Trust The Process
I've been reading about surrender and trying to understand it in a way that would allow me to speak about it. I read a lot of information but it didn't get personal until this weekend, when I was forced to surrender to injury. Thanks to all my Google research and the books I'd read, I was able to surrender with immediate calm, quiet acceptance. I met the difficulty with a smile. Who am I kidding, I was pissed. I was forced to surrender after every attempt to resist it had failed. My ankle was in pain, possibly seriously inured and yet, my first reaction was to be upset that it forced me to stop doing what I really wanted to be doing. Now. I was angry with myself, my ankle, the horrible timing and the inconvenience it caused. I tried to muscle through and keep practicing. I argued with my teacher and a certified nurse who both recommended I go see a doctor. Surely it can wait until tomorrow, right? The pain in my ankle was not my biggest challenge, it was my struggle to open myself up to that moment instead of resisting it. To let go of trying to control and instead, accept that I could not change what was happening in that moment, no matter how unhappy and disappointed I felt about. Learning to let go of control and strengthen my connection with the feeling of surrender is one of the beauties of this practice. In the same way that improving the strength of my thighs and abs can make postures like chair and plank feel less difficult, strengthening my ability to surrender makes it easier to navigate through life's difficult challenges, IF I trust the process. Reclined bound angle and sivasana are postures where I connect easily with surrender. These postures invite surrender. But imagine finding a connection with that same feeling of surrender while holding postures like revolved half moon or airplane! Surrendering to discomfort is not usually on my mind while i'm holding revolved half moon. I grip. I feel resistance. I chose to be where I am in that moment and now I can't wait for the moment to be over. I believe there is a greatness in each one of us that wants what is best for us. Unlike ego, that wants what is easiest or what feels better, our greatness can be trusted. When I make time for a yoga practice, I am trusting my greatness. When I struggle with chair pose, and resist how it feels, I disconnect from my greatness. It's similar to a plane that's flying throughout turbulence. Recently, I learned that turbulence is caused by flying through clouds. If the plane is able to get above the clouds, turbulence ends and the smooth flight resumes. But the only way out of the turbulence, is through it. The distractions of feeling uncomfortable and challenged create turbulence on my mat. It's temporary. Surrendering into discomfort and moving through challenge, instead of resisting it, allows me to reconnect again and again with the blue skies of my greatness. Yes, yoga can make us feel good, even heal our bodies but it also shows us what we're made of when things get difficult. Thanks to my ankle injury, I'm reminded that however I react to difficult challenges on the mat is how I'm reacting to difficult challenges off the mat. Am I resisting? Or accepting? Am i rigid? Or able to soften? Do i choose effort? Or ease? When I am able to trust my greatness and trust the process, the grace in that trust remains long after the posture has dissolved.