Life for me so far in 2017 has been a rollercoaster of beautiful enchanting highs and super sad lows. It seems like right when I have finally achieved the perfect “life balance” the universe drops some huge obstacle in my way. And all my perfect future plans are ruined.
Can you relate?
Sometimes there’s just no explanation for why things happen. And there’s certainly no predicting when our next challenge will show up. The only thing we know for sure, is that we will never have complete control over what happens to us.
And wow, that is scary.
The good news is that you can still be happy, free, and enjoy life even when the world around you seems to be falling apart. Through yoga and my own life experiences, I have learned how to thrive in difficult times.
And you can too!
Freedom starts with surrendering. I know the word “surrender” may sound like a bad thing at first because of pop-culture and what we have been brainwashed to believe. Phrases like, “never surrender” come to mind.
But what I’m talking about is a spiritual kind of surrender. Handing over the need to control and constantly worry about what might happen next. That way you will have space for new blessings to show up in your life. We have to fight for our joy!
And in order to do that, we have to put in the inner work. You have to dive deep down within and get intimate with the darkest times of your life.
So how the heck do you do this?
Well, truthfully everyone and every situation is so different. Certain traumas and fears may take longer to dissolve. But it all starts with be willing.
Willing to go within and face your soul. Willing to ask yourself the uncomfortable and complicating questions. Willing to invite loving presence into whatever is currently going on in your life.
Because everything is here now. The present moment is perfect.
Trust me when I say, surrendering takes time. Before we can truly let go of our baggage, we have to first bring it all back up to the surface. Which will be very hard to face to say the least. You first have to feel uncomfortable and get emotional. Healing is a process.
STEP 1: Create Space
Carve out time in your busy schedule to start your surrendering process. Literally schedule it in your Google calendar. Maybe you block out 15-minutes a day, or maybe a full 2-hours on Sunday each week. Whatever fits into your lifestyle.
Go somewhere that inspires you, or simply create a peaceful space in your home. Grab your journal and anything else you want. I personally love to light a candle, lay out some Truthbomb cards, and have my meditation cushion nearby.
STEP 2: Get Inspired
Listen to or read something inspiring to get your brain away from the world and invite more focus within. For me, it’s usually a short audio by Danielle LaPorte or poem by Rumi. Sometimes I’ll do a guided meditation on the Insight Timer App.
STEP 3: Get Quiet
This is probably the most important step. Sit in silence for a few minutes to reflect and listen. Pay attention to anything that pops up into your consciousness. Try asking yourself a few questions to help the mind open up:
How have I been feeling lately?
What’s really going on with me?
What am I so afraid of?
What do I need to finally let go of?
Why have I held onto this for so long?
What else could this mean?
Like I said before, this is deep work. The questions are suppose to make you feel uncomfortable. Just be gentle with yourself and patient. Be open and willing to look at whatever comes up.
STEP 4: Purge it on Paper
I believe it’s so important to get all your deep and dark thoughts out on paper. At least for me, the act of writing down what I’m feeling and thinking helps me feel some instant relief.
Use the questions above to get your pen moving. Try not to over think, but rather purge out anything that comes up. I sometimes call this a “brain dump” because I will just continue writing down (dumping) whatever pops up without filtering it.
Writing down my negative feelings, past pains, future worries, and current fears, really diminishes the power they have over me.
STEP 5: Say it out Loud
Once you write the answers to those questions down, read them out loud. Something about hearing the words spoken, instead of just believing that voice in your head, makes them weaker. Occasionally it’s even comical and funny when I finally hear out loud what has been troubling me.
It’s like my brain makes a crucial switch from believing the fears I’ve been telling myself, to finally calling them out for what they are. Which are usually bullshit lies. My fears usually end up being crazy stories that have for some reason been living in my heart too long because of something that happened years ago.
STEP 6: Breathe in Gratitude, Breathe out Fear
End your intense surrendering session with some breathing and gratitude. Whether you speak it, write it, or just think it, take some time to recall all the blessings in your life.
How has God and the Universe taken care of you so far on this journey? How have the struggles you’ve gone through opened your eyes and blessed your life? Start to get savvy at finding the hidden blessing even in the darkest of times.
Then you can do a breathing visualization. Sit comfortably with your spine strait, close your eyes and breathe deep. As you inhale, think of something you're grateful for or desire in your life. As you exhale, let something go that is a negative belief you no longer want around. Do this for 1-5 minutes.
Surrendering is a journey of faith
Surrendering is all about releasing control to a higher power. Trusting God or the Universe to take care of you and lead you down the right path. Once you start to unpack your pain and fears, you slowly will feel lighter. It does take time and devotion.
You can’t just quickly rush through the steps above in 1-hour, expecting that everything in life will go your way from now on. That’s calling trying to control. I know it's hard to let go of expectations, but it's necessary if you want freedom.
Danielle LaPorte says, "Excessive expectations block fulfillment. You need space in your life for your fulfilled desires to arrive. And too many expectations or fears clog up that space. The noise of demands interrupts the signal of desire... focus and trust creates space for magic to appear."
Surrendering and feeling truly free is a journey, not a destination. I know because I am on that journey now. I do not feel completely free from all my worries and past hurts. And I don't expect I ever will be. But I have to admit, I feel a hell of a lot more free when I do these practices, than when I do nothing.
I finish my journaling and mediations feeling a little lighter emotionally and mentally. More space is created in my being to open up wider to the one’s I love. I can feel a new confidence within. My fears are replaced with a new zest and excitement to take the next step towards my big dreams. And most importantly, I am living more in this moment and feel more joy.
A new presence wraps it’s loving arms around me...and I feel renewed.