How to Take Action While Accepting What Is

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I can remember it as if it were yesterday.

My face scrunched up that just screamed “judgment” all over it. I sat in my studio apartment and asked myself, “Now how can I possibly keep moving forward if I settle for accepting what is? Isn’t that just being passive? Won’t I become even more apathetic than I already am sometimes?"

These questions came fast and furious across my mind’s eye.

All I desired was to be at peace and to learn some common principles to experiencing joy and, yet, these questions seemed relentless. I figured there was no hope.

Well, luckily for me, I didn’t give up. I lived in the questions. I continued to inquire and seek answers from my own experience and based on the experiences of others.

Recently, in my Being Good with Being You program, these questions came up again from some of my participants so I figured it was time to share what I’ve learned with a wider audience.

In today’s blog, I share what exactly I learned when it came to resolving these questions and how I came to terms with no longer believing that being at peace is mutually exclusive from taking action.

If you’re anything like me and have found yourself asking one (or all) of these questions at least once, I invite you to read today’s blog and see for yourself how these two desires can live in harmony.

Here are a few of the questions that cropped up for me and for those I’ve been working with along with what I’ve discovered about each.

Isn’t observing really passive?

When we first start becoming a non-judgmental observer (the first step to truly loving what we have and experiencing peace in each moment), it can feel as if we aren’t doing much of anything. And sometimes we even wonder if we will ever take any form of action if we are simply observing.

My perspective (and experience that backs this up) is that observing is quite active. It is a conscientious action made in each moment.

It is by bringing awareness to something that we can shift it. Simply by bringing awareness to something changes it immediately. For instance, when we watch our breath or notice our walk or observe a performance or are observed at work, it changes that thing simply by being observed.

The knowledge of observation changes things and bringing awareness to our thoughts, feelings, or situation can have the exact same effect.

When we are aware in a non-judgmental way, we start to explore our creative possibilities along with our limitations. This isn’t a passive practice. When we are aware of ourselves without placing judgment on ourselves, we can maneuver more flexibly through life.

Don’t we need judgment to propel us forward and motivate us to improve?

This is also a super common belief and one that I definitely had and still catch myself noticing every once in a while.

When we are in judgment, what we do comes from a place of fear or hate. No good can come from that place, no matter how much action is taking place.

When we are in awareness, acceptance, and deep gratitude, what we do comes from a place of love. And, any forward movement we make from this place is in service of those involved.

Thing is, we don’t need to live in judgment to choose a life that is joyful, healthy, and in service to others.

When we are in pure awareness and acceptance, it becomes so much clearer what we want to pursue or how we want to serve, or how we desire to treat our bodies and those around us.

I finally realized that I don’t need judgment to eat better or get more sleep or pursue my passions. I now practice observing what is happening, accepting what is, and then make a decision in each moment that would serve me most.

How can we accept what is and not get lazy or apathetic?

This is a big one. I totally get this. I resisted accepting what is for quite some time. This manifested itself as stress, bi-polar outbursts, and experiencing life as a series of extreme highs and lows.

It was almost as if my ego was saying, “If I accept what is, how will I ever be happy?” or “If I accept what is, how will I ever get anything done?"

Now, I invite you to take a moment and really ponder these questions and ask yourself, is this true? Is it true that by accepting this moment, you won’t do anything? Is it true that happiness only comes by avoiding or resisting this moment?

When we accept what is, we are creating distance from our ego and living in alignment with the reality of the moment. We are honoring the present and seeing things for how they truly are, not how we wish they were.

Acceptance involves acknowledgment of the situation/person/feeling/etc. Acceptance isn’t a “stuffing down” of the situation or ignoring it.

Acceptance does not lead to apathy; acceptance leads to aligned and adaptive action. {Tweet that!}

Just because I accept that I lost my job doesn’t mean I don’t take action and find more work. Just because I accept that I got into a car accident doesn’t mean I don’t take action and fix my car.

Once I accepted that I have a tendency to be perfectionistic, I was able to be more mindful of those moments and choose to respond differently, if necessary. The acceptance didn’t keep me stuck as a perfectionist—actually, quite the opposite thing happened. By accepting those qualities of mine, I was able to get to a place of being less identified with them and see them for what they are non-judgmentally and then make new choices in each moment by responding to what is rather than reacting based on my egoic patterns.

As Eckhart Tolle says, “Egoic patterns, even long-standing ones, sometimes dissolve almost miraculously when you don’t oppose them internally."

Acceptance is the crux from which everything else flows. Once we begin to accept what is, we can let go of the suffering and anything that is no longer serving us, and we can take action in a more clear and aligned way.

Now it's your turn! Let us know how you’ve learned to practice both acceptance and action simultaneously. Leave your thoughts in the comments below this blog.

If you happen to know someone who could benefit from hearing these ideas and feeling more at ease about practicing acceptance and still taking action, please share this with them.

With endless appreciation,

P.S. If you’re curious how to practice acceptance and action at the same time, go ahead and grab a complimentary, no-pressure consultation with me where we can see if my Ready to SOAR coaching program is a good fit for you.