How Radical Acceptance and Simple Shadow Work Can Ease Everything

I first came across the idea of Radical Acceptance about 15 years ago (when I wrote this feature, including an interview with Tara Brach, for Natural Health magazine) and it changed my life.

That being said, I’m a human.

I often forget.

My inner Judgy McJudgeface comes out (even though I don’t usually act on it) and I cause myself suffering by thinking that things – anything – or people – anyone – ‘should’ be doing something different.

If you’d like to find more peace and ease, I recommend reading the interview and feature linked to above.

You might also find the EFT Tap Along (I’ve done my best to keep it as non-judgmental as possible but I’m human and may have slipped up a few times!) in the video helpful.

It’s not all love and light

Back in 2001, when I started doing this kind of work and wanted to radiate love and light at all times (pressure!), I quickly (doh) realised that no one and nothing is one thing.

The idea is to be as accepting of our whole selves as we possibly can.

There’s enormous richness in accepting and integrating our shadows.

We’re then better able to be loving and accepting of others. We might still project our own stuff out there onto others but we’re more likely to notice it and dial it back.

Shadow work 101

If you’re interested in doing this, think of a person, any person (or group of people).

What REALLLLLLLLY really reaaaaaaallly annoys you about them.

What can you just not STAND about them?

You might want to make a list or talk aloud or simply think it.



With as much curiosity and self compassion as you can muster, can you think about the qualities you like least in them and be honest with yourself about the times you recognise those same traits in yourself?

How does that feel?

A big one for me is entitlement. Especially when exhibited by people in traditionally powerful groups.

When I get up on my inner soap box about it and my inner Judgy McJudgeface is having a field day judging them, I might not WANT to look at the ways in which I’m being or wanting to be entitled myself but when I DO, everything shifts.

Because I know WHY I do and feel things the way I do and feel them, it gives me a little more empathy and understanding around why and how others might be doing whatever THEY’re doing.

You might want to journal around your feelings and then tap on it. You might even want to write it on loo roll and release it by flushing it away.

As with everything, this is a practice but it’s really helpful for enabling us to reduce the charge around heated issues, own our own stuff and contribute – in a teeny tiny but imagine if EVERYONE did their bit – to a more peaceful planet.

We can disagree without being disagreeable

This isn’t about having everyone think in one way but coming at conversations with an open heart.

With love.

We are wired to thrive when we feel loved, safe and welcome This is totally normal and understanding the way we humans (yup, all of us) have been wired for so much of our time on the planet can help us be more understanding and accepting of ourselves and others when our stress responses are triggered and we’re acting out from a place of fear rather than from love.

Accepting ourselves and others isn’t about tolerating abusive (towards anyone) behaviour.

It’s about not wasting energy by denying reality and instead connecting with the highest, wisest, most empowered and most miraculous part of ourself so we can, speak our truth in a loving, accepting way.

Metta (Loving Kindness) meditations and Ho’oponopono can also be helpful when it comes to clearing energies and blocks to being more loving and accepting.

These are advanced practices.

Some days, it’s easier than others.

Certain issues are more triggering than others but as long as we’re alive, we’ll have opportunities to keep on practicing and, hopefully, get better at being true to ourselves and expressing that truth in an assertive and loving way while also being understanding and accepting around others.

After writing this, I saw this beautifully simple post online.

I hope you’ve found this blog post helpful. You can read others HERE

With love,

Eve Menezes Cunningham self care coach therapist supervisor

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