I think I've earned a PhD. in "pushing the river". Naturally hard headed and raised to be a fighter, I've never been one to back down. Upon reflection however, what might be tenacity in some cases turns out to be just plain stubbornness in mine.

With the mind of a Rottweiler and the stature of a Chihuahua, I've specialized in starting fights I couldn't win.

Descended from aggressive, conquering, planet colonizing English stock, it isn't any surprise that our family anthem was "My Way."  http://bit.ly/14Cwxf    

At least on Dad's side of the family.

His ancestors emigrated from England in the early 1600's to stake claim to a paradise lacking only in British rules and rights.

The majority of people coming to the new world at that point were dreamers and fools, mostly destitute and fleeing either the tax man or the church, or both. Pretty much sums it up. The ones who survived were fighters.

Never surrender. Fight harder. Battle on to victory. Winners never quit and quitters never win. And for God and country's sake, don't be a "loser."

Is it any wonder that being a fighter is a compliment? Looking beyond my personal family cosmos, our culture constantly wages war in the market place, on playgrounds, in classrooms, bedrooms and court rooms, across game tables and continents.

The war of the sexes, the war on poverty, the war on obesity and we haven't even left our borders? The war on illegal immigration, the war on intellectual property rights, the war on drugs and the war on human trafficking. Oil wars, land wars, water wars and star wars.

Our wars are all about keeping score, winning and losing, triumph at any cost and avoiding defeat whenever possible. Depending on the stakes, we sanctify deadly force against our opponents or at least justify some serious prayers for it on any given Sunday.

When do we value cooperation? Where do we learn to collaborate? Within our families as a "team" against one another or against other families? Or do we band together with relatives in a dance to preserve our blood lines, consequences be damned for any one who gets in our way?

Is it any wonder we are ill at ease in the world? Our shoulders hunched, backs tightened against the raining blows, jaws jutting forward with determination and our heads pounding with the stress of modern combat.

We're fighting cholesterol, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, killer flues from super bugs, air pollution, drought, inflation, deflation, stagflation - is is any wonder we've lost our sense of grace?

What if the way forward is through surrendering to what is happening?

Have you ever just sat with the actual events of your life and noticed that when you stopped fighting, things moved along anyway?

It never occurred to me that the river would flow without my pushing.

Yoga practice runs counter to life here in the West.

Surrendering to expand.

Letting go to move forward.

Releasing into experience.

Pioneers laying down.

Opening outward from the inside.

Revealing infinite frontier.


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