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How to Surrender (Because These Are Some Crazy Times)


These days it’s important to surrender. Why? We’re all being upgraded right now for lives that allow for more joy, less baggage – and it’s full on, constant and pretty intense some days. Seriously, we are just these computer programs due for our next OS update, except these OS updates come every couple of days or weeks now.

The other reason why it’s important to surrender is because we have to allow the Universe to co-create with us to bring about our intentions and our soul purpose more gracefully. Like that struggling, pushing, forcing shit? It’s coming to an end. In order to step away from the dominant masculine way of doing things, we actually have to change the way we approach our lives, and that means surrendering as a way of life. Surrendering moment to moment.

If you’re anything like me, then you would probably find this sentiment to be exceedingly painful on some level. Surrender? NO WAY. I have to take care of everything, it’s all down to me, how can I be sure it will be done just right if I DON’T DO IT ALL BY MYSELF? Trust me, I know. I constantly tend to get ahead of myself because I fear things will not turn out the way I want it to. The assumption here is that what I want is somehow better than what the Universe wills  – and I have been proven wrong again and again that what I want is pitifully less amazing than what tends to unfold when I allow, and surrender to the will and flow of the Universe. (I could give you a dozen examples but first you need to have a day or two to listen to this.)

If you get stuck on the concept of surrendering alone though, it may be helpful to just pause here for a bit, and take some time to explore your resistance. What’s holding you back? What’s a core belief that stops you from doing so? Forcing yourself to surrender will defeat the purpose of surrendering, so ease into it… (Sometimes life will force you to surrender though, so that’s another story… But at this moment, probe gently into your resistance and see what comes up.)

So, on to surrendering…

The way you surrender will have to depend on how you usually tend to hold on to and grip on to things.

For example, I notice that I tend to hold my breath when I’m stressed and trying to control a particular outcome. My body tenses up and I find myself holding it still in a particular position. Once I notice this, I try to breathe deeply once again to allow air back into my body. Noticing your posture is also another way of surrendering. By simply un-tensing your body, you allow it to simply be again.

And honestly that’s what surrendering is all about – just being.

The breath brings liberation – no stale air is allowed to be in your body for long. When you breathe, it’s not possible to hold your breath for longer than a couple of minutes… You have to let it go. You have to give in to your body’s natural rhythms. That is a form of surrender that you already do – every single moment of every single day.

Which means that when you’re asked to surrender – it’s just a matter of doing it more deeply, consciously, mindfully. Because you’re already doing it!

Surrender as a bodily sensation and a physical experience

There are a ton of resources out there that encourage surrendering in different ways, e.g. writing down the thoughts that you want to surrender or repeating a certain affirmation. After some experimentation, I find that the act of surrendering is much more effective for me when my mind is aligned with my body – this is probably a big duh moment for many of you, but for me, someone who’s naturally intellectually-oriented, this took me quite a while to figure out! I thought that since I used to obsess quite a bit, surrendering was just a matter of surrendering those thoughts only.

However, mind-body alignment is everything when it comes to surrendering.

Above all, surrender requires a sense of trust and safety. Our bodies mediate this feeling for us – if our bodies don’t physically feel safe, secure and protected, it’s tough to truly surrender. We will be unconsciously guarding ourselves from attacks or intrusion at all times, and this puts the body on fight or flight mode. Our thoughts will then naturally become tense, anxious or obsessive. There’s then a circular causality: thoughts feeding sensations, and sensations feeding thoughts.

People who have been through trauma of any kind often find their bodies to be in constant hyper vigilance. If this is you, it’s okay. Your body is trying to protect you. And I highly recommend the book The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel Van Der Kolk, M.D. and being super gentle with yourself in this process. Don’t allow your desire to become more ‘spiritual’ or other new age nonsense mess with your healing process… You have to take care of you, first. There is nothing more spiritual than that.

Baby steps to surrendering… 

  1. Notice where you are holding on to tension. Do a body scan meditation – where are you clenching, straining, tensing, or holding? Do you tend to hold on to your breath?
  2. Once you notice it, you could either relax it directly, or clench on to it tighter before relaxing it. You can also look up meditation videos for progressive muscle relaxation to guide you along.
  3. Now notice which thought tends to be on loop in your mind. What’s an outcome you are trying to make happen? What do you absolutely need in your life right this moment? Picture your brain unclenching from that thought and breathe out at the same time. Feel your body relax as your mind releases the thought.
  4. Repeat as necessary, as often as possible.
  5. Take care of your duties, do what you need to do.

The underlying, core belief that drives the act of surrender is this: The Universe will take care of it, and the outcome will always be for my greatest good (even if it doesn’t turn out the way I think it should!)

This is just one of many ways, and is just one method I’m sharing as someone who thought she had it ALL under control. (lol) Certain yoga poses e.g. child’s pose also facilitates the act of surrender; sitting in nature and being awed by its beauty; deep meditation, etc can all be helpful. What’s most important is that you notice your own way of holding on – and explore what helps you to let go.

One final caveat – if you truly have difficulty with the concept of surrendering, I would point you in the direction of looking up first and second chakra issues. Often, our inability to feel secure, trust and let go tend to come from early childhood issues, which also correspond to lower chakra issues. (And who doesn’t have some kind of early childhood issues to look into, especially if you’re in your twenties right now and only starting to process and look back as an adult on your early years?)

So while others may make it sound easy – sometimes the simplest things are really the toughest things. Surrendering is simple, but it’s not easy at all… Especially given the many ways we are raised and taught. So if you find this to be really difficult, then congratulations!!! You’re a human being. Please stop being hard on yourself. The fact that you even want to start is wonderful – think of just how many people go through life forcing and pushing and bullying, and you can imagine just how rare it is that you are attempting something so different from what we were all taught.

That said, I hope you find it a little easier to connect with the concept of surrendering now, and may the Universe bring you all its amazing, wonderful gifts in the process.

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