128. Learning to Surrender

If we can surrender into our life experience we can be so much more gentle with ourselves.

Surrendering ultimately is just allowing what is. We understand that ‘there’ isn’t better than ‘here.’ It’s this acceptance of the way that things are right now, and knowing that the way that our lives unfold is happening for us.

Our life is always providing learning opportunities to help us to rise above our situations, to help us to understand that we are stronger than we think…

I talk all about how to surrender in this week’s podcast. I’ll see you inside! xo, Janeen

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[00:00:00] Janeen: Well, hey my friends. Welcome to this episode of the podcast. This is one that I’ve been working on for a little while because I feel like I have been going through this myself, and I wanted to do an episode that highlights surrender and learning how to surrender because this is something that has been difficult for me.

[00:00:21] I feel like I will never arrive with this, but I feel like I’m getting so much better at learning how to surrender, and I wanted to share some of the things that I’ve learned with you so that we can do this together. I recently did a yoga class. In fact, I’ve been doing several yoga classes around this topic of surrender, and I’ve had really great feedback from my students.

[00:00:44] In fact, I even did a surrender flow in the Saturday morning class that I teach, which is a little bit unusual. If you think about surrendering, you’re thinking about it being dark and quiet and nighttime, right? , you’re not [00:01:00] thinking about it being at nine 30 in the morning on a Saturday at the beginning of the weekend, which is when I did this class.

[00:01:04] But I had three of my students in tears after the class just thanking me for this gift of teaching them how to relax and just surrender a little bit more. And that really struck me because I was feeling like people need this. This is the time of the year that people really need to hear this message, and it really landed well with some of my students.

[00:01:25] I hope that it lands well with you as well as you’re listening to the podcast and I know we’re not doing a yoga class together, but I want you thinking about how the things that I’m gonna share with you can be applicable to your life right now, and this might be surrender part one, I might have to do a surrender part two in the years to come

[00:01:46] as I learn more and as I am able to share things and articulate what I’ve been experiencing with this. And I do have to say that surrendering has been been something that has been really difficult for [00:02:00] me to do because I feel like I have a very vibrant and energetic way of being instead of softening and resting and being quiet.

[00:02:12] Those kinds of things are very difficult for me to do, But what I have learned is wintertime is the season of surrender, and I have learned how important it is for me to follow Mother Nature’s lead and kind of take a page out of her book and how to be in my life so that I have more joy, I feel more content with the way things are.

[00:02:38] One of the things that I mentioned in that class, and I got a few laughs out of this because I felt like people were really resonating with this, is oftentimes I feel kind of like a bull in a China shop where I just am thrashing around in my life, trying to control everything instead of just softening into what is and allowing things to just be the way that they are and let go [00:03:00] of things that I either don’t need to control or realize I have no control over. So I might as well let go because there’s no point in trying to control things that we have no control over.

[00:03:11] Right.

[00:03:12] So the way that I like to think about surrendering is again, thinking about what nature is doing. I mean, you think about, for example, what trees do in the wintertime, particularly where I live in Colorado, where it is very wintery here, , we get snow and it’s cold.

[00:03:28] The trees lose their leaves, their energy moves within the plant to gain strength. The roots go deeper into the ground and the plant gets strength from resting, and in the springtime when things start to warm up, the plant has enough strength to grow their branches and to get stronger and bigger.

[00:03:51] So that is the idea behind surrendering. It’s going within ourselves and to tap into our own inner wisdom and our [00:04:00] own intuition and get to know ourselves better. It’s thinking about questions like, who am I and what do I want? What is the purpose of my life?

[00:04:10] How do I want this New year to be different? And I think that’s one of the reasons why New Year’s resolutions resonate with so many people is because this is the idea of how do I want to grow in the new year? And one of the things that has been important for me to differentiate is this is not to be confused with procrastination.

[00:04:32] Surrender is not giving into that little voice in my head that says, , but I don’t want to, or I don’t feel like doing that right now. And this comes up a lot for me in the wintertime because I struggle with seasonal effective disorder. But the thing is, is we don’t want to give into that energy. We don’t want to just be stagnant in our lives.

[00:04:53] We want to use this time to really think about. How we want to progress, and that [00:05:00] has to do with getting to know ourselves better. So the progression comes in the spring and in the summertime of our lives, but learning how to do that and how to progress in a way that’s in alignment with who we really are, has to do with getting quiet.

[00:05:18] So we’re still getting work done, but it’s not to be confused with procrastinating or for me wanting to hibernate all winter long. I have this tendency, To really pull back and just wanna sleep until April when the weather starts to get warmer and I can actually be outside and I can be doing things where I’m not having to wear five coats, , and all of my gear to just get outside to grab the mail in my mailbox.

[00:05:44] But this is really about making sure that you’re carving out some time to really surrender in your life and doing things like eliminating, eliminating things that are no longer serving you. And for me, it’s been lengthening my spiritual practice. So instead of [00:06:00] doing 30 minutes of a daily devotional, I do 60 minutes instead.

[00:06:05] And spending time just doing things like reclining in front of my fireplace. The other night I just laid down on my back on the carpet in front of my fire and the fireplace had been on all day. It’s been in the negatives here. I mean, this has been kind of nationwide, but it was, I think the high the other day was negative four

[00:06:25] So it was really cozy for me to just lay on the carpet. It was warm, it was cozy, and to just rest, and it was very warm in front of my fireplace. Like I said, cuz it had been on for like 12 hours at that point. So this idea of surrender for me, like I mentioned, was really hard for me to do because I would tell myself, I just have so much to do, I just don’t have time for that.

[00:06:47] And I want to encourage you to think about this time of year a little bit differently, and to create a result for yourself that is rejuvenating and restorative instead of draining. [00:07:00] And it’s a slow rejuvenation. It’s not taking a nap and feeling better. It is a season of rejuvenation just like trees need time to gain strength and to grow deeper roots. We need to do the same kinds of things in our own lives in order to live more fully, and like I said, to just have more joy and to feel more content with our lives. Cuz I know what’s so frustrating for you is that you work so hard and you feel frustrated that you’re just exhausted and you’re not staying on top of things. So one of the ways that we feel like we are on top of things is we need to eliminate, and like I said, , discover what our priorities are and what we want our lives to look like so that we make choices that are more in alignment with that purpose.

[00:07:53] So since I teach yoga, I am aware of some of the different ways that we talk about energy. There’s lots of different ways that we [00:08:00] talk about how we feel and experience our lives through our senses. So this episode might seem a little bit woo . And to be honest, I am fascinated by the woo and there’s a lot that I don’t know or understand. But again, I want you thinking about, okay, what’s the practical application in this for me?

[00:08:19] And there’s lots of different ways that we talk about it. You probably have heard, these words before like chakras or meridians or doshas, if we’re talking about Ayurvedic medicine, or even yin and yang. There’s different ways that we talk about our understanding of energy to make sense of the world that we can’t see, but we can only feel. And what I think is fascinating is as science expands, we are finding ways

[00:08:42] to see how some of this ancient wisdom makes sense with the use of modern technology. But I still feel like there’s still so much to learn and there’s still so much that’s undetected by the scientific community. But this is not a podcast that showcases energy. [00:09:00] I understand it and I’m fascinated by it, but I am by no means an expert in any of these things.

[00:09:05] like I said, that’s not the point of this podcast. This is a podcast that helps you to pay attention to your body and your energy, and striking Not just a healthy balance, but a supportive balance between doing and resting or doing and being.

[00:09:23] And I feel like that is what I am becoming more of an expert in is my body and my energy. So I’ve gotten better at understanding where I’m at. I feel like I’m getting better, knowing when to scale back and rest and when to get things done. And as women, I feel like it’s obvious that are energy cycles on a monthly basis, but I am somebody in the past who has ignored a lot of my natural rhythms and I’ve pushed too hard, and I wound up either grumpy and irritable kind of on the mild end of things, or I’ve ended up getting physically injured on the more extreme end of things. But when we are more balanced, we feel more [00:10:00] whole.

[00:10:00] We feel more joy. And we are in tune with our inner wisdom and our intuition. But when I started doing yoga, this is probably not a surprise to any of you, , my least favorite pose was savasana, which is final resting pose where you’re just lying on the floor after your practice on your back. And this was the most difficult pose for me because number one, I used to have a really hard time relaxing. I didn’t really know how to relax, to be honest. And I would just tell myself I can’t be lying here. I, I’ve got too much stuff to do. I’m wasting my time. . That was literally what I thought was, I’m just wasting my time relaxing , which now it seems so silly to me to, to say that out loud.

[00:10:44] But that’s where I was at and I’m not sure if any of you can relate to that. So today on the podcast, I’m going to highlight, just briefly, very superficially yin and yang energy.

[00:10:56] Cause yin and yang highlights opposite. Yin [00:11:00] qualities have to do with softness and being passive. There’s a heaviness to yin. Yin is the cool energy of our bodies. It has to do with feeling versus thinking. and it embraces this idea of surrender.

[00:11:15] Yin also highlights the feminine energy of our body, and it has to do with the left side of the body. There’s also certain organs that are attributed to yin qualities of our body, but I’m not gonna go into any of that today. On the opposite side of Yin. And I do have to say Before I get into the yang attributes, I just wanna say here that each of us have a balance between what is called masculine and feminine energy, regardless of what your gender is, that you have these two opposites.

[00:11:48] And I know that might seem old school now, but that’s just the way that we talk about it when we’re talking about yin and yang. So yang attributes are more of a masculine energy that have to do with being more assertive.

[00:11:58] There’s a buoyancy [00:12:00] to yang because it has to do with being light. So there’s a hardness to yang as well, has to do with heat and thinking. And there is element of attacking with masculine energy and it’s attributed to the right side of our bodies.

[00:12:19] I am somebody according to these kind of characteristics of energy lead out with yang energy for sure. I get stuff done. I push myself. I’m very rigid in the way that I do things. . One of the things that I have learned is my body is always giving me feedback. It’s the same with everybody’s body.

[00:12:36] The our bodies are always giving us feedback and. I know for myself when I start to get sick my energy is out of balance. Our body’s default is going to be health. So if you’ve been sick, I want you to listen up. Your body is communicating something that it needs to you, so learn to listen. One of the things that I’ve noticed is I haven’t fortunately gotten sick at all this season, which is.

[00:12:59] I [00:13:00] think a huge blessing. I know my kids have been sick. I’ve had a lot of really close friends that have been really, really sick this season, and I just feel really blessed that I have not gotten sick. However, one of the things that I had noticed earlier on in the month of December was my right shoulder and neck got really, really tight, and this is something that I feel like.

[00:13:20] Happens to me when I am pushing too hard. So out of all the things that I just said, , and as the right side of my body, it starts to get really tight. It’s in an area of my body that’s associated with carrying a lot. Like that’s where we carry our energetic load, our mental and emotional load is on our shoulders.

[00:13:38] And so right there, right where my neck and my shoulder meets I was just getting super tight to a point where I was struggling to turn my head or lift weights at the gym. And when that happens for me, I know I’m out of balance. I know that I need to balance that yang energy with yin. I need to surrender. [00:14:00] So why does this matter?

[00:14:02] Why am I sharing this with you? Why are we talking about surrender today? Because it’s so important for us to find balance. When we are balanced, like I said, we are more content, we find more joy with our lives. We’re not thrashing around like a bull in a China shop. And trying to resist and trying to change what is. There’s so many things about life that we don’t have control to change, and we get frustrated with that. There’s a lot of angst with that. But when we are able to find this balance between doing and being, or surrendering and being active, that’s where we find this balance of just, like I said, just being more content with life.

[00:14:50] The thing is, is I know when I’m pushing, I am kind of believing this idea that there is better than here, wherever there is. Wherever I’m trying to go, [00:15:00] whatever goals I’ve set for myself, I feel like, well, when I arrive , at that place, it will be better than here. I used to do this with my business all the time.

[00:15:09] If I just had a hundred clients, I’d tell myself, it would just be amazing. My life would be so amazing. I’ll feel like I have arrived in my business. I just had to realize you’ve got to soften into this space right now. , be grateful for what you have as you strive to find more people.

[00:15:25] Same with fitness. We do this all the time, right? With weight loss, we think, well, once I lose the weight, then I will be content with my life. But as long as you’re thrashing around and you’re, you’re dissatisfied with what’s going on right now, you’ll continue to try to buffer and you’ll continue to try to numb out of all of that angst that you have right now, which makes it more difficult to even lose the weight in the first place. Instead of just loving yourself the way that you are and loving yourself to change and wanting to grow at the same time, you can hold space for both of those things. You can [00:16:00] hold space for the way that things are right now and wanting to progress and grow and change not only on an individual level, but also in your communities and on a global level as well.

[00:16:11] This also matters because when we understand and find this balance, we’re able to find joy in what we’re doing right now in the ways that we are messy, in the ways that our lives are messy. , the ways that we are unorganized and we’re not getting it right right now. We’re able to be happy that we are a work in progress and that we haven’t arrived, and that is okay. And also seeing ways that we can improve and love ourselves as we are. This is all about offering ourselves grace.

[00:16:41] I’m gonna talk about a little bit more, these qualities of yin because there’s so much wisdom in this and thinking about this and applying it to ways that we can surrender in our lives. So yin, like I said, has this soft quality. It’s softening into the lives that we have.

[00:16:59] It’s [00:17:00] softening into the people that we are right now. , the good, bad, and the ugly, like all of it. Just kind of embracing the way that you are in this moment. It’s about being passive, and I’m not talking about letting people walk all over you, but when I’m talking about being passive, I’m talking about taking care of yourself.

[00:17:21] Filling your bucket, being gentle with yourself, reading an enjoyable book just for fun because you want to, picking up a children’s book and reading it just for fun, might not have anything to do with what you’re learning or anything to do with what you’re, you’re doing in your life. Never gave myself permission to do this for many years, and I feel like I really missed out because I was constantly driving to read non-fiction books or the keeping up with the books that my kids were reading for our school.

[00:17:48] Oftentimes when I’m talking to my clients, I’m talking about the difference between taking passive action or taking massive action. Taking massive action definitely has a lot of yang qualities to it. Taking [00:18:00] passive action on the other hand is just absorbing information and you can absorb this information through your senses.

[00:18:05] You can absorb it through your eyes, or you can absorb it through doing things. You can absorb it through your ears by listening to audiobooks. There’s so many different ways that we can absorb information, and I used to rebel against being passive , I value producing and getting things done and taking massive action until I get results.

[00:18:24] And all of that is great and I, I like that about myself. But I also realized I need to have this balance.

[00:18:33] If all I was focusing in on was getting things done, I started to get grumpy and really dissatisfied with my life.

[00:18:39] And what’s hard when we’re, when we’re doing this, is we get frustrated with this because we think that the antidote to feeling less grumpy is to getting more done . Like this should make us happy. But it doesn’t. It does the opposite of that. We just continue to drive ourselves into the ground and we get really frustrated and grumpy because again, it’s kind of this bull in the China shop [00:19:00] kind of energy.

[00:19:00] We’re just like thrashing around in our lives trying to feel better, but nothing that we do helps us to feel better. It’s this idea of going within and loving ourselves as we are and letting go of feeling like we have to produce in order to, to be enough or to feel worthy, ultimately.

[00:19:22] Okay. Yin has this heavy quality to it. So one of the things that I cue my yoga students to do when they’re in a really relaxed pose, like savasana for example, is I cue them to get really heavy. I say to them, get really heavy in your body. Just relax.

[00:19:37] In fact, I want you to practice this right now with your exhale. Focus on just letting your body get as heavy as you can with your exhale. You notice how much more relaxed that you feel, how much more you soften when you just allow your body to get really heavy with the exhale. Just take a really big breath in and exhale and just let it just kind of lengthen out. [00:20:00] the visualization that I love with this is kind of riding a sled down a sledding hill, like a really nice sledding hill, not one that has a jump on the end. . Just a nice, easy sledding hill that just kind of coasts you to the end and you just ride it out and you just continue to go until you just slowly come to a stop.

[00:20:19] I want you to exhale like that, and as you’re exhaling, I just want you to feel your body soften, feel your body start to relax and get heavy. This is the opposite of buoyancy, right? Which has that yang quality to it. It’s light. There’s lots of energy. It has this airy airiness to it. Winter has a beautiful yin quality where I, like I said, it’s quiet, it’s introspective.

[00:20:42] it’s heavy. in Ayurvedic medicine, they refer to this as kapha energy. It has this heavy, kinda wet, earthy energy to it, which is very similar to the winter that I’m experienced right here in Colorado. But if you’re not living in a [00:21:00] place that has four seasons, I want you to just imagine that. I actually have never lived in a place that didn’t have four Seasons

[00:21:07] So I don’t know if living in an area long term, if you even get that cycle, that seasonal cycle with energy and where you live. So let me know if you guys live in Arizona or Texas or someplace that doesn’t get snow and ice and cold, let me know. Okay? Again, there is this coolness to yin energy as well. I teach a yin yoga class periodically, and that is all about stretching the connective tissue of the body. So I mentioned yin is associated with certain organs or certain areas of our bodies, and one of those areas is the connective tissue of the body. So yin yoga is all about lengthening connective tissue.

[00:21:48] It’s really deep stretching where you hold a pose for three to 10 minutes in yin yoga. And so you think about just softening and relaxing. It’s not a heat that’s gonna lengthen that muscle. It’s [00:22:00] just holding the pose and breathing into that space to allow that softness and that heaviness to lengthen the connective tissue of your body, which is gonna help you, of course, to get more range of motion in your joints.

[00:22:16] Yin is also associated with feeling versus thinking. It has this intuitive quality that comes from our heart center. So instead of being cognitive and thinking all the time, you’re gonna drop into your body, into your heart space to really think about what you’re feeling in your body. And I know you’re thinking about it, you’re using your mind to feel, but you’re staying in your body.

[00:22:43] You’re dropping down into your core and you’re thinking, what am I feeling right now? What is the energetic vibration that’s there. So often we spend time running away from what is, we wanna buffer, we wanna resist, we don’t want to feel, we do all kinds of [00:23:00] things to not feel.

[00:23:02] right? We drink and we smoke, and sometimes we exercise, but we do these things so that we’re not feeling in our body. So yin is all about feeling and kind of opening up to our human experience emotionally and learning how to surrender into the emotions that are there and understanding that regardless of whatever, it is that we’re feeling isn’t bad.

[00:23:22] It’s just what is. It’s just what’s going on. And if we soften into that experience, we can be so much more gentle with ourselves. We don’t have to run away from ourselves or from our lives. So surrendering ultimately is just allowing what is. We understand that there isn’t better than here. It’s this acceptance of the way that things are right now, and knowing that the way that our lives unfold is happening for us.

[00:23:49] Even the really, really, really hard parts.

[00:23:52] Our life is always providing us learning opportunities to help us to rise above our situations, to help us to [00:24:00] understand that we are stronger than we think. I think sometimes we get this idea that our physical experiences can make or break us, and that just isn’t true. You think about how many people of the world have risen above terrible and horrible circumstances in their lives. it’s because they know no matter what happens to their physical bodies, they still have the power of their mind to rise above their circumstances, their physical circumstances. There might be things that you really want to change about your life. You might wanna divorce, you might wanna change jobs.

[00:24:35] You might want to physically move out of your state or get away from somebody who is abusive. Welcome to being a human being on this planet. This is the way that our lives are, and I’m not saying that you need to stay in these circumstances. You can definitely change. But what is going to help you to find more joy right now is to soften into this experience and understand you are more than what is happening to [00:25:00] you.

[00:25:01] Acceptance balances out this desire to change and creates a softness and grace in the change that we desire to create. This is not something I’m very good at. I want to push. I want to force, I am that bull in the China shop, but if we don’t have this balance of surrender, we feel like we’re thrashing around.

[00:25:20] We feel angsty, we feel unsettled, we feel dissatisfied, and we don’t have to feel those things. Wintertime is a season of surrender, there’s a lot of yin elements that are happening here with the cold and the wet and all of it. Maybe you don’t live in a wintry or cold climate right now. Maybe you live in Hawaii or other areas of the world that don’t have distinct seasons. I want you to find this for yourself. Create a season of the year that allows you to go within to help you develop a really great relationship with yourself.

[00:25:52] To be quiet and to lean into that energy of surrender, that feminine energy within you to [00:26:00] help you soften into your experience. So if this episode of the podcast resonates, I would love it if you shared it with a friend. I would love it if you shared it with somebody who you feel like would benefit from the things that I’ve shared today.

[00:26:14] I wish I had had this information 10 years ago to just get the wheels starting to turn because I had no idea that this was even available to me. And that’s what I want you to understand is we can be going through some really difficult things. The same time, if you learn how to surrender and soften into the experience without that thrashing, angsty energy, you’ll be able to make it through with a lot more grace and poise and just joy even.

[00:26:46] in that experience. So that is what I have for you today, my friends. I hope this was helpful for you. I hope that you have a beautiful season of surrender, and I would love to learn how you’re going to apply this [00:27:00] into your lives so that I can learn from you. All right, my friends. Have a beautiful rest of your week.

[00:27:05] We’ll talk to you soon. Yeah. Bye.