Lately I am feeling drawn more and more inward, finding stability and inspiration deep within myself. I’ve stepped down from several activities and committees; I’ve started feeling more zeroed-in on my own inner truth. With all that’s happening in the world — all the work that needs to be done — allowing myself to be drawn inward doesn’t make sense “on paper,” but the more I surrender to the pull, the more I feel in harmony with the universe and with my work. And then somehow it turns out I actually end up getting more writing, speaking, “green domestic science experiments,” and other work done! It’s like having my cake and eating it too. So I’m trusting myself and surrendering to the inward gravitational pull more and more.
It feels like a force of nature I’m surrendering to. Like a whirlpool that leads to my innermost, quietmost core. A space of stillness where no actions are taken unless absolutely necessary.
Over the past few months I’ve been compiling helpful links and snippets related to “surrender.” Hope you find the following reads as supportive and enjoyable as I do. Some of them are old favorites of mine; others reached my inbox more recently.
• “Right now, we are imaginal cells in the cocoon of Covid-19. I believe we emerge from this cocoon as humans who value the earth and each other more than we ever have.” — Cynthia Schaefer, founder of GrowSocial, a new network designed to connect people with resilience resources in their local area; www.growsoc.com is the link
• The Story of Imaginal Cells (from Imaginal Labs): “We all grew up knowing a bit about the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly. The truly amazing part of this process, however, is in the scientific detail of how it actually happens in nature. After a period of ravenous consumption, a caterpillar finds an appropriate perch and forms a chrysalis – so far so good. The end result, we know, is a butterfly, but the truly astonishing thing is that there is no structural similarity at all between a caterpillar and a butterfly. Inside the chrysalis the caterpillar, unable to move, actually dissolves into organic goop. Cells, which had been dormant in the caterpillar and which biologists have the poetic genius to call ‘imaginal cells,’ begin a process of creating a new form and structure. At first these imaginal cells – the seeds of future potential, which contain the blueprint of a flying creature—operate independently as single-cell organisms. They are regarded as threats and are attacked by the caterpillar’s immune system. But they persist, multiply, and connect with each other. The imaginal cells form clusters and clumps, begin resonating at the same frequency and passing information back and forth until they hit a tipping point. They begin acting not as discrete individual cells but as a multi-cell organism – and a butterfly is born.”
• “Just as with any potent medicine, we have to stay the whole course of treatment to get the full benefits, preferably, without ambivalence. Most importantly, we need to use the power of our minds to optimize this once-in-a-lifetime FGO (f**kin growth opportunity) by focusing on healing what truly ails us. Nearly everyone, to some degree or another, has been affected by the collective soul sickness of humanity for most of our lives, in terms of what truly gives meaning and value to this precious incarnation.” — from the email newsletter of Joan Pancoe, Modern Mystic, JoanPancoe.com
• “There are times when our whole world seems to be falling apart around us, and we are not sure what to hold onto anymore. Sometimes our relationships crumble and sometimes it’s our physical environment. At other times, we can’t put our finger on it, but we feel as if all the walls have fallen down around us and we are standing with nothing to lean on, exposed and vulnerable. These are the times in our lives when we are given an opportunity to see where we have established our sense of identity, safety, and well-being. And while it is perfectly natural and part of our process to locate our sense of self in externals, any time those external factors shift, we have an opportunity to rediscover and move closer to our core, which is the only truly safe place to call home.” — Madisyn Taylor in When Our World Falls Apart, an article from her email newsletter (subscribe at DailyOM.com)
• “Resistance tends to strengthen the energies it attempts to oppose by giving them power and energy to work against. Additionally, resistance keeps us from learning more about what we resist. In order to fully understand something, we must open to it enough to receive its energy; otherwise, we remain ignorant of its lessons.” — Madisyn Taylor in The Wisdom of Surrender.
• “If I could not be peaceful in the midst of danger, then the kind of peace I might have in simpler times is meaningless. If I could not find peace in the midst of difficulty, I knew I would never know real peace.” — Thich Nhat Hanh
• “Despite the common belief that it is the speed and intensity of your efforts, your raw hustle that determines the pace at which you evolve and transform, nature seems to bring a much deeper truth: your transformation is directly related to the value, time, and energy you put into being still, staying connected, and operating from a place of inner solitude, listening, and witnessing… beauty. We face huge challenges regarding natural resources, climate changes, racial inequities, macro-economic shifts, and the entire ecosystem in which it all resides, all of which has been amplified throughout this global pandemic. Imagine what would happen if we stopped running in the lanes of old paradigms and paused the entire machinery of humanity to realize where we are – and recognize that this tipping point in our time is exactly what we have all been waiting for – a reason to pause. What if we stopped long enough to really take in the reality of the devastation we have created, in order to now recognize the opportunity that exists in another direction, one we’ve never, together, seen before – a new path, a chance to transform. It’s accessible now, we just have to be still long enough to find it. Let’s pause for another beat, to embrace the opportunity for a non-linear transformation…” — Dr. Zach Bush
• “When a cat falls out of a tree, it lets go of itself, becomes completely relaxed, and lands lightly on the ground. If the cat made up its mind that it didn’t want to fall, it would become tense and rigid and would just be a bag of broken bones upon landing. In the same way, it is the philosophy of the Tao that we are all falling out of a tree, at every moment of our lives. As a matter of fact, the moment we were born we were kicked off a precipice and we are falling—and there is nothing we can do to stop it. So, instead of living in a state of constant tension and clinging to all sorts of things that are actually falling with us because the whole world is impermanent, be like a cat. Don’t resist it.” — Alan Watts
Deities who embolden me to surrender to the massive wave of chaos:
Akhilandeshivari “The Goddess Who Is Never Not Broken.” (Note: Akhilandeshivari is a Hindu goddess; this website presents an interpretation of her by practitioners of a Wiccan path that draws inspiration from gods and goddesses of many different religions.) “She shows us the power and opportunity of being broken into pieces by heartache, disaster, great fortune, and other life changes and traumas. However She takes this to the furthest extreme, purposefully keeping Herself broken wide open, allowing Herself to flow with every current, creating and fragmenting and recreating Herself endlessly.” “It’s normal to fear and resist change, but Akhilandeshvari whispers to us also of freedom — liberation from the past, from habits and wounds, from stifling routines, from everything that once was good but has become a burden or a prison. Liberation, indeed, from all the illusions of the ego.”
When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times (Pema Chödrön and 2 more)
The Magic of Findhorn (Paul Hawken): Incredible book, must-read! These people were divinely guided to start an RV park food-garden community by the sea in northern Scotland back in the 1970s, after losing their jobs at a hotel. They totally lived by intuition; grew a phenomenally lush garden by intuitively connecting with plant devas. Made sudden life-changes that made no sense “on paper” but were totally right. Really, surrender is a bold spiritual action, and this lovely book is a reminder of that. Findhorn is now a thriving eco-village that attracts people from all over the world.
The Grace in Dying (Kathleen D. Singh): Sterling counsel about surrender. Not just for the dying, but for all of us.