Friday, April 30, 2010

Total Surrender

Change is the essence of life. Be willing to surrender what you are for what you could become.
~ Unknown

I never really knew what surrender was, let alone total surrender. I was a woman with a plan. I always had a plan, and a back up behind that, and another one after that – a safety hatch, a chicken exit. Recently, I was forced totally let go and not have a plan and to truly trust in the divine order and wisdom of things.

I was on a call with a dear friend of mine, talking about my adventures with OneGiving and all that had recently transpired. You see, this thing called starting up a company is hard – really hard! I guess that is why more people don’t do it. I was telling him about the recent ups and downs – the coming and going of different people on my team. How people start out committed, but when it gets hard their energy wanes and other things take priority. It is a painful process to go through as the visionary and initiator of the dream. People come and go, and you have to let go of the attachment to what it looks like or who starts out and who is going to stick it out.

I told him how over the last month I had truly begun to know what it meant to surrender. My meditation practice had kicked up – I had gone from an hour or two a day to getting out of bed at 3 or 4 am to do not one, not two but three to four hours of meditation and yoga a day. It was the only way I could keep focused to stay the course. It was the only way that I could keep my heart, mind and soul in the game and keeping moving forward with each set back, each loss, each doubt, each fear and each delay.

As I told him the story of the last month and my incremental letting go more and more every day and surrender, he said to me, “You are doing great, yet you are still hanging on to something; you haven’t fully and completely surrendered.” I thought about it for a moment and thought, yeah, I think he might be right. But I could feel it coming on that something was coming to put me into a state of total surrender. I just didn’t realize how soon it would be.

Later that night, my team had a call, that totally and completely disintegrated and the team fell apart into exhaustion, dysfunction and mistrust. Earlier that day, I had felt totally confident and excited going into the call, thinking to myself, I have the perfect team, the perfect mix of brilliant people to pull off this dream in a way no one else has ever thought of, and yes, perhaps the perfect “plan.” Only to be foiled a few hours later. As the call deteriorated, I realized my “perfect” team and my “perfect” plan was no longer.

I hadn’t realized on the call earlier that day that total surrender would be so near, that total surrender would actually hit that night. But it did and I did – totally surrender, that is!

I didn’t grow up believing in God, religion or anything of the sort. I believed that religion was the root of all wars, conflict and trauma on this earth and so by default, didn’t believe in a God. Yet over the past few years, with my own life circumstances, with the deepening of my yoga, meditation and spiritual practice, I had begun to find peace and belief in a higher power, in universal, or divine, wisdom and even had become comfortable with using the word God.

And here and now, with so much of my life invested in this dream of OneGiving, with such a strong calling to keep going and to not give up or quit, I let go of my plan and of complete control and asked for divine guidance to show me the way. I no longer knew what the staircase looked like, just that I needed to take the next step.

When I told my friend, he told me that I had shifted from trust to faith. I guess that is what it means to surrender – to truly let go of the plan we had and to be in complete service and utter faith in that service.

That is what OneGiving has been for me – a journey in service, surrender and believing that what we are creating is not about any ONE of us, but that it is the energy of a movement we are creating. A movement to bring together many not just to facilitate more and easier giving on the planet, but better opportunity for equity, transparency and fairness in giving, in resource exchange and in economic equality. It is not about me, but is about whatever is being created.

As I surrendered into the moment, I realized I didn’t need a plan. Every sign along the journey had and has come at the exact right moment. Not on my timing and in the moment that I thought it should come or wanted it to come, but in exactly the right moment that was needed before I would go completely over the cliff. This is the point of trusting and walking in step with faith and letting go in complete surrender. I also believe it is why so many people hit the breaks just before going over the cliff because it is in that moment that we must truly believe and have faith that we will be caught and the net will appear, yet so few truly believe. This is faith. This is what total and complete surrender has become for me.

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