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Learning to trust

I find it fascinating that there are very few road signs and traffic signals here in Mysore, Karnataka, India. I was here for 3 weeks before I spotted my first one, this very old-looking sign near a school that I think is a warning to watch for children:

It simply says, “courtesy” which I also find fascinating. My friend Maureen is also here in Mysore, studying yoga, and she told me that there are places in Europe that have removed all traffic signals and found that people drive much more cautiously, resulting in a large decrease in traffic accidents.

It seems we are sometimes complacent in America, blindly following the traffic signals without actually being present while we are driving. We put too much faith in external regulators, rather than learning to trust our innate instincts with alertness. We do this literally with traffic signals, but also on a more subtle level in all aspects of our life. Rather than being present where we are and letting our reactions flow spontaneously from the situation, we become uncomfortable when circumstances don’t meet our expectations, and we get anxious and take things personally. If we could simply learn to go with the flow and let our first reaction to any outside circumstance be surrender, I believe we would be much happier.

Surrender takes trust – it means letting go of control and believing that a higher, more intelligent power is actually in control of our lives.  It is easy to practice surrender, for example, when a baby grows in its mother’s womb. The mother doesn’t need to concentrate on growing the baby; it happens naturally. Our whole life can unfold in that way if we would just get out of the way and stop trying to control every thing that happens by judging it as good or bad.

My thoughts for the day as our trip winds to a close next week. Still more to come…

Om Shanti, everyone.

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