Surrender Damn It
Is full surrender to life possible?
To remain fully open to what life is presenting you; is that possible?
It’s a practice.
It’s not difficult but it is a practice that takes some time to really master.
I was first introduced to this concept of surrendering to life’s journey from Michael Singer in his second book, The Surrender Experiment. In it, he describes his journey to fully surrendering to what life presents and removing his own likes and dislikes about the subject at hand.
It’s an amazing journey that will really surprise you on what this man actually surrenders to.
An example I love describing in short fashion.
Michael builds a meditation temple/cabin in the woods on a five acre plot of land he bought when he was in his 20’s. He comes home one day and someone else is building a small shed type of cabin on his lot next to his. His mind of course is racing like, who is this person building on my lot without my permission. Instead of closing off to this, he remains open, grabs a tool belt and helps them build it.
WHAT!?! C’mon Mike! Really?!?
Further on in the story, the small cabin is an integral part in his journey along with the person who actually builds it. I’ll let you read the book to hear the rest.
Wow! Remaining open at that level is amazing!
My wife and I have been discussing the feeling of remaining open versus closed to things.
We all have these deeply held biases and beliefs that really don’t serve us very well. We also have these suspicious likes and dislikes that don’t really serve us all that well either.
The JUICE of Michael’s theory is that when presented with something you put your likes and dislikes aside, and remain open to what is being presented.
The main reason for this is that the little voice in your head will do everything in it’s power to prevent you from participating in said activity or talking to said person or taking advantage of said life opportunity.
What to do, what to do?
Fight the feeling of being closed.
Wht about about safety situations with this concept. At what point can you take this “remaining open thing” to an insane level?
If you are walking somewhere downtown and see a dark alley but there is a cool sign down there and you are by yourself, do you walk down it?
Or you are at the train station and some weird dude dressed all crazy starts chatting with you; do you participate. He is a weird dude, according to who?
So to get to the bottom of it, I decided to go to the man himself. I wrote the best selling author, multi millionaire, super baddassical yogi, Michael Singer himself. Here is the email I wrote him:
How do you determine when it’s unsafe to surrender to what life is presenting to you? For example, taking a short cut down a dark alley, or a stranger running up to you at a stop light and asking for a ride somewhere, or someone that seems odd at a hotel inviting you to their house for dinner? Not sure if those are the best examples but I was wondering your opinion on those.
I was a bit bummed as I didn’t get Micahel direct but that wasn’t super surprising. But I did get his direct confidant. The response is absolutely AMAZING! Enjoy!
Thank you for sending your question. We often receive similar questions about surrender. Michael is teaching us to first surrender the personal reactions that happen as life unfolds, and then to intelligently interact with the events in life.
For example, you can let go of your fearful reaction and still decide not to take a friend’s dare to go outside in the middle of a strong hurricane. So surrender is not necessarily saying “Yes” to everything — it is about letting go of your inner stuff (fears/preferences etc.), and responding and interacting with each situation in a clear and appropriate way. Michael asked me to send you a response he wrote recently for someone who asked a similar question:
“Your question is very beautiful, and many people struggle with this as they begin to experiment with surrendering to life. First, it is important to understand that it isn’t about saying “yes” or saying “no” to life as it unfolds before you. It is about living life without inner resistance to what is happening, and then learning to interact from a place of clarity, harmony and service.
So, the first thing you do is to let go of your personal reaction to what life is presenting you. But that is not the end of it.
Life is not passive; it is interactive.
Once you have let go of your personal self by relaxing and letting all its noise about like and dislike pass by, you are left face-to-face to deal with reality instead of your habit-formed reactions to reality.
You will know what to do. It is not so complicated once like and dislike are out of the picture.
For example, if someone is abusing your body, you have an obligation to protect it. Your body is a gift that was given to you by life, and you must respect that gift. People stay in physically abusive relationships out of fear or misplaced desires. Once you let go of all of that personal stuff, there is absolutely no reason you would stay in such a relationship, no more than you would keep eating food that made you sick.
It’s basically a ‘no-brainer’ once the personal is out of the way. The key is:
Are you willing to surrender the personal aspect of your being? Once you do, you will find yourself dancing with life, instead of fighting with her. And you will notice that she is the one who is leading. You can’t see that close dance with life while your mind and your heart are screaming about how you want things to be.
That is surrender. First let go of the personal, then see what life is doing and interact appropriately. In time, all of your interactions with life will seem like acts of service, and they will all be done with a sense of great love.”
Joey, we hope this helps. Michael sends you great love and respect and encourages you to keep seeking the inner freedom and happiness you deserve, by continuing to let go.
Wishing you deep growth and peace,
That was one AMAZINGLY AMAZING response and one that I will hold on to and re read on a weekly basis.
It explains very clearly why surrending to what life presents and remaining open to things is so important.
Quit resisting! It’s painful!
My favorite line:
“You can’t see that close dance with life while your mind and your heart are screaming about how you want things to be. In time, all of your interactions with life will seem like acts of service, and they will all be done with a sense of great love.”
Be at peace my friends! Remain open and let life guide you and bring you all the gifts you deserve!
Stay frosty and grind on!
For an audio version of this piece go to: http://thegrind1.libsyn.com/surrender-to-life