The Art of Surrender
Control: to hold power over. Surrender: to let go or give in
When you glance over these two words and their definitions, which sounds like the most comfortable way of living? If you are anything like the majority, the desire to control comes naturally. To control your external faculties such as your environment, the people in your life or even your circumstances can create a level of comfort for most. I challenge you, however, to recall a time where these things felt outside of your control. How did that make you feel?
Often, the organic need to control that which comprises your life, and thus your experiences, can create friction or resistance when things do not go exactly as you have planned. In other words, you have groomed your life so that it conforms to your expectations and desires. As a result, when something goes unexpectedly, big or small, your internal system is shocked, creating negative feelings to replace those once comfortable ones.So how do you cope with these negative feelings and find a guidepost back to a more harmonious state of being?Well, this is where I would like to introduce the art of surrender.Ideally, you would be able to let go of the need to control once and for all, hence the frequent self-dialogue of “shoulds.” However, the awareness that you are feeling negatively toward something because you are wanting things to go your way, i.e. control, is simply one of the first steps in the process of change. I mean, let’s be real with it! You are human and though surrender is an attainable way of being, it takes extensive practice to master, and you, my friend, are still a student.So instead, the next time you notice these negative emotions, I encourage you to try this quick step process to release, flow, and begin practicing the art of surrender.
1. Be an intentional observer of the signs.
Notice the negative feelings and thoughts. Some people feel things in their bodies: a clenched jaw, racing heart, trouble breathing, tightness of chest, tensing shoulders, etc. Others notice it in their response: short and snippy, hateful or easily angered, lost or confused, etc. These symptoms are simply the first signs for you to recognize and pause for an opportunity to redirect your need to control.
2. Invite an internal reality check conversation.
Breathe. State to yourself, “ I feel _____ because ______.” For example, “I feel frustrated because I have too many work projects to do this week.” Be real with yourself but avoid judging how you are currently processing things.
3. Thank those first signs for the opportunity to learn and grow.
When I notice myself feeling anxious or frustrated, I always thank my mind, body, and soul for showing me these feelings so that I can redirect my course of action to a more harmonious space within.State to yourself, “Thank you mind body and soul for showing me the frustration and anxiety around my work this week. I love you for supporting me to grow and learn how best to surrender.”
4. Reframe your thoughts and feelings constructively.
Using the previous example, “I am at peace knowing that I am human and perfectly capable of getting my work projects completed within a timely fashion. I am exactly where I am meant to be.” State this reframe aloud to yourself 3 times, and with every completion, take a deep inhale and exhale.
5. Check-in with yourself.
How does it feel to work on surrender? Are the negative feelings replaced with positive ones? Are negative feelings still lingering? Does breath work help with releasing the symptoms of control?Remember, surrender is a practice that takes time to master, and you are a soul that is learning and growing every single moment of every single day. Breathe into that and know that YOU, today, in this moment, are ENOUGH.These steps are meant to act as an initial initiative to create comfort in the discomfort of control, and thus learning the art of surrender through personal experience. Ready for more? Here are some guided meditation recommendations.
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– Casey Edmonds, CHC
Health Advisor | Email Casey