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It is Spring of 2019 in the American Heartland.Since the season changed we have had 2 big, crazy blizzards here in SouthEast Wisconsin, terror attacks in Sri Lanka, calls for impeachment at the highest levels in Washington DC, flooding devastating the midwest, catastrophic cyclones and flooding in Africa, school shootings….… It has been one heckuva couple of months plus the whole winter, and she’s still delivering the goods. We actually had a day of -35 degrees (that’s without windchill factored into the drama). SO….given that it is the MIDDLE of May , I could be VERY IRRITABLE right now. I could launch into a real tirade about life, the universe, and everything.…..I could. It is all right there, just below the surface, you know. But then I think, ‘Ahhh well, this looks like the perfect opportunity to practice acceptance and gratitude while I make some black bean and roasted sweet potato tacos.’ Call it comfort food meets comforting thoughts.
MeditationThere are many ways to practice acceptance. What do I mean? What is “acceptance?” For the purposes of this conversation, acceptance is an intentional, meditative practice. It is consciously and repeatedly letting go of being judgmental, afraid, angry, upset, insulted, aggravated, resistant, resentful. You get the picture. Acceptance has nothing to do with whether we like or agree with what is going on. It is just the act, and practice of letting go of the judgements we have about the present moment. Then, allowing the moment to be what it is, we accept what is so about our current reality. Just as it is and as it is not. Right now….and now….. and now. When we are present with the moment by moment unfolding of life, we can gently explore whatever we are not accepting. The results of this practice are life altering.
Here is one way to go about it. This particular meditation is by Jon Kabat-Zinn. I whole-heartedly recommend his audio version. It is specifically about body awareness, but the same methods can be applied to anything from physical pain to emotional states of mind, even challenging situations including blizzards in April, loss of natural habitats, violence, the burning of Notre Dame de Paris and anything else that we cannot control. When I say practice, I mean work with the meditation daily for at least a week. A month of practice will take you even deeper into revelations about self and acceptance. Some people find they can practice any given meditation everyday for their entire adult life and never come to the “end of realization.” The point is that to practice for a week or months or years is worth the effort. I promise.
Go to Roasted Sweet Potato Tacos with Black Beans and Oyster Mushrooms for my idea of comfort food.