A lesson in acceptance

yogaToday is the 2nd international Day of Yoga and I’ve just got home from yoga class. I have recently returned to yoga after a long hiatus and find that I love it more than ever. My teacher is great and I love her flow class even though half the time I feel like I’m at least one step behind her.

Today my body decided it was having none of a certain pose to strengthen my hips. It could do it if I went left, but when my right side was dominant, it gave up. I’ve had problems with my hips ever since I was born so this didn’t surprise me. However, it did frustrate me. Today in class that frustration turned to laughter as I realised there was just no way my right hip was going to move. Luckily, everyone else in class thought it was as funny as me. And our teacher smiled and said:

“Yoga is about accepting yourself and where you are today.”

I stopped laughing and started thinking (which you aren’t supposed to do in yoga class, so I had to wait until class was over to really formalise my thoughts).

Wouldn’t it be great if I put that into practice each and every day? Not just when I did yoga, but have acceptance flow through me for all situations I find myself in today?

Why is acceptance so difficult? Acceptance of myself. Acceptance of others. Acceptance of the situations I find myself in. How come I get so frustrated driving behind the person who is 5kms slower than the speed limit? Or by the person who has asked the same question in a meeting three times? Or the friend who doesn’t show up for dinner when she says she will? Or more importantly, frustrated when I don’t do something that I’ve promised or lived the way I wanted to on a certain day?

When I am in the flow of life, really tuned in to myself and my intuition, I accept what comes my way easily. I know I am in the right place, at the right time. I accept myself and where I am in that moment. And it’s easy to accept others for the way they are too.

But when I’m out of the that flow of life, having a bad day, feeling sad or angry or put upon by someone else, that’s when everything seems difficult. Acceptance at those times is harder to muster. But that’s when I need to practice acceptance the most. To acknowledge that it’s a bad day and that maybe I need to retreat from the world for a while.

I need to learn to accept myself even when I don’t meet my expectations. Accepting that some days I can’t get motivated. Accepting that I make mistakes. Accepting that some days I’m going to fall way short of the mark. Accepting that I may hurt someone through my words or actions, even if I don’t mean to. Accepting that every once in a while, it’s ok to have two pieces of my favourite dessert.

Accepting that I don’t need to worry about what happened before or worry about what might happen in the future. Worrying is just a waste of time.

The more I can accept the tough times, find time to get quiet and then get curious about what’s blocking my acceptance of a situation, the faster I get back into the flow of life – where the good stuff happens. And usually I learn a lesson along the way, as long as I am open to accepting what comes.

So today, on International Day of Yoga, I accept myself. No matter what comes.

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