Several times during this pandemic, I have written about the philosophy of non-attachment, as the suffering from what we can’t let go of seems more noticeable. I have witnessed most everyone I know (including myself) and people from around the world, experiencing some form of loss or grief. Even if wasn’t a direct loss of someone or something, we have all felt the loss of the way things used to be before Covid-19 became a part of our lives. There is suffering and pain we experience through loss, but we often further add to our own suffering through attachment. Attachment not only can increase our suffering, but it also diminishes our growth. It inhibits our ability to flow freely with life and find the necessary surrender to create space for what is yet to come.
Consider trees. What would happen if they refused to let go of their dying leaves as fall set in? Instead of letting them gracefully return back to the earth, what would result if they clung to every last leaf possible? If they refused to be part of the cycle, there would be no possibility of new life come spring. There would be no room for new sprouts, limbs, and leaves.
We are evolving every moment we are alive – breath going in, breath going out. It is a continuous cycle of death and new life . Covid-19 has been a crash course for all of humanity on how not only to witness this cycle, but to actively participate. To learn again how to find the extraordinary in the ordinary. To be challenged to stay anchored in the present moment. To deepen our inquiry and study of the self. And to surrender to what it means to be human on this earthly plane.
The only certainty we have in this life is that it will always change. We can see this change as a painful experience and attempt to refuse it. We can fight and yell out in despair that it isn’t fair. But we can also see this change an opportunity to be reborn each and every day. We can soften our grip and open to what is coming our way. If we close ourselves off in resistance to what we don’t like, what is painful, and we can’t bear to tolerate; then at the same time, we close ourselves off to all that is good and beautiful. Places in our body will physically seize in a state of fear and relive the suffering over and over as if the event that caused our suffering was still occurring in present time. And we will completely miss the unexpected joy or blessing that has come our way.
Surrendering does not mean that we don’t care. It doesn’t mean we have to like what is. Surrendering teaches us how to hold space for both, so that we can acknowledge the suffering while embracing the many miracles and gifts of grace. Surrendering allows us to connect to our self, connect to others, and to connect with spirit. Through this connection, we can experience love, as we remember that love is the source of all that is good in this world. We create more harmony within ourselves and can step fully into the flow of life if we choose love.
If we are holding – gripping on to our pain and suffering, or ruminating over our regrets and disappointments, we cannot find surrender. The first step towards surrender is awareness. It is important to become aware of what you are holding onto, what you are resisting letting go of. Sometimes we are not fully conscious of what we are holding in our body or in our heart. It could be a lifetime of things that we’ve never allowed to come to the surface. By dropping into our body, connecting to our self, and being guided into the present moment through the breath, is when we can consciously notice what we hold. Once we are aware, we can then explore ways of expressing it. The power of attachment is lost when we learn how to express ourselves.
There are many ways we can express ourselves. Putting our attachments and suffering into words can be useful tools in expression, but it is not always complete as sometimes we are unable to articulate what we are feeling. And even if we are able to express what is in our mind, it does not always express what the body holds. To express what our body holds, to release what is stuck, requires movement. Any form of creative movement is helpful – yoga asana and dance are just two examples. But there has to be a conscious awareness of our movement, staying grounded into the present moment as we explore our body, breath, and sound. In this conscious awareness, we can find empowerment through our expression.
As humans, we have many gifts to offer this world, and equally there as many gifts the world has to offer. We are not alone in our suffering. We are infinitely connected to each other through the thread of our own spirit. Our own uniqueness was meant to be not a just a gift to our self, but a gift to support each other. It is this uniqueness that I encourage you to explore, to embody, and to express fully! Let yourself move through the song of sorrow and laughter. Tap into your fire and courage to bravely accept this human experience.
Surrender to your own power and raw beauty beholden only to you. Set down your shield and let the abundance of blessings shower upon you.
“There is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost.”
~ Martha Graham