Accepting Every Moment: Being OK With Where You Are At
Is it truly possible to be Accepting of Every Moment?
Being OK with where you are at, with who you are and with what you have is a real art. How do you act, or react, when you are totally not accepting every moment, and things aren't unfolding according to your plan?
In this post, I will be discussing how we can get derailed from the moment, become reactive and forget to live in the NOW. I'll also share some real-life examples of what not accepting every moment looks like as well as some tips I've utilised to help keep me grounded, especially when I am longing the future to hurry up!
It's worth mentioning duality here; right and wrong, good and bad, black and white. I could go on and on and on, the point I'm trying to make is that it’s everywhere. Duality is a very natural part of life and we have to embrace it. Our human minds have labelled things good and bad, right and wrong, it’s a very natural construct.
Imagine if we stopped that labelling and were simply OK with how things were... Nothing is either good or bad, it just is what it is. It may just lead to radical acceptance, understanding and inner peace. When our perception shifts, everything around us shifts. A desirable side effect really.
Yoga teaches us to cultivate an equanimous mind. To recognise emotions, thoughts, situations, particularly those that challenge us as simply something that arises then passes, if we let it be that way. Often times, our conditioning is to ark up, to put a guard up and protect. This can only bury us deeper in the suffering of a challenging time.
"There is nothing either good or bad, only thinking makes it so". - Shakespeare
Learn to be OK With Where You are at in Life
We have visions, dreams and goals, that require planning and thinking about the future but so often we are living in the future of them happening or worrying about them going wrong that we are missing the beauty and truth of each moment.
How many times have you heard yourself, or someone else say... "when I turn (insert age here...), things will be better?" ... "When I retire, I'll change my habits"... "When my kids grow up and leave home, I'll have more time for my hobbies"... and so on and so on.
This thinking limits us from the very essence of experiencing life first hand as it’s unfolding in front of us.
If you are not ok with where you are at, then do something about it! There are options, there are alternatives. It may take some time and it might be uncomfortable for a bit, and, you do have a choice, this you must realise.
You can choose to stay stuck, or you can choose to take action. You can choose to keep complaining about the same old things over and over, so please don’t be shocked when you fall into the same patterns, particularly in relationships...
In the yogic understanding, this is called a Samskara. Samskara are reoccurring cycles and behaviour patterns in our lives. We have positive helpful Saskara, like remembering how to drive a car or brush your teeth, we also have unhelpful toxic ones like falling into the same unhealthy relationships, addictions and habits. They can be thoughts, actions or patterns that play out. Awareness of them helps to dissolve them and form new and positive ones that override the negative. This is called evolution.
I am sure you have heard more than once in your life, it's not the destination, it's the journey, am I right? Just how many times have you heard it, and then continued with the focus being on the destination? Rather than taking it on board and letting go of the destination for a bit and simply being a part of the process and unfolding.
Create change, massive change, AND be ok with where you are at on the progression of the journey towards your vision.
What Does it Take to Accept Every Moment as it Comes?
Presence, Presence and more Presence.
Catch yourself in judgement. We all do it. Notice when you are in a story about a situation or another person and ask yourself is there truth in this? Byron Katie wrote a whole book about it. The awareness slowly over time will start to take care of it.
Stop resisting reality.
Envision possibility rather than limitation.
Be aware when you are not in the moment, it happens often, and then bring yourself back.
Deal with things as they arise if possible.
Don't stall, don't shy from constructive conflict, you will have to be brave and vulnerable at times. If not, things can get blown out of proportion.
See the light in others and in situations. We like to focus on the negative, the stuff that's not going right for us. Can we find positive in something we were quick to label as not right?
Stay grounded - keep bringing yourself back to earth literally and figuratively.
Meet Yourself Where You Are At
I say this to my yoga students a lot. If you’ve done a yoga class or two, you’ve probably heard this phrase. What does it mean and why is it so important? I re-iterate this particularly to those who are just starting out and can’t touch their toes and all their focus is on getting flexible so that they can touch their toes. They too are missing the point completely. They may NEVER touch their toes, and they need to be ok with that.
It’s fine and very necessary to have a vision of it, even if it doesn’t happen. It may well open into something even more magnificent. Like the incessant mental chatter in their head quietens down... Or their habitual reactions to a situation no longer exist as a cause of frustration.
Future Willing or Thinking
A colleague said to me at the start of our work shift the other day: "...Erhhggg, I can’t wait for this day to be over, 7 more hours...". I nearly didn’t say anything but thought, how can I make my time here more meaningful, and how can I help someone shift a mindset so they are more present? So, I did. I said, "...sorry you feel like that, how about, in the meantime, let's try and enjoy it while we're here and make the most out of every moment that arises between now and then, OK?..."
It took him by surprise, but also made him see how limiting he was being. He realised that he had the power to decide whether he wanted to carry that negative dragging energy around or to get on with it and get the best out of his time there. We ended up having a great shift.
Future Willing and Missing the Moment
Whenever we start something new, there is a big big vision... and it takes a lot to not keep jumping forward to that vision and forgetting that there is a lot of groundwork that needs to be put into place first to make that happen. There is often a big surge of energy at first followed by a crash because things are taking longer than you hoped to come to fruition.
It takes focus, patience and grit to keep going. Once we accept this, we can start to take joy in the small steps that will open eventually into a bigger picture... we just have to remind ourselves not to keep jumping to the future.
"The past and future exist as constructs in our minds, the only real thing is the present moment" - Eckhardt Tolle
I’ve caught myself once or twice when in this situation wishing all this groundwork, the nitty gritty stuff, to hurry up so that I can start the real work... Then I realised, that this is the work. All of it is the work.
It takes small steps to get to where you want to be and staying present is crucial.
The REAL work is watching my actions and reactions, mentally and emotionally to it all. Can I stay in a neutral place when it gets tough? Or if I react and want to throw in the towel, can I look at the bigger picture as to why I’m doing all of this and still stay present at the same time?
And remembering that I chose to do this. It makes it all the more possible to own the statement that I create my reality, I choose to be here.
Do The Work
The truth is. It never stops. The work never stops. We never actually get to that place of having everything how we want it. Life is unpredictable and full of duality. We need to be flexible, to bend and flow with it as water does. We will get there, but once we are there, there’s always something more.
The universe serves us what we are ready for.
We are so often stuck in wanting more than what we have. Now more than ever it's all so readily available and oh so tempting. Feeling bad about what we don't have is not going to make life any better. It will drag you down into the deep pits of consumer-driven desire fuelled by lack and want. That cycle can be hard to break, and, it’s not impossible. Give it a go.
Make peace with yourself at this very moment, in this very moment of your life. Take a minute to reflect on where you've come from to where you want to get... Take a full, deep breath... then feel your feet on the ground, and notice THIS moment.
Let us conclude with the grand words of the Great spiritual teacher Ram Daas; BE HERE NOW!
ABOUT JASMINE ~ Yoga Therapist and Teacher ~ Art Therapist and Creative
My passion is to help others achieve greatness and live a life where they can thrive, not just survive. I write a regular blog to inspire and assist motivated humans to step out of their comfortable zone and into the life that they have always longed to live.