Have you heard of the term radical acceptance before? In a nutshell, radical acceptance is a distress tolerance skill designed to keep pain from turning into suffering by accepting the facts rather than fighting them. In other words, it is what it is. By radically accepting things out of our control, we prevent ourselves from becoming stuck in unhappiness, bitterness, anger, and sadness.
Last year Chartered Client and retired psychologist Patricia O’Hare wrote an article for Inflight about radical acceptance; however, it was something she had to really put into practice recently when her husband, Kevin, fell ill. Kevin went from working as a doctor, something he loved doing, to being unable to work in a very short time. Overnight their lives turned upside down.
Patricia admits that there have been moments of self-pity, and it’s easy to forget radical acceptance, but when this happens, she reminds herself about the importance of mindfulness by maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of her thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and surrounding environment.
There are also things she does daily and weekly that keep her grounded and mindful – these are her tips:
Patricia is a qualified Kundalini yoga teacher. Kundalini yoga is a form of yoga that involves chanting, singing, breathing exercises, and repetitive poses. She teaches several classes a week.
(Don’t be afraid to try yoga, you can start slow and build up – so no, it’s never too late to start.)
In the evening, while exercising, she listens to podcasts. She has always been a huge fan of music, and while she still loves it, she has found recently that podcasts make her reflective and give her things to ponder. She is particularly enjoying Oprah’s Super Soul podcasts and Brene Brown’s Unlocking Us.
(There are endless free podcasts on Spotify; best of all, Spotify works on Android and Apple products.)
Connecting with nature
Few things are as good for the soul as spending time in nature. When spending time at their home in Zimbali, Patricia goes for long walks daily, often off the beaten track, but this connection to nature keeps her grounded and gives her strength to face the uncertainty in her life.
What do you do to remain grounded in times of uncertainty? We would love to hear your tips to share them with all our clients.