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Learning to Surrender

By Sara Baker

Awhile back I shared with all of you that due to some medical issues I was having, I was basically told to cut back both on the intensity and amount of exercise I was currently doing.  I wrote a blog about embracing my lower intensity lifestyle and I guess assumed I was okay with that fact.

Well, to be honest, the past 6 months have one of the most challenging times I have ever dealt with. For numerous reasons (of which I will spare you the details), I feel that I was literally at odds with the universe. I was a wreck: Stressed. Depressed. Angry.  Three characteristics that I would never and hope others would never use to describe me.

Jill’s blog about what she learned in 2011 spoke to me somewhat when she referred to “being the victim.”  I did realize that I have been playing the victim…big time. But for some reason, I could not get out of my funk.  Everyone in my life was telling me to relax and let things happen. Much easier said than done, especially when you are talking to me (anyone who knows me, knows that I am Type A, an overachiever and put a lot of pressure on myself). All the while, I knew I was stressed and trying to deal with all of these challenges, but maybe going about it in the wrong way.  I was going to yoga (but of course not hot yoga as I was told I couldn’t do that, so that made me angry), getting massages, and trying to do everything I could to de-stress, but none of it was working, as I was still mentally stressed. Physically, I felt okay, though missing my intense workouts, but my mind was still a bit of a mess.

So there I was last weekend, facing yet another huge disappointment. I cried, got mad and again, thought, ‘Why me?? Why do I have to go through all of this? I work so hard at my health, career and life, why can’t everything just fall into place for once??”

Then suddenly, a HUGE breakthrough. Now, I cannot really pinpoint what exactly happened mid-morning on Monday but something did and I have not felt this good in months.  I was on the phone with a nurse I have been working closely with and though I practically hardly know this woman, I found her hugely comforting. Right before I got off the phone she said, “Sara, you have to relax.”

I hung up the phone cried for a few minutes and then BOOM–it just hit me. Not that I have not heard those words a thousands times in the past few months but here was someone who hardly knew me and she could tell how wound up I was. I sat quietly for awhile and just reflected on everything. Then suddenly I just embraced what I was going through and decided to surrender. And honestly, all of sudden, I felt a huge burden lift off my shoulders. I took some deep breaths and let go.

I realized that for the past 6 months, I have only been focusing on what I cannot do. Heck, I am a personal trainer and if you came to me and said you could not do squats because of a knee problem, do you think I would just tell you then there was no point in working out?  Of course not. I would find ways around it, I would modify. So what the heck was I doing? I was so focused on what I was not able to do vs. taking this time to really embrace this challenge and learn from it.  Why not spend this extra time I have (from not doing daily and even sometimes twice a day workouts) and put this energy into something else?  Read more, sleep in a little bit more, work on my career, spend more time with family and friends?

Ironically, that night in the Denver Newspaper was an article about giving yourself gifts. There were a few that I could relate to but the most powerful one was this:

Give yourself the gift of patience — trust that you are exactly where you need to be, that you are doing the best that you can, and that everything that you truly need will show up at the perfect time.

How perfect and ironic. Like the universe was trying to tell me something: relax, calm down and things will fall into place.  Then again, as if the universe was now practically yelling at me, two people reached out to me and have connected with me on a deeper level, some going through what I am experiencing and someone just put in my life to look out for me. Strange? Suddenly when I let go, I am now open to receive these people into my life.

So right now at this moment, I am trying my hardest to live in the present. I am embracing my challenges and surrendering.

What a peaceful ending to a challenging year. I am so looking forward to 2012, not just because my 2011 was rough, but because I now feel that a new outlook, new perspective and feel refreshed and have simply let go.

Here’s to all of you an amazing last week of 2011 and a fantastic 2012!  May it be your best year yet! ox Sara

Related: You’ve come a long way, baby

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