I once heard someone I respect say “ Make the Buddhas laugh, by making plans…” In other words, plans can only be vague aspirations at best as life has a habit of moving the goalposts! This was totally true for my music teaching and song writing work path last year. From start to finish the year became a dictionary of A-Z of all the obstacles that one could face for both strands of my work! Needless to say, by the years end I was dispirited and fed up. I reckoned that if I was to continue then I needed a different head space…..
Now, where I live there are only several regular job options; Tesco, the local hospital, the distilleries or care work. (I would not be your first option for these unless you want a check out girl who can’t add up well, someone who goes queasy at the sight of blood, and someone who would muddle up all those pipes and be little drunk on just the fumes, in the distillery). I clearly don’t really have the skillset for any of the above and I love teaching music, which I am good at, and I love songwriting/singing, which I think I have potential in, and songwriting is hardwired into who I am…..so, giving up is not really an option. So, the question was how to keep on keeping on, and try to make something of both strands whilst keeping a contented mind…..?
The psychological answer to this came out of nowhere and hit me, like a shovel over the head several times! I went ,out of curiosity, to a winter solstice event where one picked a card to take into the next turning of the year….mine was “surrender!” Then, my sister bought me the tarot cards for Christmas- my main reading was…you guessed it….all about “Surrender!” And, my other sister bought me a book for Christmas called “The Surrender Experiment” by Michael Singer. I think the message was loud and clear. Surrender….flow…take on the shape of water. Allow what is to be, don’t fight, strive, push. Breathe and allow….
This felt like a paradox, running my own business, where I have to create, promote, organise and do everything. How could “I just be, surrender and still try..?” A puzzle. A bit like giving birth- without any of the pushing!
After oohing and ahhing over this for awhile, I realised something. It’s not what we do, but how we go about it, that’s important. Being attached to an end result is what causes the problem- the disappointment, the stress, the feeling of treading water then ensues from unmet desire. So, it’s attachment that is the problem. Job 1 …lose attachment whilst still trying!
Not as easy as it sounds….I NEED my teaching to work- it put’s food on the table, logs on my fire and petrol in my car. And, I want to be a songwriter/singer as much as I wanted to be a mum. Song writing also feels that this is my way of giving and creating in the world. It just feels part of who I am as a person. So, this level of attachment to lose, entwined with my sense of self and livelihood, is a big deal !
So, I figured I would start with the breath and do regular meditations on the out breath -with the word “surrender.” This worked for the few minutes I did this….but remembering it in my working life also helped chip away at all those sticky feelings of wanting things to be how I want them to be. So I breathe, surrrender and remember to try with what is in front of me and allow life to be as it is, as I make tea, teach a child, look for things to help my songwriting. And, simply allow whatever is occurring today to be just what is occurring and label it neither good nor bad.
This has created so much mental space and I have also added in a couple of ingredients…. I remember to be grateful for all that is actually in my life not just hankering for a goal, an idea that exists only as an illusion of potentiality. I bring in the quality of serenity and try- some of the time- for it to be part of me….and out of this a song has arisen which helps the whole experiment of surrender, a little more.
Mick Glossop ( the producer who has Kindly been mentoring me) suggested I turn all these A-Z of obstacles into song material. Now, no one wants to hear someone else woes or womping and wailing but it is true that obstacles can become fodder for songs with some “meat “ to them. So, a song grew and it has become my current daily song as I go about life….a kind of singing meditation and memo for me.
So, I share with you the lyrics for my “Surrender “ song…maybe it will help you create mental space when you need it, surrender your attachments to goals , create peace and perhaps…if the moon is blue and the stars align… potentialities will manifest as good opportunities, once some space arises.
At the heart of letting go, of letting go.
I may toil, I may strive
I may grit my teeth
As I try, to climb, the hill.
All is motion, but nothing moves
So it’s time to stand still.
All my goals, all my dreams
Lie in tattered streams
They’re honey, on the edge, of a knife.
Illusory goals, but nothing more
So, it’s time to stand still.
Let me lie, oh lie
On the the breathe of life
And follow, the patterns, in the air.
Flow, flow, flow
Life will just be.
Happy Surrendering folks….I will see what manifests with this new spacious approach…..watch this surrendering space!