Embodied Investing: Why Surrendering Matters

Embodied Investing: Why Surrendering Matters

I hope this finds you enjoying the transformations so readily visible this time of year. As the brilliant hues of Summer ease into warmer tones and the eagerness to be outside is replaced by an appreciation for slower moments within, we’re given a chance to relish the cycles of nature.

Fall is undoubtedly here and it’s beckoning us to withdraw our own exuberance inward and prepare for the colder and darker months ahead. Such is the way of nature’s rhythms, and we can transform along with them if we but surrender to their flow. Indeed, surrender has been a recurring theme for me recently and I’d like to reflect on the unique challenges and offerings it presents.

In my own life, this cycle of change and transition has a more personal tone as deep transformations within my family occur. One part expanding and welcoming new life, and another part passing onward, leaving behind a rich collection of memories. This push and pull, where we’re asked to receive and release all at once, is at the core of life’s motion. It reminds me of being in the ocean and feeling the vast currents moving under, beside, and over me.

These currents exist in our daily lives too. They look different, but often feel the same. Expectations from a boss or loved one pulling us one way, demands from other commitments swaying us the other. At times it can be a delicate art, other times an impossible balance. But always it requires a certain amount of surrender on our part. A giving in to the flow of life around us in order to find the peace and satisfaction we crave.

As concepts, we rarely see satisfaction and surrender related in the West. Satisfaction is often the end result of intentional effort, or goal-driven decisions, after all. And surrender implies a sort of defeat or giving up. But I’ve come to find truth in the idea that with surrender—the state of complete acceptance of what is—comes true satisfaction. It allows me to escape the happiness trap of “if this, then that.” That pervasive carrot-chasing illusion that something needs to change or improve before I can be satisfied.

The late American writer, Anne Morrow Lindberg, succinctly put it this way:If you surrender completely to the moments as they pass, you live more richly those moments.

She recognized the depth of each moment beyond the chatter of our own thinking—because surrender is a space of stillness. It’s a relinquishment of control and the surprising discovery of what a relief that can be. It’s also a place where inner wisdom can finally take the stage.

Practicing surrender is much like practicing forgiveness. We can feel resistant to it at first. Our mind will fight it with a long line of rational premises telling us to keep charging, analyze the details further, control and dominate. Surrender is a deeper call to trust and let go. It’s a choice often made from listening to the wisdom of our feelings over the intricate logic of our minds.

Surrender isn’t always the best choice, of course. But sometimes it is. There are moments where the limitations of our awareness, our influence, and our sphere of ultimate control are acutely known. These, my friends, are humbling moments. And they call us towards something bigger.

Something like the ocean.

When life presents big changes as it is currently doing for me, I swiftly soften into surrender. Emotions and thoughts swell up like waves across the surface, but I remain still underneath it all, just watching.

I make my best decisions from this space. The world becomes more clear and understandable. I hope this season of transformation offers you clarity too.

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