More than just mindfulness

Acceptance - accepting uncomfortable emotions - a practical approach

June 12, 2019 Season 2 Episode 35
More than just mindfulness
Acceptance - accepting uncomfortable emotions - a practical approach
More than just mindfulness
Acceptance - accepting uncomfortable emotions - a practical approach
Jun 12, 2019 Season 2 Episode 35
Robert Mitchell
Accepting uncomfortable emotions - how to do this practically
Show Notes

The self-help genre is flooded with a deluge of advice relating to Acceptance. Usually the advisory sentence begins with the words ‘just’ or ‘simply’. These diminish what is the most difficult thing that anyone can do which is to confront their internal reality when it is what is causing them to suffer. In this context, there is no such thing as ‘Just!’. In this episode, Robert teaches, in a 30 minute session, how to actually accept your internal suffering, as a personal experience and in a way that will allow you to make progress. Acceptance, as Explained in Episode 18 published on December 26, 2018, is 'allowing yourself to feel however you feel in the present moment'. This definition is from Eckhart Tolle and must be the most useful for anyone engaged in inner work. The question then becomes. How do we make this bearable? The answer is the neutral spot meditation which Robert teaches in this session.
It is important that you apply the Four Rules of Meditation!

  1. You are in control. You can stop the meditation whenever you want, do another meditation, meditate for as long as you wish.
  2. Take baby steps, work with tiny emotions and tiny unhelpful thought patterns first. Remember that you are practicing.
  3. Fix your roof in the sunshine. You do this when you are feeling powerful! Not when you are feeling overwhelmed. If you can’t dedicate the best time of your week, day or month to meditation, you aren’t taking it seriously and you should maybe come back and give it another go when you can.
  4. Do less than you can. Never push the envelope. Be patient. All will arise in time.

Emotionally, *never* go digging. There is no need to as all suffering will arise in our experience in time if we provide a space for it in our practices. If you aren’t in contact yet with whatever emotion is in the background of your day just continue with the meditations and in time you will be able to do that.

The Neutral Spot Meditation
We first calm our minds with a basic mindfulness meditation. We need to be in a good place to do any emotional work.

When our minds are as calm as they can be, we focus our attention on a part of our body that has neutral sensations. Somewhere where we can’t feel an emotional response

Examples might be: big toe, knees, elbows, etc.

Move the focus of your attention to the place in our body that is the location of your uncomfortable physical or emo tional sensations. 

Leave the focus of your attention there for as long as it remains comfortable to do so. You are looking for the equivalent of a pin-prick in terms of discomfort at the most. 

Return the focus of your attention to the neutral place and leave your attention there until you have tuned in on the neutral spot and are aware of it fully

Repeat only if this works for you.

You are looking for the discomfort to diminish.

This exercise is the equivalent of dipping our finger or toe into the water to see how hot or cold it is. It is *not* like diving in.

If this works for you, you will feel better! Not worse. It is not an endurance process.