A couple weeks ago, my friend (Pete) borrowed my livestock trailer to pick up some heifers (young female cattle) from a lady farmer in another town. He was receiving two Belted Galloway heifers on trade for the hay he had supplied her the previous season. If you recall, I raise Belted Galloway beef cattle on my own ranch. This is an uncommon breed of cattle in my area, so my ears perked up when Pete mentioned that the farmer had a few extra heifers to sell and was wondering if I would like him to bring any back for me.
I’m a sucker for Belties. Their beautiful, long black hair and white midriff make my heart melt. I love their gigantic, friendly heads and their round barrel bodies. I remember the first time I saw a Belted Galloway cow. It was love at first sight, and a recognition that I would have my own herd of Belties someday.
Since acquiring my very first two Belted Galloway heifers several years ago, I have gone through numerous “episodes” of extreme desire, followed by extreme sadness, when someone offers to sell me this breed. It seems to happen at least annually. I’m asked if I would like to buy a Beltie that’s for sale, I get extremely worked up with excitement at the thought of expanding my tiny herd, and my desire for the new bovine multiplies exponentially. Reality sets in as I realize the funds are not available at that particular time (purebred, quality cattle are expensive), and I progress into my three-year-old temper tantrum phase as I become devastated because I cannot have what I so desperately want.
Because I’ve experienced this excitement-to-grief process so many times, I decided to try a different approach this time: surrender.
Surrender is letting go of something. It could be letting go of a belief, a desire, a person, a thing, or an outcome. It’s not a physical letting go, where you say you’re letting something go. It’s actually a feeling of letting go. It’s an opening that is created within you, as a result of releasing your control over something. You give control back to the Source that created everything (God). Because I experience God as Mother Nature, this is who I surrender to. It’s as if I’m feeling, “Nature is in charge, and even though I desperately want this thing, I understand that Nature knows the grand picture of life. Nature will always provide what’s best for everyone involved, even if it means that I will not get what I so desperately want. Even if I struggle, it’s all for purpose. Nature knows best.”
I practice surrender on a daily basis, but I admit that it is terribly difficult to truly surrender something that you greatly desire. The greater my attachment is to something, the more impossible it feels to truly surrender it. For me, Belties are one of these things.
After Pete asked if I’d like him to bring me back a new heifer, I told him I’d think about it and get back to him later that night. I retreated to my bedroom and prayed, “Mother Nature, please release me from my desire to have this heifer. I’m going to decline the offer. I’m leaving this entirely in your hands. If I am meant to have this heifer, please bring her to me. I am letting go of this situation.”
I let Pete know that I was not interested in buying any cattle, and I proceeded to do some yoga in my room. I remember feeling like I was really okay with the idea of not having the heifer. I felt at peace with it.
During my yoga session, a pose kept coming back to me: malasana. I just had this overwhelming feeling to get into malasana, which is a squatting yoga pose that’s purpose is to ground you to the earth. It reconnects you to the earth. It is a calming pose that brings inner peace and strength.
While I was in malasana, a thought came to me: “My next heifer will be named Malasana. Whether she comes this week or through my next cow that births her, Malasana will be her name.”
Nearly two days passed before I heard from Pete again. He called and said, “Stacy, when I went to pick up my two heifers, the farmer had three heifers separated and waiting for me. I asked her why there were three and she said to just take them. She said we could settle up the next time she needs hay. She wouldn’t let me leave without taking all three heifers. So, do you want to take this extra heifer? She’s in my barn, if you want to come over and look at her.”
You can imagine my astonishment. I literally laughed out loud at the realization of what had just happened.
Malasana came to me.
Of course, this heifer was not free. I still had to pay for her, but it’s a heck of a lot easier to pay for something when you know that it’s Nature’s will that you have it. After all, this is Nature’s heifer, and all money belongs to Nature as well. Everything belongs to Nature. When you live from this internal knowing that it’s Nature’s world, it’s much easier to receive what’s meant for you, and let go of what’s not.