Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Friday, April 1, 2011

A-Z Challenge: A - Awareness, Acceptance, Action

The A-Z Blogging challenge begins today and I have chosen to continue writing about my life journey using the letters of the alphabet to help with topics. Today, it is Awareness, Acceptance, Action.

Awareness, Acceptance, Action is a slogan I learned in the 12-step programs. I went to Adult Children of Alcoholics and Al-Anon for many years, although my folks were not alcoholic - just dysfunctional. What this slogan teaches is that when faced with a dilemma or a difficult issue, you must first become aware of it. For me, an example would be when I was taking singing lessons with a critical teacher. At first I was only aware of how badly I was feeling. Slowly I began to see the criticism and how it was affecting me.

Once you are aware of all the parameters of a situation, you must accept what is. In the singing example, I needed to acknowledge to myself that this was how this particular teacher operated - I couldn't change that fact. I could change my responses, but I was still feeling awful. Acceptance means fully realizing that this is the way it is.

Once that occurs, one can take action. I could have chosen to stay with that teacher and try to get them to understand what they were doing and how it was impacting me. I could have chosen to stay and try to learn how to not feel so bad. Here is where you get to plot out all the different ways you can choose how you want to deal with your situation. I chose to leave that teacher and find one who was a better fit.

I've learned the hard way that jumping into action before becoming fully aware and fully accepting of what is happening, doesn't work very well.



Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

A great reminder to weigh our responses and actions after studying the situation and knowing what it entails. Thanks, Karen!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Excellent steps!

Jules said...

What a start, 3 words! Again, my friend; AMEN.
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Ella said...

Karen, a beautiful post! I think I am dealing with some of this now. I'm sharing my creative experience with someone, who I thought wore similar shoes. I am learning to navigate my emotions, while swimming with an octopus. She has drained the joy out of my moment. Time to move on...thanks for the reminder!

Vicki Rocho said...

Wonderful reminder.

Karen Walker said...

Thanks, Elizabeth. These three little words have helped me a lot.
Diane, thanks.
Jules, it should be fun, huh?
Ella, thank you. Best of luck swimming with the octopus. If someone is draining your joy, it certainly sounds like moving on might be in order.
Vicki, thanks.

Grammy said...

Dear Karen, So true! I think many times we just want to see ourselves out of a situation, instead of thinking how we can become stronger by dealing with it head-on and with determination. I've been in those places and it is difficult. Thank you for those wise words. Ruby

Hart Johnson said...

I, too, have been through the al-anon process and there is such wisdom to these tools. I think they serve us well all the time. Nice post!

Stephen Tremp said...

Nicely done ... three words that not only begin with A but that are tied together. Great post!

AlexOngNYC said...

I've learned that lesson myself, more times than I care to admit. You and I have clever uses for alliteration! Write on!

Alex from Breakfast Every Hour was here.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

An excellent star to the challenge, acceptance plays a big part in my life for personal reasons.

Thanks for your comment much appreciated.


Ann said...

Well said Karen. Acceptance the hardest of all.

Talli Roland said...

What fantastic and important A words, Karen. Thank you.

N. R. Williams said...

Good point. I've had teachers like that. If you're not careful they can destroy you. I'm glad you left.
N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium.

Misha said...

Great post!

I luckily have a wonderful singing teacher, but I've had a critical one as well.

I think your three steps are very good. Me, I tend to be very rash.


Angela Felsted said...

I'm a big fan of the twelve steps. They changed my life.

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

Nicely done! Best of luck with the challenge--and your life journey!

Roza M said...

Great Post! Thank you for comments on my post =) three words that go a long way.

Karen Walker said...

Grammy, thanks for those words. Wishing you well...
Hart, it's been a long time since I attended those meetings, but the wisdom still serves me well.
Stephen, thanks for the kudos.
Alex, don't ya just love alliteration?
Yvonne, what you've had to accept is so much harder than most people.
Ann, yes, acceptance can be extremely difficult - it's knowing what we can change and what we cannot that helps.
Sandra, you, too.
Roza, thanks - nice "meeting" you.
Talli, thanks so much for those kind words.
N.R., this one did some damage, but I'm getting over it now, thank goodness.
Misha, how lucky you found a good one. Love meeting another "singer."
Angela, those meetings changed my life as well.

Sig Wynne-Evans said...

Great insightful post. I think I will come back to read it a few more times! Great words to think on!!


Ellie said...

A wonderful post full of so much advice - thank you!

Ellie Garratt

Talei said...

Acceptance is key, I love this post! Thank you for sharing Karen!!

Nate Wilson said...

Excellent advice for any tough situation. Thanks for sharing, Karen!

Arlee Bird said...

three words when put together are excellent advice. Your approach here is good.

Contrary to my usual practice of subscribing to comments, to save time during challenge I will not be doing so during April. If you want to respond to my comment , please email me directly from your email notification for the comment.

Tossing It Out
Twitter hashtag: #atozchallenge

Jessica Bell said...

But you know now, right? And that's the main thing. You'v made progress. Very interesting post, Karen. As usual! :o)

Michael Di Gesu said...

I liked your post. Life lessons which could be incorporated into our writing. Well done, Karen.

It's nice to meet you.


J.L. Campbell said...

I very much like the approach of taking charge of one's situation and making positive changees.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Good insights here for me, Karen. I tend to go with gut reactions, sometimes skipping the awareness phase altogether. That really doesn't work too well.

alisonamazed said...

Singing teachers can be a royal pain! I teach voice and tell my students I don't teach singing, I teach them how to open and release their true voice, if it's musical, they'll sing!