Ask Parvati 36: Relationships: Compromise, Acceptance and Getting the Love You Want – Part 2: Acceptance Versus Resignation

ACCEPTANCE VERSUS RESIGNATION
(Continued from Balanced Compromise)

Compromise is different from acceptance. After we make a compromise, we learn to accept our choices. If we choose not to compromise, we also must accept our choices. We can easily mistake acceptance for powerlessness, as though the word were synonymous with “throwing in the towel” and resignation. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Acceptance is a powerful place. In fact, true change only begins once acceptance occurs. We may want to change our partner. We can try to push him/her into doing what we want over and over again. But that will only lead to two people feeling unhappy. If we want change, we must soberly look at what is and accept it, which means not trying to push our will into trying to change the way things are to suit our needs.
To accept is to be in non-resistance to what is. Acceptance is active in a non-forceful way. It is dynamic in a quiet way. Acceptance is alive, because when we are acceptant, we flow with the force of life. Think of nature. The flower is. It is in a state of acceptance of its flower nature. It is not trying to change things. It is in flow with the force of life.
Being passive is closer to being resigned. When we are passive, we could be very much in discord with what is, resistant to it, angry at it, hating it, resenting it. In this passive state, there is no acceptance. We are energetically against what is. In this, there is much unhappiness.
When we are acceptant of what is, we can meet the moment. We open. We can see more options, feel more joy, share more love, tap into the infinite source of love that is all around. When we are acceptant, we love.
Being acceptant does not mean that we like all this moment brings. Maybe this moment is full of horror and atrocities. If we are passive in the face of such, we immobilize ourselves and thwart the possibility of change. If we are aggressive in the face of such, we may implicate ourselves into the whirlwind of the horror. When we accept what is, without necessarily agreeing with it, we find tremendous creativity and possibility.
Intimate relationships are active, alive entities that exist between two people. It is part one person, part the other person and part something that is from neither. I do not think that relationship are two halves that make a whole, but two wholes that co-create possibility. We can find this kind of “positive possibilities” relationship only when we are willing to accept what is and be responsible to manage our own energies, not try to change others.
I have never understood the term “agree to disagree”. It just does not make sense. Where is the co-creation in that? To me, that is resignation said politely. To me, that is relationship death. I believe in every moment there is a place of golden resonance, where two people can expand and tap into vitality. If both people are not willing to go there, it can be harder to find together. But it does not mean that you cannot find that place of expansion and beauty. Perhaps, once you have tapped into that bounty, your partner will be more inspired to go there as well, without you trying to make that decision for him/her.
When we are fixated on trying to choose between an either/or, we tend to feel unhappy with both. I am sure you have been there. You are caught in a dilemma. You feel you have to choose between option A or option B. Neither feels right. But you cannot see any other option. You feel pressure to make a decision. From my experience, if A and B both feel off, then you must choose C. The thing is, we often cannot see C so we don’t know how to choose it.
The third option is born out of acceptance and non-resistance. It is often somewhere between two extremes. Our mind tends to work in opposites. We think good/bad, ugly/beautiful, happy/sad… It is part of our human nature to think in extremes.
The Buddha, thousands of years ago called his path “The Middle Way”. The expansive, enlightened choice often is the third option, the middle way, somewhere between A and B. Not necessarily as a literal cutting down the middle, but a third option that feels balanced between two. Acceptance opens us to the middle way so that we do not get stuck with A or B. When we are not stuck on either, C may arise. C was always there. We were just too busy thinking only A or B existed to see it.
There is a wonderful story in traditional yogic teachings of the monkey and the banana. How do you trap a monkey? You place a banana in a metal cage and wait for the monkey to come and grab it. When it does, it cannot pull the long thin banana through the cage bars. Its mind so fixated on wanting that banana, it does not see if it turned the banana sideways, its arm would slip right through the bars. We are often like that, because we are busy fighting what is, due to our attachments. When we practice acceptance, we gain insight and option C opens to us.
Tomorrow I will look at what finding insight through acceptance looks like with a real life example in Acceptance and Insight.
Till then,
Parvati

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WHY YOGA IN THE NIGHTCLUB

I am often asked what inspired me to bring yogic expression into the club scene. I answer easily. Yoga In the Nightclub is a natural expression of who I am as a musical artist and dedicated yogini. Yoga is not a physical practice but a way of life. It is about learning to be present in all one does, to see the divine here, now, in this moment. As such, yoga is everywhere. It is about feeling connected to something much greater than our limited ego or will. It is about being in service to life, feeling interconnected to that very life force. Yoga In The Nightclub is a celebration of life and a reminder that we can find awakened presence everywhere.

Yoga in the West is mostly known as a series of bendy physical exercises. Yet there is much more to it than fitness. Yoga’s systematic breath and body exercises, designed to clear the subtle channels in our energy system, prepare us for meditation, through which we may experience a life inspired by our interconnected, multidimensional true nature. Our body, that once was seen as “mine”, is no longer our identity, but a gift on loan from the divine. We care for it, but we are not attached to it. The practice of yoga offers us the opportunity to experience the transmutation of matter into pure light, embody the multidimensional and rest in the eternal.

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WE ARE ALL CONNECTED

Hatha yoga, the physical practice of yoga, is just one of many aspects of yoga, which range from selfless service to astrology and prayer. The Sanskrit word “yoga” most simply translates to “union”, implying that the practice of any yoga will bring together our perceived sense of separateness. As a whole, yoga is an ancient science of life. It is a practical method of shedding excess and bringing us back from the self-delusion of separation from the divine so that we may realize our inherent interconnection to and ultimate oneness with it.

As we begin to understand that yoga is everywhere, we come to see how we are all connected in vast ways far beyond the limitations of our personal will and ego. What I do affects you, and vice versa. We are one earth family. At the heart of it all, we share the same heartbeat. Breathe to be. We are one.

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AWAKENED LIVING

When we are open, life blossoms, just as a flower opens to welcome the morning sun.  We see that the sun, though it is millions of light years away, has a tender yet powerful relationship with the flower, as do the rain and the clouds. From this perspective we see that we are part of the whole. Life is a symphonic masterpiece with which, when we are open, we are completely resonant.

As we come to understand our oneness, we can revel in it with wonder and joy. We can consider in awe how immense it all is. We can let go of the idea that an illusory, isolated sense of self could possibly be in control, and open to an exquisite unfolding of life in absolute perfection. Our actions become not about “me” but about the whole. Each moment is integrated within the whole. No one decision is separate.

When we begin to see that each decision we make affects not just ourselves but everyone and everything on the planet, we act with more compassion. When we have more compassion, we realize the impact of our actions and we naturally want less and practice more kindness. As stewards of the Earth, we each are called to learn to live in harmony with ourselves, each other and our planet. We all breathe the same air and live on the same living organism, our planet. Varied in race and creed, we are all one family, children of the same mother, the planet Earth.

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THE OPPORTUNITY FOR GRACE

In each moment, there is infinite grace. By becoming more conscious as we practice yoga on the mat, at work, at play or in the nightclub, we let go of the unnecessary and develop greater internal spaciousness which blooms throughout our lives. In this space new life and possibilities arise.

As we rest our awareness on the simple purity and grace of the breath, we realize - we are alive! We let go of wanting things from the future and the past and open to what is here and now. We feel as vast as the sky and rooted in the richness of this moment.

When we “breathe to be”, we understand our interconnection. We see that we are not the doers but a part of the whole, the same energy that is in the flowers and in the stars. We know that our essence is divine - from which we have come, to which we return.

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PARVATI'S NEW SINGLE - MARCH 2016
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I AM LIGHT

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SHARE YOUR YOGA
I am light!

Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
Gone, gone beyond. Oh what awakening!
Gone, gone beyond. Swaha!

I am light, dancing in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!
I am light, in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!

Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
I am the light, liquid gold light
I am in delight! Swaha!

I am light, dancing in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!
I am light, in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!

I am the light (gate gate), liquid gold light (paragate)
I am in delight (gate gate) transforming the night (paragate)

Gone, gone beyond (gate gate)! Oh what awakening! (paragate) (I am)
Gone, gone beyond (gate gate)! Swaha!

I am light, dancing in delight
I am light, dancing through the night
I am light, in delight
I am light, dancing through the night

I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light (gate gate)
I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light (paragate)
I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light
I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light

I am light!

© 2015 Parvati Devi
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