In a previous post I wrote, called “Resistance is Futile”, I touched on the topic of surrender. I had set an intention for 2019 to Allow, then after an incident that opened my heart and mind, I upgraded it to Surrender. Little did I realize just how deep the topic of surrender would go.
This surrender/allow experience actually started in Portugal, on the day I nearly drowned. It was a hot day, swimming in the ocean seemed to be a good idea. None of us realized that the swim would prove to be dangerous…
We were going to swim to a cave, about 300 yards away. The swim over was difficult, but we made it onto the beach inside the cave. We explored, got tired, rested, then waited for the waves to dissipate. The waves kept coming, we needed to go. We decided to swim back through the heavy surf.
I struggled to swim as each wave crashed, pulling me backwards toward the cave. I swam two feet forward, to be pulled two feet back. It was exhausting! I was struggling, exhausted. As I tried to swim around a rock, a wave washed over me and I unwillingly swallowed water. I faltered, trying desperately to stay afloat. I thought – “this is how people drown”, I was terrified that I would not make it. I knew, at that moment, that I was in peril.
During this moment of darkness, I heard my friend calling out to me. She instructed me to float when the tide pulled out, and swim like hell when the tide rolled in. I took her advice, conserving my energy when being pulled outward; swimming with all my might when being pushed towards shore. In contrast to my efforts before, the swimming now seemed to go quickly. Before I knew it, I was blessedly standing in shallow water.
Later, in my reflection that my friend’s advice instructed me to flow with the tide, I was inspired to choose to allow, or surrender, as my experiment for the rest of that year. Surrender means to let go of expectations, and to allow life to flow. Over the last year I have had many opportunities to set aside my expectations. Traffic is bad? No problem, I can meditate while waiting. My suitcase was stolen on the day I was moving to England? Slight problem, but solvable. No dishes or kitchenware in the furnished flat I am letting? I guess I get to go shopping, what fun!
I have moved through the year, challenges appeared, I allowed life to flow. I found myself in resistance; I would let go. Over time my resistance seemed to dissipate; I thought I was aligned with my surrender experiment. A recent experience showed me that I still have resistance, that I need to go deeper.
In February, I was blessed to stay for a weekend with my sisters and my mom in a beautiful Airbnb in California. I am an avid meditator; it is a daily practice that I feel is non-negotiable. One of the mornings, I got up early and sat in the living room, breathing in the mountain vista. I prepared, then dropped into deep meditation. All was well for 10 minutes, until my sister walked in, chatting away, oblivious to my quietude. I became slightly irritated, attached to the idea that I was meditating. I spoke out, telling her I was meditating, and I would be with her when I was done. Chagrined, she left the room.
It was at that moment that I realized I had failed to surrender. Life had flowed me the opportunity to have a quiet conversation with my sister, and I resisted. I was attached to the idea that I needed to meditate, but my attachment made me blind to the opportunity the world presented. I am chagrined that my attachment sent negative energy to my beloved sister.
I challenge you to examine your life; to find the spaces where your expectations or attachments have caused you to be blind to opportunities brought into your world. The answers may surprise you!
May you be blessed.