The thought of surrendering goes against our instincts, but to surrender does not mean to give up.
On the contrary, it means to let go of a belief you hold because it is no longer valid.
The word surrender invokes all kinds of emotions for people.
“To surrender means that I am weak!”
“To surrender means I have to give up something I have been working on for so long. How can I do that? Everything I have worked so hard for will be lost!”
For the longest time, I, too, thought that to surrender would mean that I would lose something valuable. So I held onto the idea of making whatever I was doing work.
Now, I see that surrendering means I can let go of an idea or a belief I used to have because it no longer works for me. It no longer serves me in any way.
How do you surrender?
I imagine myself floating on a river. I have two options:
I can FORCE my body to float in the direction I want it to go, because I think it would be the best direction for me. The thing is, this often causes resistance. There always seems to be something in the way of me achieving what I assumed was my goal.
I can simply let go and TRUST that the river will take me to where I am meant to go. Somehow, this path always seems to allow things to fall into place. It feels much smoother, though not always easier.
Surrender is the simple but profound wisdom of yielding to rather than opposing the flow of life. The only place where you can experience the flow of life is the Now, so to surrender is to accept the present moment unconditionally and without reservation.” – Eckhart Tolle
To implement this, I have a simple meditation that I practice. I take a deep breath, close my eyes, and listen to the sound of my breathing. Then I feel myself floating on a river, and I allow the river to direct my course.
In real life, this translates to letting go of my previously-held beliefs about how something should be. I simply stay open and aware of everything that comes my way. I may notice symbols, signs, words, ideas, or things that repeat themselves or keep showing up. These are often signs of a possible course of action that will help me move forward.
Sometimes, when I least expect it, when I feel like nothing is working, something gives way and falls into place. Things flow, just like the river. At these times, I marvel at the universe, noting how I am supported even when I think I’m not being supported.
We don’t always know why things work out the way they do or why they move in the direction they move, because we can’t always see the bigger picture. But when we trust wholeheartedly, things are revealed and become clearer.
Our true home is in the here and the now.
This is not difficult to understand.
We only need some training to be able to do it.
Practicing mindful breathing, coming back to the present moment,
we can live deeply this moment and touch the wonders of life,
the joy and peace that are available in the present moment.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
When we are fully present, then we have surrendered into this moment.
Hemla discusses why women often put themselves last (and how to start putting yourself first) in this interview with us for YBTV.