Thoughts on Life: Resistance versus Acceptance – Fighting versus Flowing

it is what it isFIGHTING VERSUS FLOWING

RESISTANCE VERSUS ACCEPTANCE 

I was on the final 15 minutes of my hour spin bike workout, doing intervals.  There’s a point of non-resistance that has to be reached to get through those final intervals when the legs are burning and the level of fatigue makes you want to resist.  A coach once said, “Your legs should be burning–let ’em”.

There’s a point where you have to give up and surrender the battle to get the last few sets of intervals done successfully.

It’s acceptance.  The lungs are on fire and so are the legs and you’re pushing through to the end but if you fight this or resist it, you just can’t do it–you quit.

Today I thought about how this is just like life.  I mean, on the bike you accept it,  the “what is” of legs burning and the like and if you accept then the work is so much easier and you’re less likely to give up.  Or said another way what you ‘do’ give up is the resistance to ‘what is’–the burn or breathlessness or whatever.

When you give up the resistance and let the mind participate with the body, allowing the merging and accepting the fact that ‘yeah, it’s what it is, until it isn’t anymore’, THAT is so liberating, especially in those final moments.

Those hour long interval workouts are like the last moments of a race.  What really counts is what you do at the end when you have to dig deep and get to the finish line, especially when total exhaustion is so close.

When life becomes a crisis in some way and let’s face it, life presents challenges and if we deny this we are not living on this planet I think.  At those times do we surrender? Or do we fight it? Do we want to deny what’s happening and thereby struggle against it?

We make life harder for ourselves if we struggle.  I make the last 15 minutes of my workout harder if I struggle against.

This applies across the board or that’s my position in writing this.  No matter what life presents us with at any given time (and sometimes life is like those last 15 minutes of an hour long interval workout at the gym–rough!)…. point is that if we feel like we have to battle it or take a position of struggling against it, we find it’s all so much harder.

So many times in life we think something shouldn’t be what it is.

We deny reality or fight against how things ‘are’ and use all kinds of tactics to deny reality somehow.  It’s exhausting.

We can make this comparison with the Christian way of thinking about life being a struggle against a devil and having to fight the evil–this kind of mentality.

Another way of thinking is to simply not think–but what I really mean is allowing whatever ‘it is’ to be what ‘it is’ without the judgment.

Judgment is the christian way of dealing with life I think which comes from an idea of an ideal perfected state that we all must strive for but know we will never achieve (because they tell us that in their dogma), rather than the opposite which is giving up that fight and becoming free.

Does that mean that we don’t try to be better humans or that we stop doing our best?  That’s not what I’m saying.  

I’m talking about not beating one’s self up because of ‘what is’ or what isn’t during any given moment.  I’m writing here about not struggling against it or making the self wrong somehow in the process.

The last 15 minutes of intervals my legs burn and I’m breathless–it’s part of life at that moment and I accept that and don’t fight against it or resist it.

When anything in happens in life, I can draw from that ability to accept what is actually happening without judgment or without making myself or Life Itself wrong.  It is, after all, what is.

When my legs are burning, I don’t attach to the feeling–I let them burn.

When I’m right on the edge of breathlessness, I let it be and don’t fight against the feeling.

If I grunt or groan or tense my muscles or make a face, it’s only making it harder to simply flow with ‘what is’ in that moment.  Life is like that.  Life ‘is’ and there’s a certain amount of being okay with it and not judging it but simply noticing it that is very freeing, liberating.

Someone thinks a lot during meditation time.  No need to fight that.  Simply notice it without assigning a meaning or beating self up in any way.

Someone feels angry.  I’m not saying to act the anger out and of course we shouldn’t totally repress it but one way to handle it is to notice it as simply being ‘what is’ in that moment.  Or maybe for the whole day the feeling is there.  In noticing it one is standing outside of it and this juxtaposition is causing separation from it emotionally.

Just like “the leg’s are burning, let ’em” that happen during my workout.  It is what is and nothing last forever!  ‘It is’ until it isn’t anymore and the less we can attach to it and the more we simply notice it without emotion or resistance, the realization comes clearly that nothing last forever.  That’s the nature of reality:  impermanence.

And impermanence is a blessing.

Acceptance of ‘what is’ in any moment is liberating and elevating.

Judgment of what is in any moment is attachment and suffering.

That’s one difference between Christianity and Buddhism although there are many good similarities as we all know.

Acceptance is surrender and surrender is Divine!

Just my two cents, hoping to have expressed this in a way that’s understandable.

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Regular Deck of Playing Cards Give Cartomancy Reading – Cartomancy versus Tarot – Past, Present, Future Reading of Elbow Question

This is an experiment with using a regular deck of playing cards for purposes of divination.  I have a single question/issue here.  I’ve never used playing cards to do a reading with before, but there’s a first time for everything!  I don’t have much time today, so this will have to be a quickie! 

Here’s a past, present and future 3-card spread.  We should be able to get ‘down and dirty’ with that one since time is an issue today.  I was going through some papers that I need to file while looking for something and came across a little hand-out that I received from a class in “Cartomancy”.

Okay, so let me think of a question or issue…  something that has been on my mind lately has been my right arm/elbow.  It started to hurt last summer after marathon weed pulling and yard work type gardening sessions. I’m sure pulling on my lawn mower didn’t help either but I’ve mowed my own lawn for many years now.  I’ve never really recovered and while taking up yoga recently while holding some postures, I see that my right arm is noticeably weaker as compared to the left. 

I know that the subconscious mind and higher mind know what’s been going on with that elbow.  I just need to bring it to my conscience mind—thus, divination!

Let’s try this method for fun and see what additional insights about this elbow we can gain using the cards to bring forth information about the past, the present and the future of this elbow.  I guess my greatest concern would be around being able to regain the strength in the right arm and elbow again.

So, let the shuffle begin…. 3 cards… past, present, future.  Ha!  Just remembered that I need to take the joker out of the deck before I do the shuffle…. Here we go. 

Past:  9 of Spades

Well the first thing I’m thinking of has to do with how yard work relates to the gardening tool, a spade.  And YIKE, 9 relates (via numerology) to a transition, death, ending, permanent change.  Spades are used for digging in the garden.  Well, I pick up my card and look at what I wrote on the 9 of spades card itself.  On the card I wrote, “warning, papers, accidents”.  Does this mean that I had a warning and did not heed it and thus had an accident?  Gosh, I do remember it hurting like blazes at first, nearly like a muscle pull.  On the hand out paper it says, “Bad luck in all things, depression and low energy, destruction, deaths, extreme anxiety.”  Well, that’s pretty negative!  Isn’t it?   I don’t think that I need to go much further; after all, I already know the past.  I’m going to go with “a bad luck accident” in my interpretation.  I may look at the tarot suit of swords as a comparison.  The 9 of Swords in tarot is about worrying too much—that’s one interpretation that I’d give it.  One insight I’d give here to myself here is that my worry about the elbow (I did fret about it quite a lot because it has been limiting—hurting with nearly every moVement) may have prolonged my suffering.  Too much fretting kept the pain going perhaps.   Okay, let’s look at the present. 

Present:  8 of Diamonds

Okay, my first impression in just turning over this card was positive.  The red color of the diamonds is energizing and 8 is a strength number and indicate success.  And my elbow is getting better; it hurts less with activities since the start of spring and warmer weather.  I am strengthening it with Yoga which it seems to agree with more than with pulleys or free weights.  The yoga exercises are “closed chain” (physical therapy lingo from my days as a physical therapist) and the elbow and arm are responding slowly but I do see progress which is encouraging.  So, the 8 of diamonds could be indicating the success in the present.  Diamonds in playing cards relates to the suit of Pentacles (Coins) in the Tarot divination system.  Earth, earthy, materiality –that’s the archetype.  Hands on earth with yoga postures—that’s one way to interpret the earthiness of the suit of diamonds here and the numerological 8 which relates to strength and success adds to the interpretation.  I think the 8 of Diamonds, thus far, confirms what I already know and that is that what I am doing about the issue/problem/question about the elbow is positive.  But now, let’s look at what I wrote on this card in the cartomancy class that I took so very long ago.  Ha!  Well, I wrote “spending money”.  Well, I did buy a new yoga mat to do my yoga outside and a while back an elbow brace.  Let me look at the hand out to see if there’s more but before I do that, what is money? Energy.  So I am spending energy doing yoga.  Hmmmmm.  Honestly, it says “a marriage and travel late in life.  Financial ups and downs.”  I don’t know what marriage would have to do with this—I’m happily and contentedly single.  Ha ha.  I’m going to interpret that “marriage” reference to the marriage of the left and right arm being equal, merging in that respect.    Well, the ups and downs part may be a little message to me that there may still be good days and bad days with this elbow discomfort, but overall the progress is positive.  When we compare the tarot 8 of Pentacles which is the counterpart to the 8 of Diamonds in that system, we see someone working (image of someone working) on the card.  The card is about making efforts and those efforts being rewarded.  Sounds good so far.  Now, the future prediction… shall we go there?  Remember, I want to know if this arm is ever going to be good as new or at least back to the non-injured state (if not better than it was to start with).

Future:  10 of Diamonds

Okay, so here we have another coin or earth card.  I think of 10 as a successful number.  We always hear, “On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the best…etc.”  So far, so good I think.  On the card I wrote, “small money”.  Hmmmmmmm.  Maybe this means that I will always have to maintain some (albeit small) effort to keep that arm in shape and pain-free.  Yet, on the other hand what the hand-out says about the 10 of Diamonds is this:  Money and travel highlighted.  Fortunate changes.  Well, yay! Sounds good to me!  Fortunate change is exactly what I wanted to hear and now I can hold a vision of this arm being pain-free and strong.  In the Tarot divination system, the 10 of Pentacles is one my favorite cards.  I would especially love it to come up when I asked about money in the future. 

And, that’s that.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m way overdue for my daily yoga session. However, I will do my work out today with renewed hope and increased optimism!   

I learned a little bit about cartomancy by doing this reading; I hope you did too.