Last weekend while I was working a booth at Texas Renaissance Festival, I had an interesting conversation with my neighbor regarding emotions, reactions, and responses. I mentioned that after having practiced for a prolonged period of my life, I rarely had strong emotional reactions. The conversation then evolved into the need, or want, for emotions.
His exact response was along the lines of, “well you should allow yourself to have emotions”. To which I retorted with a very poorly worded explanation regarding responses vs. reactions. How it wasn’t that I did not have emotions, just that my reactions were now responses; and how by surrendering to the universe – and total of the out come of that – I no longer experienced large bouts of negative emotions.
After a prolonged, and dedicated, practice, It should not be so much that you stop having emotions; but rather that you find yourself consistently seated in a space of joy. That after a while you stop fighting the path of life, and the universe, and rather just flow. As you flow, you know that there will be painful parts, there will be things that will not make sense, and there will be heartbreaks. At the same time you know that there will always be a reason, and that is enough.
It is almost like water falling on the back of a duck. The duck is still wet, but not for long. The duck still feels that water, but it does not impede its movement. The duck is still wet, but life continues. When the storm gets too intense the duck will seek shelter – much like with large life events, one will practice more intense Self Care – but once the storm is over, the duck will continue on with their life.
This is a sweet icing to the practice of mindfulness and surrender together. Within a mindfulness practice, we have worked within the deepest inner Self, we have looked at the brain as an organ and rerouted the thought patterns, and we have learned to intake the whole moment and relish in the sweetness of each part. When we truly and completely surrender to the universe, and the path that it has before us, we no longer worry about the outcome of our actions, we are no longer bothered by greatest or smallest impact made, we no longer feel that we have to overthink every action; because by listening to what the deepest Self knows, we know we are always walking the right path.
Hearing the universe, and the Self, speak is not the easiest of things to do. The voices, particularly when unknown, can be very faint. In fact they can even be so quiet, we can go our whole lives without even knowing they are there. Exceptions come to every rule, and yes sometimes there can be “2×4” moments where it is undeniable that a change needs to be made. However the subtleties of surrender is being able to respond and listen to that voice in every moment of your life; and the only way that one will be able to do so is by practicing to listen with mindfulness meditation and constant surrender.
I have gone over the beauty of Mindfulness as a practice and the beautiful response. However I have spent less time on the responses of a practice of true surrender, nor how these two come together to form the sweetest of cakes.
Surrender, true surrender, is something of an art. One truly and completely gives over the control of the major life events to the universe; and more often than not the universe responds in kind. The more we surrender, the greater the response. For example, have you ever gone shopping when you have extra money and nothing particular to purchase, and find nothing? Then the moment you are just tooling around a Meijer, you see the perfect dress, shoes, and stockings? These are moments where we just surrendered. Same can be said about when one is single and looking, verses when one is single and not looking. It has become a common place saying, “when you stop looking the right one will pop up”. Once the universe gives us a direction, like say you should focus on yourself instead of a partner, or vice versa, and we listen; BAM! The opposite happens.
When we decide we want something and it does not happen, that is usually the universe telling us that it is the wrong move. Yet when we surrender to that message, and just go with the flow, surprisingly everything seems to just fall into place; and better than we could even guessed.
There is a dark side to surrender. When we decide we are going to fully surrender to whatever the universe has planned, that means the outcome of our actions we are fully accepting. Sometimes when we find the universe dropping something in our lap, or pushing towards something, it will mean that someone else will be hurt, or that we will have to have a difficult conversation, or that we might not have enough money for something. For every action there is an opposite and equal reaction. We maybe in need of a strong phase of breaking down and rebuilding – that can hurt, a lot. We maybe working a really well paying job; but find ourselves drawn to a lower paying more creative job, which means our standard of living might change. We might be in a relationship with someone, then meet our soul mate on the street – if we choose to explore that option, we will hurt the one we are with. Yet if we are surrendering to the path, we accept that these things may happen, and we will face the outcomes head on. With that, however, there is a loss of weight; because we are doing nothing but following our path and know that the outcomes are in everyone’s Highest Good.
When we combine the practice of mindfulness and surrender we find that our reactions turn into responses. We are able to find ourselves seated in joy because we are secure in the knowledge that every step we take is toward our higher good, and our interactions with others are within theirs as well. Thus no matter what the situation turns to, we are able to just respond within the best way instead of producing strong negative emotions and causing ourselves to spiral towards a dark hole. Even when something happens that can create a more negative emotion, we are able to feel it without holding on to it, we are able to understand from the onset that this is the path of our highest good, we know that it is nothing more than the Self leading us to our Darma.
While I was talking to my neighbor, I had a hard time explaining all of this between customers, or even at the drop of a hat. However I was able to explain that there are two different waves of emotion within us at all times. One is on the surface, and one is underneath. With practice we can have the steady beat of our lives be peaceful, and joyful; even when the transient emotions on the outside change. This is truly what it means to let go, surrender, and life each moment with mindfulness.
Practice in Peace and Love ❤