Monday, October 25, 2010

Attention vs. Acceptance

This post is related to the previous post and regarding women waking up.  The women I work with are all high achieving professionals who are tired of playing the same games and achieving the same small results.  They are highly productive doers who refuse to do what others tell them to when it doesn’t make sense to do so.   In fact, they are here to change the way business is done.  They are intelligent women, engaged in whatever it is they do and understand how things work and are frustrated about how it just doesn’t make sense anymore.   Their engagement is a result of their attention.  They have attended to their accomplishments and broken with tradition either in their own family units, their ancestral lines, cultural norms, or society in general in order to get here. 

In the pauses that they take with me, we often speak of acceptance.  It is a new concept for them as it was and is for me.  Acceptance embodies a sense of non-doing which seems like the unnatural result of what one would expect if you are being highly attentive and engaged.  In other words, if I care, I must do something.  Caring and doing seem to go hand in hand.  Acceptance does not deny caring, in fact, it is the purest form of caring.  It is caring but not taking the responsibility for the object of your caring.

Acceptance is caring plus trust.

For example, if as a parent you are involved with your child’s education, you send them to the best schools you can afford, you help create an environment that is conducive to doing their school work, you encourage them and help them when they ask for it, you talk to their teachers, etc.  But ultimately, their success in school is up to them.  In fact, if you try to do more than provide the right environment and be interested, it can back fire.  Kids do not appreciate overly involved parents and need independence and to know that they are trusted.  This is an example of acceptance.   If the kid is not interested in doing well or is not pushing himself hard enough, you cannot beat it into him.  You accept.  Or do you?

An inauthentic form of acceptance is an act filled with empty words.  Our demeanor and attitude reflects our level of acceptance.

Sometimes we hide our egos in the guise of responsibility.  We claim that we are responsible for our children, our schools, our community and our country.  And really the motivating factor for our actions is always our ego.  It is about how we want to look or be perceived.  I want to be a good parent.  I want to be better than my parents.  I want to be there for my kids.  I want to offer my kids what I didn’t have growing up.  These enter our consciousness and all they are, are justifications for trying to control a situation that seems to be out of control. 

Acceptance is about allowing.  Can we allow our children to become who they want to be, even if that person is not someone we like or approve of?  Funny thing is , they don’t really know what they want.  So, can we allow them to be someone that they do not quite understand?  Can we live with that level of uncertainty when it comes to our most treasured assets, our children? 

Peace of mind is achieved with a healthy balance of “being” and “doing” that is sourced from “being”.  In other words, when you allow and accept, you pay attention and now can take action if needed.  When you show up being responsible for only you and to only yourself, you are a role model to others.  Your motivation for doing anything is not for control or for correction, but because it brings you joy.  And what better to model than that!

Questions to Ponder:
1)    When and what do you accept and allow?
2)    Who and what are you responsible for?
3)    What does the term acceptance mean to you?

If you are a highly accomplished professional and are finding yourself tired, hopeless, and disappointed in the quality of your life, your relationships, and the sacrifices you’ve had to make for your career, you might consider spiritual life coaching to connect with the bigger picture of your life in a safe, non-judgmental space.  If you would like to learn more about spiritual life coaching with me, please contact me for a complimentary consultation.

No comments: