For years I struggled to find the peace I really wanted.
You know the dream:
And the to live every moment without being distracted by the past or the future.
During that time, I lived with anxiety, insomnia and way too much useless thinking going on in my head. It was never easy.
One of the reasons I was never truly at peace was because of one recurring problem: I couldn’t learn to “accept” where I was without wishing it were different.
Because avoiding and fighting against what is happening inside you only makes it worse.
Unfortunately, acceptance is also really hard to cultivate. We’re practically wired to not accept the moment if it’s not 100% comfortable.
So, what can we do?
What helped me was coming across Japanese Buddhist master Miyamoto Mushashi’s 21 rules of life.
Known as Japan’s greatest ever swordsman, he wrote these 21 rules 2 weeks before his death.
Each rule teaches you to accept your circumstances in life, detach from outside forces you can’t control and be comfortable with who you are.
I find these rules powerful because the only way to cultivate acceptance is through continued practice in your actions and your attitude. The two things we actually have control over.
And these rules give you the necessary guidelines to do just that.
It might take months to rewire your brain, but it’s well worth it.
Check them out:
1. Accept everything just the way it is.
Acceptance is perhaps the most important attitude to overcome mental challenges in life.
It’s a state of mind. There’s no destination or goal with acceptance. It’s simply the process of exercising the mind to be tolerant of anything life throws at us.
Why is it powerful?
Because instead of fighting against negative emotions like anxiety and stress, you’re actually accepting them the way they are. You’re not bitter, and you’re not creating more negativity out of your negativity.
Through acceptance you pave the path for negative emotions like anxiety to become less powerful. You’re not fighting against them and making them worse.
But to be clear: Acceptance is not the following: It’s not indifference or apathy. It does not involve giving up or not trying. It’s simply about accepting things without judging them.
It is what it is. Whatever happens happens. It’s about being patient and allowing the natural flow of things to take place.