Suffer or Surrender?

August 6th, 2012

When we first embark on any personal growth, whether that be through yoga, coaching or some other form of experiential learning, we soon ‘come up against’ ourselves. What I mean by this, is that even though on one level we enjoy it and know it’s doing us good, on another level we might feel uncomfortable, unsure or find ourselves making up excuses and quitting. What got me to thinking about this was noticing how often beginner yoga students give up too soon! And I know I’m not alone as a yoga teacher in making this observation. We see students really enjoying their yoga, who express this openly, yet who, mysteriously, don’t seem to continue, despite the good that it’s doing! Why is this so?

A wise teacher once said to me “there’s no growth without friction”. When we grow, part of the growing process is about directly experiencing our own well-ingrained habit patterns. Reluctance, self-doubt, making excuses and losing focus are all good examples. The ego-mind has many, very ‘slippery’ ways to lure us into a false sense of security. If we follow the temptation to give-up, we just strengthen the habit pattern.

And in the long-run, this just causes us to suffer by keeping us locked into our habits. Not to mention locked-into a stiff body! And healthy growth is about the opposite of this. It’s about freedom.nThe alternative is to ‘surrender’. To surrender our doubt, reluctance or resistance. We do this by noticing it is there, taking a deep breath and letting it burn itself out. We gently strengthen our resolve to go on and deepen our commitment to doing whatever is in our own best interests. Through surrender we can experience genuine freedom. And who doesn’t want that? Happy surrendering!