Can I tell you something? Lately, you guys, there’s a lot in this gal’s head. Okay, I might have already shared that in a previous letter or maybe five, but never before have I constantly looked to yoga and its teachings to truly practice what I teach. You might think that us yoga teachers have things figured out. We meditate. We might journal. We do downward facing dogs to flip our perspectives and pigeon pose to release tension that’s crept into our hips. But, here's a secret...we teach what we need to learn.
And, right now, that’s figuring out how to deal with my inner control freak. One of the most difficult things to learn within our yoga practice (and I’ll say in life) is practicing surrender. Whew. It’s HARD. By nature, I’m a planner - a typical ENFJ on the Myers-Briggs scale. I love to strategize and vision for the future according to StrengthsFinder. Like a typical crab under the Zodiac, this Cancer craves security and some semblance of structure (though not too much because I hate rules). And, right now? I’m getting none of the above.
More than ever, I feel short on time. I don’t have a plan for the baby’s care when I return to the studio after his or her arrival. I don’t have an exact plan for my group class and private yoga schedule. I can’t tell what my days might look like, or how much time I’ll have to devote to some passion projects I’m working on. If you’ve been in a similar situation (baby or not) and you’re a planner, too, it’s scary, right?!
Enter deep breaths. Enter the reminder of surrender. Surrender, known as Ishvara Pranidhana, is one of the Niyamas of yoga which are tools for cultivating happiness and inner peace. Here is where we learn to surrender to what is, instead of fighting against life’s twists and bumps and turns. Here is where we practice less worrying about what could happen, and more trust in something greater. That we’re exactly where we need to be. I’m reminded of a saying from Abraham Hicks here. He says that everything we want - to feel, to be, to have - is downstream from where we are. We don’t have to fight so hard to swim upstream. That’s surrender.
So my fellow dear control freaks out there, how about we start our surrender practice by embracing what is, having gratitude for the day to day details right now? How about we try and let go of all the “plans” and live with a greater sense of purpose, knowing that the Universe/the Divine/etc. will be our guide (sometimes in a direction we do not expect)? Can we do that together?
In a recent interaction with my acupuncturist, he said to me, “The end and the beginning are near.” And, that’s both exciting and somewhat scary, but with the practice of surrender, I realize there’s beauty in both. Because growing our family is something Eugene and I have wanted for a long time. Owning a business is something I’ve wanted, too. And, maybe the journey towards meshing it all together will be messy, but it will be perfect.
Are you a fellow planner or self-classified control freak? Do you feel as though you’ve been swimming upstream for too long? How can you practice surrender today? Can’t wait to hear from you.