Recently, I was helping my 3-year old daughter get dressed in the morning.

If you have been around a 3-year old, you know how this might go. She doesn’t want to wear pants, she wants to wear a dress. “But honey, you have tumbling class today, so it’s a pants day.”We negotiate this for a while. Then, before the pants are pulled on, it’s time to use the potty and getting close to time to go. I suggest putting the pants on after she walks the 5 feet over to the potty. She disagrees. I’m frustrated – we have to leave soon. Sigh.

At that moment, I realize how far I still have to go in my practice of surrender.

In yoga, surrender is called Ishvara Pranidhana, and it is one of the ethical/practical living guidlines called the Yamas & Niyamas.

The art of surrendering to the present moment is part of all of the contemplative traditions, and an important part of practicing peace.

Eckhart Tolle writes:

Surrender is the simple but profound wisdom of yielding to rather than opposing the flow of life.The only place where you can experience the flow of life is in the Now, so to surrender is to accept the present moment unconditionally and without reservation. It is to relinquish inner resistance to what is. Inner resistance is to say “no” to what is, through mental judgment and emotional negativity. It becomes particularly pronounced when things “go wrong,” which means that there is a gap between the demands or rigid expectations of your mind and what is. That is the pain gap. If you have lived long enough, you will know that things “go wrong” quite often. It is precisely at those times that surrender needs to be practiced if you wan to eliminate pain and sorrow from your life.

Surrender doesn’t mean that we give up positive action.

Surrender means giving up the inner resistance, so that our actions can come from a place of clarity and peace.{Tweet it!}

Then we can respond to a situation without anger and frustration inside – sounds nice, right?

So, whether it is a 3-year old, or the traffic, let’s start to become aware of our inner resistance to what is happening. Do these thoughts help the situation? If not, think of it as a bell of mindfulness: Stop what you are doing or saying. Take 3 deep, slow breaths. Release tension with your exhales. Then, act from a clearer place.

You may start to catch the resistance sometimes. Then, once in a while, you will remember to breathe and release. Don’t worry about getting this right – it’s about progress, not perfection.

And I will be practicing with you.

No it’s your turn dear reader.

In the comments below, tell us 2 places where you would like to practice the art of surrender. Then, please share this post, if you have benefited!

Thanks for reading! You are the reason I write, and I’m so happy that you are here!

Be well,


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