Monday, May 25, 2009

Accepting the Here and Now

One of the questions we get most often in our email inbox is, "How do I create what I want in life?" We get reams of email from people who feel stuck in life, who feel like they are standing still rather than moving toward their preferred future. They want to know why they are stuck treading water-and how to get unstuck.

The Answer: Part I
The answer to this question comes in two parts. First, why do we get stuck on a certain square in our life, unable to get going? Inevitably we get stuck because we don't accept where we are in the here and now. Think about it.

If you don't like certain aspects of your life situation very much, what happens when you think about your life? You either get a deep sense of dissatisfaction when you ponder what you don't like or you try to avoid thinking about those unfavorable aspects. Both dislike and avoidance will keep you stuck in the same life situation forever because both are negative emotions that don't possess a high enough vibration to attract what you really want in life.

If you stop to really think about it, when hate where you stand in life, you are fighting a war with yourself. One part of you understands where you stand. The other part hates where you stand. Until you can bring the two together-that is, until you can stop fighting your internal war-you can't move off your square. So how do you stop the war?

The Answer: Part II
That brings us to the second part of the answer, which is simple. If you want to stop the war and get off your square, simply accept where you are here and now. Look at your life situation, warts and all, and accept that this is where you stand at this moment in time and space. Don't judge it, don't fight it, just accept it.

Now why is this so difficult to do? Acceptance of a less-than-desirable life situation is difficult because we live in a progress-oriented society. We are taught that to keep moving forward and always keep our eyes on our dream. But unfortunately we can't ever reach our dreams unless we first acknowledge the starting line, the place where we currently stand. The journey to our dreams is a path from here and now to there and then. To start the journey, we have to accept where we stand today. Until we feel comfortable with our current life situation, we will always be fighting an internal battle with a script that keeps saying something like, "You should be further along in life by now."

Practice Enjoying the Here and Now
So stop the tape and practice accepting your life as it is today. In fact, go even further and practice enjoying your life. Realize that your "responsibility" in life is not to reach your goals today. Today your primary responsibility is to accept where you are.

Note that acceptance is different from tolerance. Tolerance means bearing your life but not liking it. Acceptance means seeing and not disliking any part of your life, even enjoying every part of your life.

Sound too difficult? Then just start with a single aspect of your life that you either avoid or dislike. Try to see it with new eyes. Find something good about it, anything. Tomorrow, find something else good or at least neutral about it. Keep going until that part of your life becomes acceptable. Then find another aspect of your life and start over again. Enjoy the journey and you will find yourself at your destination sooner than you know.

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Photo credit: heart

2 comments:

  1. I enjoyed the article. Thanks.
    One of the greatest difficulties for me is to stop the hurry. When I stop to think about it, I realize that there is nothing particularly important to hurry to. Yesterday I hurried the same way, and today I do the same. But nothing changes - and I realize that my hurry today will probably produce the same results tomorrow - namely, nothing much. So, why not just stop and enjoy the present here and now?

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  2. Hi Eugene,
    You are absolutely right! Magically, what you do today makes your tomorrow, so a hurried day today will make you hurry tomorrow. Stopping now, which is an act of power, changes your future. Magically, a small change in the present results in a larger change in the future, so way to go. Your tomorrow is already looking rosier!
    Cheers,
    Alan Joel

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