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4/13/2023 Week 13 Reflections (After Watching the Recording)

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4/13/23 Live Session Recording

Please reflect on the discussion of Ishvara Pranidhana and ideas of Surrender. Answer one (or all) of the prompts offered at the start of the discussion. Please also begin planning your final sequence, offering any questions you may have in the forum.


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What thoughts or embodied sensations arise as you consider surrender?

The thought of surrendering is sort of bittersweet for me. I associate it as having to give something up but with a greater return in the long run. For me, it often comes with some element of fear and worry (am I doing the right thing, what if this is my only opportunity and I miss it because I made the wrong decision, etc.). In terms of embodied sensations, the fear may present as tightness in my chest, or a nervous feeling in my stomach. But on the other hand, the thought of surrender also comes with a sense of hope for me. Surrender includes acknowledgement - however that may look in a given situation. For me, in many situations it has looked like acknowledging a situation that I have no control over changing, but rather than giving up, choosing to surrender which leads to evolving and growing.


What experiences might influence your perspective?

Mentors have been a major part of influencing my perspective of surrendering. I appreciate when I am able to learn from others' experiences - both the bad and the good. It deepens my perspective of, "what would I have done in that situation," and "would the outcome have been different?" Personal experiences have influenced my perspective in an impactful way as well. I've taken certain situations and handled it the "not ideal way" which is choosing to not acknowledge it and instead overworking myself or trying to keep busy to just suppress everything else. Which only led me to burnout. In situations where I took a more mindful approach and focused on being present with all of it, this allowed me to sit in all of the feelings, which led me to no other choice than to surrender. And it doesn't have to be a bad thing. 

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What experiences might influence your perspective?

This was HUGE for me when I read this. I have been working within the prison's for the last three years and I just now came across something that I felt influenced my experience and even questioned my passion for what I do. I help incarcerated veterans inside a prison in California and I help them with re-entry along with making sure they have positive programming. I came across a veteran who decided he didn't like me and threatened the life of my family. It made me really question my perspective of helping the incarcerated. I didn't know how to feel, or if I even felt safe entering again after what was said. That is an experience that I believe I will take with me wherever I go. Will it possibly change my course of my career working inside institutions? Probably not, but it will make me stop and think about my communication with the residents and it will make me more aware of my surroundings and the mental health issues that are arising even more within the institutions. 


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Response to all prompts:

I liked that you discussed worldly surrender in the video, and that it  "can also be trust and surrender to self" I needed that reminder. I have such a hard time trusting myself, my knowledge, my body, etc. I often have "imposter syndrome" and feel as if I never know if I am helping or doing enough. "Surrender" to me, means to give up and let go. I think we can look at that in both a positive and a negative way. When I hear it, I almost initially become defensive, as if surrendering in a negative way means I am bending to someone else's will or desires, and forfeiting my own. My mind becomes a bit racy, and I can feel tightness in my chest and jaw. As I sit here and think of surrender in a positive way, I think of letting go of harmful thoughts and feelings that no longer serve me. Maybe even surrendering harmful relationships. I can feel my shoulders release and my jaw unclench. It is a feeling as if a weight is being lifted and I begin to feel a sense of peace and relaxation. I think that my feelings are very much influenced by my childhood, and always feeling the need to defend myself and fight for the things I want. My mind automatically went to defense mode when hearing the word "surrender" because if I had done that as a child, I would not have received the things I needed. Or at least I believed that to be the case.