Ishvarapranidhana

by elizabethbrantley

I love this word. I love it so much, I have probably written about it before. But today calls for it too. This Monday, the start to a holiday week that then tumbles into an even greater, merrier, cheerier, stressier, happier, cookier, noggier season somehow marks the beginning and the ending for me in many ways. This is the first day after a day of completion yesterday where I tied up many large and looming projects and proposals. And today, I am up bright and early preparing for the next commitment.

I have thought a few times, as the “to dos” pile up with me putting on thing after thing on my calendar and commitment list, that I might not be setting myself up for the peace of the season. But the truth is, I am excited about all the things I am doing! I am thrilled! I want to do it all – just like I want to attend every Christmas party, every Thanksgiving potluck. I cannot help but feel I am called to do everything I have committed myself to do – even if this is a tremendous amount more than what I have done before. It must be a sign that I am growing.

I am coping with the increase of commitments in a few ways. One of them is remembering and practicing Ishvarapranidhana. This long Sanskrit word means literally to  “Surrender to the Divine”, yet often I have heard it said as “laying “it” at the feet of the Divine”. What an image.

This is what I find myself doing when tiredness creeps up, or I am nervous about the next step I have to take. I pause, I think about what it is that might be a little overwhelming and I see myself bow down, arms out stretched ahead of me, as this burden rolls from me down onto the largest, glowing feet I have ever seen. Then in the midst of the Divine all that I have surrendered – my very best work and my very worse-  evaporates and is made Perfect. My imperfections and errors are erased and I am free. It’s like standing by a fire. The unnecessary is burned away. I realize again, that it is not about me. I am the channel. Life asked for what I just gave it – my wrong perceptions, my feeble attempts, my best test – my thinking that it was me doing the work.

I hope I can remember this as time continues in the next few months. Any moments of overwhelm, exhaustion or the like can be wrapped up and given to the Divine. They don’t have to be perfect – in fact, that is NEVER the expectation. No, give it to Life in the messy form that you have made it and watch with wonder as it transforms before your eyes.

Any stress or anxiety that creep up, I ask now, to be a symbol of the fact that I am carrying the burden when that is not my job. May these emotions be triggers that it is time to surrender fully and allow, with the release of this mis-perceived weight, a flood of joy, merriment, and Christ- light to fill my body, mind, and affairs.

Amen.

 

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