The days when my groups at the prison don’t go well and the wind is cold and my phone calls aren’t returned, I give thanks. When I feel stuck and frustrated, I am grateful. When my disappointment colors every interaction, I say Yes and Thank You.

Not because I am so lucky and I have so much and many others would trade places with me.  My feelings are fine and I want to honor them. I give thanks because that’s all I can do. It’s the most selfish thing I choose because it always makes me feel better. So to get what I want, I release my hold on my intentions, I back off, and I assume a stance of non-resistance and grateful receptivity.

Thank you for the delayed mail.  Thank you for the small turnout at my event. Thank you for the opportunity to forgive a hurtful remark. 

When I don’t resist anything, everything proceeds more smoothly. 

I trust that my time on earth is for learning lessons on levels my mind can’t reach.  Life tries and tries and tries to teach me.  I notice patterns in my experience—friendships that end abruptly, well thought out plans which don’t succeed, varied and impersonal but effective obstacles. My options in response: bloody my head further by continuing what doesn’t work, criticize others loudly (or even just to myself) and blame them, think, or surrender.

Anyone can grasp the futility of the first two choices but I’ve learned that thinking is also inappropriate at best and often self-indulgent. When it comes to life, experience is the teacher and to open to our experience we can’t be in our heads or close our hearts in fear of our feelings or curtail our vulnerability. We embrace our vulnerability and say Yes. We feel every scintilla of hurt and shame and powerlessness. We stay on our own side and keep our hearts open.  We don’t disparage life’s messengers; we receive the message and focus on our experience.  We feel and maybe cry and we hold ourselves as our loving Parent would and we surrender.

We practice surrender when we give thanks and when we feel our feelings and when we wait to be led.  We practice surrender when we trust a guidance that is not from our mind. We adopt an attitude of non-resistance as a pattern for moving through Life.  And by not resisting we partner with Life.

And then the fun begins!