The not so sweet art of surrendering...
I can't tell you how many times I have been told to 'surrender to the process' and that 'all is exactly as it should be'. On so many levels I want to be able to do it - yet so many parts of me totally rebel against it.
Why is it so hard to let go and trust?
Well for the slightly stubborn, mildly impatient, perfectionist Virgo that I am - surrendering is f*cking hard. I inwardly battle between chucking myself off the cliff and knowing that I will be caught - while considering this act of 'diving' as a totally reckless and ridiculous act.
I can be the perfect contradiction of going head first and freezing in the headlights.
Throughout my life I have made things happen by working hard, showing up consistently and pushing... pushing a lot. I took a lot of pride in my ability to literally make anything I wanted happen - regardless of the repercussions to my health, emotions and finances.
There are two sides to this. It has got me into trouble at times - particularly when it comes to burning myself out and suffering from adrenal fatigue and anxiety. But on the flip side it also helped me build a very successful PR & Marketing business which gave me financial stability and enabled me to live a pretty comfortable lifestyle.
So you can see my predicament when it comes to allowing myself to trust fully in the process of building up and evolving my space holding business without forcing things.
Finding the feminine way...
Despite it being over 18 months since I sold my previous business, I am still finding my feet when it comes to working in my feminine energy instead of the 'push, push, shove, shove' masculine energy I had become so accustomed to. The other day I read this amazing article from The Goddess Space, written by Anoushka Florence, and it made me realise how far I have come in my approach to work, but also how far I still have to go to find a way to work in the cyclical, intuitive way that is natural for a woman.
I read the following passage from Anoushka's article and it really highlighted some of the things that, deep down, I have been coming round to...
Women began to learn and absorb the skills of Men in the workplace; adopting their strategies, goals, targets, following deadlines + quick turnovers. Women started dressing like Men; mimicking their attire. They began picking up hunting + gathering techniques; ensuring they were keeping up at all costs… as heaven forbid they were to be seen as incapable or weak.
As women, we have fought hard to be taken seriously in the workplace and in business, but in doing so we have turned against many of our core instincts, including the ability to work with the cyclical nature of our energy levels and rest when we need to.
Rest is now seen as a weakness. Hence the huge increase in stressed out, frazzled, burned out and unhappy women. I don't think I know many ladies who haven't burnt out at some point.
There is a constant fear of 'not doing enough', and by defaulting to a push mentality, many of us have lost our ability to trust ourselves, trust the guidance we are given by our beautiful bodies, and surrender fully to the ebbs and flows in life.
We fight this cycle and flow with many things. Forcing ourselves into a strict routine when it comes to exercise and work, numbing out the messages our body gives us with pain killers and tablets - or just by blocking them out of our minds or pushing through with a 'no pain, no gain' mindset.
The fear of softening
The bolshy business badass in me still partly believes that in order for me to progress and 'make' things happen, I need to hustle hard and force things to happen. Yet beneath the protective exterior, this woman knows that in order to create magic and be in flow, she has to let an element of that 'hardness' go.
It is hard to feel safe and trusting, and not utterly terrified by the prospect of surrendering, because to be soft has become seen as a 'weakness'. And I have fought hard to be seen taken seriously as a woman in business.
To cry is seen as 'too emotional'. Show anger or frustration and you are accused of being moody or 'hormonal'. Projecting anything other than picture perfect is simply 'not the done thing'. The pressure to have all our sh*t together is immense.
But as Anoushka says in her article, things are changing and there is a movement of women who are starting to take back their power, tune into their intuition and surrender to the flow of life as a nurturing and passionate female, while still running incredibly inspiring businesses and working in high powered positions.
It is possible to be soft, sassy and successful. Here is how...
Adjust in baby steps
If you are working in a corporate world doing a 9-5, or have recently transitioned away from that role, you will be used to following a strict routine and having to fit into a certain format of working. It is really, really hard to come away from that pattern. Every part of us has been conditioned to work and live in a certain way. With immense pressure, tough deadlines, a lot of stress and emotional hardening. So of course there is resistance to changing the way we approach things. Especially when you have actually had results from working in that certain way.
But if you can just give yourself a little grace and take baby steps.
Allow yourself a period of time to adjust and re-evaluate how your natural instincts want you to work. Consider when you are at your most energised in the day and use that time effectively - it is different for all of us. Finding a careful balance of allowing things to flow intuitively, (even if it is just for an hour a day to start with) which means leaving the 'shoulds', reducing the pressure (just a bit to begin with) and saying no to things that don't feel good. It can feel uncomfortable at first - but believe me the rewards are worth it.
You don't have to do this alone
Asking for help when we are in our masculine energy becomes very hard indeed. It goes back to the fear of not being seen as strong enough - however not so many years ago women gathered together to support one another without competition or envy and I believe that this is a huge key to building up your trust and ability to surrender.
Now, in business, it is all about collaboration and when women come together then magic happens. Knowing that someone 'has your back' and is rooting for you to grow and evolve - without the chance that they are trying to 'steal your clients' or take your promotion - is very powerful and so finding a tribe of 'your people' is essential if you want to enjoy the process (yes even the rocky bits!)
#justsaying The Inspire Tribe still has a couple of spaces left - you can find out more about this wonderful group of women by clicking here.
Throw your hands up and surrender
I recently found myself very frustrated because I was doing 'all the things' that I 'should' do in order to grow my business, yet things were not happening as quickly as I wanted them to (me... impatient?!?). It forced me into a space of throwing my hands up to the universe and asking/begging for some kind of direction or suggestion as to what I was doing 'wrong'!
The answer that came through in my journal, and went against every part of my structured, organised, perfectionist personality...
'Make space and trust that all is coming. Have patience and surrender to the next step you are given.'
I have to remind myself that this is a practice, and practice doesn't make perfect. Practice makes progress, progress is growth, growth is evolution and evolution keeps us moving forward. And who doesn't want to keep moving forward?
And perhaps that is what 'finding your flow' really and truly means.
I would love to know if this 'speaks' to you today. How do you find the balance of surrender versus structure? Do you feel as though you are working in your masculine energy or are you in touch with your feminine side? Please do share in the comments below or ping me an email to share your thoughts.
PS... don't forget to express gratitude for the little surprises that show up for you - when we stop pushing for a moment, it creates space for you to see them!