Imagine your last “bad” day and why you may have labeled it as such. Did you have an unexpected expense or spill something on your shirt? Was someone unresponsive over a topic you care about, or was the morning traffic enough to throw you off track?
We’ve all had days where things didn’t go our way. Maybe we experienced irritation, anger or grief around circumstances out of our reach. Paradoxically, there’s chances you’ve had days, too. Days when everyone around you seems interested in what you had to say, when you feel magnetic enough to ask for whatever you please. It’s stepping into this power that you realize that whatever you request, you shall receive.
The final gem of the Niyamas, or yoga ethical guidelines, asks us to lean into every day without expectation, but with engagement. It means to surrender to a higher power and release the need to micromanage our life. Like a screw turned too tight, we do not move forward when tense up and try to take control. It’s accepting our current state that will loosen our grip and open our hearts to a path of least resistance.
Contrary to the Western mindset of hustle and hard work, practicing surrender in the modern day can be summarized as - Planning ahead for every detail of life may help you stay organized, though failing to face what’s in front of you may inhibit you from noticing opportunities. When you practice stillness with meditation, you allow for communication between you and your higher power. Your HP may not slide into your DM’s when you take Savasana, rather you’ll start to notice the clues coming your way when you learn to differentiate your thought patterns from the divine.
Conversations with your higher power start subtle, and come into play in mysterious ways. It’s those ‘pings’ telling you to try out a different coffee shop where you run into an old colleague who happens to offer you a well-paying gig. It’s that person next to you at the coffee shop who peers at your work and recommends a fantastic resource for your business. It’s every free coffee. And it’s every time you’ve spilled your coffee.
Surrendering is not giving up. It’s giving our control over to a source greater than ourselves. Surrender is understanding that when we are present and aware of our surroundings, we make judgments and actions based on intuition, rather responding from a place of scarcity. Trusting that we are guided, we release the need to make every day “good”. When we wake up and let our higher power in, we are assured though we still practice grace. And grace alone is something worth retreating for, as learning to let go creates room for lifelong serenity.