Student of Surrender
I’ve been a student of academia, the streets, the law of attraction, yoga, Chiropractic, Lord of the Rings, much that is spiritual and unseen and many more avenues of learning. I’ve been in relationship school, sobriety school, business school, technical school, and nature school. Yes, I love learning and I’m a lifelong gatherer of information.
Wisdom and learning are fun for me and keep life interesting. For the most part, I haven’t been too resentful about all the “schooling” that life has required of me. Considering the number of hard knocks that I took, I feel I’m pretty open to growing into my full potential throughout the rest of my life.
However, one of the greatest lessons that I didn’t quite master, was the art of surrender.
I’m more of the action, visualize, meditate, say affirmations until I’m blue in the face, make a map, make 25 lists, and boss the Universe around type of gal. No matter how many times, this way of being, “sort of” worked out for me, I kept on doing things the same ol’ way and expected different results.
To be fair, why wouldn’t I operate this way? There is loads of evidence, books, movies, and wildly successful people that follow this system and get great results.
As recent as last month (March 2019) I wrote about “Plan A,” as the way to invite your true purpose to fully materialize. While I still believe this to be true, depending upon the timing and situation, as I wrote in that blog, in order to feel safe while letting your dream life arrive, you may want to have some safety nets in place.
Because solely committing to one way for my good to arrive worked for about 60 days. There I was, giving my all to my purpose work, marketing, emailing, working with clients and waiting for people to flock to my programs.
I’ve been known to boss my body around as well, with punishing workouts and restrictive diets, all the while holding fast to outdated ideas of how I should look and feel. And, what about the romance department? While I’d much rather be alone than with the wrong person, what if I’m missing out on the right person by demanding that they show up in a certain pair of pants?
Frankly, I felt exhausted. I’m tired of pushing and prodding and ordering the Universe to serve me my dreams on a silver platter.
So, while I hadn’t quite been brought to my knees, I found myself at a proverbial crossroads.
I began to ask.
What if, my plan for my life, is not the plan that God (or the Universe or Source) has in mind for me? What if my idea of how life is “supposed” to be, is just not my Dharma (life path)?
What if I just begin to do the work that is given to me to do? What if, I do what is mine to do, the learning, the laughter, the experience that is right in front of me?
What if I breathe, relax and let God and life lead?
The jewel of surrender, Ishvara Pranidhana, presupposes that there is a divine force at work in our lives. We begin to let ourselves be used by the Divine. We offer ourselves, our work, money, creativity, relationships and life path to God. There is a distinct shift from, “mine, mine, mine,” to “it’s all yours anyway, what do you want me to do?”
To be fair, most of us don’t just one day wake up, having been transformed into masters of surrendering. There is usually a process, a slow awakening, that we go through.
In the story of Plan A, being the way, you can see a glimpse of a subtle change. My way (the way of the ego), was to determine that just because I said so, because I wanted it to be, I could make my fledgling business support all my needs. Even though my faith and trust were strong, and the desire to serve pure, there was grasping energy; an ordering of how this was going to look.
I certainly have been served a big lesson of surrender to what my body needs to do during this last winter, with pain and injury forcing me to slow down, rest, and honor a giant time of healing. And, that different pair of pants? Haha, God has a sense of humor in that department for sure.
And, I do not believe that I didn’t want certain things bad enough, or I failed at manifesting! There comes a point when we must realize that we are doing all the “right” things, and if what we are asking for, isn’t coming through; it’s a signal to unhook our claws and take another look.
Maybe you’re being prepared for a completely different plan, relationship, or timing.
What if the Universe has a different plan then yours?
We begin to shift from grasping, from having to have things be a certain way, to beginning to let go.
Then, there is a new noticing of all the preferences we have to life being a certain way. These preferences show up in many forms, thoughts, emotions, and likes and dislikes. You may relate to them as addictions and attachments.
For me, in my story, I began to notice I was very attached to ideas about where I “should” be in life. I should be self-employed and not having to rely on side jobs. I’m too old and too educated to be in food and drink service. My body image was stuck at about age 35 which is inappropriate and disheartening. And, I was pushing away a wonderful man, that has continued to show up for me, in really big ways, for over a year, just because he is in a completely different package than I had planned. Here I was, telling myself more “should” statements, “I should be in better shape.” “I shouldn’t be dating this man, he’s too young.”
Is any of this even true? No. There is no shame in service. Our bodies age and transition and sometimes we just don’t get to choose who shows up with kindness and affection. The problem begins in our thoughts.
What if God wants me exactly where my feet find me on any given day? Who am I to question the wisdom of this?
Whew. From grasping to letting go, to detachment, to surrender. Simple, not easy. I began to let go of all the ways I physically and mentally fight with life.
What a poignant journey it’s been.
The moment I surrendered – shift happened.
First the breath. The sweetness of release and the joy of allowing alignment of a plan for me. Suddenly, the universe righted itself. I could feel the support all around.
Shifts were offered, dog sitting jobs arrived, new and former clients showed up and the online course began to fill up. A very old tax bill was settled, and debts will be cleared. My body is breathing a huge sigh of relief at not being hated and pushed around all of the time. I can let the relationship be just how it is, without pushing away a really great guy. New friends and opportunities are appearing, none of which I could have dreamed would be possible.
Who am I to question how my good is to arrive?
I cannot pretend that the past month and this story has transformed me into a master student of the art of surrendering. I’ll be a lifelong student.
What I have learned is that I am done with telling God how I want my life and dreams to be. I am content to allow the magic of what the Universe has in store for me, show up, exactly when and how it is supposed to. I am prepared to practice daily the art of non-grasping, detachment and the jewel of surrender. Challenges are good teachers and this lesson plan has been one with much grace. One that I won’t soon forget.
I will breathe, relax and let life lead.
How do you try to control and boss life around? Where can you begin to let go, and offer your life and plans to a power greater than yourself?
If you would like to explore this subject in greater depth, I found much wisdom and support from the following resources.
The Surrender Experiment by Michael Singer
It’s Not Your Money by Tosha Silver
The Yamas and Niyamas by Deborah Adele