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  • Writer's pictureSusannah Castro

Thoughts on radical acceptance from a holistic perspective.

Radical acceptance is a mindfulness practice that assists us in turning our mind away from ruminating on the past, worrying about the future, and “doing battle” with experiences that are outside of our control.

When practicing radical acceptance we are not condoning unacceptable events or behavior. We are simply acknowledging that there are unpleasant and painful realities in life that occur which we cannot change.

This may be because they have already happened, or because life itself has many aspects that are unpredictable.

For example, we cannot control the weather or other people’s behavior. We cannot go back in time and change what has already happened (even if we desperately wish we could). Radical acceptance brings your focus back into the now with intention. From here, in each moment, we choose to experience our lives consciously.

How to practice radical acceptance.

Take a few grounding breaths and relax any tension in your body. Observe your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations.

Notice where you feel resistance in your thoughts and emotions. This may arise first as physical sensations such as shallow breathing, clenched hands, or tension in your neck, jaw, shoulders.

Connect with the feelings you’re experiencing and acknowledge them with love. Are you sad? Angry? Ashamed? Scared? Allow yourself to feel your emotions without judgement.

Notice the thoughts connected to the emotions.

What are you angry about? What are you scared of? What are you ashamed of? What loss are you grieving?

Notice thoughts such as, “if only I had…”, “I should have…”, “what if…”, “how could they…”.

Allow yourself to connect to those thoughts from a place of factual observation and notice when they are networked to things you cannot change or control.

Acknowledge that your feelings are valid and that still does not change the facts.

Remind yourself that you cannot change the past, control other people’s choices, or control future events.

Accept this completely and bring yourself into the now.

Release any strong emotions somatically.

This is a mindfulness practice that can be integrated into all realms of your life to assist with healing from the past and stepping into the future from an intentional and authentic place.

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