The more I Live Enlightenment, the more Enlightenment Intentions I find. A quick recap for those of you who are not familiar with the practice of Living Enlightenment. This is a daily practice that uses the concepts and habits of being behind Enlightened Being as a focus points. The principle is to stop waiting for some mysterious event to happen to transform you into an Enlightened individual and to start practicing the core skills and habits that would be natural one day when you finally do become enlightened. This is not so much about creating enlightenment as it is about creating empowerment using Enlightenment as an inspiration. The Enlightenment Intentions are the focus of the practice and are single words that create a focal point around which you conscious choose your actions and words.
Currently there are 21 defined Enlightenment Intentions and whilst I use all of them I find that some come up with regular frequency. Acceptance is one of these. The aim with Living Enlightenment was to create a practice that would change how I experience my life. I wanted to step out of suffering into joy and contentment, but I found that I could not easily define this new experience I wanted. I knew exactly what I did not want, so I had to first start with defining this new me. I needed to understand what she would be doing and saying. The process of reframing what I did not want into positives I could create resulted in the Enlightenment Intentions.
Acceptance is not a new concept (especially for those of you who do spiritual reading), however what was new was the thought that I could actively and consciously create this in my life. For some reason I had always expected things like Acceptance to arrive one day, when the new me was finally bestowed on me (not that I knew how that would happen or what would create that either…. I had a vague idea that I needed to be doing things, achieving things…world records, a directorship in the workplace…. )
But back to Acceptance. It is one of my favourite Enlightenment Intentions to practice and dare I say, one of the hardest. It does not matter how many times I revisit this simple little word, I always learn something new. When I take a look at my own life, most of the anguish (and dare I say, suffering) I experience is caused by the fight I am in with the world. In my mind a story goes round and round… this is not the way it is supposed to be! It is supposed to be different! I am supposed to be different! The problem is, the more I fight, the harder life gets and the more miserable I get.
But during those moments where I can just relax and Accept that the world is what it is…I find that I can consciously choose to let go of having to judge every moment…then something new happens – I find laughter and joy bubbling into my day. It is more than that though. The moment I relax and just ‘Accept’ where I am (and what I have) is the moment I can really start to engage with what is and it is in that moment I find I can create a new experience. When I am not fighting, I can make new choices, act in a different way and say different things. The lesson of ‘Accepting what is’ was THE thing that took me the longest to learn on my way to a world record. For years I was the good girl, patiently waiting for things to change and be the way I thought they should. I should have a team of eager and enthusiastic (and supportive) divers, I should have someone like world record holder Nuno Gomes there to guide me and ensure I did not make any mistakes, I should have the equipment I needed… the list of the things that would need to be in place before I could really get going was quite long. And then one day I got fed up waiting! It was now or never- I either went ahead and made a pan to dive with what I had or I gave up and walked back into my rather boring and normal life. Needless to say I chose to let go of all the things I should have and instead work with what I had. I chose to ACCEPT where and who I was and in that moment a weight lifted off my shoulders. I was able to start making decisions, all of a sudden consequences I had been avoiding were easy to accept. The result ? My 146 meter dive, which was a dive that petrified me as I did it on my own (breaking all the so called rules), but that was the dive that got me full corporate sponsorship, a dive team, gear and my first world record attempt.
These days I take the practice of Acceptance into my work and personal life. It is not easy to sit in a meeting and make a choice to not be irritated or defensive but instead take a deep breath and just accept everyone without fighting and get on with my job… but it is rewarding.
So how do you bring the energy of Acceptance into your life? What is it you practice? This is not something I can answer for you. Living Enlightenment is a choice that you make to explore who you are and what the different Enlightenment Intentions mean for you. The place to start is with a set of questions that are open ended. Keep on asking the questions becoming aware of your answers as they change and you grow. So….
What would open up for you if you started being Acceptance ? If you let go of resisting, let go of attachment and just breathed who would you be ? What would you be saying and doing? Where in your life would Acceptance bring change? If you were already living in full Acceptance of your life, its circumstances and the people that surround you, what would your life be like? Now…. how can you start to bring that intention, that energy of Acceptance into this moment, this day?