“She is free in her wildness, she is a wanderess, a drop of free water. She knows nothing of borders and cares nothing for rules or customs. ‘Time’ for her isn’t something to fight against. Her life flows clean, with passion, like fresh water.” ~ Roman Payne
Surrender is a state of allowing with complete acceptance of what is and simply letting go. When we think back of childhood, surrender was our most natural state; a state of ‘let’s just see what happens’. It is the free flowing energy that is full of creative potential and most of all, freedom.
In adulthood most of us could probably count the number of times we felt that way. So if surrender is such a natural state, what holds us back from fully giving ourselves up to the moment?
Dr. Judith Orloff, an American psychiatrist and author of four best-sellers, explained the art of surrender in this highly inspiring talk.
Orloff provides three questions to ask yourself to find out whether you have trouble letting go. They are:
- Do you recognize that you cannot control everything?
- If you’ve given your all for something, are you able to just let go with faith and give your project breathing room?
- Can you admit that you are not right and apologize when you are wrong? Can you let go of need to be right?
“Always say “yes” to the present moment. What could be more futile, more insane, than to create inner resistance to what already is? What could be more insane than to oppose life itself, which is now and always now? Surrender to what is. Say “yes” to life — and see how life suddenly starts working for you rather than against you.” ~ Eckhart Tolle
When we’re too attached to the outcome of something, it is a sign that we need to back off. A good way to start is by stepping away and zooming out of the situation and evaluate it. When we do this, we will start to see clearly how our endeavors aren’t really doomed to fail.
Orloff goes on to speak about the 3 types of surrender:
Trial by fire
“Crisis is an amazing opportunity to change.” When everything is just going terribly wrong and we realize there’s nothing we can do but give in, suddenly, a weight is lifted. There is a great relief in the realization that there is nothing left to lose. When we hit rock bottom, there is only one way to go and that’s up.
Letting go of anxiety & fear
Through positive imagery, affirmations and gratitude practices, we can rewire ourselves to shed fear based thinking. It’s important to ask ourselves “would surrendering feel like freedom?” Almost always, our inner guidance will affirm this for us. Sometimes it’s enough to just say “I am surrendering to this moment completely” to cause a major shift in our energy.
Accepting what is
It’s extremely important to the art of surrender that we stop trying to fit things in our own little boxes. Everything is as it should be, not how you think it’s supposed to be. There is your expectation and then there is reality. Choose reality and truth every time and surrender will come without struggle.
The techniques Dr. Orloff suggested are as effective as they are simple and light. Here are a few things you can do to help yourself surrender to the moment:
Drink water consciously and slowly
The human body is 70% water. Make the practice of drinking of water a sacred one. Honor it. Be present in that moment. Do not distract yourself with anything else. It is an immediate and meditative connection to all your senses. By doing this one simple practice, we will start being more present in every aspect of our life.
Let someone go in front of you when standing in a very long line
This exercise, humorous as it is, is so effective. There is so much noticeable tension at the grocery store, bank or railway station. To break this tension, offer the person behind you to go ahead first. Notice how the energy shifts. Suddenly the room is bustling with gratitude. Now a days when people are so unaccustomed to even small acts of kindness, a small gesture can go a long way.
Surrender to Joy
Be one with nature, appreciate the call of a bird, the scent of a flower, the sunset and sunrise. Find appreciation for life itself. “Don’t be too busy to let happiness in.”
Our existence is a gift, to see it like that is to open ourselves up wholly to everything. We stop waiting for happiness to find us. We become aware it is anywhere we look and most importantly, already inside of us.
Using this technique of change Dr. Orloff explained, we can transform our attitudes, mindsets, patterns and the way we are with people. We have that power within us, if we truly want peace, we must be it.
She ends with an inspiring line, “There’s two things I’m certain of; love changes everything and as individuals we have the power to change the world.”
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