You are in a rush and have to quick pick up a few things at the store before picking up the kids, making it on time to spin, or trying not to be late for your happy hour with friends. As you wait in line, the woman in front of you decides to write a check ... and she writes really, really slow. After she carefully tears the check off, she slowly puts her wallet back in her purse...and looks for her keys... while carrying on a lengthy conversation about the price of bananas with the clerk.
At this point, would you say you might be a wee bit stressed?
Stress happens in big and little ways throughout the day and let's face it... what results is this essence of "suffering." When I say suffering, it means our blood pressure is elevated, we feel anxious, and sometimes we're ready to have a hissy fit.
My question is this: What does all this "fussing" accomplish and how can we step away from the suffering it creates?
One word... Acceptance.
I recently participated in a ten-week program Eckhart Tolle presented with Oprah on his book, A New Earth. In it, he dives into this idea of the three modes we are capable of staying in the majority of the time:
He claims whenever we are not in one of these spaces, we are in essence suffering.
For example, you have a flat tire. Of course this wouldn't put you into a state of enjoyment or enthusiasm... but could you make the choice to step into the space of acceptance?
I tried it out for one week straight and I have to tell you it was transformative. My alter ego, Frantic Franny (aka- impatient, frazzled, hurrying, scurrying, and a "Whirling Dervish") went on vacation. Not kidding!
When I began seeing situations that normally would put me over the edge as opportunities to try this "acceptance" idea out... a sense of peace enveloped my being and life become much more peaceful. Not only did this pleasantly surprise me but also the people in my life were the happy recipients of my more serene energy.
So try it for a few days and see what happens. At the grocery store with the checkbook lady in front of you, driving in the car when someone cuts you off, or your handling your insane workload at the office.
Our thoughts and the energy we put out to the world every day really is a choice. It's not always easy, but the simple act of accepting the present moment and "controlling what we can control" is an invitation to peace, serenity, and joy.