Out of the Mud
It's Transformation Time
All nature is in a constant state of transformation and we are especially reminded of this now, as the spring blooms begin to appear. Likewise, each of us is always transforming and at times quite intentionally, whether seeking to bring about a change in our careers, fitness level, relationships, or finances. We are programmed to evolve. Yet the moment we identify the desired change, there it is: the anxious realization of our current state. We want to be there but we are here. How do we move?
What is the prerequisite of growth? In a word: acceptance.
The Prerequisite of Growth
What do you need to accept? That's the question that my client Marci1 identified as the most helpful during a recent coaching conversation. Apparently, her angst over the current status (of the issue we were discussing) was getting in the way of her ability to do something about it. It was the what-you-resist-persists syndrome.
The concept of acceptance might seem contradictory to: naming what you desire, going for it and not settling -- all the things that speak to growth and that I spout off about as a coach. Yet interestingly and quite distinct from resignation, acceptance functions as a gateway and frees you up to move forward.
Author Eckhart Tolle illustrates this point with a story about two people who are stuck in the mud. One panics and thrashes around while the other accepts that he is stuck and then calmly considers how to get out.
We Need the Mud
Another spiritual teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh, uses the mud metaphor and says:
"There is the lotus that grows out of the mud. We need the mud in order to make the lotus. You cannot grow lotus on marble. You have to grow it on the mud. So suffering is the kind of mud that we must be able to use in order to grow the flower of understanding and love." 2
This Week's Call To Action:
- What gentle acceptance would clear the way to your current transformation?
- In what way does that free you to move forward?
"Acceptance is such an important commodity;
some have called it 'the first law of personal growth.'"
See you in the current,
¹Name changed for privacy.
²From Oprah Winfrey's "Super Soul Sunday" interview with Thich Nhat Hanh that originally aired June 2, 2013 on OWN.
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