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The power of acceptance

The power of acceptance

Georgie Edwards explains how practicing acceptance can help us manage expectations and enable us to let go and just be.

Before we start,

Take a deep, long breath in through the nose.

Sigh out of the mouth.

Perfect. Now ask yourself this question...

How am I doing?  Try not to think about it too much; let the response come organically.

Now, take one more deep breath and allow yourself to relax into this feeling without the temptation to change it.

Accept - then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it ... This will miraculously transform your whole life. - Eckhart Tolle

If someone else had asked you that same question, I'm sure the answer would have been 'fine' or 'good'. However, sometimes we want to say 'anxious', 'sad' or 'angry'.

Humans have a habit of painting a picture of how they should be feeling rather than accepting how we actually feel. We are all uniquely imperfect, and we have been blessed with an incredible variety of emotions and expressions. Why do we resist something that is innately part of us?

Everything we have been taught from an early age is to strive, achieve and perfect. What if we were to take a step back from climbing that ladder and simply connect to the present moment even if it feels a little uncomfortable.

What a concept, right?

You may be thinking; What about the job promotion? What about the house I'm trying to buy? What about the marathon I'm trying to run?

We have deep conditioning that tells us we should always be on our way somewhere, somewhere else. Acceptance isn't about giving up on goals but instead releasing the grip of the outcome. Ultimately, we have no control over our future, and if the past year has taught us anything, it's that we have no idea what's around the corner. 

The present moment allows us to see the nature of reality rather than the stories we paint in our minds. 

We are in the process of transitioning into autumn, which can sometimes mean we cling to the joys of summer. Many of us resist the seasonal shifts and spend the majority of winter wishing it were summer already (don't worry, we all do it). But perhaps this time, can we begin to meet the shift with gratitude and appreciation for the ever-changing nature of life: the ups and downs, the backwards and forwards, the light and the dark. Essentially yin to yang, because life cannot always be happiness and joy, we sometimes have to ride a wave of discomfort, and that is okay! Once we have learnt to surf those waves rather than swept be under them, we find acceptance

Begin to free yourself of the burdens of everything turning out exactly as you want it to; life is full of surprises, a series of moments, lessons and opportunities to grow. 

You may be wondering how you go about inviting more acceptance into your lives:

  • Practices that encourage rest: Meditation or slower forms of yoga like Yin or Nidra.

  • Gratitude lists: You can start one on your phone each night before you go to sleep, write three things down that you were grateful for in the last 24 hours. It could be something as simple as a smile from a stranger.

  • Mantras: My personal favourite is 'Let go' (you can say them out loud or in the mind).
    Inhale: Let
    Exhale: Go

Georgie Edwards, The Knotted Yogi, is a London-based yoga teacher who trained in the northern mountains of India. Find out more here


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