Acceptance – the key to calm

As I write this I am sitting in the airport at Basel, and if you have read many of my blogs will you know that I spend quite a lot of time in airports. Basel is my least favourite as the security is so slow and the facilities like wifi often not working. As I approached the airport today I remembered the last time I was here when the security guy took my face cream away because although it was only a small bottle (well under the 100ml) it was not a marked bottle and he said that all bottles have to be marked. Never in my years of travel have I ever heard of this. I was angry at the time.

So as I approached the airport today I remembered that I had another small, unmarked bottle with me today and watched myself get cross that yet another ‘more than my job’s worth’ would take it away. Luckily I noticed this reaction building and decided to practise acceptance. Acceptance of whatever happens whatever I may think about it.

If you want to let go you have to stop fighting what is.

I was reminded recently that if we want to let go, to practise detachment, to surrender rather than fight life then the first step is acceptance. I have had a frustrating few weeks and was talking about how difficult I was finding it to let go and let be. That was when my wise partner Beatrice reminded me that I was missing a step. Acceptance. I know that acceptance is always the way to shift what is happening in life because I have experienced again and again just how whatever is going on within me is mirrored outside of me. I know that if I am complaining and focusing on what is not going well in life (normal everyday stuff as well as the biggies) then that’s what I will experience. I also know from experience that until I let go the fight within nothing can change without.

And acceptance is the first step towards that. Just let it be – whatever ‘it’ is. This is true whether it is something we want or don’t want – by being able to stop, accept and let go of the need for anything to change – paradoxically – is when things can change. Our resistance to whatever is happening in life holds it fast. Acceptance releases it. Life is going to happen anyway and if we can witness it for what it is without attachment we can then be in the best place necessary to shift course when we want to.

Acceptance is different from resignation – it soothes us

There is something really soothing in acceptance. It has a different feeling from resignation – that feeling we get when we tell ourselves that there is nothing we can do and that it is out of our hands. Acceptance brings it back into our hands and our hearts. Acceptance brings us back to the present moment and stops the mental turmoil that can go on within unheeded until we choose otherwise.

So how do we accept? How do we find that place within us that stops fighting? Some simple questions help:

  • What’s going on that I am mentally fighting with?
  • Is there anything I can do about this right this moment? (If yes then do it, if not then move towards acceptance).
  • How would it feel if I just saw that it is just ‘stuff’ happening – that ‘this too will pass’?
  • What resources might be available to me – both inner and outer – if I simply stopped fighting the reality of the moment?
  • When would be a good time to start accepting the situation?

These questions are to help you see the futility of fighting and the peace that lies in acceptance of what is playing out in your life right now.

So as I approached the airport I decided that I’d simply accept whatever played out in the next few hours. Rather than getting frustrated with travelling I would use it as an opportunity to practise acceptance. So far it has been very interesting. I did get stopped at security – not for the bottle but because I forgot I had an ipad with me. I was cheerful with the security agent and she was friendly back. It was a pleasant exchange and I accepted the delay – which as usual was quite long but as I told myself, I still have to hang around the airport so why not here?!

I went through to the lounge to see that my flight was delayed by an hour, breathe, can I do anything about this right now? No. So I chose to accept it instead. My next thought was – I wish that this airport had wifi but in previous times I could never get on to it. I felt frustration beginning to arise. Again – acceptance – and I thought I’d give it a go anyway. And for the first time ever I got onto the free internet. I what’sapped Beatrice and she asked me – have you got a book – and I replied no but I’d decided to write a blog instead – and here it is. How do I feel? Great, not frustrated in the delay and as I had been wanting to sit down a write for a few days I now had the perfect subject.

Would all these nice things have happened without my consciously practising acceptance? I actually doubt it. And whether that is true or not is actually immaterial. I feel better, I feel in a place of acceptance and I know that that empowers me more in my life than feeling angry at the world.

Acceptance is important – especially at this time.

The energy in the world right now has a feeling of turmoil for many. Not only in witnessing what is going on around the world but also personally internally. As far as I have experienced it feels like we are in a huge space of transformation – which is good by the way – but might not feel like it. When that happens it is often our small egoic self that wants to try to control it, rail against it and fights it. This makes us feel like things are going wrong. But they aren’t. They are just asking us to grow – hugely and quickly right now. At times like these acceptance is even more important so we can navigate our way through these choppy waters.

Many of those who I am currently working with are experiencing powerful transformation in many or even all parts of their life. The retreats we have been doing have been life changing and our skype calls have been focused on getting clear about what’s to come, riding the roller coaster of life and learning these new skills to flow through this time. If you feel that you could do with some powerful insight as to where life is leading you and some new tools to handle the ride then do let’s chat soon. I have time free between now and the 12th July for a couple of retreats (and again in August if you like the heat!) and space for some skype coaching so drop me a line if you’d like to explore possibilities.

As one recent client said:

“I have just done the Two Days to Get Unstuck retreat with Jessica. It was awesome and she literally saved me from my worst, doubting, deeply wounded self in so many ways. I simply cannot recommend this wise, wise woman highly enough! And no – therapy haters – it does not include impossible rules and boundaries and your time is not up in an hour! Quite the opposite!  Easily in the top five of the BEST experiences of my life – from my heart!  Highly recommended for anyone at a crossroads, in serious pain or experiencing a hard wake-up call. She will guide you to make sense of it all and get back on the joyful road of life!”

Believe me, your world can and will change once you accept your world exactly as it is right now.   Once you stop fighting and take this first step you can, with a new focus and clarity of insight, find the calm within that will lead you to a new experience of life.

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Photo credit https://unsplash.com/@helloschmitt

One response to “Acceptance – the key to calm

  1. Dear Jessica,
    Once again, simple profound insight and sharing. Thank you for “putting it out there” so others benefit from your experiences!!
    Love to you, Beth

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What is your life showing you right now? Maybe this story has resonated with you, or maybe you are wondering about things that are happening right now in your life.  If you feel you’d like some help deciphering your life’s journey then let’s have a chat.  You can email me or give me a call on +44 (0)203 239 6155