autumn leaves on green grass
October 12, 2023

Learning to fall with grace

By Sherrie Frank

If you surrender completely to the moments as they pass, you live more richly those moments. – Anne Morrow Lindbergh

I woke to a sunny day with brightly colored leaves softly drifting outside my bedroom window. As I watched them fall, I wondered if they were as graceful with the fall as I imagined them to be.  

When I think of myself as a falling leaf, I think there is a strong possibility I might miss the whole journey. I see myself drifting down, mentally strategizing, and preparing for every possible landing scenario. Or my mind in the past, worrying about all the unfinished business I left behind. Or in the future, anxious about my people and where I will end up. The truth is, I am still learning how to fall with grace toward the unknown. It is a daily practice of surrendering to the moment with an open heart and mind. How about you? 

From the moment of our birth, we’ve been on a journey toward the unknown. Our life is a mystery unfolding moment by moment. Anne Morrow Lindbergh wrote, “If you surrender completely to the moments as they pass, you live more richly those moments.” When I read her words, I feel a pull to their truth. I want to live my life richly and fully. So, how do we surrender to the moment, especially the ones we want to deny or avoid?  

I remember swimming in a waterhole when I was younger. I climbed up a rock face and stood on the high ledge, trying to build enough courage to jump in. I spent a lot of time on that ledge, and I realize I still get stuck on ledges more often than I want to admit. This year, I’ve been practicing self-trust and jumping into my feelings when I have them. It has freed a lot of head space and energy that my worry used to occupy. I have also created rich conversations and growth from the experience of being with my feelings and, sometimes, when it’s important, sharing them with others. What ledges have you been stuck on lately?  

What keeps us stuck on ledges rather than surrendering are the beliefs we meet the moment with. Our beliefs inform our behaviors, and the good news is we can change beliefs when they no longer serve us.  

It’s also good to recognize that “higher cliffs” may require courage and support. I might still be on that rock face if it hadn’t been for my friend believing in me and jumping first.  

And some moments in life do not make sense or seem fair or “right.” In those moments, believing in something beyond the self — some call it spirit — can fill in the missing piece in a bigger picture we can’t always see. I remember learning in hindsight that heartbreak was the beginning of the best thing that ever happened to me.  

Then there are those moments when life asks us to accept what our rational mind finds unacceptable or undoable. To surrender control can be a path to inner peace as we let go of trying to fix everything for everyone and instead join with others during hard times. Grieving together can be a beautifully poignant moment as we share our sadness and loss.  

Today, I invite you to join me in surrendering and experiencing the richness and poignant beauty of life as it is. Yes. 



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