Three types of surrender


I’m reading David Hawkin’s book « Letting Go – The Pathway to Surrender.” I laughed heartily reading the following extract from the first chapter – it reads like a shopping list of the new age market!  As I chuckled, I also winced as I checked off the items that were on my personal new age market list. 14386659_blogAs I went through this list of therapies, cures, techniques, remedies, schools of thought, and systems of liberation from suffering whether psychic or physical, I started counting the ones that I, personally have tried, studied, or read about. When I got up to ten I stopped counting – too embarrassed to admit that I may well be one of those seekers to which he is addressing his book. Well, no – I’ll admit it. I’ve done quite a few on this list.

How about you?

How many of these have you paid for – or tried ??

Is your market list of new age remedies short, long or not-existant?

What do you do when you are upset?

” When upset, you go to a doctor or psychiatrist, an analyst, a social worker, or an astrologer. You take up religion, get philosophy, take the Erhard Seminars Training (est), tap yourself with EFT. You get your chakras balanced, try some reflexology, go for ear acupuncture, do iridology, get healed with lights and crystals.

You meditate, chant a mantra, drink green tea, try the Pentecostals, breath in fire, and speak in tongues. You get centered, learn NLP, try actualizations, work on visualisations, study psychology, join a Jungian group. You get Rolfed, try psychedelics, get a psychic reading, jog, jazzercise, have colonics, get into nutrition and aerobics, hang upside down, wear psychic jewelry. Get more insight, bio-feedback, Gestalt therapy.

You see your homeopath, chiropractor, naturopath. You try kinesiology, discover your Enneagram type, get your meridians balanced, join a consciousness-raising group, take tranquilizers. You get some hormone shots, try cell salts, have your minerals balanced, pray, implore and beseech. You learn astral projection. Become a vegetarian. Eat only cabbage. Try macrobiotics, go organic, eat no GMO. Meet up with Native American medicine men, do a sweat lodge. Try Chinese herbs, moxicombustion, shiatsu, acupressure, feng shui. You go to India. Find a new guru. Take off your clothes. Swim in the Ganges. Stare at the sun. Shave your head. Eat with your fingers, get really messy, shower in cold water.

Sing tribal chants. Relive past lives. Try hypnotic regression. Scream a primal scream. Punch pillows. Get Feldenkraised. Join a marriage encounter group. Go to Unity. Write affirmations. Make a vision board. Get re-birthed. Cast the I Ching. Do the Tarot Cards. Study Zen. Take more courses and workshops. Read alot of books. Do transactional analysis. Get yoga lessons. Get into the occult. Study magic. Work with a kahuna. Take a shamanic journey. Sit under a pyramid. Read Nostradamus. Prepare for the worse. ”

But wait, the market list goes on ! Can you take it ? 

” Go on a retreat. Try fasting. Take amino acids. Get a negative ion generator. Join a mystery shcool. Learn a secret handshake. Try toning. Try color therapy. Try subliminal tapes. Take brain enzymes, antidepressants, flower remedies. Go to health spas. Cook with exotic ingredients. Look into strange fermented oddities from faraway places. Go to Tibet. Hunt up holy men. Hold hands in a circle and get high. Renounce sex and going to the movies. Wear some yellow robes. Join a cult.

Try the endless varieties of psychotherapy. Take wonder drugs. Subscribe to lots of journals. Try the Pritikin diet. Eat just grapefruit. Get your palm read. Think New Age thought. Improve ecology. Save the planet. Get an aura reading. Carry a crystal. Get a Hindu sidereal astrological interpretation. Visit a transmedium. Go for sex therapy. Try Tantric sex. Get blessed by Baba Something. Join an anonymous group. Travel to Lourdes. Soak in the hot springs. Join Arica. Wear therapeutic sandals. Get grounded. Get more prana and breathe out that stale black negativity. Try golden needle acupuncture. Check out snake gallbladders. Try chakra breathing. Get your aura cleaned. Meditate in Cheops, the great pyramid in Egypt. ”

After having a good self-deprecating laugh, for myself and for us all, I remembered the courageous, noble, suffering that drives people to keep looking for an answer.

« We don’t understand the problem ; that’s why we can’t find the answer » . – David Hawkins

Ask yourself these questions about Surrender to see how much you know about it from your own experience : Do you recognize that you can’t control everything?

Can you compromise? Can you let go of having to make everything “just so” or even make it perfect? Can you admit that you’re not right or do you have to be right all the time? Can you be spontaneous or do you have to plan everything and get upset if things don’t go as planned?

Do you get upset when you don’t get what you want?

In my younger days I was very ambitious and I achieved some pretty amazing things – maybe not amazing to you but amazing to me because I wanted to do them – I became a professional dancer, I moved to New York to work with a master choreographer, Merce Cunningham, I moved to France and learned French, I got a series of well-paid prestigious jobs and I travelled extensively in Europe, to Asia and North America, I went back to university and got my post-graduate degree in France and in French (!), I re-invented myself as a therapist, coach, and yoga teacher and I did a huge quantity of workshops, trainings and research to be as best as I could be. I did not always do this through surrender – In the first half of my professional life I did it through sheer willpower and energy. When you want something very much, you have to back off because the sheer energy of your desire will push it farther away. But then again, if you believe that you can only get what you want with super-human effort then that will happen exactly as you thought! Some people have a great deal of anxiety and fear around getting what they want – and issues of deserving it, or guilt about what it would mean if they were able to really do what they want which would mean leaving some people and things behind – anxiety and fear modes are just as a repellent to getting what you want as force.

What if getting what you want the way you want it was not at all about willpower, force and planning?

What if it was all about surrender?  There are three main types of surrender :

1. The “Trial by Fire” kind of surrender –
Everything is going down around you – you are in the midst of a crisis, whether professional,personal or physical and you’re up against the wall – you “have no choice” but to sit up and face the music. There are times in life when you definitely feel “damned if you do, and damned if you don’t” but one thing is for sure, you are being forced to act and to choose. Crisis is always an opportunity to surrender. When we are in the midst of a fire, or a storm or a crisis, often we do not know how we did it but we did what we had to do and it often turns out to be an act of courage, stamina and selflessness. It is said that we really know someone when we see them in a crisis.

That door is available to you only through surrender but it always there, we just don’t see it. Which calls to mind this wonderful quote :

When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.  – Helen Keller


2. Surrendering by choosing to let go of fear and anxiety – This second type of surrender is when you make a conscious decision to let go. Have you ever had a full-out anxiety attack or realized that you were out of control, stressed and descending a downward spiral? As mindfulness practitioners you know that you are in control of your thoughts. And you are able to choose to take care of your thoughts when they careen into blame, feeling hurt and anger or just ruminating negative thoughts. There are many techniques to divert the brain’s negativity bias – and just being aware of what you are feeling and thinking is already the first step – because negativity can be blasting or insidious, this takes some practice. It is important to have some positive and loving images in your pocket or on your desk to you can focus on them when the going gets rough. You can also pull out a piece of paper and make a list of all the positive things in your life for which you feel grateful. Keeping a regular Gratitude Journal is a great way to re-train the brain to be looking for reasons to celebrate.


3. Accepting what is –
The third type of surrender is to give up trying to fix people and things. As a mother, I want so much to help my kids, that sometimes I am more of a hindrance than a help. If they are really talented, competent and smart – why would their mom be helicoptering around with helpful suggestions and proposals? It is hard to let go and let them make their own mistakes and have their own triumphs. Another on-going project that is tied up with non-accepting is when you are your own perpetual improvement project – let’s have another look at Dr. Hawkin’s shopping list! How many of the things on your personal list wouldn’t need to be there if each of us accepted ourselves the way we are? Do you have pre-conceived ideas about how you are supposed to act, behave, appear and achieve that you are holding up as the standard that you need to strive after? How often do you use the word “perfect” in your thoughts or out loud? Once again, you do have a choice, and surrendering means accepting the way things are, and that includes you. And if things are not the way you would like them to be, and you are disappointed about it, then you can choose to be aware of it and trust that out of acceptance comes the energy of transformation and change.

So today, just for today, let’s try to surrender to how we are feeling, to the way things are, and to what is happening right now, right here.

If you are waiting in line at the check out, or you are in the metro or you just missed your bus, or the family member, member, or colleague is doing “it” again – if you are wanting to buy that remedy or sign up for that course – by all means, surrender to the desire and think twice about it.

How many books do we buy and not read?

How many courses do we sign up for and never finish?

How many yoga classes, gym memberships and diet programs have gone unfinished?

Surrender is free, but you need to quiet the mind, stop the impulse to move and “do” and just let things be the way they are – everything is just fine the way it is, truly.

And what if we could ultimately surrender to gratitude and joy, just for today?

To learn these and other skills, contact Elaine.

About The Author

Elaine Rudnicki

Elaine is a Certified Hypnotherapist and Rapid Transformational Therapist, a Yoga Therapist C-IAYT, Certified Life Coach, creator of AWAKE Coaching®, a Yoga and Meditation Teacher and MBSR Instructor.