“So you know, if you’re confronting a little detour on the path of your life, let it be.” –Neale Donald Walsch
Two weeks ago, I slipped on a patch of ice and broke my left (dominant) wrist. After the initial shock began to wear off, I went straight into panic mode. “Oh my God, I won’t be able to practice yoga for weeks! Or run! Or cook! Or bake! Or even write!!!” All of these activities that were the cornerstone of my identity, the things I loved doing more than anything were suddenly unavailable to me. I couldn’t imagine how I would get through it, or who I would be in the process.
As I began resting and recovering, I thought a lot about the central theme of this blog, what it means to slow down, nourish and love. I write passionately about these topics all the time, but suddenly I had been forced to slow way down, to a pace that was uncomfortable for me. It is one thing to deliberately choose a slower pace, to be more present amidst the business of life and the activities I choose to participate in. It is entirely another to be sidelined by something I didn’t ask for and didn’t see coming.
But then I realized that the only one making my broken wrist a problem was me. By refusing to accept the present moment as it is, by resisting the broken wrist, I was creating conflict for myself. The first step to loving myself through this injury and being comfortable with this detour from what I believed to be the course of my life was acceptance.
I wish I could tell you that this was an easy process, that once I came to that realization I suddenly “got it” and the rest of my recovery was smooth sailing. No, acceptance of the present moment is an ongoing and challenging process, especially if you are not thrilled with what the present moment currently looks like. And so, when I find myself wishing I could go to yoga or bake a loaf of bread or chop an onion, I allow those feelings to simply be rather than trying to push them away. And then I gently bring myself back to acceptance of what is with a simple meditation:
I accept what is and I welcome what wants to be.
Because that’s the beauty of acceptance. It not only brings us a sense of peace and openness, it also makes space for the infinite possibilities that the universe holds for us. Possibilities that we can’t even imagine because we are so focused on how we think things “should” be. Through acceptance, we quit resisting and tap into the flow of what wants to be. And what wants to be can take many surprising and beautiful twists and turns if we are willing to surrender our fight with what is and trust the process.
A dear friend sent me a lovely blog post by Neale Donald Walsch shortly after my accident. It refers to these things in our lives that aren’t going the way we think they should as “part of a miraculous process that is getting you exactly where you want to go.” Like a divine detour. The trick is to trust that the detour is there for a reason and will get you exactly where you are supposed to be at exactly the right time.
I love this. It brings a welcome energy of anticipation and gratitude to the process of acceptance. Where will this unexpected road take me? What will I learn along the way? And so I will continue to accept this detour as gracefully and gratefully as I can. I will look around and enjoy the new and unexpected scenery around me, and I will peek with anticipation around each corner wondering where this road will take me next.