In order to change any behavior or condition, we must first acknowledge its presence. However, this does not mean that we dwell upon the negative aspects of it. To the contrary, we simply hold a non-judgmental acceptance of what IS, regardless of how you would like it to be. By bringing our conscious awareness to a situation or condition, without resistance the situation is changed. As Byron Katie says, “Become a lover of what IS.“ This does not mean that we do not have an intention for it to be different, it means that for that brief period of time prior to that, we can accept what is without judgment, criticism, or resistance.
For a personal demonstration of the transformational power of accepting what IS, try this simple exercise:
1. Take any particular emotional, physical, or mental condition that you have deemed a “problem.”
2. Focus your attention on that situation, condition, or “problem”.
3. Make no attempt to change it, resist it, or have it be in any way different.
4. Simply bring your total awareness without any resistance to that situation.
5. Do this for a minute.
6. Notice what you feel afterwards.
Did you notice that you felt a relief of stress, anxiety, worry, pain, or any other symptom of your resisting this situation? Much of our stress is not a result of the problem itself, but of our unwillingness to be present with the situation.