Accept the things I cannot change
[00:00:00] Thank you for listening to the Luminous Recovery Yoga Podcast, hosted by Kari Doherty. The views and opinions expressed here are strictly those of the person who gave them. Take what you like and leave the rest. These views and opinions do not represent any specific 12 step program, only my experience, strength, and hope in recovering from the dis-ease of addiction and codependency.
If you'd like to learn more, please visit my website at www. Dot Luminous Recovery yoga.com.
Hello my friend. Thank you so much for joining me today. I'm Kari, and this is the Luminous Recovery Yoga podcast. I'm so happy that you're taking the time to join me to listen in and this is a space where I like to share recovery.
I like to share yoga. I like to share the way recovery and yoga come together. And for me, that has made for a really rich life. I feel like who I am on the mat is often who I am in the world, and really the yoga pose is a metaphor for [00:01:00] life. I hope that you hear something here that helps. And as always, please take what you like and leave the rest.
I have a couple of things that I wanna tell you before we dive in. One, I have landed some really cool interviews for this podcast. I'll have an upcoming interview with Durga. She is, creator of Yoga of Recovery, and super awesome a way that yoga and Ayurveda, the sister science of yoga, as they call it and how those things interconnect yoga and Ayurveda, or, I'm sorry recovery and Ayurveda.
I'll be interviewing Durga. And then I also have an interview coming up with Amy Porterfield, who is an online market ing specialist. She's amazing and I landed a really special interview with her, so that's also gonna be coming up. So just a couple of things that we have to look forward to here on the Luminous Recovery Yoga Podcast.
And as always, these things do apply to recovery. So you might be like, how does online marketing apply to recovery? Well, you'll find out and as always, there will be something rich for you. Something to explore, something to take away. So have no [00:02:00] fear. I've got a plan. And then also I just wanna draw your attention to the show notes or the description.
If you're watching this on YouTube or if you're listening on Apple Podcasts or Spotify, I create a very special PDF that goes with each episode, and I spend a lot of time putting together this nice little PDF for you that basically has some extra questions for consideration. So whatever the topic of the podcast is, I then create this nice little pdf that serves as like a journal entry for you.
So just things that you can consider around the topic to take it a little bit further. You could print it out, you can journal it yourself, you know, just things that you can use to take the energy, the principle a little further. So this is just a little gift for you, something that comes with each episode, something I put a little extra love and time into.
So grab your free PDF and if you become one of my subscribers, I send you a weekly alert every week when I release my new episode, and I'll tell you that [00:03:00] my emails are pretty good. They're pretty funny. I enjoy them quite a bit. And and then you'll get those PDFs every week as just a part of, you know, what you'll receive in that newsletter.
So that's just something that you can consider to sign up. You'll get an alert for the episode and then you'll also get that PDF every week. So if you sign up for it once, you'll just continue to get it. And I hope that that's something you find valuable, cuz ultimately I want you to come here and find value in what I'm offering.
So I hope that you find these episodes helpful. I hope you find the practice useful. Every episode comes with a little yoga practice, so this is just a jam packed little time where I like to share yoga and recovery and self-inquiry. So I hope that you find this valueable . So with that being said, that's our business and now we will move forward.
So this week and for the next few episodes, I wanna talk about the Serenity Prayer, and I wanna basically break it up into parts. I like to think that [00:04:00] there are three parts to the Serenity Prayer. So if you don't know what the Serenity Prayer is, one you can Google. It, but I'll also include that in the show notes.
And two, I'm gonna say it for you. However you need to get this done, I am here for you. The Serenity Prayer says, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. Courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the differe nce . Over the next few episodes, I wanna break down each parts of those segments.
Grant me the Serenity. That's just our first part. That is our, that is our ask of God, like, God, universe, whatever big thing is out there, please grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. That's part one. Courage to change the things I can, part two, and the wisdom to know the difference.
Today I wanna focus on accept the things I cannot change. [00:05:00] When I say the Serenity prayer, I tend to think about columns, like I break the Serenity prayer into columns. Column one is accept the things I cannot change. Oftentimes when I'm in a pinch or a clenchy situation, meaning my body is in a state of contraction, consider that when we encounter situations in our life we are either in a state of contraction or a state of expansion, right?
Like a situation could kind of create this constriction in my chest, in my breathing, in my body. I wanna get smaller or I'm just like clenching or something. I feel expansive. I feel like I wanna share myself. I feel like, oh, I'm relaxed here.
My body is at ease. I don't, you know, feel the need to Clench . Think about a situation in terms of expansion and contraction. In this particular situation, when I'm saying clenching, I mean I'm in a state of contraction. When I'm in a state [00:06:00] of, oh shit, I don't like what's happening here.
Or, oh shit, I feel uncomfortable, or something like that, right? Accept the things I cannot change, that's what I want to talk about today. Whenever I'm in a state where I'm clenching or contracting. Oftentimes there's something happening that I am unwilling to accept, accept the things I cannot change.
Let's put this under things I cannot change when I'm in a situation out there in the world. When something is happening that I cannot change, oftentimes that leads to a state of contraction where I am wanting something to be different than it is. And I've done an episode before on this podcast if you wanna listen to it about wishing things were different, causes suffering. This would be under the category of wishing things were different and how it causes suffering.
In this prayer, the serenity prayer, I am asking higher power, God, universe, whatever you call that thing that is bigger than you, I am asking that entity to grant me the [00:07:00] serenity, to accept the things I cannot change. I wanna do a little reading for you cuz sometimes I like to bring in a little reading.
I'm gonna read from the big book. The big book is let's call it the, it's, this is like the centerpiece piece of literature for aa alcoholics Anonymous. The big book, it's blue. I don't know, it's kind of big. I guess you can decide on what you think a big book is. But this is called the AA Big Book.
the Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. I'm gonna read this to you, and I find this to be really helpful. When I read to you, I wanna invite you to step into the land of listening. You can close your eyes or you can just prime your body to take in what I am about to share. Here is what it says.
Acceptance is the answer to all my problems today when I am disturbed. It is because I find some person, place, thing or situation, some fact of my [00:08:00] life unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be. At this moment, nothing, absolutely nothing happens in God's world by mistake .
until I can accept my life completely on life's terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world, as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes. Ooh, I'm gonna read that again. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world, as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitude.
Shakespeare said "All the world's a stage and all the men and women merely players," he forgot to mention that I was the chief critic. I was always able to see the flaw in [00:09:00] every person, every situation, and I was always glad to point it out because I knew you wanted perfection. And acceptance has taught me that there is a bit of good in the worst of us and a bit of bad in the best of us, that we are all children of God .
And we have a right to be here. When I complain about me or about you, I am complaining about God's handy work. I am saying that I know better than God, who that is a doozy. Acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. What I'm disturbed is because I find some person, place, or things situation, some fact of my life unacceptable to me.
When I am asking for the serenity to accept the things I cannot. I am asking really more for a change in my attitude, and I think that's really powerful because if I can change my attitude, then I can focus more on the next part of the Serenity Prayer, which we'll talk about another day, which is [00:10:00] the courage to change the things I can.
But for today, I wanna talk about this idea of acceptance and acceptance for the things I cannot change. There are so many things happening in the. world That I cannot change. I would say that in my life, 98% of the things that come to my door are things I cannot change. And this is really challenging for me as a person who likes to control, who is addicted to the illusion of power and control.
Listen to that, the illusion of power in control because none of us actually have power or control. It's an illusion, but I'm addicted to that illusion. I'm addicted to the illusion that I have a say in most of life's matters. The truth is, I probably have a say in anywhere from 2% to 0.0001% of the things that happen in my life, what I have the most control over is me.
What I have the most control [00:11:00] over are my actions. What I have the most control over are my attitude s and like it says right here in the big book, I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed as what needs to be changed in me.
I'm just really taking that in. I'm just really, it's not so much what needs to be changed, but what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes. , one of the things that we say in recovery is that changed attitudes, can aid recovery, changed attitudes, can aid recovery. And you know, for those of you who might be new to this podcast, or maybe you're not in any type of formal recovery program, I think of recovery as calling my spirit back.
When I think about my life and I think about all of the things that I've gone through in my life, I have left my spirit behind in places. Whether that was unresolved relationships or resentments, disgruntlements, things that didn't [00:12:00] go my way, that I could not find acceptance for. I leave my spirit. in all of those places.
The act of recovery is calling myself back from those people, places, things and situations, which I have found unacceptable, where I have an unresolved resentment. Changed attitudes can aid in that calling home of my spirit because if I can change my attitude, I could change my outlook on the world.
I can change. How I'm being, I have very little control over what is happening in the world, but I do have control over how I'm being, who I'm being, how I'm showing up for myself and others. And that's something that can be really a challenge to me. I can be a control freak. I want things to be the way I want them to be.
And you know, I think that's a human condition. I think that we all have a part of us that wants things . To be the way we want them to be, and we can certainly have [00:13:00] requests. But you know, what I've really learned is that the more I'm willing to accept the things I cannot change, the more I have Serenity. In that first part of the Serenity Prayer, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.
Because when I can accept the things I cannot change, I have access to serenity, I have access to peace. Acceptance really is the answer to all of my problems today. Any person, place, things, situation that I find unacceptable is going to eventually cause suffering because if I can't accept what's happening, if I can't accept reality, then chances are I'm trying to change or control something that is not changeable or controllable.
You know the question is, , what, what are you unwilling to accept and where is that causing suffering in your life? You know, if acceptance is the answer to all my problems today, what problems are occurring? [00:14:00] What recurring problems are happening that you are unwilling to accept? Where do you struggle with acceptance?
I struggle with acceptance all the time. It, it could really be something so innocent too, like the other day. This is so silly . I had bought a bushel of apples. I don't know. It was a, a bag of them, call 'em a bushel, call it a bag, whatever. And I accidentally pushed this bag of apples too far to the back of the refrigerator and all of the apples froze.
Wampoo, like they were too close to the fan. And they, they froze in the back of the fridge. And these were like really good, organic, expensive apples. So I had this moment when I realized the apples were frozen of immediate aggravation. Like, ugh. Like I actually had this moment where I wished that I could go back in time.
It was silly, but [00:15:00] that was my initial thought was like, if I could only just go back and have pulled the apples six inches closer to the front of the fridge, right, because then all of my apples were mealy and I find mealy apple. . Unacceptable. Absolutely unacceptable. Cannot eat a meal. Apple would rather not eat.
So now I have all of these beautiful apples that have been frozen. They already thought out they were mely. The skin on them was a little weird, and I had this moment of, Ugh, what have I done? What have I done? What have I done? I bought all these apples and now they're unacceptable to me. So what did I, I made applesauce.
I mean, that's kind of a situation where life hands you lemons and you make lemonade when life hands you meal y apples make applesauce, and, and that to me is accepting the things I cannot change. I could not go back in time and pull the apples six inches [00:16:00] closer to the front of the fridge. But what I could do, the way I could change my attitude in that moment was by pulling out my Instant pot, putting them in the Instant pot and make applesauce.
And you know what? It didn't matter that the apples were mealy or weird because once I cooked them, all of that went away. In that instance, I was able to change my attitude. I was able to change my outlook because there was no bringing those apples back from the frozen dead. Those apples were gonna be mealy as long as they existed in that form.
But having the courage. . Well, we're not going there yet. We're not going to the courage, we're going to accepting the fact that the apples were frozen and that I was not going to get to have them fresh. In that moment, I accepted the thing I couldn't change, and, and that's really where I wanna leave it today.
I wanna leave it with what does acceptance look like in your life? Where are you not [00:17:00] in acceptance? Where have you left your spirit in places that are not changeable?
Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. Accept the things I cannot change.
And that's really hard, you know? But we can do hard things. Hard things are possible. And what it says here in this big book is that I can change my attitude and changed attitudes, can aid recovery changed. Attitudes can call me back from that moment where I was just begging to go back in time and move the apples six inches closer to the fridge.
Now that is a silly example. I know, but to me, my life is made up of a series of moments like that all day long where it's just like moment to moment to moment, [00:18:00] and I have to be able to make quick decision. Am I just gonna let these meal apples sit in my fridge? Am I just gonna allow my attitude to fester?
You know, and that's really the question is from moment to moment, how are we being and where can we find acceptance, especially in the things that we cannot change? Acceptance helps me find seren ity . And ultimately when I find Serenity, and this is important, when I find Serenity, I am able to deescalate my nervous system because it's that stuff that I can't control that gets my heart rate up, that gets my pupils dilated, that gets me in a state of contraction, in clenching.
And when I'm clenching, I am not in serenity. I am making my nervous system work harder. I am dysregulating my nervous system. The more I'm able to channel serenity, the more I am able to find acceptance, and then the [00:19:00] more I'm able to deescalate my nervous system to actually allow my body to relax and to be in that state of expansion of relaxation.
To me, serenity is a state of relaxation, a state of expansion, a state of, you know, no fucks to give, which is nice, but as long as I'm trying to control the things that cannot be controlled, I am in that state of contraction. So that's another question. Where are you in contraction? Who are you trying to control?
What are you trying to control? And I'm gonna put all of these things in the pdf. So if you really actually want to take the time to sit with some of these questions, check out that PDF because I'm gonna put all of these things in there and you could just print it out and you can sit with it and you can think about.
You can bring it up at family dinner. As long as it doesn't start a fight, we don't wanna start fights at family dinner. It's not good for our digestion, so, so that's where we're at [00:20:00] today, is accept the things I cannot change. And when we accept the things we cannot change, serenity becomes available.
Right? It's not saying that we're gonna have Serenity, it becomes available, it becomes an item on the menu. And if that's what we really want, if we want that state of expansion , it becomes possible. That's what I've got for you today, my friend. Over the next couple weeks, we're gonna be talking about the Serenity Prayer.
I'm gonna be breaking it down into three different columns. Today's column was Accept the Things I cannot change. I hope you heard something today that helps. I hope that you found this useful and if not . That's okay. Listen to another episode. Wait for another one to come out. Be looking for those interviews.
Those are gonna be some fire interviews. You're not gonna wanna miss those interviews coming up with Durga and Amy Porterfield, and I'm actually gonna start bringing some other really cool people who are in the [00:21:00] recovery yoga space into this podcast. That's a goal of mine for this podcast for 2023, which is right around the corner.
Be looking for that . Share this podcast. If you find this helpful, please tell people about it. I'm working to grow this podcast to get access to more people for yoga and recovery and just having tools for navigating life. And if you find this useful, share it with somebody and don't forget to get your pdf.
I would love, love, love to have you as a subscriber on my newsletter. It's a pretty fun newsletter. I send it every week. I put a lot of love into those words and. , let's do some yoga, shall we? I'll meet you on the mat .
Hello my friend. Welcome back. We are now bringing this principle of accept the things I cannot change to the mat.
I like to call this part of the podcast embodied Understanding, where we take that principle and we see how it applies on the yoga mat. How can we bring this principle [00:22:00] into our body? Today we were talking about accept the things I cannot change, and I mentioned the state of expansion and the state of contraction, and that is something that we can feel in our body.
I want you to just take a moment, find an easy seat with your bum on the floor. If the floor doesn't work for you, you can do this in a chair and find a way to modify this just by sitting in a chair or something a little taller for you. Bring your hands to your knee. . And if it's comfortable to you, close your eyes.
Lift your shoulders up to your ears, roll them down your back,
and take a moment to find your breath. Just notice and locate the sound of your breath.
Notice how you feel.
Without having to call it anything or name it. [00:23:00] Take a little inventory of yourself right now.
Notice what is true for you in this moment,
and ask yourself, do I. in a state of expansion or a state of contraction right now. And what does that feel like?
You don't have to overanalyze it or overthink it. Just notice how your body feels. Do you feel a sense of clenching or tightness, tension?
Is there a sense of ease? Relaxation.
Just notice what it feels like to be in your body.[00:24:00]
Take a full breath in
a full breath out.
Lift your shoulders up to your ears, roll them down your back, and then do that a few more times. Just some nice shoulder rolls up and back, and then switch directions. Bring the shoulders up and forward. Roll them forward.
I'm gonna take some neck rolls. Roll your neck and your head from side to side,
and then just drop your chin to your chest, the center of your chest. Let your head fall forward and notice where you feel this [00:25:00] stretch. for me. I can feel it all the way into my middle back, just the simple act, act of bowing my head,
and then take a couple more neck rolls, side to side.
You can come up to a neutral. Take your right fingertips beside you and put your fingertips on the floor so your right fingertips are just touching the earth. Drop your head to the left and you can keep your left hand just resting on your knee.
Notice the stretch from your fingers all the way through your shoulder, your neck. Okay,
and walk your fingertips just a little bit further away from you. If you're in a chair, you can just do this by dropping your fingertips by your side and pretending the [00:26:00] floor is there.
Put your whole right hand on the floor. Now reach your left arm up and then stretch your left fingertips over to the right. If it's comfortable, look up
slowly. Inhale, come back up. Put your left fingertips on the floor by the left side of your body and put your right hand on your knee. Now this time, drop your head to the right, so it's just tented fingers on the floor. We're creating sensation. [00:27:00] Notice where you're feeling the sensation.
Walk your fingertips just a little bit further.
Now, put your whole left hand on the floor. Reach your right arm up, stretch your right fingertips over to the left, and if it feels okay, look up. If it doesn't feel good to look up, just look straight forward. Find a good position for your neck that doesn't feel like it's creating any strain or stress.
Strain and stress causes contraction, and we're looking for expansion. Serenity[00:28:00]
slowly come back up. Put both hands on your knees. I like the visual imaging of a spatula and a bowl. So I want you to imagine that you're the spatula and you're scraping the edges of a bowl by just moving your torso in circles
like you're trying to scoop cake batter out of the bowl. You just wanna make sure you get every last morsel of what's in that bowl.
Something we can control rather than focusing on what we can't.
And then if you find a nice spot, you might linger there a moment. And when it feels natural, switch directions move in the opposite direction.[00:29:00]
And again, if you find a nice spot, just linger there
and slowly come up. We'll take a couple seated cat cows. Put your hands on your knees. Start by pulling your chest forward. Lift your chin.
And then round your back, straighten your arms, tuck your chin to your chest. Do it again. Lift your chest forward, chin up,
round your back, chin to chest. Take a few more.
Move with your breath.[00:30:00]
Then come up to a neutral seat. We're gonna play with eagle arms. So start by stretching your arms forward, and then sweep your left arm underneath your right arm so you're crossing at the elbows. And you might be able to touch your palms together, and you might not. And if this does not work to take eagle arms, you can just reach for your shoulders and put one hand on opposite shoulder.
But if you can find eagle arms, lift your elbows up towards the ceiling. Point your elbows. And then pull your elbows in towards your belly button, round your back, and we'll do that a couple more times. Inhale, lift your elbows up. Exhale round your back. Pull your elbows to your belly button. [00:31:00] One more.
Come back up to neutral and unravel your arms. Put your arms straight in front of you again. We'll take the other side. Now your right arm comes underneath your left. You are crossing at the elbows. And if you can't cross at the elbows, just catch opposite shoulder. Find your eagle arms now with your right arm under, and then we'll do the same thing.
Start by lifting your elbows.
And then pull your elbows in towards your belly button. Do it again. Elbows up. Inhale elbows to belly button. Exhale. One more.
Come back up to [00:32:00] neutral and unravel your arms. Let's take a simple twist. Put your left hand on your right knee and take your left fingertips behind you. If this is too much, you can put a block behind you, or if you're in a chair, you can use the edge of the chair and then just slowly start to turn your ribcage to the right.
And if it feels good, look behind.
Breath in, breath out. Keep the twist. Keep your torso twisting. Turn just your chin to face forward and look at the opposite direction.
And then slowly bring your ribcage back to neutral. We'll take the other side, right hand, left knee, start by touching your fingertips to the floor behind you, or putting your fingers on a [00:33:00] block or a chair, and then begin to spin your rib cage to the left. And if it's okay, look behind you so that your chin is pointing towards your left shoulder
Breath out. Keep the twist in your torso. Turn only your chin to now face your front shoulder and look to the opposite direction.
And then slowly come back to neutral. Bring the souls of your feet to touch. Pull your heels towards your groin. And if it's okay with you, put your hands on your ankles. If that doesn't feel good, you can put your hands on your knees and just gently pull your chest forward. And if you're sitting in a chair, you can just cross one ankle [00:34:00] over opposite knee and take a seated figure four
breath out, and now keep the soles of your feet touching and just slide your feet forward so that you're opening that diamond shape to be a little wider. If you're in a chair, cross the left ankle over the right knee and take the other side, and then start by putting your fingertips on the floor and just bring your chest forward,
set your eyes to something in front of you, something you can see. When you set your eyes, you focus your mind, and when you focus your mind, it deescalates the nervous system. So all of this is in the name of Serenity. [00:35:00] Finding Peace, expansion.
and then slowly sit up. Now open your legs wide and pull your right foot to the inside of your left leg and then start to reach forward. Rather than reaching for the foot, just reach for the center.
Notice where you feel the stretch, the sensation,
and slowly come back up. Now take the other side. Straighten your right leg. Pull your left foot. And then reach for the center.
Notice where you [00:36:00] feel the sensations on this side.
Gently come back up to a seat. Let's take a brief Savasana. Come to lie down on your back.
If you're sitting in a chair, you can just sit quietly in your chair and take a little meditation with your eyes closed. If you're on the mat or the floor, come to lie down on your back. Find a comfortable position.[00:37:00]
Close your eyes if that's comfortable.
Allow your body to rest on the earth to feel heavy supported. , expansive.
Give yourself permission to let go for just a few moments, to not do anything,
to just be in your still.[00:38:00]
Take a full breath in
Wiggle your fingers and your toes.[00:39:00]
Circle your ankles and your wrists.
Take a full body stretch, reach from front to back, point your toes,
and then pull your knees to your chest. And if it's comfortable to you, roll over to your favorite side.
And then gently come up to a seat,
place your hands on your knees, and for this final moment, notice how you.
notice if anything has shifted or changed for you.
If there's a greater sense of expansion, [00:40:00] serenity, ease, peace to accept the things I cannot change,
to just be in my body as it is.
And bring your hands to touch at the center of your chest,
and then bring your thumbs to the center of your forehead. Bow your head towards your heart
and honor of you and me and this practice that we. I bow to you sweet friend and say Namaste.
Thanks so much for joining me today. I hope that you heard something or felt something that makes a difference in your day, [00:41:00] and don't forget to grab your PDF and I look very forward to seeing you next time. Take care.
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