Well, it is what it is.’
When you hear such a statement, it may lead you to believe that this is your acceptance of the present moment and of what is happening at any given time.
However, so often we say this without really accepting this present moment or situation. Often, we resist the present moment by judging and defending certain actions and opinions related to the moment.
How often do we just say we accept the present moment and how often do we truly, authentically and consciously accept the present moment around us?
How can you be more accepting and less resistant of the present moment in your life?
What does Acceptance mean?
We all know the moments in life when all is ‘right’ in the world or perhaps just our world. This is most certainly our own individual perspective of that particular moment and it is our perspective that all is ‘right’ in this moment as we would like it to be.
When it comes to personal change, we mean something different with acceptance. Acceptance is allowing what is happening in this moment to happen, regardless if this moment is what we want, what we need, or what we think we need or desire to be.
Simply be what it is. Even if in this moment not is all ‘right’ in the world, acceptance still happens. Acceptance of the present, acceptance of what is without judgment and without resistance.
The present moment is all we have. However good or bad a situation is, it will always change.
The acceptance or resistance of this moment directly influences the next moment of our lives. And the next. And the next. Until these moments turn into our hours, days, weeks, months and years of our life. It all comes back to how am I accepting or resisting the present moment in my life. And what are the consequences or benefits of this choice.
What does Acceptance look like?
When we choose acceptance of the present moment of our lives, we live in a state which can represent such behaviors and emotions such as:
Reflection & Application
‘Do what you can, where you are, with what you have!’ – Teddy Roosevelt
What does Resistance mean?
Often times we resist the present moment due to an overwhelming emotion of FEAR.
But what is it we are fearful of? We resist what is often times because acceptance would force us to change and transform in numerous ways we may or may not be prepared to do.
Change and transformation can be perceived as threatening, scary and unnecessary for many. As such, resisting the present moment ‘works’ for many as it protects us from having to make such changes.
Resistance means fighting what is true or inevitable and working to change what currently exists or what is happening. It is un-acceptance. We imagine the way in which we wish it should, could or must be. We judge what I, as it is not what we should, could or wanted to have. We act as if we are in complete control of the moment and are then frustrated when this moment does not give us what our thoughts have told us we think we are deserving of.
Just as accepting the present moment is hard work, resisting is just as much, if not more. However, we may not see that this manner as resistance of the present moment has become second nature to us over time as a way to cope and manage with the numerous changes in our lives.
If the fear no longer existed, would we no longer resist and accept? Often times, yes. Once when we become aware of and understand what we are resisting and the fear behind this resisting, our acceptance of the present moment becomes more of a tangible option.
For many, it is still hard work to stay in acceptance of the present moment and something we must be reminded of moment by moment. The more acceptance of the moment, the more benefits we gain and the more motivated we are to accept and stay within this present moment instead of shifting back to resistance.
What does Resistance look like?
When we choose resistance of the present moment of our lives, we live in a state which can represent such behaviors and emotions such as:
Understanding Resistance and the Fear – And letting it Go!
An important part of the transition process from resistance to acceptance of the present moment lies in identifying the reasons why we resist and fear the present. Why do we fear what is happening to us at this exact moment? Consider the following:
You can not think innovation.
Innovation comes from creativity and curiousity.
How do you create spaces to be creative and curious, leading to innovation?
Setting a meeting time from 9-10 on Wednesday morning to be innovative does not create innovative ideas.
You can not think innovation. You have to find space first.
1. You end your sentences with oder or richtig.
2. You answer with genau.
3. You close the doors even when no one is in the room.
4. Traveling with the train is not an experience; it is how you get around,
5. You rarely ever plan anything on Sunday evenings as you need to be home by 20.15.
6. You don't expect people to say I'm sorry when they hit your grocery cart.
7. You buy a 20 kilo bag of potatoes from the local door to door salesman.
8. You have correct change when you pay for something without anyone asking you first.
9. You look forward to a 2-hour walk on a Sunday afternoon. And coffee and cake afterwards.
10. You sweep the remaining snow away after you've first shoveled.
11. If you blow your nose, you really blow your nose. In public, too.
12. You say JA to someone asking you if you want a coffee, the first (and only) time they will offer it.
13. You are unsure what or who you mean when you say "wir".
Often times, kids feel they are not as involved in an international move as they would like to be and their opinion has not been taken into consideration. It is important kids feel a sense of ownership about the move. A positive way to illustrate the ownership they can have in the move process is by creating a collection of various sized clouds.
Moving involves several large and small decisions.
Exercise: Moving Clouds
1. Illustrate the decision to move as the largest decision, with the word MOVE appropriately placed in the largest cloud.
2. Draw several smaller clouds to illustrate the several other decisions kids can still be a part of.
3. Remind them to speak up and voice their opinion. Keeping the lines of communication open is key to a successful move for kids and parents.
I recommend a few other resources to support kids moving abroad with their families.
Third Culture Kids: The Experience of Growing Up Among Worlds
In this 3rd edition of the ground-breaking, global classic, Ruth E. Van Reken and Michael V. Pollock, son of the late original co-author, David C. Pollock have significantly updated what is widely recognized as The TCK Bible. Emphasis is on the modern TCK and addressing the impact of technology, cultural complexity, diversity & inclusion and transitions. Includes new advice for parents and others for how to support TCKs as they navigate work, relationships, social settings and their own personal development. S
TCK World is dedicated to the support and understanding of Third Culture Kids (TCKs): Military Brats, Preachers' Kids, Foreign Service and Corporate Kids, and others who have lived as children in foreign cultures. This website provide resources for the parents and teachers of Third Culture Kids (TCKs) who are dealing with the many challenges of cross-cultural transitions, and Adult-TCKs (ATCKs).
Culture Shock! Successful Living Abroad: A Parent's Guide by Robin Pascoe
Robin Pascoe, author of Culture Shock-A Parent's Guide, knows what it is like to be a traveling wife and mother. Her children have been on the move since they were born, and her family has lived in a community of traveling families. The advice in this book is the result of her cumulative experience, as well as consultation with child psychologist.
Nothing is wrong with you. You are human.
And you're having a human experience, with lots of human experiences where perhaps we are not happy, we feel hurt, surprised, disappointed, relieved, stressed, joyful... all of these feelings that go along with being human.
While I think it can be sometimes be helpful to raise awareness of why someone does something, as you perhaps are doing right now, but more importantly look at what, if anything, do you want to do about it? Or can you just be with the feeling and let it pass as it always does and always will?
So often we feel that we have to 'do' something with everything we are feeling and experiencing . We tell ourselves, we have to 'do' this or that, our cultures tell us to 'do' this as those who 'do' are rewarded...... We feel if the questions arise, we must find an answer and do something to answer the question. This is how our brain works: identify a problem, do something and solve it. Our brain is wired to find meaning. But we can change what this meaning should be.
I have challenged myself with just being with thoughts, emotions, doubts and questions so often over the last few months. I most certainly still have lots of feelings, but I am becoming more comfortable with letting them just be there. And then I let them let go. And let them come and go.
We are human beings. Not human doings.
What would happen if we changed the question from :
What do I need to do?
How do I need to be?
Active Listening allows you and other individuals to engage in a dialogue where you are both equipped with clarity and understanding of the purpose, content & outcome of the discussion.
It is an empowering and important skill in managing differences in an intercultural environment.
Global teams may have a common language, most often a form of English, but is there a common culture? as well within the team? Often times, no.
And moreover, there is not a common context from which understanding comes and decisions are made.
This can lead to confusion, frustration, duplication, trust, resentment, turnover and low engagement.
Can a common language lead to a common culture and eventually a common context?
What does it take?
We can help you figure out what your common culture is and how to work with it.
Giving and receiving feedback doesn’t need to be a stress filled experience. Receiving feedback from another person is beneficial, with the intent of enabling you to grow as an individual and to help you be successful.
Giving feedback is a way to let people know how effective they are in what they are trying to accomplish, or how their actions may have affected you. If we know how other people see us, we can overcome problems in how we communicate and interact with them.
You don't create a corporate culture.
What is the consistent behavior showing up in your corporate culture?
This is your culture. Not what is in the brochure. Compliance does not build skills. New rules do not always change attitudes. Values don't change corporate cultures. Behaviors do.
Read more about this and how to work differently in the awesome book, Rework by Jason Friedman and and David Heinemeier Hansson.
People all over the world are working virtually across time zones, culture, language and even cube to cube in their own offices.
So, doesn't it make sense then to improve their virtual intercultural communication skills be practiced in such a setting?
Often, these skills are more important than their face-to-face and in-person skills, as this doesn't happen so often.
What do you think?
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