We are experiencing a once in a generation disruption of our personal and business lives. There is a lot of great advice out there on what business owners can actively do to deal with this crisis.
And while it’s true that these things are important and should certainly occupy a portion of your thinking and activity throughout the day, I have found that sometimes the best response to a major disruption in my life is to stop, accept, and listen to my intuition for guidance on next steps.
Making Life Happen
In the past, my mind was a constant swirl of how to “make life happen.” I remember closing my corporate voice mail greeting with the phrase, “Thanks for calling and MAKE it a great day!”
And I developed tremendous skills in my various corporate roles in terms of going around, over, under or smashing through any obstacle that got in my way. I remember a former supervisor of mine saying, “Dave, you need to take this project, duct tape it onto your back and drag it across the goal line with four defenders hanging off of you!!”
But what if you encounter something so big that it cannot be avoided? My old playbook was to continue to thrash around and frantically look for a way to move forward like a fly repeatedly battering itself against a window.
It can be difficult to stop smashing yourself into life’s metaphorical windows when our whole culture rewards a “Just Do It” mentality. However, sometimes your best course of action is simply to be still, listen for that faint inner voice within you and allow it to gently guide your path forward when the timing is right. And the first step to be able to do this is learning the skill of Acceptance.
The Gift of Acceptance
One of my first lessons in acceptance was being a new dad with twin girls. My wife and I were in the bleary-eyed-never-sleeping-through-the-night-because-they-were-premature-and-we-had-to-wake-them-every-three-hours-to-feed-them-phase. I remember stumbling into work one morning and having a wise co-worker tell me, “It’s OK to keep making plans. Just be prepared every day to throw them right out the window depending on what’s going on with your kids.”
This was a liberating concept for me. I started (begrudgingly!) accepting that I was in a situation that it just wasn’t reasonable to expect I could get as much done as I used to. Now when I looked at my 20 item To Do list at the end of the day and only saw a red line through 3 or 4 things, I was able to see it as a victory rather than a failure during this season of my life.
Shifting From a Human Doing to a Human Being
I think there’s a reason why we refer to ourselves as a human being rather than as a “human doing.” We are not built to be perpetual motion machines and sometimes life puts something in our way that gives us the opportunity to reset and get back to the human beings we’re meant to be.
Strategies to make this shift include getting out in nature, meditation, yoga, reading or pursuing a creative activity.
And once you start making this shift, the true gift of what on the surface is a terrible, frustrating situation can begin to emerge.
Getting Back in Touch with the Divine
Sometimes it takes hours, sometimes days and sometimes months, but eventually a small, quiet voice will begin to emerge within you. Personally, I don’t think it matters what you call this. For some, this is God speaking to them. For others, these are spirit guides and Teachers who are souls that have reached a higher physical plane. And for a third group, it is simply intuition or Inner Wisdom.
To me, it all leads to the same wonderful result. Getting back in touch with a Source that is beyond what our five senses can perceive and that has the power to unlock creativity and draw assistance into our lives far beyond anything we can piece together on our own.
So, when life serves up a big, fat roadblock and plops it right into your path, surrender, accept and see it as the gift it can be. Go outside, feel the sun on your face, smile and listen. You never know what you will hear!