Michael Singer is the bestselling author of The Untethered Soul (Summary | Amazon) and The Surrender Experiment (Amazon).
I just came across a podcast in which he shares a beautiful metaphor for surrender—a hot air balloon.
If you’re interested in the full podcast, you can listen to it right here:
A Simple Story about Surrender with Michael Singer — The Metaphor of the Hot Air Balloon
First, how does Michael Singer describe “living from a place of surrender”?
If we pay attention, we will realize that every moment around us there is a world that we do not create—that’s been there for 13.8 billion years—and there are trillions of cells in your body that are doing what they’re supposed to do, all of nature, everything. And, you wake up and you realize, ‘I’m not doing any of this. I didn’t make my body, I didn’t make my mind think, I don’t make my heart beat, I don’t make my breath breathe—yet I have this notion that I have to make things happen. Yet, all throughout the universe things are happening everywhere, and I’m not doing them. So, why exactly am I the one that’s in charge of what’s unfolding in front of me?’ And, what you realize at some point, is that you’re not.
That the moment in front of you that’s unfolding is no different than all the zillions of other moments that aren’t in front of you that are unfolding in accordance to the laws of nature, the laws of creation. So, you start to practice saying, ‘I don’t want to check inside of me first to see what I want and what I don’t want. I want to pay attention to what the universe is creating in front of me—just like it’s creating everywhere I’m not—and let me see how I can participate in that, be part of that, instead of interfering with it with my desires and my fears.’ That’s living from a place of surrender.
We can remind ourselves about surrender by imagining the hot air balloon metaphor:
Let’s say you have a gondola with a hot air balloon on it, and it’s tethered to the ground with ropes. If you want to go up, don’t put more hot air in the balloon or more things that will lift it up.
Basically, untie the tethers, and it will naturally go up …
So, the right thing to do is not worry about going up—just let go of what’s holding you down. And, if you will let go of those tethers, believe me, your whole being will go up, naturally, exactly at the pace that it should. Everything will unfold perfectly, but you have to be willing to let go of what’s holding you down.
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