Last Wednesday night I attended my first prenatal yoga class in several weeks. The instructor prompted us to set an intention for our practice and the word that popped directly into my mind was “acceptance”. Since I left the class, the word and the word meaning has been bobbing around in my mind. What is it I need to accept?
What is Self-acceptance?
The Merriam-Webster definition of self-acceptance is “the act or state of accepting oneself : the act or state of understanding and recognizing one’s own abilities and limitations”.
The definition is pretty straight-forward; however, implementing acceptance can be the problem. Pregnancy is such a vulnerable time. In a way, it is almost an out-of-body experience. Hormonal shifts, sleep disruption, and physical discomforts all play a role in this and I often give myself a hard time when I am not functioning at optimal levels.
I tend to have an “I can do it all mentality”, and the reality is that I can’t and I don’t have to. That is what makes a family, a family. All hands need to be on deck to keep things running. Slowing my mind down and changing the way I talk to myself is how I have been able to implement self-acceptance.
Being aware of both my strengths and weaknesses, understanding my talents and capabilities and being satisfied with myself despite having a slower day or making mistakes along the way.
Writing Your Story
Yoga is always a good practice and reminder of what is going on in my mind. Ruminating on my intention and practicing self-acceptance brings me back to a lesson I have learned many times. A key thread in the Yoga Sutras is ahimsa– or non-violence to others and self. In each moment you’re either practicing self-acceptance—or you’re judging yourself.— Linda Arnold
When I am telling myself I am not a good enough wife, mom, entrepreneur, or writer I am being violent to myself. I am actually putting a lot of negativity in my mind rather than fruitful, accepting thoughts. When the negative, violent dialog enters, I take a breath and do something that feels positive or productive.
Taking a moment to journal and write a positive, opposite thought from what I am feeling is another helpful tip. I do this frequently, it is almost writing MY truth because the negativity is just a lie I am telling myself to discourage healthy self-esteem.
Wednesday is upon us again, and this week my mind feels a little less cluttered and down. I know I will leave my practice with another piece of my personal puzzle and I look forward to finding out what I need to reveal to myself.