Movie Theater Provides AAR Opportunity

It’s hard to imagine that going to the movies could provide an opportunity to use the “allow accept and release” (AAR) concepts. However, that’s exactly what happened to my friend Joan* recently. She shared with me how she applied AAR while on an outing with her husband.

When Joan arrived at the cinema, she noticed other attendees, including a couple on a date. They were snuggling and enjoying being together in the dark. In the back was a group of children from toddlers to teenagers with no obvious adults in the group.

Once the film was rolling, everything went haywire. The dating couple started talking loudly. They took off their shoes and put their feet up on the seats. The children started to zoom around the theater, bumping into seats and laughing raucously.

My friend found herself starting to feel physically tense and angry, and completely distracted from the movie. She remembered our conversation about AAR and decided to try it.

– First, Joan allowed that each person has their own reason for being in this space at this time. What if the people here came to talk with each other, or run around? While it might not make sense to her to do these things now, was it hurting anything? By allowing, Joan stopped feeling that something was wrong, which changed her energy in the situation.

– She then accepted that this was the situation in this moment. By accepting the current reality, Joan could decide what she wanted to do now for her own experience. She had a number of choices: For example, she could report the behavior or make a scene or she could ignore it all. She opted for the latter.

– Once she made her decision, she released. By releasing, she let go of the past anger and stress. She focused on this moment – the film’s music, colors, and message – and the rest disappeared for her.

She was able to really enjoy the evening and was thrilled to not have gotten stuck in those feelings she initially experienced. This is a great starter application of AAR.

I will continue to share how this is working for me and others over time.

Introduction to Allow Accept Release (from 3/28/13)

Allow, accept, release.  This 3-word phrase asks us to look at any ideas, thoughts, situations, beliefs, etc. and see how they do (or do not) support happy, satisfying lives for us. 

The idea of “allow, accept, release” came to me recently when I was feeling highly stressed. The tension was impacting all areas of my life – health, relationships and job performance to name a few. Having experienced this before I knew had to change. I forced myself to stop and examine what was really going on.

As I recalled various stressful times it occurred to me that I was the common denominator in every one of those situations. That told me that I had to be heavily involved in creating my stress. I could not point at anyone else as the cause.

At first, I was disappointed. What an idiot I must be to create my own stress! But after several minutes of beating myself up, I started to recognize how powerful this could be. If I created stress, I could also NOT create it. As ever, I could choose.

So, I decided to start applying “allow, accept, release” to my life to see how it worked. This blog is a place to track how it’s going. I also hope to share ideas with others who might want to reduce their stress in a new way.

It seems sensible to start with how I have defined these 3 key terms:

Allow: Everyone is on their own journey. What’s wrong with letting them experience life as they see fit? How do we know what is the right answer for them? We can choose not to give feedback or require them to change what they are doing. We could let them do their thing and focus on our own improvements instead.

Accept: Sometimes things just happen. Imagine if we could say, “Well that was interesting” rather than assigning blame or finding deep meaning. To accept in this moment does not mean we have to become complacent about our situation in life. Rather it means that in order to get to where we want to go, we have to start from where we are.

Release: How long do you hold on to something that made you angry or frustrated? How about when someone pushes one of your “hot buttons” – do you stew? Are you still hung up on last year’s performance review or something insensitive your sister said six months ago? Consider how holding on to past injuries is serving you. How good would it feel to let it go?

Give this some thought and consider joining me. Back soon with more.

Survey Results

Hey there everyone – a few weeks ago we posted the results of the survey we did at the end of 2013. Thanks again for your participation!

Here are some charts outlining what we saw – this was published in our newsletter as well. Please make sure to sign up so you don’t miss any upcoming news!

pic 1 gender

The majority of respondents came from companies on the larger end of the population.

The majority of respondents came from companies on the larger end of the population.A wide variety of roles were represented in the responses. A wide variety of roles were represented in the responses.Work / personal balancing and lack of motivation were stand-out reasons for stress. Other issues included lack of training and organizational climate.

Work / personal balancing and lack of motivation were stand-out reasons for stress. Other issues included lack of training and organizational climate.The majority of respondents felt a moderate impact to their personal lives.

The majority of respondents felt a moderate impact to their personal lives.A more substantial percentage felt AT LEAST moderately impacted on the job, with nearly 25% feeling high or severe impacts.

A more substantial percentage felt AT LEAST moderately impacted on the job, with nearly 25% feeling high or severe impacts.Although a chunk of respondents had talked to their manager, many had not had time to do anything.

Although a chunk of respondents had talked to their manager, many had not had time
to do anything.

Stay tuned for additional information about our plans to provide solutions for the top challenges.