The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I change. We cannot change anything until we accept it.
Welcome back to our Co-Creative Mandalas blog!
Each month, we share insights, inspiration, and all the ways the cycles of the Great Mandala uplift and support you. We draw upon the metaphors and messages of each season to explore and celebrate our individual and collective journeys toward Freedom.
The Co-Creative Mandalas have a vibration that represents something about the natural world and the energy in the universe at this current time.
This month's mandala is Acceptance
Happy winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere (summer solstice in the Southern Hemisphere). May today and all the days ahead be filled with joy, love, peace, and Light!
The winter solstice marks the depth of quiet introspection in nature’s calendar, the cycle of the Great Mandala. The shortest day of the year brings us the most darkness. We simultaneously witness the light returning and the days lengthening, the beginning of the return of the light.
The expansions and contractions, the endings and the new beginnings are literally part of the ongoing death and rebirth cycle that we experience each moment with each breath we take and with even more depth this time of year.
This year, especially, this homecoming feels important. As the world continues to shake around us, it's time to slow down, touch the earth, honor our need for self-care.
This is the solstice, the still point of the sun, its cusp and midnight, the year's threshold and unlocking, where the past lets go of and becomes the future; the place of caught breath.
This is the time for Acceptance...for allowing life to be just as it is. It's so essential for our well-being to be present with and in acceptance of ourselves, each other, and the cycles of life.
The pain of life is sometimes unbearable. The disappointment we feel when others don't change is so frustrating. The shame we feel because we aren't living up to our self-imposed expectations keeps us stuck. When we’re in it, we think that pain will always be. No wonder we resist what is!
What if you could learn something amazing from what is? What if you see the gift that is here? When you live in Acceptance, you allow the truth of goodness to envelop you in love and compassion.
As Byron Katie, author and developer of The Work, says "The only time we suffer is when we believe a thought that argues with what is. If you want reality to be different than it is, you might as well try to teach a cat to bark. Wanting reality to be different than it is is hopeless. You can spend the rest of your life trying to teach a cat to bark."
Sounds depressing, right? Well, it's true that arguing with what is causes stress, causes dis-ease. Even if we think something shouldn't have happened--it did happen and no amount of resistance or thinking otherwise will change that. Of course, we don't want war, or sickness, or accidents, or..., but arguing with reality won't change what is. Wouldn't it be more helpful to accept what is--"Okay, this happened...I accept it...now what can I do next?"
Resisting reality leads to an internal struggle. Accepting difficult situations, difficult emotions, and difficult people, can lead you away from pain and into peace.
Acceptance is a process of release that starts with willingness. It doesn't mean I condone or approve of what's happening (or what happened or what someone is doing)—it means Acceptance is a powerful process and an expression of self-care that takes place within.
Acceptance is not the end. It's the beginning.
As I accept myself, I discover that, with practice, it's easier to accept others and what is. As my self acceptance practice deepens, I open the door to a happier future, to a lightness of being, to a new beginning filled with freedom and possibilities.
I notice that when I accept what is I can be ready to say yes to a new invitation offered from the Universe. When you live in a state of acceptance, you may be surprised by how quickly your load lightens and the more freedom you feel. I know that's how I feel when I use Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT-Tapping) as part of my self-care.
We're not robots, so we'll naturally feel difficult emotions in life. Acceptance greets those emotions with kindness and shifts those emotions simmering below the surface. EFT-Tapping includes an affirmative acceptance statement, i.e., even though I feel...I deeply and completely accept myself. This statement along with tapping clears our energy system of the blocks to Acceptance.
Acceptance frees you to take action and responsibility in life when change is possible. It also means that when something is out of your control, you can let it go. In both situations, you create a better reality for yourself by responding from a space of Acceptance.
It’s extremely easy to form misconceptions about what Acceptance actually means. We might feel like we should be able to just flip a switch and turn it on.
So what to do? Well, it starts with understanding what Acceptance is and what it's not. Read on to see three myths about Acceptance that might be holding you back:
1. Myth: Acceptance means approval. Acknowledging the reality of the situation doesn't mean you condone it.
2. Myth: Acceptance is giving up or giving in. Acceptance doesn't equal complacency. In reality, Acceptance isn’t about giving up, it's the opposite; Acceptance is the pathway to embodying the best version of yourself and living an awakened life. It simply means that we operate in congruence with reality. We accept reality, as it is, as the first step toward understanding what to do next.
3. Myth: Acceptance is easy. You don't wake up one morning and say "Okay, today I'm going to accept myself, this situation, this person...and voila--All better. It's an evolving process. It's never too late for Acceptance, even things in the past that didn’t work out the way we wanted them to, because Acceptance is always an option in every moment of our lives.
I am a lover of what is, not because I’m a spiritual person, but because it hurts when I argue with reality.
Acceptance is the key to freedom. When you set the sacred intention to let go, to accept, you find freedom from the burdens you carry. When you let go of the harsh self-criticism and accept yourself just as you are-nothing holds you back from living fully in Freedom. Then there is room in your heart for all the love, life, grace, and goodness for you to know and to share.
Acceptance is the end of any judgement, commentary, opinions, or any other mental interpretation of life events. Just silent awareness.
Sri Amma Bhagavan
This Co-Creative Mandala, "Acceptance", from a photograph of snow (symbolizes cleansing), icicles (symbolize stillness ), and blue sky (symbolizes trust) is associated with the throat, third eye, and crown chakras. It reminds you that Acceptance means affirming the highest outcome for yourself and others by investing the time to breathe, ground, center and honor what is. With this practice the true spirit of freedom is born within your heart. People come and go; experiences shift and change from one state to another. The Acceptance mandala asks you to say YES! to what is. Let it be, and watch the miracle unfold.
As I practice Acceptance, I make room for the limitless good of the universe.