acceptance [ak-sep-tuh ns]
noun: the act of taking or receiving something offered.
Our newest summertime tradition at Yoga Mechanics is The Process Project. The idea is simple: Sign up to complete 10, 20 or 30 classes from July to September and pick an action, a pose or an idea to use as your intention throughout. I love the way this challenge ups the ante and gets all of us on our mats to practice together as a community—seriously, I see some of you guys A LOT during the summer, not that I’m complaining.
So, when Omni and Daryl asked the question, “What are you in the process of right now?” I had no other answer but acceptance. After a year and a half of working another job with virtually no yoga practice (let alone any teaching), I felt lost, defeated and frayed at the edges. I had given up yoga for this other thing and now I was back. Making the decision to quit my job in favor of teaching and practicing consistently again was more terrifying and anxiety-inducing than I could have ever imagined. Doubt, fear and confusion took hold, but it didn’t matter because there I was. I was doing the thing. And I was still scared out of my mind that I might be a complete and utter failure.
So, back to acceptance. To be honest, I didn’t even know what this really meant for me, I just knew it was true. I actually had to Google the word to get a better idea and I was little surprised. Acceptance is the act of taking or receiving something offered. Hm. That felt different. And in a way, kind of liberating. I guess that means practicing acceptance, even when it’s hard, stills leaves us a choice in the matter. Maybe we aren’t as disempowered as we think we are, yeah? This is not unlike our yoga practice. We’re offered poses, contemplations and a small window of time to engage with our bodies and minds and truth be told, a lot of “stuff” comes up. In that moment when we are met with resistance or bump against ourselves is exactly the moment when we have to decide how to proceed next. And most especially in yoga, practicing acceptance doesn’t cut off any aspect of our experience, it amplifies it by allowing us the opportunity to choose. It's an invitation to jump in—to do the dance.
Anyway, at that point, things were still kind of shitty and I felt like it too, but I held onto that idea and shifted my perspective one millimeter at a time, which eventually made things easier. And that is what I find myself in the process of now and always. Despite our ongoing struggle to accept things, people and poses for how they are, knowing we have the capacity to somehow take it all in and make it our own is, I think, a much more empowering stance to take. That’s the gift. You are here. You get to choose. You can make it work. No pressure, right?