Acceptance - What Does That Mean?

sun web.jpg

Most mornings I meditate for 20 minutes or so. Lately I've been enjoying a CD created by Deepak Chopra and Adam Plack called The Soul of Healing Affirmations and have incorporated it into my daily practice. At some point during my meditation- first thing, maybe mid way or towards the end- I feel inspired to listen to a selection. I have the album on shuffle figuring that the Universe will play me the affirmation I need to hear. Each are about 3 minutes long. I love listening to Deepak Chopra's voice. it's deep and calming and his pronunciation of Sanskrit words always brings a smile to my face. (No matter how hard I try, I just cannot seem to get the American twang out of mine!)

So today's was A for acceptance. It starts out, "Today I will accept myself just as I am." What's interesting about this statement emanating from my iphone today was that yesterday while I was working, I had a little confidence crisis. The old tapes were playing in my head and I couldn't seem to shut them up. "Who cares what you have to say? You're nothing, nobody, not good enough." Sound familiar?

So this morning when I heard that first line it was like, "oh right, that's it, that's all I have to do." 

And that's when the magic really happens. I hear, "Today I will accept myself just as I am." I breathe in and my entire being just relaxes, as if my insides have been working so hard trying to be someone else and now they're off the hook, they can just be them.

I breathe and it's like the sun opens up in my chest and fills my whole body with light. I feel utterly happy, blissful, magnificent. Like anything could happen and it would flow down my back like water off a duck.  

So what exactly is this thing acceptance anyway? For me it is the abandoning of the self improvement hamster wheel and the "shoulds." It's not taking that voice in my head seriously. It's allowing myself to relax and surrender into this moment, to just be in it and it feels so free. 

Deepak then goes on to suggest that "I will see the world just as it is." Because that is the second step of acceptance. The first is to accept ourselves, to quiet the inner critic. Then we have to dissolve the judge who is constantly looking outside at everything that is wrong with the world and all the people in it. So that's the other half of self acceptance, accepting everbody and everything else just the way they are. When we allow ourselves to do this, we are set free. Life feels harmonious, everything seems lighter and the seriousness just melts away.