What Might it Mean to Surrender
As I write this, I’m sitting in my car on the side of a local road in my town with my hazards flashing, waiting for AAA to come and “rescue” me. Driving home from this morning’s workout, sweaty, no make-up, no hat on my crazy tied back hair head (who was I gonna see, I was heading straight home and it’s a 10 minute car ride at most), I got a flat tire. No idea how that happened, but I’m struck by the irony that I’ve not had ANY problems with this car since I got it 6 months ago, and I took it in for service for the first time last week, and NOW I have a problem. I know- I’m sure one has nothing to do with the other. But still…
So I sit here and wait. Initially, I think of a lot of ways to perpetuate my being pissed off. I think of how I’m hungry and have no snacks in my purse (lesson learned), and how I should always have a book in the car so I can at least be reading, and how I have so many calls to make and so much work to do and time is slipping away.
And then I decide I can try a different approach. I can surrender to the circumstances, and even try to make the best of them.
First, I acknowledge all that is “right”. My membership with AAA is current and I have my card handy. I have gas in my car and can run it on and off to stay warm. My phone is charged, I’m blessed to have a smart phone on which I can check email, write notes, play games if I want to, and of course make calls. I even have my car phone charger if my phone begins to die. A policeman stopped for a moment to make sure I was okay. I have no appointment for which I am late as a result of this situation. Ahhhh….this shift to what I am grateful for, rather than what I’m angry about changes the way I feel, AND the way I behave.
I call a couple of friends to whom I owe a phone call. Neither is available, but I feel better about having reached out to say hi. I check my email. And then I decide to write this blog in the Notes section on my phone. Writing is a way of owning the discomfort I feel without allowing it to control me. I found a way to be productive, as opposed to feeling like I’m simply WAITING.
The surrendering involves me saying to myself, “there’s nothing I can do to change my current circumstances.” However, I can change how I respond to them. When I surrender, I relax, and when I relax, I think far more clearly. If I’m full of frustration and anger and resentment, my capacity to problem solve and make decisions is limited. And those feelings have a tendency to take over, reaching their tentacles far beyond the situation, extending further into my day.
When I stop RESISTING my situation, and start working within it, even finding things within it for which I am grateful, and taking notice of how I may have actually been prepared for it after all, I am much more likely to move beyond it quickly and easily.
RESISTING what I can’t control is wasted energy. So I focus on what I AM able to do, and what I might do to feel more empowered in the face of it next time…things like learning how to change a tire myself, keeping snacks in the car, etc.
AAA is here!
AAA man (they don’t waste time introducing themselves) switched my bum tire out for the spare and I’m heading home. I’ll deal with fixing the tire later today.
Next time you’re faced with a frustrating situation, or you’re “stuck,” think about what surrendering to it would mean. If you let go of your resistance, could you actually end up freeing yourself?
Laurie Leinwand is a Professional Life Coach assisting clients with a variety of personal and professional life issues. Ideas 2 Action Life Coaching encompasses Laurie’s work as a life coach for women and men, career life coach and work-life balance coach.
Some of the topics of focus in her practice as a professional life coach are assisting and supporting individuals that are stay at home parents (stay at home moms and dads are constantly forced to adapt to their current circumstances as their children grow and change) as well as those returning to work. Laurie works with people reentering the workforce who are unsure of their direction and interested in cultivating professional development skills and support.
Laurie also provides personal development assistance with regard to powerful issues such as howto make a change in your life and finding fulfillment and your life purpose. In addition, she works with clients interested in learning how to say no and setting boundaries.
Ideas 2 Action Life Coaching is located in Randolph, NJ and services the surrounding communities of Morristown, Denville, Parsippany, Florham Park and Mountain Lakes, New Jersey, though much of her coaching is done on the phone and is accessible to clients worldwide. Laurie is a member of the International Coach Federation (ICF) and the New Jersey Professional Coaches Association (NJPCA).