Advancing with Resolve AND Acceptance

Resolve to bloom in unexpectedly beautiful ways.

The complimentary energies of resolution and acceptance have often felt paradoxical to me.  Here’s why.  I am a confident, maker of resolutions and achiever of goals.  For most of my business career, this led to what I perceived to be success.  The unexpected challenge of all this is, due to the linear predictability of my focused step-by-step planning strengths; it’s easy for me to get emotionally thrown when, things are flung wildly off kilter.  In these moments, the powerful antidote of acceptance seems impossible.

Here is the bridge.  I take refuge in my resolution to show up as a leader and to learn and evolve as a human being.  This vantage point allows me to embrace unanticipated twists and turns as opportunity.  Actually, opportunity doesn’t seem to be a big enough word.  It’s more like miraculous transformation.  The unexpected surprises that have me so intensely resistant or sad hold the exact right ingredients needed to transform me into my highest destiny.

The resolution to grow and evolve is a way bigger platform on which to stand.  It supports us in celebrating our unfolding destiny, no matter how it looks to our achiever egos.

Cool, huh?  So the challenge I have for all my like-minded achievers is, when things go off kilter and acceptance seems impossible, dig deep and resolve to evolve.

Advancing across Edges

Rose opened fully in the sun.

How did the rose ever open its heart
And give the world all its beauty?

It felt the encouragement of light
Against its being,

Otherwise, we all remain
Too frightened.

— Hafiz

Between the two inner realities of “Who we are.” And “Who we are not, yet” there is an edge.  This edge is the dividing territory between the bud and the rose.   Once we have crossed over our edge, the rose becomes the reality of “Who we are”.  We stand in our new full-bloom splendor full of confidence, stunned by our beauty and wonder, What was all the hub bub?

To evolve into the leaders we are capable of becoming, we must become adept at journeying across our edges.  To use Hafiz’s imagery, we’ve got to find a way to journey from bud to rose.  Our edge is the place where we stop, gripped by fear. We are tempted to stay in the reliable, comfortable, status quo of the tight bud that never opens to it’s full potential.

To bloom we must recognize when we are at an edge.  It is immensely valuable to understand the specific nature of the edges we you are up against.  In this way, the emotional intensity of the edge doesn’t scare us into believing that…”Oh no, this is not meant for me.”  In fact, at our edges, it is pretty much guaranteed that there will be inner saboteur voices that demand, in no uncertain terms, that we stay a bud.   Please remember with equally firm conviction that these voices are not your Truth. With consciousness of the edge, we can discern the saboteur voices and support ourselves in crossing the edge insuring success.

Techniques for crossing over:

  • Champion yourself with encouragement and gentleness.
  • Call yourself forth with fierce remembrance of your burning power.
  • Find the part of yourself that has the resources to cross and have that part get it done.
  • Forbid yourself from crossing. (I mean it, tell yourself you are not to bloom, you don’t get to change…you will be surprised how much energy you can muster.)

May we shine forth sun upon each other as we gracefully cross over our edges from bud to rose.

Retreating into the Mud to Evoke Transformative Change

Last years blossoms

Yesterday on my walk, I felt sad that I have missed one of my favorite spring scenes; beautiful blossoms drenched in sunlight against a blue sky.  This year the scene is more like blossoms in the cold rain against a dark grey sky while tromping through oozing slippery mud.  This is “what is” and I can’t accept “what is” until I fully experience the sadness of the “what is” not being what “I had intended it would be.”

As humans we must experience the sadness of the loss of the dream first in order to embrace and create from the destiny that is actually unfolding.

Put another way, I simply can’t get to the experience of somehow accepting the reality of the muddy blossoms without first being with the disappointment of the dream of the sunny blossoms slipping away.

“Being with” pain and anger is the place where we so often miss the mark.  We try and rise up out of the mud and push down the emotion of being in the mud, when what is truly most beneficial to our growth is the ability to be IN the mud.  In fact the only way through the mud is to fully experience it.  We naturally want to sidestep this piece, moving directly toward trying to reframe the situation in a positive light.

As a leader of transformational change, watch for those places of emotional charge and practice the art of pausing to be with your feelings.  Lead yourself and your team into the authentic emotional texture of each loss before moving on to revising goals or expectations.  You’ll free up valuable energy that was previously used to avoid or rise above the whole mess.  Here’s the bonus; you get to evolve as a leader and a human being.  (Get it…Human BEING).