in: Wellness

The Science of Surrender

In a world as chaotic as ours, the urge to fix, change, will or meddle can seem unbearable. Ashley Turner shows us the value in (and how to) of surrender.

My favorite definition of surrender comes from the website TinyBuddha:

“Surrender is complete acceptance of what is, knowing it will all be okay, even without my input.”

That last line seals the deal. “…without my input.” Deep sigh. You mean, I don’t have to figure it out, try to “fix,” understand or meddle? There is a larger hand at work guiding this? Hmmm…

Personally, I’m not very good at this. In fact, horrible. I like to think it’s my empathic nature—my Cancerian nature that wants to “help,” gets her pincers stuck…clinging to what I want or thinks I know more than someone else so I should jump in. It probably has more to do with my perfectionist control freak—which I didn’t really notice until recently when I (finally) hired an assistant and learned (slowly) how to delegate. What a relief! Someone is actually much better at doing certain things than I am and doesn’t need my input!

Lately, I’ve come face-to-face with how much I try to “will” things to happen and manipulate circumstances to turn out like I think they should. Read: It’s all about me, my desires and what I want….with little consideration for what might be best for someone else, their life path or the larger scale of greater good.

Surrendering means to let go of control over a person, circumstance or outcome. The need to control is rooted in fear. We’re afraid of what will happen in a situation if it turns out differently than how we think it should. “Should” being the key word here.

When we try to control something, we assume that we know what’s best and omnipotently see through the eyes of Spirit. When we control, we conclude that our agenda is best for everyone. The problem is that control stems from our personal projections, belief systems and attachments—our attempt to prove our worth, feel good and be right.

Surrender is the soul sister of Trust.

To surrender is to trust something greater than ourselves, which allows us to deepen our trust in the Universe.

Albert Einstein said that our greatest skill is to decide whether we believe in an altruistic, supportive universe or an antagonistic universe that is out to get us. Do you believe the Universe has your back, or do you believe that life is a tough battle with many forces fighting against you? Glass half full or half empty?

When we have a positive sense of safety and stability (initially rooted in loving, consistent parenting from our early childhood) – it is easier to trust in something greater than ourselves. We believe that the Universe will show up to do its part, is supporting us and help will arrive.

As we begin to trust, we move out of the thinking, logical mind and into the realm of Spirit. A spiritual perspective invites us to see beyond form. We trust the unknown and unseen. We allow the heart and our intuition or third eye perspective to guide us and let go of our need to assume, control, manipulate and define.

There are certain issues that reveal my wavering doubt and occasional lack of trust in Spirit’s timing. Will I find my perfectly compatible life partner? Will I get married? Will I have children? Will I make the kind of money I desire and touch the number of people I wish with my work?

Because these doubts commonly take residence in my mind, I’ve started to “try on” the coat of Trust. Literally, in my morning meditation, I sit in silence and cloak myself in a field of absolute knowing and deep trust that all I desire desires me. It is coming my way. I practice feeling spacious and easeful, eradicating the constriction and tightness of breath which accompany fear.

How to Surrender

1. Pinpoint your fear.
  • What are you afraid of?
  • What’s the worst that can happen if you don’t control the outcome?
  • Is it true? (Check out Byron Katie’s The Work for more on this crucial question.)
  • Is it absolutely true that your situation will be worse if it doesn’t work out the way you think it “should”?
2. Plug into the field of all possibilities.

Attempting to control means we limit possibilities. As we surrender we begin to open up to all options—especially those beyond what we can see or even imagine. Deepak Chopra talks about plugging into the field of infinite possibilites and remembering our true nature and Source energy is beyond our wildest imagination. For a moment, ponder with wonderment and awe the nature of life and who you really are. You are not forgotten. You are special.

3. Use meditation and breath work to relax body and mind.

My favorite is to repeat the mantra “let go” as I inhale and exhale. On the INHALE focus on the word “let”. EXHALE, silently repeat the word “go.” While this is simplistic, it works.

4. Use yoga and exercise to identify and release tension in your physical body.

As you consciously begin to let go through your material body, you will also begin to let go through your psychological body.

5. Ask for help, pray, create a ritual.

This will connect with your intuition and something greater than yourself. Practice developing your own, deeply personal relationship with Spirit. Build an altar to what it is you are struggling with releasing. Use Essential Oils (I highly recommend the blend Release for this.) and call on your Higher Mind (Buddhi) to help you surrender.

[image: via alice313 on flickr]

About the Author:

Ashley Turner

Ashley is an innovator in personal development bridging yoga, psychology and neuroscience. She is an acclaimed yoga–meditation instructor, registered Marriage + Family Psychotherapy Intern, writer and Ordained Priestess. DETAILS magazine recently named Ashley Turner “1 of the Top 6 Trainers to watch in 2014” and Dr. Oz’s calls her"the #2 Online Influencer for Stress Relief”.  Ashley is the creator of the annual MEDITATION 101 FREE Virtual Conference, 7 best-selling yoga dvds and co-author of ”Aroma Yoga”. Known for her charisma, depth, and accessibility, she is a sought after speaker, coach and presenter. Practice yoga with her anytime at MyYogaOnline. She works with clients worldwide via Skype and leads transformative events to power points around the globe.  Ashley lives by the ocean in Marina Del Rey, CA and in the mountains of Aspen, CO.


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