I remember working with a Spiritual Teacher and Author what seems like a lifetime ago and she would often talk about "Surrender" and honestly, even with my personal development work... I didn't really know what she meant, I understood it was letting go, trusting... but it was all just a philosophical theory. A woo-woo concept.
And then immediately after the birth of my third child, I got really sick. My marriage was breaking down, I was battling a golden staph (MRSA) infection from the hospital, dealing with symptoms of being completely and utter exhaustion, a baby who seemed to have constant bronchilitis and never really slept, who refused to go to anyone else and I was completely burnt out - emotionally and physically. Instead of losing my baby weight, I started gaining weight i and was completely at a loss.
Thankfully I have a few friends in the same industry as me and I reached out to them to gain some perspective and began to pull myself out of the massive hole I felt like I was in. I started to work on myself and slowly climbed back out, still feeling exhausted, but on the pathway to healing - I discovered I had Hashimotos, an auto-immune disease that means your body attacks your thyroid (which is largely responsible for your metabolism and energy function and as I have since learned so so much more).
I began to throw everything at it - complete dietary change, lifestyle, detoxing my home of chemicals... I went all out. And it was at an Ongoing Professional Development workshop where I met Penny Tompkins and James Lawley and explored working on myself "metaphorically". I was one of the demonstration people when they built their online learning program, so if you ever decide to learn Clean Language online, you will see the session; at the end of that session (which looking back was far more than what I initially took from it) came that damn word again... "Surrender".
Over the coming days I couldn't help but think. Why the F*#@ would I want to surrender? I want to beat this thing, I know I can heal - the mind and body are connected and therefore affect each other. This is what I help others work with, this is where all of my passion lies... I can heal this. Why would I want to surrender to it?
And then after a period of time still trying to "fix" myself (more of a battle against my symptoms, especially the extra weight and the fatigue), I realised what it meant.
To the ego mind, surrender means giving up. To the spiritual mind, surrender means giving in and receiving. – Marianne Williamson
Surrender wasn't about surrendering to this "disease", it was about letting go of my attachment and the pressure of not being enough. It was about letting go of the disgust at myself for not being the fit, healthy vibrant person I was just before my Daughter was born. It wasn't about "smashing" it at the gym because that's what I knew worked or restricting calories because that's what I thought would get off the extra weight I hated. It was about letting go of all of those old things that I had prescribed to my clients back in my days as a personal trainer and with it, all of those old beliefs and limitations and "identity" level statements (you know the ones, they begin with... I AM and usually end in a criticism of oneself or a "label").
Surrender meant giving up the fight with myself and instead, allowing that love to flow in. Appreciation for my body and the beautiful babies it made, self love, self respect and the realisation that I was exactly the same person - no more, no less - than I used to be; these symptoms didn't define who I was. They were merely just an experience that I was having.
And so my journey transformed and I started listening to my body and when it felt like a walk in nature, that's what I did and when it felt like smashing it at the gym, that's what I did. Not because I hated who I was, but because I loved who I was. I deserved to be looked after. I tuned into my bodies wisdom for what was right for it to consume, not what others told me I should or shouldn't eat... but rather what my own body responded to.
I do things now because they nourish me, because I desire to do them. I embrace the extra curves I have right now, knowing that I am more than just my physical self. I am strong, I am healthy, I am fit and my thoughts are conducive to healing.
When I stopped beating myself up and continued to work on myself - emotionally, physically, spiritually - when I surrendered to a path of effort and ease, a path of nurturing myself, inviting appreciation, love & gratitude for myself and others - my thyroid levels began normalising. And now, my antibodies have done the same.
Surrender has allowed true healing.
And it's a pattern I see a lot in clients too!
It's that acceptance of the way things are right now and being perfectly okay in knowing that neither circumstances or conditioning define who you truly are. You are more than all of those things! And in really knowing your self worth in intrinsic and it doesn't change based on what others say or do, or even the things you have done or do (no matter how atrocious they may have been). There is that soul / energy / life force / spirit (insert whichever word fits best for you) within you that is greater than all of your experiences and in surrendering to that opens you up to truly begin to transform on levels you may never have ever imagined were possible.
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