September at I AM: Awareness and Acceptance
Hello! Welcome to The Institute for the Advancement of the Mind. This month of September at I AM we are focusing on Awareness and Acceptance. These are key points to achieving full presence, and thus accessing your full potential.
“The moment you accept yourself you become whole.”~ Osho
What do awareness and acceptance mean?
On Page 27 of my book you will find a chapter titled Acceptance.
Awareness and Acceptance are your pathway to pure presence. Awareness and Acceptance allow for deeper empathy, humility and open curiosity. When we live life unaware of our present feelings and circumstances, and unable to accept ourselves as we are now, we become shut down, judgmental, afraid and unable to feel connection between our minds and bodies.
Acceptance is a popular word but not always well explored or understood in practice. I have often heard people pass around ideas like, “Just accept what’s happening;” “Get over it—it’s all in the past;” “Just put it behind you;” or “It is what it is!”
I invite you to reflect upon how you have heard the word or concept phrased in your mind and life.
“Grace is a reflection of the spirit hidden within the form. Grace flows from within when you are in a natural receptive space. We cultivate this grace from within by opening up our senses.” Maggie Moor
Understanding True Acceptance
Through accepting the experience of all that is happening in and around you—all that you are receiving—you become present to the moment. Your body is a great big receiver. We can receive most deeply, melting defenses, by practicing this kind of mind-body acceptance. Acceptance is considered a simple concept, but it can be extremely difficult to put into action. To sit down, breathe, and accept what is happening in the present moment, you may first need to ward off the part of you that is fighting against accepting what is. This part of you doesn’t want to feel at all. Instead, it wants action toward immediate change. This is a defensive measure. A self-protective part of you wants to survive, and it is a necessary, valuable aspect of the self.
This self-protective part of you aims for survival, and it needs to understand that you can—and eventually will—choose to take actions to change uncomfortable circumstances. If you don’t know what action to take, life will organically and inevitably create change for you. Change is the only thing we can truly depend on. However, it seems to be a law of nature that change or transformation can only happen synchronously after settling into the full presence of what is. The most organic change occurs when we first find a place of contained wholeness. In this space, pressure is lifted—and transformation is free to happen in a natural way. Practice acceptance of what is. This doesn’t mean passivity and denial. I know this isn’t easy all the time.
You will find a passage on this concept in my book p 30.
Some people think it is important to banish all negative feelings and talk ourselves out of it through affirmations, positive self-talk, and meditation. I call this a spiritual bypass. This route in my experience only causes more separation between mind and body. It is like telling a child who had a bad dream that the dream didn’t really happen and to ignore the feelings. It’s like saying light is the opposite of darkness.
Acceptance means Non-Judgement
I am saying that light and darkness—or the perceptions thereof—are like our concept of time-space continuum and chaos theory. You cannot have total awareness without allowing yourself to be present to all that is happening now. Good or bad. Pleasurable or non-pleasurable.
In fact, perhaps there is no reality to the good or bad judgments. Perhaps this is all an appearance or fabrication of your mind. Perhaps you can accept that you really have no concept of what is happening in your energetic vibration. Trust that all is as it needs to be, trusting in source as moving toward synchronicity for your greater healing at all times—even when it makes no mental sense to you. Healing, awareness, and transcendence are found when we accept all that is now.
Truth about Acceptance
How do you know what it right or wrong for you, or what you should or should not be feeling?
How do you know what your body is trying to communicate!
What if your body wasn’t telling your mind this thought at all?
What if your body was just expressing: I see myself and I had an experience? And then Your own mind created a story?
This is your ego. This is coming from a need to fix any perceived discomfort, and only causes a separation from the true self or pure presence.
The truth is, there is no right or wrong. Everything you feel and experience just is. How you respond to yourself can become your choice. Your feelings will change and shift as you learn to become aware of your internal world, and learn to accept your inner world. This doesn’t mean we go into action to fix the discomforts, we simply now begin to be Able to be aware and accept. The more deeply we accept ourselves, the more deeply we can experience pure presence, and become more compassionate all around.
Practicing Awareness and Acceptance, with no Action.
If you don’t know what action to take, life will organically and inevitably create change for you. Change is the only thing we can truly depend on. However, it seems to be a law of nature that change or transformation can only happen synchronously after settling into the full presence of what is. The most organic change occurs when we first find a place of contained wholeness. In this space, pressure is lifted—and transformation is free to happen in a natural way. Practice acceptance of what is. This doesn’t mean passivity and denial.
Feelings aren’t facts, they are information about your inner life and desires, but they aren’t as powerful as we allow them to be I know this isn’t easy all the time, but let’s try to cultivate the awareness to be able to contain our many experiences and feelings, now. By the way I am not suggesting they will all be uncomfortable feelings or thoughts, you may very well experience joys and soothing, however, for some these feelings are difficult to contain as well.
I am simply suggesting we learn to give our body ample breath and thus space to be able to contain all of you, your wholeness. Accepting yourself and your feelings is an act of love. Feelings are simply feelings, actually they are spawned by energetic vibration in your cells. The thoughts are what your mind creates to make sense of what it received from your body.
Do you want to practice these concepts?
Cultivating Awareness and Acceptance is like exercising a muscle in your body. It eventually becomes life a reflexive response. The way to approach any circumstance is to first receive, listen, feel with open-minded curiosity–– instead of judge mental, instead of shutting down. Seek to listen inward to your inner dialogue, and then accept your many feelings and perspectives. Simply be with your inner world, and don’t go into to reactive responses. Seek to experience the circumstance for its many parts, complexities, realities, and truths. Seek to accept what is before going into action. Be with what is. This is a very powerful approach to all of life and its many circumstances. Still waters run very deep. trust that you will take action when the time is right.
Here I Offer YOU Practices in Awareness and Acceptance For You to Try at Home
Introspective Mirror Practice in Awareness
In August at I AM I led an Introspective Mirror Practice. This simple technique helps you learn awareness. Here, you learn to observe your inner dialogue. You may have seen it on my iGtv or Website.
What came up for you while looking at yourself, your reflection?
Were you critical?
Were you thinking of all the things you have to do today?
Were you comparing yourself to others or surprised by what you saw?
Were you curious?
Interested in your response?
I won’t put ideas and thoughts into your mind, simply reflect upon what you personally observed in those moments.
This is the cultivation of awareness through observing your inner dialogue.
Next Level Practice in Acceptance
So, as you practice your Internal Dialogue exercise, now you will begin then to observe our own responses to your thoughts and feelings.
How did you respond to the thoughts and feelings that moved through you as you sat with yourself, your reflection?
Did you tell yourself you should feel or think differently?
Did you tell yourself you should be somewhere other than exactly where you are?
Did you stop yourself from feeling or thinking?
How did your own body respond to your thoughts?
Now, try this practice again.
Sit in the mirror, listen to your internal dialogue. Practice accept the feelings in your body as you gaze at yourself, simply let whatever thoughts feeling, and responses to your own thoughts and feelings move through you. Breathe and sit with your feelings. Simply give your body more breath to be able to contain the internal experience, without judgement, without action. Trust that all is as needs must be. Accept your thoughts, and keep sitting. Become aware and accepting, without going into action. Eventually your thoughts and feelings will shifted into new thoughts and feelings: Awareness and Acceptance creates new Awareness and new Acceptance and so on the flow . . .
As you learn to cultivate the mindful practice of checking in with your feelings throughout the day, begin then the next level of awareness: observe your response to what you feel and hear. Remember: Awareness & Acceptance lead to greater choice in action when the time is right.
“The sky is clear. It only appears to be blue, gray, red, black, or white at any given moment. The mind is the sky: limitless. We may want to stop trying to measure it.” Maggie Moor