From Acceptance to Enthusiasm
I just finished reading Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth: Awakening Your Life's Purpose. Aside from the headline of the book being about the idea that we as a human race and collective group of beings are gradually awakening to a more conscious state of living in presence and less controlled by thought, there were some great lessons that anyone can start to apply now, especially if the motivation to live mindfully is present in the least.
I love when I see people recognize their presence (or Being). It's that "I Am," or even more simply, "I woke up alive this morning." Even "Things are good in this present moment and I don't feel a need to change it drastically or be anywhere else."
When a millennial cashier at Whole Foods says, "I'm here and kickin'" so his day is "pretty good," I want to say "Bravo, old soul!" and thank God that other (young) people get the message!
How could we ever be unhappy if our goal in life is to just Be?
That's Be. with a period after it, not Be... with the ellipsis implying that there's something more.
Applying Presence Now
One of the best tools Tolle gives for falling into presence is to measure up every activity you undertake in each moment with one of 3 labels: enthusiasm, enjoyment, or acceptance.
If you can't at least accept or enjoy, why torture yourself doing what you're doing?
We all have our moments of wanting our situation to be different - this takes many forms.
If x happens, then I'll be happy.
I'm the only one that has to deal with x.
I love the way James Baraz uses these principles to define mindfulness (just being): "Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won't)."
Know that you have the power to choose to accept for whatever reason you believe in. Those reasons can empower you with patience, hope, and even joy to accept and be present in even the crummiest circumstances.
And when you least expect it, enthusiasm will arise and flow naturally once you discover the joy in acceptance.
When life gives you lemons, accept those lemons, enjoy the process of making the lemonade, and then be enthusiastic while drinking it.
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