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“i’m here for transformation”–a mantra of sorts these past years, months, with a particular pitch these past weeks. i’m interested, devoted to creating a new story of love and connection. this requires transformation. it requires metabolizing the pain and trauma in the creation of new life.

when we are clear on what we want and open to it, the universe meets us there with lessons, gifts, wisdom, opportunities to practice. because when we utter a prayer and express a heart’s desire, our inner self has already taken the shape of that desire. therefore, the external shifts to reflect that inner truth.

it’s miraculous. magical.

several weeks ago, i heard a quote by marianne williamson that struck my heart and has stayed with me, working me in all kinds of ways: “Magic happens when you tell the universe what you want it to do for you; miracles happen when you ask how you can be of service to the universe.”

right now, it me has sitting with the practice of surrender.

on the path of transformation, there comes a point when we can no longer sit in the driver’s seat. we have been faced with the reality that we are not the Master Creator; there has been truth revealed that there is fact, a whole much bigger than us and if we can be honest…really honest about this, we simply do not know the way.

pema chodron gave me words to this a decade ago in her book When Things Fall Apart: “The off-center, in-between state is an ideal situation, a situation in which we don’t get caught and we can open our hearts and minds beyond limit… To stay with that shakiness–to stay with a broken heart, with a rumbling stomach, with the feeling of hopelessness and wanting to get revenge–that is the path of true awakening. Sticking with that uncertainty, getting the knack of relaxing in the midst of chaos, learning not to panic–this is the spiritual path.”

if we can be honest…really honest about this state of not knowing, we can choose to surrender our will over and let life have its way with us.

last night during our second session of the Innerground Railroad series, a participant shared that they sometimes claw their whole fall into surrender. this is why surrender often comes on the heels of crisis–not of our own conscious choosing.

as Meg Wheatley says, “it’s not easy to give up the role of master creator and move into the dance of life.”

falling apart is, after all, not something we generally choose to do. it’s devastating. it requires death.

sue monk kidd recently gifted me with the etymological meaning of “crisis” as “separation”. there has been a separation from our old form; our old story no longer fits, no longer serves. a crisis point.

and with that, comes choice. what do choose to do? or, again returning to the words of Meg Wheatley, “who do we choose to be?”

it’s really a matter of fear or love. i’m not an either-or person. and, there are two forces in the universe. do we choose fear? and return to the comfort of the old story? falling back into the patterns of our old self? or, do we choose love?

and if that choice is love, then there is a surrender. there is a willingness to let go and let God.

i can’t believe i actually wrote that. LOL and, it’s true.

God, mystery, unknowing, LIFE.

because being in that not knowing state of being is the moment when the caterpillar dissolves into goo, preparing for its next stage of development.

unlike butterflies however, the invitation in surrender is both to go inward and reach out for community. we cannot truly surrender alone, in isolation. to really fall apart–and completely surrender into the dissolution of our own goo–there is communal holding required. i cannot relinquish my desperate grasp of the Master’s will without companions, guides, elders who help me to see whole self and allow me to practice myself into my new incarnation.

i wonder…maybe community is the chrysalis. and we form ourselves within in it, meeting ourselves anew over and over and over again.

last weekend, i was helping to lead a community who was in significant change. the question for me was whether there was willingness to transform. was there willingness to surrender? there were different levels of consent around this and as the group moved together over the course of a very messy and beautiful and challenging twenty-four hours, there were moments where the death of who they had been was named and a vision for who they were becoming was expressed.

then, painfully they’d be hooked back into the old form. even when it no longer fit. even when it no longer held true. making decisions and acting with authority that no longer operated in the ways it had.

i named this as honestly and clearly as i could, “we now have an opportunity to organize ourselves differently.” and yet, the collective choice was to continue on…

this is not to say that there was not transformation that occurred during that time, individually, communally. it is to bear witness to the role of surrender in our transformation. to allow ourselves to dwell in the not knowing, to honor it, to give it reverence.

i do not have the answers. actually, i’m no longer interested in the answers. it’s the questions that matter most to me.

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