The Practice of Acceptance


"Forget about your life situation and pay attention to your life. Your life situation exists in time. Your life is now. Your life situation is mind-stuff. Your life is real." --Eckhart Tolle

Great advice. Do we follow it? We don't. 

Why? Because it's hard. Hard to do the right thing, all the time. 

I've been lately introduced to a new idea of practice. Anyone who's been reading this blog for the last ten years or so may remember that that's how this whole thing started—and frankly my more recent "ever on the Ti" approach to life is the same thing, repackaged. Ti, "a drink with jam and bread," the note that brings us back to "Do"-a deer. It's about always on the way to resolution, always trying, always improving... and sometimes that means never feeling satisfied. 

At the outset, this blog was called "100 Days of Practice." I had read that if you do anything for 100 days repetitively—exercise, play music, I dunno... drink water (drink beer... oh wait, that was then, this is now)—you make it a habit. At the time, I was teaching music at Bridgewater State and private lessons at home, preaching to a musical congregation about how the only way to progress as a musician is to play almost every day. You've probably heard it:  the way to achieve mastery is through 10,000 of deliberate work—Malcolm Gladwell Outliers stuff. Playing every day then writing about it was fun—I mean, those are two of my primary passions—and I'm one of those high achiever types, so one hundred days expanded to 365, and guess what? I did get better. But did I get good? And was better good enough? Hahahah! You are so cute. 

Lately, it's been practice of another kind. Practice of being—of being good. Patient. Accepting. Fearless, or rather proceeding anyway in the face of fear. Courage. Or, if we're going to be musical about it, the practice of getting to Do: the resting place, tonal harmony, the root of the chord where things feel stable and resolved, but ever living on the Ti, where things feel tantalizingly almost, not quite, getting there, but dammit where is the Do? That's where most of us mostly live. On the Ti. 

Suck it up, baby.

So this whole "ever on the Ti" thing is this: Feeling resolved is an emotion. It's fleeting, and probably always will be. In the meantime... Get used to it, get over it, deal, and most important: keep going. 

Accept. 

That takes practice, too.


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