The 4th Universal Power
THE POWER TO ACCOMMODATE and ADJUST
Release the idea of what should be happening, deal with ‘what is’ ….
In this series of the Eight Universal Powers from the Brahma Kumaris, the fourth is the Power to Accommodate and to Adjust.
The first, the Power to Withdraw, provides an understanding of the exhilaration of ceasing to blame others and taking full responsibility for whatever the outcome maybe. The second, the Power to Pack Up, explains how there is no need to carry the burden of thousands of thoughts about others……”In a second you can pack up all unnecessary thinking about the past, present and future and remain positive, light-hearted and free of burdens and worries.” The third, the Power of Understanding, shows that spiritual tolerance cultivates innate wisdom, the kind that cannot be found in any literature.
Now the fourth universal power, the Power to Accommodate and Adjust, illustrates what it means to ‘accommodate’ people and situations in your life from a more spiritual perspective.
Have you ever really wanted something and then become very frustrated when things don’t work out as you'd hoped? For instance, if you didn’t get the job you wanted or the relationship you thought would change everything or the course of study that you thought would make many improvements to your life? If you find yourself ruled by these ‘would haves’ and ’should haves’, it's time to embrace the Power of Accommodation.
It is the ability to accept whatever has happened, to merge it in your reservoir of experiences and move on. As this is often easier said than done, I decided to find out how it practically works from those who've made choices to activate their inner powers on a daily basis. This led me to visit the Brahma Kumaris Global Retreat Centre just outside Oxford. The people who live there practise Raja Yoga meditation. One, a resident for 16 years, commented, "Living in a group is a challenge. If you've been married, you may know the challenges of living with just one person. Amplify that by 25! Accommodation Power is essential in relationships to understand, respect and blend in with personalities and different types of individuals."
In everyday life we are faced with relationships and situations that challenge our ability to remain peaceful. If we try to control them by forcing our will, we end up frustrated and unhappy and make others unhappy. Alternatively, if the relationship or situation is ‘accommodated’ and not forced, the result will be positive and powerful. Brigitte who is part of the team at the Centre’s reception says, "If I've fixed ideas, I can't ‘accommodate’ because I'll reject anything that doesn't fit in with my preconceptions. You need to have a big heart and stretch yourself internally to accept people or situations as they are and to work with that." Such a behavioural response seemingly comes from an awareness of the self as a spiritual being with innate positive qualities of love, peace, harmony and respect.
In a picture at the Centre of the Eight Powers, the one that relates to the Power to Accommodate shows rivers merging into the sea. As the rivers empty into the ocean, the ocean accepts what each of the rivers brings with it. Neville, an author and journalist points out, "One way to ‘accommodate’ is to broaden the context of whatever has happened. This can make you feel less reactive. I can respond differently to the knocks that come my way when I clear my mind and understand that there's no point wasting energy and thoughts about what has happened. Resistance to what's happened is futile, it just hurts you."
However, it is apparent that if this is taken too far, a person could become expert at people pleasing, ‘accommodating’ anything and everything. Neville points out, "We also learn about the Power to Face. This is a balancing power to use in situations where you have to stand up against something that is wrong. All the powers work together. When you use one, they all begin to work better because they're connected and they stem from the same inner strength”. (There will be more about the Power to Face in another issue.)
Matthew uses his experience of Hatha Yoga* and Martial Arts to explain that ‘accommodating’ is part of the experience of flowing. "It's about not being rigid. Martial Arts teaches you to manoeuvre, to allow yourself not to lose power and at the same time not to be in a position where you're challenged or compromised in such a way that you can't recover. Managing to ‘accommodate’ in that sense, I allow things to flow rather than to oppose them. I adapt to circumstances and manoeuvre rather than go head on into a situation."
As I leave the Centre, I meet Brigitte at reception going through accommodation lists. She catches my attention with her shining eyes, "I realise that we use this word 'accommodation' to fit in all the people who come here. You accommodate to a certain capacity and then when there's extra, you fit them in. I feel that when you have the real Power to Accommodate you're not constantly resisting what is happening around you." I raise my eyebrows and she continues, "If there's no resistance and I allow things to be as they are without wanting to change them, people and situations start to co-operate with me. Ultimately, if I want my life to be easy, I have no choice – I have to realise where I placed limitations and move beyond them."
As I leave Oxford and the Brahma Kumaris Global Retreat Centre, I decide to experiment with the Power to Accommodate and allow my thoughts to flow to future situations where I shan’t place any limitations and allow myself to manoeuvre and already I can feel myself becoming more peaceful with the just the thought of not resisting.
In short, to accommodate is to be open to the ideas, desires, actions and presence of others whilst staying true to my authentic self. How far can my capacity expand? How many can I find room for in my house and in my heart? Accepting and adapting to circumstances and making the most of what I have is a practical application of accommodation. To accommodate is to merge the past and be alive to the present.
Virtues to practise with the power to adjust and accommodate