Today we are in the 2nd of 8 posts all about how to let go and surrender. If you haven’t already, I suggest you go back to the first post so you can follow all the weeks in order. You can find it at Let Go & Surrender
Last week was the introduction to how and why to let go and surrender and how these 8 posts will follow and provide context for the Let Go & Surrender journal.
How to Surrender (Specifically)
This week, I’ll be sharing some specific ways you can practice surrender.
When I was diving into this work 2 years ago, I was all in. I believed in the benefits of letting go and I wanted them for myself, but I had a hard time thinking of how, specifically.
I knew I wanted the benefits, but I didn’t know what I should do to get them.
This week’s topic is an answer to that question.
There are a couple of practices you can start in order to learn how to let go and surrender.
In the most basic terms, you can clean and clear. You can say no and yes and you can give and receive. I know those basic terms are just way too vague and unhelpful, so let’s get a lot more specific.
Clean + Clear
We clean and clear daily, both mentally and physically, to set up the mind to receive.
If you wonder how you can let go and surrender, there may be something blocking your openness and your clarity. You may not notice or believe in possibilities because something may be in the way.
The first practical step to letting go is cleaning and clearing, both physically and mentally.
Is something physical taking your energy because you own it and you are responsible for it and you have to take care of it?
When you notice a space in your home or when you think about your belongings, does anything drag you down because it is cluttered, messy, or overwhelming?
We become so familiar with our surroundings that we don’t even notice when things are overcrowded.
Or when things are out of place.
Or when we are keeping something we do not like, or need or want.
These physical things in our physical environment not only take up physical space, but they subconsciously take up mental space too. They give us one more thing to house, to see, to notice, to think about, maybe to clean, or move, or put back.
What if you just let go of what you don’t want or need or like?
Physical Clutter = Mental Clutter
Have you ever cleaned out a space (like a closet, or garage, or even just a single shelf) and you only put back exactly what you need and want there?
Maybe before you put the things back, you even dusted everything off and replaced it all in a nice, orderly fashion?
What a relief, right? Didn’t you feel so renewed as you looked at that bright, clean, open area with only your intentional belongings put back?
You can do this as a step to practice surrender.
It might seem unconnected, but clearing out your physical space can be such a powerful metaphor as you reprogram your brain.
You get such relief in getting rid and letting go of things.
Just before the new year, I was having dinner with a big group of friends. There were probably 8 of us at the table, so there were multiple conversations going on at once and we would all dart in and out of discussions as we overheard things from other parts of the table.
I asked one friend what she had been up to lately and she just gone through a massive decluttering phase in her home.
I said, “Wow, I bet you feel so refreshed and relieved. Is it so calming for you now?”
She agreed that it was and another person sitting nearby leaned in – she said “what did you say was a relief? What was so calming?”
We told her we were talking about the benefits of having decluttered. Our whole side of the table got so excited talking about getting rid of things and knowing people who were professional organizers and how great the space looks after, but how hard it is for some people to decide to get rid of things – but we all recognized and agreed that getting rid of things opens up more space for calmness and peace. It was like unanimous agreement in that conversation.
So why not give yourself that gift as you learn to let go?
Old and New
Around this time of year (the new year), we hear this expression a lot: “Out with the old and in with the new.”
This is exactly what I am suggesting for you as a step to surrender.
You can let go of the old to make space for the new. You can let go of tangible things to make space for intangible things.
Check in with your surroundings. What is taking up space?
This does not need to be a full drawn out multi-day project (but it could be).
You could even do a micro-declutter. It could be as small as reaching into a pocket and finding a tissue, or an old receipt or some lint, and throwing it away.
Even that tiny action can send a powerful message to your brain.
When you clean and clear physically, you suggest to your brain that you can do this mentally too.
When you throw away that old receipt or tissue, your brain may start to wonder, “what else can I throw away?”
Be ready for a rush of motivation to start cleaning things out!
If you are following along in the Let Go & Surrender journal, there are a few different prompts and pages with suggestions phrased in a few different ways for you to think and write about how you can clean and clear physically.
Or is it something mental that’s taking up space in your brain that you are responsible for and that you have to take care of?
Letting go of things is physically letting go of tangible physical items like possessions in your house.
It is also a metaphor for letting go of ideas, letting go of expectations, letting go of something that you want and don’t have, letting go of need and attachment.
This might be another time when your brain is saying “ok, yes, I’m in – but how?!?”
Letting go of expectations and attachment is easier said than done, right?
I have a few more ideas to share that might help.
I was listening to an interview with an anthropologist who talked about the proven, empirically observed benefits of ritual in reducing anxiety. His thesis is that, regardless of if there is any causation between the ritual and an event or if it is a placebo effect, using rituals can help reduce anxiety prior to starting a stressful task or experience.
One ritual that you might consider for yourself is choosing a poem, or a prayer or a song lyric or a quote that really embodies the idea of letting go for you.
I mentioned this in last week’s post when I shared the idea of a daily reading of a surrender verse. I like to think of this ritual as intentional, daily brainwashing. So, washing in terms of cleaning, but also brainwashing in terms of pressuring yourself to adopt different beliefs through systematic means.
You choose something to read aloud to yourself that really reminds you that you are always fine and that your needs are always met.
You don’t have control and shouldn’t have control and don’t need control.
You can use the Full Abundance Change Me prayer from Tosha Silver’s book (that I used). Maybe you use the Serenity Prayer that was popularized by AA. Maybe it’s the verse that I shared last week. That verse is both in last week’s post as well as in the Let Go & Surrender journal.
How to Brainwash Yourself (Intentionally)
Find some verse, poem, song lyrics, some set of intentional words, or write your own and read them to yourself every day.
Choose a number of days that makes sense to you. Maybe it’s 7 days, maybe it’s 30 days, whatever number it may be.
You could decide to read it to yourself daily throughout the length of these eight posts here in January and February.
Just tell yourself “I want to read this to myself every day.”
Notice what different words come up as you read. What different things do you hit on? What words could change? What concepts are more important or more meaningful for you?
Modify whatever verse or poem you decide to use, so that it really fits your personal intention. The idea of reading something to yourself every day is like programming your brain or “brainwashing.”
By cleaning and clearing both physically and mentally, we are setting up the mind to be able to let go.
Say No + Yes
The next practical step to surrender I have to share with you is to say No and Yes.
We practice and develop the habit to say no to fear and scarcity and yes to love, abundance and possibility.
This step is really about having awareness and being intentional.
You can decide to say no to things that are not helpful for you and that are not aligned with how you want to live.
You can also decide to say yes to all the possibilities and options and offers.
When you notice yourself thinking scarce thoughts, thinking there isn’t enough, thinking something’s wrong, If you catch yourself saying “things might not go my way,” you can notice those thoughts and say “oh no, no, no, I don’t think those thoughts. I say no to those thoughts.”
When you find yourself complaining you can say “oh no, no, no, I don’t complain. I say no to complaints.”
You can notice the thoughts and beliefs that no longer serve you and say no.
Instead, you can say yes to being open. You can say yes to possibilities, to options and opportunities. You can be open and say yes to receiving things like compliments and help from other people. You can say yes to other people’s generosity and your own generosity. You can say yes to inspiration.
You can remind yourself that “Yes, my needs are all met. Yes, I am so grateful for everything that I am and everything that I have.”
And then list out those things in your journal that you are grateful for that you are saying yes to.
Give + Receive
The third practical step to surrender to share with you is to give and receive.
Look for ways you can both give and receive. Look for ways to let love and peace flow through you as if you are the connection, or pipeline, or conduit.
Because you are not worrying, (you’re saying no to worry and no to complaining) and because you are noticing how your needs are met, you will have the confidence and the trust and the freedom to give freely.
Think about it: if you know you have enough and always will. If you know you are not comparing or counting or worried about who has what, when you realize that you have something, in abundance, which someone else needs or wants, you can give it to them.
For example, if you know there is always plenty of time and you’re stuck behind someone going slower than you would prefer, you can give them the time they need freely – without worrying about not having enough time or not finishing fast enough (because, remember, you’re saying no to worry).
Because you are feeling abundant instead of scarce (since you are saying yes to abundance) you can give physical and tangible things generously, maybe you can even give some of the physical and tangible things you are letting go of in your cleaning and clearing step.
In fact, prior to hearing this, a scarce, worried mind might have suggested you need to sell things that you are getting rid of because you need the money and you don’t want someone to get something for free from you.
But after hearing this, and remembering that your needs are met, you might decide just to give the things away without trying to sell or negotiate or control an exchange of money for things. You might just think “I’ve already got so much value out of this and now I’m happy to pass that value to someone else.”
Do you hear the difference? Can you feel it?
Open to Receiving
It is so easy to give you examples of how you can give things to practice surrender, but the other part of that step is to receive.
An interesting pattern that I heard in both the Surrender Study Group and Surrender Summer Camp is that sometimes it is easy for us to give, but hard for us to receive.
If you are just giving and never being open to receive, you’re not really allowing that connection. You’re not being that pipeline or conduit.
Look inwards to consider why it might be easy to give but hard to receive. There may be some old beliefs there for you to clean out. There may be some outdated ideas you can say no to now.
What can you receive right now? Can you receive a compliment (without dismissing or downplaying it)?
Can you receive a gift or favor from someone without “keeping score?”
Can you receive some good news? Or good luck?
I know you can! Especially now that we are talking about it!
Examples to Experiment With
Everything that I have shared just now are all suggestions. You can implement them and modify them as you see fit. Or, just use them as examples and think of something more fitting to you as you experiment with how you want to clean and clear, say no and yes and give and receive.
Verse to Practice Surrender
Here’s this week’s verse to repeat to yourself or just listen to.
You can modify it to make it your own, or choose something completely different.
Let me remember that all of my needs are met.
I know I am safe and secure. I can be calm and at peace.
Let me feel connected and safe in my place in this world.
Let life unfold. Let me trust and allow. Let me surrender.
Here are a few journal prompts you can think about this week as you practice letting go.
What fears can I stop believing?
What powerful thoughts can I think instead?
How can I give with ease and abundance?
You can see more of the prompts and the activities to help you practice surrender in Section 2 of the Let Go & Surrender Journal.
Session 3 of this series is ready for you – find Settling into Surrender here: https://bexb.org/settle/
My Hope for You
I hope you are enjoying this series and learning how you can let go and surrender.
Let me know how it is going for you by leaving a comment below.
If you are new to this, be very gentle and patient with yourself. This is a practice and while we are definitely reprogramming our brains with this work, it does not happen overnight.
If you want to talk about this with me 1-on-1, you can book a call with me here: Coaching.
All the Links
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Check out all the other stuff I do: https://bexb.org/links/
Dear Bex, as you were teaching me today, I was looking at the packed shelf above my computer. I think I need to clear it off and throw away things I have not looked at for 10 years. thank you
Wow! So many things to think about and put into practice. I will need to listen to this again so I can get it in my mind. Thanks for giving us your time and expertise.