One of my greatest challenges, and really the foundation of my “inner” work, is coming to grips with the paradox of surrender AND intention when dealing with external reality.
To resist the natural inclination to judge circumstances as “wrong” and try to force them to change; but rather acknowledge and accept them as “what’s so right now”, and then consider what else is possible that inspires and empowers.
I love to swim in the ocean, and one my favorite metaphors is swimming in the surging waves. As I’m swimming, I’m both surrendering to the power of the ocean to move me up and down and around as it wills, while at the same time maintaining a strong and clear intention to move in a specific direction.
For me this isn’t just a neat philosophical point of view, but a deeply empowering way of being. Shifting from trying to resist and overpower the ocean (which is painful and fruitless), to allowing her to move me AS I steadily stroke in my intended direction, completely shifts my experience and extends my capacity. I go from being stressed, anxious and struggling to calm, relaxed and sure, and as a result can swim much further and faster. Literally and metaphorically!