“Practicing acceptance does not mean that you are surrendering to the status quo & not going to change anything. It simply means you are accepting what is, a precondition to change.” ~ Michael Lee
Our truth changes. What is our reality one moment, may not be so the next. While we all know that change is inevitable, accepting change is often easier said than done. There is comfort in what is familiar, even if it no longer serves or reflects our personal truth. As I have sat with accepting change in my life, I have become aware of the truth in change. To put it another way, accepting change is accepting my truth. Sometimes this truth is a self-generated change where I’m actively aware and intentionally the change agent. Other times my truth is externally imposed; something happens to change my reality that is beyond my control. Accepting change is a choice. Acceptance does not require me to like or agree, but rather is simply my acknowledgement of what is.
The simplicity of the question, “What’s happening now?” offered in Phoenix Rising, reflects the ever-shifting nature of our personal truth. Acknowledging, “what’s happening now” is acceptance of the present moment, just as it is, and is not. This simple question has profound power to bring awareness into the present. It can illuminate habits and patterned ways of being, as well as bring awareness to completely new and unfamiliar experiences that may have gone unnoticed. It acknowledges our real time personal truth, not what was happening then or will happen next, but what’s happening now.
When our truth is an unwanted reality, non-acceptance may be especially enticing. While it can be tempting to resist what is, there is reciprocity between acceptance and change. As Michael Lee stated, “Acceptance is a precondition to change.” There is something that happens when we accept what is, that enables and supports the opportunity for things to shift and become different.
In working with acceptance in my own life, I’ve found it helpful to work with the concept of “don’t know mind.” Richard Shrobe offers one of my favorite definitions, “Don’t-know mind” is our enlightened mind before ideas, opinions, or concepts arise to create suffering.” Being with “what’s happening now” in my body, often supports me in experiencing “don’t know mind.” My body is a far more reliable barometer than my mind for giving an accurate real time reading and supporting my acceptance of the current moment. By listening to my body, I’m often able to recognize that it is actually fear or worry of the past or future that is hindering my acceptance of the now and not necessarily what is actually happening now.
Acceptance creates the opportunity for us to be with things as they are and empowers us to make choices based on our real time reality. Next time you find yourself struggling to be with what is, stop and take a “20-second awareness break.” Ask yourself “what’s happening now?” Let your body guide you to your real time truth.
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