Surrender is an emotional skill that most of us find difficult. Even when think we are surrendering there is often a subtle resistance within that is keeping underground conflict alive. Winter gives us an example and an opportunity to change this.
We can consciously choose to view this time of year as a teacher to help reduce some of the stress and frustration. We can open ourselves to learn something from this season that we are used to just enduring. Years ago I would have laughed at such an approach! Finally it occurred to me that my attitude was not working. So I thought a trial run of a different point of view couldn’t hurt. I found that it not only didn’t hurt, it in fact helped…a lot!
Surrender to natural cycles
In our goal oriented society we often are impatient with natural cycles. We fight against the timing of things and hardly ever are at peace with things as they are right here right now! I have been amazingly guilty of this. However, once I felt how this attitude was affecting me inside….on every level, mind, body and spirit it became easier to commit to doing what was needed to shift.
Observing the natural world can teach us about patience with what is, flowing with cycles and changes, and going with the flow and waiting gracefully on right timing. Our experience of winter’s time can become an opportunity to practice spinning inward. As we do so we can focus on letting go of resistance to all that is harsh, cold and unyielding.
In the short, cold days of winter, there is a lot of magic and beauty. This comes with the time for quiet reflection, becoming friends with a slower, quieter, less active pace. Through slowing down and going inward, our spirits are replenished and our creativity rekindled. Our bodies and minds also are refreshed and as a result surprisingly begin to operate in more effective and efficient ways. You may discover that you like the new pace and improved balance!
In spite of being able to see the wisdom in surrender to a gentler pace, it is not without its challenges. We are used to such a high level of activity, and have so many distractions screaming for our attention not to mention the (impossible) high expectations for every area of our lives, that it can feel impossible to slow down.
Surrender can be empowering
If we are to have something new enter our lives then we must make the choice to make room for it. We must align our energy with our intentions and be open to a new experience.
Self knowledge is helpful here. Notice how your mind can feed your brain and mouth words that state your intention but when you connect more deeply with your body and heart you feel the resistance. The mind thinks it is in control of the ship but when you check below there’s a mutiny brewing! This awareness can be the doorway through which you enter into the silent nourishing state that nature models so gracefully.
Surrender gives you a gift
Deep within each of us, is the need for quiet; for the kind of rest that replenishes and nourishes our bodies, minds and spirits. There is a place inside that understands and knows how to BE. However, we need to access it, it will not force its way into our life. We access it by slowing down, tuning in and listening in silence. our lives are greatly enriched for the brief investment of time that we make.
How do you do this? One way is to practice some form of meditation, deep relaxation, and contemplation or prayer as a daily routine. This may be difficult at first for many reasons. It may feel as though nothing is happening or that you are not being productive, responsible or worthwhile. As you become more familiar with spending time in this type of activity, you will gradually become aware, however, of how profoundly it is impacting your life in ways that support health, happiness and relationships.
What are the benefits of learning to spend this kind of time?
- You find a kind of rest you did not think was possible.
- You discover silence teaches many things.
- You develop new perspectives that help you in practical ways.
- You realize the difference between knowledge and understanding.
- You really understand you are more than a constant process of doing.
- You find that by slowing down you accomplish more with less effort.
- You rediscover your creativity and solutions to problems.
- You find that you really enjoy and cherish this time.
- You develop a reliable source of renewal, guidance, support and problem solving.
All relationships need attention, time and space to grow. Winter provides the possibility for a new kind of relationship with yourself. This relationship is grown and nurtured internally. It is deceptively quiet and subtle, but like winter, it can be powerful in the gifts it brings: expansion, growth, warmth, beauty your own personal Spring! Go inward this winter and nurture the seeds of change and growth within you. Contemplate what you really want in your life and make room in your heart and soul for its arrival. Align your thoughts and your energy with your intentions on a daily basis.
Make a commitment to nurture yourself this winter. Align your spirit with Nature’s cycles. When spring arrives, the seeds of winter will burst forth will new life and vigor.