For the past year, I’ve been saying that my next level of work is experiencing the power of surrender, but I had no idea how that was actually going to happen. Here’s the lesson my friends…be careful what you ask for.
Trusting in the Power of Surrender
I know the power of surrender in a sexual situation…In fact being blindfolded and tied up is a favorite activity of mine with a partner with whom I feel safe.
In that space, I can completely let myself go because I have no ability to take control. But that space is artificial because I know it can end with a safe word and that is has a finite beginning and an end.
The true power of surrender, as I’ve learned over the past two months, is when you have no ability to control your circumstances. How did I get here?
A combination of the emotional consequences of breaking up with my partner, triggering an old trauma and wound, and a series of physical symptoms, including ongoing tinnitus (ringing in the ears) leading to serious anxiety and panic attacks, presented the perfect storm for teaching me about the power of surrender.
At 2:30 in the morning when my ears were ringing, head was buzzing, and whole body was shaking uncontrollably, I didn’t have a lot of options. This went on for several sleepless weeks.
When I fought these sensations and this intense energy, my anxiety level skyrocketed, my nervous system went bonkers, impacting everything from my vision, to my appetite (great way to lose weight by the way) and my ability to focus and engage in conversations.
I felt unsafe in my body which is a very uncomfortable, yet familiar place for me. This time around, I couldn’t really call on anyone else to help me feel safe, because I knew, deep inside, this had to come from me.
While I was fortunate to have an incredible health care team supporting me–acupuncturist, cranio-sacral therapist, ENT, chiropractic neurologist, massage therapist, intuitive healer and spiritual advisor, and of course my therapist, none of them were with me at 2:30 in the morning.
I had to finally face my demons and begin to conquer my anxiety, which has plagued me on and off for much of my life, but most of the time had been “medicated” away.
I realized that my only choice was to learn how to surrender, relax, and feel safe in my own body. My new Mantra was “trust your body” and “it’s safe here”.
I said this literally hundreds of times while focused on deep slow belly breathing and really feeling into my perineum, which helped ground me and move the anxious energy out of my body. Daily intense aerobic activity and lots of walking has also helped me to feel stronger and more embodied.
Another fantastic resource for me was Judith Orloff’s best selling book, “The Power of Surrender”. Dr. Orloff is a psychiatrist and intuitive and I was fortunate to study with her this summer at Esalen. I’ve added this book to all my clients required reading lists because it’s that potent.
My journey around surrender is nothing compared to my dear friend and teacher, Lokita Carter, who has taken the power of surrender to a new level. You can read about her incredible journey, dealing with the grief, shock and loss of the murder of her beloved, Steve Carter, and her own physical, emotional and spiritual journey through the treatment of her breast cancer in her blog...I Am Not My Body.
As for me, this too has become a spiritual practice. I am feeling more centered, grounded, focused and stronger each and every day. The ringing is dissipating and I am also engaging in a specific program for relieving Tinnitus.
I have new found empathy for those who suffer from anxiety and panic and I have a lot more tools in my tool belt to help my clients. I take the Power of Surrender very seriously and look forward to seeing where the next step on my personal journey will take me.