How to let go and surrender
LGBT self-help coach Gina Battye shares a personal story
Surrender? Are you for real? Why would I do that?
That’s like giving up and I haven’t worked as hard as I have for the last three years, to just surrender. You’ve got to be kidding me!
I remember when I was teaching a class of ex-offenders. I had this fleeting thought of starting my own business. I had no idea where the thought came from, what my business would be or what I would do but I do remember very strongly that feeling that I had in that moment. Fast forward nine years and I am packing up my desk, stripping away all traces of my work within education and from the teachers' staff room. I had taken a leap of faith and started my own business. Filled with thoughts of freedom, goals all set out for the next year and a rough plan of what I was going to do to replace (and exceed) my teaching salary, off I went into the sunset.
I had no idea how to be a business woman. It didn’t feel easy to me. I remember looking at my partner and our friends that had their own businesses and thinking, wow they are really good at this. I began to compare my progress in business to other people, yet my reality was not working out the same as theirs. It got to the point where all my waking thoughts were focused around strategising on how I was going to pay my bills this month. I did whatever I could to get clients to sign up to work with me. I wasn’t attracting clients – I was out there running after them, rounding them up and hitting them with the best offer I could. I would offer them the world, I would overprovide when they signed up and I found that I was working my ass off to prove that I was worth it (to myself and to them). When I look back I can see there was this whole energy around money of pushing and forcing, struggling and chasing. I was watching and learning from others every day, trying to recreate what I saw them doing. I observed intensely and tried to replicate their results. But those results didn’t come.
There is some doubt from people that your thoughts create your reality. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that this is the truth. What you think creates an energy, a vibration. In my new venture my thoughts were ones of lack, scarcity and doubt. Those thoughts I was having were creating an energy – a low vibration that people around me were picking up on subconsciously. What was I attracting? Not what I wanted – that’s for sure! I was attracting clients that didn’t have much money – so I would offer them my services at no cost or ridiculously low cost. I was attracting clients that didn’t show up to our scheduled sessions and I was attracting clients that didn’t achieve the results they were hoping for.
I came to realise something really important. I guess I had an epiphany. In those early days, I was a teacher. But I disconnected from that when I packed up all my wares into my little boxes and left the office. I am a teacher. I am here to teach. That is where I come alive. Yet I was striving to be something else. I wanted to be this hugely successful business woman. And right at that moment in time, I was failing at both.
There is something bigger than you. Now, I know what you are thinking. Gina, everything is bigger than you, you are tiny! Seriously though… Whether you call that God, the Universe, consciousness – whatever you call it. That thing that is bigger than you, it knows what you are here for and it knows how to access it. It has a bigger plan for you; a plan and a vision that you don’t even know exists right now. Because you live your life from the space of what you know and what you have experienced in the past. When you hold onto these things that you want, you are limiting what you allow into your experience. It’s like you are saying – I only want this one thing and it has to look this certain way and be delivered to me in only this packaging. But this thing that is bigger than you wants you to have five things, that are delivered in different ways with fancier packaging than you ever knew existed. When you are in sync with that thing that is bigger than you, you open up to the energy, the vibration that will allow it to come about and to manifest in your life. When you are in that space, you open up to what is possible and what is waiting for you.
My spiritual teacher at the time said to me, "Gina, you need to surrender." But I didn’t want to do that. That was like giving up and I didn’t want to be defeated. So I dismissed that bit of advice. I continued to strive, to push, to pull and to struggle to make what I needed to survive. Month after month, a continuous struggle. Three years this went on for. I had coaches, I had mentors, I paid freelancers to do the work I knew I wasn’t skilled at and I had a few spiritual teachers in that time too. Then one day, I was talking about surrendering to my spiritual teacher. I explained my thoughts on what surrendering meant to me. He talked to me about the energy surrendering conjured up in my mind and he asked me to find an alternative word for it. "Letting go" instantly popped into my head. Letting go felt smooth, graceful, peaceful even. I had this vision of making paper boats with my friends. We would make the boats and then let go of them sailing them down the river. Surrendering felt like my brother pinning me down, stealing my boat and sailing it without my consent. My spiritual teacher suggested I played with the idea of letting go, with the knowing I will be ok. Always remembering the Universe has my back and will always provide what I need. So I did.
It was not long after this that I remember reaching a really low point. A point where I had given it everything I had yet I was less than four hours away from not being able to pay my bills. My anxiety was through the roof, I was scared, disappointed in myself, I felt like a failure. I cried and I cried and I cried. I remember saying a prayer, asking for help, for guidance and to be shown the way. In that moment, I felt a release. I let it go. And I thought to myself, "It will be ok. The Universe will provide for me." I let it go in my darkest moment and now, opportunities, people, clients, money – it is all coming to me because I am focused on doing what I am here to do. I am focused on teaching. The rest is being taken care of by something much bigger than me and I know it is unfolding perfectly.
When you’ve worked as hard as you can, when you’ve done as much as you think is possible. When you have strived, tried, pushed, pulled, forced, given all you can. When you’ve bargained, when you’ve pleaded, when you’ve hoped. When you have done all you can do and when there is nothing left for you to do. Give it up. Surrender. Let it go. Give it up to that thing that is bigger than yourself and trust that all will be ok. Let go of what you think you want and open up to the possibility there is something bigger for you.
I made the mistake for so long of thinking that to surrender, I needed to do something. To get active and get on with surrendering. I must get on with surrendering. But what I’ve come to learn over the years is this. Surrendering, letting go. It is not an active process. You don’t need to jump up off the sofa and go out there to surrender. To surrender is to give it up. When you give it up, the energy that you have created around it will disintegrate and the barriers that have been there they will fall away. Trust that it will all be perfect and it will.
About the author
Described as "Britain's equivalent to Oprah Winfrey", Gina Battye is one of the world's hottest rising stars.
Gina is the leading voice for LGBT self-help. She is the creator of The Soul Work (an LGBT self-help programme), TV show host, author, columnist for Curve and DIVA and an internationally sought after & award-winning coach & speaker.
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