4 Steps of Acceptance and Transformation
Phil Snider came up with a beautiful 4 step process for the real acceptance I am offering. Thank you, Phil for sharing this. This is very much the process that I go through naturally and spontaneously with pretty much everything that happens in my life now. But it took Phil’s generous sharing that helped me put it into words. Or he put it into words for me. This is a very powerful and life transforming practice so please pay attention and put this into practice in your life. This is why I see everything that I experience as a great blessing and teaching. And I mean everything. I certainly didn’t always do this. This only came about after my own awakening. But now it is my natural attitude toward life. So here are the 4 steps Phil shared.
Thank whatever shows up for showing up. This may take some practice when dealing with painful experience before it comes naturally, but do it. I promise it changes everything. Have an attitude of gratitude throughout your day every day. It is best to practice with the things you currently feel the least gratitude and the most rejection and aversion for, the “Oh no!”, “Why me?” and “What the F*ck!!?” stuff. When you can honestly feel gratitude for those things all the rest will be a piece of cake. Everything that shows up is entirely for your benefit and for your learning, so practice gratitude for it now, even before you realize this is true. It will open your eyes and your heart and help you realize the truth of it.
Realize you don’t know everything about what just showed up. This is an important truth of life that most people miss or refuse to accept. What we think we know is almost always wrong or at best a very limited part of the whole picture. Accept that you don’t know. This acceptance of reality is enormously freeing. You may have heard the expression: “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities. In the expert’s mind there are few.” Often our accumulation of knowledge actually limits our true knowing, which is always open to whatever arises. So accept that you don’t know. It will improve your life and your true knowing, your wisdom.
All of my writing and teaching and healing and art come from this place of “not knowing”. From this clear, open and free spaciousness, all things flow spontaneously and effortlessly. It is like a water faucet has been turned on full blast, all the time. Inspiration comes from everything that arises in my life moment to moment. Because I continuously experience a beginner’s mind, I am constantly learning from everything. It was not always like this. I had a great deal of training as a writer and artist. I used to work at this very hard. I thought I knew what was right and I worked very hard to attain that. Now it just flows with no effort or even thinking at all. This is the benefit of realizing I don’t know and letting go of the belief that I do or should. Realize you don’t know. Let go of the belief that you should. And be free.
Ask whatever shows up what it has come to teach you. There is ALWAYS a lesson here. Every single thing that happens in your life is a LESSON. When your mind is open through gratitude and the realization that you really don’t know why this thing, feeling, situation or person showed up, you have the openness and space to hear the answer. Ask what this has come to teach you. Then be very quiet and listen for the answer.
When the first three steps are done with an open mind and heart, awakening and awareness will happen naturally. This practice will transform your life. When you do this enough times you will no longer doubt that everything that happens in your life is entirely for your benefit. You will see the world in a very different way. These are not difficult things to do. It just takes willingness. You may now have a thought that says, “I could never be grateful for this.”, say if someone should steal your car. But try it anyway. It is only a thought whether you are grateful or not. Go through the whole 4 steps and see what a difference it makes in your life. You can do this while you are calling the police and filing a report. It may take some time before you realize why someone stealing your car was actually for your benefit. You may realize this quite quickly or maybe never. This is a practice. And the more you practice the more you realize. Continue doing it with each thing that arises in your life until it becomes your normal experience. I can verify that it is a beautiful way to experience life. And thanks again to Phil for breaking it down into these 4 steps. It is quite vague for me to say accept everything that comes into your life. It’s far more useful to break it down into these 4 practical steps.