Q: "How do we accept where we are at now, when we feel our health is completely unacceptable?"
Please listen to Col's answer in audio format or read the transcript below.
Hello, my dear friend.. This is such a great question because I feel as if this one subject, accepting, changes sooooo many things. It has repercussions far and wide. When we're able to get to this place that you're talking about, this place of acceptance, it really helps in so many different ways.
Of course, I understand the feeling that your health feels unacceptable. I completely understand that. When I was first ... I don't even know what to say... not "first diagnosed" (because it began way before I was first diagnosed), but when I was first experiencing this, first realizing what was going on, or first finding myself in the midst of this experience, I definitely was fighting against it and wanting it to stop, and feeling like this is not okay. So I understand your feeling that. I totally get it.
I guess, being on the other side of that, having come to *mostly* acceptance, not 100% maybe, I have my moments where it feels like too much, and then I go back to acceptance. So it is a practice, but the reason I do this is because I see how much it transforms things when I do. When I accept, it makes such a huge difference in my life.
So, fair warning ... I should have warned you earlier but ... I'm just going to be talking around the subject. I don't have a plan or an outline or anything, instead I'm just going to kind of chat it out and we can see if anything resonates with you. Some things may and some things may not. I know how it is when someone is talking to you from a different space. Like if someone's saying you need to accept something that you feel is unacceptable, it can be easy to dismiss that person, right? But I want you to just hang in there and bear with me for a little bit because I have good intentions, and I am speaking to you from an awareness of the big difference that it makes.
There are so many reasons to choose acceptance. First of all, I noticed ... and I've talked about this before, so forgive me if it sounds repetitive, but I guess it bears repeating ... (That phrase, "it bears repeating," they say that phrase for a reason, right?) ... If you have a good "Why," you're more likely to do something. So that's the reason I'm saying certain things to you, it's to give you a "Why."
I noticed within my own life, how many years it felt like this huge rock, this immovable rock on top of me, right? Doesn't it feel like that sometimes? It was like, when I was resisting it, it just was this rock on top of me, this immovable thing. And it almost felt bigger and stronger because the more I resisted it and the more I was feeling upset about being in that space of feeling all the things that we feel when we have this condition, the bigger it felt, and the harder it felt to move, the more I resisted it.
When I came to a place of acceptance... (which felt a little backwards at first because, why would we want to accept such a thing, right?) ... it actually felt a lot lighter somehow. It still had an intensity at moments, but, overall it was lighter. I realized I had been almost making it more intense by my emotions against it. Does that make sense?
So, knowing this and knowing also that when we're in fight or flight and we're resisting, our immune system can't work the best that it possibly could, because we're putting all of our energy to the over-response. The energy is going to the fight or flight response, and so the energy can't go towards our immune system actually correcting things or to rest-and-digest. So knowing that and knowing that our experience of the condition will feel bigger ... just check in and let me know ... Does it feel like this to you, too, or is it just me? Does it feel as if when you're experiencing something and then you're also resisting it and upset about experiencing it, it feels way bigger and more intense? Does it feel like that to you, too? Has that been your experience?
So knowing this, knowing that we're kind of making it worse for ourselves when we're resisting, we can maybe tip our toe in the water ... tip our toe? ... dip our toe in the water of acceptance. It's something we could just play with, like doing an acceptance experiment. Can you do an acceptance experiment and see what happens when you play with acceptance and see if your experience does feel a little bit less intense?
Here's another thought: Again, this is something that could be so easily rejected if it's coming from someone who doesn't get it, but, see, the thing is, I do get it. I've been there. I've been there, and so another thought is ... Is there anything, anything, anything, anything, anything, any teeny-tiny, itty-bitty, little minuscule thing, that you can ... (oh, these are the words that could be rejected!) ... that could be seen as a blessing, hidden in the mess of this whole experience? Are there little itty-bitty gifts, teeny-tiny, minuscule ones? Can you notice anything like this within your experience? I kinda know that you can (because I know how resourceful you are).
Anything I say that's like, "Yeah, Col, that's old news. I know that already." just bear with me because I'm just talking it out. So can you look for a reason? Not that this is not happening physically, because, of course, you are experiencing this physically. You do have those physical feelings. But can you see any reason that this could be there?
If you picture yourself on a hero's journey, like if you're in a fable, just say you're in a fantasy fable, and it's a story and the hero is going through the woods, and then in the woods they meet a tiger, and the tiger gave them this thing to experience ... Just say it's like in The Wizard of Oz ... they went on this adventure and then the Lion learned he had courage and the Tin Man learned he had the biggest heart. Can you picture a reason in your storybook adventure for this experience, if it were a story? And, when you're feeling these feelings, can you look to that?
My dear friend, I've been talking nearly 10 minutes. Maybe it's time to draw it to a close. "Wrap it up, Col. Wrap it up!" Anyway, I hope there's a teeny, tiny, little grain of sand here that is resonating with you and that we could put down on your big, empty beach and start a whole pile for you to lie down on. I hope there's a little grain. If not, we could talk more.
So your mission this week (if you choose to do it) is to look for things that you're grateful for. You probably do this already, like, "Okay, I need to lie down all the time and I'm grateful that I could look at the trees out my window," or, "I'm grateful for the pillows on my bed that I'm lying down on," or little tiny doses of gratitude and things that you could experience in tandem with the rest of the experience that feels unacceptable.
Can you find little bits and pieces to accept and embrace within the full experience, I wonder? I wonder if you could focus on those, in a mindful way, focus on those ... and let the rest be in tandem with those ... the unacceptable in tandem with the acceptable. Can you find a little crack and crevice in to the acceptance, I wonder? By finding a tiny thing to accept. Or maybe, if you feel ready, you want to jump into full-blown acceptance?
Okay, we'll talk more. But before I go let me leave you with one last little bonus. This has been really super important for me... Any time I'm feeling any sort of suffering, I think to myself, (and it's something that I feel deep down to my core, I've felt it all along or, at least, for a very long time) that I'm on a journey. Nothing is random. I'm experiencing this for a reason. Who knows, maybe part of my reason is you, I'm meant to connect with you. Who knows? There could be a million reasons, right? But I feel like I'm learning, I'm growing, and I'm experiencing these things for my ultimate betterment. Does any of that resonate with you?
That's something that really helps carry me through too, and brings me that acceptance. So maybe there's something, a little thing, that you could think to yourself like that; that you're on a journey and there's a reason for it. Does that help? Let me know if that helps you ... Or something else, maybe you can make up some phrases that will help you. Okay, good luck. Talk more soon. Let me know how you do. Okay, bye now.
Col always says, “Gupta saved my life!”
The decline in Col’s health began with serious lifelong medical illnesses not under the Gupta umbrella. Her stress over these experiences fed right into the cycle Ashok speaks of, creating what she describes as a sort of chronic health PTSD, leading her to develop a number of the conditions that Gupta addresses. She found herself each day for years waking in a state of anxiety and physical pain and then struggling all day long.
Upon beginning Gupta Program, Col realized how many of her thoughts were related to the severity of her health challenges, a virtually constant perseveration. She is now gradually healing layer by layer, one by one removing the Gupta-addressable conditions that had piled on top of her original medical illnesses. She considers this a tremendous blessing!
When anxiety hits, she now has tools to quickly ease it rather than struggling all day long. When symptoms arise, she has learned to float through them without getting upset about it. When thoughts about her condition appear, she addresses them in the moment, rather than allowing them to pile up and intensify into a whirling dervish.
Through daily Gupta retraining and weekly webinars, she continues to learn more and more about how to navigate illness and improve her quality of life. Friends are amazed at how well she now copes with the difficulties she faces and how readily she sees beauty and tunes into peace in tough times. Inspired by her progress, some of them have even joined Gupta Program themselves!
Rather than viewing illness as an enemy, Col sees it as something which is taking her on a journey into the unknown, teaching her essential lessons and bringing her down unexpected new pathways. Despite the daily challenges it brings, it’s led her to rediscover her joy in painting and to practice tapping into inner peace. More than anything, she loves connecting with people on tandem health adventures and finding ways to uplift and inspire each other.
For more about Col and her art, visit: SoulCenteredArt.com With immense love & gratitude, all proceeds from Col’s art go to her ongoing medical treatment fund.