Positivity Press #26

With a Heart for Any Fate

Getting to “Acceptance”

Samarender Reddy

(Blogs at https://selfrealization.home.blog/)

 

“The Ordainer controls the fate of souls in accordance with their past deeds. Whatever is destined not to happen will not happen, try how hard you may. Whatever is destined to happen will happen, do what you may to stop it. This is certain. The best course, therefore, is to remain silent.” — Ramana Maharshi

 

“Suffering is due to non-acceptance.” — Nisargadatta Maharaj

 

“You cannot be both unhappy and fully present in the Now.” – Eckhart Tolle

 

It happened over a cup of coffee with my brother-in-law Suresh Boddapati in Starbucks of Banjara Hills, Hyderabad. Over the past week or so, I had been discussing with Suresh some philosophical ideas and concepts, as we often do, on this visit of his to India, and the topic of “acceptance” and “living in the now” came up. Initially, the discussion veered around, with me raising various objections as to why I did not find “acceptance” acceptable as I was not getting a handle on that concept. One objection I raised was, “Does acceptance mean we do not do anything about the situation we find ourselves in? Is acceptance a passive way of being?” He said, “No, acceptance does not mean you do not plan for the future and take action accordingly. What it means is that you are doing that from a place of acceptance, that is, without mental agitation and agony over the current situation you find yourself in.” Cracks were beginning to develop in my resistance to getting to acceptance.

 

Then a few days later as we were sitting in Starbucks and sipping coffee it suddenly dawned on me that acceptance and living in the now were great concepts and they started to make sense. Perhaps what triggered the shift in understanding were the answers that Suresh gave to these questions that I posed to him: “Suppose you were a prisoner of war, say in Abu Ghraib prison, and were being tortured. Would you still be in acceptance in that scenario?” Suresh replied as a matter of factly, “Well, what choice would I have other than to accept and bear the physical pain. But mentally I would not suffer because I would be in a state of acceptance because by being in a state of non-acceptance I would be adding another layer of mental suffering onto the physical pain.” I persisted and asked, “What if you lost your job and could not find another job and so were forced to become homeless?” Suresh replied, “Well, in that case, again, what choice would I have other than to accept and adjust to being homeless and figure out whatever it is that homeless people do to get by.” Those replies of his did it for me, in that, I saw at once that if acceptance made sense even in a state of being tortured or homeless then it has to make sense in every other scenario and circumstance or life situation you find yourself in. I was almost readying myself to say, “Life, bring it on.”

 

Over the next day or so, as I mulled over that conversation with Suresh, the following became clear to me: Stress, worry, anxiety, fear, despair, dread, and unhappiness are symptoms of non-acceptance of “what is” or the present moment, and symptoms of not living in the Now but in the past and future. Realising that these negative states do not change “what is” or what will be and merely cause suffering one sees the sanity in acceptance and living in the now. Of course, acceptance and living in the now do not mean that if there is some action you can take to see if you can better the situation in some way you should not. Only thing is acceptance and living in the now means such action is not accompanied by unnecessary and futile thinking and mental commentary in the form of stress, worry, anxiety, fear, despair, dread, and unhappiness. You see, acceptance and living in the now calms down the frenzied and incessant thinking, and in that stillness, the inner intelligence operates and guides the mind to deal with “what is” and hence right action ensues appropriate for the present moment. Non-acceptance of “what is” is self-created suffering.

 

Stress, worry, anxiety, fear, despair, dread, and unhappiness do not contribute to positive outcomes in the future; if anything, they contribute to negative outcomes in the future. Not only that, but they also ruin the present. So, it makes sense to dump them at once by getting to acceptance of the present or “what is’. The constant expectation of a desired outcome in the future generates stress, worry, anxiety, and fear as to whether it will come to pass or not. But “a heart for any fate”, or in other words, acceptance, eliminates them. And you need to have “a heart for any fate” because when the fate comes to fruition in some future present you have no choice but to face it and any amount of stress, worry, anxiety, fear, despair, dread and unhappiness at that time, which is non-acceptance, is not going to change the situation and is merely going to ruin that present without contributing anything positive toward future outcomes. That is why Ramana Maharshi says, in the quote at the beginning, the best course is to remain silent (that is, cut off thinking in the form of stress, worry, anxiety, and fear) in the face of predetermined fate, which amounts to acceptance of any fate that befalls us – not doing so only adds to the suffering without changing the course of future events.

 

How does acceptance tie in with living in the Now? Non-acceptance means your mind will be thinking in the form of regret, stress, worry, anxiety, and fear, and what are they but synonymous with living in the past or future. Acceptance at once cuts off such thinking and leads to a still mind, and thus you find yourselves grounded and attuned to the now. And when, thus, you get to acceptance and living in the now, you reach a state of inner calm and peace. In that state whatever you do will be in a state of “flow”.  When you function in life with such acceptance and living in the now you are basically surrendering to “what is” or what life brings to your doorstep, and what is that but living in surrender to God’s will. And surrender, as Ramana Maharshi pointed out, is one of the two paths that lead one to enlightenment or self-realisation, the other path being self-enquiry.

If you want to share positivity here at The Positivity Press send in your positive news with pics and the link to your blog (if you want) to postpositivity@gmail.com

Positivity Press #19

A warm hello from South Africa, guys and girls! 

My message to you all is: Stay + 

Why?

I am speaking from my own experience when I say, I have no job certainty after July.  When a potential relationship came my way after years, it ended before it began. I am Type 1 Diabetic and recently I have taken two steps forward with my eating habits, and I’ve had moments just as recently when it felt like I took three steps backwards. My family is going through relational struggles and on top of that finances are not the best they have ever been.

That is my sob story which you may relate to. However, I choose to make these positive affirmations:

I will receive employment from the end of July onwards. 

I have been patient and I will meet the right person soon.

I will make healthy choices when it comes to my eating habits and physical activity. 

My family will heal relationally and we will get on our feet again.

My encouragement to anybody dealing with any negativity at this moment is to acknowledge it and then decide by faith that it is not the end, that things will change for the best. Each dream you have is valid and can come true.

If you want to share positivity here at The Positivity Press send in your positive news with pics and the link to your blog (if you want) to postpositivity@gmail.com

Positivity Press #17

I have recently been feeling pretty drained and unenthusiastic about my daily routine, but I’ve made it a point the last month to spend lots of time outdoors. It’s really been helping! Getting up, going for walks, going to parks, etc. has brought so much literal and metaphorical sunshine into my days!
Thanks and have a great day!
Elly
If you want to share positivity here at The Positivity Press send in your positive news with pics and the link to your blog (if you want) to postpositivity@gmail.com

Positivity Press #11

Hello everybody!

Let’s talk about baby steps for a minute here. If you look back at things you were excited about but gave up, you can see that in most cases you did it because you failed. I say you did it because you forgot how to celebrate small victories.

I am also to blame for this problem but recently I made a small victory, a baby step let say, towards something I really wanted to do for so long. I don’t want to go into the details about it but let’s just say that I made a baby step. I loved the tickling feeling it gave me. I felt so proud of myself and I haven’t felt that in a while to be honest.

From that experience I realized that I just had to shift my mindset in order to find the strength and resilience to make bigger steps towards my ultimate goal. Baby steps are what create that path to our dreams and goals but we so often forget about them. I ask you kindly to recognize and celebrate your baby steps today, those small victories you do through the day. Celebrate yourself and watch amazing thing happen!

Sending love and positive vibes,

Luna

If you want to share positivity here at The Positivity Press send in your positive news with pics and the link to your blog (if you want) to postpositivity@gmail.com

The Positivity Press – GUEST POSTS!

Hello everyone!

A few days ago I posted about wanting to start Positivity Press but it seems you aren’t so much into in even thought a lot of you like and commented on the idea. Instead of giving up I decided to be annoying and give the idea another shot because I really think it would be great to do a project about positivity.

You can read everything about the Positivity Press here: https://bit.ly/2GWYiep

 

Sending love and positive vibes,
Luna

Believe yourself

One of the motivational quotes all of us have heard is “Believe in yourself”. I completely believe in that concept and I think everyone should believe in themselves and have faith that they can do whatever they want and believe they are enough.

Today, less and less people believe in themselves and have low self-esteem. There are many factors to blame for this, for example maybe someone has insulted you or bullied you or you went through a traumatic experience. Also, there is our perspective of ourselves. We often compare our life, success and looks to other’s and this makes us believe we are not good enough or that we lack something which consequently leads us to stop believing in ourselves.

There is also one more thing about which I want to write about today that stops us from believing in ourselves. We don’t believe ourselves. I know its similar and I know some of you are like “what is she talking about” but let me break it down for you with examples. All of us have at least 4 times in our lives committed to exercising and being fit and the majority of us gave up on that idea every time. Another example for my students out there – every year you promise yourself you will catch up with work on time and won’t leave your studying and essays for the last minute and you do it anyways.

These are not just words. These are promises we keep on breaking. We do not stick to the word we give ourselves and this is building a negative mindset. If you don’t believe what you promise to yourself, how on earth are you supposed to believe in yourself? This is a question most of us overlook and it leads us to run in circles of getting an idea, trying, giving up, feeling like a failure and then again getting an idea… You get the point. The only way to break this is to keep the promises we make to ourselves.

When you constantly give up and break your word, it actually gets easier for you to make a new promise. You say to yourself that you will get up in the morning, have a healthy breakfast and go for a quick run and you actually do it. You feel great but what’s the problem? With time your comfort zone starts to manipulate your brain because you’ve allowed it to do so on so many different occasions. Your brain did not perceive that promise as something solid because you’ve broken it on so many occasions. In the end you find yourself right back with your old habits which make you comfortable but do not fulfill you. You have made your word insignificant and meaningless to your brain. It’s time to change that. You need to be able to believe what you say to yourself every single day!

I have a few steps which could help you stay committed to your goal and to keep your promise to yourself. So firstly, you will write your promise down on a piece of paper and keep it in a place where you can always reach it whether it’s your wallet, phone case or something else. Read the promise loud to yourself a few times.

After completing the first step, it’s time for the second. Make a plan that you will be able to stick to. And I put the emphasize on the last part. Don’t put too much on your shoulders because the weight will drive you to the ground and you will give up again. For example, if you have a busy schedule and want to work out don’t tell yourself you’ll do it every day. Do it every other day, or promise yourself that you won’t let more than two days pass between workouts. You will stick to your plan and it will bring up all of these positive emotions and you will feel accomplished. With time you will expand your plan, make more time to fulfill your promise because it will make you feel great.

The third step is to withdraw yourself for situations which will make you break your promise. Let’s say you have committed to eating less junk food and sugar. Acknowledge the situations in which you feel like eating junk food, for example while you’re watching movies, going out with friends or feeling sad. Just stop watching movies for a while, until you develop your healthy habit. Don’t stop going out with your friends, but when you do opt for better food, one that you know does not contain a lot of sugar and unhealthy fats. Just make sure you set an environment in which you will keep up with your promise. When your will becomes stronger you will spontaneously start doing things you did before without even thinking about bringing back your bad habit.

The fourth step is to write down your progress and all the benefits you have had because of it in order to be grateful for it. Gratefulness is such a beautiful thing which inspires a lot of positive emotions in us and it makes us send out a positive vibe to the universe.

When you keep up your word you will start believing yourself and you will start believing in yourself. These two processes are a dichotomy and they can’t exist one without the other. The promises you give yourself are every bit as important as the promises you give to others. The most important meeting you will ever have is a meeting with yourself and the most important relationship you will ever have is the one you have with yourself. Make sure it’s a healthy one! Keep up with your promises, keep up the good work and be grateful – it will lead to positive change and a happy life.

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