Acceptance of the Unacceptable

“Acceptance of the unacceptable is the greatest source of grace in this world.”

Eckhart Tolle

Isn’t it funny how certain quotes and wisdom show up just when we need them the most? I recall, some time ago when I had a hard time accepting how things were. I had unexpected news that meant my vision for the future was no longer possible. What I thought was “for sure” became “no way”.

There was shock and uncertainty;  concerns about others; a sense of loss and sadness; a letting go of a future dream; and lots of turbulent emotions.  So much was out of my control and I really struggled because I couldn’t accept it. There was no grace here folks!

woman-holding-white-balloon-3064615

So, what is grace … and how do we find it when life throws us unexpected challenges or dashes our dreams? When we find ourselves in life’s lows?

I appreciate these words of wisdom from Adyshanti’s “Falling into Grace”.

“Grace is something that comes to us when we somehow find ourselves completely available, when we become open hearted and open minded, and are willing to entertain the possibility that we may not know what we think we know.

In this gap of not knowing, in the suspension of any conclusion, a whole other element of life and reality can rush in. This is what I call grace. It’s that moment of “ah-ha” – a moment of recognition when we realize something that previously we never could quite imagine.

… Somehow the  difficult situations in our lives have a way of opening our hearts and minds the most. Its the challenging moments that often offer the greatest opportunities for growth and the transformation of consciousness.”

Finding grace and opening up to accept what is, comes when we fully embrace everything that is alive in us in that moment. 

Some people choose to divert their mind into positive thinking to counteract the negative feelings. I’m not a believer of this, as all feelings and emotions are a part of who we are as human beings. I spent a big part of my life looking for the positive and denying the negative … while the deepest part of me was aching. Embracing all part of ourselves is the key to our personal growth and evolution as spiritual beings.

Here are guidelines I discovered from a variety of spiritual teachers and psychotherapists:

✳ Name what is happening. Be as factual as you can.

✳ What stories are you telling myself about this unacceptable moment?

✳ What are you feeling in your body. What emotions are coming up? Embrace your whole body experience.

✳ Make space for whatever comes up.

✳ Notice how the mind jumps in with judgments and negative thoughts. Make space for these too.

✳ Embrace everything that is alive in you. Let yourself feel.

✳ Notice if there is a part of you that wants the pain to go away – to fix it rather than accepting it.

✳ Embrace it all and let it in. This is a part of you.

✳ Let yourself become a vulnerable feeling being.

✳ Be open and fully alive to the experience.

✳ Breathe into it and allow the life energy to flow through you.

✳ And in this place of spaciousness and letting go, notice how grace appears.

Compassionate acceptance of the unknown opens our hearts and lets grace in.

* Haiku – right and wrong

head held high

~

It’s time to accept

the need to judge and be right

makes life somehow wrong

~

Let go and transcend

Find grace in the aftermath

Embrace the unknown

~

 Yet be true to you

Live your vision and values

From your Middle Ground

~

* Roots of Hope

This poem was shared at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in our 300 hour Mod 4 sangha.

It fills me with hope and possibility. Keep these words close to inspire you in your practice of yoga, meditation or life 💛

Roots of Hope 

Thankfully
the roots of hope run deep.
And when we get discouraged
we can feel the tug of those roots
and we remember
oh yes, that’s right…
we have come through
harder things than this before.
And during the process, learned
what we could not have learned otherwise. And thankfully
we believe in trying again
no matter how far the distance seems
between what we want
and what we have.
We can remember
what blooming feels like.
So we practice,
the feeling of blooming…
and possibility opens us
to the miracles once more.

Shiloh Sophia Shiloh Sophia Studio

Acceptance of the Unacceptable

“Acceptance of the unacceptable is the greatest source of grace in this world.”

Eckhart Tolle

 Isn’t it funny how certain quotes and wisdom show up just when we need them the most? I recall, not so long ago when I had a hard time accepting how things were. I had unexpected news that meant my vision for the future was no longer possible. What I thought was “for sure” became “no way”.

There was shock and uncertainty;  concerns about others; a sense of loss and sadness; a letting go of a future dream; and lots of turbulent emotions.  So much was out of my control and I really struggled because I couldn’t accept it. There was no grace here folks!

finding grace in life's lows

So, what is grace … and how do we find it when life serves us a curve ball or pulls the rug from under us? When we find ourselves in life’s lows?

I appreciate Adyashanti’s approach taken from “Falling into Grace”.

“Grace is something that comes to us when we somehow find ourselves completely available, when we become open hearted and open minded, and are willing to entertain the possibility that we may not know what we think we know.

In this gap of not knowing, in the suspension of any conclusion, a whole other element of life and reality can rush in. This is what I call grace. It’s that moment of “ah-ha” – a moment of recognition when we realize something that previously we never could quite imagine.

… Somehow the  difficult situations in our lives have a way of opening our hearts and minds the most. Its the challenging moments that often offer the greatest opportunities for growth and the transformation of consciousness.”

Finding grace and opening up to accept what is, comes when we fully embrace everything that is alive in us in that moment. 

Some people choose to divert their mind into positive thinking to counteract the negative feelings. I’m not a believer of this, as all feelings and emotions are a part of who we are as human beings. I spent a big chunk of my life looking for the positive and denying the negative … while the deepest part of me was aching. Embracing all part of ourselves is the key to our personal growth and evolution as spiritual beings.

Here are the steps I have uncovered from a variety of spiritual teachers and psychotherapists:

✳ Name what is happening. Be as factual as you can.

✳ What stories are you telling myself about this unacceptable moment?

✳ What are you feeling in your body. What emotions are coming up? Embrace your whole body experience.

✳ Make space for whatever comes up.

✳ Notice how the mind jumps in with judgments and negative thoughts. Make space for these too.

✳ Embrace everything that is alive in you. Let yourself feel.

✳ Notice if there is a part of you that wants the pain to go away – to fix it rather than accepting it.

✳ Embrace it all and let it in. This is a part of you.

✳ Let yourself become a vulnerable feeling being.

✳ Be open and fully alive to the experience.

✳ Breathe into it and allow the life energy to flow through you.

✳ And in this place of spaciousness and letting go, notice how grace appears.

Compassionate acceptance of the unknown.

* Being Graceful When Triggered

One of the topics I always come back to, is being graceful in the lows of life and how to handle the flood of emotions that most of us feel when we are triggered.
I have also noticed that over the past few years I have become less likely to react and am able to let go and come into the present moment.
As I re-read this post called The Argument, my body contracts and I feel an echo of the very same reaction running through me.
At the end I find myself smiling with relief and gratitude.
We are all on a path of learning and growth. 😌

Find Your Middle Ground

I can recall so clearly what happens when I am triggered. It still surprises me when I am, but I also know that it will pass when I let myself feel what’s going on. I used to think that being graceful was putting on a brave face and not showing how hurt I was.  Rather than storming off and vowing never to speak to that person again …. I guess I’ve found my own way of finding grace when triggered.

The Argument

How dare you!! 

Come into the present moment and notice

the pounding head, the clenched jaw and hands in fists

the thoughts that spark like fiery daggers

Don’t control me! I don’t want this! I don’t need you!

Feel the tears and absolute frustration

the vulnerability at being in this place of hurt and loss.

Loss of control. Loss of connection. Loss of understanding.

Become that wee girl too…

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* Dealing with Stress and my Inner Teenager

waves of lifeOn Tuesday I had a stressful day. A dip in the highs and lows of life day. It wasn’t surprising. I had some concerning news that took the wind out of my sails, and I developed a pressure cooker of a sinus headache. I was in a trough. I know how my mind and body are connected. My body tells me quite clearly when I have to pay attention to what is happening around me and what I am feeling. The message is clear –  take care of my well being. Pause. Connect to my Self.

In hindsight it is easy to catch, but at the time it may take a bit longer to realize that we are under stress. In this particular occasion it became very clear as I went through emails and started to read updates from fellow bloggers. As I painfully squinted at the screen. I was no longer present, but my inner judge was! “What do they want? … Why bother me with this?… How stupid! How superficial!… They are so self centered!… Don’t they get it?… This is trivial! Who has time for frivolity? Pl-ease get to the point.”

My thinking revealed that Val was not present or in balance. My defensive inner teenager had been Teenage bratunleashed.

Everyone was dumb. They didn’t get it. They didn’t see how much pain I was in. They took advantage of me. They tried to control me. All the unmet needs from the past were right there demanding attention.

Our inner teenager  is challenging and requires some kindness and understanding. Its in pain – emotionally and often physically. It has so many unmet needs and is trying to figure out how to get them met as they move from childhood into independence.  It is our ego at the height of all of its immature defensive glory.

One part of me was determined to be miserable and show the world (?) that I had every right to be. Thankfully the part of me who has learned to be a compassionate observer knew that it was time to unplug. NOW!

You are stressed. Take care of yourself  and find your middle ground. Be gentle and kind. Let things be as they are.

Stones surrounded by rushing waterIt was easier after I had taken half a Sinutab and put on my favorite restorative yoga music. I embraced everything that was coming up. I noticed resistance. I breathed and didn’t push. I found my middle ground and was able to stay there. Healing tears fell softly. I meditated and lost track of time. My husband came and went and let me be. He knows better than me sometimes ❤

I began to feel better and went to watch tv to distract myself … and found I had no appetite for it at all. ZERO. I wanted to stay in solitude. I journaled instead.

The old habits of distractions, shopping, cleaning, entertainment, drinking and eating had lost their pull in that moment. By being fully present and knowing how to ride the wave and find my middle ground helped me center myself.

So I honored the request to be alone and put my teenager to bed early. I woke up as a headache free and stress free adult once more. Ready to approach the day with a sense of curiosity.

Thank you to the makers of Sinutab, yoga and meditation, journaling, my husband and friends who support and nourish me, and to those of you who read this today!

May we all find our middle ground in the waves of life.

❤ Namaste ❤

 

The Complete Serenity Prayer

The serenity prayer is an inspiring piece for people struggling with life challenges. It helps us become grounded and find our Middle Ground: that place to find serenity, courage and wisdom in the waves  of life.

What most of understand as the serenity prayer is actually the first stanza of an entire prayer written in 1943, most probably by Reinhold Niebuhr.

prayerI have written before about how we can bring the Serenity Prayer to life by asking ourselves certain questions. See my earlier post Are there Missing Words from the Serenity Prayer?

Now I want to bring more meaningful perspectives here by sharing the entire prayer.

The Complete Serenity Prayer

God, give us grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.

What resonates with me, is how I can bring this into my daily life. So I’ve let go of the the language of Christianity and penned my thoughts here.

Let go of trying to control things that are out of my hands.

Find the courage to take control in areas that I can AND should.

Take one day at a time. Enjoy each moment at a time. 

Accept life as it unfolds… both the highs and the lows.

Trust in a higher power that makes life okay.

What resonates with you my friends?

Namaste

 

 

 

* Grace Again

This is a beautiful definition of grace.
Be grateful for the highs in life.
Be graceful in the lows.
Val x

Cast Light

“Grace is not part of consciousness; it is the amount of light in our souls, not knowledge nor reason.” – Pope Francis

In the Thornton Wilder play, The Skin of Our Teeth, when the main character George Antrobus is asked what he has lost, he says “the desire to begin again,” noting that it’s the most important thing in life. Each day and every day, we have the opportunity to begin again.

Oftentimes, we allow a few “bad” moments to take our entire day or even week hostage. When we honestly reflect on those days, we realize that there was so much more good in them, but we let the bad trump the good.

By the end of Friday, I had a series of encounters with people demanding me to do what they wanted because it was the most important thing ever. And instead of letting it roll off my…

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* Inspiration in the Pendulum of Life

Today I want to slow down and feel a need to linger in my Middle Ground. When I recognize I am out of balance, its time for me to come back to what’s most important. Some days are easier  than others … its part of the pendulum of lifependulum of life

I decided to see which words of my own would center me and bring me home.  I found this piece about the essence of spirituality:

Spirituality isn’t dogma or the beliefs we have about life, ourselves and the world. Its about how conscious we are in living these beliefs from moment to moment. How we actively live life in connection with ourselves and others. Living with an open heart.

This is my spiritual practice.

Please join with me and take a moment to consider these words and photographs. Pause at each one. Make this a moment of mindfulness and connection. This is an opportunity to get in touch with our feelings and the connection between us all.

“We are all vulnerable and in need of love”

we are all vulnerable and need love

“We are all vulnerable and in need of love”

loving kindness dog

“We are all vulnerable and in need of love”

need for love

“We are all vulnerable and in need of love”

young hand giving flower to old hand

“We are all vulnerable and in need of love”

mother daughter conflict

“We are all vulnerable and in need of love”


How can you bring these words to life today?…

For your self …

For someone you care for …

For someone you are having difficulty with …

For your community and our world …

Namaste

* Droplets of kindness

This is a poignant reminder of the power of small acts of kindness and how we can be graceful in the lows of life. Val x

Sirena Tales

No act of kindness no matter how small is ever wasted.”~ Aesop

one of my children spent last night and the early morning hours in the hospital emergency room: the hardworking docs trying to figure out what is causing the ailment, for us and so many others

a long night, this endless winter

just when I feel as if the terrible cold of a parent’s powerlessness will pull me under

…you, faraway friend, send your kind email

…you, blogging buddy, comment on my post

…you, cashier at the pharmacy, wish me a lovely day

…you, kind stranger, hold the door for me, making the effort not to let it slam shut in my fatigued face

it all matters

I T  A L L  M A T T E R S

reminding me, in the unforgettable words of Naomi Shihab Nye, “…how desolate the landscape can be/ between…

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