Acceptance is the starting point of True Peace and Power
by David Stevens, Master Intuitive and Founder of Yoga of the Mind
So often we are in conflict with the flow of our life. This conflict is easily apparent in dramatic contrasts: We want sunshine and we get snow. We want job security and we get fired. However, there is a more subtle conflict that many of us participate in that is so habitual and universal that it goes unrecognized. We run this conflicting energy again and again without seeing how we set ourselves up to fail. Ask to become aware of one of these conflicts. For now, just be aware of it as it is.
For example, you are planning your day. You make an optimistic list of the 18 things you want to get done today. You want to be all inclusive and you want to be optimistic about how much you can accomplish. You also tell yourself a lie – “When I get my list done, I will be at Peace” The day starts off favorably – the first four items get completed more easily than anticipated. And then you get to item 5. In your optimistic planning phase earlier, Item 5 looked like a straight forward one step process. However, as you begin you find it has many more steps than you thought – and that you don’t even have a grasp of what some of the steps are or how to complete them. Item 5 takes up the rest of the day and is still not complete. You’ve failed on it and you didn’t even get to the other 13 items on your list.
You beat yourself up. You should have known more. You should have planned better. You should have focused more and tried harder. You ask yourself, “Why does this keep happening to me?” This is all a form of self hate and it is as pervasive as it is destructive to you living the life you really want.
Like so many things, there is some good in the original impulse to want to do better. That’s what had you make all those goals and to-do’s in the first place. The problem is the “SHOULD”, which is you saying you are not where you need to be and that it is your fault for not trying harder. This way of thinking just keeps part of you frozen in the past: what could you have done different? why didn’t you do it? what is wrong with you?
Consider that optimum performance is using effort in a very focused and specific way as required by the task. Athletes, dancers, and physical performers of all kinds know this. Optimum performance comes from being in the moment and using only those muscles required. One champion long distance runner I know, looks so relaxed at the starting line that it looks as though she is about to fall asleep. She is definitely not driving with the brakes on.
In Yoga of the Mind, we teach that accomplishment and enjoyment happen more often and easily if we accept what is real, here and now. We can accept something as it is even if we deeply want to change and transform it. So, a way to make the above plan and day more peaceful would be to meditate, get grounded and centered, even for a few minutes before planning. This puts you in your most creative flow. Realize your essence as perfect, whole and complete before you make the plan. Then plan all you want – dream – write down 18 things you want to experience and accomplish soon. Then look at the list. Pick a few items that are energetically ripe.
Psychically go through your day – and see if you’ve allowed some slack – some time for the ebb and flow of life – some time to take a moment and enjoy your accomplishments. Then start the day, and be willing to reconsider when you realize Item 5 is a three day project all in itself.
This meditative planning process might seem like it would take a long time – but it could easily be done in 15 minutes. And the more enjoyment, more peace, and less stress – all while accomplishing the same amount or more than in habitual stress style. This is how we can have more peace in lives and in our world.