5 Ways "Acceptance" Supports My Personal Growth Journey
Lesson #1 - Notice More
What we think we do and what we do do sometimes are worlds apart! You have heard me say this before and you will hear me say it again (and again, and again): the secret recipe for personal growth is Noticing + Listening + Shifting. This has the possibility of moving figurative mountains or help you scale those mountains of life's struggles or help you actually see the mountain that has been obscured from your view.
So this first juicy lesson to share with you is to notice what you are accepting!
What are you figuratively holding onto with both hands and gripping tightly? It is the struggle? Is it an undying commitment to find support for the solution to the struggle? Notice what you are talking about. Notice who you are talking to. Do they have the same struggles? Or does your crowd have solutions? Where else is this struggle showing up in your life?
Here is an example to bring this into focus. I will use financial struggle. Do you spend more time discussing streams of income or support for streamlining your expenses or do you spend more time complaining about bills and your crappy paying job? Are your friends financially secure? If you want to succeed in a financial flow, occupy space with people that are where you want to be and find out what helped them get into the flow.
There is also an energetic pattern that includes limiting beliefs and a serious grip on the struggle. Once you begin noticing the pieces listed above, it might surprise you what memories come up and a predominant thought that might just be that limiting belief that is holding you back.
Friendly reminder... you are the only one that is holding onto that belief. Invest in loosening the grip so that eventually you can completely let it go. Next thing you know you will have two open hands ( and arms) capable of receiving your every desire!
Lesson #2 - There's an App for that...
I can assure you that there truly is an app for whatever you might want to track and it might be your answer to noticing and finding patterns, but I can also assure you that that app ain't for me! I am the most un-app minded person you might ever know and the more I move away from my phone or a screen the more in the flow I feel.
One massive shift for me in the acceptance journey was accepting the feelings of loneliness that I have and noticing what I do with that feeling. Never in ever would I have imagined I was on my phone as much as I realized I was last month. There are apps that track this, but I really just noticed the loneliness and then was willing to listen to the response. I turned to YouTube in the evenings, the one app that I love for word puzzles, and the next thing I know it was 1 am and my evening journal was not done and my brain was numb so I couldn't even tell anymore if I was tired or bored or lonely or anything in between. I did, fortunately, notice that I was feeding the lonely feeling and all the other wrong things.
So hard a rule showed up to remedy this. No phone after I lay down in bed. Period. Make sure the phone alarm is set before I lay down. Make sure the morning meditation video or audio is ready for the morning routine and put the phone away. Once in bed, the only thing left to do is journal for the day and if I am super tired the journal is as simple as writing 10 things I am grateful for and then it is time to shut my eyes.
Journal time takes 2 minutes to sometimes 10, but feels supportive, creates healing, and engages my mind in a dimensional way that creates firing of neurons that might help me shed energetic patterns that don't serve me while I sleep. It can help guide my subconscious mind to find answers to questions I have and solutions I need. All of these things are naturally things that counter the feeling of loneliness so I wake up feeling distanced from those negative emotions. I feel the vibes (also known as emotional vibrations!) of hopefulness, support, acceptance, and that is a much better experience to wake up to! Don't just take my word for it, try it out for yourself!
Here is a free Gratitude journal page to get you started <3
"Gratittude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow." – Melody Beattie, author
Lesson #3 - Find Support & know that there is a blurry line between teacher and student
We are all learning all the time if we allow it.
Your journey is 100% your journey but taking the journey with others around you that are interested in the same outcome and they are there by choice is one of the best feelings I have ever had and I encourage you to seek this out and experience it 100 times before you decide on anything. : )
This last week we had our event for young leaders, a program called Global Leadership Now established and organized by Penny Bartlow. Volunteers show up for this 3-day event and contribute content, efforts for fundraising, event space planning, meal planning, decor, and set up... lots and lots of stuff. The last 10 months or so leading up to the kick-off of GLN9 (the ninth group of young leaders gathering), involved a handful of women finding time to work together, connect with task groups, and get an unbelievable amount of stuff done! This was full of my own learning as I noticed things that felt hard for me, felt fun, overwhelming, confusing, and lots and lots of other stuff. I have been away from a work community for over 5 years and in the short time of just a few months I find myself "surrounded by" the GLN planning volunteers, co-workers at Shear Paradise, another business sharing the building space where my private practice is, and 2 employees I regularly contract with... HOLY COW the changes! Being the independent type that I am, this did at times really feel like I was surrounded.
Each of these experiences is teaching me something about my progress. GLN teaches me how fast time flies and the event dates come and go so quickly. Accountability for task completion is vital and the pressure of serving the group is great motivation for me. "Surrounded by" turns into confidence in structure that supports me. The coworkers at Shear Paradise that "surround me" turns into a culture of hard-working ladies that trust me to offer high-quality work and keep up with the standards of a trusted business in the Owego community. Surrounded by turned into mutual trust and consistent, quality work. Another business, Red Bird Fiber Arts, next to the Main St office surrounds me with customer culture and other entrepreneurs. Contracted employees surround me with motivation and drive to organize tasks and goals. It pushes me in a way of doing that I have never been comfortable with until now. I am a planner and I am a thinker and I am an obsessor of details. My helper Westin hears me say I would like such and such done/ changed/ developed he does them and puts stuff right out there. Unedited, un-obsessed over, and guess what... it gets out there and seen days/ months/ years before I would get around to it. Employees surround me with action-taking efforts that support my journey to get out of my comfort zone for real growth."Done is the new Perfekt" and I would not have it any other way again.
We are never just the teacher or just the student or just the other person taking up space. There is a purpose and a lesson with every moment and interaction we have throughout our day. Notice the opportunity. Notice what is growing and how you are feeling and then notice what you want to be growing and what you want to be feeling. Listen and Shift and repeat with love.
Lesson #4 - I Am the Gatekeeper
This one is a little rough, but we have visited it before. Let's rip off the bandaid and just go for it.
Every struggle in your life is there because you allow it to be there... Now let's look at this closer with our favorite blankie snuggled next to us for comfort!
You are the gatekeeper to your life and whatever comes in is at your discretion as to whether it stays or it goes. Occupants in your life can be sneaky like the mousies that show up under the sink and only leave turds and other messes behind without ever actually being seen. Look for turds and messes in your life and trace things back to the unwanted life guest. Once we notice them (uh hem... noticing again) we can clearly tell them they do not belong. Sometimes this is easier said or not even said than done!
Let's try on these thoughts for size: that person that seems to nag you and push all your buttons, which are examples of turds and messes in your life, what if you imagined that they are on the other end of a rope for tug of war? You have a choice every time to pull back on that rope, dig your feet in and commit to the tension and maintain a false sense of support, or you can find footing and let go of the rope and explore the part of you that needs to heal. Why are those "buttons" there inside your heart? What does that nagging remind you of? How much energy do you have back now that every muscle and all attention is not engaged in the tug of war? How does it feel to have both hands open and ready to soothe yourself and both hands willing to receive love? How worthwhile is it really to pick that rope up once you have let go? How invested is that other person in you picking up that rope again? Be the gatekeeper and those that are waving the rope for a power struggle have the go-ahead to just enjoy their very own complimentary parting gift of the best tug-of-war rope this side of heaven! Those that are offering a thread of hope... fast-track them inside that gate and find a cozy place for them to get comfortable.
Lesson #5 - The Value of Clarity
This final tip and lesson I learned while focusing on acceptance is the value of clarity in this whole personal growth experience.
"Being Clear is Being Kind." – Brene Brown, author, speaker, researcher, human
The fewer words that we have about something the clearer the message can become. If we imagine answering a question like "What do you want?" in just one to three words there would probably be quite a bit of reflection and thought that went into those couple of words you choose. There would not be a story about the past. There would not be a message about lots of stuff you don't want. You would be left with a clear and focused reply of just what you DO WANT.
Let's imagine this as hollering this answer in a canyon or the top of a mountain so we can hear the echo and receive our word resonating back at us. For an echo to have its full effect, what is offered needs to be clear and concise and loud. You are on top of the world with the attention of the Universe, what do you say? How loud can you say it? What would celebrate success, motivate others, or prepare yourself for the next mountain... What you are preparing to say for this moment on top of your world, or at the end of a successful challenge that might have felt like you were blazing a trail up a mountain with a sasquatch stalking you, is what is called a Power Thought. This is a lovely thing to have in your toolbox of self-love! This is the go-to phrase that you will need to hear next time there is a mountain ahead or something you would say to someone you are climbing that proverbial mountain with and notice they are losing their footing. We want this to echo through the canyons and mountains and be heard at the top and the bottom so make it clear, fill it with love, and offer it with pride. This will echo off all these structures, and come back to you in waves of love and acceptance and value that you offer it.
Echo...? Can you hear me... hear me... hear me?
We are always in the perfect place. The place we need to heal inside us is talking to us when it is ready to heal. The conversation can create discomfort and it can create wonder and it can create everything we ever wanted out of life. We have to notice it and listen and intentionally shift what we are doing so we can enjoy a new outcome.
This article offers several resources and I hope you connect with them! I hope you spend some time with acceptance and cherish all the lessons that it offers. Let me know if yours align with the ones listed here and what else you notice.
What is your Power Thought that you want to echo out to the Universe and resonate into your heart?
Say it out loud right now. Write it down on 12 sticky notes or more and post them in places everyone can see them. Tell them it's what you need to hear coming from all directions. Enjoy the "surrounding" the echo offers. Enjoy the feelings of success.
Wishing you endless Love and gratitude! ~Sarah
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