Do you ever find yourself struggling to relax because you are trying to control or contain things in your life? Or are you afraid sometimes to just let go of your own efforts to 'make' something happen even when its not fruitful? Can you imagine the relief you would feel to be able to take a step back from everything, let go of your efforts to control and place your trust in the universe for a while?
The concept of acceptance has come up in various flavours throughout my work this week and I wanted to share a little about the power of being able to let go, accept and release any pressure you feel to control and be on top of everything.
Over the past few months, I've shared my journey of finding greater balance and how difficult it was for me initially to take a step back from being 'busy' and 'doing' things for the sake of it. But things have really radically changed for me. I'm busier than ever and yet somehow I'm feeling a lot more relaxed about everything. I've created this space for myself deliberately and I've achieved it through practicing mindful acceptance. For me, mindful acceptance has been about trusting myself and the journey I'm on. As well as knowing I don't have all the answers and being okay with that. Being able to let go and just do what I can, put one foot in front of the other towards my dreams and accepting that I'm moving in the right direction (even though I have absolutely no idea what's coming) has been totally freeing for me.
I've accepted - I'm not going to be able to do everything 'perfectly'. I'm not going to write the greatest, most engaging blog every week. I'm not going to be able to squeeze every job on my 'To Do' list into a single week! I know I'm not going to win a nobel prize for literature. It's just not going to happen. And that's okay! All that matters to me is that I'm taking little steps every day towards creating the wonderful life AND the amazing service I dream of delivering to my clients. It's all evolving over time, just like me. And with each small step well chosen, I've been able to move forward surely and steadily in the right direction.
This week, I've been so busy in such a wonderful way, that I've been unable to prioritise creating my blog for you this week. As a result, I'm practicing acceptance, writing this on Friday afternoon and wondering... what on earth is going to flow out from me! I've had a few fearful thoughts on the one hand like, 'How could I possibly write anything interesting or inspiring without planning and thinking more about it'. Yet on the other, I'm just present, learning and growing and telling myself, 'How exciting to see what wonderful ideas will emerge when I free myself from any fears, to just connect with others, be myself and create from my heart'. It's these trusting and peaceful thoughts that now lead me.
How have I cultivated this new way of being? Well - honestly, it was nothing more than a decision I made! I realised I want peace, I want to feel relaxed inside and at ease...and I also want to achieve amazing things! I want to be productive, efficient AND trusting, that in letting go of my efforts to control, that wonderful things will naturally flow through to me. I realised I was spending too much of my energy on things which didn't really matter in the grand scheme for me. I realised that showing up was more important than doing things 'perfectly'. I decided to let go of the baggage of self-doubt and fear which never really served me in a positive way. I decided, if I was going to put my valuable time and energy into something, it might as well be positive and uplifting. I just decided to let go of doubt, fear and negativity whenever it comes up for me - which of course it still does - as it does for everybody! I made a decision just not to buy into it, just notice, observe it and let it go quickly and mindfully.
And ultimately this journey has led me to wondering this week; What kind of difference would it make in your life to feel total mindful acceptance of what is? Imagine if you freed yourself of your fears, doubts and worries and just chose consciously the life you wish to lead... How would it feel if you could be both more productive AND more at ease? How would it feel If you could just mindfully choose to accept what is (and what isn't) to allow yourself the space to just open up, be yourself and create?
If just 'making the decision' to 'accept' feels like a big leap for you to make at this point, then instead you might like to try some brief mindful activities to help you find moments of acceptance now and in your every day.
Firstly, seek out some brief (5 minute) mindful meditations in which you can allow yourself a little peace of mind as part of your daily routine. If you are unsure which ones to try, you can download the free Smiling Mind app for your smart phone which is a great place to start.
Then, practice mindfulness in moments throughout your day. Choose a time when you can fully immerse yourself in the present moment. Perhaps you're washing the dishes. Focus your mind on the sensations you are experiencing instead of the distractions of your mind and other things. Bring yourself fully into the present. Notice the hot water, the feel of the cloth or brush in your hand, look at the plate or cup as you wash it and observe the water running over the plate, or the foam as it dissolves in the sink. This is all the focus mindfulness takes. Your mind will drift off and that's okay. Just bring it back to the present moment again.
Mindful acceptance is nothing more than making the decision to be fully present in your life as much and as often as possible. Letting things and yourself just be. Experiencing and living your live, observing it and allowing your mind a break from fear, doubt and worry.
I hope you've found the above ideas helpful in freeing yourself and creating greater mindful acceptance in your life! I'd love to hear about your experiences of being present or mindful in a way that's enabled you to live a balanced, peaceful and meaningful life.
Emily Wilks (Rimmer)