Monday, December 15, 2014

ISHVARA PRANIDHANA - The Power of Surrender

Ishvara Pranidhana is the fifth and final Niyama that we are discussing in our yoga classes this week at Pure Mind and Body Studio. Ishvara is a Sanskrit word that can be translated to mean supreme, or personal, God. Pranidhana means to dedicate, devote, or surrender. So a short translation is to devote and surrender ourselves to God, to something bigger than ourselves. Once we do that, we begin to notice that what seemed before to be coincidence is often a synchronistic "plan" that has come together for our own good. Our part is to be open, to listen, to pay attention, to notice, and to surrender to that Something bigger than ourselves. I call that "something", God, Jesus, or simply Divine Love. It's an awesome thing to surrender to Divine Love, and to watch it unfold and lead us.  I had an incredible experience of that just this last week.

My oldest son and I have some deep samskaras in our relationship - very old patterns of relating to one another that aren't particularly helpful. The energy that we both walk in when we're around one another is often anxious and/or angry. Neither of us wants that. Both of us want something more, but neither one of us knows how to get there from here.

Last week he invited me to lunch, and because of previous conversations, I assumed it would be to talk about our stuff and hopefully come to some better understanding of one another. So, for me, it was a week filled with prayer. 

I typically get up between 2 and 4, unable sometimes to get back to sleep, so I decided a couple of weeks ago to use that time for meditation and to begin practicing some kind of simple chanting. I sat up a small altar in my downstairs bedroom and came up with a small ritual that would set the time aside as prayer. When I got the invitation from my son, I had already been doing this for a few days, so I added a picture of him to my altar and continued the practice adding a metta meditation at the end, just for him. 

During the week, the thought came to me that what I really desired from this meeting was simple - just space so that the energy could begin to shift. Nothing grand. No big revelation, no big reconciliation, just space. One of the things I often tell my yoga classes is that once small extra bit of space in the body creates potential for big change. Perhaps that's what is required for our healing, just some space so that something new can happen.

I was nervous as I drove to Houston to meet him, yet at the same time, I felt a lot of peace. I didn't have a clue what to expect, except I DID expect us to try to have the hard conversation again. But that's not what happened. I had already decided to let him take the lead - I would follow and just listen and be available as much as possible. So when I got to his place, he got in the car and we drove to one of his favorite little places for lunch. And we made small talk. Conversation between us isn't easy, but he kept it light and I followed his lead (waiting for it to get hard). After lunch, he suggested we go back to his place and talk. Once we got there, I waited for the hard conversation - again it didn't happen. Instead, he suggested we watch a movie together, so we watched The Darjeeling Limited, which was a very interesting movie. I simply watch in amazement as Synchronicity played out - if we only had ears to hear and eyes to see.

After the movie, he walked me to my car, and I drove home. Amazed.  It wasn't at all what I expected. Instead, it was SPACE...3 hours together. Nothing big.  Nothing important, just time and space for the energy to begin to shift. EXACTLY what I prayed for, even though I had no clue how it would play out.

On the way home, I smiled as I thought about this being the 3rd Sunday of Advent, Mary's Sunday, the week of joy. In the Catholic Church, this is the week for the pink candle. And out loud, I laughed to myself, "This wasn't a gift from Father God, it was from Blessed Mother and my mother." About that time, there was a rainbow right in front of me. For me, confirmation that the Divine Feminine had orchestrated our meeting, giving us the space we needed to just "be" together. 

Add to that blessing after blessing Sunday morning at church, confirmation after confirmation that Divine Love is FOR us, FOR me and my son, FOR our relationship. 

Then I get up today and look over our last Niyama to talk about during yoga classes this week - need I say more? Ishvara pranidhana has been at work in my life for the last couple of weeks, paving the way to healing for my son and me. And I am so grateful. Surrender to Love is always the answer for us. There is no other way. I believe in it. I have practiced it for years. And it continues to bring healing to my life. It is salvation for my soul.