When we are lost in the soup of our soul, there's a way inward that takes us toward healing and wholeness.
What if the way to bring about integration, or lasting change in our lives, is by fully acknowledging and accepting whatever we’re experiencing in this moment?
“Yeah, but… if I accept this situation (my weight, money, health, relationships, job, education, career) it’ll never change!” you say.
Maybe. Maybe not.
When I first encountered this idea – I definitely wanted to reject it. I was 27, way overweight, anxious, and uncertain about where I was going and what I was doing in life. At that time, I was painfully shy and consumed with anxiety. I could not even walk into a store without having a panic attack. The people in the store might talk to me! Then what would I do??
Yet, I was also a trained photojournalist. If you put a camera in my hand, I became another person – one with a “passport” into other people’s lives. Cameras and a purpose gave me the courage that allowed me to enter places I could not otherwise go. Take away my identity, and I reverted to that painfully shy creature that wanted to stay hidden – all the while yearning for connection with others.
Looking at myself, accepting my body and the anxiety I felt – the experience of it – was difficult. In my subconscious, I truly believed that if I accepted myself, and my situation – just as it was in that moment – it would never change and could possibly get worse!
Convinced that salvation from my discomfort was at hand if I just worked harder on my attitude, tried a new diet or whipped myself into submission – I put myself through all sorts of contortions and contractions - hoping that life would be better. Turns out, it was a false hope.
Many of us are still living this way - beating ourselves into submission with erroneous thoughts, beliefs and judgments and then taking action from that energetic resonance.
I ask that you STOP.
What happens if you just allow yourself to stop, look and listen and then ask, in the words of Carolos Castaneda, “Does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good; if it doesn't it is of no use.”
A “path with heart” includes acknowledgment and acceptance of what we’re experiencing in this moment. It's inclusive - not exclusive. Acknowledgment and acceptance allows us to exercise CPR: Compassion Presence and Reverence for whatever is up in our life. When we implement CPR we are literally resuscitating our soul.
As you walk through your day, notice which experiences you try to change, avoid or judge. Ask yourself, “Does this path have a heart?” and then try a little CPR and let us know how it goes.
Once we learn how to exercise acknowledgement, acceptance and soulful CPR, we can then move into action. But that’s a story for a different day…
Until then, with love,