If you’ve been to my yoga classes you’ve probably heard me say at some time:
“Yoga will only change your life.”
And it’s true, it absolutely will and there’s one skill you learn in yoga that is particularly potent and it’s:
This morning when I woke up sick, I thought, “Shit, not today! I don’t have my newsletter written because I was planning on doing it this morning, I have x, y, and z to do today and I just don’t have TIME to be sick!”
This is a common voice I hear, and she’s kind of a bitch.
I have a little slave driver in my head that keeps pushing me along with her frenetic voice and often cracks her whip to keep me moving forward.
And then there is this other voice that I have learned to hear over the years. It’s a quiet one, a gentle one, which often shows up as insight and as truth.
This other voice is the one that reminds me that things are the way they are, and it’s time to surrender to it and let go of the fight.
The ego is our sense of self, and it is very fragile so it’s constantly creating itself by comparing itself to others, and DOING to establish itself as solid.
It also is very VERY afraid.
We have very little actual control over our lives. We don’t control our hearts beating, our health, our job security, natural disasters, or even our relationships.
We can do our best to prevent mishaps, or even disaster, but when it comes down to it we have very little control and we are scared shitless.
So what do we do?
Our ego creates the illusion of control by ruminating, planning, and worrying
Ruminating says: if I think about this enough it won’t happen again, or maybe I can figure this out and prevent it in the future. I can’t let it go because then it might happen.
Planning says: if I plan out all the possibilities and figure out the right way to make this happen, and am really prepared, I can prevent bad things from happening.
Worrying says: If I think about all the possible negative outcomes and think about it enough I can stop bad things from happening. As an added bonus, if the bad things happen, I’ll be prepared for it and I would have been right in worrying in the first place.
The ego loooooves to be right and even more so it loves to CONTROL.
In small doses, the above 3 forms of control are healthy.
They become unhealthy when they become conditions that affect your life: ruminating and past thinking show up as depression, worrying and future paced thinking show up as anxiety.
And here’s something to think about, the vast majority of women I’ve worked with in the past 5 years have some form of anxiety.
Surrender is the anecdote to the challenges of control we all face with our ego mind.
Truly, it is accepting life as it is, warts and all and still choosing to be happy in the midst of it.
How do I practice this in yoga and meditation?
My time on my mat or sitting, is a practice of awareness and here’s how you can do it too:
- Notice the discomfort and rather than fixing it or fighting it, hold it compassionately and surrender to it by simply allowing it to be there.
- Approach the sensations with a friendliness and curiosity instead of judgement, as though you are trying to understand them and feel them more deeply.
- You can use this same approach with the thoughts and your emotions.
This very simple shift in attitude allows life in, exactly as it is, rather than how the ego wants it to be.
This shift is powerful, and has the potential to change your life.
Just imagine how your life could be different if you didn’t have to manage everything or everybody? If you could just BE and accept life as it is?
To me that feels like freedom, and I’m a freedom junkie!
Now I just want to be clear: I’m not saying that we don’t strive to make this world better, or stop going for our dreams.
However, I believe that when we are able to surrender to the way things are, we are able to approach our ideals with wisdom and thoughtful action.
To do the opposite, is to act out of fear, and what good does that do?
So today, I’m surrendering to being sick and trusting my body to get me well and aiding in its recovery by taking the rest it needs.
I’d love to hear from you now! What are your thoughts on surrender? Is this a new or even scary concept to you? What can you surrender to today? Share it in the comments below.
Thank you being the light that you are my friend. Share the goodness on Facebook, Tweet it out loud, or just spread it all over social media after forwarding it to all of your friends!