Accept – then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it. - Eckhart Tolle
I never thought much abut the word, this … that simple, overused pronoun that doesn’t impact anyone all that much, it would seem. But my husband has taught me the power of the word, this; he has taught me that this can put our mind in its rightful place (away). And moving our worrying, stressing, overactive mind out of the way can change everything, especially that lingering feeling of suffering that so permeates life. I have watched Nik move seamlessly from a moment that would drive anyone else batty to a full, peaceful acceptance of life as it is. As he has learned to master acceptance of every moment as it is, he has become an even stronger, stabler, more grounded, and more present man. How do we all start to emulate such peaceful acceptance of life?
Most people strive to push moments, experiences, days that are hard or painful away. And at times in our lives, those moments, experiences, and days can be many. Many of us want our suffering to just go away. When something horrific happens in our lives, we ask, “Why me?”. When problems arise, we complain. When the weather is not perfect, we complain. When we feel sick or uncomfortable, we complain. And if, whether through martyrdom or strength, we don’t complain, then we might secretly, quietly wish the pain or problem would vanish so that we could just be happy already.
But, as life unfolds as it does, Nik has learned to close his eyes and say, simply, “This.” And with that seemingly unimportant word, he detaches from being a victim, from being wholly consumed by a situation or feeling. With that little word, he sees his mind for what it is – a mere tool rather than the true “I” – and he watches the pain, discomfort, irritation, or problem be what it is, without giving in to it, and then he addresses it with calmness and effectiveness if need be.
Anxiety will happen, and we can give in to it and let it overpower us, or we can close our eyes, take a deep breath and say, anxiety is like this. Children will have tantrums, and we can have tantrums in return, yell and scream, or we can close our eyes for a moment and say, children are like this. Work demands can give us internal pressure, and we can either feel heaviness in our chest from the stress, or we can close our eyes and say, this is stress.
Watching an experience or emotion, rather than becoming it gives our soul its power back. Witnessing what could be deemed as ”negative”, rather than judging it and trying desperately to push it away, shifts our energy to the present moment. Focusing on this allows a sense of acceptance of what is rather than misery for what is not.
And that is mindfulness.