“Mindfulness practice suggests that we give up on self-improvement and instead begin a course on self-acceptance. The way out of our unhappiness is not to fix ourselves.” – Henry Emmons, The Chemistry Of Joy
Do you accept yourself for who you are? Can you forgive yourself and move on? Do you love yourself and have self-compassion? Be aware of the burden of your thoughts. Do you suffer because you can’t let go of something?
Here is a cradling exercise, by Angeles Arrien, from the book, The Four-Fold Way. This cradling exercise is a four-fold practice of honoring who you are and remembering the interconnectedness that supports and binds all beings together.
Cradling Exercise: Lie down and place your right hand over your heart, and your left hand over your right hand. Then mindfully contemplate the following:
Acknowledge your strengths and talents
Acknowledge what character qualities you like about yourself
Acknowledge the contributions that you have made and are making
“That which you believe becomes your world.” Richard Matheson, What Dreams May Come
What is the quality of my thoughts? What am I clinging to in life? The world will throw many things at me, but can I keep my strength and composure? I believe no matter what circumstances I am in, I can be well and grounded. As my Buddhist teacher, Bhante Sathi, says to me, “Don’t lose yourself.” Sometimes that’s easier said than done.
Last week I saw the movie, What Dreams May Come, and I realized that I am clinging onto my life. When I die, can I let go of my life and move on? Can I pack my bags and leave everything behind? Can I live well and die well?
I have seen many people die well. A few days ago, I was with an elderly woman who was dying of pancreatic cancer. She had a sweet smile on her face. She looked so innocent, and she had a brightness about her even though she was dying.
I have seen hundreds of people go through the dying process, and every one of them looked innocent. They are preparing to let go of their current lives and embark on a new journey. It’s a natural process, and our body and spirit knows what to do.
My message to you – the reader: You were born innocent, and you will die innocent. Between birth and death is a story. It’s a very important story – your lived story. What you believe becomes your world.