Monday, June 6, 2011

So it ends and so it begins

Surrender.  It's a pretty intense word.  It can have varied meanings.  One can surrender when they know they have not won.  Some will surrender when the fight is not worth the cause.  For some still it can mean to give up, all hope is lost.  For me surrender has meant all of those during different stages of my life.  I find that I am in a position to surrender again; this time surrendering my life as I have known it for the past 4 and 1/2 years.

My husband has taken a job that requires him, myself and our two daughters (ages 10 and 6) to move from the greater DC area to Park City, UT.  This is a big move, somehow it seems bigger to me then the ones we've made before.  This time both girls are older and in school, this time I am working almost full time as a yoga teacher, this time we have PTA and Girl Scout activities, this time we are completely immersed in the neighborhood and community and most importantly this time we have a home that belongs to us.

I've been having problems surrendering all these things in our life; in my life.  I love each of these so much that I've completely equated who I truly AM with these activities and material possessions, because of this I have been angry, sad and hurt that I have to give up little (or seemingly big) pieces of me. 

Recently someone from my book club chose to read the book "Poser: My Life in 23 Yoga Poses" by Claire Dederer.  As I was reading the book I kept thinking it mirrored my life in many ways but was kind of left flat by it.  I passed it on to fellow yoginis at the studio where I have been teaching so they could read the book and went about my business.  Two weeks ago when I was starting my current round of actively surrendering my life in MD (letting go of my first yoga class) one of my students gifted the book to me again.  I graciously accepted because I was touched that she had given me a parting gift.  I got home and put the book on the coffee table where it still is.  I kept seeing it but having already read it the book was no longer part of my awareness.  

Last night as I lay on the couch channel surfing I stopped on the tail end of the movie "Eat, Pray, Love".  It was the closing of the film when Julia Roberts is quoting a passage from Elizabeth Gilbert's book of the same title.  The  gist of the quote is that when you're on a quest (like trying to figure out how to surrender and move peacefully to UT) you need to keep all of your senses aware.  You need to take in every clue no matter how big or small.  If you do this you will surely be led to your own truth.  When you surrender and stop trying to control everything the path begins to brighten before you, the signs are clearly lit and you find your SELF at the end of the journey.   

Now I think I know the reason the book ended up back in my possession.  My acupuncturist has told me time and again that I should journal, write out my thoughts and feelings so I can review them later and see a side of me that somehow I am blind to.   I have been trying to journal but only halfheartedly.  This leads to the reason you're here reading this today.  I have decided this clue (the book) means not only do I need to journal but to give myself over to it completely. Writing out my thoughts and emotions but also connecting with the one thing that constantly brings me closer to my SELF then any other activity I do or thing I own; yoga.   

So as I focus my practice this week around Paschimottanasana, seated forward bend ( Yoga Journal 2011), I will be focusing on peacefully surrendering my last couple weeks in MD.  I will keep myself grounded physically through the lower body while I allow my head and heart to slip slowly forward into the unknown.  I will close my eyes and I will have faith in my SELF.  I won't allow my mind, body and spirit to be clouded by fears of letting go, of allowing other teachers to take on the classes i taught, of handing over the reigns of the Girl Scout troops to new leaders, allowing other parents to be in charge at PTA functions, and of letting a friend who needs a helping hand rent the house while we're gone.  (Notice how I refrained from saying "my" and owning any of those things.  See I'm making progress already!)  I'm working to unclench my fists.  I have received many benefits and blessings here during my time but in order to make way for receiving the same in UT my hands need to be open, along with my mind and heart.  So here I go, setting out on my quest. 

I surrender, I surrender, I surrender......


  1. I love you! you are a incredibly strong woman and an encouraging to me. I know my friend, she will do wonderful things wherever she hangs her hat ;) I am sad that we will be further away in distance, but know that you are always close to my heart.

  2. Paula, you are an incredible writer. It will be welcoming to follow your path as you are on your journey.

  3. beautifully written Paula, can't wait to read more! Best of luck to you as you head out to UT soon. You and your girls will be missed.