My life is challenging at the moment. Both of my girls have some potentially serious health problems, one more serious than the other, and my automatic response is to find a solution for them. But I’ve also learnt that the way to stay in a state of flow is to resist nothing, so accepting what is while still supporting them and seeking a solution requires a delicate balance. At the same time I know I need to take care of myself.
There are challenges that we all face and if you are faced with one type of challenge more than another, this is an opportunity to master this aspect of your personality. My major life lesson, or opportunity is a more accurate way to describe it, is to accept what is.
Resistance is like shutting a door. To go looking for a solution or to complain about what’s happening in your life may make you feel good for a short while, the problem is that its akin to shutting the door to life, and behind that door are all of the things that you’ve been asking for.
For most of us resistance triggers an automatic response and sometimes that response supports us and sometimes it doesnt. Some challenges are wake up calls. Problems can motivate us. Inspire us. And give us the courage to face our fears.
So next time you find yourself blaming, complaining, worrying, constantly talking about your problems or madly searching for answers PAUSE. This problem may just contain a solution that can change your life.
PRACTICE BEING MINDFUL. In the present moment you will find peace. It’s the best place to practice acceptance.
And when you can accept what is you live in a state of flow, and this is where life gets easier.
Borders Books are an example of a company who did not embrace change. They wanted to create superstores and they had an amazing model, but they didn’t pay enough attention to the effect that the Internet and digital books would have on their business. They started an online store but after a while felt it distracted them from their core business so they made the decision to outsource their e-commerce to Amazon. It was a fatal decision from which they never recovered. Although they reversed this decision in 2008 it was too late. From 2006 – 2010 their annual income dropped by $1 billion and the shops closed world-wide in 2011.
We all know that change in occurring at a rapid pace, but I was surprised to read these statistics. Denis Waitley says: ‘Every 15 seconds a new website is launched. Every 15 minutes a new technological breakthrough occurs. Every 15 days a new product or service is introduced, that didn’t exist before.’
There are very few areas of our lives that the Internet and technology have not affected, from the way we communicate with each other to the way we shop, and those who refuse to stay abreast of change often get left behind. Unless you are a person who loves change the natural response for many people is to resist the unfamiliar, but rather than do this, pause, then ask yourself these questions:
What gifts could these changes bring into my life?
What opportunities that I’ve never even thought about wait for me?
How can I use this change to create a life far grander than I ever imagined?
While change continues at such a rapid pace we need to be aware that some change is good and some weakens us. It has been reported that Generation Y, while much faster at learning that previous generations have smaller memories as they have don’t have the same need to need to memorise numbers and information as previous generations. They are also a generation whose need for instant gratification is stronger as they have been raised with so much information and access is at their fingertips.
On the other hand, a study into how technology changes the human brain in older people found that frequent users of the Internet showed twice as much activity as novices and this strengthened neural circuits in the brain, which could keep us mentally active for much longer.
Resistance is an automatic response that makes life more difficult. What we need to develop is our ability to be mindful. To pause before we say ‘yes’, ‘no’, or react. When you combine mindfulness with discernment you gain wisdom. At this time in our world we need to embrace change by retaining the good from the older generations and combining it with the knowledge and eagerness of the younger generations to enable us to create the best possible world that serves all mankind.
Most people know that Richard Branson, the founder of the Virgin group of companies, is a self-made billionaire, but did you know that he has never worked in an office building? Richard works from his home and much of his work is done from a hammock. He is a perfect example of a person who knows what makes him happy and who takes responsibility for meeting his own needs.
What separates successful people from others who never quite achieve their dreams is their ability to focus on what they want. One of the best ways to do this is to not focus on problems. Oprah says, “Challenges are gifts that force us to search for a new centre of gravity. Don’t fight them. Just find different ways to stand”.
Establish the habit of accepting what is. This does not mean that you cease being proactive and working towards the outcome you really want. It simply means that you place your attention on what you want, rather than limitations.
What are You Resisting?
The most common things people resist are: being unemployed, unfairness, having no money, being in debt, losing everything, losing face, not having what they want, their partner’s habits, conflict, not having enough time. What we resist makes us poor. There are many people who are time poor, friends poor, love poor or support poor. Poverty in any form results from the judgements we make about what is. Any time you make a judgement about another person, yourself or a situation you are resisting what is.
If you want to live a relaxed prosperous life always focus on what you want to create, rather than the things that irritate you.