Accepting life as it is. The moment we don't accept how things are, we are already moving away from our true nature.
At least, on a human level, because in reality, we can't be separate from our true nature. But we can make our lives a lot harder than they should be.
But how do you practice acceptance?
According to Richard Rudd, there are three steps:
And this very much ties into a book I once read — I can genuinely recommend this book — "Outrageous Openness" by Tosha Silver.
Whenever something happens, we have a choice whether to resist it or be open to it. And we can practice this even before it happens by using this as a mantra: "I am open to anything life throws at me. It's easy for me to receive." This is just an example — use your own words.
With this kind of openness, we allow life to happen. We're willing to embrace whatever comes, whether we judge it as pleasant or uncomfortable, joyful or painful, etc.
Richard Rudd says that this brings our awareness to our physicality, to the sensations and discomfort in our bodies. And I have to say that I experienced this consciously: how I feared these sensations and discomfort and, therefore, used all my energy and power to resist life ( = resulting in a full-blown anxiety disorder). I had to learn to sit with the discomfort, taking little steps toward becoming comfortable with feeling uncomfortable. It was my way out of the dreadful anxiety that controlled my life.
Allowing our body to feel what it feels. And it might take a while before we can truly relax into that feeling. It's practice.
What is challenging with this is that we have all experienced trauma. And trauma has conditioned us to escape the body when it is reminded of the trauma. It's a protective mechanism, but trauma froze us in a particular fear state. When we try to sit with the discomfort, we can be severely triggered by memories still stored in our bodies. When we're triggered, we go into fight/flight/freeze mode. So, it takes time to go through that process of staying with the body little by little—tiny steps. No rush.
And then comes this moment that we can fully accept what we feel in that moment. We might feel overwhelmed at first, but we can relax a bit more if we stay with it. It becomes bearable. Whatever emotions arise, we can allow them, let them pass through.
What stroke me is that this state felt quite familiar. It's like I've been there before, even though I consciously wasn't. This state of remembering that, in fact, everything is okay; it feels familiar. Maybe this is the first glimpse we get of how Cosmic Harmony feels. We all know how it feels, but we have forgotten. And once you remember it, it's easier to go back to this state of acceptance.
Richard Rudd said: "Allow is of the physical body, accept is of the emotional realm, and embrace is of the mental level."
Embrace is when the mind finally lets go. It's when we realize that we can handle life, no matter what happens, no matter how intense it feels. We see the Shadow that has been playing out, but it no longer closes our hearts. Our heart stays wide open. Our breath finally reaches our belly...
Some journal prompts to help you contemplate this hexagram/Gene Key:
According to the I Ching, our natural state of mind is not expecting/not projecting. What does this mean to you?
If we relax into our natural state of mind, we can actually easily and spontaneously discern between what is harmonious and what is discordant. Have you been in this kind of state before?
Are you quick to judge? What are ways for you to keep an open mind and restrain yourself from judging until you're clear on a correct discernment?
If you reflect back on your day, what have you been expecting or projecting today?
"In its Cosmic meaning, the word innocence describes human nature in its original condition, as in perfect harmony with the Cosmos, and completely adequate in all respects to enable a person to live his life happily," Carol Anthony and Hanna Moog write. What does innocence mean to you, using your own words?
Have you ever been called foolish or naive in your innocence? What is the difference between foolishness, naivety, and innocence in your experience?
Do you have awareness of underlying anxiety in your life? Can you describe how it feels or what message it holds?
In what areas in your body do you still feel constricted? Does it touch on areas in your life?
How is your breathing right now?
What could be beneficial about this underlying anxiety that we all have as humans? What does it teach us? How does it drive us? And what does it drive us toward?
Allow, accept, and embrace. How does this take part in your life?