In the end...
This concept related to acceptance and resistance is something I've called upon in my work with clients for many years, yet never thought to include in a blog post. But it's just so incredibly useful that it should be shared. A hard concept to integrate, but to the extent that you can, life simply becomes easier!
The idea is this: S = P x R Suffering equals Pain times Resistance *Pain in inevitable in life; Resistance is something we add.
Accept pain for what it is because it does exist. Pain includes both physical and emotional pain.
Resisting our pain worsens our suffering. Resistance can include: Shoulds, Coulds, Woulds, Denial, Pushing away, Holding ...
It's so easy to become mired in the things we hear about in the news that are inhumane, discouraging, or downright scary. It can be helpful to remember that, although they may not make the headlines, there are at all times good things happening in the world. Individuals, groups, organizations, even countries are performing some pretty inspiring and hopeful acts. To balance out some of the chaos and uncertainty of 2018, here is an excerpt from a CNN article called 2018 wasn't ALL bad. Here are all the good things that happened in the world (By Andrea Diaz and Christina Maxouris, CNN):
North and South Korea vowed to ...
Someone recently told me about the following NYT article by Tim Wu and I'm so glad they did, as I believe it makes an extremely important point about how we spend our time and the expectations & judgment we place on ourselves for achievement and the pursuit of perfection.
"I’m a little surprised by how many people tell me they have no hobbies. It may seem a small thing, but — at the risk of sounding grandiose — I see it as a sign of a civilization in decline. The idea of leisure, after all, is a hard-won achievement; it presupposes that we have overcome the exigencies of brute survival. Yet ...
I have always loved this poem. My closest lifelong friend read it to me probably 25 years ago when I needed to hear this kind of thing, and it has come in handy ever since, for myself and for my clients. For those issues in which we're simply unable to gain the clarity we need, we can find the value of simply living the questions themselves. Sometimes that really is all we can do, yet we have been driving ourselves nuts trying to find answers that are not yet available to us. Surrendering to living the questions can be extremely liberating and healing:
Be patient toward all that is unsolved in ...
Someone sent me this a while ago and I've found it invaluable in helping clients to understand the distinction between what happens when we gain mindfulness skills. The left side is typically what we experience when we haven't put time & effort (and it really does take both time & effort!) into acquiring skills around being present and connected to our bodies. The right side shows the ways in which we can healthily influence the physical, emotional, and mental experience we have when dealing with stressors. In my practice I have seen many, many folks over the years learn to move from the left side of this diagram ...
"who am I? what am i? are no longer important questions.
knowing that i am is finally enough..."
Los Angeles poet Wanda Coleman