My Monday mornings start with a 30 minute phone call with a friend, opening the week in prayerful contemplation. Today led us to the book “A Return to Love” by Marianne Williamson; it opened to this prayer.
“I surrender this to you. May it be used for your purposes. I ask that my heart by open to give and receive Love. May all the results unfold according to your will.”
The process of Surrender is a lifelong practice. Like peeling an onion, you think you’ve got it nailed and then life reminds you there’s a whole other layer to become acquainted with.
I get it if this is not the invitation you were hoping for this Monday morning.
The thought of surrender might make you feel like you’re free-falling without a parachute. Not something that is easy to trust when your nervous system has been wired to hold on to what you know is certain.
Letting go of control is more than just a spiritual thing; it’s a body thing too.
Your body needs a reminder that loosening the grip in your hands, shoulders, lower back, hips, tips of your toes, is OK. That the whole world is not going to fall apart if you breathe a little more deeply.
It’s likely the movement practices you grew up with support the strengthening of your grip. The sit-ups, squats, even planks and chair poses that promise hard abs and glutes also reinforce the ability of your fascia, tendons, and muscles to work together to harden and contract.
Surrender is easiest when you soften. I know, when was the last time a soft body the thing you’ve been aiming for!?
But maybe this is the very thing deep down you’ve been praying for.
That gnawing feeling in your gut that you’re doing too much and need to slow down.
The searing pain in your shoulders as you watch the news and see yet another fire, murder, political slandering and other signs of destruction and separation.
The resentment building in your heart that once again he didn’t take out the garbage.
These sensations and emotions are easier to greet when your body has already tasted the sweetness of surrender.
Surrender isn’t giving up or giving in. It just means you get to stop fighting with what is.
The ease of letting your belly take up space instead of sucking it in.
The spaciousness that arrives when your shoulders let gravity do the work.
The openness in your heart as you let the ache wash away with cleansing tears.
The prayer for an open heart is often answered with an invitation to loosen the grip and to soften. Not just emotionally, in your body too.
The good news is this doesn’t have to feel like a workout at the gym. You won’t be asked to do reps until your muscles are shaking from the stress.
It’s actually the opposite; a practice of cooperation with the status of your heart and what feels good in your body.
This is what I guide clients with, and it’s the beauty of what the movement practice of Embody has to offer.
In the middle of a year that has thrown up so much uncertainty, trusting the process might feel kamikaze and yet somehow you know it’s the only way.
Embody gives you a way to tiptoe into your own practice of surrender in the most enjoyable, feel good way possible… dance parties.
With the support of other women walking this walk with you, you’re guided to listen to the language of your body and let your movement unfold naturally, without planning it all out or needing to perfect it.
As your body begins to surrender to what feels good, your heart begins to trust again.
If you’re reading this and thinking, “That’s great, but how can I get to an Embody class when I’m in an ever-changing local lockdown situation?”
Well, you prayed and God listened. Here’s an answer.
It’s called The Embody Collective… a community to nourish your body and soul with movement as we navigate the ever changing landscape of life together.
I’m honored to be one of 4 coaches and guides facilitating classes and workshops. You can read all about it here. For the month of November, you’re invited to join us for free.
Embody is my go-to movement practice when I can tell it’s time to start praying for my heart to open. I hope you come practice with me.