Andrea Leda
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Andrea Leda | Spiritual Leader for the Soul Seeker

 
 

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February Book Club: Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach
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radical acceptanceHere's how Book Club works - at the start of each month, or the week before, I'll post the book for the month. You have all month to read it! At the end of the month I'll post questions, share some of my notes about the book, and ask you to participate in the comments section. In this book club we will focus on books that make you feel good. You can always see the monthly book selection on the side bar. 

FEBRUARY BOOK CLUB SELECTION:

Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach

I have to make my next book selection Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach. I wrote a two-part post about Radical Acceptance here and here. However this is one of those books worth reading in its entirety. Tara Brach is a lifelong mediation student and teacher and a psychologist. I personally think this is a brilliant combination. I love the fundamentals in this book as well as the gifted mediations at the end of each chapter.

Book club discussion will take place right here on Friday, February 27th. I’ll post a few questions and give my input BUT I really want to hear from you! Enjoy this read. It's one of the best books I've ever read. Happy reading!

Please note: As a Portland dweller, I am a big fan of Powell’s Books. I link to their online store for all book club picks but am not an affiliate. 

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6 Ways to Practice Radical Acceptance
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In Part One of this post I shared the basics behind 'Radical Acceptance'. A quick recap: Radical Acceptance is a practice in not running from your fears or fighting them. Rather observe, take pause, and accept them as part of you. The things that scare you are not going to destroy you – but you treat them like they will. When you keep your fears at a distance and make them something outside of yourself then you can never truly escape their hold on you. Radical Acceptance is a new way of looking at the things that frighten you.

These aren't necessarily spooky fears but deep rooted things we live our life to avoid. Things like shame, self-worth, criticism, guilt, doubt, and rejection. They aren't real so much as we perceive them to be real. Which makes them real, do you follow? Whether they exist or not living your life to keep them at bay makes them a very real player in your life.

If you can't escape them what are you to do? Let them exist. Alter how you see your fears and how you interpret their impact on your life and you loosen the grip they have on you. We automatically assume that something we're afraid of serves no purpose other than to warn us. But what if our fears were our greatest teachers?

It isn't when things are easy that we grow. It's when we face great adversity that we grow.

Our greatest adversity comes form within our own self - our words, our assumptions, and our perceptions. In other words, your fears are your adversaries and they will help you open your heart and expand into loving kindness when you turn toward them and not away from them.

Radical Acceptance is how you turn toward your fears and not away...

"Radical Acceptance opens the door of our cage and invites us to move freely in our world."

- Tara Brach

As you connect with what is right in front of you, you realize the true immensity of who you are. When the Buddha said, "Life is 10,000 joys and 10,000 sorrows." I think what he meant was that the purpose of life is not to vanquish our fears and only live in pleasure but rather live by embracing BOTH and you find freedom. And freedom is not good or bad, it's simply free.

What do you think this quote means?

It's living in the way as The Taoist would say. Free from attachment. Free from fear. Free from pleasure. Free from mis-understanding. And free form all-knowing.

I also believe we can not understand pleasure if we don't know pain. We only know something because we know its opposite. We know love because we know not-love. We know fear because we know not-fear. So to turn away from your fears is to turn away from wholeness. 

But I understand fear is scary and has a tight grip on almost every creature on this planet. It's very uncomfortable to sit with your fears without reaction or attachment to a story about your fear - To feel fear in your body as a tightening of the hands, your heart racing, palms sweating and not feed the energy with aggression or blame.

Here are 6 ways to turn toward fear and embrace it as part of your life. 

1) Notice

Just notice what happens in your body when your fear is triggered. Where do you feel it? Do you get hot? Does your heart race? Do you feel like running away? Do you feel like caving in to a ball? Do you feel like punching something? Just notice what you want to do.

2) Observe

Observe what emotions are behind your body's reaction. Are you angry? Afraid? Pissed? Do you feel small? Do you feel unsure? Do you feel big and important? Just observe what emotion and story is behind your physical reaction.

3) Pause

Give yourself permission to act out in 3 minutes. Use these 3 minutes to hit the pause button. As you're sitting with your fear, noticing and observing, use your breath to take a time out. Take intentional breaths for these 3 minutes.

On the other side of your breathing return to noticing the sensations in the body and observing the emotions present. An emotion takes exactly 1 1/2 minutes to play out. Now that you're on the other side of this how do you feel? Has the emotion softened? Are you still upset but can step away from acting out?

I encourage you to practice 1-3 first. When you feel comfortable with these steps then move into 4-6. 

4) Embrace

Embrace your fear as part of you. A fear can only be triggered if you're harboring it somewhere in your life. It's not the person or situation that triggered you, it was the attachment to what it means that triggered you. Embrace this and honor that it too deserves love and kindness. After taking your pause place your hand on your heart and say, "I love my fear. I love my pain. I accept my suffering as part of me."

This is not passive acceptance. It's quite active resilience. Passivity is to push your fears away from you, to ignore their presence. Active participation and acceptance of all of you is a very intentional act.

5) Cultivate

Cultivate a loving relationship with your fears. Understand that they are in your life to teach you some great lesson. This lesson will only make you more resilient and free if you allow it to. As Pema Chodron has said, "Simply be with what is, not what we would prefer them to be."

Accept your fears and you accept yourself. You're not giving them permission to keep you small or keep you stuck. They are doing this without your acceptance. Cultivate a new relationship with your fears. Ask for the lesson.

6) Practice

Practice living the lesson your fears have to teach you. At our very core we're all afraid of rejection or separation. We are beings that are designed for connection. Find how your fear is keeping your separate in an attempt to keep you connected. Practice thanking your fears for keeping your safe.

This can take many lifetimes to master so let go of mastering it. Make Radical Acceptance a practice. I think you'll find more ease in your life and your relationships. You may discover less tension in your body and an easier time breathing deeply.

Life Purpose, Money, Spirituality, VulnerabilityAndrea Wilbornandrea leda wilborn, anxiety disorder, anxiety symptoms, balanced living, best intuitive life coach, brene brown, burn out, burn out symptoms, can stress cause pain, center for journal therapy, center for journal therapy instructor, Certified life coach, Chronic pain, Conscious Living, create more balance, creative journal ideas, daring greatly book, effects of anxiety, effects of burn out, effects of low self-worth, effects of stress, emotional body, emotional pain, find a life coach, flight or fight, gifts of imperfection book, healer Portland, healing coach, health coach, help from stress, help from stress and anxiety, how do I know my intuition is right, how to be balanced, how to be mindful, how to create more balance, how to improve my self-confidence, how to journal, how to know you need a life coach, how to know you’re anxious, how to know you’re stressed out, how to listen to your intuition, how to use intuition, how to use your journal, I want to hire a life coach, improve balance, intuition, intuitive coach, intuitive healing, intuitive life coach, journal class, journal course, journal program, journal prompts, journal to the self, journal to the self class, journal workshop, journal writing, journal writing ideas, journal writing prompts, journaling, journaling ideas, journaling online, journaling tips, journaling topics, life coach portland, life coaching, life coaching Portland, living in pain, meditation, mindful eating, mindful living, mindfulness exercises, mindfulness practice, NW Portland Life Coach, panic disorder help, Portland life coaching, professional life coach, RADICAL ACCEPTANCE, radical acceptance book, radical acceptance tara brach, reptilian brain, self-confidence, self-esteem, self-worth, stress, stress and anxiety, stress help, stress induced pain, symptoms of burn out, wellness coach, what causes chronic pain, what is worthiness, why hire a life coach, worthinessComment
How to practice radical acceptance - Part One
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radical acceptance part oneHow do you practice radical acceptance? Well first, let's give it some definition. This is part from a book I love dearly, Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach and part my own insight into the topic. Radical acceptance makes it safe for the frightened and unsafe parts of our being to let themselves be known. In Part One of this post I'll talk more specifically about how you interact with fear.

"Radical Acceptance dissolves the glue that binds us as a small self and frees us to live from the vibrant fullness of our being." -Tara Brach

It is a practice in not running from your fears or fighting them. Rather observe, take pause, and accept them as part of you. The things that scare you are not going to destroy you - but you treat them like they will. You keep your fears at a distance and make them some external experience.

But as one being, the only thing you are really keeping at a distance is the ability to live as your whole self. It's not hard to let this seep into every aspect of your life. Not practicing Radical Acceptance usually shows up at avoidance. 

  • Avoid making the difficult decision until it turns into anxiety or pain
  • Avoid asking the scary questions for fear of what is on the other side
  • Avoid asking yourself what you know to be true because it might mean making radical changes you're not ready for
  • Avoid dealing with your a toxic relationship because it might mean re-defining yourself
  • Avoid taking care of your needs because you're afraid things around you will crumble if you take care of yourself first

Let me say this here - everyone has fear! Fear is an inevitable part of life. Resisting fear is to resist life. You know why you're avoiding what you're avoiding. It pools up in you as a strong emotion.

Even if you project this fear as coming from someone else, or a situation out of your control, it's what the emotion says about you or your own feelings toward yourself that you're avoiding. Let me say this again -  it's what the emotion says about you or your own feelings toward yourself that you're avoiding.

What are some of the benefits of practicing radical acceptance? Well, imagine all those things you're living your life in a way that keeps them at bay....now imagine them not having a toll on your well-being. They may still be there but you aren't effected by them. You are shaken up or afraid to be yourself even in their presence.

Healing is not the absence of fear or pain. Healing is possible when your whole essence isn't defined by your fear or pain.

Imagine being able to be present with some of the deepest questions and biggest transitions in your life without the anxious side-effects. What if you could breath through them? See your fears from more than one vantage point? Embrace them and feel love even for the things in you that you don't yet understand?

This is the tip of what radical acceptance can do for your life. In Part Two I'll talk about how to practice radical acceptance. Today I wanted to introduce you to this wonderful idea and leave you with one solution: The Pause.

The Pause is an intentional pausing in the face of your fears or triggers of your fears coming to light. It's being in the midst of the very thing you're trying to avoid and intentionally not reacting first. Just Pause.

It's important to remember that your fear is an anticipation of an outcome. Most fear is never present. It's either packed up in a memory or somewhere in the future you're worried will come to pass.

What to do with your pause: give yourself some space between the anxiety of your fear and what you do with this anxiety. Before you avoid it, get angry, or numb it, simply be still. Time is on your side. I promise. 

In this pause become an observer. Observe what the fear triggers in you. Observe yourself being triggered. Observe what you immediately want to do with this fear. Observe how you feel not doing the thing you want to do right away. Take 2-3 deep belly breaths. 

Practice the pause just once over the next few days. See how you feel. Taking pause also tells your body that no immediate danger is present. If no immediate danger is present then your limbic brain doesn't need to do it's fight or flight routine.

Read part two here!

In love and light,

Andrea

Intuition, Money, Spirituality, VulnerabilityAndrea Wilbornandrea leda wilborn, anxiety disorder, anxiety symptoms, balanced living, best intuitive life coach, brene brown, burn out, burn out symptoms, can stress cause pain, center for journal therapy, center for journal therapy instructor, Certified life coach, Chronic pain, create more balance, creative journal ideas, daring greatly book, effects of anxiety, effects of burn out, effects of low self-worth, effects of stress, emotional body, emotional pain, find a life coach, flight or fight, gifts of imperfection book, healer Portland, healing coach, health coach, help from stress, help from stress and anxiety, how do I know my intuition is right, how to be balanced, how to be mindful, how to create more balance, how to improve my self-confidence, how to journal, how to know you need a life coach, how to know you’re anxious, how to know you’re stressed out, how to listen to your intuition, how to practice radical acceptance, how to use intuition, how to use your journal, I want to hire a life coach, improve balance, intuition, intuitive coach, intuitive healing, intuitive life coach, journal class, journal course, journal program, journal prompts, journal to the self, journal to the self class, journal workshop, journal writing, journal writing ideas, journal writing prompts, journaling, journaling ideas, journaling online, journaling tips, journaling topics, life coach portland, life coaching, life coaching Portland, living in pain, meditation, mindful eating, mindful living, mindfulness exercises, mindfulness practice, NW Portland Life Coach, panic disorder help, Portland life coaching, professional life coach, RADICAL ACCEPTANCE, radical acceptance book, radical acceptance tara brach, reptilian brain, self-confidence, self-esteem, self-worth, stress, stress and anxiety, stress help, stress induced pain, symptoms of burn out, wellness coach, what causes chronic pain, what is worthiness, why hire a life coach, worthiness Comment