CORE ACCEPTANCE THERAPY
Why First Step Acceptance?
The most miraculous manifestation you can create for yourself is the complete acceptance of yourself and the nature of your existence here and now in this moment. The big, fat lie we keep feeding ourselves is that we can relax and be at peace with ourselves once we have achieved everything that is on our "to-do" list. Of course, as we do attain and accomplish on our list, magically new items appear and the list somehow never gets finished, so we never really get to relax and be at peace with ourselves.
Acceptance delivers what change promises.
The trick is to grant myself relaxation and be at peace with myself daily, even though the to-do list will never be quite finished. Strengthening this skill of taking that first step of acceptance and practicing day to day being satisfied with myself, for exactly who I am, allows me to move towards my goals in a peaceful, less attached manner. This is very important not only for keeping my composure, but we think so much more clearly when we are calm and not stressing out. So my internal "acceptor" is my internal achiever's best friend. Self-acceptance functions as the foundation needed so that I don't end up spinning my wheels. By trying to move off an imaginary place called "I should be better, or I should be more." It is like being lost on the way to a friend's party. You call them saying, "Help, I'm lost." The first thing they ask you is, "Where are you?" It is "useless" to say, "I should be there with you having fun." It is "useful" to say, "I am on 72nd and Wisconsin Avenue." Then your friend can give you guidance and directions. Same with MapQuest or GPS, you must enter where you are and then where you are going. Both are equally important in order to receive accurate directions. This is true in healing yourself, in healing relationships with other people, and in healing your relationship with God or existence.
Friends who accept us unconditionally are easier to relate to and the relationship is sustainable. Lovers are more difficult because there is more conditions, expectations and needs placed on the other person.
The first step is acceptance. Dropping the should's, dropping the judgements and dropping the expectations. Befriending myself.
The second step is acceptance. True love is unconditional. "Acceptance is the unconditional part of unconditional love." Love grows in the context of acceptance.
The third step is acceptance. I must enter the genuine experience of who I am in this moment to feel real love for myself or for the other person. Our facade or social mask is not capable of receiving love.
The fourth step is acceptance. To embrace the nature of all my aspects including my old shadowy habits makes me whole and aware and returns me to conscious choice.
All of the modalities I employ function as acceptance practice. As you develop your "sahdana" (daily acceptance practice) you will naturally return to more peaceful, calm composure which will increase your ability to appreciate and be grateful for this moment as it is. This feeling state of appreciation is the opposite polarity to feeling compelled to chase after something better. As we spend more and more time practicing acceptance, appreciation, and gratitude, we set up an internal frequency or vibration which begins to draw our attention to the next thing or person or experience to appreciate and to be grateful for. This becomes your new pattern or habit and you begin to grade, access, and critique experiences less and less and enjoy the half full parts of life more and more.