Accept and Release

Meditation is sometimes misunderstood as a practise where it is necessary to remove all thoughts from the mind until it is completely clear; however this isn’t quite how it works. Open monitoring meditation encourages the focus on either internal or external sensations, where there is an awareness of the sensations but you don’t react to them. Externals may include the sound of birds singing, a river running and trees blowing in the wind. Mindful meditation or focused-attention meditation on the other hand requires the focus to be on one single thought or sensation – and to bring the attention back to this particular thought whenever the mind wanders. Rather than trying to actively block thoughts from your mind, you gently accept them coming in, then swiftly release them and regain your focus. Meditation has a number of benefits but the key function is to calm the mind.

Apparently this ‘Accept and Release’ (or Accept and Dismiss) strategy is also used in yoga and although I’ve not heard of the term being used in a life coaching context, I think it’s applicable here too when we’re focusing on emotional acceptance. Let me explain…

Coach and Motivational Speaker, Tony Robbins said he’s often asked if he ever gets angry or frustrated and he explained that of course he does! He has access to the full range of human emotions just like everyone else, however he doesn’t let them take hold of him. If he’s angry about something he recognises that but lets it pass quickly, he doesn’t allow it to fester. I think this idea of accepting or acknowledging emotions as they come up is important because we are supposed to experience a breadth of emotions, repressing them isn’t healthy and they can help us to navigate situations, but we should be ready to release them when they are no longer serving us well.

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