Radical Acceptance

The last few weeks have been rough and let’s be honest, that’s putting it lightly. Restrictions, loss of control and freedom being placed on our everyday lives, even more so…loss of jobs, loss of physical interaction, and the very threal fear of the loss of our sanity. Not only that, but the roller coaster of emotion has been running in high gear. Up and down, side to side, over and under…an emotional whip lash that can leave anyone absolutely exhausted. Disappointment, anger, panic, and sadness dominating the ride. Let’s not forget guilt, it’s the tricky one. It starts berating you for feeling the aforementioned emotions, the negative emotions, you know…the “bad” emotions. “You should be grateful”,” things could be worse”, “you shouldn’t FEEL that way”. We try to stay busy, trying to avoid the tension, the uncomfortable, the pain that is building within us. Anxiety and depression settle in and then a possibility of destructive behaviors join the party. All, in the hopes of diminishing the pain, but to no avail.

Like a small child vying for the attention from a parent, pain will not let you forget it is there. Pulling on your sleeve, getting in your face, and raising its voice louder and louder until you finally have to surrender and give it your undivided attention. Acknowledgment and ultimately the acceptance that it’s right in front of you, is the quickest way to quiet the chaos and solve the issue at hand.

Acceptance, radical acceptance is the key.

What is radical acceptance? Radical acceptance is accepting life on life’s terms and not resisting what you cannot or choose not to change. It’s the concept of saying yes to life exactly how it is.

Let’s be clear, acceptance does not mean agreeance. Acceptance is just acknowledgment of how things are. If we can acknowledge the reality of how things are, then it allows us to be honest with how we feel. “I’m in this situation and I don’t like it. It’s uncomfortable and I’m angry about it. But it is what it is. I can’t change it and I can’t control it, but I can change… and I can control…” and suddenly, in a moment, the tension can be lifted. It’s possible that for a moment or even long term the pain is diminished and the suffering is no more. We may not be able to control the pain, but we do have the power to control the suffering that is attached to it. Radical acceptance allows you an opportunity to shift perspective, gives you space to heal and time to move on. Accepting and acknowledging the negative emotions will in turn increase opportunity and open up opportunities to experience the positive emotions including happiness, excitement and even joy more fully.

Radical acceptance is a skill that requires practice. The ability to accept difficult experiences and situations in life is a valuable asset to have as it gives us the power to create and live a more content life, no matter what extenuating circumstances we might find ourselves in. When radical acceptance is practiced, not only do have the ability to see things as they really are, but we also can understand, honor and then give value to the emotions we may be currently experiencing.

Life is a gift. A beautiful, and at times messy gift. Life is about the entire experience, all of it. Joyful or heartbreaking, beautiful or ugly, graceful or messy.  We need all the experiences and all the emotions. We need them all to truly be able to master accepting life on life’s terms and saying yes to what is.person s holds brown gift box



Not as the World Giveth…


I’ve been out of organized religion for about four to five years now, but this morning a scripture from the bible came clearly to my mind.

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you, not as the world giveth, give I unto you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid”

A light came on, an “aha” moment.  This gift of peace is peace of mind. If there is peace within, then any storm can be weathered.

How many difficult experiences have you been through? How many hardships? Sickness? Broken hearts? This is not the first time you’ve experienced inconvenience, difficult times, or serious situations.  You are resilient and strong. You handled it. You took baby steps, one foot in front of the other. You woke up each morning and you showed up for yourself and you got through it.

You found peace in the day, in the hour, in the moment. You did this because you made a choice.  You chose that life was worth the fight, it was worth the battle, and then when you really had to be courageous…the surrender.  Surrendering into change, into the unknown, into the new beginnings of a new life.

What’s your motivation?

So, I was in class last week and the teacher shared a video called, The Thought Patterns for Career Success.  Lou Tice, the founder of the Pacific Institute presented the idea that people are motivated in two ways.

The first is called restrictive motivation.  This motivation is based on fear or the feelings that we have to do something or something bad or negative will be the outcome.  Often, it seems, that this type of motivation is externally driven and comes from another’s ideas, beliefs, or even their own desires that they want fulfilled.  Then there is constructive motivation.  Constructive motivation is the exact opposite of the other.  Constructive motivation come from an internal drive for success, based on our passion, our belief, and our desires alone.

I would bet that more often than not, the majority of us live our lives being motivated by the first and I would guarantee we find ourselves thinking that we are stuck, that we have been forced into these decisions and that we really don’t have any choice OR we completely have no idea that we do this, we may be completely oblivious to it OR finally, we just completely deny the fact that we have allowed  others to “motivate” us into the choices and decisions that have gotten us to where we are today.

I wanted to share, not to motivate you to do anything (unless of course you WANT to), but because I find awareness to be a powerful tool.  Awareness puts us back in the driver’s seat if we have been journeying in the passenger’s seat unknowingly.  Awareness puts us back in the place we belong and that is in control of our own life. Now, don’t get me wrong.  If you enjoy just being along for the ride, then do it!  If that is where your happiness lies, then stay there.  Lou Tice said, “There is only one thing you will ever HAVE to do and that is die.  Everything else is a matter of choice.  Remember though, do what you want but accept the consequences of your choices.”

One more question to throw at you…

How are you at motivating others?

Remember, just how you prefer to be in the driver’s seat of your life, they prefer to be in the driver’s seat of theirs.dreamstimefree_209136





There has been chaos, anger, frustration and bitterness that have consumed my thoughts for quite some time now.  Not 24/7, but in waves.  It comes and goes, sometimes mild and then sometimes it comes as a sucker punch to the stomach, taking my breath away and at the same time causing excruciating pain.  What kind of situation would cause this kind of emotional upheaval, some might wonder.  The question is not what, but who?  These are feelings and emotions that rage when the thought of a “friend” comes to my mind.  How can this person be called a friend?  Why would I invest my time and energy into another that causes that kind of reaction?  Well, this hasn’t always been the case, so what has changed? Well, I have.

Here’s the reality and the awareness that has come to my mind.  When a person changes or starts to see or believe things differently than what they did in the past, it upsets and causes commotion to what was.  What “is” now is no longer what “was” and harmony is lost. It can cause pain and discomfort.  This pain is important, these feelings are valid and very real.  All of it has purpose. I may not know what the purpose is yet and it may take some time for me to figure it all out, but I am going to trust in the process. Does the thought of this friend rub me the wrong way? Yes, no doubt. Not always, but often. The reality is though, this is truly my problem and up to me to fix it.  Many say that when others rub us wrong or bug us, it is because we see something we struggle within ourselves in them. It is time to be honest with myself, take a good, long look in the mirror and start fixing the things that need to be fixed.

Sandpaper causes friction, heat, and often causes pain, but when it is done doing its job, it makes the masterpiece smooth and refined.

In this moment, I see clarity and I am grateful.