Acceptance gives you true freedom

Acceptance of your situation can feel like the opposite of what you want but its power lies in it being a paradox We can encounter situations in life where our customary response is to dig our heels in, fight like mad for what we want and think we can by our efforts triumph in the end – and yet frustratingly get nowhere. Acceptance of the situation can feel like surrender, giving up, “giving in”, and somehow losing in another of life’s struggles. Nobody wants to be a “loser”: feel the shame of that! Yet true acceptance is not about this. … Read more

Letting go can be the hardest thing to do

Do you find you get so caught up in something that you don’t see that what you really need to do is let go? We can get so attached to something that hanging on to the direction we’re taking seems the only option and we thus lack choices about alternatives. Letting go of “it” can seem a weakness, giving up. It can seem obvious to an outsider but to us in the middle of “it”, whatever that is, “it” is all that matters. You want something to happen but “it” won’t oblige! The frustration builds up and we work all … Read more

Acceptance frees us from attachment to desire

In an age accustomed to change, improvement and betterment, it can seem unfashionable in the extreme to accept what you have and where you are. But it is an option not to be neglected. A way round being dissatisfied with what is, is to accept it. Thus we can loosen the bonds keeping us attached to wanting and needing, to desire. Think of something you aren’t happy about and want to be different. I’ll give you one. I’ve been feeling indignant about the recent revelations about alleged spying and intrusions on internet privacy by spooks from all sorts of nationalities, … Read more

Opening to what’s possible when we let go

Recently I was reading a piece in Moments of Grace by Neale Donald Walsch about a woman who had recently given birth to a child with blood that was O-positive to her O-negative and was fighting for his life. At one point she was so anguished about what might happen to her child, the first she had been able to carry through pregnancy, that she ended up writing a letter to express how she felt. At first it was a letter to a friend but it turned into a letter to God, and into one that weren’t her words but … Read more

Accepting yourself for who you are

Someone who is driven by a desire to have things be perfect, a dislike of imperfection, may benefit from learning to give themselves permission to be less than perfect. There’s something in here about acceptance of what is. I remember how I used to like to have everything very well-planned, down to the last detail, my lessons, the teaching schedules of my team, the supply of learning materials, the management of the budget, the arrangements for assessments, homework coming in on time, the behaviour of the pupils, etc., etc. A lot of energy used to go into this planning, and … Read more

Theres always something more to do

I’ve often noticed that in the work environment there’s a frequent underlying belief that there’s always something more to do. No doubt that may be helpful when you’re looking at things like continuous improvement or the desire to do always one more to be successful. What might be worth looking at however is where the belief has become compulsive and addictive rather than useful. It’s like what you’ve got is somehow “not good enough”. The word “more” from a personal development perspective is suggestive of a non-acceptance of now and of the presence of desire. It can feel like what … Read more

Do you look forward with hope?

Do you look forward to your weekend with pleasure, like anticipating the arrival of something better? Is the weekend better than what happens during the week? Or are they the lesser of two evils. Or is none of it any good? How we anticipate the future, such as looking forward to things optimistically, is a useful test of our outlook on life. It raises some fundamental questions, such as our belief that things will get better, that life has some good bits to it, that all is OK. People have often told me they remember when they used to look … Read more

Nothing in excess

I was watching a great BBC programme about the ancient oracle at Delphi in Greece. It provided what I thought was a superb overview of the history and the functioning of the oracle and its influence on the ancient world. Many people probably know the famous inscription over the entrance, “Know thyself”. We probably hear less of the other one, “nothing in excess”. The two go together rather well. Think of all those people going there to learn their fate! Let’s imagine it: “What is going to happen to me? Will I be OK? Am I OK? Will I conquer … Read more