Professor & patients' paper on the solvable biological challenge of ME/CFS: reader-friendly version
Simon McGrath provides a patient-friendly version of a peer-reviewed paper which highlights some of the most promising biomedical research on ME/CFS ...
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Article: Be-ing and Accepting (Quality of Life Blogs #2)

Discussion in 'Phoenix Rising Articles' started by Phoenix Rising Team, Jan 22, 2011.

  1. Phoenix Rising Team

    Phoenix Rising Team

  2. Kelvin Lord

    Kelvin Lord Ampligen Journalist

    First of all, thanks for the laugh.
    "I accept that I can't accept that and move on."
    Priceless, Cort.

    Second- this is really great writing, and worth chewing on more than once. I read this second chapter in your Quality of Life blogs twice last night, and again this morning, and I keep finding things I relate to. I also find things that I know I don't fully understand or have down...yet. But I am really enjoying this journey you've started documenting.

    I also found myself this morning putting into practice a taste of your philosophy. I wasn't thinking about your blog when this happened - I was at the gym working out and my back was sore. For whatever reason, near the cable set I was using were no less than 4 guys, all around my age, looking seriously fit. They all took turns at the bench press doing like a 325 warm ups! My first thought in my head was "crap, I remember when I could do some real weight on the bench press." But no sooner had that sort of selfish, self-pitying thought entered my brain, than your alternative perspective followed it!

    I said to myself "What the heck am I complaining about? I'm at the gym, I'm working out. So what I can't do what I used to do. I accept that. I'm going to enjoy what I can do."

    And you know what? It worked.
    I didn't have any negative thinking the rest of my time at the gym.
    And amazingly, my back stopped hurting quite as much.

    The Bible says "As a man thinketh, so is he."
    You may have something here.
  3. Nielk


    I too enjoyed reading your blog.
    It is so well written with many lessons in it.

    "Those things I couldn’t accept -I accepted that I couldn’t accept them…."
    Reminds me of the serenity prayer that is said at all 12 step meetings. To accept the things that we cannot change.
    It's an integral part of healing but, not an easy feat.

    Thinking positively will always bring positive things in your life.

    The test is being able to do it while one is so ill and in pain.

    Thank you for your calming words of wisdom!
  4. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

    Thanks Kelvin, I find doing these types of things as a daily practice sometimes surprisingly helpful particularly with small pains. I was driving around and feeling fatigued and I was just was too early to be that tired and I was behind...and I remembered to accept my fatigue....and my head stopped hurting....I was still fatigued but I was relaxed fatigued......It was really kind of shocking - a real head turner. My body settled down....I was OK with it.

    Which was a good thing - because my body was fatigued...the best I could do with that situation was accept it....I could not accept it as well but that just made me upset and started to give me a little headache.

    What has been explained to me is that we are born into a set of conversations - many of which are not, shall we say very helpful...One of them is the right/wrong which we assess everything in terms of whether it's right or good or wrong or bad......which is a really problematic way to see things when you bump against something that's 'wrong'; which, of course, happens so so much when you are chronically ill.

    Hence the idea to try out the accept/not accept dynamic....Acceptance is a distinction we can bring to things. Am I accepting or not accepting? I find that an interesting question to be in during the day.

    What you let be allows you to be

    Glad to hear you were at the gym Congratulations :thumbsup:
  5. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

    Hi Cort - I've also been following your blog on this with great interest because I'm also trying to start meditation and am about to start again, after a long interruption. I'm curious about whether you're following a particular book or something to decide how to proceed. I'm about to start John Kabat-Zinn's programme as described in "Full Catastrophe Living" - I find I need a structure and a map.
  6. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

    N. California
    Hey Cort,

    I really enjoyed this article. Thanks for writing it.

    I have done a lot of inner work during my 3 decades with this illness, and have often often found that acceptance is the key to freedom, at least on the emotional level. I always have to ask myself, though, "Am I willing to accept this," and the key word really is WILLING... whatever it may be. When I am not willing, then I try go with the flow of non-acceptance. I paint cathartic paintings of my illness, or get in the bathtub and wail as loud as I can. After that I usually feel some relief.
  7. wciarci

    wciarci Wenderella

    Very interesting and enlightening post. I have struggled finding the me without the action, the doing. Me, self, exists as it always was, but have to find and connect to it again. We in the West so often define ourselves by action and when action and accomplishments disappear, we are lost, for a while. Yet, the action part of me was not me, per se, but applied to me. As a child I was called spacey. Able to zone out and become absorbed in the smallest parts of things, without doing anything. That is the me I am trying to find again. Funny, to have found this, just after starting meditation again and yoga which is new and reading about Ramana Harashi. The lattice of coincidence. All is as it should be.


  8. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

    Sasha I am doing alot of work from the Landmark Forum and integrating that into other books I am reading. The kind of practice I'm doing relies less on meditation and more on being mindful as I go through out my daily life. Some of its is quite 'active' in a way that other practices are not. Right now its a mishmash but I am going to start using a book to guide it - either "Buddha's Brain" or "How to Be Sick".

    I agree a structure or map is best!
  9. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

    Yes, If I can't accept something then I accept that I can't accept it. I actually tell myself - and then I see if I can move on...Accepting that you can't accept something puts it in the context of acceptance/not accepting; that is, just be doing that you deplete it of some of its power. In any case I am treating it differently - instead of treating it this 'horrible thing' I am treating it as something I can or cannot accept. Essentially I'm redefining my relationship to it....which I think, in my early stages of understanding this work, is key.

    I remember one Taoist teacher say that one way to reach acceptance with something you can't accept is just 'be it' as much as possible; thus if you're angry then be really angry for a moment and then just drop it. This could be kind of dangerous if you keep promoting anger but you have to come to terms with and acknowledge anything anyway - you have to give it recognition; its in the denying it or in the identifying with it that the problems start.
  10. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

    Thanks. I would have to say that with ME/CFS 'doing' defined me, as odd as that sounds - because when I tried to rest - it seemed like I was still 'doing'..I was almost always 'doing'... Ironically the fact that I rebelled against this constant 'doing', this constant turmoil, was actually a problem.

    One of the things I am exploring right now is a different kind of accepting called 'choosing'. With 'choosing" I choose everything that is happening to me. If a pain comes up I choose it....I choose to have it! If I am stuck I 'choose' to be stuck...If I am fearful - I consciously choose to be fearful............This is the more 'active' aspect I referred to in an earlier comment.

    It actually works....the fear can disappear...the pain can lessen, even disappear....its interesting stuff.

    Of course it takes practice.
  11. ixchelkali

    ixchelkali Senior Member

    Long Beach, CA
    Toni Bernhard (author of How to Be Sick) was on NPR's Morning Edition talking about some of the things she has done to arrive at a state of acceptence and be-ing with her illness. You can listen or read it at I found her book useful, as she talks about many of the issues I've struggled with.

    I think I need to start to work on that mudita (cultivating joy in the joy of others) that Toni talks about on NPR. I do okay with friends and family, but sometimes when I look out the window and see an eldery person out taking a walk for pleasure or exercise, I feel a real stab of envy. I so wish I could do that. It's not an enjoyable feeling, and it would be nice if I could get to the place where I could simply be happy for them. When kids are out running around the neighborhood, I can enjoy their exhuberance, but when it's someone in their 70's or 80's, I am flat out jealous.
  12. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

    I am the same way - I hate getting passed up by old ladies....Thanks for the interview link - I'll check it out.

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