even when you cannot foresee the outcome.
The idea of surrender is not easy for many of us. We function in the belief that we must be in control at all times. We make the false assumption that surrender implies weakness and passivity. We have grown so attached to this incorrect notion that our egos (which IS us to most of us) is the only hope. So we place our trust, not in the all-powerful Divine that is the eternal us (The Self) at the core of our being, and hook our belief to the ever-changing, never reliable ego. Such is the pity.
If only we had the courage to surrender! And, trust in this, not only do you have the courage, it is, in fact, the place of the greatest reliability. Letting go is the starting point where a peaceful life begins. We might call it trust in God or any other concept you hold that expresses to you Eternal Light and Love.
LESSON FORTY EIGHT
“Thy will be done.” Years ago, Dr. Larry Dossey wrote about the power of prayer in several books including Healing Words. His findings at the time were considered ground breaking. He cited many studies that showed that some kind of “non-local” thinking or prayer could be transferred out into the energy fields where tangible results were corroborated. When people said “My thoughts and prayers are with you,” they might not have known how much power they were conveying. Prayers do make a difference, yet some were more powerful than others. The “God as Santa Claus” prayers, (those which gave out a list of what was wanted, like a child’s list to Santa at Christmas) could not match those that implied surrender. The most powerful prayer of all was “thy will be done.” Surrender and trust!
As most religions speak of surrender, so too does yoga. With The 52, I have sought to share the brilliance of the Yoga Sutras as a powerful guideline for all of us. The wisdom transcends religion per se, and can be effectively embraced by all, atheists and those of any belief system.
We have, throughout this course, reviewed the first two “rungs” or limbs of Eight Limbed Yoga. Within the Niyamas (ethical guidelines and inner practices), comes the final lesson of surrender. It is called, in Sanskrit, Ishvara Pranidhana, and shows us how surrender is a virtue and a significant sacred shift that changes our lives. This shift has the power to reunite us with the True Self, the eternal being that defines us. It can effectively empty the ego of its influences and align us with Universal Consciousness.
All this power! But this doesn’t mean it is an easy lesson for many of us to learn. It has been one of my biggest challenges. And I had to learn it over and over again. It took dire circumstances to wrestle me free of the ego’s powerful force and the misery I was experiencing.
Several years ago, my elderly mother moved into our home. She was 95 years old at the time, had an active and lucid mind, but was faced with several medical conditions that limited her mobility. I jumped to meet the challenges but I underestimated totally what it would take. Being a full-time caregiver and juggling work was more than I could handle, even though I still taught yoga classes and meditated everyday. I was not about to surrender and accept how hard it was. Instead, I fought ever more to keep her healthy and safe while I was falling apart physically, mentally, and financially. And then we ran out of options. She was over 98 years old, her body was worn out and she was too tired to go on. We called on hospice. Even then, I held out hope that she would “pull through.” What was I thinking? But the day came when it was clear that all of us, my mother,my husband, and I had no choice. We could not change anything. We could only surrender and wait. That’s when the miracles began in earnest. We let go, and it became a sacred sharing for all three of us. We finally surrendered at last.
Of course I know that learning to surrender does not have to be under such sad and dramatic circumstances. But now I can see when I am resistant and when surrender is the path to take. My favorite Sufi poet, Rumi has written:
They are the chosen ones who have surrendered.
A few ideas that might help:
- When you’ve programmed your day and will never finish all your tasks, think about letting some of them go. What’s the big deal? Who is judging anyway?
- When you know that you are feeling fatigue, give yourself a break. Go within for a while, take some refreshing cleansing breathes. Have a cup of tea. Or even take a little nap.
- Have you ever been at the airport and your flight is delayed or cancelled? I used to rant. Now I check out my options and try to “go with the flow.” I feel much better this way.
- Say to yourself, “Relax!” While there was a time when saying it was anathema to me, I can now easily say, “Thy will be done.”
If you surrender completely to the moments as they pass, you live more richly those moments.
Anne Morrow Lindburgh
Go ahead. Take the leap. Let go. Let the winds of surrender carry you higher and higher. Now you will soar like an eagle! Or maybe an angel!
With love and namaste, Deanne
For more, go to http://www.deannemincer.com