An Anti-Resolution: Giving Into Grace

I’m calling it an “anti-resolution” because I don’t need to be doing something, I need to STOP doing something.

So many of the resolutions we make at this time of year center around more intention and more action, like: “I resolve to meditate more,” “I promise to buy and eat only organic fruit,” or “I will set Mondays aside to train myself in new technology.”  These are great, don’t get me wrong; in fact, they are among the resolutions I have been tinkering with.  However, they are not the BIG ONE for me.  I need to make an overarching shift in my perspective – a shift that will cast these smaller, more task-oriented intentions in a new light.  And this shift is not about intention or action.  It’s about letting go of both.

I need to stop thinking that I know what’s best for me, that I know exactly where I am heading, and that I have to get there all by myself, through my own desire and effort.  In short, I need to give into grace.

I know, I know; I am a yoga teacher, I am supposed to have done this.  But the truth is, I haven’t.  Not fully, anyway.  When things are going well and I am satisfied with my life situation, surrender comes fairly easily to me.  When I am on my mat practicing or even in the studio teaching, I regularly relinquish my agenda and channel a larger energy flow.  I feel comfortable in those roles, and openness follows.  All good.  But when I am trying to figure out how to increase my income, whether or not I should relocate my life, or how to launch my next course type – less comfortable spaces for me – I am not even close to letting go of the wheel.

It’s an interesting paradox.  In the midst of activities I like and feel successful at, I can give up control.  In the ones I like less, I hang on tight, defining and redefining action plans and, above all, worrying.  I HATE worrying!  Worrying, besides being a totally unpleasant experience, is also a sign that I am not trusting.  I’m not surrendering to the idea that grace, or God, or the Force has my back.  You’d think that I would do this MORE when the going gets tough – not less, right?  When Luke has one shot to destroy the Death Star – without question the most important and difficult thing he has ever done – Obi Wan’s voice tells him to turn off his radar and close his eyes.  He does, and he makes the shot.  Using the Force.  I want to do that.  I’m just not always sure how.

A friend of mine with a long history of blood, sweat, and tears in through AA work encouraged me to pray.  Not pray for any specific thing, of course, or to a white-bearded guy, but to “get on my knees and ask for help.”  Get on my knees. Hmm, that brings up some stuff for me!  It makes me feel small.  Which of course I am…but…really?  On my knees?  Is that what a strong, independent, self-sufficient woman does?

Yes, of course.  Doing that would be a full acknowledgement that any strength I do have is on loan.  Like muscle energy, I can draw it up into me, and like organic energy, I can and should give it back.  I’m not sure how to make this more automatic, how to fully adopt the mindset that I am guided and help as a worldview.   However, one idea I have  is that the “fake it ‘til you make it” approach I advocate in the asana practice might be of service here.  In other words, I could get down on my knees and ask for help, even if I don’t mean it, and see what happens if I make it a habit. Kind of like smiling in agnistambasana, even though I don’t generally feel happy in that particular hip opener.  The asana works from the outside inward, maybe this other yogic practice could do the same?

And if it does, I won’t actually be making a resolution to do or think something at all; I’ll just be in the flow, making periodic small adjustments to stay there.

Why does this sound so hard?  Sigh…here I go.


~ by bridgetannlyons on January 4, 2012.

6 Responses to “An Anti-Resolution: Giving Into Grace”

  1. Fake it to you make it, one of my favorite mantras!:) I also like the point about how there are easier places in our lives to open than others, depending on who you are. I have been contemplating that one a lot lately. .. Golden = “any strength I do have is on loan.” Love that!

  2. STOP doing something… says the woman who has scheduled several hundred workshops and such during 2012. This is very timely as I have been reflecting on the year past and considering to act on my impulse to make a list. I am so glad that you wrote this as it is a reminder to give into grace, when the urge is to control.

    May your 2012 be happy, healthy and full of light.

    • You are too funny Nick… know, your comment is a great reality check. I feel like I am not doing enough workshops or drop-in classes…having you say quite the opposite is a good splash of water in the face. Thanks for that! Backatcha for the new years wishes – hope to see you in the valley soon?

  3. Allowing ourselves to truly surrender and empty our hearts of ambition, purpose and plan is a beautiful inspirational way to approach 2012. It has a very expansive, living in the golden moment , anything can happen feel to it……Happy New Year Bridget!

  4. Hmm it looks like your site ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I had written and
    say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I too am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to everything.

    Do you have any recommendations for newbie blog writers?
    I’d really appreciate it.

    • Hi there –
      Thanks for reading and commenting! My biggest suggestion to you as a newer blogger is to write about your passion – whatever that is. If you find yourself dying to tell a friend about something that you read or heard and how it relates to the topic of your blog, then you’re probably on the right track if you hash that thought out in writing.
      Good luck with it and have fun –

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