“Happiness is really a deep harmonious inner satisfaction and approval.” ~Francis Wilshire

This is a word we often toss around, but what does it truly mean? Perhaps the meaning of it ultimately resides within its beholder. I know I have certainly achieved my own understanding of what acceptance means to me and for me, and so far, this definition is ever evolving.

On November 6, 2013, I returned to the U.S. after having lived in Australia for two and a half years. I spent the majority of my time there studying and practicing yoga and teaching yoga and meditation.

As a teacher, I had to face my attachment to the experience my students had or did not have. I feared that I would not be good enough, that somehow they would find fault in my delivery, and that I would ultimately not be accepted.

Now, let’s be clear, this fear was no new fear. It had haunted me all my life. Becoming a yoga and meditation teacher was just one of the divine blessings that brought this fear to the surface for me to clear and overcome, like nothing had been able to before it.

At the end of last year, I traveled to the Oneness University in India. For thirty-one days we went through many classes, ancient rituals, and ceremonies, and had an abundance of time and opportunity to see ourselves clearly.

The monks lovingly guided us to look at our unconscious fear, pain, suffering, and inauthentic actions.

This was extremely confronting, because most of us had no idea we were operating on a level of such fear.

After that, I went back to Australia and spent the next five months falling apart as I became aware of so much inner dissatisfaction and disapproval. Holy Moly! I sometimes wondered if I’d ever come through it.

During this time, I did some coaching with a woman named Jaxin Brooke. In our initial consultation, it became clear how much I longed to feel like I fit somewhere, like I belonged, like I was completely accepted.

She helped me see how I had been going about this with external efforts; I thought if I could up my career game, or perhaps if I moved back to America, or got married, then maybe I would “fit in.”

The truth was, I suffered from internal rejection and an inability to feel like what I was offering, who I was, and where I was at in my life were good enough.

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