Saturday, June 11, 2016

The Secret of Surrender

There are few things in this world that terrify me more than doing a handstand in the middle of the floor with no wall to catch me if I start to topple backward. I have no fear when it comes to throwing myself into the world where there is no guarantee it will catch me with loving arms...but a handstand?

Our instructor will not let us use the wall. You'll never learn with a crutch, she tells us. Then she teaches us how to fall--which looks more like fancy gymnastics than falling when she demonstrates. Why do I have so much resistance? What exactly am I afraid of? Dying? No. Falling through the earth? No. Hurting myself beyond repair? Maybe, but that's unlikely. Hurting myself temporarily? Maybe, but that just sounds silly.

I have given up so called security. I have traveled and lived in countries some people wouldn't dream of going anywhere near. I have gotten lost (sometimes purposefully, sometimes not) in foreign villages and cities for hours. I have bounded into each of these situations with trust and love. I completely surrendered and I flew.

The secret was surrendering--letting go of that resistance to the unknown. To surrender into every moment creates an expansion and mindset where trust can grow and fear or resistance transforms into something else entirely. Another method of bending reality, perhaps.

When I first arrived in Ubud, I had resistance. It was nothing like India or Nepal, and for some unknown, illogical reason, I resisted it. Whereas in India and Nepal you cannot escape the fact you are in India or Nepal, here in Ubud, it's easy to forget you are in Indonesia. I found every reason not to like it--too developed, too catered toward tourists, and it was taking me too long to find my niche. I needed to either surrender to my new environment or have a very irritating 6 weeks ahead of me.

Not too long ago while wandering down busy Palace Road, I followed an arrow and squeezed my way between the buildings and continued down the narrow, winding, never-ending path that cut through what I'm sure was private property. I kept pushing forward until it opened up into expansive rice fields on both sides of the path. Not knowing where I was being lead--I passed tiny local cafes and an art studio, rice field workers, and indescribable scenes of an utterly surreal world. This is what letting go of resistance is like. This is surrendering.

I began to give in and let myself surrender--around every turn I found hidden gems folded into the thick layers of Ubud, and it was there I found Indonesia. But it was riding a motorbike around the outskirts of town when the layers finally melted away and everything began to reveal magic.

All round me the intricately carved stone temple and homestay entrances popped out. Women in sarongs weaving small offering trays smiled at me as I walk by, others lit incense and recited prayers at their storefronts. Families gathered at the soccer field as kids played and the parents cooked rice over small fires on the sidelines. The more I softened to my environment, the more I saw what I loved about this town.

Each class I attended whether yoga or dance or sound healing, I dissolved more resistance. Where it typically takes me a few days to a week to settle into a new environment, it has taken me almost a month to let go of all my resistance and melt into something of a magical life here in Ubud.

Why was I so resistant? What was I afraid of? All I have found on the other side of that uncertainty, that resistance was the Indonesia I've been searching for. So why am I so resistant to crutch-less handstands? What am I afraid of? What will I find on the other side of that fear?

We all have our fears that we cling to, our crutches that prevent us from surrendering to the unknown--they are all illusions of our individual mindsets so why let them own us? And according to quantum mechanics, there is even a random chance that I will fall through the wall or earth. So why live in fear and resistance with so much uncertainty carousing throughout the universe anyway?

There you have it folks--I've just written my way into a crutch-less handstand. What crutch or resistances will you dissolve? What fears are you ready to release to allow yourself to surrender into uncertainty? You just might find expansive magic on the other side. 


Jennifer Walters said...

I have a client who was convinced that she was a wierdo because she had such a strong resistance to discomfort. It's in our DNA; all of us as humans must confront what feels natural to run away from. But it sounds like you're opening to the pay-off. It's so worth it. When you make that handstand, you will feel so liberated!

Sarah Seymour said...

Yes, thank you, I'm sure I will!

And I agree--there is always a payoff to confronting resistance! Even just the step of examining the resistance without necessarily having a breakthrough is a huge step :)

Sasha Neese said...

I once read a story (Donna Farhi maybe) where the woman was talking about an interaction that happened when she choose not to go into handstand. She discover her entire reason for fearing them revolved around the kind of person she thought she was (one who did/could not do handstands). the handstand itself was not the issue but the limitations she had placed upon herself. It took me five years, a yoga teacher training and this story to get me to look deep enough into my own fears to discover they were based only on the thought "I'm not strong enough, people who do handstands are strong". With continuing practice I can now, sometimes, successfully kick into handstand against the wall. As cliche as it sounds, deciding to believe that I could do it made all the difference. :)

P.s. I miss you!

Sarah Seymour said...

That is awesome!!! Thank you for sharing :) That is a really good way of looking at why we resist and fear certain things.

I miss you too! I hope all is well! Update me on life sometime, if you're up to it :)