I had a sweet dream the other night. I was sitting on a bench with someone behind me wrapping me in a strong, loving embrace. As I settled into this cradle, I felt so wholly supported I cannot adequately describe it with words.
As we enter eclipse season when cosmic energies feel a bit intense, and meanwhile the world gets crazier and crazier, I’m trying to savor the sensation of surrender. That brief, almost imperceptible moment of letting go into the unknown with complete trust. The genesis of a physical and metaphorical deep exhale.
Nature reminds us life is one continuous cycle of surrender. The seasons change. Day yields to night which yields to day. Birth leads to growth which leads to death, then there is new birth, and so on. Like nature, we should be quite adept at surrender. But we’re not.
Last week, I visited my daughter in New Orleans who took me to meet the Tree of Life, an oak tree in Audubon Park that was planted in 1740. As I sat in meditation with my back nestled into this wise elder, the tree showed me many of the cycles she has weathered in her nearly 300 years on earth. She encouraged me to open myself to every experience that comes my way, no matter what it is.
I thought of the Rumi poem, “The Guest House” and wondered what would it be like to truly surrender, and as the poem says, “welcome and entertain” every “new arrival” of life. How would it feel to never worry or struggle? In some ways, it might feel like an embrace, but in others it might be difficult. To fully trust can be scary, and there can also be a kind of grief included with letting go of long-held patterns of seeking control. But that shouldn’t stop us from trying.
At the global level, I feel very conflicted about surrendering. It often seems like giving in or checking out. There are so many things in the world that horrify me, yet most of the avenues for changing them involve fighting. I generally allow this to paralyze me. And that makes me feel anxious. It’s here I want to savor my dream’s sensation of surrender. That warm embrace reminding me I’m held, I’m supported, and I’m doing the best I can.
I don’t always know how to let go, but I do know that not surrendering makes me miss much of the juiciness of life. I can get so caught up in trying to control outcomes that I inadvertently create a lack mentality and overlook the abundance all around me, even in a topsy-turvy world.
I believe surrendering to “what is” is a practice, one supported by other practices like gratitude, quiet contemplation, movement, nature connection, sacred circle and exploration. I’m curious about what is possible when we agree to be fully held by something greater than ourselves. When we allow ourselves to reside in the vibration of trust with open eyes and open hearts.
On Sunday, at a gathering of soul sisters, I lay on the ground, my back embraced by Mother Earth and my heart bared to the sky. I knew it was nearing the time I needed to leave to get some things done before my next engagement, and my mind started chattering its warnings. In answer, I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and settled in deeper. When I squinted my eyes open, I discovered two hawks floating overhead, wings gilded by the sun.
And I remembered what is possible when we savor surrender. Magic.
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