This weekend I was getting ready for a party – I was so excited. I had the perfect outfit picked out, and as I pulled on the jeans I’d been planning to wear, it happened. They were too tight. All of a sudden, I felt my state shift from excitement to upset.
We’ve all been there.
I didn’t decide to change my mood from happy to unhappy. It happened immediately, but was not a conscious choice to suddenly feel so down. Instead of ignoring the feeling or thinking it away, I decided to practice radical acceptance and sit with it. Feel it.
You see, every day for as long as I can remember I have woken up with the goal to lose weight and I am still trying to unlearn that habit. Simply being dissatisfied all the time is not the answer to living a fulfilled life, it is an addiction. Always thinking I can be better, look better, feel better, have better is an insatiable state of being.
The desire for my life, my body, my relationship or my career to be better seems like a valiant goal. There are millions of books, companies and people selling the notion that wanting better is a good idea. But when we keep wanting, we become impossible to satisfy. When we are in a state of wanting, we become addicted to wanting and what we have is never enough. We wait for a day when we will finally become satisfied, but with this mindset, that day will never come.
So how do we unlearn this and get ourselves to move forward and create a life that truly fulfills us?
- Practice Sati (non-judgmental awareness) and be the witness of your thoughts.
- Radical self acceptance: whenever a negative feeling comes up, be with it fully until it runs out.
- Cancel the thought “I have to be _____ to be happy”. Replace it with “I can choose to be happy today and make the changes in my life I want”
- Make a note of the changes you can make from a place of willingness and acceptance instead of punishment, anger or fear. Accept where you are today and remember that fulfillment doesn’t depend on what you have, what you make or how much you weigh. It is an inner state of being and you don’t have to hang your happiness on anything outside of yourself.
I want to hear from you. What spiritual practice are you using to help unlearn the constant craving of wanting and feeling of dissatisfaction?
Start and end your day by activating the feeling of gratitude and appreciation for your life as it is and then set the intention that life continues to unfold in the highest and best way for your personal evolution.
Try saying “Thank you for my life, and it is with gratitude that I choose to live my life. And so it is.”