Benefits of mindfulness and repetition in times of loss, grief and change # acceptance

The word ‘acceptance’, now seems like some boho trendy brand, almost as fashionable as the $15 smash avo on gf toast at the ‘too cool for school’, inner city gen x café. But seriously, some of these popular words, that fill our daily browser screens; mindfulness, surrender, meditation, trust, heal, actually have some brevity and can be linked to more effective wellbeing and quality of life outcomes. Traditionally, concepts of acceptance and mindfulness derive from a broad range of discourses across fields of psychology, yogic philosophies and numerous spiritual ideologies. Some research indicates links to attachment theories of Bowlby and the like and more conceptual postmodern ideologies of non -attachment. What then is this acceptance exactly? Is it the ability to be able to tolerate discomfort, whilst being comfortable with the ‘what is’ and the core of ones yin and yang self. The varying parts of self, good and bad, and some of which we may hold secret or maybe sacred. There’s certainly a lot of debate and conflicting ideas on this. However.
What we can observe is an increasing awareness in Australian society of the significance of yielding toward acceptance over resisting it. Pop up so called internet browsing ‘research’ suggests, there is intrinsic value in being able to sit in discomfort in all areas of our lives. So let’s learn precisely how to make lemon juice when we are dealt a hand of lemons.
If we find, as most of us do, that are trustworthy moral compass and life direction is altered by some sudden unforeseen circumstance; we realise how very limited we are and little we know. In this regard ambivalent and unexpected change or grief seems to affects us more strongly. For it seems when we may be totally unprepared, in some freeze state of shock. Things can spiral and distress and stress can seep between the cracks of our intentions. Like a tornado, spreads quickly and thickly into our relationships, lifestyles, careers, perspectives, attitudes, beliefs, values. Often resulting in unshakeable grief, loss, trauma, hardship, adversity, and subsequently affects our mental and physical health.
Physical pain and mental anguish is with no doubt unpleasant, grates and plagues like a teething puppy, however, upon sufficient passing of time and self- reflection may become a quasi-teacher or muse.
Like many of us, I have had many physical breaking of bones, sprains, tears, as we age, a normalising of arthritis and other degenerative and nerve conditions. Once as children we were forced into child car seats and basinets, now approaching 40, special pelvic car seat, orthopaedic beds and pillows and supportive underwear and garments. And for those of us with stomas, all the extra equipment for our daily management.
Loss and pain can test our humanness to the very root, demanding resilience, strength and courage. Like squeezing the final bit of toothpaste from the tube, searching for stoic reserves. Even when we physically are frail, tired and malnourished, and little in our physical tank, I have learnt that we hold mental reserves to get us through times that feel intolerable and forever.
Gone are the days of high heel shoe fetishes, now its a practical choice between a few flat, comfortable and supportive shoes. Never had I considered I would wear Nike trainers, and now I find I don’t leave home without them. But really, these are minor western world problems.
So for the last three weeks since obtaining a stoma, through hard and difficult times I have prompted myself and often frequently to come back to the present. To smell the oils I use to calm, to really focus on the water falling down my back while I sat in a wheelchair in my hospital shower with a 24 hour nurse by my side. My physical self and related privacy, rights and freedom were in the hands of many others, yet no one could hurt, restrict or control my soul or spirit; even when it felt like that. Feelings are not facts, but you know as well as I do that in times of deep anguish, despair or anxiety, feelings can feel fixating, permanent and intolerable.
So if I can offer any wisdom or at the very least some cheap and cheerful tokens of hope. Then its, K.I.S.S (keep it simple stupid), reset your moral and emotional compass when you are adrift, slow down your breathing, find your anchor and secure your soul, come back to the present and repeat all day if you have to, like a mantra, believe you are not alone, trust you have a unique purpose to be fulfilled. And above all never give up. Even when you feel tested beyond measure, rise above rather than react. These are simple yet sometimes profoundly difficult tasks. Resilience breeds elasticity. Courage builds strength. Flexibility becomes workability.img_7617

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