Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Falling into Acceptance

When I first started teaching yoga I would often bring in a quote or some song lyrics to theme my class around. I was, of course, learning as a teacher and so as I grew more confident in myself and what I had to say I began to offer more. Instead of writing everything down I wished to say, I now think about the conversation it is I wish to have with my students and I speak from the heart. I'd like to think it makes me more relatable as a teacher and gives the students trust in me to guide them in their practice. Usually I pick something I am working on in my own life and as the theme grows and the week goes I explore the topic even more. This week's topic: Acceptance.

I asked my students this week what fall meant to them. With the seasons brings change and new opportunities. For most it was something as simple as being excited to wear boots and scarves again. The ability to have a pumpkin spice latte or enjoying the fall colors. My friend and student Oz, said something along the lines of what I was thinking which was deeper than a new wardrobe - that this time of year was a reminder of slowing down and of awarness. Of paying attention to what's all around us and cultivating. Nature is not in a hurry. It's timing is perfect and it's rythm is set to the sun. As the days get shorter and the weather cooler it's a time for us to accept that nothing can stay as it was. That the earth rotates with or without us. So you might as well find something to enjoy and a reason to celebrate or else be miserable and fight the changes kicking and screaming.

I feel the similarites in my own life. Acceptance is what I am cultivating. Today I had an overnight in Aspen and arrived at the hotel early. I was content to just sit in my room until I looked out my window at the base of Buttermilk Mountain and saw the most yellow aspen trees. Aspen trees are my favorite, especially when they are yellow. I am drawn to them like a moth to a flame. I want to hug them...literally. So I left my hotel and began a walk up the mountain with no destination in mind just to be surrounded by the trees. And for the first time I talked to the Lemon. That's what the baby is this week, the size of a lemon. Maybe the trees pulled me because I was reminded of the color of a lemon I don't know. But no one was around so I decided to talk to the lemon. I asked the lemon how it was enjoying the hike. That hiking is something I love to do and I hope one day it would enjoy hiking too. And even if not it would find it's own adventures to dazzle me just as I dazzle my own mother. I told the lemon I was happy to take it hiking. That I enjoyed the time we got to spend together. I told it about me and about it's dad. How we are both kind of crazy so to be prepared.

And for the first time, I told the lemon, the little baby that I loved it.

I hadn't told it that before and I felt like it should know it and hear it. I told it I would love it as best I could and though I wasn't sure why it chose us as parents that we'd always do our best. I didn't want it to think it wasn't wanted. That just because it wasn't in my plans that life has a way of fulfilling wishes you didn't even know you had. I was reminded of my favorite quote from Peter Pan, "Dreams do come true, if only we wish hard enough. You can have anything in life if you will sacrifice everything else for it."

It was my first step in Acceptance.

I sat for a long while on top of the mountain, watching the leaves fall around me. In one way I envied the trees because they are perfect in their timing of changing. They are not rushed, they do not grieve, they do not regret. They cycle through the seasons and stand tall and proud even as they are naked and covered heavy with snow. But I had to remind myself that trees cannot move. They must remain where they are. They change but they never move forward. And that's not how I want my life to be.

I feel like my body is like a tree. It knows what to do and with each week it adapts and it prepares for the next step. Instead of fighting my body I have to let it do what it does and what it's been doing for thousands of years in pregnant women around the world. It knows. Acceptance. I may never have a six pack again, or smaller hips, my butt or boobs might sag and I might get stretch marks. But I have to accept that where I end up is far better than what I leave behind. And I have gratitude for my body and for every wonderful way it moves me. Like a tree I should not grieve for what I once was and accept what will come.

In my yoga class this week I encouraged my students to check their egos at the door. To not be afraid. To tell themselves they are strong and yes, they can. They can do anything. I hope to embody these things myself.

I took one final look at the aspen's and the town around me before I headed back to my hotel room. I placed my palm on a tree and felt the connection with nature. I took a moment to remind myself that this would be the last October I'd be alone. That it would be just me and Chad and Bebe and Kingsley. This time next year who knows if I'd even be flying to Aspen. So I took it all in and enjoyed getting paid to have this revelation. I'm glad I took the time to look out the window today...


  1. Natalie....so much love. Thank you for sharing. You are amazing.

  2. Aw Nat, you are phenomenal, inspiring, amazing. I heart you.