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Posts Tagged ‘acceptance’

I don’t know about you but I have a particularly bad habit of striving for perfection.  The perfect career…the perfect yoga practice…the perfect meditation technique…the perfect things to say and do at just the right times…the perfect exercise program for the perfect waistline…All of this, I am convinced, will bring me the “perfect” outcome that will ultimately lead to perfect peace.  *sigh*  I’m sure you can guess how that goes–imperfectly.  My yoga practice begins to piss me off.  My meditation regime seems to be aggravating me instead of calming me down.  I have classic foot-in-mouth syndrome as I stumble horribly through an awkward situation, saying all the wrong things.  And let’s not even talk about the waistline, okay?  Peace?  Forget about it.  But one day, maybe ONE day, when I “get it right”, this elusive perfection thing will be MINE ALL MINE!

Then one day, driving in my car, I hear a song by Alanis Morrisette called “Incomplete”, and it stopped me dead in my tracks.  I began to laugh and cry at the same time, realizing just how ridiculous it is for me to strive for perfection when the beauty of life and living is in the imperfection.   And that one simple realization led to a pure experience of peace.  I just let it go for a moment, I let it all go and peace was mine.  For once I felt it was okay to be the perfectly flawed human being I am here to be.

And how are you with it all, my perfectly, wonderously flawed human friend?  Can you see the beauty in your imperfection?  In the imperfection of it ALL?

Here are the lyrics to the song that somehow unlocked a part of me and led me to a moment of freedom.  May we all simply allow ourselves to be and to enjoy the journey with all the bumps, twists and turns that come with living!  May you find peace.  🙂

“Incomplete”

One day I’ll find relief
I’ll be arrived
And I’ll be a friend to my friends who know how to be friends
One day I’ll be at peace
I’ll be enlightened and I’ll be married with children and maybe adopt
One day I will be healed
I will gather my wounds forge the end of tragic comedy

I have been running so sweaty my whole life
Urgent for a finish line
And I have been missing the rapture this whole time of being forever incomplete

One day my mind will retreat
And I’ll know God
And I’ll be constantly one with her night dusk and day
One day I’ll be secure
Like the women I see on their thirtieth anniversaries

I have been running so sweaty my whole life
Urgent for a finish line
And I have been missing the rapture this whole time of being forever incomplete

Ever unfolding
Ever expanding
Ever adventurous
And torturous
But never done

One day I will speak freely
I’ll be less afraid
And measured outside of my poems and lyrics and art
One day I will be faith-filled
I’ll be trusting and spacious authentic and grounded and home

I have been running so sweaty my whole life
Urgent for a finish line
And I have been missing the rapture this whole time of being forever incomplete

And for those of us who are more auditory in nature, here is a video.  Enjoy!

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Perhaps after the last post you have found yourself saying, “Well, that’s great, Tabitha.  It’s all well and good to say I can find peace by holding in my hands the duality of life but HOW, pray tell, do you suggest I do that?!!!”  There are concrete techniques to help us on the path of accepting and embodying duality.  Here’s a simple one you can do any time, anywhere.

Take a few deep breaths and begin to quiet your mind.  Breathing in and out, bring yourself to a place mentally where you can begin to focus on what’s going on around you and within you. 

Notice your environment:  Where are the shadows?  Where does the light fall?  Can you see that both the light and dark exist together?  What are the sounds?  The colours?  The smells?  Don’t judge them. Don’t try and figure them out.  Simply notice.  Allow your attention to bop from one sight to a sound to a smell without getting stuck there.  Just notice.  Can you notice that all of these things exist together?

Now notice what’s going on in your body:  Quickly do a scan of your body, from the top of your head to the tips of your toes.  Are there parts of your body calling for your attention?  Often we notice body parts when there’s pain or discomfort there.  If that’s the case, can you also bring your attention to a part of your body that feels different, that perhaps is at ease and is comfortable?  Notice the contradictions in sensation, existing simultaneously within your body.  Don’t try to change anything.  Just be the witness and notice.

What’s going on in your mind?  Take a moment and recognize the thoughts that are floating around in your mind.  What are the qualities of those thoughts?  Are they negative or positive?  Light or dark?  Heavy or silly?  Often when we notice thoughts that we consider to be heavy or dark, we strive to push them away, accepting only the light thoughts.  I encourage you, this time, to simply notice the thoughts, like clouds floating across a blue sky.  Your thoughts come and go as quickly and easily as the clouds change form.  See if you can simply allow them to be.

Now do the same with your emotions.  What different emotions are existing within you right now?  See if you can give them attention without getting caught up in one or trying to avoid another.

This exercise can take seconds, minutes, or hours, depending on how deeply you want to move within the experience.  It is a simple, concrete way of moving into acknowledging and accepting the contradictions that are inherent in our everyday living.  When we can let go of the expectation that Life is to be “this OR that”, we have stepped firmly on to the path that leads to peaceful living.

May Peace be yours.  🙂

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