Thursday, October 20, 2011

leaning in

A friend on Facebook shared a post by Alexandra Samuel about the practice of "leaning in" in the context of dealing with one of her kids' ongoing troubles with school:
Instead of the emergency visits that might come at any time, we decided to schedule daily visits to school, so both we and our kids would know when one or the other parent was going to appear. We told the teacher to count on our regular arrival time, and to set aside work we could do to be helpful while we were in the classroom. We opened our calendars, and made a schedule of who would cover which days. We stopped resisting, and decided to lean in.

“Leaning in” is the practice of accepting what you have tried to avoid, resist, or struggle against. As Tara Brach puts it in Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha,
As we lean in, we are inviting, moving toward what we habitually resist. Leaning in allows us to touch directly the quivering, the shakiness, the gripping tightness that is fear. Whether it is a familiar but vague feeling of anxiety or a strong surge of fear, leaning in can help us become aware and free in the midst of our experience.
This post has stayed with me. And in the last few days, I've re-read it many times. I have a few issues in my life that I have been avoiding and the anxiety is mounting, subtly but gradually. Perhaps it is time to lean in.


Lene Andersen said...

ooooh! I like that concept! I have to go think about that some more.

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Nice to know. Leaning in sounds to be helpful for people's better living. Nice thoughts. Thanks for sharing.