I used to be the girl that always packed her bags weeks in advance, before a vacation. However, on the eve of my 23rd birthday, a very dreadful Irritated Bowel Syndrome attack rendered me helpless. I had embarrassingly lost control of my own bowel movement. And it was a wake up call for me to stop holding on so tightly to life. To SURRENDER.
Aren’t we all trying to tame, to control our lives? The ego is driving us in these cases. The ego wants to feel familiarity. It isn’t prepared for change. But the truth is, change is the only constant! Then why aren’t we learning to let go?
To whatever capacity that you might be trying to control and sometimes even micromanage your circumstances, here are small ways to change that.
#1 – Don’t ‘Google’ it.
Being informed is good, but sometimes we limit ourselves when we know too much, because we make up our mind even before we arrive at the situation.
A small place to start is to no longer Google medical symptoms online.
Personally, I also no longer watch movie trailers or read too much from a book’s synopsis. As long as it falls in the genre of something I’m in the mood for, I dive in!
It might not seem like a big deal, but the liberation that comes from not knowing what to expect in your entertainment, and showing up anyway, can be healing.
#2 – Don’t kill spontaneity with too much certainty. Surrender by taking life as it comes.
Do you plan your itinerary to every minute detail?
Some spiritual manifestations of this might mean following horoscopes in the newspaper, pulling Tarot readings for yourself, depending too frequently on your clairvoyant insights, or constantly checking the planetary alignments. In other words, becoming spiritually obsessed.
I get it. We want to be prepared, because we want to feel in control.
But the truth is, we cannot ever be completely prepared to respond to everything that happens to us, and therefore, please allow yourself to stay in the present moment by responding as and when situations arise.
Let go of the urge to know about your future.
This also pairs with the first insight. Knowing too much kills spontaneity. And without spontaneity, you are not allowing the universe to breathe and create through you.
#3 – Surrender your routine.
Forcing yourself to go to the gym every single day, or beating yourself up for not having a salad on the seventh day in a row is basically you suffocating your inner child.
Have a structure, but don’t be rigid. Be consistent but don’t be monotonous.
Always have an idea about what you want to aspire for, but let go of how. Some examples :
- “I want to be fit.”
Some days it’ll mean going to the gym, other days it’ll mean picking healthier food choices, and on weekdays it’ll be using the stairs to work.
- “I want to learn something new everyday.”
Some days, read a book. Some days, watch a TED talk, or listen to a podcast. Occasionally on weekends, enroll in a workshop.
- “I want to invest in my relationships.”
Some days, have meals together. At other times, have a long conversation on the phone (or in person), or simple acts of kindness like a shoulder massage or helping cook.
- “I want to invest in my passion daily.”
NOTE : Since I’m a writer, I’ll share examples per my situation. Some days, it’ll mean actually writing. Some days it’ll be working on aesthetics and marketing. On other days it’ll be investing energy indirectly by doing things that fuel my writing like reading a book on a relevant genre, or attending healing/personality development classes.
#4 – Accept change of plans.
How badly are you affected when a vacation gets cancelled or if a friend bails on a lunch date?
Think about it. You can only build your acceptance if you’re facing situations that are unusual to your perception of how the world should be.
Thus, it’s a vital aspect of learning to surrender.
So anytime things don’t go our way, it is our choice to either see this as the Universe ‘hating’ us, or simply bouncing back up and making way for whatever comes next.
And as I always say, life’s too short to get stuck too long in the what-ifs. It’s important to focus on the what-is.
#5 – It’s okay for things to go against your judgement.
Most of the time, life’s curve-balls cannot be predicted on a fancy algorithm on a supercomputer. Don’t let life get in the way of your relationship with yourself. Learn to trust and love yourself, as well as the universe.
Trusting yourself should not be disguised under the misconception that you will always make the right choices. Self-love means acknowledging that as humans we don’t always know the right thing to do, but we still try our best.
And trusting the universe doesn’t mean that things will go your way because you’re now friends with the Divine. Things will still continue to be weird and unexplainable, and you will be alright.
The ability to surrender becomes easier when you start small. Just like any habit, it’s one that takes practice. But it brings you the mental freedom you truly deserve.
So let’s take the weight off our shoulders and learn to live a little (or a lot), shall we?
P.S. The Surrender Experiment is an incredible and inspiring story of an almost-monk who completely surrendered to his life. What happens then, is worth reading!
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