Having been green with envy over the way author Michael A. Singer’s life was so blessed as he surrendered to the universal flow, the final chapters of The Surrender Experiment have been an eye-opener. Just as everything was going swimmingly, disaster struck the pony-tailed entrepreneur. I don’t want to ruin the denouement, but had I been in his sandals, I would have been mightily pissed off.
Rather than throw his toys out of the pram, Mickey saw the ‘misfortune’ as an opportunity to transform and grow. As it happens, it was the catalyst for his writing – he now has two best-selling books under his belt.
He makes it sound easy, but I imagine it’s very hard to stay calm in the face of adversity when your body is flooded with adrenaline, klaxons are going off in your brain and your livelihood looks as if it is about to disappear down the plug hole.
This is what he writes about the moment when the proverbial hit the fan:
“I was determined to sit peacefully deep inside and see if it could pass by without affecting my inner state. It was like the early days when I had first started my experiment of letting go in the face of perceived danger.”
My spiritual mentor Marion tells me not to worry if my meditations don’t quite work or times of silence don’t deliver the calm I yearn for. “It works like compound interest,” she says. I see how this applies to Mickey Singer. He spent years meditating in a forest and what he learned proved a Godsend when things went belly up.
It doesn’t matter who you are, shit will happen, no matter how much you meditate. I’m good at staying centred when all around me is going to plan, but as soon as things go wrong, I panic and get hooked on the worst case scenario – as demonstrated by the recent WW2 bomb drama.
The answer is not to try and crush that part of myself. According to the likes of Singer, the trick is to observe; be the entity who is sitting back and watching these reactions with interest and most importantly, kindness.
I have such a long way to go on this spiritual path, yet I can also see how far I have come. I am definitely less of a headless chicken these days. I’m meditating, practicing gratitude and trying to be more compassionate. However, I am still totally addicted to the ITV2 series Love Island and there is nothing Zen about that. Nothing at all. To coin the show’s latest catchphrase ‘It is what it is’ and nobody’s perfect.