Surrender to Enthusiasm

We did a new activity in yoga class last week. My teacher suggested it’s was not an accident. Towards the end of an invigorating hour of practice that started with dancing to warm up, she came around and asked us to pick a card from a deck. Each card contained a word.

When she came to me, I noticed a card sticking out of the pile, but something told me I should pick another that was tucked a bit deeper into the pack. The card said “surrender.”

My first reaction was, “No. I really don’t want to.” And at the same time, I realized I might not have a choice. I’d been was thinking of giving up on something I could no longer control that was not serving me well.

After offering the deck of cards to the last student, the teacher came back to me with another card. “I have to give you this one too, because it pretty much jumped out at you!” she exclaimed.

The card say “enthusiasm.”

That one bugged me a bit because I didn’t feel like I always had the energy for enthusiasm, though I suppose that depends on how the word is defined. I was conscious that during the dance warm up at the beginning of class, for example, there was a physical limitation holding me back.

But back to the cards. It was easy to notice these two words formed a short but powerful sentence: Surrender to enthusiasm.

Opportunities for Enthusiastic Surrender

I thought about my little sentence on the drive home. Why not believe the message was meant to reach me at this moment? I immediately felt energized. But what, I thought, do I need to surrender to?

Maybe I need to surrender to others’ enthusiasm for things. Perhaps the yoga gods are telling me, for example, to stop wishing my husband would stop talking about buying a motorcycle. Or maybe the message was sent to help me deal with a member of my extended family whose exaggerated, enthusiastic tales often test my patience.

Or, it could be that it’s time for me to surrender to my own enthusiasm for something, which I think shows itself in calmer way. In fact, maybe I need to be OK with that instead of letting it stop me.

Just that morning, I’d been thinking about yoga teacher training and what holds me back from enrolling in one. Besides the money and time commitment (neither of which is as easy to work around at it would have been in the past), I’m afraid having the job of teaching yoga will ruin my enthusiasm for the practice. I think that fear comes from my experience as a public school teacher, when my love of learning was seriously challenged by having to deal with reluctant students, politics, lesson plans, and all the other things learning is not about.

I also haven’t found the right teacher or program for me. And I think that’s important.

And in case you missed the message the first time

When I got home from class, I returned to a book editing project I’d been working on for weeks. The book is about yoga and other tools for living a healthy, blissful life. Within moments, this sentence jumped off a page I was editing: When you are willing to surrender into greater energy, nothing is lacking.

The context was setting intentions for a life-changing practice that involves yoga, nutrition, breathing, meditation and other aspects of mind, body and spirit.

Hmmm, maybe that energy I’m worried about not having will be there when I need it after all.

Moments after that, my other word appeared, this time in a sentence about taking time each day to sit for five minutes and formally set an intention: Do it with enthusiasm. This is where you start manifesting your dream.

Now my surrender was about something very different than I initially feared. It was not about giving up, but about allowing something to come through and allowing it to come through with intention and enthusiasm. It could be my own brand of quiet enthusiasm, and that’s really OK.

I’m going to pay attention, so I’ll recognize that thing when it shows up and wants to come through.

They say that when the student is ready the teacher will appear. I did sign up for another writing course.

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