I have been working on the practice of surrender for years, unpeeling the layers of who I am in a bid to find a more peaceful center. It's been my main goal to cultivate a more laid back approach to my life, with a deeper sense of acceptance of things, as I move swiftly toward crafting my life into one of true purpose, and a living reality of all the dreams I have in my mind.
As I've worked to navigate through the challenges of the last year specifically with ease and fow, it has had me questioning what does it mean to TRULY surrender? How can it be possible to find peace and acceptance in a life where things are not really in alignment with the things you want and desire?
Anyone with five cents worth of knowledge from their spiritual reads, yoga classes, meditation classes and new age practices (if that is their thing) will have heard that they need to 'surrender', time and time again, but what does it really mean? It initially seems that surrendering, when you want something else would be a contradiction of sorts, why would you give in or let go of something while feeling like you really want it? It makes no sense! This question has been the inspiration behind this blog article. it is a discussion of what it really means to surrender in light of wanting change, and how you can do so without giving over your power by giving in, giving up or giving out.
So what does it mean to surrender? Does it mean I have to let go of what you want? Does it mean you have to give in and simply accept things you don't really want? Does it mean you have to give over your power and tolerate being in a situation you do not want? Does it mean you just have to surrender to being treated in way that is unpleasing to you by another person? What the heck does it mean?
Well, what I've come to understand about surrender is that it is not about giving up, giving in, or giving out. In fact, it is more about surrendering the programs, the beliefs and the preconceived ideas you have bought into as a result of the life you have lead, the environment you have been in, and the person you have become as a result, in order to allow the energy of a new reality to emerge.
Surrender does not mean you have to completely change, but if you have a belief that is in opposition or contradicts the direction you would like to move toward, then it's time to surrender that belief and allow yourself to start thinking and speaking and seeing yourself in a way that is more aligned with the new thing you want to create/become in your life. You have to become your vision. You have to be your dream. You have to surrender the old, and start to think, feel act and speak in ways as if you are already the thing you desire to be, allowing this new energy to gain momentum and eventually it will manifest into the reality you want to see.
Surrender ultimately means the removal of masks, and letting go of all the things that define your reality in your life today, that are not in alignment with the life you'd like to see yourself in tomorrow. It’s about letting go of all the preconceived notions about the world as you know it, and allowing the flow to pick you up and carry forward into new energy of a new reality.
I think the reason the practice idea of surrender is so misunderstood, and is quite confusing is because traditional spiritual ideals have taught us to always do good unto others first, and this often means relinquishing our own desires. We have been taught that it is right to put our own needs after others, no matter how bitter, resentful and jealous that makes us feel. We have been taught to be selfless, not selfish, and that being spiritual meant surrendering, giving up, giving in, and giving over our needs, wants and desires to please, or suit others for example.
We have been taught that wanting too much is greedy, and that it is wrong or arrogant to have dreams beyond that which we currently know, because we should be grateful and settle by finding comfort in the hand that we have been dealt. If we aspire for more wealth, money, fame, fortune and material things then we are shallow, greedy and un-spiritual and materialistic, so we ought to relinquish our desire for the things that bring pleasure, comfort and enjoyment, and settle for what we have, and all just agree that there is nobility in suffering.
In reality this could not be farther from the truth. It is not greedy or wrong to desire and expect more for yourself, and out of life. The soul of you is constantly looking for more, because it is always seeking more grounds for expansion. The more life we live and experience, the more the creative energy of the soul is fueled within us. It is not wrong for us to desire what we desire. In fact it is natural, normal and spiritual. The root of all growth, transformation, expansion and evolution begins as we feel desires growing within us, and as we seek new ways to allow the full expression of it to flow through us into form in the physical world we are growing spiritually.
So how do we surrender? As I said it is less about giving up what you want, and more about letting go of the resistance to change flowing in. It is more about a surrendering of your old ideas and beliefs about who and what you are, and have lived so far, while being willing to move toward new thoughts, ideas and feelings of the new reality you would like to embrace.
Surrender means letting go of your old way of being, letting go and trusting in a power greater than you, that can and will bring your dreams to fruition if you allow the space for it to do so. it is about creating, nurturing and growing new thoughts, words and actions that are aligned with the new you, and the new situation you wish to find yourself in. Surrender is as simple as that in theory, however, the practice can prove to be a challenge. Let's face it, it is not that easy to let go of a lifetime of beliefs, habits and expectations, but that does not mean it cannot be done. It all depends on how driven you are to see the change in your life. So often people have a great desire for change, yet are unwilling to take responsibility for creating it, and are unwilling to do the work required to make it happen.
It can be hard to let go of fundamental beliefs of life as you know it, because this ultimately makes up the foundation of who you are, and your identification with the world. When you let go of those, it is as if you are losing parts of yourself, and yes, that can be difficult. I learnt this early in my life, not long before I was due to emigrate from Scotland to Canada. I was only seventeen and I was going through a period of major struggle, where I had to look at myself, my identity and the life I knew. I realized I was scared about changing, especially about moving to a new country because I was scared I'd be letting go of most of who I was....and I did.
The few years that followed after moving were loaded with eye opening experiences that showed me that not only was it okay to let go of the life I'd once known, but that it was also necessary. Life then offered up many new experiences that would build up the new person I would become. This really was the beginning of my understanding that life served as a platform for evolution and expansion, and that life experience was almost like a school room for the soul to gather wisdon from life lessons and evolve as a result.
I began to study yoga a few years after moving, and as I learnt the postures and let my body eased into them with a growing flexibility and fluidity, I realized more and more too, that yoga offers a constant example of what it truly means to surrender into unknown, new territories that are often uncomfortable and where you think you could never have imagined yourself going (think standing on your head for a moment!).
Yoga taught me over and over again that surrender is not something that you just do once, and that is it. No, it is process of gradually leaning in, adapting, adjusting and letting go. I realized this more and more as I allowed my body to soften into new directions, as I let go of layer after layer of tension and tightness in my bones and muscles, as I breathed more slowly and more deeply, softening more, leaning in more, breathing deeper, loosening the grip then allowing the resistance to subside little, by little, by little, I knew then that surrender was a process, not a result.
Eventually after time, practice and patience, I saw that you can ease your body into a new state of free flowing flexibility, with space and expansion through in the spine, joints and muscles. You can feel the warmth of the increased blood flow as you relax more and more. It is almost like a dance between the body, the breath and the mind as you acknowledge, accept and then experience the resistance and tightness, then breathing into it, even if it seems scary and it might hurt if you stop clenching and straining, only to find that it is actually okay, when the pressure of your grip eases off and the space opens up and you feel clearer, more expansive and free and open in body and mind. It is the perfect metaphor for how we can navigate life, surrendering to ease and flow.
It has taken me years to truly understand what it means to truly surrender, and this week as I work more and more on it at level I would say is like mastery as I embark upon creating a new reality beyond anything that I have ever experienced before. I really wanted to share my insights with you because, like I said, surrender is such a common theme that is so often mentioned in all kinds of spiritual books and classes, and I wanted to shed some light on it based on how I have experienced it in my own life.
Every single morning now, before I even open my eyes I direct my thoughts and intentions to surrender into flow. That means, I let go of yesterday, and I start the morning a new, while looking for things to appreciate in my life. I decide that the day will be a great day, and I trust that whatever challenges come into my path are there to give me directions to guide me closer toward that which I truly want to feel and experience in my day. I ask myself, if 'I don't like this, then what would I prefer?' and begin shifting my focus toward more of what I do want.
Challenges give you a chance to witness to your own resistance, and to identify the things that are unpleasing to you as you go abut your day. Feelings of struggle give light to an opportunity for you to choose again, by asking yourself what it is you really want, and believing that it is possible. It is as simple as that.
You can learn more about how to release your layers of resistance, and how to begin using the power of your mind to create the life you desire by joining my program 'It's My Life, Break Every Unspoken Rule and Start Winning at Your Own Game Right Now'. If you are inspired to know more check out the details here, and if you feel aligned book your free breakthrough call with me now to start shedding light on a new life and a new you.
In the meantime, I am inspired to share the exact mantras I repeat to myself in the morning before getting up, in the evening before sleeping, and at any point during the day when I feel myself drifting out of flow and into resistance and fear.
Today I surrender to flow
I surrender more and more deeply to soul each day
I trust in a power that is greater than me
I trust that when I have made a decision, it is done
When I make a decision, I know it is done because the fact I felt the inspiration means that my Soul is seeking expression through me
I surrender deeper and deeper to my soul flow daily
My struggle gives light to an opportunity for me to choose again
I hope you have enjoyed my blog article, and until next time don't forget to be realistic, and daydream often!
if you loved this blog, then check out my accompanying podcast The Mind Trip #1 'I Surrender and then Some' by clicking the image below!