We can’t always control the circumstances of our lives, but we can control how we react to them. The way we respond to what’s going on in our day-to-day can have a considerable impact on how we manage, shift, and move through difficult situations. Meeting your present reality with acceptance is a powerful practice. Acceptance doesn’t mean that you succumb and fall victim to your circumstances. It means that you shift the energy you bring into a situation, which can be influential in helping you to find peace wherever you are and navigate hardship with ease.
Learning, evolving, and creating the life we desire is a process. Even if we can’t always see the bigger picture, it’s important to trust where we are being guided. The more we cultivate acceptance and honor our process, the more flow and peace we invite into our daily lives.
Embracing the Present Moment
Many of us live in a constant state of resistance to what is. We resist fully feeling our emotions and long to be in a different place in life. What we resist persists, and the more we try to fight our way out of our current emotional landscape and life circumstances, we prolong our suffering. Learning to live life downstream and fully accepting what is is a practice, but we can learn to meet all of life with open arms with time. Embracing the entire spectrum of human experience allows us to cultivate a sense of deep peace and trust, even during difficult times.
When you find yourself in the depths of an emotional wave, stop what you’re doing, place your hands on your heart and let the emotion wash over you. Permit yourself to fully sit with that experience, breathing slowly as you feel everything that comes up. Let go of any resistance to the present moment and sit with this feeling until the wave passes and you feel some relief.
Honoring Your Process
Often, when we know what we want in life, whether that be health goals, work, relationships, or home life, we want it in an instant. Being clear on our desires can cause us to resist the journey it takes to get to those goals. Part of life is honoring the process and the time in between where we are and where we want to be as an integral and equally important part of the journey.
Even when we can’t see or understand it, where we are right now is playing an essential role in the bigger picture of creating what we desire. When we practice accepting and honoring where we are in our process, we can find peace in the present and learn to be joyful in all of life’s stages. The journey of life, both good times and bad, shapes us into the person we are meant to become, and the more we can open our hearts to the full range of life’s experiences, the more we can navigate them with ease and trust.
Part of honoring your process and finding acceptance is cultivating a strong sense of trust that we are precisely where we are supposed to be and that good times are always ahead. Trusting in both the impermanent nature of life and that we are being guided can help us relax and soften into the different phases of our journeys. Think of other times in your life that have challenged you. Then, write down the good that came after these periods of hardship and how the experiences helped you learn and grow. Do this every time you find yourself feeling stuck or fearful to strengthen your trust muscle and lean into the idea that the tides of life are constantly shifting and changing, and all will be well, even when you can’t conceptualize it. Regularly repeating the mantras “I am exactly where I am supposed to be” and “good times are always ahead” can help bring peace of mind and invite acceptance into the present moment.
Practicing Acceptance Every Day
Cultivating the energy of acceptance and living life downstream is a practice. One way to strengthen the energy of acceptance in your life is to practice meeting the present with loving awareness and gratitude. When you find yourself in a difficult situation stirring up an emotional response, see where you can soften into your current experience. Notice if you can find just one thing to appreciate about where you are or what is going on and one thing that you can learn from this part of your process. Practice inviting this energy of softness and loving awareness into what may be unwanted situations or emotions present in your life.
Another powerful practice is to work on letting go of the stories you are creating and stick to the facts. As humans, we often make stories surrounding different situations and daily occurrences that have no base in truth and only prolong our suffering.
For example, your mood has been off for a few days, and you perpetuate the story of “I am going to feel this way forever,” which has no base in fact and only strengthens your resistance to your current mood, which perpetuates it. Or a friend doesn’t respond to your text, and you make up a story about their intentions that is purely a figment of your imagination and projections. The more we can practice witnessing the stories we attach to our lives and instead focus on the facts of the situation, we can find more peace and let go of our resistance to what is going on.
Acceptance is the path to emotional freedom. When we resist the present, we constantly battle with what is. We cannot learn to love ourselves, our lives, and our current chapter when we are fighting against life. There is a process to all things in life, and the practice of acceptance grants us the ability to soften into our current experience, see the good, and find peace in life’s many different seasons.