Level I Workout
Living with acceptance is a gratifying practice. Acceptance has the ability to free us from the burden of resistance, worry, and frustration. When you can accept that a person or situation is as it should be, regardless of your position, you remove yourself from any challenges attached to it. To fully achieve acceptance it has to come from a place of depth. When you are able to say the words from your heart, feel the words from deep within, and believe the words from a place of consciousness you will experience the peaceful feeling of acceptance. The following are three exercises to practice acceptance.
Say the Words
Begin by drawing your attention to your heart and repeat these words as if your heart was speaking them with love. “I allow myself to accept, and I know when I give myself permission to accept this situation/person, I free myself from any opinions of it. Through my acceptance, I have created a space to see more clearly and I am able to let go of any beliefs that prevented my forward movement. I welcome the gift of acceptance, I accept it”.
Feel the Words
Falling in love with someone or something invites a tremendous amount of joy from within. Being hurt introduces a raw pain also felt from deep within. It is your connection to that place within that you want to feel when surrendering to acceptance. Start this workout by closing your eyes and breathing in the word acceptance and as you exhale see the word “acceptance” gently being placed within your beating heart. Sit for a second or two and experience any feelings that come up. Take another deep breath of acceptance and as you exhale see the word “acceptance” gently being placed within the depths of your stomach. Again, sit for a second or two and feel what comes up. Take one more deep breath of acceptance and as you exhale see the word “acceptance” gently being placed within your conscious mind. Take a few more deep breaths and before you open your eyes repeat the words “I accept” placing your attention on your heart, then your stomach, and then your conscious mind. Be still for a few seconds before opening your eyes and enjoy acceptance radiating from within.
Believe in the words that are spoken from your heart – There is no greater truth. Believe in the feelings that come from the depth of your soul – There is no greater answer. Believe in the thoughts that originate from your conscious mind – There is no greater awareness. Believe in yourself and your courage to live with acceptance.
Most people live with a highway of thoughts speeding through their head and often they go unnoticed by the person who has ownership of them “YOU”. If you want to experience life in its present moment you have to be aware of your thoughts. It is your awareness that will inform you when you are merging into other thoughts and bring you back to the present. Become the driver of your thoughts and cruise through life with awareness.
For this workout you want to pay attention to the thoughts that appear throughout your day. By paying attention to your thoughts, you will bring your awareness to them. Notice how many are unsolicited, or irrelevant to what you are doing. It isn’t unusual to jump from one thought to another and have plenty lined up waiting to jump in. The purpose of this exercise is to become aware of those thoughts so you can put a stop to the ones that take you away from the present moment.
Take notice of how your body reacts to situations throughout your day. We all handle life’s circumstances differently and it is important to be aware of what happens to your body during these times. Some of us absorb it in our shoulders or neck and others experience headaches or backaches. Become aware of your body’s reaction to everyday challenges. Below is an exercise that helps me release tension.
Breath in deeply and slowly and with each inhale direct your breath to the area you want to release. Imagine that all the breath from your deep inhale is filling up a balloon to its maximum capacity and right before you loudly exhale out your mouth, the balloon pops breaking up any tightness into tiny pieces that will be released from your body with every exhale. Hold your deep inhale as long as you comfortably can before exhaling. Keep your awareness on the tense area. It should feel like an expansion of air was placed in the area with each inhale, then released with each exhale. Repeat this exercise 3 to 5 times. Once you have identified the place where your body reacts to discomfort, check in with it throughout your day. If you notice it beginning to tense up do some breathing exercises to relax yourself.
Tongue – Pay attention to where your tongue sits in your mouth. Does it press up against the upper part of your mouth or sit comfortable at the bottom. When you are relaxed it should sit at the bottom. Muscles are required when it presses against the top so be aware of your tongue.
Allow yourself to be still and connect to your inner self. Building your awareness muscle will help you to achieve body stillness by bringing your awareness to the experience.
Lay on your back with a pillow under your head and your arms resting by your side. Take a deep inhale, and with your exhale allow your body to completely relax. Turn your head from side to side making sure you are not holding onto any tension in your neck. Spread out your fingers and toes and then relax them. Slightly bend your elbows if your shoulders are not completely relaxed. Allow your body to feel heavy. Take another 2 deep slow breaths allowing your stomach to expand with each inhale and relax on each exhale. Do a mental scan of your body from head to toe to make sure you are not holding onto any tension. If you find an area that feels tense take another deep inhale and try to fill up the area with your breath. Hold it for a few seconds then exhale it out through your mouth. Once you have taken at least 3 deep breaths and you are relaxed you’re ready to enter into your practice of being still. You want to BE STILL for as long as you are comfortable. Connect with your inner body through the feeling of its aliveness within. Don’t think about it; experience it. If you begin to struggle with stillness by wanting to move, then allow yourself the movement and then return back to your practice. During this practice, be aware of any thoughts that arise. Acknowledge them, but don’t hold onto them…just observe them. When you are ready to end your practice take a few deep breaths and gently wiggle your fingers and toes as you begin to introduce movement back into your body. Slowly sit up and allow your circulation to balance itself before standing up.
Once you are comfortable being with stillness you can try this exercise throughout your day. You don’t have to be lying down to experience Body Stillness. Practicing Body Stillness will prepare you for the next level…Mind Stillness.
When you attach yourself to stuff it becomes a part of you, and covers up the true being you’re meant to be. Let go of your attachment to thoughts, things, and people so you can experience the joy of non-attachment. Give yourself the gift of knowing you are enough.
Start this exercise by letting go of your attachment to an old article of clothing that is taking up space in your closet. Accept it no longer fits your lifestyle and release your attachment to it. You might find letting go results in some sort of discomfort. It may feel stressful or cause some anxiety. Allow yourself to experience the feelings you are having and acknowledge they are just feelings created by your attachment. The feeling of loss will disappear when you release your attachment, and the door to abundance will open up to you. This practice will work with anything you have attached yourself to. A relationship, in concept, is more valuable than an old shirt, but understand it is not what you detach from that builds this muscle. It’s being able to do so with acceptance.
The practice of attachment doesn’t mean you shouldn’t experience great thoughts, things and people. Having a nice car and a loving relationship is a wonderful gift. It is your attachment to the car and/or relationship that invites them to become your identity. Enjoy the car and treasure the relationship knowing that you will not be any less than your great self if the car goes away, or relationship dissolves. Connecting with your inner self will help you let go of attachments.