Give. It. Up.
As in, surrender.
We humans can be so willful. In yoga I have found myself holding poses beyond my edge out of a competitive desire to be at least “good” at it, if not the best. It took the coaxing of my yoga teacher to remind me that there is a paradoxical flow between willing the pose to be like the cover of Yoga Journal and surrendering to my limitations as they are today.
Finding the edge is a touchstone of Kripalu yoga. If I stop too far before the edge I’m still in my comfort zone. Here, I don’t have to take any risks and so I don’t grow. But, if I push myself too far beyond my edge I can get hurt by overwhelming my body and mind. The difficult task is to pay close attention to my movements and my breath, so I can slowly step further and further out beyond my comfort level, one small risk at a time.
The same technique is just as important in relationships. Today a friend and I were discussing what it’s like to be dating someone you know just isn’t yours for life keeping but there’s enough of an attraction that you can’t just call it quits. She explained to me that though they hit it off at first since it was clear by now that they weren’t a perfect match, she had decided she should break up with him. So , the other night she takes this guy to dinner fully expecting to have the conversation that would end their relationship. With an agenda for the night and an outcome in mind she was fully in “will” mode. Seeing a problem, arriving at a solution, and focusing on the steps to implement the plan. All good, right?
She was missing what was actually happening in the space between the two of them. The truth is that she does like him and does want more time with him (without knowing exactly why). The plan of breaking up was forced by logical reasoning (I’m not going to marry him so why be with him?). Surrendering meant giving up what she thought she had to do in favor of speaking the truth. She knows he’s not her One, but he’s someone to her now. Surrendering means he gets a chance to speak his truth too. Surrendering means a creative solution not found when she forced her will alone.
Surrendering: finding your edge by acknowledging your where your cliff ends and being willing enough to sit on the ledge and dangle your feet into the vast unknown.
If you accidentally go to far and fall into the ocean below…well, stop fighting the wave. Give in to the undercurrent…eventually it will bring you to the surface.