Acceptance

the power of being present

 
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Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy.
— Albert Einstein

We are at the midpoint, the center of our exploration for abundant, vibrant energy. As you can see in the illustration in the Executives Guide to Abundant Energy below, acceptance is at the very heart of our circle. Of the 21 paths to self-aware- ness, acceptance is the key that will unlock the very tools you have been working on. It is the key to mastering the warrior within. Through acceptance you will learn to see patterns that others may not see and to identify solutions that come only with clarity, awareness from having faith “in the process”.

 
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Let’s begin this exercise by briefly looking at three scenarios. Visualize if you will, three individuals, each who face a challenge. As an observer, please be aware of the power of perception in the decision making process and pay particular attention to the choice of accepting “what is” or resisting “what is”. Their ability to take “the right action” will be determined by how they perceive the challenge and by their level of self-awareness, specifically acceptance of what they are feeling. One of our goals in this exercise is to examine what we can learn from these individuals in the power of acceptance.

First, on the 18th hole of a critical match, a professional golfer has hooked a shot into the rough and is looking at an extremely tough shot with a very poor lie. He is feeling frustrated, but he lets go–he knows that he is powerless over the past shot–it has already happened and it is now time to look at the ball and select the right club.

Second, a platoon leader is in battle, under enemy fire, ammunition is getting low and 3 of his men are severely hurt and need to be evacuated. Time is of the essence and he must act now. He is feeling angry because he feels he has put his men in harm’s way, but he lets go – he knows that he is powerless over what got them there–it is time to do the next right thing.

Thirdly, a business executive came into the office this morning to find that a key person had just resigned. With their departure are significant intellectual property issues which her VP needs to discuss with her immediately. Shortly after, she receives a call from a key client who is furious over a service issue with her company. To top off her morning, she is reminded that she will be presenting her position to the board tomorrow morning regarding a key acquisition of a competitive company, in addition to the meeting she has this afternoon with her CEO and acquisition team. She is feeling overwhelmed and frustrated, but she lets go – she understands that all of her present challenges cannot be handled at once; she will slowly untie the knots- one by one to divide and conquer.

All three of these individuals are responsible and accountable for the decisions they are about to make. Should the golfer be angry with himself, his club selection or the layout of the course? If that is his choice it will be extremely difficult for him to be “in the now”. If the platoon leader is frustrated by being in the position he and his platoon are in, his clarity of the situation will be clouded. Will the executive be able to remain calm and make sound decisions, or will she choose to go either in the past and ask what went wrong or into the future and play videos of “what if” scenarios in her mind?

There is one essential quality that every great leader or successful entrepreneur possesses, that is the ability to see things as they truly are. These leaders have learned to accept what is, in the moment. By practicing full acceptance, they minimize the clouding of their minds by the past or future and do not judge or criticize the present situation. By not resisting the challenge that has been presented, they are able to clearly see the choices they have. As a result they can take the next right action.

The next time you are confronted with a challenging situation, try this: listen to your feelings and emotions. If you feel angry, fearful or frustrated, you are resisting what is. If you choose to act upon those emotions, you enter a reactive mode. The key to acceptance is to accept that we are human. There are going to be times when we experience anger, self-doubt, negativity, fear and frustration. When you become aware of these emotions, simply accept them–don’t resist, just place them to the side. Pause for a moment and take a deep breath. By doing this, you have created space to listen, to see, to feel–you have gained clarity.

You are aware of your choices and can now respond and move forward.

Acceptance is always accompanied by grace. This can be seen in any great leader, artist, athlete, scholar, musician or healer. When they work, they make it look easy, it flows; they possess grace. As you learn more about acceptance and how to apply it to your life path, you will feel grace grow within and you will see it manifest outwardly as abundant energy and fulfillment.


Reflection

“I used to spend a lot of time focused on gaining the approval of others. I was very successful academically and in my career, but I was too outwardly focused. As a consequence, my decision-making was often plagued by self-doubt. I tended to be cautious and emotionally distant from others.

I have learned to spend more time looking inside and have learned the value of being rigorously honest when considering my strengths and weaknesses. More- over, I accept my demons. Accepting myself has led me to be much more accept- ing of others. I spend less time judging others and more time trying to under- stand their stressors and the problems they are facing.

I’ve also learned to be more accepting of what is. I now make decisions easier and faster, while understanding there is much I cannot control. As a result, I am more accessible to others. I now understand that if others don’t approve of me, it is their issue and not mine.

Acceptance of myself, warts and all, has improved my sense of self-worth, which is something I rarely worry about now. It has also allowed me to be more authentic. I don’t have to wear masks anymore. What I feel, what I think, and the way I act can all be aligned, both in my personal life and at work. I stick to my core values and find that it simplifies things. There is much less pressure and stress in my life. I am much more at peace.”

E. H. Healthcare Executive

Happiness can exist only in acceptance.
— George Orwell

 

Questions for Self-Exploration

The content, structure and flow of this exercise are designed to guide you in:

  • listening to your thoughts

  • examining your thoughts and actions to identify what you are accepting and what you are resisting

  • learning what to do with this information

  • applying this knowledge to improve your ability to truly experience the flow of life