Saturday, December 11, 2010

Surrender is the Word--Reflections on 2010

At first I had a lot of resistance around participating in reverb 10 (not enough time, already doing creative everyday, already doing morning pages trying to finish up the Artist's Way, already doing much reflection in Worship Sharing groups, already trying to art journaling, already having resistance to the physical stress of music practice and the emotional stresses of finding my way with a new group of musicians), but the prompts have been seeping in to my consciousness and I've gained so much by reading a couple of other people's responses that I think I'll respond as I'm moved and able. Even if one doesn't respond in writing, these make really nice meditations.

The words that encapsulate 2010 for me are acceptance and surrender. The words for 2011 will be surrender and transformation, surrender being the bridge from acceptance to transformation. The image traces some of the events in 2010, you can follow the gold ribbon through the year. The spring was marked by the juxtaposition of the joy of our first grandchild against the whole involuntary retirement situation which threw me into a cycle of grieving that I realize has just now come to the stage of acceptance and surrender as my life is redefined. During the summer and early fall, the fruit harvest and canning kept me busy, focused, and gave me a sense of purpose so I didn't have time to think about how the school year was starting without me.

But, between last March and now I really have moved through the 5 stages of grief: denial at first (how could this be happening to me?); anger (how could they be listening to lies and misinformation?); bargaining (what could I and those who believed in me do to change the situation?); deep sadness (we can't do anything to change the situation, what will I do now, how can I hold my head up when there are people who think so badly of me): acceptance (well, there are plenty of people who do love and trust me, there are other things I can do with my life, I won't let others define who I am.) 

The surrender part has to do with finding out more about who am I and what do I love outside of a work life. Art is emerging as a major theme and so is service through listening, facilitation, and conflict resolution. I think that a synthesis is coming and that there will be a clearer metamorphosis in 2011. There are several books to read yet and processes that I look forward to engaging in, and I'm finding that as I participate in these, my spiritual life is very yeasty---I can feel something happening. Surrender has to do with not trying to figure it all out right away and letting it unfold.