In her new book True Refuge, meditation teacher and psychotherapist Tara Brach talks about the practice of “consenting to receive” our experience just as it is. This consenting is really the true meaning of radical acceptance.
This morning as I sat in my morning meditation, I noticed a tension in myself of needing to push to market my upcoming talk on Radical Acceptance and the upcoming Creative Acts of Power workshop I am coleading.
In response to this contraction, I felt an inner prayer of offering myself and my gifts fully into the world and surrendering into however they want to be received. I also felt my willingness to consent to receive experiences that might feel like making mistakes or failing. Given how much I have historically worked hard to avoid such experiences, this felt like a revelation to me.
“I consent to receive making mistakes.” “I consent to receive feeling like a failure.” This consent felt like a great softening and the relief of that brought tears to my eyes.
There is so much talk about how to be happy, how to be awakened, how to “be love not fear.” I find for myself that so much of that creates an inner separation in which parts of my experience are good and desirable and others are bad and are to be avoided. That avoidance can then create self-judgment and the impulse to avoid my feelings. Instead, I am finding more and more freedom in the willingness to experience whatever is there. From this place I can bow to the contracted spaces inside myself. I can honor them and welcome them to be there because they are held within a beautiful spaciousness.
This is what my upcoming talk is about: Radical Acceptance Through Embracing Our Shadows. I would love to see you there and would also love if you could pass this email on to others in your life who might benefit from hearing about and experiencing these ideas. I only give these free talks a few times a year. I would like as may people as possible to be able to benefit from these ideas that have been so liberating for me!
This “consenting to receive” also shows up in our creative exploration. I believe every one of us has creative gifts that long to be expressed. It is a powerful thing to allow our creativity to move fully through us in its pure and raw form. My upcoming weekend retreat with artist Zoe Alowan (who also happens to be my beautiful mother) is a wonderful opportunity to feel the depth and power of our own self-expression. I hope you’ll check it out and also share it with others in your life who might benefit!
Lastly, I invite you to notice in the moments after reading this what aspects of your experience might be asking for acceptance. They are usually the feelings or sensations in our body that we are trying to avoid or escape from. When you notice them, I invite you to try this simple phrase “I consent to receive this …” I would love to hear how this simple practice impacts you!