Accepting What Is
“Rather than letting our negativity get the better of us, we could acknowledge that right now we feel like a piece of shit and not be squeamish about taking a good look.”
~ Pema Chödrön
It seems to be the ritual now. When it is time to write my newsletter, I will begin with nothing to write. And that nothingness will sometimes stay for a few hours, sometimes a few days and sometimes even a few weeks. In the beginning, I will dance with the voice of doubts for a while until the voice of faith takes over. And when she speaks, I will stay with nothingness patiently, and embrace that feeling of emptiness. I would even attend to that sense of eternal bleakness and suspend my judgement of good and bad for a while. I learn to breathe and give space to this feeling of Nothing. That is my practice of accepting. I learn to sit comfortably, and or sometimes unwillingly, with “Nothing to offer” as it continues to spread its presence in all directions until the whole land of possibility is filled with its essence i.e. Absolutely Nothing to Offer.
And yet nothing can stay in its original form forever. At some point in its evolution, a different pulse or rhythm will be born and if I catch that pulse or rhythm and ride it, I usually find myself out of nothing and into something surprising and worth writing. Yet, sometimes that new pulse or rhythm is only a tease and a dirt road that has nothing but a dead end. And then I find myself back to the waiting room again. But if I practice returning and beginning again, I will always be blessed with a true pulse or rhythm that is filled with riches and wisdom. Accepting is making space for what is happening to happen. And continues to make space for its evolution and its transformation. Accepting is a fiery practice of not turning my gaze and attention away and pretending that what I don’t see does not exist. In fact, to accept takes both courage and relaxation to look with honesty at What Is in its entirety and allow every part of the whole to have my undivided attention.
As I was prepping for the closure of 2015, I so wanted to feel excited, inspired and energized for the year 2016. The thoughts in my head were busy designing and imagining things that I would do to “clean up” the last few days of 2015 and make space for an auspicious beginning. I wanted to have a ritual and create a magical experience of welcoming the year. And the truth was none of those things happened. I was disappointed that I couldn’t conjure up those experiences. It took awhile for disappointment to flower fully and dissolve before the truth began to emerge. The truth was my body, heart and soul were feeling heavy and spent. It was as if I have been running a three year marathon and I just crossed the finish line. And I just didn’t want to do anything. Part of me so wanting that sense of tiredness of the body, heart and soul to be done, and unfortunately or fortunately nothing can be done until it is done.
So I practiced accepting What Is.
And as I practiced being with heaviness and tiredness, the practice transformed me. First, I noticed the edges of certain strong beliefs such as “I must do some deep cleaning so that I move into 2016 fresh,” began to soften and melt. As the melting continued, there was a surprising mixture of kindness and gentleness oozed out from beneath the hard edges of beliefs. The mixture of kindness and gentleness softened me further. A quality of yielding started to flow through me. As I yielded more and more to that sense of melting, a letting go of those beliefs began to happen. As I let go, I found myself open and curious to What Is. Through accepting with openness and curiosity of how I felt towards the end of the year, I came to realize the scope of the emotional terrain that my body, heart and soul have traveled in the last few years. At that moment of realization, I experienced deep love and compassion for myself. I am thankful for feeling the way I did before year end. And I am grateful that I have the faith to just be with What Is.