The time that taught me to surrender

I first encountered the word ‘surrender’ at a Kundalini yoga class. I mean I have known it before but never thought about it: what it meant, where it was present in my life. Then I wrote about surrender a couple of times as a Kundalini yoga focus but still did not grab its true meaning.

Then my son was born. I was (and am) an active person, before the birth I was planning to meet friends, read books and do some projects, learn new stuff while he is still a baby and he will only sleep and eat. As everyone and every book was saying. It turned out that my son never read those books and did not speak to anyone about the sleeping needs of newborn babies. He did not sleep much, was up for hours crying or just looking around wanting me to be with him. He demanded hourly breastfeeding even at night. Soon I became a living zombie who could only think about sleeping more than an hour in a row. I remember fighting against this new person I became: I did not want to limit myself to my basic needs (taking a shower for more than two minutes was an unfulfilled dream for weeks), I did not want to be locked up in a flat due to the lack of energy to go somewhere, I wanted to do so many things I planned.

Then there was a moment I can clearly recall: I let go of everything and have given all initiative to him. If he slept, I slept, if he was awake, I was with him, and cancelled all my programs and all my expectations of what I wished to do: I concentrated on getting enough rest, enough food and some daily yoga, but was not disappointed if I could not make it. I quit planning — his schedule was so random that it was just too much of a hassle to rearrange everything again. I met people who could adjust and others were on hold. And as I changed he changed. He taught me a great lesson of surrender: what it feels like to willingly give all your control over your life to somebody else. As much as I fought before, I never imagined it to be so smooth. For me, raising my children and the renunciation coming with it is not a bunch of “saying no” to things I wish for, instead it became a great and strong “yes” for choosing them and their well-being.

Surrendering to somebody else’s will can be scary at first, start with just looking at it, defining it for yourself. If you choose to experiment with it, do it mindfully, only to the extent that feels right.

  • What does surrender mean to me?
  • When and where have I already encountered surrender in my life?
  • Have I ever surrendered to someone?
  • How did it feel? What did I learn from the experience?
  • What would be an easy place of surrender in your life? Maybe you can let somebody else to decide your meal, your evening’s program, your next book to read. Any other ideas?

After defining surrender for yourself and observing the areas where it is easy for you to give up your will, you may choose to push yourself a little more — what are the areas of your life where it is difficult (even unthinkable) for you handing the control over to someone else? Where are your limits? When is surrender healthy for you?

This post appeared first on my blog.

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