When reading some blogs upon entering 2017, I kept coming across the idea of keeping it simple, using a one word Intention that would be your North Star for the year ahead. And of course because I’m suuper smart and know better than everyone else, I thought psshh there’s so much I want to accomplish this year, I need more than one word! So of course as life would have it, instead of the easy scenic route, I needed to be smacked in the head a bit with my word before really getting it. And when I mean smacked I mean repeatedly hit over and over.
Yesterday I was sitting in my car in the parking lot of my apartment complex. I was staring at my neighbors second floor balcony and had the extremely random though of, “huh, if I jumped from that balcony I probably wouldn’t be too badly injured” (quick note: I am NOT about to jump from a balcony, I have just been watching too many episodes of The Blacklist). Next I reasoned, while making my escape from a crime lord and jumping, I’d have to make sure I rolled into the impact instead of tensing every single muscle. After all, I didn't want to sustain an injury….I know i know, just go with me on this. I then said to myself “psshh there’s no way in hell I wouldn’t tense my entire body if I jumped!” Luckily, I didn't have to, and so I went about my normal, manhunt escapade free day.
This morning I woke ironically feeling as if I had indeed taken that balcony dive. My entire body, while always in chronic pain is particularly severe today, and many of the interventions that I have been doing to improve the condition of it, were not helping like they should have. And so I promptly moved in to the fields of anger and despair. I started a dialogue with myself. Why is this happening, I do everything I am supposed to, I go above and beyond in my daily care routine, my nutrition, my sleep, I'm ticking all the boxes why does it sometimes help and sometimes make no difference at all? Should I just give up and not try? No, that feels yucky and not like something I’d be willing to do. So what then, I’m tired of having such high expectations and feeling so disappointed when it doesn't play out as I deem it should. Giving up though isn't an option either. And then a lightbulb went on. Surrender.
I used to think Surrender was this fluff term, where you just give up all control and have a idealist attitude such as “It is what it is” and "Whatever happens, happens”. It’s only lately that I'm coming to fully understand the term. Surrender doesn't mean giving up, it means giving over, and there is a huge distinction in that. I realized It’s great that I complete the checklist of items I need to in order to take care of myself. Where I was getting hung up, was that I was doing so and then not releasing the outcome. Instead I have a narrow view of what “should” happen, and anything that falls short is a failure. What would it feel like to take care of myself, to partake in the things I believe are helpful and I want to do, but then to step back and release the results. It may feel similar to I don’t know…taking the step off the balcony and then staying soft, rolling into, instead of, bracing for impact. Wait are you suggesting that my instinct of tensing every muscle before falling, is just a weird metaphor for how I live my life every single day? Ugh ok Universe i get it.
So I guess my 2017 word is Surrender. Surrender my beliefs about my health, my career aspirations, relationships. I’ll show up, I’ll do the work, I’ll keep fighting…but maybe, just maybe, I’ll also let go and stay soft.