When was the last time you gave yourself permission to do nothing? Likely long ago, if ever. Giving yourself permission to be, and not do, is truly important… but that is not what I’m talking about right now. Later you can go to the spa, take a nap if you will, but right now this “Do Nothing” actually requires some work.
“What we resist persists.”
Typically, in Western society, when we have a “problem” – be it a concrete “problem” such as our car breaking down, or a more vague “problem” such as being unfulfilled, we typically try to fix it. When we try to fix it, we do not accept the situation as is therefore we resist it! You may have noticed yourself trying to resist being unfulfilled by filling up your life with lots of stuff to do. Does that make the feeling go away? No, in fact it may even magnify it because now you are overwhelmed AND unfulfilled.
The first Key, “Do Nothing” has two steps, get clear about “what is” and accept it “as is.”
For today, we’ll talk about getting clear about “what is.”
1. Get clear about “what is.”
Any time we are not honest with ourselves about what is really going on, what we really think, or how we really feel, we are trapped. Before we see and accept the naked truth about something, our thoughts and feelings that remain unnamed actually own us. We are always winning the game we are playing. In other words, our real commitment is always getting our energy, and we often don’t let ourselves admit what that is. Think about the following example:
– An employee (we’ll call him Joe) has a different opinion than his coworker about how a project or task needs to be done. Without even being aware of it, Joe decides that the most important priority on the project is to prove the coworker wrong. Therefore, any opportunity that appears which goes against that (likely unspoken, unconscious) goal, will not be seen. A win-win cannot be recognized because “what is,” or the real commitment, is ensuring the coworker loses.
Let’s reflect on that example. When Joe is unaware that his true commitment is on proving the other guy wrong, he is simply frustrated that the project isn’t progressing. Bringing “what is” into his awareness can immediately bring back power, as he sees that the project is actually proceeding as intended. The real agenda is revealed, and power is restored. Now Joe has a choice – continue down the path of I win/ you lose with great intention, or create a new commitment.
How can you work on getting clear about what is so for you in your life right now? Work on that, and we’ll talk about acceptance next time!