Learning the art of surrender comes up a lot in my work with others through facilitating letting go or tarot readings.
People often ask me how to surrender. They see and understand the importance of it, but they just don’t know how...
Learning the art of surrender will transform your life.
To the everyday mind, it seems that allowing means to give up and be a “doormat.”
But what if non-resistance is your true nature? Let’s look into it.
Resistance vs The Art of Surrender
Resisting “what is” and wanting to change it is from the conditioned and finite human mind. This is the root issue of all the discord on this planet.
We want to change people’s behaviour so that it’s more in line with our preferences so that we can “love” them. But if they don’t behave in those ways, we withhold our “love.”
I don't know about you, but in my experience, withholding love from someone we love is definitely a surefire recipe for suffering. Our pride wants to be right. But who does the pride truly even belong to? When we look with the eyes of Love we see through the illusion of pride.
We also say we trust and have faith in a Higher Power — but then we resist what is and want to control things ourselves. We want the outcome to be the way we want it to be. Surrender seems like death from the point of view of the limited ego.
We are afraid to look at “what is.” We forget the moments we truly remember our True Nature -- because these moments happen in the gaps between thoughts. And we overlook that. It’s too simple.
Then, once we’re back in our thinking mind, we identify with our thought based sense of self. Because this self is made up of memories and tendencies from the past, it cannot touch That which is the Real.
It tries to figure things out, but it just ends up feeling overwhelmed and even more confused and doubtful.
But it still doesn’t want to surrender control because it doesn’t want to “die.”
So then it tries to believe. Belief can be helpful as an aid to help pull you up higher if you're temporarily in a dark place. Then faith can pull you even a bit further. But at some point you need the experience. You need to know for your yourself.
Techniques To Support The Art of Surrender
Next time you resist a person or an event in your life, check: are you those feelings and thoughts that are disturbed? Or, are you the Light of Awareness in which the uncomfortable feelings are appearing?
Then ask yourself “could I allow what is to be as it is? Just for now? As best I can?” These questions are very simple but powerful pointers toward the experience of surrendering.
If you’re still resisting, that’s perfectly ok. Try asking the above questions a few times.
Just by being willing to examine whether those thoughts and feelings are true is already raising your vibration into higher frequencies of courage. You are learning the art of surrender.
Once you do it with small things, your monkey mind will begin to see that surrender is in fact more helpful than trying to control everything. Which I think most of us realize is a losing proposition — and that’s why you’re here reading this.
What Are We Surrendering To?
If you notice that you are the Aware “space” (it’s not truly space, because Awareness or Consciousness has no form — but the image of space can sometimes be helpful in the beginning) and not the content, you are getting closer to touching Eternity.
That is Awareness becoming aware of Itself. Awareness is always present no matter what. It’s the same awareness that was there when you were 5 years old, 15 years old, 25 years old, 45 years old.
Notice how that awareness just simply is? It doesn’t need to make any effort in order to be?
That Awareness is exactly the same Awareness that is present in any other person. It’s even the same Awareness that is in a cat or dog or any living thing. That is why it is said that God-All-That-Is is omnipresent (everywhere), omniscient (all-knowing), etc. But humans have a unique perspective because of our nervous system, brain, etc.
Note: I’m definitely NOT saying that Consciousness comes from our brain.
I’m saying that with our brain and nervous system, we have the ability to be aware of being aware. This allows us to access That which is beyond time and space. Beyond the 3D experience that we seem to be completely immersed in.
What Are We Surrendering? Is It A Sacrifice?
In order to do this, we need to surrender that which we think we are. This includes memories, thoughts, feelings, sensations, images, etc. Even our identification with our physical bodies.
So the only things we're "sacrificing" are the things which are not real to begin with. This doesn't mean we become blank slates devoid of colour! On the contrary. We become more spontaneous and less self conscious.
Important Note: This does NOT mean you shouldn’t take care of your physical body while you have one. Please do your best to nourish it with good food, water, sleep and exercise of some kind.
Do You Exist?
Of course you do! Even if you were to answer "no," you would have to exist in order to validate your (incorrect) answer.
Let me try it this way: “Are you?” In other words, are you aware?
You may have noticed that you paused to look. And you were able to realize that you do indeed exist. When you did this, there was no thought required.
Thoughts have no life in and of themselves. They require Awareness to give them life.
You came back to thought and words when you answered. But when you looked, you were simply being aware of the Awareness. That was a state of surrender.
This Awareness is not coloured by anything personal. No likes, dislikes, preferences or background story. Like I said above, notice how it felt exactly the same at many times during your life. Even though your mind has changed and your body has changed, the Awareness is the same.
This Awareness is non-local. In other words it’s the same Awareness that gives Light and Life to everything.
Next time you interact with another human being, see if you can become aware of the Awareness that they are — and allow yourself to recall that it is this same Awareness that is aware of you.
If you do this, even a mundane interaction can be experienced as sacred and holy.
This is the art of surrender. Surrendering or letting go of that which you are not. Desired outcomes, fears, attachments, aversions, etc. Being aware of Awareness is surrender.
How Can The Art of Surrender Help?
If you have a goal, surrender can free you up in so many ways. For those of you who have played sports or music, think of those times where your performance was really great.
Notice how it was those times that you were loose and confident? Not the kind of "confidence" where you were pumping yourself up. It was more a situation where you wanted to “win” or perform well, but you weren’t gripping the outcome so tightly. That was the art of surrender in action.
Same with anything in life. If you have a business goal and you can surrender the outcome, you’ll have more energy to take appropriate action. Remember — surrendering doesn’t mean you feel hopeless! It means that you are ok if you win or lose.
This puts you in that “loosey-goosey” state where optimal performance happens. This is also known as "flow."
Even if you want to be in a mutually supportive and healthy, loving relationship. I’m not going to go into it here, I will have other articles on this, but if you are looking to GET happiness from a relationship, you’re already in trouble.
But if you are surrendered to the outcome, it means you are more aligned with wanting a relationship as a way to express the joy and love you feel inside. You realize you have the ability to BRING love and happiness to the relationship.
This energy is also felt by other people. They feel safer and more relaxed around you as a result.
Learning the art of surrender is a powerful practice. The wonderful thing about it is that you can practice it best while engaging with the world. You don’t have to go live in a monastery or a cave. You can surrender in the midst of your busy life.