Fire Trucks and Surrender
Recently I read the transformative book, The Surrender Experiment, by Michael Singer. As the title for the autobiography aptly states, it recounts the story of how Michael Singer decided to surrender his life to the guidance he received from the universe—a choice which lead to a fascinating life filled with unexpected surprises. After reading the book, I decided that I wanted to live in more of a state of surrender. What I know from past experience, is that when you make such a profound declaration to the universe, you will be given opportunities to practice what you desire. And those experiences will likely humble you.
As I was preparing for a recent trip, I got the chance to practice surrender in a few different ways. It started with not being able to find the email confirmation for my flight. I spent about 20 minutes trying to find the elusive email. In the past, I would have worked myself into a state of anxiety. Instead, I caught myself and chose to just breathe. I trusted that I would find it, and I did—the next day. I also didn’t sweat the fact that I didn’t have a seat assignment. This is totally uncharacteristic of me. I am the kind who likes to have things buttoned down. When they announce the seating groups on airlines, I am right there in front waiting to get on the minute that they announce my group. I also didn’t sweat it when I couldn’t find my Kindle. “Oh well,” I thought, “I guess it wasn’t meant to be.”
At the end of all this, I thought that I had the surrender experience down. And that’s when the fire trucks happened.
I was driving with my Mom to a workshop that she was presenting when we got stuck in traffic. Now you need to understand that getting stuck in traffic in the small town in which my Mom lives is a rarity. But it just so happened that there was a parade that day. Since traffic was blocked going into town, I zipped down the oncoming traffic lane and turned around to go another way out of town. As I started down that alternate route, there were cars parked on my side of the narrow road which meant that I would need to move into the oncoming traffic lane to move forward. That’s when the fire trucks started rolling up the road towards me. I had run into the end of the parade. There wasn’t just one truck, no, there were multiple trucks, slowly moving up the road. My Mom kept saying, “what’s your hurry? We are going to be fine.” She also reminded me, “I thought you were surrendering.” The truth was that I wasn’t surrendering. I wanted to get beyond those fire trucks as soon as possible. Finally, after about the fifth truck, I was able to go.
We had a good laugh about this and have since come up with a code to use when either of us is getting too caught up or too anxious about something. You guessed it, it’s fire trucks.