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Sweet Surrender To All There Is

I knew the meaning of the word and I understood the concept behind it through spiritual teachings. Even in my own life, I practiced surrendering control over external world and life circumstances, trusting that the universe has my back and everything happens for me, not to me. What I did not know is what surrender truly feels like, not until my recent trip to India.
My travels in Delhi and the Himalayas were bright, rich in new experiences and beautiful people. It stirred up a deeply rooted longing in my heart, longing for greater personal discovery. I usually bring a journal with me to record and anchor all feelings, emotions, and experiences that are being revealed to me. Not this time. Although I did bring my journal, I suddenly hit a writer’s block. Instead of forcing myself to write, I decided to just surrender to my senses and to all the magic around me. I decided to embrace it all, bliss and fears, passion, discomfort of the unknown, and embracing each and every moment for what it was.
I see India as a country of many contrasts: tears and laughter, ancient temples of Hare Krishna and worshiping of Shiva, rain and sunshine, beauty and poverty, order and chaos… There were times when I felt joyful, grateful for my journey, and in complete harmony with nature and people around me. I enjoyed receiving relaxing Ayurveda massages, Shirodhara rituals, bathing in healing Sulphur waters of Tatapani hot springs, sharing delicious meals and laughs with my dear friends, visiting lavish temples and a mystical Vedic astrologer, practicing sunrise yoga and candle fire meditations under a starlit sky…
Other times I felt rebellious, conflicted, and fearful: driving in the mountains’ narrow serpentine roads in a fog, in darkness, with trucks and busses surging towards us millimeters apart while cows, monkeys, and stray dogs crossing the roads; eating dinner on the terrace while a corpse was being cremated right along the river (e.g., ignorance is a bliss sometimes until you actually find out the truth); having my flight canceled and sharing a 10 hour exhausting car ride with complete strangers; walking in a wild nature at night with large bats flying over my head, knowing there were cobras and jaguars lurking nearby…
With all this contrast, I finally experienced what surrender felt like. Surrender was my ability to culminate inner peace and stay calm regardless of what was happening around me, embracing all the good and the bad without any preconceived notions, being open to new experiences without jumping to self-judgments, and listening closely to my inner compass, deep within my heart, with an unshaken knowing that the universe does indeed have my back.
What I realized during my trip to India is that our life is full of contrast. Without darkness, it is difficult to see the light. Without knowing suffering, we are unable to fully appreciate joy. Without our life experiences, we cannot fully discover ourselves. Without the discomfort, growth is not possible. Without honoring the masculine, we cannot fully step into our feminine. And without an open heart, we cannot fully embrace and surrender to all there is…
In love alive,
Irina

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