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HomeMeditation & MindfulnessAccepting our Circumstances Mindfulness Exercise

Accepting our Circumstances Mindfulness Exercise

No matter who we are, things happen in life that arise in opposition to what we hope, dream, or plan for. As human beings, there is no way to escape this inevitable part of life. Sometimes we don’t get the job we want.


Sometimes we lose someone without having time to prepare. Sometimes illness or accident intervenes with our visions of the future.
Learning to accept our circumstances regardless of what they are is not about denying our preferences. It is also not about denying our emotions. Much of what arises in life unexpectedly or in contradiction to our plans stirs emotions like grief, frustration, and anger. It is entirely natural for it to do so, but the question we might ask is:

  • How might I frame this in a supportive way?
  • Where might I lean into greater acceptance?
  • In accepting this reality, where do I go from here?
  • The following exercises offers a series of questions to deepen your understanding of where you might reframe your language or your perspective in order to find greater acceptance
  • Nothing you write down can be right or wrong; simply use what arises here as a way of getting to know yourself better.

Before you begin this exercise you might like take a short while to jot a few thoughts down in your journal about your overall situation to help bring your loving kindness and compassion into focus. As a part of your mindfulness around this issue ponder the following.

➤ why you chose this topic
➤ how your belly, chest, and head each feel when you reflect on this topic
➤ the emotions that you can associate with these visceral feelings
➤ the positive or negative impact of any stories you believe in regarding this topic
➤ the fact that many others are feeling similarly about this topic as you
➤ how you might feel with increased awareness around this topic
➤ when you can apply increased mindfulness to this topic in your day-to-day life

Exercises

Consider one situation or event that happened in contradiction to your hopes, dreams, or plans. What happened? Let your hand free-flow as you write down whatever comes to mind.

Read over your description of the situation or circumstance. What descriptive words stand out to you? What is the energy behind these words and how do they make you feel?

Is there a way you might reframe this story so that its energy is neutral? What sentences would you change and how? What words might you add or remove?

When you tell your story of a difficult circumstance you once found yourself in, do you feel weighed down, victimized, demoralized, or hopeless? Or do you move into a defensive mode, arguing with your experience or feeling self-righteous? Again – none of this is to make you ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. It is simply a tool for self-exploration.

What might it be like to tell the story of your circumstance (or of your life as a whole) from a trusting, loving, forgiving frame of mind? What would it be like to fully accept things as they are?

Consider if there are any barriers to the above question/suggestion. What might support you in opening to great acceptance?

Meditation Practice

When you have been through the above to the best of your ability, consider taking this short self- compassion meditation courtesy of the Self-Compassion Organisation.

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