Breathing Through

A couple months ago I bought the book Radical Acceptance on a whim. It addresses issues from a Buddhist psychologist's perspective and I have found it immensely helpful. I pretty much just read it while I'm doing laundry. The result is easily digestible snippets that leave me plenty of food for thought.

And you know how I like food.

I'm about half-way through it now, and it has helped with a lot of reframing of issues, and in a couple instances helped me put the pieces together. It can be difficult to do this kind of deep work without the help of a therapist or counselor. Sure, you can dig up the crap, but then what? This book has given me tools and ideas on how to move forward now that I've done the digging and uncovered the problems.

One of her basic ideas is "The Pause". You find yourself triggered and falling back on old responses. What do you do? Pause. Take yourself out of the situation, if only for a moment. Notice. Accept. Now... how would you prefer to respond to change the story?

For me, it has been a combination of deep breaths and mentally saying "this too." It's happening. You see it's happening. It's okay. This too. 

Deep breathing, saying "this too" and simple acceptance helped me get through my taxes yesterday what can only be described as the most painless tax session since I used to pay someone else to do them. Deep breaths, accepting what is. I got them done quicker and easier than pretty much ever.

Plus, I promised myself a Cadbury's Creme Egg when I got through it. 

Lately, whenever I find myself stressing about something (this morning, the hoops I'm going to have to jump through in order to renew my driver's license), I take a deep breath. And another. And another. I'll get through it. I have a long track record of getting through it. 

Yeah, I got this. 


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