I’m in Lowell, Massachusetts this weekend on a work trip to UMass Lowell. I am missing my husband and my kids as I always do when I travel. What I am not missing is the Azalea Festival in Wilmington this weekend and all of the pollen that goes with these blooming beauties. My family has been under attack by the flowers in our neighborhood and most especially the Bradford Pear Trees. If you have ever come in contact with a Bradford Pear Tree, I feel for you. If you have not, run as fast as you can from them. Click this link to read a hilarious take on the Bradford Pear Tree.
Because I am still nursing my youngest I have tried to refrain from pumping myself full of allergy meds to stop the assault on my sinuses, but yesterday I gave in. Now I am up north and safe from the inflammation, itching, watering, and sneezing, but still sad for my babies who are suffering down south. Especially the youngest as he cannot have any relief other than a little chest rub, some nice hot showers, and a steamy vaporizer in his room at night. I feel for him because he is my little outdoorsman and for the last week he has also been my little booger bear. And he also became my teacher; this week Eliot taught me about the power of Acceptance.
The other night as Eliot lay in my arms nursing with a crusty green film over his nose, wheezing, and choking from lack of air flow as he tried to drink, instead of crying and fussing and otherwise “complaining”, he looked up at me and smiled. He accepted that this is a temporary situation and went right about his business. I looked at him and fell in love with my baby even more. He showed me that sometimes life kind of sucks, but most often it’s not a permanent situation, so we smile and keep moving forward.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like if you could just accept everything in your life how it is and everything about yourself as okay? Imagine the power that would come from the freedom of being released from judgement and worry and criticism and the weight of feeling the need to change the world around you. This is a very tempting and intoxicating thought to me. That is not to say that I think that all things in life are good and should remain unchanged. I don’t feel I could ever accept the mistreatment of animals, children, and other humans for the benefit or amusement of others. I have morals that I live by and I could never compromise those in order to be accepting of life, others, and the world around me. But I’m talking about the kind of acceptance for which we waste time and energy worrying about the status quo.
I’ve felt of late that there have been a great many barriers in my life that are preventing me from achieving some goals that I have. In spite of this, I choose to persevere and to continually move forward. I choose to smile in the face of challenges and to remember that living a yogic lifestyle is not purely about self improvement, but more so self acceptance. In the iconic words of Stuart Smalley: