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November 21, 2018

I'm learning to surrender

I'm learning to surrender
I'm learning to surrender

I have a confession to make: I am impatient. A close friend of mine has been telling me this for months and I have been acting like all I need to do is take a deep breath in my moments of impatience and angst and I’ll be fine, but that doesn’t work. I am impatient. Especially when it comes to love, dating and all heart matters.

The other day in the middle of a yoga class, the teacher said that yoga teaches you to surrender. Now this I get. In fact anyone who practices a physical activity regularly will tell you this. You have the body that you have. It has taken years to get it to where it is and your strength, stamina and flexibility are all products of your diet, stress, alcohol intake, self-loathing or self-loving etc. You might want to run a marathon this year or climb a mountain but whatever your training or practice is, it will soon show you that you must surrender to the process because your body cannot change overnight.

So now back to my impatience: in the yoga room, the idea that you can walk in stiff one day and do standing splits the next day is ludicrous and I know this. Has this ‘knowledge’ prevented me from judging my practice and setting impossible goals? No. And this is where surrender comes in. I have learnt that the best way to get into what seems like an impossible posture is to see myself in it then turn up for yoga as frequently as possible and it will fall into place in the fullness of time.

The word surrender, to me, evokes the image of falling backwards into something. It could be the arms of someone you trust, a large mattress, whatever it is I just hope it makes for a soft landing. Surrender is the ultimate act of faith because in that moment we give up all control and illusions of it. I have been trying to ‘work’ on my impatience, especially in the dating department. Telling myself that I need to be patient with people; that they too need space to express themselves and that I should just chill. Nothing heightens impatience like suggestions of ‘calm down’ and ‘chill out’, they just sound like condemnations of your bahaviour and exacerbate the situation. Like asking an upset woman if she is on her period.

Anyway, in the middle of that yoga class where I heard the word surrender [please note it is said with some regularity, I just really heard it recently] it occurred me to that instead of fighting my impatience, I should give into it like that stiff hip that prevents you from doing splits. I am surrendering to my impatience and leaning in to it. Patience, giving in to the process of dating and falling in love, that seems like an impossible posture, so I will envision it in my mind and then turn up and practice/date believing that it will fall into place in the fullness of time. Surrender.

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