Surrendering to what is really happening, does not mean lying down and giving up. It means accepting reality and then finding ways to soften into what is happening. Aikido is based on the principle of surrender, you flow with the direction of the force of your opponent, giving him nothing to push against and thus he stumbles. Surrendering to “what is”, allows us to move with clarity and agility in every situation, no matter how surprising or abrupt it may be. The more we can surrender to what is , the more we can meet reality without stress and with grace and equanimity.
EVERY EVENING, I PLANTED MYSELF ON MY MAT IN A ROOM FULL OF SWEATING PEOPLE WHO WOULDN’T NOTICE IF TEARS WERE ROLLING DOWN MY FACE…
I was reminded of this concept last night in a yoga class. Let me roll that back a bit… I heard it in a yoga class I’d gone to in order to keep my mind off the fact that the guy I’m dating hasn’t connected with me all week. (I don’t count 2 word texts as connexion unless it’s followed up with an actual conversation at some point). So every evening, I planted myself on my mat in a room full of sweating people who wouldn’t notice if tears were rolling down my face, and I let myself fall into the music and words of the practice.
In many ways, these have been some of the best yoga practices I’ve had in a long time. I surrendered to the flow because I was tired and feeling heart-worn. I let myself soften to moving my body into shapes that made it both easier and harder to breathe, and I breathed through it all. Nothing new there…. I’ve been telling my own yoga students for years that yoga teaches us to be comfortable being uncomfortable, and he I was, sweating my ass off being happily uncomfortable.
No art projects were involved this time…
Softening into what is also let me get brave enough to call him and try to connect. Normally I’d be so worried about doing this that I’d just not do it, but I got brave, I reached out, I left phone messages that didn’t rant or leave messages like, “Why are you treating me this way don’t you love me I love you and we should be talking everyday”. No, I left something short and sweet that just said I missed him and would like to connect. I felt good about those messages. (For the record I also didn’t leave one a day, I held it to two in a week, a record for me who often feels so insecure that I’ve been known to create fantastic art projects and drop them off just to get some guy to call me back). No art projects were involved in this, and not as many moments of fear about being unlovable, because yes, that’s there too. By surrendering to what is, I was able to feel more relaxed and grounded. I was still sad about it all, but it wasn’t keeping me from working, or being present for my clients. It wasn’t knocking me for a loop like it did when I was 23. I was just dealing with it, and that alone made me feel better about the whole thing.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still heart-sore. I still wish this guy would show up on my doorstep with flowers and apology in hand, take me in his arms and kiss me as he tells me how much he missed me and how he’ll never disappear like that again, but I’m not counting on that and I’m not stopping everything else in my life waiting for it. I am surrendering to what is, and right now what is….. is a need for a cup of coffee and a dog walk.