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Acceptance, acceptance, acceptance

As you know, I have recently had my arm in pot. I’ve been “lucky” (worked hard though!) and healed quickly. I have to be honest I could have done without it, but as I always like to find a silver lining, the experience has had much to teach me. In my next 2 blogs I’d like to share a couple of lessons I’ve learned, and I hope they help you as much as they’ve helped me.

In plaster

In plaster

The first lesson I actually didn’t have too much trouble with, just a couple of odd blips! It was one of acceptance.

Acceptance is not about rolling over and giving up. My understanding is that it’s about accepting a situation, being still with it whilst you regain your equilibrium and decide the best way to move forward. It’s about being an active part of the process. It’s not about being passive and not taking part in life. Take control and responsibility and know that you always have a choice. This might involve taking action or it might mean doing nothing, the key is to remain content and peaceful, whatever is going on. You cannot change a situation but you can certainly change your reaction to it.

Below are the first lines of the “Serenity Prayer” by Reinhold Niebuhr, which I think sum this philosophy up beautifully :

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.”

No amount of self pity or frustration was going to get me out of the pot. I chose to accept the situation, do the best I could and become an active self care manager. I also know enough about healing to know that there is no bigger block to healing the physical body than stress. I’ve blogged a lot about stress and the negative effect it has on the body, do take a look at past blogs and info on our website. As I wanted to be out of plaster as soon as possible I focused my energy on healing and not on anger.

Another positive outcome of accepting my injury was the level of comfort I felt in my pot. My pot was helping me heal, I sent it a lot of love and energy! Whenever I’ve been in plaster (yes, more than once!) people have always commented on how awful the itching is, an itch you just can’t get to or stop. I can honestly say that I have never experienced this. From an holistic viewpoint itching is generally about feeling hot and bothered, irritated, so perhaps it has been my acceptance of the situation that has stopped this discomfort.

Meditation, relaxation and supported shoulder stand (viparita karani) were particularly helpful to me during this time. I also worked with the warrior poses, which gave me strength and stopped me feeling despondent or helpless. I also practiced quite a few breathing techniques, this was my favourite, taken from “The Dance between joy and pain”:

  1. Sit comfortably, kneeling if you can, hands in a palm pressed position, thumbs on sternum.

  2. Inhale, raise hands in front of mouth

  3. Exhale, extending arms forward – palms turn outwards, keep index fingers and thumbs connected, so you make a triangle shape.

  4. Inhale as you hold this

  5. Exhaling, take arms out the sides and down towards the earth, making the sound Ssss

  6. Breathe naturally as you feel the expansion in your chest, affirming “I am in control of my life”

There has also been a lesson about accepting help from others. A big thank you to all the people who have helped me over the last few weeks, driving me around, tying shoe laces, cooking, shopping and rescuing me from clothing malfunctions and generally making my life easier. I’m very grateful for your help. People are so kind, be open and accept the help when you need it!

You don’t need a crisis to practice acceptance. With all these yogic teachings, my advice would be focus on acceptance right now, then when you really need it this quality will be easier to bring into your life. Where can you practice acceptance this week? ….  Accept help or advice, accept a compliment, accept that you can’t change a situation or a person (accept though that you can change your reaction!), accept yourself, accept that you cannot get into that sitting forward bend in yoga class without straining so accept that you need to ease back ….

Acceptance was a lesson I found relatively simple because I’ve done lots of work on it previously, next time I’ll share with you a lesson that didn’t come quite so readily! In the meantime, please do share your experiences of acceptance. Ix

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