One of the niyamas, or observances, of yoga is Ishvarapranidhana, or surrender. To many the idea of surrender is distasteful. We think of it as a weakness. When we talk about surrender in terms of yoga, though, essentially we’re talking about surrendering our egos to something greater, which takes courage. When we surrender our egos, we surrender the need to be in control, surrender to the moment we’re in. Control isn’t real anyway, it’s an illusion. We don’t invite all of the thoughts that run through our minds, they just come. We don’t control aging, it happens whether we want it to or not. We don’t even control the outcomes of our actions; we have good intentions for our actions, we think we know what the outcome will be, but so often it’s completely different. All we can do is take steps toward our dreams and surrender to the outcome. The results are likely exactly what we need.
When we are able to take our egos out of the equation, we start to notice that the obstacles that arise in our lives are there for a reason. We begin to learn from what’s put in front of us and can more easily move on. In contrast, when we allow our egos to take the lead, when things don’t go as we planned, we fight against what’s happening. And the fight makes us unhappy. How can we have peace of mind if we are fighting a losing battle? The universe always has the first move, and I would venture to say the last as well. If we are able to surrender, we can start to look at what’s happening with an eye of wonder. We start to trust that the universe is putting the people, situations, and obstacles in our path because they’re needed to get wherever we are intended to go in this life. This isn’t to say that we don’t make plans for our future or that we should just wait for things to land in our laps; life isn’t like that. But when we make plans, we need to okay when they take a different turn. Perhaps we thought that we’d end up with situation A, but the universe has the much more fabulous situation B in mind for us. How many times in our lives have we been brokenhearted to end a relationship only to meet someone else who is so much more suited to who we are? Or we don’t get the job that we thought would be perfect but then get a job that is so much more rewarding. Surrender to whatever is happening now and just wait to see what comes up next, you may be pleasantly surprised!