What would you think if someone told you to start practicing the art of allowing? If you have a firm grip on your world and don't want to let go, it may be difficult. Find out how a little faith, patience and trust can get you a long way when it comes to your well-being.
A few months ago, I got some specific feedback that it would serve me, my work and my growth to start practicing the art of allowing in a more conscious and deliberate way. While I was familiar with the concept of allowing, I realized I had very little awareness or experience of it in actual practice.
As I looked into it more deeply, I noticed I had a judgment about the whole concept of "allowing." It always seemed weak, passive, lazy or based on luck to me. I've always prided myself on being a hard worker, a go-getter and someone who makes things happen. However, as I have recently come to understand, much of this has to do with a deep-seated fear that if I ever slow down, stop pushing so hard or simply expect things to just show up with ease, the whole house of cards that is my life and my work will simply come crashing down around me. Can you relate?
Allowing, however, is an essential aspect of life and growth, as well as of your success and fulfillment. The first aspect of allowing has to do with accepting things as they are. As author and teacher Byron Katie says, "When you argue with reality, you lose—but only 100 percent of the time."
When you're able to allow people, things and situations to be as they are—without judging them, trying to fix them or wanting to change them—you begin to tap into the immense power of allowing. Ironically and somewhat paradoxically, when you truly allow things and people to be exactly as they are, you open up a space for real change and transformation to occur (if that is what you want).
The deeper aspect of allowing has to do with trusting, being patient and having faith that what you want to manifest, create and experience can and will show up in your life as it is meant to. In other words, it's an ability to allow things to happen and materialize, without you having to manipulate, dominate or control other people or situations to make them happen. If you have a tendency to be a control-freak at times, this can be incredibly challenging.
The paradox that exists with allowing runs deep within you. Perhaps you were taught and believe "if it is to be, it's up to me." And while there is truth and wisdom in this philosophy, feeling as though you have to work hard, run fast, keep up and make everything happen in your life is exhausting and insatiable. No matter how hard you work, what you try to fix or all of the changes you intend to make, if you don't learn, practice and ultimately master the art of allowing, true success and fulfillment will always elude you. Action is important, but you also have to learn to balance it out with your ability to allow.
3 ways to practice allowing
Allowing takes faith, patience and trust—three things that are essential for your own peace of mind and well-being, but often are not things we focus on, learn about or are encouraged to practice in our intense, fast-paced, results-oriented culture. Allowing is truly an art and is something that often goes against the grain and runs contrary to societal norms and pressures. It has to do with remembering, as the well-known saying goes, "We're human beings, not human doings."
Here are a few things to think about and practice as you enhance your capacity and ability to allow with more ease in your life.
Have fun with this and have compassion for yourself as well. Allowing is a lot easier to think about or talk about than it actually is to practice and embody in your life. The more attention you put on it, however, the easier it gets. And as you deepen your ability and your capacity to allow, your whole life can transform with ease, grace and gratitude!
- Ask yourself how you relate to the concept of allowing. Take some inventory of your own relationship with this idea. How do you feel about it? How comfortable are you allowing things and people to be as they are, as well as allowing things to manifest with ease in your life? This is something you may understand, but may not practice. Tell yourself the truth about how you relate to allowing, and notice how this impacts your life one way or another.
- Pay attention to what you focus on in regard to your biggest goals and aspirations. In terms of the biggest goals, dreams and aspirations in your life right now, how much of your attention and energy are focused on doing, and how much are focused on allowing? While both doing and allowing are important, most people put a disproportionate amount of attention on action. Increasing your focus on allowing and ultimately receiving can be a magical, relaxing and incredibly effective way for you to relate to your goals and dreams. This is often one of the big missing pieces in your desire not only for success, but—more important—for fulfillment.
- Create an allowing practice. This is a simple practice you can do daily (like prayer, meditation, quiet reflection or affirmation) when you put your attention and awareness on allowing: accepting things as they are; trusting things are working out as they are meant to; believing the feelings, experiences, accomplishments and outcomes you desire are on their way; and allowing yourself to receive these gifts and blessings with ease and gratitude. You may need to reach out to others for support, guidance and feedback about creating or deepening an allowing practice that will work for you, but doing this is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself (as well as those around you).
Mike Robbins is a best-selling author, sought-after motivational keynote speaker and personal growth expert who works with people and groups of all kinds. Robbins is the author of the best-selling books Focus on the Good Stuff and Be Yourself: Everyone Else Is Already Taken. He and his work have been featured on ABC News and in Forbes, Ladies Home Journal, Self and many other publications.
Keep Reading More from Mike Robbins
Give yourself more time and space
The power of authenticity—revealed!
Why appreciation is the best gift you can give
Printed from Oprah.com on Tuesday, March 11, 2014
© 2014 Harpo Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.