5 Ways to Cultivate Acceptance, A letter from Dr. David Simon

david-simon-portrait-printEmbracing the Present

When everything is flowing according to our idea of how things should be, it’s easy to feel in harmony with the rhythms of the universe. When there is a lack of alignment between what we want and how our life is unfolding, we’re more likely to feel disharmony, stress, or frustration. Yet it is our resistance to what is happening in the present moment that intensifies our distress. Whether we’re getting a root canal or finding out that we’ve lost our job, our fear and the frightening stories we tell ourselves about our situation magnify our pain.

The present moment is not always easy to accept, but learning to listen to the sensations in our body and the message they are sending will calm our emotional turbulence and ultimately will enable us to benefit from the experience. The following process can help you let go of resistance and constriction and open to higher states of harmony, creativity, and joy in the present moment:

Accept the present.
Begin by tuning into your body and your environment. Listen to the sounds around you, becoming aware of the hum of a fan, birds singing outside your window, and the sound of your own breath. Become aware of the sensations in your body – the way your feet feel in your shoes, the chair supporting your back, the clothing touching your skin. Bring your attention to the inflow and outflow of air through your nose. Continue observing your breath, allowing it to bring you into the present moment.

Accept the signals of your body.
Now put your attention on the internal sensations in your body. You may feel tightness in your shoulders, aching in your back, or constriction in your throat. Conversely, perhaps you’re feeling lightness in your heart or a sense of connectedness to the earth. Whether the sensations are pleasant or uncomfortable, feel them without resistance. If sadness comes up, welcome it. If anger rises up, allow it to move through your body and release it with the exhalations of your breath.

Accept responsibility.
While sometimes we find ourselves in situations over which we have no apparent control, most of our daily struggles are the consequences of previous choices we have made. Accepting our contribution to the challenge we face can help us see that we are free to make new choices that lead to new possibilities.

Accept change.
Accepting the inevitability of change doesn’t mean that we relinquish our desires or wallow in situations that we can change. Instead, it’s focusing on the present while discovering the freedom to respond creatively.

With deepened awareness, we can make new choices, let go of habits that no longer serve us, and commit to doing something different. Remember, we have control over our choices, but not over the results of our choices. We do our best and watch with curiosity and composure as life unfolds. Connect to your body, accept this moment, know that change is inevitable, and become clear on what you would like to see manifest. Your ability to co-create the next moment requires acceptance of the present.

With love,



  1. So beautifully written, I felt a sense of calm come over me as I read it. Thank You !

  2. Thank you. This is very lovely.

  3. Thank you David,how are you today?I love your letters and I need them.Namasté.

  4. Thank You…A timely reminder to stop, feel, listen in the middle of the chaos….Blessings to you …Namaste’

  5. Thank you so much for sharing this, I have found that whenever I am stressing out it is because I am feeling upset about the past or worrying about the future. I make it a lasting practice to try to stay in the present and remember what a gift it is, thank you for reminding us all. Hope you are doing well. Love Sara Bowdoin-Jones

  6. I am very hopeful of my future. I intend to change the old patterns of my life and I know the universe will respond to that. I really believe that this is so. I am not where I want to be right now but I also know I need to be happy where I am right now in order to change my direction. I am also relying on the Law of Attraction to bring this into my near future. I know I am connecting to my higher self because I am feeling lighter and much happier than ever. All of your words let me know it is so.

  7. Excellent !!!


  8. Thank you for this beautiful message, so simple & so profound. Your wisdom will be missed with so much sadness. I feel the best way to remember & honour you is to try to live your message. God bless you for sharing so much.

  9. This was an exquisite and complete description of the informal practices of mindfulness. However, I’m curious about the lack of mention of the formal sitting practice. As someone who started practicing TM in the early 70s, Soto Zen in the late 70s, and vipassana since the early 80s, I have found that the informal practices you mention need to be reinforced by daily, formal sitting meditation. I am curious if some people are successful in the informal mindfulness practices without formal sitting?

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