I've been transformed by the very therapy that I developed. Because once I realized that I had to teach the clients acceptance, I realized at that very same moment in my own personal life, I had somehow lost my ability to accept, and that I was going to have to learn it myself.
And so I ended up taking a sabbatical point or time off from my job. What I found out when I went to the first Buddhist monastery was, within days, I knew that I had found exactly what my clients needed. I had no doubts about it, I've figured that out right away, that acceptance was exactly what they needed, but that they had a way of teaching it that I could translate it.
My problem was, I tried to take it stock and barrel out to my client, at chess to Abby, the basic message was all the time to try to radically accept everything, and to let go of desires of what you want. So we got jobs every single morning. And so this idea of practicing letting go of wanting a particular job, if you were sweeping, they would tell you, when the bell rang for work to stop, they would tell you stop in the middle, because finishing is just your own thing. You're trying to do something you want to do just like that. So it was this whole practice of just constantly moment by moment, letting go of what what you want, and radically accepting what is it was the first environment I'd ever been in.
It was completely non sexist, I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. I'm not kidding. It was so unbelievable. Men and women, we get the same jobs, there was no real distinction. I mean, admittedly, it may not have been helpful if I had just completely thrown myself into it. But since I decided ahead of time that I had to learn that my only option was just to do everything I was told, you know, just throw myself in.
And you, you know, I was just students who there were eight of us, we did everything together, it was really the practice of letting go of having to have what you want, at any moment. And the recognition that you didn't have to always have whatever it was you wanted, that had big effect, in some ways on the therapy, that in the sense that I tried to teach clients suppressing what you want, and it's not the way to go.
You have to radically accept that you want something you don't have, and it's not a catastrophe. And so I stayed there for two months, and I went to Germany, to the Catholic priest, essentially, the first time in my life I ever talked to someone who actually understood me, the spiritual part of me, given that my spiritual part of myself as the core of myself, more central than anything else about me.
Having that understood was an amazing experience that had a transformative effect on me. What it did is it gave me a home, I am now convinced that it was the practice of radical acceptance, every moment that can will transform you, I don't have the slightest doubt, it would transform everyone.
But it has to be a regular practice. And radical acceptance doesn't mean you don't try to change things, because you only have to radically accept the moment that you're in and the past, but you can try to change the next moment.
You can't change anything if you don't accept it, because if you don't accept it, you'll change try to change something else that you think is reality. So radical acceptance, simply the radical acceptance, that reality is what it is. And if you want to change it, then you work on changing it. Which is perfectly legitimate also, but I think it's hard to change something if you don't accept it in the first place.