I greet the word, "Accept," with resistance, with a kind of dread. I do not welcome this word into my Shabbat, and yet here it is.
An early morning flash has me seeing Prepare. Act. Bless. Accept. as a set, and I am reminded of a breath meditation made up of four parts: the pause before the inhale, the inhale, the pause before the exhale, and the exhale. In this case:
I breathe with the words for several sets. "Act" doesn't seem to fit as well as the others. Maybe it is the act of taking a breath?
Next, I add a layer. I name something during prepare (e.g. the pain in my shoulder), I send my breath to it with act, I bless it, and I exhale in acceptance. It's a practice with some potential, but I don't keep with it. I am easily distracted.
Rabbi Alan Lew says those distractions are exactly what I should give my attention during Elul.* And so I return to the four-part breath, this time with less need to name, with a sense of a wide embrace for what is here in this moment. With each exhalation I relax more and more. I expand and, yes, I accept.
*Rabbi Alan Lew.This is Real and You are Completely Unprepared: The Days of Awe as a Journey of Transformation." p. 69.
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