Finding the Balance Between Surrender and Action
‘Letting go’ does not mean ‘doing nothing’
At dinner on New Year’s Eve, a small group of friends and I reflected on the past decade and discussed what we hoped to see come to fruition in 2020. It was less about resolutions (personally, I hate resolutions—they set us up to fail), and more about intentions or areas to focus on. When it was my turn, a conversation I had with a client earlier that day came to mind.
My client and I discussed how this next year, after all of her inner work in 2019 around finding her voice, she needed to now shift to focus on releasing or letting go. This led to a conversation about how she needed to find a balance between action and surrender. In yoga philosophy, the terminology for this balance is sthira and sukha. The Sanskrit word “sthira” roughly translates to “steadiness,” while “sukha” translates to “ease” (or literally, to “good space”).
What does it even mean to surrender and release control, and yet also take action? It feels like an oxymoron. Even as I write this, I struggle with articulating it perfectly, but maybe that’s the point.
In the simplest terms, my job as a therapist and coach is to help people find more balance, ease, and grace in their lives while pulling from their own inner well of resiliency. This is done, in part, through a deep dive into their history, their patterns and defenses and the reason for their development, helping strengthen the muscles of self-awareness, compassion, and mindfulness, and helping them find the courage to choose the road less traveled rather than the knee-jerk reactions that have always been their go-to.
This lack of space and balance so many wrestle with is exacerbated by the fact that we tend to fill our lives with frenzy and drama.
That seems like a lot to accomplish, and it can be, but it’s done in increments. While baby steps can feel like they are taking forever to actually happen, the sometimes subtle feeling of more space, more softening, and more acceptance of struggle is something many seem to notice and report on after only a few weeks of therapy.