Joyfull Living – November 2016
In life, the idea of surrender comes up usually when we meet an intolerable level of frustration and reach the end of our rope. It is a word that in our Western minds is often experienced as a failure and giving up on. The dictionaries say: “giving yourself up into the power of another” or “to cease resistance to an enemy or opponent and submit to their authority.” Yikes! Giving up power to another? It doesn’t sound empowering. No wonder we meet this idea with resistance. The ego mind sees it as a failure. No one hates to lose or give up power more than the ego mind.
In many spiritual teachings, surrender has a more philosophical meaning. The practice of surrendering to the Divine is referred to in yoga as Ishvara Pranidhana. It calls us to embrace our partnership with Source Energy, Father-Mother God of your understanding. This is one of the keys for us to experience lasting peace and joy. The fullness of life is a feeling and a state of connection to the Universe—to Source Energy. There is an element of giving up—not so much ourselves but rather our attachments to our limited, fear-based belief systems and limited view of what is possible.
Fear is usually the main source of resistance, pain and suffering and the hardest thing for us to surrender.
“I can’t just surrender; I have to do something about it!” When we experience a problem or a challenge and we jump to “fix it” from our survival mode, we only have access to what we think is possible. We are stuck in our limited mind. We can waste so much energy building expectations and judgments. We may come up with a short-term solution that may not be favorable to our long-term happiness.
Of course, we need to take actions. Surrender isn’t about doing nothing. It takes the courage to do everything we can to open to the healing opportunities that LIFE is presenting us with. When we practice conscious surrender, we let go of the need for life to be a struggle. We are welcoming the support of the Universe. We practice being the calm in the storm so we can receive inspired solutions. We open to unlimited possibilities. The result is a profound sense of peace and serenity.
Surrender is a bridge between change and acceptance.
The healing starts the moment we take responsibility and take ownership of our partnership with the Divine. It means giving up the idea that we are alone, or that we are better or worse than anybody else. We are all here to clean up, heal and find our way back to the experience of unconditional Love. Self-surrender leads to self-acceptance, which is unconditional love in action.
In yoga class, we meet tension and resistance in our body, and through conscious breathing, we open our mind and our body to practice surrendering to the present moment. I am always reminding my students to simply do your best at this moment. In JoyFull Yoga, during our dynamic movement meditation, we bring our mind and body into partnership with our life force. We practice self-acceptance and clear our mind of judgments. This opens the door for us to practice total self-surrender on a physical level during Shavasana or deep relaxation opening the door for us to bring Ishvara Pranidhana into our life experience. It is not about doing it perfectly; it is a practice. Let me remind you that perfection is not required.
The path to transformation and healing requires us to surrender to our magnificence and heal our self-worth to allow the support from the Divine to flow in our life. It is the practice of trust. The most powerful door is a simple affirmation that I remind my students over and over: “ I am opening to my Higher Good and the Higher Good of All.”
This lets us surrender our expectations for timing and outcome and let go of our limited concepts of what we think is possible. It is the most empowering gift and act of self-love. Our Ego often pushes us to accomplish great things; our inner wisdom urges us to step into our greatness through conscious self-surrender.
“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” ~Rumi