Coming off of a 2-week project sprint little progress and a looming deadline, I needed to fire on all cylinders this week and execute at my peak.
My subconscious had other plans. My lazy and tired shadow showed up this week with a vengeance. I was easily distracted and struggled to harness my focus, even in my peak focus times. I was exhausted.
I recognized this as resistance.
I sat down to work and immediately felt everything in my body grip tightly.
I sat with it, noticing, doing the work of inquiry and exploring what was there.
Then I had a conversation with my body. I reminded it that it was safe to let go of the gripping, that it’s work to protect me is appreciated but not necessary. And that it’s important for us to work together to put this into the world because people really need it.
I also reminded my body and my fear that we’ve been here before and turned back in retreat, and we don’t want the disappointment of once again failing to meet our own deadlines.
My body responded,
Good talk. ok, I’ll stop gripping for a while.
Which it did. But then it came back later overcome with fatigue and telling me it wanted to rest.
And then my mind chimed in,
Yeah, let’s rest! The sun came out. I don’t want to focus any more today.
It was 3 pm, generally the low point of my focus rhythm, in the waning days of summer.
Resisting the resistance is futile. Trying to fight is like trying to crawl out of quicksand. It will suck you in deeper.
So I surrendered.
I packed up my computer and spent a couple of hours resting by the pool.
It was not what I had planned for the day, but it allowed me the opportunity to see a new shift in my mindset and behavior.
There were three aspects of this worth noting:
I didn’t surrender as an escape; nor did I turn to social media or other escape vehicles.
I was fully aware that the Resistance was there and that I was surrendering to it. And I used the time to explore the Resistance and hold space for it.
(2) Self-Kindness and Compassion
In the past I might have spent hours beating myself up for this decision, berating myself first my weakness in surrendering. This is what Buddhists call the second arrow.
There was none of that this time. I didn’t touch the bag of arrows. I displayed self-kindness and compassion.
That’s a huge shift, one that preserves energy so I could actually rest instead of having the appearance of rest while my mind worked against me.
I had the conversation, listened to my body and my brain, and gave myself what I needed.
Meeting our own needs is the epitome of self love.
Surrender Isn’t About Giving Up
These qualities of awareness, kindness, compassion, and love help break the cycle of self-sabotage that has plagued me in the past. Rather than sending me back, they keep me at the threshold. No wasted energy on self-berating followed by the need to rebuild my self-esteem.
Surrender is not about giving up, its about recognizing that sometimes we can get to where we want to go without fighting in the first place.