There is a set of ethical disciplines in yoga called the ‘Yamas and Niyamas’. I recently read a book by the writer Deborah Adele which explores all ten of these guidelines. The one I gravitated towards the most was ‘Ishwara Pranydynama” – a mouthful I know, but essentially the sanskrit for surrender.
Of late, I have begun to try to surrender to outcomes and see how it feels to release all control to final outcomes with an open heart. When I picture it in my mind it’s like watching confetti in the wind or white sheets blowing on a clothesline. It offers a sense of freedom which I think should feel liberating. However my tendency is to want to control and to want to know, for fear of failure and imperfection.
Deborah Adele says that to surrender reminds us that life knows what to do better than we do. Rather than paddling upstream, surrender is an invitation to go with the underlying currents, enjoy the ride and take in the view. How often do we cling to outcomes or stew over how we wish things were not as they are. How often are we disappointed when the job we thought was ours does not materialize or the house we bid on, falls through?
The singer Birdy in her aptly named song ‘Surrender’ melodically sings ‘If I could reach the Northern Lights, maybe then I’d understand it all’ highlighting that in striving and grasping for things beyond our control, we can find ourselves fixating on things beyond reach, that are not meant for us. And yet how many times do we realize that an outcome we clung to, did well to pass us by?