I often speak about the word “surrender” and how this one simple practice literally changed my life. It wasn’t gradual or subtle. It was a light switch; in one moment, everything just clicked.
The message found me early in my spiritual awakening. I was somewhere around half way through Gabby Bernstein’s book Spirit Junkie (the book that I consistently credit for transforming my life and setting me on my spiritual path) when I read something that blew me away. I wish that I could remember the exact words that triggered my ah-ha moment, but for the life of me, I haven’t been able to find them again. I do, however, remember reading the passage and audibly gasping. I closed the book and I burst into tears as I allowed the lesson to sink in. Surrender and you will be free. Even as I write this now, my eyes are filled with tears.
You see, I had been trying for so long to do all the right things. I was in the struggle, I was in the sacrifice, I was trying so hard to fake it till I make it and over and over again, I failed. In some way, I failed every single day whether I was letting myself down, failing as a mother, messing up at work, ruining my romantic relationships, whatever it was, I felt like a failure at life and deep down, I didn’t feel worthy of anything better. So for all of my struggling and perseverance, I just couldn’t force the happiness, fulfilment, success and love into existence. And in that moment when I read those words and the power of surrender hit me, I didn’t suddenly find all of the answers or see the path clearly but I instantly felt the weight of the world lifting off of my shoulders. It was is if I had finally been set free and if you know me, you know that freedom is my number one non-negotiable in life; it’s the breath in my lungs and the beating of my heart and that one idea, that one word gave it to me in an instant.
The practice of surrendering to find freedom and happiness and fulfilment and success and love may seem counterintuitive to some of you, but stick with me here. You see, surrender doesn’t mean that you give up; it doesn’t mean that you stop caring or trying or that you just lay down and die.
To surrender is to be open to the endless possibilities and outcomes that you may experience.
To surrender is to trust that the Universe has your back and that there is a plan for you beyond your wildest dreams.
You don’t have to be passive about your desires or your goals, but it is imperative that you accept that the Universe (God, Source, whatever higher power you believe in) doesn’t work on your time. Giving up the timelines, the urgency, the neediness, the HOW is essential to allowing all of the things you desire to make their way to you.
In order to reach your full potential, you have to step out of your own way.
I used to have a really hard time accepting my life for what it was. After my divorce, it felt as if I had completely failed myself, my family, my children and I would never be able to live a fulfilled life. This concept was reinforced by my ex husband who loved to tell me that I’d never be okay, that I’d never be enough, that no one would ever love me and I believed him until one day, I began to witness this crazy for what it was. I began to see him as a wounded child who acted out and projected his own fears on others because that was all he had ever known and all he had ever learned. This shift in perspective allowed me to soften towards him and I was also able to recognize how my own childhood wounds kept me trapped in that victim mentality. We were feeding off of the unhealed parts of each other and this cycle was toxic. Eventually, I was able to see that his anger and rage wasn’t at all about me, but that I was allowing myself to be a target and in those times that I was spiraling out of control and felt hopeless and helpless, I began to witness the crazy (both his and mine) for what it actually was; fear. I wasn’t worthless. I was afraid. And as I started to see this pattern and I really began to truly understand and believe it, I was able to view myself as separate from it. I was able to see the times that I was scared or sad or “crazy” or messing up at work or yelling at my children as my fear coming to life.
With practice, I built a habit of stepping back and witnessing these moments and with distance, having the ability to see them for exactly what they were. I was able to say to myself “I know that you’re afraid X/Y/Z might happen, but there is nothing you can do to control that.” I was able to see how my fear kept me living in the future “what ifs” and replaying the past mistakes and in turn was sabotaging my present and then, I felt a little bit lighter.
I started to view the ridiculous moments, the mistakes, the missteps and the detours with humor and decided that it was better to laugh than cry. I surrendered to the obstacles as I let go of my victim mentality and instead, I began telling my stories in a way that made myself and others laugh. And again, I felt a little bit lighter.
I started to see everything in life as an adventure and I adopted the mantra of “If not this, then something better.”
The biggest shifts occurred when I embodied the practice of gratitude. Externally, nothing in my life had changed. I still had the job I hated, I was still living paycheck to paycheck, I still messed up at work, sometimes I yelled at my children and my heart was broken into a million pieces when a romantic relationship didn’t work out, but internally I found gratitude for all that I did have. I had a job. I knew where my paycheck was coming from every other week. I had two beautiful, intelligent, healthy children. I had intense love and support from my friends and family.
I already had so much!
So, I celebrated. I would celebrate the tiniest, most mundane things. I treated each victory as if it was the Super Bowl and I was on my way to Disneyland (even if the “victory” was simply that I made it through the day without crying.) I made up silly themed dinners for my kids. I had dance parties in my living room. I used any excuse for a treat or a toast.
I started to enjoy the little things in my life and even if I was only able to get there for a few minutes each day, I was gradually raising my vibration. Over time, living in the frequency of gratitude became easier and more natural. Soon, I was able to get there faster and stay there longer. When I tell you now that I am filled with gratitude, it is my absolute truth and if you think for even one second that you have nothing to be grateful for, I challenge you to stop and stare at the beauty of a sunrise or the pastel colors of a sunset or the brilliant glow of a bright, full moon.
A Course in Miracles teaches “The light has come.”
The light has come.
It’s already here.
Take that in.
How does it make you feel?
Do you believe it?
You might not be able to see how your current situation is a blessing, but knowing that as truth is where the magic really happens. Rather than waiting for the career, the house, the baby, the relationship, surrender to what is and live in the gratitude of what already exists for you.
Our work here in this life is not to become anything or to get anywhere, but instead, to learn how to break through the barriers that we have built up through our own life experiences and beliefs to come back to the presence of everything that we were meant to be. Everything that you want or need is already inside of you. You just have to come back to it. Returning to the innocence, love and light that you were born into this world with and returning to that state of trust and bliss that existed for you before “life” happened and you developed the fears, wounds, and patterns of survival that have built up over the years will set you free. You will be able to surrender to the will and the timing of the Universe because you will know with all of your being that the Universe has a plan for you.
How do you do that?
Do set goals.
Do have intentions.
Do have dreams.
Get crystal clear on them.
Write them down.
Speak them out loud.
Take action on them every single day, but don’t be caght up in the timing.
Don’t be caught up in the “right” way.
Allow the detours and the obstacles to be opportunities rather than set-backs.
Surrender to what is and to what is coming and be open to the possibility that each failure may actually be a push towards something bigger and better than you ever imagined.
Start this practice today and even if it’s only for a few seconds, allow yourself to feel in to the freedom of surrender. Then practice it again tomorrow. And again the next day. And keep practicing until it becomes your nature and eventually you find yourself living in the frequency of gratitude and freedom and when you witness that fear sneaking in, you are able to shift out of it and realign with the truth and the knowing that you are being led and supported at every twist and turn.
Want to share your ah-ha moments and break throughs with me?
I’d love to hear about them!
Head over to Instagram and leave a comment on this post or shoot me a DM.
Always sending love and light to each and every one of you.