Five Steps to Surrendering

[dc]L[/dc]earning to let go and relax into the process sure helped my butt to not hurt so much last weekend.

A group of us went up to my brother and sister-in-law’s lake house in New Hampshire for a family weekend of swimming, boating, and bonding. OK, and cocktails. But that’s not the point.

Since I love things that go fast, and I feel most at home near or in water, when we arrive, I can hardly wait to take out one of the jet skis. After making the hugs round, dropping the bags in our room, I change into my swimsuit and head down to the beach.

Ahh, lake water. I love it! I can dive right into this nature bath and not lose sensation in my extremities like I do when I go in the ocean where I live. If anyone wants to spend time with me this weekend, this is where I’ll be. After the jet ski ride, of course.

I’m a bit too nervous to drive, so I ride with Melissa, and our nephew, James, and niece, Lindsay, take the other jet ski. James, whose family owns the home, knows a thing or two about these machines and about where to go on the lake to avoid rocks and have wide open space to play.

On our way out, I’m holding onto the straps on the side of Melissa’s life jacket so tightly she can barely move. I imagine it’s not too pleasant for her to have a control freak as a passenger.

James and Lindsay are far ahead of us, and Melissa is picking up speed. I’m pretty tense the whole time, not liking the feeling of being out of control. As we reach 30+ mph and ride over the wake left by other watercrafts, I’m bounced up off the seat and slammed back down. Ouch!

“Slow down! I almost fell off,” I snap. (Code words for “I’m scared.”)

Once we’re out of the wake, I give her the go ahead to speed up again. Off we go! I’m torn between loving the rush of our pace and disliking the tension in my body from not knowing what will happen next.

After about 10 minutes or so, I feel my body start to relax and my joy rise up. I’m giggling as we go over waves instead of screeching, and when lifted off the seat, I don’t slam down quite as hard. I realize once I let go and surrender to the ride, I enjoy it so much more. Hmm, there may be something to this theory.

We come across lots of situations in life where we think we can control the outcome, and more often than not, we’re proven wrong. The Universe is always preparing an even bigger dream than we can imagine, but it can’t come true if we’ve got a vice grip on how we think it should go. Our desire to control is rooted in fear. By following the steps below, you’ll begin to reassure and soothe that young part of you who is afraid.

Five Steps to Practice Surrendering:

  1. Set your intention. What is it that you want to receive or accomplish? It’s important to be as clear as possible here.
  2. Brainstorm your initial steps. Draft up a list of what you need to do to make this happen. This list will evolve over the time of your pursuit, so don’t get hung up on getting it perfect. Do make sure to break any steps down into manageable bites, however.
  3. Take action. To begin to rally the powerful force of support that awaits you, you’ve got to put some action behind that intention. The Universe doesn’t respond to lip service. If you find you’re feeling resistance toward taking action, it just means your steps are too big. Break them down further, even to a ridiculously-simple size. In the past, when I’ve had to make a phone call I dreaded, I made my first step be “write phone number on sticky note and put in front of phone.” Seriously.
  4. Pause and watch. As you make consistent movement toward your goal, be sure to step back and have a look around to catch the Universe’s response. By keeping your awareness open, you will, undoubtedly, get a message that you’re on the right track or that you need to right your course. Don’t expect a booming voice from above. It’ll be more subtle than that; something along the lines of an easily-dismissible “coincidence”. Oh, and don’t mistake this as permission to sit around and twiddle your thumbs waiting for a cue to move. Oftentimes, that supportive force needs to see some serious movement before it believes you.
  5. Now it’s your move. When you witness a Universal response, coincidence, or synchronicity, that’s your cue to take another step. Think of it like a tango — you take action, the Universe responds, action, response, and so on.

It’s important to find that delicate balance between making lots of moves and resting. By simply charging forward, you can easily get off track. To stay in the dance, you need to let the Universe do its thing. This is where surrender really comes in, and this is how we get into the proverbial “flow”. There’s a very good chance that the journey to your dream is going to look a whole lot different than you think it should.

You don’t have to do this alone. This universal energy is always at the ready for you. The two of you are a powerful team when each member’s gifts are used. Contrary to what many of us think, the energy in surrendering is much more powerful than the energy in attempting to control. When you’re feeling stuck, chances are it’s your move. All it takes is one small action to get back in that flow. Give it a shot. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Here are a couple favorite quotes to send you on your way:

“Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” — John Lennon

“We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” — Joseph Campbell

OK, your turn. Where do you need to surrender? What are your thoughts on the idea of surrendering? Please share in the comments below and let’s get a juicy discussion going…

8 replies
  1. Cathi
    Cathi says:

    Aha! You have confirmed an epiphany I had a couple of years ago! I realized that my dreams have changed over time. Only it would have been better if I had taken the time to slow down and realize this long ago. For the longest time, I was charging forward and during that time I came across so many obstacles. I would fight these obstacles, thinking I was “hanging in there”! Instead it would only get worse and worse. Finally, I was forced to slow down and during that time, I realized, these dreams were not my dreams anymore. I was so busy latching on to old dreams I had at a different time and phase in my life. Never allowing myself to understand that I didn’t have those same desires. Now I go with a slower pace and surrender whenever I should surrender. Great article, and much needed today in our fast paced world.

    • Kerri
      Kerri says:

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Cathi. I believe everything happens in the timing that it should, so you found the peace of surrendering right when you were meant to! How lovely to know live at that slower pace and be open to the bigger gifts all around you!

  2. Barbara
    Barbara says:

    Oh my goodness Kerri. God just used you and your blog to reveal a root in my life. I did not see it until I read the words “Code words for fear”. I get it. I understand a key to my journey now. Oh my. Thank you.

  3. Susan
    Susan says:

    I can never tell if blocks come to make me work harder to prove I want something or to tell me it’s not meant to happen at all.

    • Kerri
      Kerri says:

      That’s a great point, Susan. I think the Universe does challenge us sometimes to be sure we mean business. In that case, I do my best to keep showing up to the very next step and, once I’ve done all I can, let go and surrender so what is meant for me comes my way. So, when a block comes your way, determine your next step and show up to it. By trusting the process (I know it can be hard!), you’ll know if and when it’s time to move on.

  4. Janet
    Janet says:

    But how do you know the key signs of when to let go. I am no longer sure if the dreams I am chasing are meant for me or because I programmed myself to believe this. my son tells me all the time to lose control but with so many things I have gone through I feel control over the things I have and do are the only things I have……surrender seems like failure.

    • Kerri
      Kerri says:

      Thanks for sharing, Janet. It’s important and healing to recognize that a desire for control is rooted in fear. When we’re trying to control everything, we get in the way of our own journey and path. You wrote something really important — “with so many things I have gone through, I feel control…is the only thing I have.” Do you see how that thinking is fear-based? The truth is that you really don’t have complete control over much of anything. Also, if you’re not sure if the dreams you are chasing are the ones you desire anymore, chances are they’re not. Take some time to play with this question: “If I were guaranteed happiness and success, I would ___________” and see what comes up for you.


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