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Acceptance and Love NOW

August 16, 2012

How simple it is to see that all the worry in the world cannot control the future. How simple it is to see that we can only be happy now. And that there will never be a time when it is not now.
-Gerald Jampolsky

Many times in our lives we all will experience unexpected challenges we must confront. Challenges which can pull us back into the past and keep us there, or have us worry so much about what will be.

Just recently I experienced one “of these” during a very unexpected time. But since I teach people how to find joy and opportunity regardless of what life throws them, I found it serendipitous that I was placed at a resort called “now.” If you know me well you know that I don’t believe in coincidences. Each time I saw that word “now” I was forced to bring myself to the present moment and inquire within, “How can I release the worry that I’m feeling right now? And how can I choose a more productive thought or action now?”

We all know that releasing worry and choosing a new thought is much harder than it seems, especially when the situation feels so heavy. Does it really work? My answer is YES, but you have to be just as dedicated to the emotions and truth of the new thought (or the real, love-based thought) then of the worry itself (false & fear-based).

Some of my “gurus” share these strategies…the very ones I did my very best to employ during this challenging time:

Eckhart Tolle– the king of living in the “now” -tells us that if we are not in the state of either acceptance, enjoyment, or enthusiasm then we are creating suffering for ourselves and others. For many reasons, my only choice in this specific scenario was to be in a mode of acceptance. Tolle states that  “On the surface, acceptance looks like a passive state, but in reality it is active and creative because it brings something entirely new into this world.” In that moment I could not choose joy and I could not choose enthusiasm, but I was very conscious of the situation, the feelings of the individuals involved, and to my part and my choices. I chose to accept the whole kit and caboodle. I truly sat with what was–good or bad.

Byron Katie tells us that suffering is optional. Whenever we experience a stressful feeling- – anything from mild discomfort to intense sorrow, rage, or despair (I went through the entire range!)- – we can be certain that there is a specific thought causing our reaction, whether we are conscious of it or not. When we believe our thoughts instead of what is really true for us, we experience the kinds of emotional distress that is suffering.

Katie’s work goes much deeper and stems from her personal pain. Her work helps us do what Tolle speaks of- –  getting to what really is true. Her experience helps to make concrete the TRUTH that everything (including each and every thought, action, belief, etc.) comes either from LOVE or FEAR. If we consciously choose to be in a state of acceptance and love WHAT IS IN THIS MOMENT even if it is painful, our fear dissipates and what remains is love…love for ourselves, for others, and for whatever life brings. It also allows forgiveness of self and others to manifest, something which is very difficult. Katie says that loving what is becomes as easy and natural as breathing.

Finally, Katie shares her simple, yet powerful inquiry process, which I used during this personal crisis. Here it is:

Deeply question the following about the feeling or thought:

1. Is it true?
2. Can you absolutely know that it is true?
3. How do you react when you think that thought?
4. Who would you be without the thought?

There is one final powerful step to this process (the turn around), which helps you to take responsibility for your thoughts and really understand their intention, but that would require a much longer post!

Here’s a very brief “on the job” example of using steps 1-4 (with a few enhancements):

Thought: “He is always condescending to me in front of others, and clearly never wants me to advance. I am stuck!”

Ask: Is that true? Really true?

“Well, not always, I guess. Sometimes he can be supportive of my ideas, but I always feel like he will put me down if he has the chance. I guess I also have the choice to leave and not feel stuck.”

Ask: How do I respond when I hear/say that thought?

“I always feel like I have to be defensive; I am really angry for what feels like an eternity. I have seen others act in this way and I don’t want to be this way or be perceived as a difficult person who has to fight all the time.”

Ask: Can you see a reason why to drop the thought?

“Yes. I would like to drop this thought. I guess if I think this way all the time and expect the worst I always will feel defensive, angry, and stuck.”

Ask: Who would you be without the thought?

“I would be more relaxed, happy, and confident in who I am regardless of anyone above or below me.”

Etc…

Try it for yourself with a thought/situation that may be pulling you out of the “now” and into sorrow, worry or pain. Spend time in your own dialogue when answering the questions. You may go back and forth for a bit, after all, Katie calls this process The Work!

How can choosing acceptance and love over fear in the “now” move you forward today?

When you are present in the moment, you break the continuity of your story, of past and future.

Then true intelligence arises, and also love.
-Eckhart Tolle

Wrapping Up 2009

January 1, 2010

2009 was bright!

Participating in the #best2009 Blogging Challenge has been an easy and delightful way of remembering the small and simple things of 2009 that have made it special for me. I appreciate the Challenge, as I honestly don’t think I would have given myself the time to reflect on the year appropriately, thank it, and wrap it up like a nice gift! In fact, today, the first day of 2010, the visualization of me wrapping up my year, giving it away, and setting aside a nice, large box to fill for 2010 is my gift to myself.

So, I shall begin my New Year, by completing the Challenge and remembering a few more moments and people who helped to make my year.

Dec. 19 – Car Ride – Just yesterday, Dec. 31, 2009, my children and I dropped off daddy at a friend’s house and took the long way home…windows open, music kicking, and enjoying the beautiful homes and nurturing oak trees. This has always been a pastime for our family. In fact, it’s one of the ways we incorporate Visioning into our lives…imagining the perfect home for us and claiming it ours!

During the drive, Celine Dion’s “Taking Changes” inspired me further as I not only envisioned our future, but what this next year would hold for us. “What do you say to taking chances, what do say to jumping off the edge, never knowing if there is solid ground below, or a hand to hold, or hell to pay. But, what do you say?” I say go for it!

The ride and the song gave me the right energy to begin 2010. And, I believe my daughter felt the same. When we arrived home, she said, “Mommy, let’s go on another ride!” Anytime, baby.

Dec. 20 – New Person – Melissa Izquierdo is not a stranger to me. She has been working in our office for many years. But, this year, she was “gifted” to me, so to speak, as my right hand in the office. All I can say is what a gift she is, indeed! Life and work become so much more pleasurable when you have a partner by your side who cares about the quality of our work, and enjoys learning and growing along the way! She is a true professional, a shining star, and I’m very grateful for her. Thanks for all you do, Mely!

Mely

Dec. 23 – Web Tool – Hands down, the iPhone!! Need I say more? 🙂 Those of you who are iPhone users get me. You can read one of my recent blogs that gives you a glimpse as to how I use it to be productive.

Dec. 26 – Aha Moment – This year was about self-discovery for me. I immersed myself in books, concepts, skills, and more so that I could reinvent myself. Why? It was time. The gift in the process was understanding that while it is essential to create a powerful vision for your life and move toward it with action and passion, your “purpose” lies in living your vision in the moment…finding joy in everything that you do and being grateful for all of the joys and lessons life brings. “Therefore, I AM, and I AM NOW. Ahhh!”

Dec. 29 – Biggest Belly Laugh – Gosh, I’ve had a lot of laughs this year and I am grateful for all of those moments, because, as we know, laughter adds more years to our lives! One that made me laugh so hard that I cried was watching my son (11) breakout into an uninhibited hip-hop dance. It was so genuine, and so filled with passion, and it was so good, too! We were all outside enjoying a cool night and a bonfire, playing music, when an old 80’s tune came on that just lit a spark in him. I wish I had a video camera to capture the moment. Regardless, it is imprinted in my heart forever.

I think that will do it for this Challenge, although there are so many more moments, people, experiences and things I will cherish about this past year. Thanks for the memories, 2009.! I’m wrapping you up and gifting you back to the universe.

I’d like to close with this great quote that inspired me today from Martha Beck:

“By creating plans and acting on them you create an energy zone of clarity and power. That alone can change your life.”

What plans, or thoughts of 2010 are revving you up? I’d love to hear from you.

Go create some great plans for 2010 that will energize you and propel you forward.

My best wishes to you and yours for a magnificent and miraculous year.

Monique

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