Last week we talked all about control and what we actuallyhave control over in our lives (instead of perceived control). If you missed it or want a refreshed read , you can check out the full post.
Today let's explore the flip side of control, the concept of surrender.
The most popular book on the subject is Michael Singer's The Surrender Experiment, which is his own personal story experimenting with practicing surrender. He decides to no longer let his personal fears and desires dictate his life and decides to surrender to what life had in store for him. This radical decision lead him to both challenges and successes, all the while on a journey of living life on his terms.
Surrendering into the flow of life is something I've worked hard on over my years of being an entrepreneur and despite what it seems, still continue to work on. Surrender is not something that came naturally to me, being a perfectionist with an A-type personality. I've had to learn where to soften into what is, to let go of the control that I thought that I had and to adapt to situations as they change.
It is NOT easy and will always be a practice but it is SO WORTH IT.
Here are some tips I've collected on the way and found super helpful.
Tips for Surrendering
1. Life is happening FOR us not TO us: This simple change in perspective has allowed me to surrender into nearly any situation that comes my way, knowing there is always a lesson and purpose even in the challenges. This has allowed me to be okay with the natural ebbs and flows of life.
2. Releasing timelines + expectations: SO much of our disappointment and desire for control come from preconceived notions, expectations and timelines we've set out for ourselves in an attempt to control outcomes. There is usually a bigger power at work on our behalf, so each day it's important to notice where you're projecting your expectations, holding onto a timeline and taking yourself out of the present moment. Experiment with letting that go focus on what is going well. See if anything changes.
3. Determine what you can and can't control: In any given situation there are things you CAN control and a lot that you can't. You can always control how you respond to situations, the thoughts that swirl in your mind and ultimately how you move through your day. That's it! You can't control what others are thinking, how they will behave or what external situations come your way, so by focusing on you and what you can control for yourself, you ultimately surrender the rest.
4. Make no plans: Full surrender might not work for you all the time especially because as humans we thrive on structure and boundaries. One way to bring surrender into your life slowly is to block off 1 afternoon, or evening a week where you make no plans and have no agenda. Dedicate this time solely to yourself and ask 'what do I want to do, and what does my body need', and see what comes up. Surrender to what you need or desire in that moment and play around with what happens. Maybe you find yourself somewhere you never expected or in a different situation than you're used to. The possibilities are endless!
Samara Zelniker is a yogi, wine drinker, pet lover and travel junkie.