Our world seems to be challenging us moment-by-moment these days. Every day we wake up there is something new for us to process: an increase in Covid-19 deaths, inhuman behavior against fellow men, stories of heartache and despair, unrest and intolerance…..
Perhaps the world we are living in right now makes us unable to see beyond the sadness, or feel unable to cope with uncertainties, or that we are being kept from pursuing our hopes and dreams. People like to feel that they have control of their lives and when things shift, life and living can be hard. We do our best to find balance by making changes to schedules, eating healthy foods, and trying to control all of the things we THINK we can control. It may seem these days that no matter what we do we are still swimming against the current rather than riding the waves. When this happens we may feel angry, frustrated, frightened, anxious, or simply defeated.
So what can we do?? We can SURRENDER! Surrender may feel like an act of weakness to you – as though you are throwing up your arms and giving up, but actually the act of surrendering is an act of courage. It shows us we are strong enough to know it is time to let go and let the Divine (whatever that is for you God, Spirit, the Universe…) take over.
In yoga, surrender can be described as the practice of letting go of struggle and control. Surrender, as a practice, is referred to by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras as the niyama of ishvara pranidhana, which means “to surrender to the Divine.” For our current circumstances we might translate this as giving up control of things we were actually never able – or supposed to – control in the first place.
What does it feel like to surrender? It might feel calm. It might feel that being present with ourselves and others is happening with greater ease and less effort. It might show up as a greater sense of curiosity and acceptance. It might appear as gratitude; gratitude that in this moment we have been given the gift of seeing with new eyes and experiencing what is with less struggle. When we release the need to control things and stop insisting that circumstances should go our way, pathways open up for us to receive blessings that are already there for us and accept life with greater compassion and understanding.
How DO we surrender? Surrendering does not mean we are giving up control of all aspects of our lives. Obviously, there are certain things we must manage. However, when we start to notice our need to control situations beyond our purview, we can:
- pause and become quiet
- notice what emotions are arising, relax into those emotions with acceptance and compassion
- look at challenging moments with new eyes, a shift of perspective, look with wonder and curiosity
- ask how to move forward with love instead of fear
I hope over the coming days, you can ride the waves to feel a sense of freedom, peace, tranquility, and happiness. The magic of surrendering is just waiting for you!! Let me know in the comments below what surrender means to you or how you practice surrendering!!
Be Well Yogis!