Along with the new year come all the great intentions for the way we wish to progress our lives and resolutions we put upon ourselves, however, it is important alongside this to remember the power of “acceptance” of things as they are and ourselves as we are.
When reflecting upon this theme I came across this quote by Michael J Fox – who when asked about living with Parkinson’s Disease, described it this way:
“If I let it affect everything, it’s gonna own everything. I don’t deny or pretend it’s not there, but if I don’t allow it to be bigger than it is, then I can do everything else.”
There are two sides to acceptance:
We are all knocked by things that rattle our day, unnerve us and rock our boat. The burdens that intrude into our moments of peace and cloud our yoga practice:- The bills to pay, the argument, the household chores, the stressful job, the toxic person in our lives ….. from time to time and to a greater or lesser extent these will “own us”, become the centre of our attention and drive us away from our true selves. Accepting them as they really are will mean they still exist but in perspective, given the amount of thought that they deserve. We will not let them own us.
Whilst the stressors themselves are not within our control, the acceptance of them is. Accepting life with its burdens and challenges helps us to thrive and grow, in spite of them. Recognising the stressors as they are and keeping their true perspective without making them bigger than they are; accepting them as part of our journey will bring us more calm.
Positives in life
On the other hand the same thing can be said of the positive things in our life. The happy times, the victories, parties, promotion at work, celebrations, days with friends, beautiful walks – can often be followed by a time of vulnerability. We dwell on those positive moments and chase them, wishing for them to happen again …. we attach to them and this can mean that we lose the moment we are in, we are distracted from the current good time or the meaningful connection with the person with whom we are spending time. In this way our life and our yoga practice loses its meaning and is clouded by our wish for something else.
Acceptance and non attachment to something in the past is so important in enabling us to have a good life and sound yoga practice. We cannot let the past events own us and affect our present moment by allowing them to be them bigger than they really are … the past is only a figment of our imagination, all that exists is the present moment. So lets live it ….
Our growth and wellbeing depends entirely on our ability to see things as they are and not to give either perceived “good” and “bad” times any power to be more than they are. For as Hamlet said “ there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so”.
Yoga and meditation help us to see life with clarity and wisdom – when our mind is not clouded by chatter and a veil of illusion we begin to find an inner peace and wisdom.