One of the beautiful paradoxes of the spiritual path, the path to wholeness, is that the best way to make progress, is to stop trying to make progress! Realising that the”trying” is actually the biggest obstacle to surrender, to a power far greater than our own. Let me reassure you right now, you do not need to work hard or earn your way to experience your Divinity. You are Divine, you always were and always will be. So what stops us feeling this? Why do we struggle on, trying to control our lives and the world around us? Fear. It is the fear that keeps us living little lives, lives which feel painful and constrictive. And the fear is ok, more than ok, it is spiritual gold! Fear is simply the polarity partner to Love, and therefore allowing one will give rise to the other. And that is where the “work” comes in, to allow fear…to really embrace it, but realise that it is not who you are. If you can make a subtle shift from seeing fear as something to avoid, to actually welcoming it as a gateway to find love…that is soul alchemy.
One big fear of mine is working on me right now….
“Is it safe to let go and trust life to support me?” When I feel into what is happening in my body, as I contemplate letting go, I sense a large contraction around my shoulders and upper back. I can observe my mind coming up with lots of very “sensible” reasons why this is a bad idea. That is all ok. That is where the magic is happening. The holding on I can experience in my body and mind is also a longing, a deep longing to surrender to life in a far deeper way. And why wouldn’t I feel fear at letting go? In a world that encourages disconnection from our bodies and souls and the greater sphere of life…I have a very limited model of trust in life. That is all ok too, that is the gift of this human experience. Fear, mixed with longing, these are shaping me, teaching me how to be with surrender. A continuous fluctuation between resistance to life and surrender to life, it all wants to be felt and expressed through me…and I am welcoming it.
A powerful yet simple practice I was shown recently, during a retreat for women, was to offer our fears to the fire. Fire is an amazing catalyst for transformation and can help release believes, ideas or energy patterns which no longer serve us. Sitting in circle in the Earth Lodge, a magical womb like structure with an ancient and very holding energy, we took turns to have our deepest fears heard by the group. We hold a stick we have chosen from the forest, and with intention, pass all the fears into the stick as an offering to the fire.
Saying out loud, “I fear letting go because”….
– I am frightened I will be let down. I am worried about what will happen if I release control. I am scared I will feel too much. I am terrified my heart will crack. I cannot let go because I will never be the same again.
Having these fears heard and received by others softens them, allows acceptance to begin the process of release. We then let our stick burn in the fire, alchemy takes place as you feel lighter, less controlled by those fears.
An important lesson for me has been to accept that surrender isn’t a goal or finish line to reach! There is no certificate that says, “well done, you have now surrendered to life!” It is more of a life practice, a love practice. We are all on the continuum of fear to surrender, relaxing and contracting in the beautiful wave of wholeness which we are.
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