Day 197 – Today’s reading is about isvara-pranidhana, which I prefer to think as “surrendering to the vast and infinite Universe.” This niyama is having a deep trust in my relationship with the Universe, not just surrender to “G”od. I think faith can be a very beautiful thing, as can grace, but I don’t necessarily have to assign it a capital letter and go to a building to revel in it, although I support my loved ones and friends who follow their own calling, and I don’t think it is any less of an expression of their surrender than my own.
Rolf begins with a Harriet Tubman quote, one familiar through literature, about being a “stranger in a strange land.” He continues further down that “we find that we have crossed a line and now are liiving in a new land, but there is no one there to welcome us.” We may feel disattached, separate, dislocated, in this new land.
Surrendering is difficult for me any how, but being a stranger is not. I’m currently doing some self-development on this–always thought of myself as an extrovert, but it turns out I’m more of an introvert and derive my energy not from being around people, but from unplugging to recharge. Surrendering on the mat is my first opportunity to practice isvara-pranidhana. My second is surrendering to my bed. This may sound really silly, but when my body is inflammed, or our household has many events, or there are “mom” obligations, like sports, chaueffering, etc., I don’t get to surrender at all. I push. Surrender is a habit that can be cultivated and fine-tuned, I believe is isvara-pranidhana.
I hope this also can be carried over to my work, teaching, where the job title often requires us to push, but if others are like me, they may find themselves feeling disattached, separate, and dislocated in this terrain, as well, but that’s a different reflection…:)