First of all, thank you for being a part of this journey with me and so many others. This is the third blog post in a powerful series focused on Radical Acceptance. Following each post, I’ve been receiving emails, texts + Facebook messages on how this work is already having a tremendous impact. People are reporting many “a-ha moments” and shifts in perspective as we work together to rewire some internal cords that have gotten crossed, knotted-up, stuck together and even a little frayed! We all know that life is a twisty-turny, up and downhill road full of both times of smooth sailing, as well as, massive head winds.
What this work offers us are tools to live more harmoniously as we travel that wild road.
In the first blog post of this series, we are introduced to ideas surrounding the Trance of Unworthiness. We all have our own ingrained stories of what’s wrong with us. We all have FEARS: fear of failure, fear of being perceived as stupid, as boring, as selfish or insecure, of not being fit enough or attractive enough.
Somehow in our culture, we learn that we are not valuable or worthy or acceptable.
Here, we simply take steps to become aware of our thoughts, our actions and reactions. We begin to acknowledge what we discover within ourselves with greater kindness.
Asking ourselves often…”in this moment, do I accept myself just as I am?”
Without judging, simply become aware of how you are relating to your body, emotions, thoughts and behaviors.
As the trance of unworthiness becomes conscious,
it begins to lose its power over our lives.
Blog numero dos is about awakening from the trance. We are bound by what we perceive, by our formed beliefs and as Tara Brach points out “we can pass our years trapped in the same beliefs and patterns, entangled in the trance of unworthiness.” It isn’t until we TAKE NOTICE and ACCEPT ourselves for all that we are that shifts can begin to occur. The very moment we become mindful, observe and love ourselves AS WE ARE, the wheels of change are set in motion.
If we do what we’ve always done, we’ll get what we’ve always gotten.
So, let’s SWITCH IT UP!!
“Desperately Seeking Querencia”
“In bullfighting there is an interesting parallel to the pause as a place of refuge and renewal. It is believed that in the midst of a fight, a bull can find his own particular area of safety in the arena. There he can reclaim his strength and power. This place and inner state are called his querencia. As long as the bull remains enraged and reactive, the matador is in charge. Yet when he finds his querencia, he gathers his strength and loses his fear. From the matador’s perspective, at this point the bull is truly dangerous, for he has tapped into his power.” – Tara Brach, author of Radical Acceptance.
I love this so much.
The pause is a “place of refuge and renewal.”
I’ve felt it in action.
I freak out a little when I have to get in front of people.
And, guess what?
I get in front of people every single day. I teach yoga, I present workshops, I lead teacher trainings. But, the bigger the group, the scarier it seems! And, in 2014, I was asked by WDS to lead The Great Namaste. We were going to attempt a Guinness World Record for the longest yoga chain. Of course, I said YES. I’d figure out the fear part LATER.
You can imagine the night of sleep I got (or rather DIDN’T get) the night before. The sheer terror I felt in the hours leading up to stepping on the stage in front of 1000 people was enough to drop me into a fetal position! But, as we mic’d up, as I watched everyone filter in, take their seats and turn their eyes forward…
I calmly paused.
I closed my eyes.
I took three of the biggest breaths I have ever taken in my life,
I grounded into the reality that I was not in DANGER and I believe I found my “querencia.”
The world record went off without a hitch and I actually had a blast doing it.
Check out the 30 second TIME LAPSE HERE!
There is great power in the PAUSE whether it be 3 breaths, or 3 months, or 3 years.
It gives us strength. It provides the space and time for clearing muddy waters.
The pause brings us to what is TRUE and real.
Another profound pause happened in my life when I moved to Portland. I consciously decided to take three months and pull away from the career I’d been enveloped in for 13 years. I had no idea where it would lead but I hoped it would invite a greater sense of well-being into my life and I figured I’d go back to financial services after a little break. Taking time to pause, to assess my path, to explore new interests was the best thing I could have EVER DONE FOR MYSELF.
I had space to get to know ME again. I had time to gain some clarity on why I’m here. It became so clear that the career path I was on was sucking the life out of me. I am here to serve the world from my heart, through connection, through touch, through energy, through movement, through RADICAL ACCEPTANCE, through presence of mind, body and soul. None of this was any where to be found for ME at Dresdner RCM Global Investors!
Yoga teacher training and a now a decade of the most incredible connections and experiences of my life.
We can all cultivate “querencia” within ourselves. We can ALL find our unmoving center and drop in when things get crazy! Cuz, life doles out a whole lotta cray, most of which we have no direct control over. And typically, the more we sense our lack of control the more frenetically we try to manage and tighten our grip.
What if the very best thing was to do the opposite?
What if in the heat of the moment, we hit PAUSE?
What if we just let go…?
Learning to pause is the first step in practicing Radical Acceptance.
Soften resistance and forget trying to PUSH THE RIVER. Disrupt the fear-driven, habitual behaviors and “open to the possibility of new and creative ways of responding to our wants and fears.” – Tara Brach
Establish new parameters for what’s possible going forward.
Step into the flow…
How can you honor yourself + your circumstances and tap into the POWER of the sacred pause today?
Please take a moment to do this Guided Reflection…
(all reflections and meditations are pulled from the book, Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach)
The Sacred Pause
The sacred pause helps us reconnect with the present moment. Especially when we are caught up in striving and obsessing and leaning into the future, pausing enables us to reenter the mystery and vitality only found here and now.
Choose a time when you are involved in a goal-oriented activity – reading, working on the computer, cleaning, eating – and explore pausing for a moment or two. Begin by discontinuing what you are doing, sitting comfortable and allowing your eyes to close. Take a few deep breaths and with each exhale let go of any worries or thoughts about what you are going to do next; let go of any tightness in the body.
Now, notice what you are experiencing as you inhabit the pause. What sensations are you aware of in your body? Do you feel anxious or restless as you try to step out of your mental stories? Do you feel pulled to resume your activity? Can you simply allow, for this moment, whatever is happening inside you?
You can weave the sacred pause into your daily life by pausing for a few moments each hour or as you begin and end activities. You can pause while sitting, standing or lying down. Even in motion – going for a walk or driving – you can pause internally, eyes open and senses awake. Whenever you find you are stuck or disconnected, you can begin your life fresh in that moment by pausing, relaxing and paying attention to your immediate experience.
Experiment by choosing one thing you do daily and make a weeklong commitment to pause before beginning this activity. It might be brushing your teeth, making a phone call, getting out of the car, taking a sip of tea, turning on your computer. Each time, take a few moments to pause, relax and bring awareness to what is happening within you. After you have completed the pause, notice if anything has changed when you return to doing.