During this New Moon meditation, Spirit asked me: What is surrender and what does it mean to surrender? Surrender is often interpreted in terms of loss and victory. While this may be true in many situations, I am choosing to view it differently for this purpose.
As you may remember, the question that Spirit asked me during the February 2013 Full Moon meditation was "What does it mean to be free"?
The questions seem to go hand-in-hand, though I'm not sure in what order and if that order is the same each time.
I have been thinking a lot about surrender during this cleanse. Most of you know that I am ordered and diligent about my schedule and getting things done on time, if ahead of time. However, you may have noticed that I have kept rather quiet, not even posting comments or blog entries.
Why: I have been allowing myself to surrender to doing "nothing". And it has been good.
At some point, I realized that the schedule I had made was not going to be kept. I didn't want to keep it. I also realized that I could not. What I needed: more space to breathe and to allow my thoughts to settle after an intensive teaching year. More space in my office. More of everything that is not confining. More laughter with my Beloved and my sister-friends. So, I did what one of my favorite cards advises: I settled for more… of everything.
Mercury Retrograde is often a good and productive time for me to communicate, travel, and get things done. This has been a busy period for me with new projects and speaking in depth to many of you. As we near the end of the cleanse, however, I feel myself becoming quiet. Still. As I was cooking today, I basked in the sun coming through the window and the absolute glorious silence of no cars passing on the street for an extended period of time. I couldn't even find a thought until I made one.
It was so wonderful to take a few hours to cook a simple dish. Something that could have been done in one hour took me two hours because I wanted to chop the onions finely and watch them sauté. I wanted to shred the chicken instead of cut it. I wanted to make a curry paste from scratch, slice mangoes and yellow tomatoes from the garden. Make lemonade. Yum.
Too often we "stick to it" or rush through it. Either way we don't give ourselves enough time to contemplate what our mind, body, heart, and spirit are telling us: if we just allow a few more minutes, days, weeks, months - years even - to rest or think on something, our struggle to complete whatever it is can be reduced to almost nothing. The extra time we take could prevent us from making a mistake or help us make a better decision. Timing is everything and the information we need may not be quite ready for us to access it - or maybe we are not ready.
So, surrendering for me (this moment in time, today) is about knowing when to say yes to stillness and not moving forward in human time. There is a freedom that comes with that indeed: Releasing false expectations and fear that lead to frustration, ego, anxiety, anger, and reaction. This means that when it is time for me to take action I can do so clearly without second-guessing or floundering.
The New Moon brought me many new adventures, including babies as I take up a new role in my healing life as a birth and postpartum doula. The babies are teaching me every day. They arrive when they are ready, not when they are "due". Because it is we on the outside who set the due date based on a series of observations that are nebulous. Yet, we have to prepare and plan for them as if we really know what they are going to do. In this way we are ready when they are ready. It is a wonderful task of listening to what can be seen and not seen, heard and not heard. Doing birth work requires me to constantly be a woman with an oxymoronic perspective: fluid schedule and birth plan are terms that come to mind.
I imagine the ancestors waiting to be born having some really good laughs as they choose when, to whom, and where they will be born. Every now and then they throw in a twist and arrive on the “due” date. Of course, we get happy and think how perfectly we worked it out. But really, it’s just the ancestors playing with us, giving us a break every now and then.
At this moment, then, I have come back to something I began to understand when I first became a priest: surrender can be a collaboration between myself and whatever I am resisting. In letting go of my resistance, I learn and see so much I had not seen or known before.
This has certainly been the case in me letting go of my schedule and allowing my mind to just observe all that I think was necessary and important. My Caribbean curried chicken salad with mangoes and raisins on a lovely bed of lettuce from the garden is testament to what can happen in extended moments of doing nothing supported by breathing unfettered by gasps or unconscious holding.
In the end, clarity, flavors and colors, and desire all surface and are exquisitely revealed and satisfied.