Updated: Sep 22, 2020
How do you interpret “surrender?” What is the first word or phrase that comes to mind? It is a potent word that is embedded into various social contexts, so I would imagine that it spans the gamut. For some, what comes up is “weakness.” For others, what arrives is “freedom.” And there can be many nuances in between. Whether our reactions derive from the source of ego, culture, habitual learning, etc., there may be a contrasting complexity to how we perceive the meaning of “letting go.” Depending on how you answered, this word can become a transformative tool in the ways that we self-care and become abundant to new opportunities in life.
Through life exposure and self-discovery, one may argue that we learn the most from our personal experiences. Essentially, all of the time and everyday we are living in the unknown. We are learning in a large arena of ambiguity. Life does not give us a blueprint of what to expect, but rather, we can become the architects of our own realities. But, it isn’t that simple to map out and receive exactly what we want, when we want it. And sometimes life presents us with new discoveries and unexpected twists. Oftentimes in our own development and blossoming we think that what we want and what we know to be “what we need,” are the best solutions for us. But sometimes life steps in to challenge our elaborate planning. We are shifted in directions that we may have never envisioned to bring us satisfaction. And to our pleasant surprise, the results can be even more fulfilling. With all considered, this is especially why surrender serves in this natural unfolding.
So we continue to explore this notion of surrender, what it means to “let go,” and why this choice helps towards receiving abundance. I generally think of surrender in spatial terms. Whenever we let go physically or energetically in some way, there is an expansion that takes place. Constriction is replaced with an opening, and this space allows for new movement and energy. For example, in yoga, we are encouraged to hold our Bandhas (body locks) for the entire practice. If you are unfamiliar with the Bandhas, I highly urge you to be curious and learn more about the Mula Bandha, Uddiyana Bandha, and Jalandhara Bandha. If we are successful in tightening these bandhas throughout our practice, the result is seen as full release (and sometimes pure bliss) during Savasana (our surrender pose). The idea is rooted in the belief that because we are able to experience the tightening and eventually the energy release during our ending meditation, our bodies, minds, spirits, and hearts are more receptive to the peace that follows. Space has been created in our full being as a way to invite the positive energy inward.
But you don’t just have to be a yogi to experience this surrender and receiving interplay. Surrender is essentially a choice, all day, everyday. On a typical day-to-day basis, we are bombarded with information, thoughts, conversations, mental, physical or emotion reactions, etc. And while we can’t always just surrender to everything, we have the choice in how we respond. We may have experienced a recent layoff at work and it is taking everything in our power not to fight and resist the outcome. In this confrontational mode, there is an imminent clenching and closing that is happening on all levels within ourselves. Our physical body may feel contracting sensations in the throat, chest, and belly. Our mental sphere may feel flooded with “No, no, no!” And our emotional body may be experiencing stronger emotions such as anger, disappointment, regret, etc. So while we may not have anticipated this decision, we are consequentially dealing with it. This is when we have a choice. We can continue to block off everything that is happening and be a steel wall in this resistance, or, we can see what it feels like to let go, say yes to what is, and accept all that is. We can choose to be eager to the possibility of what this event may offer to us in the future. We can choose to be courageously accepting to the new liberation that this event has allowed. And we can choose to be positive in our thinking, knowing that an abundant replacement will return to us in due time. But let’s say we choose to remain shut off from what lies beyond our familiarity, how then can we receive an even better circumstance? How can we know that the job of our dreams, person of our dreams, or home of our dreams is waiting beyond the closed door? We can’t and we won’t unless we trust the process of letting go, letting in, and trusting the unknown that lies ahead of us.
Surrender is an ongoing practice. It is not easy to embrace change, the unknown, or anything that serves to progress our spiritual growth. But, there is much benefit to learning the art of letting go. We can learn to clear the space for the new to enter. We can learn to cleanse out what is blocking the abundance from entering. And we can practice small acts of surrender everyday to find more peace and balance within ourselves. In order to receive, sometimes we must first surrender. Trust the process, honor the cycle, and experience for yourself the power of letting go ...now and today! Keep creating space, and continue to say yes to the greatness that wants to let in!