There are so many life events that can call us to surrender – the loss of a loved one, the ending of a relationship, a sudden lay off or job loss, moving homes or cities, the diagnosis of an illness, or the caretaking for a loved one who is unwell. Even every day events can require a pause and a state of surrender – a difficult boss, a child’s tantrum, traffic and subway delays, to name a few. We are constantly being called to surrender, to tap into an inner resilience to survive and transform through challenges, and to glean lessons from even the most difficult situations.
The theme of surrender for me has extended into this year. A few blog posts back, I shared my story of surrender after having 2 miscarriages. I intuitively took a step back to process my grief, to practice self-care, and to reconnect with my husband and my family. Well, I’m now 6 months pregnant and due at the end of July. Even though this is a joyful time, this pregnancy has truly been another lesson in letting go of my need for control and predictability. It has called me to embrace the fact that I can't dictate a timeline for everything. It has reminded me of the wisdom of my body and of the cycles of life.
I was prepared to start 2018 launching into my business and into a leadership role with a nonprofit, ready to make massive change and accelerated growth professionally. However, my body told me it was time to slow down through the not so subtle hints of migraines and morning sickness.
I was terrified to experience loss and grief again, but I practiced trusting my body’s wisdom and trusting the timing of this pregnancy and my baby’s arrival into this world. I limited the number of ultrasounds I received to only the ones that were deemed essential. This felt comfortable for me and in line with my desired experience of pregnancy. I voiced my preferences with my doctor and stood confidently in my choices that were aligned with my beliefs and with the fact that I was not at risk and nor was my baby, in spite of my age.
For nearly my whole life, I've struggled with body image and body shame. I was always striving for the perfect diet and exercise routine to achieve the perfect weight and to feel attractive and accepted. For the past 10 years, I've reconciled with a lot of these demons and I have embraced my body and the concepts of self-compassion, intuitive eating, and a balanced and pleasure filled relationship with food. The compete transformation of my body and 20lb weight gain in pregnancy has forced me to revisit some of these shadows that I thought were long gone. Every day, I remind myself of the magic and miracle of this pregnancy, of the beauty of the bump and the extra weight to support my baby’s development, and the blessing that each portion of food is to my and my baby’s nourishment. Yes, there are mornings that I wake up and look at the belly and wonder if I will be able to get my pre-pregnancy body back. There are times that I feel unsexy, unattractive and massive. That is when I have to surrender. I pause with compassion and I say a prayer of gratitude for the health of my baby, for the intuition of my body, and for the grace to take one day at a time.
There are so many moments in our life that call for surrender. The call to surrender is not asking us to us to give up or not take action. It's asking us to consider letting go of struggle, predefined expectations, and attachment to specific outcomes.
When have you been called to surrender recently?
To the freedom of letting go,