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Posts tagged ‘acceptance’

Forgive, Accept, Embrace

The Awakened Heart Project.With An Open HeartThis post is part of The Awakened Heart Project

Week 35-37: Forgive, Accept, Embrace

“The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.” 


– Steve Maraboli

Life Lesson 35: Forgive 

They say, “Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong.” Do you agree? I think in many ways, yes it is. Forgiveness is something that no doubt hard to do. We have these emotions and thoughts that surround our experiences, and the ones that hurt and leave a scar often make us jade and resentful. Pain shuts us down and causes us to put up a wall for protection. We build a moat around our heart, and guard it with everything we have. We say, “This will never happen again. They will never hurt me again. They can no longer we trusted”. The problem with all of this is that these walls also keep out the good. Further, when we don’t allow ourselves to forgive, we are unable to release the pain. This pain will stay with us forever. Even worse, sometimes, the pain was simply a misunderstanding, that could quickly and easily be corrected if we didn’t jump to building that wall and moat around our hearts.

forgiveness

We are all just human beings. We’re not perfect. We make mistakes, and sometimes that means hurting others. Sometimes, it’s intentional, but many times it is not. Before you jump to conclusions about another persons intentions, take a step back and ask yourself if you’ve even made a similar mistake. Or ask yourself, could I be thinking too much into this? Perhaps, there’s an explanation. The best approach however, is ti simply TALK to the person that hurt you. Tell them how you felt, and how you interpreted their actions. A mature, reasonable person will take the time to give you an explanation and often Read more

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How Buddhists’ Use Rain to Help Increase Mindfulness

mindfulness

Some years ago, a group of Buddhist teachers developed the mindfulness tool ‘RAIN’ (an acronym for the four steps of the process) to help heal difficult emotions. In todays world, feeling our feelings has become somewhat of a “no-no”. People are constantly looking for quick fixes, the next pharmaceutical, -a way out. But in truth, the only way to heal, is to feel. If you never learn this truth, you will continue to experience the same pain, feelings, and frustrations over and over again. You must heal, process, learn, and let go. You cannot store away your past. You must accept it, and learn from it.

True,  sometimes it’s hard to sit in our emotions. Being aware of our feelings and accepting them, is critical to our physical health as well as mental. Physiologically, mind, body, and spirit, are all intertwined.  

Tara Brach of Yoga Journal puts it like this:
Yes, there are times when being present feels out of reach or too much to bear. There are times when false refuges can relieve stress, give us a breather, help lift our mood. But when we’re not connected to the clarity and kindness of presence, we’re all too likely to fall into more misunderstanding, more conflict, and more distance from others and our own heart.

As a means to help others heal from emotional difficulty, RAIN was developed. The beauty of RAIN is that it can be accessed at any moment, no matter where you are. It simply asks you to direct your attention to clearing your mind, and the process is simple, and stress free.

I love how Brach describes the beauty in this method: The steps give us somewhere to turn in a painful moment, and as we call on them more regularly, they strengthen our capacity to come home to our deepest truth. Like the clear sky and clean air after a cooling rain, this mindfulness practice brings a new openness and calm to our daily lives.

Here are the four steps of RAIN:

R – recognize what is happening.
A – allow life to be just as it is.
I – investigate inner experience with kindness.
N – non-identification.

RAIN directly deconditions the habitual ways in which you resist your moment-to-moment experience. RAIN begins to undo these unconscious patterns that cause you to cut off your feelings, and in turn your mind and heart to the world around you, as soon as we take the first step.

the_girl_in_the_rain_by_best10photos

Recognize What is Happening

Recognition, quite simply is seeing what is true in your inner life. This means recognizing and focusing on your present thoughts, emotions, feelings, and sensations in the present moment. And when you begin to be mindful of these, your heart and mind will gradually open allowing you to connect with your experiences more fully; you will discover that some parts of your experience are easier to connect with than others. According to Brach, one way to think of it is like this: You might recognize anxiety right away, but if you focus on your worried thoughts, you might not notice the actual sensations of squeezing, pressure, or tightness arising in the body. If your body is gripped by jittery nervousness, you might not recognize that this physical response is being triggered by your underlying belief that you are about to fail.

Work on this by asking yourself this simple question: “What is happening inside me right now?” Focus inward. Listen to your heart, mind, body and spirit with compassion and patiences.

Allow Life to Be Just as It Is

This means, letting what is be just that, and accepting it that way. That is, accepting your thoughts, emotions, feelings, or sensations. Sometimes sitting in our feelings is difficult and uncomfortable so we look for a way out, -and quickly! But don’t. Be present with “what is”, and when you do, your awareness of your inward motion will increase which will in turn give you a different quality of attention for “what is”.  Allowing and accepting is important because it aids in the healing process.

Investigate with Kindness

Investigation means  to follow your natural instinct to know and understand the hows and whys of where you are currently. It’s important to recognize what is going on inside yourself, but it’s also important to ask, “What does this feeling want from me?” It is not until the “why’s” are understood that truly dealing and healing with emotions can happen. Avoiding investigating these reasons will only allow them to control you passively each day. They will present themselves in a disguised manner, but will nevertheless, run-a-muc in your head, heart, and life. .

An important aspect of  investigation is that it needs to be done with kindness. It is the kindness that provides healing and freeing. Whatever surfaces in this process, welcome it with kindness.

Nonidentification: Rest in Natural Awareness

Nonidentification means that your sense of self or identity is not defined or limited by your emotions, feelings, and life experiences. It is thought that when identification with the “ego self” is loosened, -that which does identify with emotions, feelings and life experiences, we begin to live and love more openly and embrace natural awareness.

Although the first three steps of RAIN require some intentional activity, the N does not. You are asked to simply rest in natural awareness and liberate yourself through mindfulness.

This post was adapted from the article “Let it Rain” via Yoga Journal. 

When Disappointment Turns to Resentment and How You Can Change It.

It’s the time of year when gift giving is all around us. Most of us are participating in these festivities one way or another. Some of us like the element of surprise when we receive a gift, while others find it easier to provide friends and family with a list of items they wish to receive. Either way, there’s an open window for disappointment during this season….that is, if you let there be.

The following post discusses how our expectations have the power to leave us feeling disappointed and resentful if we do not feel the gifts we receive are  “special enough”. This post does not specifically discuss gift during this holiday season, but it seems just as important. Remember, gifts aren’t always material either. So, spend a minute reflecting on different types of gifts others Read more

My Authentic Experience in New York – The Beginning of the Rest of My Life [A Shared Story]

Authenticity is something I strive for everyday. I’ve become incredibly conscious of my thoughts, behaviors and my feelings in recent months, and I believe much of this is due my growing self-acceptance (perhaps not 100%. -I’m still working on it!), and allowing myself to “just be” rather than trying to be what others would find appealing. Making the transition to authenticity required me to be self-aware to a degree I had never practiced before. It has been hard work, but completely and totally worth it in the end. The lack of consciousness I carried with me previously, caused me to be driven more-often-than-not by my ego, which is completely based on external factors. The ego is a reflection of what others think; it is fallacious. Read more

The Perils of Being a Perfectionist

Almost everyone wish they could change something about themselves, or their lives at some point. It’s normal I supposed to not be completely satisfied. Some of us are perhaps more satisfied than others. But what happens when we’re only satisfied with perfection?

If I had to use one word to sum up my most prominent thought the last few weeks it would be: Perfectionism. In fact, I would say, if I had a stocker, it would be Perfectionism. It just won’t get away from me. I’ve been a self-proclaimed perfectionist for years, and frankly, I think I liked it; Perfectionism was a friend of sorts. But over the last year, I’ve become aware of just how annoying, and clinging, and rigid, and judgmental, and selfish, and cruel this friend really is. Perfectionism is a total Bitch! Read more