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Mindful ActivityThe Power of Acceptance

The Power of Acceptance

When things feel tough, acceptance can actually help you find your next best step. Joy Ofodu breaks down the difference between acceptance and approval—and offers an exercise to help you acknowledge how your mind and body are showing up today.

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Joy here. Thanks for joining me today. Today I wanna talk about the difference between acceptance and approval. Many of us think of acceptance as approval. We think by accepting something, we're saying "I'm okay with this", or "I give up". But I'm here to tell you that's not true. We can be honest and accept things as they are and still not be okay with them. When we do this, it helps us validate our own feelings. It helps us ease our own self blame or shame. And it creates room for us to actually make a change. Acceptance means letting go of what's beyond your control and recognizing all that you can do for yourself. Here's an example. Maybe someone makes a comment that rubs you the wrong way. You can accept that the comment felt hurtful, and you can accept that you can't control how other people think or act around you. But then you can think about how you want to create a change. You can set boundaries with this person or have an honest conversation, or find healthy ways to soothe yourself after this experience. Acceptance lets us recognize what really is, whether it's a situation or our own feelings, and once we do that, we can take action to create what we want it to be. So let's practice acceptance right now together through meditation. Find yourself in a comfy position. Gently close your eyes if you can. Start by taking some deep breaths. In and out. In and out. Take the next couple deep breaths on your own, trying to make them longer and slower. All right, let's start by checking in with your feelings. I'll give you some time to sit with your thoughts, noticing any feelings that come up, any thoughts, negative or positive. This is a practice of acceptance because we have to start by accepting what's in our own minds. Acceptance from within. When you find yourself asking "why am I thinking about that?" or "I shouldn't feel this way", or anything similar, notice that you might find yourself judging your own thoughts. We all do. It's human. The key is noticing that self judgment and letting it go, accepting your mind and spirit exactly as it is right now. So I'll give you some time and you'll try it on your own. All right. Start to bring your attention back to my voice. How did that moment with yourself feel? Was it hard to sit with your thoughts without judgment? Was it easy? Either way, you've just practiced flexing that muscle of acceptance within your mind. Next, we'll move on to the rest of your body. To practice acceptance, we'll do a body scan meditation. That means moving your attention to different parts of your body and staying tuned in to every little sensation. And instead of judging yourself and what you find, we'll practice acceptance instead. Let's take another deep breath before we begin, breathing in and...


TypeMindful Activity
Duration11 min

About your teachers

  • A former Buddhist monk, Andy has guided people in meditation and mindfulness for 20 years. In his mission to make these practices accessible to all, he co-created the Headspace app in 2010.

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  • Eve is a mindfulness teacher, overseeing Headspace’s meditation curriculum. She is passionate about sharing meditation to help others feel less stressed and experience more compassion in their lives.

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  • As a meditation teacher, Dora encourages others to live, breathe, and be with the fullness of their experiences. She loves meditation’s power to create community and bring clarity to people’s minds.

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  • Kessonga has been an acupuncturists, therapist, and meditation teacher, working to bring mindfulness to the diverse populations of the world.

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  • Rosie Acosta has studied yoga and mindfulness for more than 20 years and taught for over a decade. Rosie’s mission is to help others overcome adversity and experience radical love.

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