An Experiment in Surrender

Is surrender a dirty word in your book? If so, you're not alone. The mere thought of surrendering brings up a lot of other negative words. Words like: giving up, failure, weak, cheapen, loser, unmet goals, loss of power, loss of control.... You get the idea.

Lately though, Spirit has been at work in my life in this area. It's different to say that you trust someone or something and then to actually put that into practice, isn't it?

Struggling to Surrender 

Surrender, giving in, letting go...none of these come easily. Give me an end goal and I can whip up a plan (or two or five) to get you there. I love organizing and planning, adore strategy and brainstorming sessions. I like to be let loose with the end product in mind and the freedom to find my own way to get there. 

Do you feel the same way as a creative? I think most of us do. 

Sometimes though, letting go of your idea, your plan, your dream is the most important part of the process. This is especially true of artists. You might start a painting, a short story, a piece of music, a dance with this idea in mind...only to have it look completely different when you finish. Does that mean that your original idea was wrong? Or that you didn't accomplish what you set out to do? Not at all. It means instead, that you found what was trying to be said in the middle of the process.

My Own Experiment in Surrender

When I quit my full-time corporate job last fall, it was with the intention of working part-time in a library to supplement my writing income. But after making the decision to observe Sabbath leaving the library job was the next step (it required working every-other Saturday). So, now what was I going to do? I had no writing gigs lined up. My novels weren't selling much--not nearly enough to live on--and I had no freelance gigs in sight.

Rather than giving in to my overwhelm and to the little voice in my head that said (again and again) "This will never work. You're being ridiculous. Go, find another job right now!" I chose to surrender. I believed that God had a plan, even though I couldn't see an ounce of proof. I believed in my call to write, even though it seemed in the moment like there was no market for my work.

I stepped out in faith...shaky, trembling steps. I chose not to seek out other work, but instead hold tight. It was alternately terrifying, exhilarating and faith-strengthening.

And guess what happened?

Writing job after writing job--four in a row--came my way. Two were steady and ongoing, two were less frequent. All were in my "field" of interest: encouragement, education and inspiration. Each one lined up perfectly, at just the right time to transition me from the library back into my writing business.

Now, I'm facing another struggle, another call from Spirit regarding my work. I'm just as scared--maybe more so than this spring--because it will require perhaps a more dangerous (in my mind at least) leap of faith. I'm still praying for guidance and to be certain of the direction I'm receiving.

Your Turn: Experiment with Surrender

Today, why not try an experiment in surrender? I'll leave the details up to you, but here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Let someone else order your breakfast, lunch or dinner if you eat out. 
  • Ask your child or spouse to pick out your shirt, shoes, dress or suit...and wear what they pick. 
  • Don't create a to-do list today. 
  • Spend the 15 minutes or half hour you'd usually spend on your phone doing something staring at the clouds or meditating or praying or checking in with your inner self. 
  • Start an art project with absolutely no end goal in mind. 
  • Take 15 minutes to create, even if you don't think you have the time. 
Please let me know how you surrender today. I'd love to be inspired by your bravery! 


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