Present Moment Living for the Type A Personality

Eckhart Tolle teaches us that lack of acceptance is at the root of suffering. I’ve been thinking of this quite a bit recently as I find myself wanting things to be different than how they actually are and then recognizing that if I would just accept the situation as it is, my pain and suffering would go away and I would feel more at peace. As someone who has issues with letting things go though, this is much easier said than done.

For example, I want to run the 18.6 mile Payette Lake Run this weekend, but I can’t because I just had an appendectomy two weeks ago. My wanting to run the race and the fact that I am wishing the situation were different is causing me pain and suffering. If I simply accept the situation, I will feel content and at peace. Wow, it sounds so simple when I write it out! Why is it so hard to implement?

Here are some more: My child is being irritating, I want x, y, or z to be different about my body, or I wish that my husband would appreciate me more. All of these things bring about some sort of pain or suffering in my life because they stem from the fact that I am not accepting things just as they are. So how can I do better?

Well, I think Eckhart Tolle would say that I should focus on living in the present moment because the present moment is really all that we have. (But what if the present moment really sucks? Let’s be honest, sometimes it does. But for the purposes of this post I am just talking about when we make it harder on ourselves than necessary. Which for me is a lot.)  Sometimes I focus on my breath and try to really notice what is around me. One way I can do this is by taking inventory of various things I can hear, see and feel right at that moment. But really living and staying in the present moment is difficult. My mind often wanders to worries about the past or future. And that’s okay. If I can live some in the present moment each day I am making progress.  After all I am a Type A control freak (see paragraph 1 re issues with letting go).

And speaking of being a Type A control freak, I went for my first post-appendectomy run today. An easy 3 mile run/walk on one of my favorite trails with my dog. It was a beautiful run in fall-like weather. My legs wanted to go, go, go! They were saying, “Hey, have we been tapering? Let’s race!” My core on the other hand was saying, “What the heck are you doing?! Get back on the couch and let’s watch some more football!” It felt like a weak, achy, unparticipating blob. But at least it’s a start. And now the rebuilding process begins. Hopefully I will emerge even stronger, both physically and mentally.

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