Tag Archives: Radical Self-Acceptance

Day of Rest

To rest is not self indulgent, to rest is to prepare to give the best of ourselves, and to perhaps, most importantly, arrive at a place where we are able to understand what we have already been given. ~David Whyte

I’m posting this on the day of rest, but it’s every bit as much a message from the universe post, the message being how to be brave, the nature of courage, how to practice fearlessness, and that through it all, I am fundamentally wise and compassionate, basically good and already whole — as are we all.

In all the ways I am struggling, suffering, at the center is fear, fatigue, despair, feeling like I’m just not strong enough, can’t do “this” anymore — can’t keep losing those I love, can’t continue being so confused about my body and what it needs, can’t stand the anxiety and worry and impermanence, can’t live with this level of simultaneous determination and exhaustion, can’t compete with the discursive, erratic nature of my mind or the fierce emotional force of a tender and raw open heart in a world that is so loud, so fast, so full.

As a member of the Open Heart Project at the Practitioner level, I receive a video each Monday from Susan Piver in which she suggests a contemplation for the week. Our theme for this week? Fearlessness. In the video, Susan suggests that meditation is an act of “confronting our own tenderness,” and that,

Practice itself is a gesture of fearlessness, because when you sit down…you basically are consenting to release your agenda, and witness and be with what arises — and that is our definition of fearlessness.

She goes on to say that,

This definition of fearlessness has almost nothing to do with certainty or arrogance certainly, or feeling like you can dominate any situation you happen to enter. It’s actually almost the opposite. Here fearlessness has more to do with how vulnerable you can be, how much you can trust yourself when your emotions start to roil, how deeply you can feel, how wide you can open to let this world touch you…So our definition of fearlessness is a willingness to be vulnerable.


Then yesterday, this, from Kute Blackson: Stop beating yourself up. It won’t work. You won’t change that way, nothing will, and “what if you didn’t need to be fixed?” Accept yourself, love yourself, this is where the healing happens, in this way you will be transformed, free. Kute also says,

True healing is applying love to the part of you that hurts.

Brave BellyAnd this,

What if the way you might be going about trying to transform yourself or heal yourself, in and of itself, is causing more suffering?…Perhaps it’s not just about changing something, but it’s about the process of how you change something that has an impact on the thing itself. So consider this — your relationship with yourself is as important as the thing itself. Consider this — that the issue that you might be judging or dealing with in your life…is not simply the issue, that the real issue is how you relate with yourself as you deal with the issue. And if you are able to create some space, a certain compassion, a certain openness, a way of holding yourself through the issue even while the issue’s there, then you don’t need to heal the issue or clear the issue or get rid of the issue or exterminate that part of yourself in order to be okay, in order to be loveable, but that as you are right now you are loveable, just because.

I wonder how many times, from how many places and in how many forms I’ll need to hear this message to finally get it? This time it was coming from a person and in a form where I’ve seen it before, a Kute Blackson video and blog post. In this one, he delivers simple but powerful truth with his characteristic enthusiasm, makes watching it feel like you just attended the best church sermon ever. He suggests that,

There comes a moment when no matter how much healing or therapy you have done, how many books you have read or seminars that you have attended, you must make the bold choice to love yourself no matter what.

Loving yourself is a great act of courage. The simple yet powerful decision to love yourself no matter what is the key to your freedom.

Then on facebook this morning, Jeff Oaks shared a link to an opinion piece on The New York Times, The Value of Suffering by Pico Iyer, a beautiful essay full of truth. In it, he shares a story about the Dalai Lama visiting a Japanese fishing village that had been destroyed by the tsunami.

As the Dalai Lama got out of his car, he saw hundreds of citizens who had gathered on the street, behind ropes, to greet him. He went over and asked them how they were doing. Many collapsed into sobs. “Please change your hearts, be brave,” he said, while holding some and blessing others. “Please help everyone else and work hard; that is the best offering you can make to the dead.” When he turned round, however, I saw him brush away a tear himself.

Pico ends the essay by saying,

The only thing worse than assuming you could get the better of suffering, I began to think (though I’m no Buddhist), is imagining you could do nothing in its wake. And the tear I’d witnessed made me think that you could be strong enough to witness suffering, and yet human enough not to pretend to be master of it. Sometimes it’s those things we least understand that deserve our deepest trust. Isn’t that what love and wonder tell us, too?

I’ve been suffering, more specifically struggling with my suffering, and Pico’s piece was so helpful, as were Kute and Susan’s videos. They remind me that being with suffering, being able to sit and stay with it rather than running away or closing my eyes and heart to it, is an act of courage, a practice of sanity and love.

Today, I am practicing the courage to love myself, to heal by applying love to the parts that hurt, and keeping my heart open — no matter what. I am trusting this practice, trusting myself.

couragecircle

When you open yourself to the continually changing, impermanent, dynamic nature of your own being and of reality, you increase your capacity to love and care about other people and your capacity to not be afraid. You’re able to keep your eyes open, your heart open, and your mind open. ~Pema Chödrön

Something Good

woke up to this, April snow

Woke up to this, April snow, Spring in Colorado

four hours later, it's still coming down

Four hours later, it’s still coming down

1. How Yoga Turned Me Into a Superhero. ~ Steph Richard
and Sleep: More Important than a Healthy Diet. ~ Katja Heino on Elephant Journal.

2. From Patti Digh, your daily rock : practice and your daily rock : you are not broken.

3. From Pema Chödrön,

The present moment is your ally: We might ask, “Given my present situation, how long should I stay with uncomfortable feelings?” This is a good question, yet there is no right answer. We simply get accustomed to coming back to the present just as it is for a second, for a minute, for an hour—whatever is currently natural—without its becoming an endurance trial. Just pausing for two to three breaths is a perfect way to stay present. This is a good use of our life. Indeed, it is an excellent, joyful use of our life. Instead of getting better and better at avoiding, we can learn to accept the present moment as if we had invited it, and work with it instead of against it, making it our ally rather than our enemy.

4. From Geneen Roth,

I tell my retreat students that having a practice they do everyday is important. It doesn’t matter what it is. Meditating, gardening, writing, walking, feeding birds. What matters is that you pay attention. What matters is that you have the intention to show up for yourself and have the chance, on a daily level, to ground yourself in the you that isn’t caught up in the emails, errands, natterings. It’s a way you get to be loyal to what matters to you. A promise you make to yourself that this day can also be for you.

And a really cool video of her feeding hummingbirds,

And this,

When I am willing to question and therefore feel whatever is there–hatred (that’s a big one!), anger, sadness–with tenderness and curiosity, the feelings relax because they are met with kindness and openness instead of resistance and rejection. The hard part is that I have to be willing to tolerate discomfort for a moment. Or three.

Think about what it’s like for you to be met by someone else with kindness. And then think about being met with rejection. It’s such a difference. Think about what you would give to a child who is hurting. And then take a leap. Be as loving to yourself as you would be to a child. As you would be to anyone you love who needs your attention. Over and over, this is the practice. A fierce kind of love. An unwillingness to devolve into pushing and blaming. It starts with you, now.

5. From Sakyong Mipham, “We want to infuse our day with good habits so that we can turn seemingly mundane situations into a ceremony of goodness,” and “In order to be brave, we must trust that underneath it all, there is sanity and openness.”

6. Becoming the Person You Were Meant to Be: Where to Start by Anne Lamott.

7. Type So Hard You Bruise The Screen writing advice collected and shared by Owen Egerton on Huffington Post.

8. This from Elisabeth Kübler-Ross,

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.

9. The Last Day from Sas Petherick.

10. Call Me Cupcake, shared by decor8. My eyes and mouth were drooling.

11. 11 quick + dirty things about writing, a brilliant list from Justine Musk.

12. The Five Stages of Clutter on Be More with Less.

13. Design Terms explained, from Eva Black Design, shared by Pugley Pixel, one of my favorite blog design sites.

14. Susannah Conway’s Journal Your Life Pinterest board, so many pretty things, so much I want to try.

15. The 40 Best Animal Cuddlers Of All Time on BuzzFeed. Who knew turtles could cuddle?

16. 90 Pieces of Wisdom for my 9-year old Birthday Girl from Tanya Geisler. I’m not nine years old, but I needed to hear these too.

17. My Well-Fed Life: Vivienne McMaster from Rachel Cole.

18. Tara Brach: Radical Self-Acceptance on A Good Minute from Sounds True.

19. A Guide to Practical Contentment on Zen Habits.

20. My (new) favorite question of all time from Alexandra Franzen.

21. You are more beautiful than you think, the new Dove ad. It made me cry.

22. Thoughts for a Friday: Pressures of Social Media on SF Girl by Bay. We need to stop comparing our blooper reels to other people’s highlights.

23. 50 Self-Care Ideas from Back to Her Roots.

24. This song, Gorgon City – “Real” ft. Yasmin, shared on Kind Over Matter.

25. Shared on Susannah Conway’s Something for the Weekend list: this recipe for spinach and smashed egg toast (which I’m making with a hard egg), and this one for Superfood salad with black rice, butternut squash, sweet potato, cranberries, goji berries, sunflower and pumpkin seeds (*drool*), and this cool home design site, the selby, (and look, it’s William the crystal guy on the selby!)

26. 12 Things You Will Never Say Before Dying on the Daily Breadcrumb.

27. This from Sri Prem Baba,

The process of awakening is a movement towards the real. In order for this to occur, the false will unavoidably have to be deconstructed. This is never easy. What is easy or hard to deal with is intimately related to what it is that is going away. Oftentimes, you believe that the walls that are falling apart are the walls of your house but, in truth, they are the walls of a prison cell.

28. And Dog Wants a Kitty,