Taken at the Cloisters in NYC.
This morning I took a yoga class where the instructor encouraged us to set an intention for our day’s practice. She suggested a couple ideas for this, ultimately letting us decide what was best for ourselves, and one of the words she mentioned as a possibility was acceptance.
I knew immediately it was the word I wanted to carry with me through that time of exercise.
I was situated near the front of the room, right in front of the main mirror-lined wall. Every time we undertook a forward-facing pose, I saw myself at the front of the class with wider arms, shoulders, hips, and chest than those around me. Many times throughout the class, I couldn’t twist my body very far into a pose. A couple times, my hips blanched a bit. My foot cramped at one point. My arms and legs shook with fatigue in some of the poses.
There were so many ways I felt tempted to feel less-than.
Thankfully, the instructor mentioned that word again — acceptance — several different times throughout our time in the class, and I was able to come back to a place of accepting myself where I was in that moment. Taking a class. Stretching my limbs. Challenging myself a bit (and in some ways a lot!). Growing more in tune with my body a little bit every day.
I think our journeys with our bodies need to include a healthy measure of acceptance.
Earlier this week, I mentioned that this can include going gentle with ourselves in our progress — letting every tiny step forward matter and letting the journey take as long as it takes.
I think it also includes letting ourselves be ready when we’re ready. I’ve known for nearly seven years that my body was changing from the way it used to be and required some level of attention from me because of it. But it wasn’t until last year that I felt a real openness to stepping into that journey, and it wasn’t until now that I’ve been willing to pick up some of those beginning steps from early last year and look at them again.
We are where we are. And one of the things I love most about Jesus is that he comes to where we are and meets us there. The gospels demonstrate this truth over and over again — that Jesus meets us where we are and is infinitely patient with us there. He waits with us until we’re ready. He converses with us in our current place of being. Then he walks with us, tiny step by tiny step forward, only as we’re ready.
I love that about him.
How would you describe where you are right now?