The theme for this week's meditation group was Acceptance.
The easiest way to describe acceptance is to first look at what it isn't. Acceptance isn't:
judging, blame, criticising, pushing away, denial or ignorance.
As a contrast, acceptance requires that we stay:
open, soft, loving, kind, appreciative and honest.
No doubt in all of our lives there are things we may find difficult to accept. Often that lack of acceptance comes with a story of how it/we should be better or different, thus creating a gap between where we are and where we would like to be.
There are two ways to respond to this gap, with loving compassion or dissociation and anger.
To practice loving compassion I invite you to find something near to where you are that you are slightly dissatisfied with. It might be a stain on the carpet, a picture that you don't like or some mess that has yet to be dealt with (anything that isn't you). Then carry out the following steps:
1) From your heart send this item love
2) Send it loving compassion
3) Say gently to yourself, I accept you as you are*, as you continue to send love from your heart
4) Gently create a space to allow what comes up or happens next
5) Stay soft as you maintain a heartfelt connection with this item, sending it love until you feel that your connection with it is done and you are ready to let go and move on.
"Accept - then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it ... This will miraculously transform your whole life." Eckhart Tolle
* Sometimes there are times and situations where it is difficult to be accepting. This is ok, some things are unacceptable for a reason. In these instances, I invite you to be accepting of your unacceptance.
Stop fighting life
There is a wonderful energy that is freed up when we stop fighting life and start to run with it instead. The energy required to get us from where we are to where we wish to be is a creative energy. Harnessed and used wisely it can and will do wonderful things.
The group thoroughly enjoyed giving themselves an opportunity to not judge themselves, need to change or be different as we dived into the practice of acceptance in our meditation time. It highlighted just how often we're not accepting of things such as our thoughts, feelings or experience of life and how much impact we can make when we handle our non-acceptance differently.
Being accepting really is a spiritual practice. It makes people much nicer to be around too!