The Surrender Dance

By Dr. Bob Beare


I was taught that true leaders are tough, detached, and generally above it all. Surrender was not in the job description. It took some suicide level pain to drag me back down to earth, where the grieving began…and continues.

Apparently, my great grandfather was an untreated alcoholic, and was ejected from the family never to be heard from again. The lowest rung of the ladder was addiction, the weakest of all the weaknesses one could have. The irony is that this evaluation was done by a family full of great people, but untreated addicts themselves. So, it was hard to awaken to reality and to let go … and continues to be.

Along the way, I’ve learned from necessity to ask for help, to not know, and to surrender some of the phony tough guy façade. Although I’m still a novice, I’ve found it to be a much more peaceful and effective leadership style to lead by letting go.

Moshe Feldenkrais had a PhD in physics and a black belt in Judo when he sustained a devastating knee injury. He, out of a need for personal healing, created a unique educational movement system known as the Feldenkrais Method. He wrote, “Find your true weakness and surrender to it. Therein lies the path to genius. Most people spend their lives using their strength to overcome or cover up their weaknesses. Those few who use their strength to incorporate their weaknesses, who don’t divide themselves, those people are very rare. In any generation there are a few, and they lead their generation.”

Who would have thought that the obstacle that made me stumble would become a central focus and joy in my life. The recovery community is full of artists, leaders, healers, and the most interesting people I’ve ever known. These are the leaders in my life. Confucius apparently said “Never give a sword to a man who can’t dance”. I’ll continue to surround myself with folks who know the surrender dance.


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