How to begin a nine day retreat centered on LOVE? Where to start with our collective exploration of such a vast topic as LOVE? Let Rumi’s words point the way: surrender. Surrender is not failure, giving in is not giving up. It is an opening to other possibilities, the ideas and input of others, the energy of the universe, allowing rather than making and forcing, “getting out of the way” – as my T’ai Chi teacher would say.
Soften your eyes, take a deep breath. Touch the center of your chest with your hand, take another deep breath, soften your heart-space. Breathe in – open, expand from the heart-center, and as you exhale, say the word “surrender” softly, in a whisper. Continue to connect to this expansion and release cycle with the breath: on each inhale, sit a little bit taller, roll your shoulders back, physically make more space for your heart – and on each exhale, maintain that spaciousness and breathe with the word “surrender” softly flowing from the heart, through your vocal chords, and over your lips. Repeat in cycles of 3, 7, 21 or the duration of 4 to 5 minutes.
Each new day is saturated with opportunities to fight, to be stubborn, to rush through our duties, to placate our friends and loved ones with a passing glance and “I love you…” as we rush out the door….OR:
take just one of those opportunities today to surrender.
Rather than defaulting to a habitual defensive position in a strained, conflicted relationship with your boss, your kids, your spouse, surprise everybody and surrender.
Rather than rushing through a long to-do list, surrender to the moment – to each precious moment – and discover the seeds of love waiting there.
Rather than merely saying “I love you…” really show others how you love them by surrendering to their love: next time you kiss your partner, remind your heart to surrender to that kiss; when you hug your kids before they get on the bus for school, surrender to their embrace; when your dog comes bounding toward you as you walk through the door with wild, bright eyes and his long tongue wagging to one side – surrender completely to his unbridled love and affection, lay down on the floor and let him slobber all over you.
Surrender, surrender, surrender!