Lesson 1 – Surrender

This post is part of a series of lessons taken from the pages of a well-worn and treasured keepsake, my journal. One fateful night, while homeless on the streets of Paris I met my teacher, Savannah, who turned me in the direction of the life I ought to be living. As I fought to find my footing with her teachings, I did what all writers’ do, I wrote them down, and now I am sharing them with you. Each lesson is designed to build on the next, take time to catch your breath; the pace is up to you.

Check your expectations at the door and just ‘Be’!

Just ‘Be’! Oh, don’t you just want to strangle those words? Okay, I am not a violent guy, really I’m not, but there are times when catch phrases like ‘Just Be’ or ‘Be in the Moment’ land like a thud at my feet. I understand them conceptually but what does it feel like to just ‘Be’?

SunflowerCrossing the street to the venue I am ready to check this out; my first spiritual lecture with a large crowd, and I’m kind of psyched about it. Sitting shoulder-to-shoulder with people of like mind intrigued me enough to purchase a ticket. As I settle in my chair, there’s a palpable hum in the room, okay, so this is what it feels like to sit in a room with other spiritual junkies – cool!

Our man is a spiritual orator, a leader in his field, his famous name is known by millions around the world, and everyone here today is excited to catch a glimpse of him – and that includes me. His effortless charisma zooms straight into my consciousness and succeeds in taking me to a whole new level; if I had a disease or something, I’m sure he would be the cure for what ails me. He comes across as a master in his field; a head above the rest and it looks to me like the crowd agrees with that assessment. Two hours pass quickly; time to say good-bye to my new friends, and head for home.

A few hours later as my glow begins to fade and my feet become planted in the ground again, I’m left sitting with my thoughts from my day. I grope for the ‘aha’ moments and the takeaways from his lecture, and my metaphorical hand closes on air, I was expecting something! That baffles me; no action plan, no homework? How do you get to ‘Be’, you know, ‘estar en el momento’ (‘in the moment’) like he said was ‘a must’ to live spiritually, if you don’t tell me how to do it? I don’t remember him saying and I need to know ‘how’. I do.

Why was I disappointed with the lecture? was the question that took over my thinking in the days that followed, and then finally, while taking a shower, the answer would come – Expectations will doom you to fail! Ah, expectations! So true, I had expectations of my speaker. Why not just ‘Be’ content, just ‘Be’ satisfied, just ‘Be’ in the moment! Darn those catch phrases!

Let Savannah, my teacher, explain.

This new way is a practice in mind training. The world you see beyond your eyes is a reflection in a mirror of your thoughts. You are merely gazing into a world reflecting your perceptions and beliefs in your own mind. Expectations will color your experience, either delighting or disappointing you by how things turned out, but never measuring up to your original ideal! The moment you ‘let go’ of your expectations, and surrender that thing which has preoccupied your mind and that you have given great importance to – now, something totally unexpected can happen. Simply let it be – stop trying so hard.

Have you ever noticed your jaw clenching, knee joints hurting, muscles tightening? I have, and now I know why. The mind has attached itself to a belief and holding fast; like gripping a rope in a ‘tug of war’ and determined to not give up an inch. Amazing how mental awareness and physical health are connected. When my knee tweaks, I no longer ignore the signs, I even get excited. It’s a sign to let go of a stubborn belief that is seizing my mind and hurting my body. I throw my arms around the word ‘Be’ gladly, and surrendering is my practice. There is no way to define the experience of ‘Be’, I’ve tried, but I can feel the difference; energizing and relaxing all at the same time. It is the moment, when all things fall into place – perfectly.

Check your expectations at the door and sólo será! (just ‘Be’)

Te quiero. Joey