First, Accept - Then, Transform!

Accepting what is - is perhaps the hardest lesson to learn and to embody gracefully. At least, it is for me...

On Saturday afternoon, I attended a yoga workshop with Betsey Downing, one of the first Anusara Yoga teachers to be certified, and now a co-chair of the certification committee herself. The theme for the session, which focused on forward bends and pranayama - was: "Accepting What Is."

I couldn't help but think of Byron Katie's book - Loving What Is, and of essential Buddhist teachings which tell us - that when we resist what is - we suffer. Wanting situations or others to be what we want them to be invariably leads to pain. Freedom comes in letting go. But of course, that is more easily said than done. And working on this, is nothing more and nothing less than a life-long enterprise!

Here are some of the insights from Betsey I managed to record...

"Self-acceptance reminds us that we are all part of the same thing. You are born worthy - you don't have to prove a thing...

In forward bends - you have have to let the level of your pose just be. You can't push yourself through them...They teach self-acceptance.

Anusara Yoga teaches us to accept what is and look for the most life-affirming choices...

You can transform a situation through the magic of how you choose to focus your attention. You have the ability to choose what you focus on. And what you focus on, expands. First, accept what is - then ask yourself what you are going to do about it...

Yoga is the ability of choosing where to direct your consciousness.

Instead of focusing on what's wrong - focus on what is right - and what is good. And as you do, you will start to create a different situation...

You acknowledge what is - but then focus on something else so you are not re-creating the same thing...

Stop talking yourself out of the life you most want. Instead, talk yourself into the life you most want..."

Today, be willing to accept what is - but be willing to transform any situation - but ultimately, be willing to transform who you are by shifting your consciousness. You have the power to do so.

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