjoy sunsets, sunrises, and all the other precious moments that are passing you by. Accepting what is (in this moment) frees up inner space and resources to approach situations with creativity and flexibility. You are now moving with the Tao. Great power lies here.