A couple of weeks ago I gave a presentation to a group of Georgetown leadership coaches on ways to bring creativity into their coaching practices. I had two hours. It was the first time I was bringing pastels into a professional environment. I was nervous. Very nervous.
And two minutes before my time to start I notice that I have sizeable and caked on 3-inch diameter brown blob on my shirt. Was it mud? Chocolate? Or something from the bottom of my shoe? (OMG). I had no idea what it was but felt myself start to spin internally. Should I wash it off? But then there will be a big wet blob and its cold in the hotel…and I’ll be late!
I quickly realized that the only way to keep my very limited composure was to deal with it as it was: Dirty–but intact: No running around trying to fix things: Accept things as they were.
I remember myself thinking: “Okay this is the deal, I’m going in front of this group with this sizeable spot and that’s the way it’s going to be.“ Gulp.
The amazing thing to me (still amazing) is that as soon as I settled with that thought I found the moment shifted slightly -—I had found my sense of humor.
Acceptance Changes Things
For some reason this is the thought that made me chuckle: “ Who in the audience would actually notice and who wouldn’t? “ My mood shifted out of the panic and into an odd sort of “take me as I am” kind of playful presence.
- I didn’t like the mysterious brown spot
- I didn’t want it there.
- But I stopped trying to change it, fix it or hide it, I allowed it to be.
That’s the thing with acceptance:
- We’re off the hook for not being perfect.
- After taking a reflective moment, we can decide to be with what is.
- Sometimes it also means you can move on, continue, from a new starting place–Here–Imperfect.–As you are– Gulp.
Acceptance is in many ways the center-point of your emotions, a place of choice and new possibility. It can bring you out of the deeper darker states of emotions in the most profound times of your life. In my own life and as a life coach I spend a lot of time navigating emotions that keep me and others hooked into the past and exploring those emotions that move us into the future in ways that we desire.
Is there a “brown blob” you would like to be able to accept in your life currently?
In what ways might acceptance bring you a new horizon?