The word "surrender" conjures up powerful images for most of us. Among them, pictures of white flags waving in battle, or faces lined with resignation. There is a passivity suggested in our interpretation....a giving up. I have long disliked and been drawn to the idea of surrender. One might surrender to illness, fear or grief. Another might deliciously surrender to a chocolate truffle, or a dance in the rain when no one is looking. What never occurred to me until I began meditating regularly is that there is action here. There is a deciding, a compliance, a letting go. I'm not implying that we should or would want to randomly surrender to circumstances. I am suggesting that we take a very active role in our surrender. Many of us subconsciously steel ourselves against our fears. We might strengthen our bodies, hold ourselves rigid, keep ourselves from being comforted; all in the name of maintaining control or not surrendering. What happens then is that we take on more than we can carry. For me, surrender to my higher self, my higher power, and the understanding that I am not meant to suffer is a daily act. When I remember to begin the day with active surrender, I am at peace. We are not meant to be in discomfort, in competition, in a rat race pace in order to survive. There is more than enough goodness, wealth, health, and peace to go around. While our bodies may cope with illness, the spirit can remain in good health. While bad news and heartache swirls around in the media, we can search out what warms our hearts. While we are inclined in our humanness to hang onto the mundane, to put our noses to the grindstone, to settle for what we think we deserve; the divine in us whispers the word surrender. I am so caught up in this business of being human that I need a physical reminder. For me, it is my mala beads, reminding me to stop and offer Metta when there is nothing else I can do or say. The simple act of stopping and sending peace, love, wisdom and understanding of the true self, healing and freedom to myself and to all beings is my act of surrender. For you it may be a cross, prayer beads, a piece of the natural world or some other object. Your action may be prayer, or extending a hand to help or be helped. Today I wish you the time and space to pause and to actively surrender.