Standing up to what is, advances you through what’s not.
The concept of acceptance versus surrendering has been playing in my head for well over two years now. It comes and goes. Rages and practically dissolves. A few days ago it resurfaced when I found myself at the edge of the wind-blown sea.
I had an incredible morning full of movement (108 sun salutations to be exact), community, and a salty swim (my favorite post yoga treat). Then headed to the beach where I had hoped to stay until the early evening. To my surprise the wind had picked up.
When I approached the top of the walkover, it was as if the wind ripped the good vibes right out of my bones. I was instantly distressed. I lugged my board down to the water’s edge and stood, as if my uncandid stair would shift the winds and raise the swell. Useless. I felt agitation creeping in. My body movements shifted, my tone of voice altered, and my mood did a 180.
Hesitant to proceed as my mind began to race with “should haves” and “fear of missing outs.” Then a familiar voice, Megan’s voice, called out above the winds, “just go out!” “You always have fun!” “Look!” as she pointed, “I know you can ride that.” I unwillingly smiled, strapped my leash around my ankle, and shuffled down to meet the waves.
It only took the water hitting my toes for my mind to begin to shift again. “Acceptance versus surrender,” it whispered. I was taken back to a couple years ago on my meditation cushion when those words first flashed in my mind’s eye. It took time to truly understand what this actually meant, but of course, in time, the message unraveled through living. And that’s what I needed to do again.
Accept. What a powerful word. Yet I have begun to realize, that’s the easy part. Surrendering to what is, is where the hick-ups might arise. We can accept all we want. “I accept _____.” However, to surrender and take action on what lays before us is another story.
Surrender, I think it’s a misunderstood word. Surrender doesn’t mean giving up. It doesn’t to elicit forfeiting. And it certainly doesn’t declare losers.
When I walked over the dune and the gusty winds blew in my face, I immediately accepted that the wind had picked up. Easy right? Blunt. Uncontrollable. In. My. Face. Now the surrender part… since I had no control, why did I get rattled by unpleasant emotions? Because I didn’t surrender right away. Because many “should haves” pop into my mind. Because I had already attached myself to a glassy chest high epic session.
The cool part… once I realized how ridiculous I was being, I eventually surrendered to exactly what was. To the present moment. Uninhibited from the outcome.
So I paddled out. No it wasn’t the most epic session, but I got to surf, and that within itself is enough. Surrender to what is, and all of a sudden you free yourself from what’s not.