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Excerpted from The Corporate Mystic by By Gay Hendricks, Ph.D. and Kate Ludeman, Ph.D.. Copyright© 1997 by Gay Hendricks, Ph.D. and Kate Ludeman, Ph.D.. Excerpted by permission of Bantam Books, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.  HTML and web pages copyright © by SpiritSite.com.

"Many people think that if they accept something they will be stuck with it forever. There is a rich paradox here. Not accepting something as it is keeps it in place. Accepting it begins the change process."

Hendricks and Ludeman, The Corporate Mystic, Part 4

Second: Accept the situation.

Suppose you have cheated on your taxes. The first step--facing squarely what happened--means that you drop all the denial, excuse making, rationalizing, and avoidance. You admit it: You cheated.

Accepting goes deeper. It allows you to have a deep-body experience of reality. You haven't accepted something until you feel a shift deep in yourself. This may take time. It means giving up your final resistance to the truth. You accept the part of you that is a cheater. You acknowledge your greed, your irresponsibility, and whatever else motivates your cheating. You accept your cheating history, assuming it's happened before, and you open up to learning everything you need to know about the role cheating plays in your life. Accepting is a very comprehensive action. It may take months, not minutes. However, the moment you truly accept something, no matter how long it takes, you create an open space from which to create a new way of being.

Most of us are kept from genuine acceptance by two barriers. First, we often do not want to accept unpleasant or unsavory aspects of ourselves. But until we have faced and accepted these aspects--"I'm an alcoholic" or "I cheated"--there is no clear space from which to generate change. Second, many people think that if they accept something they will be stuck with it forever. There is a rich paradox here. Not accepting something as it is keeps it in place. Accepting it begins the change process. We have it upside down. We need to understand that a full, deep-body acceptance of reality, exactly as it is, provides the springboard for change.

Three: Make a choice.

Now you must choose. Choosing has enormous power, especially if it comes from a clear space of acceptance. Failure to choose a new path of action causes as many integrity breaches as not facing or not accepting. The ordinary person thinks that not choosing keeps lots of options open. The mystic knows that not choosing keeps us mired in confusion and energy-draining drama. Perry Barlow faced a difficult choice when he took over as CEO of an Australian land-development firm. The preceding six months had been tied up in a dispute of whether to proceed with a resort-development project that violated an Aboriginal sacred site. The previous CEO's reputation had been eroded in the struggle, and Perry had been called in to bail out the company. He called a news conference his first day on the job and announced that the project would be scrapped. He became a hero overnight to the environmentalists, one of whom steered him to a piece of land that was beautifully suited to the project.

Four: Take action.

The fourth step sets you free. It asks you to focus on action:

What do you need to do right now to set the situation right? Suppose you have faced and accepted that you cheated on your income tax. You have taken the third step, choosing to pay the money you owe. What is your fourth step? Is it to write the check and mail it? Is to write the IRS and tell them what you've decided? You don't get back into integrity until you complete the necessary action step.

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