If you anticipate undesirable circumstances with resistance and dread, you are probably feeling pretty dreadful!
“Acceptance is not submission; it is acknowledgement of the facts of a situation. Then deciding what you’re going to do about it. “ -Kathleen Casey Theisen
This past weekend was referred to as “Carmageddon” in Los Angeles since a large stretch of a major freeway was closed for 2 days. For months we all drove by signs that read “405 will be closed July 16 & 17th, EXPECT BIG DELAYS.” Carmageddon was the talk of the town and everyone was arranging plans to accommodate for the massive gridlock we expected. Most people either left the city or just decided to stay home.
When the weekend finally was upon us, we were all shocked when there was absolutely no traffic at all. In fact, I do not think the streets have been that clear and free flowing in LA for decades. The talk shifted to how amazing Carmegeddon was. This amazing-ness was possible because no one was out there trying to fight the reality of the freeway closure. By collectively moving into the energy of preparation and acceptance, something that could have been awful actually became quite enjoyable.
The lesson in this for me was a reminder about how to deal with things we foresee as inconveniences in life. When we look ahead with dread and anxious anticipation, it makes an already undesirable situation even worse. When we see ourselves as victims of our circumstances, we are blind to the choices we actually do have. What we can do instead is approach any upcoming roadblock with preparation and then move into acceptance.
Consider something in your life that you are not looking forward to. Instead of going into overwhelm, what are the action steps you can take to prepare? Instead of resisting or complaining, how does it feel to simply accept what you believe is ahead of you? Notice that as you do this, the upset around the expected inconvenience or undesirable situation begins to fade.
Life isn’t always convenient. There will roadblocks, speedbumps, detours and closures along the way. The more you prepare yourself by asking yourself, “What can I do?” versus “Why is this happening?” the smoother your road will be. The more you go with the flow by moving into acceptance, the more things in your life will flow. And be open to the possibility of being pleasantly surprised along the way. Most of the time, the things we dread are never as bad as we imagined them to be.
“You have to accept whatever comes and the only important thing is that you meet it with courage and with the best that you have to give.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
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