Acceptance & Happiness

More on Acceptance… finding happiness through acceptance

By Michelle Ghilotti Mandel

Hello Happiens. We talked about acceptance the last couple posts. And though I planned for this article to be about a different topic surrounding parenthood I am finding acceptance to be screaming at moi ~ yes, again. 

My own personal Momtra the last couple of weeks as a result of severe tendonitis/RSI in both arms has been Embrace voice dictation and let others help you; you don’t have to do it alone (10x/day).

Embrace voice dictation and let others help you; you don’t have to do it alone.

Mothers take special note of the last portion of my Momtra.  Delegation need not only come into play when you’re injured or sick. This is what I’m learning and part of what I would like to impart: accepting more of the ‘it takes a village’ mentality  (and connecting with more parents who believe in support) will usher in more happiness.

We can learn a new way. We don’t have to be Super Moms (and Dads). We don’t have to be unhappy.  We hear it everywhere, I know, but I’ll remind us all again ~ we have a choice.

What this all has to do with parenting might be summarized in a saying we’ve all heard: if Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!  True?

For this Mama it is… though I’ve been battling severe tendonitis in my arms for four months, the pain only got so bad three weeks ago that I had to buy Dragon Dictate,  voice-recognition software, to be able to do my work (I was getting four minutes of work in before the pain would begin).

I had crawled into my zen cave the first three of four months and felt I had truly accepted the fact that I couldn’t do some of my favorite things such as yoga, cooking, laundry (kidding) even tickling(!) my son. However, losing the ability to also write and express myself recently put me over the edge.  I couldn’t accept it. And frankly didn’t want to accept it.

I felt the real emotions of sadness (tears), frustration, and a gripping that eventually led to deeper sadness in the weeks that came and even more pain in my arms (hello mind–body relationship).  Four months is a long time.  And telling a writer she can’t write… or, a yogi she can’t yoga makes for an even a bigger challenge.  Truth be told I had to dig deep to practice what I preach. I used (and use) my Momtras more than ever before.  I wanted to get back to claiming my happiness and therefore claiming the happiness of my child as well.

What this all has to do with parenthood lies here: accepting in other areas of our lives really can make us more able to be accept in parenthood.  Again, it’s all about practice.  Just as our basketball, soccer or lacrosse practice in elementary school, high school or college was tiring, difficult and sweaty, so too can the practices we now undertake in our adults lives and in our lives as the teachers of the next generation. But it’s ok, it really is, it’s all part of the game… part of the journey. There is no destination; there is only how well you practice what you need to practice.

Though I still have a long way to go to being pain-free, I stand a few steps on the other side today and can tell you that having embraced voice dictation, recognizing I need help (then actually asking for it) made me feel better, both physically and emotionally. My arms are starting to get better, which is great.

What is greatest, however, is the strength and resolve you find to continue moving forward.  You are stronger than you think. We all are. But the first step to finding that strength is to accept the situation, to accept your pain and predicament. Once you do, the gripping lessens and so does your suffering.

I’m excited to think once I get better I’ll not only have a keyboard but a dictation tool to help me in what I love to do. You can call it seeing the silver lining or a fact but the truth is our very survival and happiness depends on us adapting and learning new ways of living, It’s been that way since the beginning of time, no? We had to evolve to continue living…

So with that said… voice dictation rocks as does writing my first article using just my voice.

Moms & Dads, my ending thought is this: When you embrace the situation you embrace a curiosity to learn a new way, and therefore, learn a newfound strength. This strength is what enables us to keep going and enjoy the going more. (And this is acceptance.)

Your New Momtra™:  The more I embrace the fact I might not be able to change a situation overnight, the more open I am to seeing what gems are there for me to learn (3x).

For more Momtras/Dadtras visit us at… here’s to your happy, focused life!



Filed Under: Blogs


About the Author: Michelle Ghilotti Mandel is a writer, certified yoga teacher and graphic designer running her own heartful design and branding studio, ghilotti ink, for over 10 years. Michelle is writing the how to be a walking Momtra book (blog: and is a guest blogger for Happiness Series, the Elephant Journal, and the When she’s not grooving with any of the above, she is running (usually to yoga), sleeping on the Great Wall of China, becoming an expert in expat living and, surprisingly, not making many other plans. She keeps a 5 x 4 foot canvas entitled “The Things that Make Me Happy,” which she is happy to announce will never be finished. She lives in Los Angeles with her five year old son and husband. Michelle’s blogging for Happiness Series about Happiness, Motherhood, finding a balance in life, and having fun!



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