We’ve all heard the term “surrender and trust the universe” at one point or another. Most likely at the end of a blissful yoga class while lying in Savasana feeling connected to yourself, and suddenly an aha moment occurs from this teaching as you realize the solution to the difficulties you’ve been facing. You sigh with relief as you remind yourself that you just need to surrender and trust the universe, everything will unfold as it’s meant to be. You might even walk out of class feeling calmer and at peace than you have in a really long time.
When we’re attached to outcomes in our lives, it quickly leads to suffering and pain. We are co-creators of our lives, but we can’t control what happens. Truth is, it’s really not up to us to figure out. Once we can detach from trying to control and plan life, we’re no longer blocked, but instead, open to receive life’s magical moments.
Take a moment to remember a time when you felt blissful, in the flow or you were manifesting things you wanted. You were most likely in a space of detachment and not focused on trying to control any one thing, therefore open to receive new possibilities. This state of being is trust and surrender in the purest form.
Precedence to Surrender
Although the idea of trusting and surrendering to the universe may have a new age connotation to it, by simply replacing “universe” with “god”, we see this ideology has been taught by major religions and schools of spiritual thought for thousands of years.
One of the core beliefs of Christianity is faith, or complete trust in someone or something. With faith, you’re trusting in a higher power outside of yourself. According to Proverbs 3:5–6: “Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track.”
In Islam, the word Tawakkul means to put your trust in Allah(God) and openly accept what he gives you. The Quran, 65:3, states: “And will provide for him from where he does not expect. And whoever places his trust in Allah, Sufficient is He for him, for Allah will surely accomplish His Purpose: For verily, Allah has appointed for all things a due proportion.”
In the Bhakti yoga school of Hinduism called Vaishnavism, there is even a word for the process of surrender to God, Sharanagati. Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, often noted as the father of modern yoga, writes: “Inhale, and God approaches you. Hold the inhalation, and God remains with you. Exhale, and you approach God. Hold the exhalation, and surrender to God.”
As you can see, this is something many religions have in common. If the word “God” makes you uncomfortable, remember that you can swap it out for anything else. In The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, she refers to God as “good orderly direction.” The general theme is finding comfort in the surrender.
When it Worked for Me
In recent months, I’ve been confronted and forced to surrender to the universe myself. I was newly engaged when I left to go to Hawaii for a three-week solo soul-searching adventure, and on the trip I realized I wasn’t ready to get married. It was an extremely difficult decision, but I knew my soul was guiding me in a direction of self-exploration and healing. Up until this point, I thought I had it all “figured out” and now my life suddenly changing. I felt completely out of control and it didn’t settle well with my ego.
Long story short, my now boyfriend and I agreed to get unengaged, and move forward in a new direction together. I now realize the attachment to our future relationship and the fear of losing it, was keeping me stuck in a state of anxiety and distress. Once I let myself detach and release the fear, I was free from the emotional baggage. I was so worried about the projected negative outcome when all I needed was to allow myself to surrender and trust.
Growing from the Lessons
The only thing keeping us from fully surrendering and trusting the universes divine plan for us is our own egos. The ego feeds on the desire to be in the driver’s seat at all times, consequently acting out in fear when it’s not in control. This internal battle power struggle leads to emotional breakdowns, depression, anxiety, chronic stress, disease, etc.
But once you’re aware of how the ego operates, exponential growth is just around the corner. You become mindful of your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and how each action either creates peace or pain in your life. Within this self-awareness comes a new understanding of what it truly means to surrender and trust. You’ll always struggle with your ego, but there are always lessons to be learned from challenges. Pay attention to what the voice inside is telling you. Take it as guidance on what needs to be released in order to grow from there.
Tips to Do So Yourself
There are lots of different ways to being putting this idea into practice. Here are three to get you started:
When you catch yourself in your ego, write out your feelings on paper or in a journaling app. There are hidden truths in your subconscious mind that stay hidden when you’re stuck in your head. Journaling allows you to view the situation from an outside perspective and gain clarity.
Having a go-to mantra serves as a reminder that the issue you’re dwelling on is actually unfolding in your favor. Nothing happens by chance in the universe and everything that occurs holds a lesson within it. Trust in the divine timing of your life. My mantra: “I trust and surrender to the universe that everything is unfolding exactly as it’s meant to be, exactly when it’s meant to be.”
When you’re feeling stuck, even just a five-minute meditation can help to shift things. Quieting your mind assists you in viewing your life as it is, and not what your ego mind is trying to rationalize and figure out. I’ve personally gained so much from a daily meditation practice by gaining clarity and insight into my life I wasn’t previously able to understand when blocked by egoic thoughts.
Crystal has been practicing yoga since 2010, with a focus on kundalini yoga the last few years after discovering it’s powerful benefits. Since working to heal her own past trauma, she’s on a mission to assist others in their healing journey by facilitating cacao ceremonies, intuitive astrology, healing crystals, embracing divine feminine energy and esoteric wisdom. Crystal believes that only by healing our wounds of the past, we can coexist peacefully and break the cycles of projecting trauma and fear onto future generations to come. Connect with her on Instagram at @heal_love_thrive for in person and online offerings coming soon!