What I learned from a recent power failure?
Sometimes in life things happen that are beyond our control.
This is what happened two nights ago when the electricity went out suddenly.
Initially I felt it would not last long.
Then I became annoyed by the cold and the fact that I could not cook and had to get a takeaway for supper.
As the evening progressed I became angry and tried to wish it away.
All through this time I was fighting against the power failure and this was only making things worse than they actually were. I had thoughts such as – why is this happening to me, why did this have to happen on such a cold night, why can’t I watch TV, etc.
What I was doing was resisting what was actually happening at that moment in time. Being at odds with the present moment was draining my energy, and causing me to feel really stressed and angry. The source of stress was not the actual event but my denial of the event.
When the lights were not back by the next day I felt even tenser, my cell phone had died, I could not use my lap top, there was no hot water and the plans I had for that morning had to be rearranged.
I realised then that there was nothing I could do about the bringing the lights back on.
This is when I finally accepted the situation.
Suddenly I relaxed and felt calmer. Solutions started coming to me. I became more focussed; I knew what I had to do to move forward. This
of the situation didn’t bring the lights back on but it allowed me to engage with the moment in a different way. It was as if acceptance gave a new energy to the moment.
So what did I learn from this? And how can we all apply this to our lives?
Once you accept things exactly the way they are, things flow. The minds fears, judgements and resentments are released and clarity arises.
Acceptance does not mean you have to like the situation or that you stop looking for solutions or that you agree with what has happened or that you become resigned.
All it means is that you see things exactly the way they are in that moment. You become aligned with what is. And from being present with this moment in whatever form it is, tension is released, experience is enhanced and the next moment flows perfectly.
As Jon Kabat Zinn says in his book Full Catastrophe Living – We waste a lot of time and energy denying or resisting what is actually fact. We try to force a situation to be the way we would like it to be and this causes more tension… and prevents positive change from occurring and we have little energy left for healing and growing. Acceptance means that you have come around to a willingness to see things as they are.
So next time you have a stressful or unwanted situation on your hands (this can be anything from waiting in a queue at the bank to getting stuck in traffic to your feelings about your current weight to an illness or to feeling sad) try this:
- See if you can be open and receptive to it. Look at it with curiosity.
- Accept the reality of the situation without trying to change it or resist it or avoid it.
- A definition of acceptance is “the act of taking or receiving something offered”. Look at these events as an offering that you have accepted and see what arises.
As Eckart Tolle says:
“Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it…
this will miraculously transform your whole life”
Let me know how it goes …
Take care and remember to keep on creating a life of joy that you are meant to be living right now…
Dr G Chiba
P. S. When the electricity came back the learning continued. I felt gratitude that we had electricity again and that I could enjoy a hot cup of tea, warm water and that I could type this newsletter. Thank you Eskom 😉