31 Days of Surrender
Photo Credit: Liv Bruce
Also featured: https://blog.sivanaspirit.com/mf-gn-31-days-of-surrender/
The idea of surrender is an idea of ceasing resistance--of going with the flow--and a sort of acceptance for the things that we cannot change and the acknowledgement that there is a greater plan beyond ours. This pregnancy for me has been one major act of surrender. It started with surrendering fear after my last pregnancy did not result in a baby but instead a miscarriage. And then it was surrendering to traveling to Aruba against the judgment of the CDC and others due to the Zika virus. Then came the surrender to all the morning sickness and the anemia and all the other pregnancy symptoms that I didn’t really experience with my first pregnancy. There was also the surrender of contracting Influenza A halfway through my pregnancy. Surrender was the name of this pregnancy game, and so in a final surrender, it makes sense that like most people, my birth plan is not going as planned.
I found out a few weeks ago that I have marginal placenta previa and after many doctor’s appointments, ultrasounds, and second opinions, I found out that a c section is inevitable. I know that for some people this news isn’t devastating and my experience with pregnancy loss has me feeling grateful to even have this option, but I was really looking forward to kicking labor’s ass this time. I am also a wannabe crunchy mama who is obsessed with natural options and remedies (I labored for 24 hours with my daughter before receiving any medical intervention, I use herbs and essential oils like it’s my job, I’m obsessed with mind, body, spirit connections, gem stomes, and moon energy, I’m a Montessori teacher and an aspiring doula...the list goes on). Additionally this will be my FIRST EVER hospital stay and aside from the d and c procedure that I had to have when I miscarried, my first major surgery. So, like I said, this is a major surrender for me.
A few years ago I participated in a cool program that my brother ran called 30 days of ease where we gave ourselves permission to do and not do certain things for 30 days. It is amazing how we need “permission” for things, but it is a conditioning that we have experienced most of our lives so just the implicit and explicit permission to do the things that will serve us better for 30 days is such a game changer to the way we often operate.
In honor of the fact that my c section is scheduled for May 1st I am declaring May 31 Days of Surrender. And here is my list of permissions. This month I will:
1. Surrender the need to be plugged in--I will be participating in a social media detox in order to truly be present for these early stages of motherhood. The thought of this both excites me and makes me wonder if I can actually do it, but I have so much time to be “plugged in” later--for now I just want to be there for my baby and my family. I am also hoping this provides a much needed reset so I don’t feel the need to plug in so often.
2. Let go of things that do not serve me--I am giving myself permission this month to let go of that which doesn’t serve me. If an email or text message comes up that doesn’t make me feel good, I will not respond. If making a decision about a future event doesn’t feel right in the moment, I will let that go too or at least give myself more time. Whatever doesn’t feel right, I give myself permission to release--guilt free.
3. Receive support and love--As previously stated, I will be surrendering to my first ever hospital stay and surgery and I will likely need more support than I ever have and I am going to allow myself to truly receive that support. Likewise I will receive all the messages and thoughts from those near and far and lean into the support that they offer and the comfort that they bring.
4. Surrender to exhaustion--This will be a challenge because being sleep deprived is such an awful feeling, but this time instead of complaining (okay I’m sure I will complain) and resisting it, I am going to surrender to it. I am going to acknowledge that I feel crazy and the reason is because I am sleep deprived. But I will know that it is only temporary, and someday in the not so distant future, I am sure I will glorify this stage of life so for now I will just surrender to the imperfection of it all.
5. Surrender to slowness--I am going to allow myself to move slower and be instead of do for this period. There are so many times in life to push and hustle and be fast paced and too infrequently do we just allow ourselves the experience of being. And so for this brief season, slowness will rule my life.
6. Surrender to all present moments--good, bad, ugly---one of the benefits of having a first child is realizing just how quickly time passes and how everything is truly temporary. This time around I want to be truly present for it all and as Rumi says in The Guest House invite them all in and welcome their presence.
7. Surrender to the truth---Going along with being present, I want to be honest about my feelings and feel all the feels. I know it won’t be all rainbows and butterflies and I am going to allow myself to lean into the truth of what I truly feel and share those honest raw emotions with others.
8. Surrender to imperfection---After doing some work around this in my mastermind group and reading Emily Ley’s Grace Not Perfection I feel confident about embracing the glorious imperfection that this season of my life holds. There may be messes and chaos and meltdowns and life will likely not look like a Pinterest post, but there is a beauty to all of the realness too and I am going to surrender to the imperfection. As my Mastermind and I decided, Good Enough is the New Awesome, and I’m sticking to that at least for this season, and hopefully for life.
9. Surrender to being a badass---I was really wanting that natural birth this time to feel like a total badass but I am realizing that there is something revolutionary and badass about surrendering expectations. You can still be a total badass and embrace that part of yourself even if you don’t initially recognize your power or your power comes in different forms. Badassness is a state of mind after all, and so I am allowing myself to feel badass during this season.
10. Surrender Expectations--Because I said the words in #9 and liked the way they sounded, I decided this is a perfect place to end. This whole journey of surrender is really about letting go of expectations and allowing what will be instead of what you expect things to be. The conflict of expectations is often what gets us all mixed up emotionally and so here in this 31 day process of permission I am going to surrender expectations and roll with what life has to offer me. And what’s more, I want to even invite, appreciate, and dare I say, enjoy the unfolding of this lack of control.
I welcome you to take your own version of this journey with me. It feels liberating and even badass to take some control over not controlling my life for the next 31 days (if that makes any sense). Here is your permission slip if you need one…what do you want to surrender to this month?