Surrender - The Power of Giving Over To




 - Sometimes it seems like a dirty word, but I think it is one of the most powerful things we can do.

Note: This is an edited copy of a blog I first wrote in early 2021. Here again in 2023, Surrender is a lesson I continue to learn and relearn,  

Surrender is my Word of the Year for 2023. It is something I believe in wholeheartedly, yet something that I struggle to do, and something that I am constantly learning to practice - every day, and every hour.

In August 2020, around 1am in the morning, the day before it started to rain again, and about 10km from Clare, I gave birth to my third son. Giving birth on the side of the road in the middle of the night, with no-one except your husband by your side and the midwife on speaker phone may seem like a pretty traumatic event. But for me, it was one of the most incredible, empowering moments of my life. It was in this moment that I experienced exactly what it means to Surrender.

To let go of the Shoulds, and the What ifs, and to lean into and give over to what is. Right now.

Our minds have this remarkable ability to take us into stories of the past or stories of the future. Telling us how life should be, what we should be doing differently, what others should be doing differently, or replaying all the things we should have done differently in the past. We can’t stop our minds from doing that, it’s a pretty evolutionarily powerful trick – which has enabled us to learn how to stay away from predators, problem solve, and create. In a nutshell, it’s this skill which has enabled us as humans to survive. However, it can also be immensely problematic, especially if we don’t stop and notice when we are actually hooked up in those stories, rather than being present to what is actually happening right now.

To me, Surrender, is exactly this. Surrender is the practice of giving over to what is happening, right now in the present. Surrender isn’t always pretty. It’s not always about being happy or feeling good. Sometimes surrender can be full of vulnerability and pain. But if we can practice staying present in that moment, we don’t get caught up in secondary pain. Those moments pass, and by being present in the tough moments, it means we are also more present in the amazing moments. We are able to see moments of Joy, moments of Awe, moments of Sadness, moments of Fear, moments of Peace – for what they are – moments which pass by.

I encourage you to find a way to practice Surrender today and everyday.

It might be as simple as pausing for a moment to notice just what is happening right now.

It might be practicing surrender when your kids are nagging at you and you are trying to do whatever your mind tells you you “should” be doing – surrender in that moment might mean you put down the “shoulds” and embrace 5 minutes of play with your kids.

It might be practicing surrender when you are trying to make difficult decisions on the farm. Your mind might tell you “it shouldn’t be this hard”, “how come we never seem to get ahead”, “no-one else has it as hard as us”. Lean in to these feelings of frustration, anxiety, overwhelm. Let go of the “shoulds” and take steps into what you can do in this moment right now.

How can you practice surrender today?

For me, today on 28th June 2023 - my practice of surrender was recognising that my earlier planned blog article for today was not ready to go. However, I've set an intention for a fortnightly article to be released today. So, it was a quick look into my content archives to find a previous article that I could briefly adapt and press post on - even if it may be perfectly imperfect. My perfectionist mind tells me that this is not quite good enough. But today I will surrender to the drive to be perfect, and instead lean into the mantra that “B+ can change the world, doing nothing changes nothing!)

What might happen when we surrender?

I had the priviledge of facilitating a workshop on wellbeing for a phenonmenal group of female leaders in Agriculture last week. One of the recurring themes that came up through our conversation was how we manage all of the various factors that are outside of our control. I spoke the the group about the idea of Surrender - mentioning it as my Word of the Year for 2023. I shared with these women that when we choose to practice surrender, we can choose to let go of all of the aspects in life that are out of our control. We can choose to let go of the struggle to change, alter, stop all of those things, which in reality, there is really no possibility of changing. When we let go of what is out of our control, we then leave our hands free to hold on to what is in our control.

We can choose to put our energy into what really matters to us. We can choose to put our energy into those things that we can control. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you see it), when it comes down to it, the list of what we can control in life is very short when compared to the list of what we can't control. 

What we can't control:


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