Be Like a River: Surrender to the Flow
There's been a lot of loss this week.
The gal who owned the old studio I taught at passed away last week and our friends dog unexpectedly passed. These both hit close to home after losing our lab in May. A dear friend said it well. "I don't know if we never stop grieving. Maybe it is dealt with or changes as time passes." My experience of losing our dog Duke now is different, healed, but also still there. My experience of it for the loss of Lynda is also different now than it was a week ago. Anyways... all of this loss got me thinking about surrender. Surrender is a loaded word with all kinds of meaning and connotation behind it. I think it gets a bad rap. Surrender can be a very powerful tool, if we learn how to do it and use it well. Surrender is defined as : to yield (something) to the possession or power of another. I mostly have thought of surrender in terms of yielding to another person/people.
What if it's bigger than that?
What is the "power of another" is a power higher than us? Think of a river. A river flows. It flows around obstacles and rocks and trees and logs. It doesn't stop or allow those things to stop it. A river keeps moving. It surrenders to the power of the borders or banks that are it's boundaries. It doesn't question why it flows a specific way or what is in it's way. It simply moves with what is. I think of my own life and all the times I questioned or been frustrated with my current life situation. I've tried to swim upstream, tried to fight what is happening. What I know is, what I resist tends to persist, and that fighting upstream is a losing battle. So, I practice surrender. Surrender, I believe, does not mean I give up. It doesn't mean I throw up my hands and say F it and do nothing. Surrender means I meet the challenge. I meet the pain. I meet the sorrow. Surrender means I meet myself where am at, and I choose to keep going. I, like the river, might take a different path than I expected. I might come across things I didn't expect in my way.
When those things come, I have two choices. I can go around and work with them, or I can let them stop me completely and take me out. Surrender, and from surrender, flow, comes from choosing the work around.
I didn't expect to lose my sweet lab so soon. I didn't think Lynda would pass so quickly. I didn't think we'd leave the farm in Pateros and essentially feel like we were starting over. I can't say I understand all of it or the purpose behind it. I can say, that I've felt, and still feel, glimmers. I've had moments where I've thought, "Ok, I' see why we're here now." If we'd never left Pateros, I might not have started YogaUncorked. I might not have lead teacher training. If Duke hadn't passed when he did, we wouldn't have been able to walk alongside our friend as they grieved in their losses. Those glimmers remind me that, perhaps, there is some higher hand at work. Call it God, call it The Universe, call it Spirit. Call it the borders of land on the river. The point of the higher hand is to give us a safe structure, a boundary, to support us as we move down the river, as we work to surrender to the flow. This week, for me, that looks like embracing a fuller schedule than I would like right now and looking for moments of ease where I can find them. It looks like filling my free time with adventure and time in nature. I may not love that my days are fuller right now. I can choose to embrace this time and season in my life, to surrender and be in the flow. Where in your life are you letting the obstacles before you stop you in your tracks? Where can you practice surrender and being more like a river? It may not be easy or fun and that's ok. Rivers have moments of fun and joy. They also have scary moments.
The important thing is, if you allow yourself to flow with it all: you're still moving.