Finding Inspiration

The past few months have left me wondering when the writing bug will bite me. I haven’t exactly had a ton of time to sit and ponder the meaning of life; and my current life situation isn’t one that I’d like to go blurting out all over the web. This is not to say that I’m embarrassed or unhappy; just that I feel the need to respect the privacy of people in my life; that’s how important they are to me.

The inspiration comes in such odd packages at times. Today it bounced off of me in full force while I was posing with a half-naked half mannequin in the winter wonderland. I was at my favorite local athletic-wear shop, Lululemon, when it hit me. No, no, no… the half naked half mannequin did NOT hit me… though that would probably have been quite the show! The inspiration bug hit me as Caitlin, one of the lovely lulu ladies, quoted John Welwood. It went something like this:

Everything we react to in others is a mirror of something we are not facing or acknowledging in ourselves”

At some point we must accept ourselves for who we are and in return we will find an acceptance in those around us.

I struggle with this and often feel that I meet resistance with resistance, instead of meeting resistance with acceptance. There are very few people, I know, who act in such a way. We often get stuck in our own stuff, projecting so much onto others, that we can’t just accept people or situations for what they are. You can accept without condoning, you can accept without promoting, you can also accept without participating.

SO, I’m going to try to practice acceptance. Accept the situation, the person, the animal for what it is. I’m going to try to accept what is in my present day and not worry about what the future will bring. That’s not to say that I’m going to throw caution to the wind, or not plan for the future; but I’m going to try not to spend any more time on anxiety over what may or may not happen. I’m going to try to accept how my life is unfolding instead of trying to always take charge or be in control. I’m going to accept the feelings of anxiety or whatever yucky feelings may enter my ever churning mind, with the knowledge that it’s all as it should be and will be ok-because it always ends up being OK. Often the lessons learned lead to even more fulfilling relationships or life situations-it’s just the yuckiness feels so.. well…. it feels so yucky.  I’m going to try to accept in others what I loathe so much in myself. I’m going to try to accept people for where they are in their process of being and hope that they can do the same for me.

I’ll leave you with a quote I found on the Facebook page of Jeff Foster, author of “The Deepest Acceptance”

You want the perfect partner? The perfect mother or father? The perfect boss? The perfect body? The perfect feelings? The perfect life?

How about deeply accepting what is here, right now? How about deeply accepting others, as they actually are?

A strange place to start, admittedly. Sounds a little… back-to-front. Like giving up. Like settling for less than we deserve. Like… spiritual weakness. It goes against the whole “Go out and get what you want!” mentality.

Yes, these teachings of Presence and Being Here Now and Present Moment Awareness can seem so over-simplistic, even naive, to the mind. They are so easy to misunderstand and dismiss. After all, who wants to let go of their dreams of past and future and face a mysterious moment? Who wants to admit the fragility and preciousness of life, its fleeting nature, the bitter-sweet gift of it? Who wants to confront their own powerlessness and recognise a deep cosmic humility? Who wants to die to time? Who wants to give up the idea of control? Whose heart could take such grace?

The most profound truth of existence is simple, but never simplistic.

Is acceptance of ‘what is’ the same as giving up on the possibility of change? No.

Does acceptance mean tolerating or “putting up with” things? Does it mean blindly following violent impulses? Not at all.

Does acceptance mean becoming detached and passive, turning a blind eye to violence and letting others walk all over us and our loved ones? No way.

Does acceptance mean playing a new role, the role of the “very spiritually evolved, deeply accepting, utterly peaceful person”? No. Acceptance is not a role, and it’s not personal.

Deep acceptance means staring life in the face, right now. It means turning towards what is here, rather than away. It means letting go of hopes and dreams and awakening to what is really true. It means ending the war, seeing through the illusion of a ‘self’ separate from this mysterious movement of life. It means total alignment with the Way Things Are. It means finally being at Home, no matter what is happening.

It is the supreme paradox, that out of a deep and uncompromising acceptance of the ‘imperfect’ moment can come creative and intelligent – and surprisingly effortless – change. How perfect.

The mind was never in charge of change.