This week’s earlier post was about a lot of things. Essentially, it distilled down to the discomfort of transitions. Waiting when you’re ready right now. Uncertainty when you want answers pronto. Hearing “no” about what you thought was next when you were so sure the correct answer was “yes.” The common theme among all of these awkward moments is discomfort. The common solution: acceptance.
Now, remember from Wednesday that acceptance in this context isn’t ambivalence. It’s the understanding that you can’t change where you are, even if you can influence where you’re going next. It’s letting go of the struggle against the truth of what is right here, right now, so that you can actually move on. Fighting with the present moment doesn’t do much more than keep you stuck in it, while also simultaneously disconnected from it.
You may feel a certain kind of way about having to accept the way a certain situation is in this moment. That’s ok. The sooner you can accept that’s how you’re feeling, but you can’t change what this moment requires, the sooner you’ll be able to let go of the anxiety over it.
This weekend’s “no-fail” mindfulness challenge isn’t complicated, but it might take a little work on your part. If you choose to accept it, that is. (See what I did there? Lol…ok, fine, here we go…)
- Bring to mind a situation that is currently causing you stress, anxiety, worry or concern. See every detail of it in your mind’s eye.
- Notice how you respond in both your body and mind to even simply thinking about this situation. Observe the thought patterns and physical responses you have to it, and give them each a name. Worry, fear, clenching, nausea, etc. Be specific, but not judgmental. You’re just taking stock.
- Try to identify what aspects of the situation illicit these responses. It is uncertainty, fear of loss, potential embarrassment or disappointment, or something else? Be as honest as you can with this. No one is listening but you.
- Repeat to yourself (internally or vocally), “This is how it is.” The situation is what it is in this moment. Your responses to it are what they are. Accept that this combination of factors comprises what you could consider to be “the truth” right now. It isn’t good, or bad. It simply is, for now.
- Take 3 deep breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth. Allow these breaths to reset and re-energize you, as you begin to transition from this moment to the next.
Wherever you currently are, whatever you are currently feeling, this is how it is. That is the truth, and the truth is always neutral. If something about it doesn’t resonate with you, don’t try to pretend it isn’t there. Instead, move forward in a different direction. Some things you will change; others you will not. As you let go of the struggle with what you don’t like, you make space in the next moment for more of what you do want.
It is what it is, for now. If you can be real with that, then chances are good that the next present moment will feel a whole lot more like a truth you can live with.
“Use your imagination until your big dream feels so familiar that the manifestation is the next logical step.” – Abraham Hicks
Photo credit: Olu Eletu