Spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle is an expert on living in the now and shares his experiences and lessons in his books, ‘The Power Of Now‘ and ‘A New Earth‘. One of the most popular quotes exerted from the book ‘The Power Of Now‘ is,
“Accept – then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.”
This seems like a tall order when you are faced with especially unpleasant circumstances. You may think, “Why would I choose to be ill?” or “Why would I chose to have a divorce?”. By asking yourself these questions you make yourself feel guilty for the situation at hand and only fuel the fire. There is no need to come up with explanations. Instead, put an emphasis on the “If”. Accept it as IF you had chosen it.
Practicing this acceptance can feel like a burden has been lifted! This opens yourself up to experience the joys in life and not focus solely on the unpleasant situations. If motherhood has taught me anything, it is that I am only in control of myself. My son will be 2 years old in just a few more months and has figured out he can have opinions and make decisions, which a lot of the time are much different than mine. I can either become frustrated and lose sight of reality (that he is just a toddler learning the ways of the world) or I can accept these moments and use them skillfully to help him learn right from wrong and deepen our bond as a mother and son. When I feel frustration coming on or am in the middle of a situation that is not going how I expected, I say to myself “accept it as if you had chosen it”. I admit, it is difficult at times and I may even meet this with an eye roll. BUT when I check in with myself in that moment, I know I am brought back to reality and have the choice of how to respond.
I challenge you to practice this for an hour, a few hours, half a day or even an entire day! I believe you will be pleasantly surprised by how this can improve your mood and overall quality of life.