Put it to the test. Ever since Leela first spoke to me the core of my work to make progress with love has been letting go of what I think is right and surrendering to her guidance. Following guidance from muscle testing was my first step down the path of surrender and it's still my bedrock act of surrender. No matter what I think I know, when it comes to taking action or choosing inaction, my goal is to put it to the test. I solemnly intend to double check all my plans with Leela via my body, via muscle testing and body sensing. And of course I fuck up, I get careless. If a fuckup leads me to do something that's at odds with the world, with Leela, I learn about it fast. Being at odds with the world is never pleasant; the world always prevails.
Do the right thing. Surrender to Leela means doing the right thing, i.e. the thing that results in progress with love. Human culture encourages me to do all kinds of self indulgent, self destructive things. My first test of surrender was getting free of all my bad habits: alcohol, drugs, crappy food choices, the wrong kind of living situation, and worthless activities that ate up the time I needed to do the hard work of waking up a little at a time.
Conscious surrender is how I get the conscious and creative parts of me working together. Both are required for making progress with love. To do creative work I have to surrender to my own internal authority, my own inner creative genius. Creativity clearly doesn't come from my thinking, a mare's nest of contradiction and pettiness. The wisdom in my body has guided my thinking to see my inner creative genius as Leela, the creative source of the universe. In partner dancing Leela is the music, the key to the game the two of us are playing. Here the need for surrender is obvious: if I don't surrender to the music my dancing lacks musicality, the magic potion that transforms awkward movements into dancing. Conscious surrender in partner dancing is actively seeking to let my body choose when and how to move rather than my brain. My body feels the music and moves responsively. Thinking can't help me do that. Surrendering consciously helps me engage the music, let inside it, let it move me. Thinking is an obstacle once that begins, but I need my conscious processes to get me to the point of surrender. The problem with thinking is it uses up all my attention, leaving no room for creativity.
Surrender and love. The essence of surrender is love: loving the world as it is. If I fail to love the world as it is, e.g. by rejecting certain aspects of the world or trying to change things, the world, as Leela, can't reach me. She can't reach me, can't help me make progress with love because I'm rejecting her by failing to surrender and love her just as she is. I have to make the first move: love her as she is. Then everything becomes possible. All my dreams can come true, and they will. It just takes time. But time is infinite; I will never run out of time.
Working on surrender. When Leela spoke to me in 2006 she was calling me to surrender to her. I had finally made myself miserable enough to be receptive to getting real help from my own body and not just bogus help from books and teachers. I had the right idea: I needed to get back to meditation. My inner life had withered to nothing in the face of the conflict and banality of my marriage, and I needed to restart it. But I needed to find it in me, find my own form of meditation. So when I started considering a new meditation class or joining a group she gave me a resounding NO! No more outside help. I had to go to myself for it. So I set to work learning how to muscle test myself. That had never worked before but now it did. I would test some thorny problem from a lot of different perspectives, cross checking to make sure I had the right answer. Once the path I needed to take was clear, I followed it. I had a good start on surrender by 2007. I got much deeper with it during the 2010s in the runup to quitting drinking in 2016. The raw acceleration of my drinking from being a heavy social drinker to a full time drunk only lasted a few months. It was a major test of and training exercise in surrender. After following through on that guidance her command to quit cold turkey was irresistible. She arranged it so I was suddenly staring death in the face. She lured me along by hiding my symptoms from me so I could get to a place where the lab results would purely scare the shit out of me. She could do that because I had surrendered to her, trusting her guidance even when it made no sense at all to my highly dubious thinking processes.
Work. Nothing is more satisfying than doing the work Leela gives me, the work of making progress with love. I can't begin that work unless I'm doing everything I can to get my thinking out of the way and let her shine through me. One way I get to work on that is by being her conscious assistant in writing these stories. Doing the work Leela gives me is how I make progress, and making progress is what gives life meaning. Nothing else does, pretend as I may. Nothing is more deeply satisfying and subtly pleasurable than this work. It's the pleasure and satisfaction of willingly submitting to my mistress, doing her bidding whatever it is. It is sometimes frustrating. Sometimes too demanding. It burns me out and I have to do something restful before I can go on.
Surrender has no settled state. It's ongoing. No resting on laurels. I have to surrender to whatever's next on my spiritual journey. Booze and pot have been my two biggest challenges so far. Homelessness gave those two a run for their money. I had to do a lot of things that took surrender to get clean and sober. I had to surrender even more to make my way through homelessness to my new home. There's always another challenge coming. Running out of challenges would be the worst thing possible, a dead end. But there's no shortage of headroom in spiritual growth.
Right now. The only time I can surrender is right now. Surrender has to be immediate or it's not surrender. It can't be soon as I get this other job done or OK but after breakfast. Now it the only time I can surrender. Now is the only time there is.