Surrender 1: A New Year and a New Adventure Begins

Today as I enter into a new year, I am embarking on a new adventure! I completed my Year of Journeys ready to take what I learned in 2015 and go further. As I shared in yesterday’s blog post, one of the most significant aha’s I had last year was the awareness that I am invited to go on adventures, and as I accept those invitations, I am guided in my journey by the Divine. Through signs, synchronicities, my intuition and the unfolding of life itself, I am led. 

As I approached the end of 2015, the word surrender began to surface repeatedly for me. I am given a new word for each new year, one that defines what’s to come. Surrender was shown to be 2016’s theme, by way of repetition and synchronicity. 

I looked up the word. It doesn’t just mean to give up. It is defined as giving over to another, yielding to a higher authority or power. I always research the origin of my chosen word. Surrender is a combination of two words. Sur, which comes from Latin, means “over and above”. Render, originating from the Latin reddere, means “causing to be or to make”. Surrender then literally means “over and above causing to be” or “over and above making it happen”. 

That’s what I desire for 2016. I want to be over and above making things happen. I want to allow what is, to be. In surrendering, I am relinquishing control of my life. In reality, I can’t control anything anyway except my reactions to what happens. I am allowing life to unfold, as it will. I am an active participant in my own life, however I am open to what is brought to me and to where I am led. 


The symbol I was given for 2016 was the river. What a perfect visual of life. I lived in McDonald County for nine years, near Elk River. I have floated and canoed down that river many times and I can relate to the experience of being in the flow. 

When I am flowing with the water I am moving forward with little effort. As I stay in the current I am taken exactly where I need to go. I can attempt to paddle upstream, against the flow, which uses enormous amounts of energy and wears me out. I can paddle out of the flow and move to shore. The water will continue to roll past me.  I can camp out on the edge of the river for as long as I’d like, becoming an observer of the river, of life, without participating in it. I choose to remain in the flow. 

I’m excited to see what the Divine has for me this year, and what adventures the flow of life will take me to. I’m laying the paddle to my canoe at my feet, and surrendering to the river, to life, to what’s just around the next bend. It’s an unknown journey. In the past two years I’ve set up many of my firsts and journeys in advance. This year, I’ll be exploring new territory, mapping out new regions, in my world and within my heart and soul, without knowing in advance what that will look like. Curiosity will continue to serve as a guide and trust is my companion. 

This morning I experienced in a small way the promise of what’s to come. On this first day of a brand new year, I wrote my three pages of free writing. It happened that I had filled up my previous notebook yesterday. And so I began this day with a fresh notebook, full of clean blank pages. The timing was remarkable. How symbolic of the journey ahead because I didn’t arrange to start the new year in a new notebook. It happened. It arranged itself. And I had the awareness to recognize the significance. 

I am canoeing down this river called Life, eyes and heart wide open, taking in every detail, learning to navigate well, appreciating the beauty along the way, ever surrendering to the relentless flow of water. The journey, the surrender, is fresh and new each day. 


Journey 346: A Symbol for 2016

As this year is winding down, I’ve confirmed that my new word for 2016 is “surrender”. I’ll share more about the significance of that word later. I’ve been considering what symbol to use to accompany the word and represent 2016. Two images have come to mind…a river and a flower unfurling from its bud.  As a result, I’ve been asking for confirmation on which symbol to choose. 


As I was straightening up my stash of coloring books, I picked up the first one I had purchased. Although I’ve colored several pages in it, I haven’t opened the book in a while. I flipped to a page randomly and looked at it. And smiled. There was a drawing of a river, flowing alongside a road, through grasses and trees. 


If the river is my symbol for next year, what fun it would be to color this page and use it in social media and on my blog. Or frame the finished picture and hang it in my studio. Looking at the drawing, I felt I was being nudged toward the river as my symbol. I see so many apt comparisons between the flowing river and the flow of life. So many truths and analogies leap to mind. 

In this mindfulness coloring book, each picture has an accompanying quote on the facing page. Curious, I checked to see what words the artist chose for this drawing. Here is the quote:

And there was my word, surrender. Of all the quotes that could have accompanied the picture of the river, the artist chose one about surrender. I love the quote and the connection between the river and my chosen word. It’s perfect. And, just as perfectly, the symbol for 2016 was brought to me. The river. 

I’m so excited to have these two key elements for next year in place. What an extraordinary adventure it promises to be. But first, I will finish out 2015 with great joy. I’ll journey to the end of December, before surrendering to 2016. As I complete my year of journeys, I’ll slowly color in the river picture. It can be my work in progress. What a beautiful meditation, as I color, thinking about all that Life, and the river, mean to me.