I always knew I wanted to be one of the Gabby Bernstein’s of the world who could sit on her meditation cushion every single day and “meditate”. The truth is something about it seemed appealing to me for years but I never committed myself to it because I always felt like sitting and breathing wouldn’t be enough to make me feel good.
100 days in a consistent practice later, I realize that it is not the sitting down and breathing that has left me feeling good, it is the willingness to surrender.
Let me tell you a little secret about myself. I am a recovering CONTROL addict. I love to control everything around me. If I feel in control, I feel safe. Let me demonstrate to you just how loud my sense of control was...
In the first few weeks of my meditation practice when I would be guided to sit up straight with my palms facing up, the feeling of palms up MESSED with me. It was challenging and uncomfortable because I knew what it meant to have your palms face up in meditation. It meant a promise to be open for the period of the practice. Often between 5-15 minutes. I refused. For the first little bit, I would put heavy crystals in my hand to hold them in that position because I was just NOT willing to surrender myself to the practice. I couldn’t surrender. Through all my trainings not limited to yoga, life coaching, psychotherapy, and EFT, I knew intellectually the impact and significance of surrender. We don’t even need to say surrendering to a higher power. Let’s just say surrendering to life. I always subconsciously equated surrender to complacency. Like if I let life take the wheel, I was lazy or careless or complaisant. This practice has taught me that I was telling myself that story to grip on to the addiction of control I had developed over my entire life.
Meditation has instead offered me something else. Meditation won’t take your anxiety away. It won’t rid you of depression or sadness or worry. What meditation will give you though is a time for yourself. An opportunity to show up for yourself fully in WHATEVER it is you're feeling. If you follow my work, you know that one of my main pillars is that in order to move through the crap in your life you’ve got to feel it first. That’s what meditation is. It’s the time I give myself to feel everything that’s there for me. And offering myself that time has become a small but greatly impactful miracle in my life that I’m so happy I now get to share with all of you. On day eighty something I noticed that my hands would just naturally flip up on my meditation cushion. I naturally wanted to find that position. Not just because I trained my body to do so, but more because every single day I had offered myself just 10 minutes to release control and see how that felt. And that surrender of just letting go became what I craved every single day. That feeling of surrender became a feeling of home to me rather than resistance. I became so proud of my ability to surrender to meditation because it had offered me peace. I became more mindful in my communications in my daily life, and my actions were more in line with the love and peace I practiced on my cushion.
There was not and has not yet been anything drastic in my life that changed. But I have experienced a million and one small subtle shifts that help me live a peaceful and balanced life every day. I spared the life of a few spiders in my home, because violence didn’t seem appropriate any longer. I stopped obsessing over my relationships (all of them) and instead let myself each day glory in the present moment and just enjoy the people and places I was with. This is what became of surrender. Releasing my controlling grips got me present in my life. Surrender had me finally LIVE my life and let go of the idea that the present moment should be any different. Meditation did not change my life. But understanding that I am not just the meditator. I am just the being letting guidance find me. That is living a life of wonder. So, yes, meditation has helped me remember and return to my wonder-ful life. Because letting life guide me, while being the responsible loving person I am, FEELS better that controlling my surroundings all on my own. But who knows? I’ll see you on day 365 to tell you what a year feels like.