A handful of videos ago, I started diving into the topic of emotional eating.
I started off by saying there were two primary skills you needed to know. These skills were opposites – active versus acceptance.
The first skill was reframing.
Today we are starting to talk about the acceptance skills, and how to accept reality and be happy.
Here are a few different ways we will approach the topic of acceptance:
1 – SIFT – sift your emotions to accept them by sensing, interpreting, feeling, and noticing your tendencies.
2 – Examine Limiting Emotional Beliefs – many of us subconsciously believe feeling and accepting our emotions is failure. We must be aware of these beliefs in order to practice acceptance.
3 – Notice Non-acceptance Versus Acceptance – you can start to get a feel for acceptance by bringing up a difficult situation and tensing your muscles and noticing how you feel. Then release your muscles and notice how you feel.
4 – Being Truly Willing To Feel Pain – you might secretly want to ‘accept’ your feelings in hopes you feels go away but this is not what it means to be honestly willing to accept pain feelings.
How To Accept Reality And Be Happy Backstory:
In 2014 I got certified as a yoga teacher. I had just gotten back from the Zen monastery where I had lived as a zen month for 13 months. My life had changed during this time.
I went into the monastery binge eating and incredibly lonely. By the end of the monastery I had stopped binge eating. At time though I still would struggle with loneliness.
To combat loneliness and also because of one of the central tenants of Buddhism being the sanga, I sought out spiritual community to continue practicing yoga. I also wanted to heal the inner hole in my heart.
The sanga and Buddhism means community, or they like minded group that supports you.
Deep down in my heart, I knew that the reason I had stopped binge eating. I had finally broken through my defenses of thought and organizing to connect with my body because of the community around me.
So now that I was living back at home working behind the counter at Safeway, I had some time to explore and find spiritual community. Fortunately, I did find a tribe of yoga people who supported me, and I began discovering my true voice yoga.
However, teaching yoga brought up many of my inner insecurities. I would feel anxious before class. If anyone had any remark I would either be very upset or I would not listen to their feedback.
I did not know how to accept reality and be happy.
Honestly, for years I didn’t really enjoy teaching yoga because I haven’t found my authentic style or voice. In fact, the reason I became a personal trainer was because I was becoming dissatisfied with yoga teaching. So I really was struggling with yoga and I went from a full-time teacher of yoga to just dropping down to one studio.
At this one studio I finally had freedom from the studio owners to teach the style that I wanted to teach. I got encouragement to explore what I really wanted. And what I really wanted in terms of teaching yoga was to teach a relaxing, mindful, quiet, slow, easy class. I started teaching that easy class.
I wonder how my life would have changed if I had just taught easy simple quiet yoga from the very beginning instead of resisting my true voice for years.
Nowadays when I start to talk about yoga, the practice of acceptance is integral to who I am is a person today and how I relate and practice yoga.
Often times in class in a tough or painful pose I’ll ask people to let themselves feel the pain and breathe with the pain.
This is a crucial part right here, of being willing to feel the pain.
That’s how you smile!
I ask people to be willing to feel the pain. This is the heart of acceptance, being willing to feel pain and to not push the pain away. We need to accept the pain fully, because that’s how we get the motivation to really change our life.
Most of the time we half heartedly accept pain and secretly hope the pain will go away.
But this is not truly being willing to practice acceptance. Acceptance means allowing the pain to be there for some period of time, it’s an expansiveness that allows greater perception.
Of course, there are many debates between acceptance versus passivity. To be clear, too much acceptance is not good. This is called complacency. So we have to be careful not to get complacent.
And how do you know the difference between complacency versus acceptance?
It takes skill. It takes practice. You must have a growth mindset where you learn from your failures. Takes repetition. It takes time. It’s not a short-term solution. Acceptance is a long-term practice that ultimately solve the problem, but it’s a skill that’s hard to learn.
Now like any skill that requires training, you can approach learning acceptance from several different angles.
You can sift through your emotions in a more logical structured way where you since what you’re feeling in your body and then you journal about what your interpreting.
This stuff about interpreting is useful because it helps you make sense of your emotions.
Then you simply let yourself feel what you’re feeling and be still. Then lastly you could notice what you feel pulled to do from your composed place of stillness.
Reflect – is this an automatic tendency or does it come from a more genuine place?
Another way you can practice acceptance is by practicing non-acceptance but only temporarily. If you think about it difficult situation and tense your muscles It can be difficult and feel bad, but if you then release your muscles you can notice a sense of space and relief.
Let me know your thoughts now!