Tuesday, 09 January 2024

Linda-maree Conyard

Acceptance, often misconstrued as resignation or passivity, holds immense transformative potential in our lives. In this Trauma Bytes edition, we delve into the profound art of acceptance, emphasising the richness found in being 100% present with what is before initiating any change.

The urge to escape discomfort is a universal human inclination. When faced with challenging or uneasy situations, our instinct often drives us to seek immediate relief, yearning to flee from discomfort's grip.

However, within this desire to hastily exit discomfort, something crucial often gets overlooked - the opportunity for growth, insight, and profound transformation that discomfort offers. In our rush to find solace, we may miss the chance to sit with discomfort, to understand its teachings, and to harness its potential for personal evolution.

Again we will be drawing upon mindfulness practices to unearth the gold that lies within the practice of wholehearted acceptance. In this edition of Trauma Bytes, we'll explore:

  • Redefining Acceptance;
  • The Gold in Acceptance; and
  • Mindfulness Practices.

1. Redefining Acceptance
I encourage you to take your time with this step and not just read the words. Really contemplate the incredible potential that is available to you if you were to master accepting what is.

The alternative to accepting what is, is usually ploughing through whatever the circumstances are, trying to avoid the discomfort of sitting in the truth. In this process, if we are aware of what we are doing, we can usually see ourselves projecting our challenges to something external to ourselves. We can create this inner battle with what is and our avoidance of what is. We can hear ourselves blaming others or something else instead of taking responsibility for our situation and then dealing with it in a conscious and empowered way.

Acceptance is not about giving up or acquiescing to circumstances; rather, it's the courageous act of acknowledging reality without judgment or resistance. It involves embracing the present moment as it unfolds and accepting it fully before taking any steps towards transformation. This mindful approach enables us to see things as they are, cultivating a space for profound insight and innerstanding.

Side note on the word innerstanding. To me, this word means:

  • Comprehension from within yourself.
  • That you stand in your inner knowing.

2. The Gold in Acceptance
The beauty of acceptance lies in the richness of being entirely present with what is. When we drop our resistance and fully immerse ourselves in the present, we uncover a wealth of wisdom and clarity.

Acceptance of what is can appear paradoxical at first glance, presenting itself as an oxymoron in the realm of human experience. On one hand, acceptance suggests embracing reality without resistance, acknowledging the present circumstances as they unfold. Yet, within this surrender lies an inherent tension, a subtle dance between acknowledging the current situation and striving for change. It embodies the delicate balance between acknowledging the truth of the moment and fostering the courage to enact transformation.

Acceptance, rather than being a static state, becomes a dynamic interplay between acknowledging the present and nurturing the potential for evolution and change.

3. Practical and Mindfulness Practices for Embracing Acceptance
To help you cultivate acceptance in your daily life, try out these practices:

Mindful Observation: Take moments throughout your day to pause and observe your surroundings. Notice if you have any judgments about what you are witnessing. Notice the sensations in your body and the thoughts are passing through your mind. Then close your eyes or blink and take a breath, and when you look again at your surroundings, see if you can totally accept everything as it is.

In any workplace, there is an abundance of opportunities to practice acceptance. You may struggle with a colleague or client. This is wonderful grist for the mill. See if you are able to totally accept what is and sit in the acknowledgement of it.

Breath-Centered Awareness Practice: Engage in intentional breathing exercises. Focus on your breath, inhaling and exhaling at your own rhythm. Use this practice to anchor yourself in the present moment, allowing thoughts to come and go without engaging with them.

  • Begin by finding a quiet and comfortable place where you can sit or lie down without distractions. Close your eyes and feel yourself arrive in the space you have created.
  • ​Sit or lie down in a comfortable position, ensuring your back is straight but relaxed. Rest your hands gently on your lap or by your sides. Relax your jaw and face, soften your shoulders, let go and release your belly and feel your feet on the floor if you are sitting in a chair.
  • Feel the weight of your body in the chair or on the floor. See if you can make your body just 5 or 10 percent more comfortable.
  • Now notice your breath; there is no need to change it; you are simply noticing your body breathing itself. Notice where your breath is going. It may be shallow, or you may be holding your breath. Accept your breath exactly as it is. Simply pay attention to how that feels to accept your breath exactly how it is.
  • Now we'll take a few deep, slow breaths. Inhale deeply through your nose, feeling the breath filling your lungs, and then exhale slowly through your mouth, releasing any tension or stress. Focus on the sensation of the breath entering and leaving your body. Notice when you are fully with your breath, you are existing in the present moment.
  • If any thoughts or distractions arise, gently notice them without judgment and return your attention to your breath. Keep your focus on the breath, using it as an anchor to the present moment.
  • Accept that the mind is meant to think. Allow thoughts to come and go without engaging with them. If your mind wanders, gently guide your focus back to your breath. Be patient and compassionate with yourself as you are accepting exactly what is.
  • Stay with this practice for a few minutes more, enjoying this opportunity to practice acceptance.

Compassionate Self-Reflection: Set aside time for self-reflection without self-criticism. Acknowledge your experiences, feelings, and thoughts with kindness and understanding. The purpose of self-reflection is the learning and awareness you can glean from any experience.

By engaging in these practices, you embrace acceptance as a transformative tool. These exercises allow you to ground yourself in the present moment, fostering a deep sense of connection and understanding.

May this Trauma Bytes serve as a guide on your journey towards embracing acceptance. Utilise the practice of acceptance as a gateway to a deeper understanding of yourself and the world around you.

I love hearing from you and receiving your updates, so please keep them coming.

May you be well, may you be happy, and may you have inner peace.

Linda ♡

If you try out any offered practices, I’d love to hear how you found them and what you now understand that you didn’t before. I love, love, love hearing from you guys.

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