How to Accept “What Is” in 4 Simple Steps

roatan, honduras

It’s my first day of vacation in Roatan, Honduras and it’s raining. This is not what I envisioned two weeks ago when I booked my trip from my cold apartment in San Francisco.

I’m eating fresh red snapper overlooking the Caribbean Sea and guests around me are complaining.

I want more food; this isn’t enough!
There was no visibility during my scuba dive.
This weather sucks.

I have two choices: join them or ignore them. I choose to ignore them and accept what is. Here’s how.

1. Breathe.

Conscious breathing allows you to become aware of what’s happening in the present moment.

2. Acknowledge any negative thoughts and emotions.

 It’s important to acknowledge your feelings of disappointment, frustration or anger. You can’t force feelings away, so “invite them in for tea,” as Eckhart Tolle says. This simple act of acknowledgement reduces the power of negative emotions over you.

3. Realize the only thing you can control is yourself.

 It’s easy to let other people influence you, either positively or negatively. You get to choose how others’ words and actions affect your thoughts and actions moving forward. This realization puts you back in control.

4. Practice gratitude.

Once you’ve allowed some space for your negative emotions, find something to be grateful for. Become aware of how much you have and the beauty of life that surrounds you. Gratitude shifts your focus from what your life lacks to the abundance that is already present.

Accepting and being at peace with what is isn’t easy, but it’s a necessary part of happiness. It creates a space for healing. Honoring every thought and emotion allows you to rest and renew. From that relaxed and receptive space, you gain the clarity and strength needed to create a blueprint for a happy, healthy life.

Hopefully the weather is better tomorrow. Meanwhile, I am grateful for delicious fresh fish, a cabana on a stormy beach and a wi-fi connection so I can share this story with you.