I Surrender

I just got off the phone with ten incredible, amazing people. I’ve been blessed that way, lately. Last week I got to coach and teach at the Martha Beck Master Coach Intensive in Huntington Beach, CA. I spent four days in the presence of brilliant coaches taking their final steps in the six-month long Master Coach program. This week I watched my own Mind-Body Coaches finish up their training with me. I am surrounded by these truly magnificent people who are serving the world each in their own unique way.

It’s been a couple weeks of endings. I find sadness welling up in my throat, because though I know we’ll interact and meet again in different ways, these platforms of connection are now coming to an end. Though I’d love to sit around and be a part of amazing growth and transformation with groups of brilliant coaches all the time, I also recognize that it wouldn’t really be great for them. They’d never get to go out and embark on their own journey, or lead their own groups. So with each experience, an end must come to create a new beginning.

It’s been a year of beginnings and endings already, for me. In January, it was the beginning of pregnancy and motherhood. In March it was the end of the pregnancy, much sooner than I had expected. Then it was the beginning of opening up to the messages in that experience and the changes I needed to make within myself before moving forward again. Shortly after that, there were a few endings within my coaching business, followed abruptly by new beginnings I could not have foreseen. (Such as being hired to be the Life Coach Training Coordinator for Martha Beck Inc.)

I feel a bit as though I have beginning/ending whiplash. Change has come so fast this year, in so many ways. I’ve had to really perfect the art of surrendering, which is no easy feat, I must say. So, in this moment, I am sad that this year’s group of mind-body coach trainees is leaving the nest. But I surrender to the experience and am letting go.

I first learned the art of surrendering when I was in physical agony. I was tortured by interstitial cystitis for years, and then wound up with vulvodynia as well. I hated my body, wanted all the pain to just leave, and fought like mad against the experience. Until I simply couldn’t fight anymore. I often say that the universe had to wonk me over the head before I would surrender and allow myself to have the experience I was already having – in that case, pain. That’s the funny thing about surrendering; it’s about laying down the weapons in the battle against what is.

I remember literally lying down on the couch and saying, “Okay, I give up.” But I wasn’t giving up on everything. I was just giving up the fight. I knew I had to stop trying so hard and just let the experience teach me what it was teaching me.

If this sounds hard, it’s because it kind of is. Yet, it’s also easy, in a strange way. It’s so much easier to surrender than to fight. It’s easier to say, “Okay, I am willing to have this experience that I am having right now” than to clench every muscle in combative argument against it.

If you’re dealing with anything stressful or hard in your life right now, don’t forget that surrendering is an option. You can set down your boxing gloves and say, “Okay, I allow this to happen right now.” It doesn’t mean you’ll suffer forever. In fact, your suffering will end much sooner. As soon as I stopped fighting the pelvic pain syndromes, the way out arrived in the form of mind-body healing.

On the day that I miscarried, I knew something was wrong. All day, I fought that knowledge. I avoided the knowing. I tried so hard to not have the experience that I knew was coming. Finally, as the evening wore on, I remembered the surrender option. I told my husband we had to talk about the possibility that I was going to miscarry. So we did. And we knew, in that moment, that we could handle it, no matter how painful it would be. As soon as we aired that, I was able to say, in my heart, “I surrender. I allow myself to have this experience.” Ten minutes later, the miscarriage happened. I let go. I let the universe take over, and I trusted.

Sure enough, we did survive. We could handle the grief, the pain, and the loss. That’s the thing; that which we fight, even though it is painful, is always something we can handle. Yes, it’s hard. Yes, it’s painful. But it’s ever so much more painful to fight than to surrender.

Though I often write my blog posts with a particular client question in mind, today’s post is written for me. I am the client today. Because now that my body, mind, and spirit are healed from this experience, I arrive at a new doorway. A new beginning. A place to start anew. But to embark on this motherhood journey again, there’s something I have to do. I have to surrender. I have to say, “Okay, I am willing to have this experience, whatever it may be, and I trust that what is right will happen.” Coming on the heels of the miscarriage, a new pregnancy sounds a little scary. Maybe difficult. Maybe not such a good idea. Yet, when I really look inside, it’s not the experiences that could happen that scare me. It’s the pain of not trusting, not surrendering, and not letting go that is terrifying.

It’s time to surrender to my own inner wisdom, to the wisdom of mother nature and the universe, and to life itself. I can’t know anything with my human mind about what will come, but I can trust my soul to guide me somewhere good. Yes, there were endings this year, but they made way for beginnings. There is innate wisdom in this process that I could never have seen in advance, but for which I am now grateful. So, if you, like me, are standing on the edge, peeking through a new doorway, or are just plain tired of fighting, here’s your invitation to surrender. I surrender to the experience of pregnancy again, whatever it brings. Would you like to join me in this surrendering experience? What are you surrendering to? I would welcome the company.

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14 Responses to I Surrender

  1. Sue July 28, 2011 at 2:24 pm #

    Abigail – I am in the process of surrendering to the reality that my dad is dying. I was fighting it for years, and fighting and being angry and frustrated about being the only child geographically capable of helping he and my mother. I believe this is what caused my chronic pelvic pain. With much help from you, your courses, my therapist and my amazing husband, I am at the point where I can accept all that is happening and I am now grateful that I am the ‘one’ who was lucky enough to have this time with my dad. We have had so many special moments together that I would not have had had I not surrender myself to this situation. My pain is so much better – I believe I am in that phase that you refer to as being in between the rocky mountains and the maintenance phase. Somewhere I never thought I would be. I am eternally grateful to you for your posts and your courses. I believe you are an amazing person and I can tell some baby will be the luckiest little guy or girl to have you as a mom – when the time is right. Thanks again.

  2. Abigail July 28, 2011 at 4:50 pm #

    What a sweet comment, Sue! I’m so glad for you that you’re feeling the peace of surrendering! Ahhhhh!

  3. Linda Ford July 28, 2011 at 5:30 pm #

    Hi Abigail: What a beautiful question: What are you surrendering to? I love that. So, here goes:

    I am surrending to the fact that my business is not where I want it to be–and that’s OK. I feel better already.

    Thank you for your unfailing inspiration. I appreciate you very much my dear friend.
    Much love,
    Linda Ford

  4. Abigail July 28, 2011 at 6:00 pm #

    Awesome, Linda! The sweet peace is nice, isn’t it! I appreciate you, too!

  5. Marion Youngblood July 28, 2011 at 6:44 pm #

    Wow, this is beautiful. I have resisted surrender so much in my life thinking that the harder I worked, the better the outcome would be. It never worked that way. I have realized my greatest peace only when I have surrendered first.

    Thank you for this. Right now, I am surrendering to where my new career (I am a Martha Beck Life Coach In Training) will take me. I am excited and I surrender!

    • Abigail July 28, 2011 at 6:50 pm #

      What a great thing to surrender to! Much amazingness will come of that, I am sure!!

  6. Fernanda July 28, 2011 at 8:03 pm #

    What a beautiful message Abigail!! Thank you for sharing a little bit of your own experience with us!

    I am giving up the fight with my pain, I will just accept it and surrender to whatever I need to learn!!

  7. stvance July 29, 2011 at 9:44 am #

    not an easy message but a great concept
    so true
    love n.

  8. Donna July 29, 2011 at 3:29 pm #

    Abigail – I have been and continue work on surrendering my belief that my mind runs my body. Your guidance and wisdom have taught me that it’s so much easier for my body to be the guide for my life. Some days, surrending to that is very easy, other days…not so much. But I continue to forge onward, with amazing results!!

    And thank you for all of your blog posts. I sometimes fool myself into believing that because you know this so well that you are never sad, or angry or afraid. I also try to fool myself into thinking I will know it so well one day that I won’t ever be sad, angry or afraid again. Each week your blog reminds me that these are tools to work through those issues – not tools to erase them from my life. You continue to open my eyes to things I only dreamed about. Here’s one more big THANK YOU!!

  9. Gail Kenny July 31, 2011 at 11:45 pm #

    This is the first day of officially being retired from my job. Although I have been using up my vacation since mid-May, today starts my pension pay, which is quite a bit less than my regular pay check. I am surrendering to my fears about how this change in our finances will affect me and my family and I am surrendering to however my new business grows.

    I love that you are getting even more “naked” in your blog posts. It’s heartening to know how you handle your personal trials. I recently realized that the self-help experts know this stuff so well because they have all had their own suffering in which to learn how to come back to peace.

  10. Abigail August 1, 2011 at 1:50 pm #

    Donna and Gail – thanks for the confirmation that me sharing this much actually helps! It can feel a little naked, but I certainly have benefitted from hearing how my mentors have dealt with their struggles. It is most definitely not about living without struggles, fear, anger, and sadness! I think we’d have to be dead to achieve that. :-) It’s just about staying true to yourself when you run into struggle or knowing how to feel emotions and let them be a part of your life. It’s about embracing being human!

  11. Jill Winski August 1, 2011 at 4:58 pm #

    Abigail, this was such a beautiful article, on a day I very much need to remember that it is okay to surrender. Thank you!

  12. Faina Sechzer August 5, 2011 at 10:58 pm #

    Abigail, you have such a beautiful way to express your feelings. I had many losses in my life, starting at 16 when my mom died from cancer within a few days. I also had incredible fortunes four kids; two younger sons born a year apart following a miscarriage at the age of 39.

    It was only after I was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago, that I realized the concept of surrender. For me it’s surrendering the control, while holding on to my soul.

    I hope the magic of surrender will bring peace and joy to your life.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Letting Go of Knowing « The Healthy Life Coach - August 4, 2011

    [...] The Healthy Life Coach Relieve pain and find freedom with Master Certified Martha Beck Mind-Body Coach Abigail Steidley. Learn mind-body healing tools for vulvodynia, interstitial cystitis, irritable bowel syndrome, adrenal fatigue, weight loss, and more! « I Surrender [...]

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