The Freedom of Being at Ease with What Is – Book Giveaway!

We are giving away a copy of The Freedom of Being At Ease with What Is, by Jan Frazier. Check out this excerpt from the book, and then leave a comment for a chance to win your own copy of this book!

Acceptance: Unplugging the Suffering Machine
An Excerpt from The Freedom of Being At Ease with What Is by Jan Frazier

Here is a formula for misery: resist a fact. Lament something that has occurred, dwelling on how it could have been otherwise.

If you were to altogether let go of resistance this moment, never to start it up again, by that single gesture, you’d liberate yourself from an enormous burden of suffering. Whatever time remains would feel conspicuously different from all that has preceded.

Allowing reality to be itself means you no longer blame life for your inner condition—or credit it, if things are going well. The potential exists to be at peace no matter what.

Confronted with reality, there are two options. You can acknowledge the fact of it, without resistance, or you can argue with it. When you oppose reality in any way, you’re taking on a terrible weight, which you then carry. It becomes a part of you. The burden wears you out.

The alternative is to directly look at what’s real, now. To stand in its presence, in full, unresisting recognition. To let the fact of it be primary, prior to everything else, like how you feel about it, or whether you might want to take action.

When you accept, you align all of attention with what’s here. You are literally one with it. There’s no perception of distance from the real, no room for resistance. Only when you distance yourself from reality does it become possible to reject it, to disapprove (or approve) of it. If feelings are stirred by what’s happening, you yield to that inner reality too. It’s all in the picture of what’s real.

When your primary sense of a thing is its factuality, the attention of the higher self is engaged. But when the focus is on your orientation to it, your familiar-self awareness is in charge. The ego-mind is trying to inject something of itself into outer reality—to project a positive or negative value, some kind of label—which is different from just letting it be what it is.

Resistance versus acceptance has everything to do with which “one” of you is showing up. The choice determines whether the machinery of suffering starts up or is allowed to remain at rest.

Your higher self does not suffer. Your familiar self can hardly figure out how not to suffer.

The Experience of Resisting

Resisting is a tensing-against something. It gets revved up via some kind of mental handling (complaint, story-spinning, denial), leading to emotional distress.Whatever difficulty you’re experiencing in the presence of something you’d prefer hadn’t happened, resistance compounds the challenge by piling on negativity. It heaps suffering on top of suffering, intensifying the pain of what’s already hurting. Pushing against something that’s insisting its presence into your life involves pointless exertion. It’s tiring.

If you tense your arm for an injection, it hurts more.

At a time of challenge, you need to save your valuable resources for addressing the situation. If you wear yourself out in anger or denial, if you allow yourself to get stuck in the past (how the situation could have been avoided or foreseen), there won’t be as much positive energy and creativity available to do something useful to improve things.To move on from here.

Before fruitful moving-on can take place, here has to be seen for what it is. It has to be allowed.


Jan Frazier is a writer, spiritual teacher, and the author of several books including When Fear Falls Away: The Story of a Sudden Awakening. Her poetry and prose have appeared widely in literary journals and anthologies, and she has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She lives in southern Vermont.


Excerpted from the book The Freedom of Being At Ease with What Is © 2012 by Jan Frazier. Printed with permission from Weiser Books.

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Mary B.
Mary B5 years ago

I don't think this book is saying, just accept a bad situation and try to be okay with it, It's saying look reality square in the face, then decide what you need and want to do about it. Like say, your car has a bad tire. Are you going to ignor it because you don't have time or money to fix it right then? Do you take it to the shop the next day and buy a used tire, which is what you can afford, if you don't buy something else you wanted, or a new one which will put you into debt? 'What is' is you have a bad tire that needs replacement soon.Throw a fit if you must first, but then get on with decideing. Now transfer that process onto other issues. Some, you will find you have no control over, nor are you in position close enough to do anything about. Those things you will need to turn away from and ask what ever power beyond your ego that you trust to guide you to an effective way of helping. Some times all you can do is send the energy of relief and comfort out to the situation.But you have to generate those feelings in your self 1st by imagining a better scenario.Thus, you end up with your peace.

Patricia D.
Patricia D5 years ago

Heidi, if you look below at my post of October 29th, I brought this aspect up too, as did Steve M. There are some things in this world too unjust/unfair/just plain wrong for acceptance to be, well...acceptable. Those, you pretty much have to try to change if you want to be able to live with yourself. But if your activism is the kind that looks clear-eyed at the bad situation, accepts that it exists and moves as calmly and deliberately as possible to correct it, I think it's possible to avoid the kind of misery that simply railing against it can cause.

And then there's the necessity of applying wisdom and common sense to your evaluation of what's best endured and what you're willing to work to change. I've accepted at last that there are things I can fix and things I can't and apply the "It is what it is" mantra to the latter.

Heidi Aubrey
Heidi Aubrey5 years ago

The problem is TOO many are at ease with what is: climate change, global pollution of our planet, complete decimation of our oxygen giving forests, poor academic performance and work skills, and the inevitable demise of human civilization if this "acceptance of what is" continues so freely.

Misha Fox
Misha Fox5 years ago

Absolutely love this

Gina Patterson
Gina Patterson5 years ago

My youngest really needs this. I keep telling her stressing doesn't change anything but her health. I learned this through years of experience, but can't get the point across to her.

Vicky P.
Vicky P5 years ago

seems interesting

Cindy L.
Cindy L5 years ago

What a great thought! Now we just need to put it in practice to fully adopt it.
Would love the chance to win this book. Seems wonderful!

Jane R.
Jane R5 years ago

This book might just be what I need. I have so many bad memories of things from the past that I cannot let go of, and wish I could. There are so many things in my life that I wish I could do over again, and make the right decision. So many things I can't let go of or forget. I don't know if this book would help me or not, but I'd love to read it.

Joanna S.
Joanna S.5 years ago

I was introduced to the core concept of acceptance and resistance this summer and its amazing how simple, powerful and effective it is. I immediately feel centered again once I accept whatever feeling I'm experiencing again and am moving through life with a lot more ease. I'd love to read Jan's book! More synchronicity in my life - such a blessing :-)

Patricia D.
Patricia D5 years ago

There's an area where I still struggle to know whether resistance is called for or not--political and social activism. While injustice still makes me furious, I'm working on letting my anger move through me and out into the world via activism. Otherwise, it festers into impotent resistance. But this is where Tolle lost me--he advised his followers to avoid politics/social justice issues. That's not the way to a better world for all of us. When I read his words, I had a sudden vision of upper-class people sitting staring at their navels while poor people suffered around them...