Chiana surrendering in Kerala. No telephone, no internet, no traffic; the boat is gliding through the Indian backwaters at the speed of a snail – for days.
Autumn is here – a new season upon us – summer is silently crawling into the roots of the trees – the leaves are falling reminding us of an end and a new beginning. Every day, every moment, every breath, every thought contains an end and a new beginning
That is why transitions are so important and we can practice this so beautifully on the yoga mat. Moving consciously from one posture into the next, going deeper with awareness. Knowing, trusting, realizing that whenever we let go, a new beginning, something beyond our imagination, something that makes us grow is awaiting us on the other side.
“The moment of surrender is not when life is over, but when life begins.” Marianne Williamson
We all go through times of anxiety, the fear of being rejected, excluded, the fear of loosing the love, as simple as afraid to open a letter or as complex as the fear of the ocean, flying or dogs.
If we swim against a strong current out at sea we do not have a big chance to save ourselves. However, if we let go and float atop the waves letting yourself be dragged out into the ocean then we come back safely on land. It is such a beautiful metaphor for yielding into a storm or chaos may save you instead of batter you.
So in that moment the first thing is to tame your mind and tell yourself – let go, accept, surrender. Once that act of discipline happens then all else falls into place. So it is a game on the edge between control and letting go. That is the magic ingredient as always – balance– harmony between the yin and the yang, the active and the passive. This is why yin yoga has become so popular in the last decades, to counter the yang part of life, to cool down from the heat off the mat.
A Buddhist monk once said; if you hold up a teacup for a minute that’s light but if you hold it up for ten minutes it becomes heavy. So just hold it up for a while, set it down and then pick it up again. This way our load never becomes too heavy if we enjoy breaks inbetween.
I have put together 8 steps to remember when we feel challenged and are ready to let go:
1) Observe your thoughts– Surrender starts here. Check your thoughts, remember what you really want and see if you are off track or coming from fear. Set your intentions instead of letting the past, guilt, anxiety or grief control the mind. Remember your thoughts create your emotions and they are just passing through you – they are not the essential you, they are not who you really are.
2) Stay present – The present is all there is; the past and the future are illusion. When things hit the wall, feel the earth underneath your feet, listen to the breath, and come into the moment. Become aware.
3) Practice gratitude – becoming present immediately opens the door to gratitude, being joyful about what you have instead of loathing and worrying what you don’t have is a doorway to letting go. Like Viktor Frankl said: “Focus on what’s working well for you!” Writing a daily gratitude list helps here.
4) Get it out! Share & act – express your thoughts and emotions in a healthy way as talking with someone you trust, writing in your journal, playing an instrument, singing , dancing, rolling out the yoga ma or booking a retreat.Otherwise the heart gets overburdened, making way for depression or being overwhelmed.
5) Acceptance– Fully accept a person or situation as it is without constantly waiting for an explanation or wishing it would be different is really the only way to letting go. Your life is your respsonsibility alone, no-one else can be held account ultimately.
6) Forgiveness – First and foremost forgive yourself. Bring humor in, write a letter to yourself, spoil yourself – this is such a good start. To truly let go and move on, sometimes we need to forgive people who aren’t even sorry. It does take a lot of strength, courage and humility. Holding on to resentment makes us sick and prone to addiction and grief.
7) Devotion – We are part of a bigger picture; recognising the vastness of the universe surrenders us into the flow. It is an act of devotion, an act of trusting into universal consciousness that we are part of. As Esther Hicks (The Law of Attraction) says: “You are either in the vortex or out of it.” There are no two ways about it. When we move with the flow of life, things happen magically for us, things fall into place and miracles happen all around.” The devotion to recognize there is eomthing higher than you, a bigger plan and not your ego paving the way and how it serves others and the universe at the same time.
8) Create space – When we express healthy borders, know that we are enough and recognize our true being, detachment becomes light. Instead of cutting something off, surrender creates space for fresh beginnings and endless possibilities.
“Something amazing happens when we surrender and just love.
We melt into another world, a realm of power already within us. The world changes when we change.
The world softens when we soften. The world loves us when we choose to love the world.” Marianne Williamson