Resolutions 1: Start by accepting what is

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Having been mulling change – which is something I don’t find very easy, I was struck today by the reason that I so often fail when making resolutions – by starting in the wrong place.

Change comes with accepting reality. Acceptance brings peace and often acts as a turning point for change. By acceptance I don’t mean some kind of resigned victimhood – but more being at peace with what is. In my experience this doesn’t come without a struggle, without recognising the beasts of anger, denial, sadness and hopelessness. It comes from stopping running away, fighting and attempting to control and  instead simply being.

There are days – in particular those when everything is going my way, when it’s an easy practice and there are others, full of loss, pain and upheaval where denial,blame or distraction are the go to stratedgies. Sometimes reality is simply more than I can bear.

The problem is that until we accept where we are in the present, we can’t look objectively and peacefully at our situation – and without that we can’t make helpful decisions and act from a place of peace and stability.

It’s the ultimate paradox – until we really accept and understand who and where we are, we’re living in a state of delusion and are not in a situation to make changes.

I’m running alot at the moment, partly in training for next year and partly because the Christmas excesses of body and mind – in both social and calorific terms seem best remedied by some exercise. The past few days have been a struggle, the Christmas Holidays are still in full swing, with children in hectic, happy, fully present evidence and the eldest siblings who usually supply my respite childcare  away for a week. I’ve felt the resentment brewing internally, spilling over into irritation, frustration, a feeling of claustrophobia. I haven’t been able to run – and to my shame have blamed my small children who have bourne the brunt of my “bear with a sore head” attitude.

Today I woke with the clouds of angry denial clearing, I could see that my reaction was unjustified and instead of casting myself as victim I was able to make a change. Instead of lying ruminating in bed, dark thoughts brewing, I decided to exercise where I could – in this case half an hour of unpleasant but deeply satisfying hill repeats (runners will understand…) on the road outside the house, whilst the children finnished their list of jobs.

It sounds to good to be true – but it worked. By accepting how life was in the moment without being clouded by emotion I had my running fix, the training plan continued and life was balanced once more. I did return to a couple of broken pictures as a result of Paddington’s attempt to hoover the stairs – but it was a small price to pay…..

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