My childhood was all about competition as I was an elite athlete in the sport of swimming. Surrender meant you were giving up and that was never an option. I am now in my 50’s and still working on this idea and what it means to me.
How do you feel when you are told to surrender? I don’t know about you but my quills still get raised, I dig me feet in and resist.
One of the Yoga Sutras is all about this. 11.45 Isvara-pranidhana. Simple translation: Surrender to God.
This is a journey I believe I will be on for most of my life. The idea of surrendering to something bigger then me. To deeply and profoundly trust something we can not see. I constantly work towards finding the balance of effort and trusting or surrendering to what ever is coming up for me. To resist is futile, I know, and yet that is my first line of defense. As if I have anything to defend.
The more consistent I have become with a personal meditation practice the easier this teaching is becoming. The easier it is to remind of myself that my essence is deep abiding peace. It doesn’t happen every time I sit, that’s for sure, but when it does it’s an opportunity for profound listening. What do I hear?
This morning I heard the word contentment – another Yoga Sutra 11.42 Santosha. Simple translation: contentment.
Another challenge for someone like myself, who is equal parts Vata and Pita. There is a need to figure things out, strive and always be accomplishing something, anything! And it’s up to me – no one else. I am slowly releasing this belief.
In small steps, I am beginning to find a balance with effort, contentment and surrender. I am realizing that all three are needed to be at peace in this world. When we realize that much of our suffering is caused by regrets, comparing ourselves to others, judgment and agitation we can begin to change things. Contentment comes from mental well being. It’s a chance to look at something from a different perspective, which can calm the mind. Pema Chodron describes contentment as a means to become whole, a means for coming into the deep state connectedness that is Yoga The more content we can be in the moment with what ever is happening the more easily we can surrender. It is an opportunity to open our hearts. It’s an opportunity to allow something bigger then ourselves in to help us. And it’s an opportunity to connect even more deeply with ourselves as a spark of that Divinity.
Every day take some work and effort, contentment with what arises AND a bit of surrender. I would love to hear from you what your journey has been with this. How have you found contentment and the ability to surrender? Is this still a work in progress for you as well?
Om shanti, shanti, shanti,