Stop, drop, and…SURRENDER

We don’t surrender when it’s convenient. We surrender when it seems utterly inconvenient. You know it when…there’s that thing you want so badly that you have poured your heart and soul into it, you dream about it at night, you visualize the moment when you finally _____ (fill in your blank here). Are you with me? And, even better, are you there right now? If so, kindly stop, drop, and…SURRENDER.

Surrender is a choice we make…a strong choice…to do nothing. But, if you are thinking, “Do nothing, sign me up!”, then, I’m afraid you are not there. (Return to above, start from ‘pour heart & soul’, then we’ll talk…) When you want something badly, doing nothing feels like torture. It feels as if you are letting your dream slip away…but, you are not. You are manifesting it in the best of ways.

Surrender is not defeat; it is self-victory.

At first glance, the words, surrender and willPower seem to be on opposite ends of the spectrum. That happens when we confuse surrender with submission, strength with weakness, raising the flag with throwing in the towel. Surrender in a willPower sense involves stepping out of the way of ourselves and allowing the best to unfold gracefully.

We can let our lives be directed by the same force that makes flowers grow—or we can do it ourselves.” ~Marianne Williamson


When we feel like our happiness, goal and/or survival hinges on others or our outer circumstances, we reclaim our willPower in the surrender. As we surrender in mind and spirit, our bodies respond with harmony and strength.

SURRENDER to discomfort.
Finish the set even if it`s a struggle. Work 15 extra minutes after you decide it’s time to take a break or call it a day.

SURRENDER to rest.
Yes to both. We need to balance the discomfort with sufficient rest. Rest is a key ingredient to recovery and an essential component of fitness. Look around and see the “scraped knees” and noticeable limps of those around you who have not put responsibility, discipline and mature patience into play…recognize just how fundamental surrender is for your survival.

SURRENDER an overly restrictive mindset.
Replace this with a more inclusive and moderate approach to fitness.

A woman (or man) with a history of ED [Eating Disorders] is very likely to take the ball and run with it. If you say, “Don’t eat tomatoes, they have sugar”- that client with an ED is very likely to now label tomatoes as a ‘bad’ food. Which if you understand science, tomatoes are not a bad food, they can fit perfectly into any macro plan. If you tell them that ‘cardio’ is good, chances are very high that they will only feel accomplished if they ‘cardio’ every day.” ~Jennifer Jewell


SURRENDER to how you feel without restraint or apology.
If you are happy, be happy. If you are sad, be sad. If you are going to laugh, laugh. If you want to cry your eyes out, do it. Think of your emotions (especially the strong intense ones…) as an internal alarm system designed to expose hidden desires, motivations, fears, and areas that require new wise action. Instead of making yourself wrong or weak, step back and get curious. What and where are these emotions asking you to pay attention? Let them lead you to the next step for growth and perseverance in the timing of things.

SURRENDER to being clumsy or looking silly.
Fear of looking silly keeps us on the sidelines…of life. Think of how a toddler plays without reservation. See the connection between playfulness and joy. Your joy awaits.

SURRENDER the outer/inner critic.
Go through your social media feed and take the first post that annoys you (or, in your daily life, the first remark that gets under your skin). Surrender the criticism and look in the proverbial mirror – this is a quality you are in denial about. Otherwise, it would not give you a charge. Surrender to it and own it. Jot down, “I am…” and find a few ways to honor it in your life (without harming yourself or others…or breaking any laws!)

SURRENDER to differences in opinions.
See if you can omit these phrases in your everyday conversations, “Why did you…?”, “Yes, but…” or “You should…

SURRENDER to what is.
Identify the “edge” every single day, and take care not to cross it. By surrendering with self-love, our bodies receive a strong signal to release resistance…and excess baggage. Realize that sometimes the most powerful thing you can do is surrender.

That which is surrendered is taken care of best… To keep it ourselves means to constantly grab and clutch and manipulate. We keep opening the oven to see if the bread is baking, which only ensures that it never gets a chance to.” ~Marianne Williamson


SURRENDER to a painful truth.
A good one…one that elicits feelings of resentment, anger, jealously and/or regret…a time when you were “wronged”. Through surrender, we create space and awareness. By not “being” the story, we no longer have to suffer in the story. Diffuse the emotional charge and surrender to what happened.

SURRENDER to non-reaction.
When someone criticizes or blames you, try this — do nothing. Absolutely nothing. Aside from perturbing your attacker, just see how it feels. After that initial (uncomfortable) diminishment, find the spaciousness to realize that nothing real has been diminished, and that through becoming “less”, you have actually become “more”…much more!

SURRENDER the form of what you want.
Journal about the essence of your deepest desire instead. The essence is the manifestation. Realize the form you have in mind may not be the best form for the essence you seek. Focus on essence and journal away!

SURRENDER to what is.
Many limitations can be overcome externally, but others cannot; they can only be overcome internally. You have the choice to stay trapped in an ego-centric reaction (aka intense unhappiness) or to rise above and surrender. Choose to love your limitations as the spiritual gifts they represent.

Do want to explore SURRENDER further? Click here for quotes, mantras, and our willPower dedicated weekly exercise.

Sarah Ingmanson

Sarah Ingmanson

Sarah is a studio owner, fitness instructor and competitor. She is a former investment banker and equity research analyst with her MBA from the Wharton School and her MA in International Affairs from the Lauder Institute of the University of Pennsylvania. Sarah is fluent in Japanese and consults with Japanese companies on corporate governance, finance, and investor relations. Sarah's interest in Japan stemmed from her first tour with Disney On Ice as a professional figure skater. For more info on Sarah and her studio, visit