You find yourself in a situation that feels intolerable. Maybe it’s your job. Maybe your baseball team’s bull pen falls apart during the play-offs. Maybe it’s an intractable dynamic at work or with your toxic brother-in-law. Maybe it’s a health scare or unexpected illness.
And this week, perhaps the most contentious, disturbing, and defining election in the history of the United States is unfolding.
There is so much we can’t control.
"I accept this moment exactly as it is. I offer no resistance."
And may it come soon.
But in this moment of pain, just as a practical experiment, I invite you to try this:
“I accept this moment exactly as it is. I offer no resistance.”
Say it again. And again. Feel your in-breath and your out-breath while you say it.
Notice anything? When I’m all worked up and I remember to pull out this mantra, I immediately feel calmer. More spacious. More present. More able to respond.
This is the paradox: Rather than feeling disempowered, acceptance brings me back into my power.
Here’s what I think might be going on.
Resistance requires a lot of energy. It’s like trying to hold multiple beach balls under water at the same time.
When we stop expending our energy on resisting, on arguing with the reality of how things are in this moment, we come back into the present moment or what Eckhart Tolle calls “the power of now.”
In the present moment, we call our power and our ability to respond back to ourselves.
Exactly as it is.
I offer no resistance.
What I am not saying:
Not at all.
I say let’s speak up as often and as mindfully and as loudly as we can, whether it is in loyalty to our own beloved self, or in loyalty to our siblings in the family of earth, and in particular those who are being oppressed.
Nor am I offering advice if your body is on the line and you are under physical attack (and many of our sisters and brothers are). Breathe, yes, and use every resource to get yourself as safe as possible.
What I am saying is this:
Let’s create a clearing for your own wise voice to come through.
I find solace and a path toward wise action in these words from Eckhart Tolle in Practicing the Power of Now:
IF YOUR OVERALL SITUATION IS UNSATISFACTORY or unpleasant, separate out this instant and surrender to what is. That's the flashlight cutting through the fog. Your state of consciousness then ceases to be controlled by external conditions. You are no longer coming from reaction and resistance.
Then look at the specifics of the situation. Ask yourself, “Is there anything I can do to change the situation, improve it, or remove myself from it?” If so, take appropriate action. Focus not on the hundred things that you will or may have to do at some future time but on the one thing that you can do now. This doesn't mean you should not do any planning. It may well be that planning is the one thing you can do now.”
And so, dear one, today I invite you to notice resistance as a friend in disguise—not only to uncover what your heart truly desires—but also to open your heart and mind to the calm truth of where you are in this very moment. If there is pain in this moment, offer yourself self-compassion. Offer this moment acceptance.
I accept this moment exactly as it is. I offer no resistance.
I live here. Here is where my power lives. Here is where love lives. I will respond from here.
I send you love today.