My first week in Yogaville I was posed a question, "On a scale of 1-10, 1 being You totally create your life, it's all free will, and 10 being total surrender to destiny, the will of God, where do you stand?" (There's no right or wrong answer here.) I thought it over and couldn't decide where I wanted to go with it so I answered, "5, the middle way. Life is co creation." I wanted to take some of the credit without seeming too cocky.
Life has a funny way about it, most often times, in my experience things work out most perfectly when I get out of my own way. In all of my travels and adventures, the Universe always provides in abundance.
Spending time at the ashram definitely affirmed that, and I went to Tom about two weeks later, "Hey Tom, I think i have to change my answer to a 7. You won't believe what's happened these past couple weeks..."
He laughed and we shared briefly. As my involvement in Yoga Teacher Training deepened and I continued to experience life's divine connections and gifts, I begun to make "surrender" my mantra. Surrender does not imply "give up" here, not at all. It implies a recognition of something much Greater than me, and that that something might just have a better idea about Life and it's infinite possibilities than I do.
I ran into Tom one more time during my last week there. We hadn't seen each other in some time, and it had been more than 3 months since I first stood on the scale. I was ready to weigh in at a strong 9.
"That means that even 90% of all of your thoughts, words and actions are an act of total surrender." he replied.
So maybe I was more of an 8.5, but still..
Life had provided all of that which I needed, on a day to day basis. By trusting and living moment by moment, enjoying the Here and Now, and leaving the future worries alone, Everything worked out perfectly, 10 times out of 10.
I realize that life requires action, commitment and what sometimes feels like hard work. By accrediting all that happens as the will of God, or that it has happened for a reason even if that's beyond my capacity to understand, and by surrendering the results of the action up to something Greater than myself, I remain peaceful and non-attached.
Today's Translation from The Golden Present, by Swami Satchidananda
"Whatever comes, comes from God. Whatever goes is taken away by God. It's not that easy in the beginning because your ego will not allow you to surrender in this way. Until you've developed a healthy ego, have begun to master your mind and give yourself completely into the hands of God, the ego will create doubts in you.
You might ask, "Then what is Free Will?" Free will means that you're free to take responsibility into your own hands or to offer it up to God. If you take responsibility yourself, after going through all of life's problems, difficulties and turmoil, you will finally say, "I'm tired, God. I'm not going to try to battle with this anymore. I know I cannot. So the best thing for me and my peace is to put the reins in Your hands. Let me take the back seat. You drive."
There comes a time like that. That is when your ego has been completely cleaned"