July 14, 2010

G’damn effin Heat: a Lesson in Acceptance.

It has been very hot and humid in the Northeast—for so many days I have lost count.

Ayurvedic medicine tells me I am a Pitta.  Fiery.  Not compatible with summer heat.  I, obviously, knew that before I read it.

At 3:30 this morning, I retreated to the living room on the first floor of the homestead where it is a wee bit cooler than the stifling bedroom upstairs.  I wonder about the decision my husband and I made a few years ago when we committed to not utilize our air conditioners.  It was our effort to be more ‘green’, to contribute in a positive way to the environment and whatever other rational thoughts we conjured up at the time.

As I lie in the path of the oscillating fan I find myself wondering if I can change my mind.

What does that say about me if I cave in and ask my husband to install just one of the air conditioners?  Does it mean I don’t want to be green?  Perhaps I’m a poser!  Ha – I heard someone say that word yesterday and I wanted to use it in this post… a poser, indeed!

Then I turned my thoughts to a recent a passage from Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth.

If you are not in a state of either acceptance, enjoyment or enthusiasm,
look closely and you will find that you are creating suffering for yourself and others.

I ponder this as I await the next swipe of warm-ish air to float past me as the fan oscillates my way in the early hours of hump-day.

–          I am clearly not enthusiastic about the heat… no, no, I am definitely not.

–          I am clearly not enjoying this. Definitely, definitely not.

–          So, can I accept it?  That is the question to be answered.

How do we accept difficulty in our lives so we can decrease suffering for ourselves and suffering we may cause others?  For me, there are two ways:

1)      Be present now – think Ram Dass – Be Here Now!
If I can chose to be right where I am, in the throes of the decision to accept or suffer, then I will open myself up to the present moment.  In this moment, I am complaining to myself – I am hot, I am uncomfortable, this is unbearable.  Then I really think about it.  Ok, it has been established, I am hot.  From that point on, it’s in my head – I am choosing to suffer by continuing to say (to myself or others) how hot I am and how I am affected by it.  (Replace this with any feeling you might have about a current situation.)  By putting the words out there, I am creating more of that.  By choosing to aware I can make the choice to notice other things about the current situation and I can…..

2)      Cultivate gratitude
Inevitably whenever I think about what I am grateful for – I immediately am reminded how blessed I am and that almost always leads to acceptance.  I have so many reasons to live in a state of gratitude.  The obvious reasons include meaningful relationships, living a life that has possibility to be whatever I want it to be, family, friends, health – and I could go on and on.

And although there are some family and friends who have had a recent health diagnosis that may indicate to others that they are not healthy, these amazing people have decided not to be defined by the diagnosis, so they are healthy from the mindset perspective.  I am grateful to have people with such a positive attitude in my life so they can inspire me and others to live life to the fullest.  None of us can know what the future holds, so let’s all make a commitment to…. be here now!

Well, the good news from the weather perspective is – it rained last night.  We always think – oh, that will cool things down and as much as I want that, I am in a place of acceptance for whatever the day will bring.  And I am grateful for this most recent life lesson of how to accept something that might otherwise been uncomfortable.

Please enjoy a lovely song and tribute to my favorite Beatle:  Be Here Now –  George Harrison:

picture of the sun – courtesy of NASA and http://www.universetoday.com/guide-to-space/the-sun/pictures-of-the-sun/

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