The Art of Surrender.
When I first think of the word "surrender" I associate it with defeat. With giving up, letting go, or giving in. But if you think about it a little longer, you begin to see the immense beauty in it.
Surrender is a choice to let go. And not only a choice to let go, but a decision to let go of control. It's a choice to stop fighting and just let things be. Whether that means anxiety, stress, or thoughts and feelings you're holding onto.
It's hard not to be in control. Especially if you're a driven person or have a clear vision of what you want your life to look like. Accepting that we aren't fully in control is hard. (believe me, as a driven person, I really do know the struggle)
We often ignore our lack of power, and pretend we are in control. Which when you think about it, is the cause of most of our stress. We worry things won't go our way, and spend time working hard to make sure they do. Surrender helps you let that go.
Surrender is it's own form of freedom. It's making the choice to let go of what's weighing you down or holding you back.
Surrendering also creates space. By letting go of things that consume our thoughts or our time, we make room for new and better things to fill that space.
Surrender is a choice to let go.
So surrender sounds awesome, how do you get some of it in your own life? Well, the truth is that it can be hard to implement in our daily life because it can feel super abstract or idealistic, but I'm going to walk you through some practical ways.
How do we take such a beautiful idea and put it into practice in our daily lives?
The answer is that there are a ton of ways to go about this. Journaling, meditation, mindfulness, the list goes on. I encourage you to experiment and find a practice that helps you let go.
Something that helps you acknowledge the places you're holding that stress or tension, those negative thought patterns, or those feelings of self-doubt.
If you don't know where to start, I'm here to share a beautiful way I've found to implement surrender into my daily life: lunar surrender.
Now, if you're not into astrology and have no idea what a moon cycle is, that might sound a little woo-woo. But stick with me, I promise it's real life.
The practice of surrender is something that you can do on a small scale on a daily basis through things like journaling or meditation. I try to practice self-surrender daily through releasing anxiety and stress. But taking a bigger chunk of time to really unwind and let go is oh-so-important. I've found that these "bigger" more intentional times of surrender are easier when it takes place outside our daily schedule and regular routine.
It's easier to let go if you can find some time to step away from the things that you need to let go of.
I've found that trying to schedule out "surrender time" on my calendar simply doesn't work. So here's where the moon cycle comes in.
Moon cycles happen about every 29.5 days. That means they don't line up exactly with our monthly calendar.
Using the moon cycle lets us step outside our usual calendar with the boxes and structure we've become so accustomed to, and create space for us to unwind, surrender, and set new intentions for ourselves going forward.
The moon cycles represent many things, but one of them is continuous renewal. As the moon moves through each phase, it serves as a visible reminder that things can be made new and in order to grow we need to undergo change. That "change" often can be a process where we first have to surrender - because the way things are just aren't working.
That allows us to become aware of our struggles, pains, or shortcomings and then acknowledge the changes that we need to make. We grow and become better when we are able to accept and make these changes. Then the cycle starts all over again as we encounter new issues or new struggles come to light.
We can use the lunar cycle as a pattern for working through this cycle in our own lives on a consistent basis that is separate from our normal routine or schedule.
SURRENDER In THE CITY
I got the awesome opportunity to work on this process at an event with Jen of Surrender in the City, on the Feb 15th new moon. We opened with a group meditation and some journaling about our areas of surrender, the things we needed to let go of, and set some intentions for moving forward. We then made malas complete with personalized stones that Jen picked out for us based on our unique story and where we are.
"We don't talk to ourselves in deep ways often enough." - Jen
I want to share a little bit about the exercise we worked through and the meaning behind the malas, which serve as a tool to remind you of your experience, what you are able to surrender, and the intentions you are able to uncover.
We worked through an amazing worksheet with journal prompts, and one section really stood out to me.
I wanted to share it with you since I think its a great prompt to work through in your own surrender practice whether through journaling or meditation. Once you've allowed yourself to acknowledge and let go, use this prompt to help you
Thoughts + words
I welcome _______________
I receive ________________
I give __________________
I am __________________
I attract________________ and _______________ into my life
I am ready for _______________
Going back to practical application, I think it's also important to think up some practical ways that you can implement these intentions and ideas into your daily life.
For me, that was adjusting my morning ritual so that I have time to wake up and get my day started more intentionally before diving into emails & to-do's. That means not reaching for my phone first thing in the morning, and instead having some quiet time to meditate and show myself a little self-love.
Here are my answers: I welcome openness // I receive love // I give truth & positivity // I am loveable and worthy // I attract creative power and positivity into my life // I am ready for influence
NEW MOON MALA
We made a mala with 108 beads that patterns a lunar cycle. Below is an explanation of the pattern followed by and explanation of the specific stones Jen chose for me based on our pre-event discussion.
4 Nurture Stones
"The energy you need to care for within, as represented by the FULL (nurture) & NEW (manifestation) moon with charged desired feelings"
18 Activation Stones
"Represents the energetics of what you can give more care, attention, and focus on during the month of Surrender practice"
84 Bodhi Seeds
"This seed is you reconnection to plant a seed of SELF LOVE for what you wish to grow for each moon cycle over the next 6 months.
From Buddha's wisdom, he offers realization and insight to transcend old stuck patterns. Add essential oils & mantra for greatest magnetism."
2 Milky Stones
"Shown in a pattern as the FULL & NEW moon the time of rebirth. It's loving energy promotes the Divine in all situations, psychic protection, clearing mind & calm sleep"
(My Nurture Stones)
"Highly mystical, this stone is protective and works to raise the consciousness. Connects us on a universal level while allowing one to access the esoteric knowledge of the world. Promotes new ideas, intellectual thought: is a stone of transformation" (source)
(My Activation Stones)
"A symbol of purity and serenity. Gathered with the intention of bringing tranquility and attracting good luck, friendship, and love. It soothes the mind while stimulating ideas and creative potential. Good for the heart chakra and earthy connections. Protects wearer from harm." (source)
"Not a stone, but a seed that has fallen from a free before fruiting. Legend says Buddha himself was sitting underneath a "Bodhi Tree" when he obtained a realization. These seeds are believed to possess the wisdom & insight he received. Helpful to transcend patterns and thoughts that keep us 'stuck' or 'imprisoned'." (source)
(my Milky Moon Stones)
See oescriotopn above.