“Always say “yes” to the present moment. What could be more futile, more insane, than to create inner resistance to what already is? What could be more insane than to oppose life itself, which is now and always now? Surrender to what is. Say “yes” to life — and see how life suddenly starts working for you rather than against you.” ― Eckhart Tolle
There are times in our lives when we work hard and push thru to achieve a goal; running a race comes to mind. There are others times, when, no matter how badly we want something, it just doesn’t happen. We can choose to try to push, asserting our will, or we can choose to simply surrender. Inherently, believing that there is always a bigger purpose helps in these times.
For months I had been preparing for the Disney Princess Half Marathon. I got up at five in the morning, I prayed and meditated, got in an hour of writing in and then jumped on my treadmill. My diet, which is vegetarian combining lentils, legumes, organic vegetables and protein shakes, is honed and becomes more disciplined, the closer I get to a race. Leading up to the marathon, my longest run is usually twenty plus miles; a half marathon is thirteen miles. I sweated it out to speed work and I sometimes did two workouts in one day. Years ago, before getting diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, I was an elite triathlete so I am no stranger to sweat equity.
The week of the race, I was ready. I had put the effort in and was on my final taper. For non-athletes, this is a phase where we decrease distance and intensity leading up to a race. I was also in my glorious carb-loading phase indulging in rice and rice pasta. My bag was packed and I was on a mission to complete the fastest half marathon I had run since my diagnosis.
I left for the airport and arrived to find my flight was delayed due to a big snowstorm heading to the East Coast. I would not make my connection to Florida. The kind, although somewhat green, United Airlines representative searched for options including going through New York, Toronto, Newark, and Chicago. Just as soon as he found a flight, the seat would immediately disappear. I have a fairly high status with the airline, being a frequent traveler, however even that was not enough to guarantee a seat.
A senior customer service person came over to help and even with her override codes we were still not able to get me on a flight. The newer agent suggested I try to fly to Washington and take my chances while his boss simply rolled her eyes. I heard a small voice within me say, ‘Susan, don’t assert your will.’ I knew that this was not the time to try and force my way onto a flight.
My mind also raced to flight 3407, the Continental regional jet that crashed on February 12, 2009 killing fifty passengers and crew enroute to Buffalo, New York. After the crash, I recall seeing an interview with a woman who did not get on the plane. She was crying and shaking. The airline had oversold the plane and although her status would allow her to ‘bump’ another passenger she decided to wait and take a later flight. She said that ‘something’ told her not to get on the plane.
This woman, like me, was a frequent business traveler. She recounted that she had never really had that sensation before and she was full of mixed emotions including anguish for the passengers and crew of the flight and gratitude for her safety. That woman’s interview is stored in my mind even though her name cannot be remembered.
Although there were no airplane crashes, people did get grounded because of the storm. Passengers were stranded and perhaps I could have been one of them. Maybe there was another reason I was not supposed to be there and I may never know. Regardless of the ‘why’ the thing I know to be true is best said from a television show that no longer runs, Ugly Betty – ‘where there is a mess, there is a message.’ Although this was satire, it does ring true. If something is getting messy, indicating that we should make another choice then it is often best to surrender.
Maybe there was another reason I was not supposed to be there and I may never know.
I wonder how many people, on flight 3407, had a feeling they should not get on that plane and did anyway; ignoring their gut. I wonder why the pilot, instead of following protocol for flying a regional jet through a storm, insisted on going against it; the apparent cause of the crash. Did he also ignore his gut? Did he assert his will?
When I have these ‘just surrender’ moments, and they happen often, I ask myself what positives have come about as a result of any change of plans. In this case, it was a weekend with Chris and the kids and an opportunity to do another twenty miler on Sunday morning to prepare for the Boston marathon this coming April. I have learned that I although I can never change the past, I can always change my perspective of it.
The bottom line is that sometimes, we are meant to surrender instead of forcing ourselves thru. If we pay attention, we may just hear that voice guiding us in another direction. Although I didn’t run the race that I trained so hard for, I did benefit from the fitness. Even though I didn’t get to be with my Have It All sisters in Orlando, I was there in spirit and ran twenty miles as a show of solidarity. Being able to see the bright side of perceived disappointment is essential to adjusting to life’s ‘course correcting’ moments.
This week I encourage you to embrace the surrender; trusting that there is always a bigger plan for you. Know in your heart, that your gut instincts are usually right and resist the urge to second guess with your head.
Balanced Living Tips for Surrender
- Trust Your Gut and Your Heart.
- Believe That There is Always a Reason for a Non-Deliberate Change of Plans.
- Ask Yourself What Positives Have Come About Regardless of the Situation.
Have you listened to The Shift Mediation available from www.susansly.com ? This twenty minute guided meditation has helped listeners, from all over the world, learn to relax, let go and shift their patterns of thinking. We encourage you to give it a try today.