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Arianna Huffington Arianna Huffington political powerhouse. media mogul. author.

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Desmond Tutu Desmond Tutu archbishop. author. peaceful leader.

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Sean Stephenson Sean Stephenson speaker. psychotherapist. life embracer.

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Kia Miller Kia Miller yogi. meditator. teacher.

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Simon Mainwaring Simon Mainwaring creator. writer. idea geek.

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Shannon Bindler Shannon Bindler Strategist. Writer. Life Coach.

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Mathieu Bitton Mathieu Bitton Designer. Art Director. Passionate Creator.

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Jorge Perez Jorge Perez Agent. Producer. Photography Enthusiast.

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surrender

Susan Pohlman Susan Pohlman writer. teacher. expert relocator.

Susan Pohlman is a freelance writer based in Scottsdale, Arizona. She's an award-winning author, published essayist, and short film wordsmith. [www.susanpohlman.com]

PostPOHLMAN2

Surrender is a loaded word, conjuring up images of defeat. Growing up with five brothers, I learned early on that only the strong survive. Life was about winning. Our days were a series of board games, contests, and secret clubs in the attic where we had to prove our worth to belong. Surrender was unthinkable unless we were being dangled by our feet over the third floor stairwell, and even then we did it with our fingers crossed behind our backs. Surrender was for sissies.

This philosophy framed my thinking as I ventured out into the world. I would win at life, too. I knew the rules. I knew how to be nice to others and work hard. Winning was fantastic! That is, until I started losing. Losing sleep, losing interest, losing a sense of real meaning and purpose to life amidst all the frenetic activity and endless repetition that filled my days. Something important was missing.

My marriage and family began to fall apart, and I along with it. I was so tired of competing that I wanted to fling the game board across the room and turn my head so I didn’t see where the pieces of my life scattered. One bleak day, I raised my white flag and did the unthinkable. I gave up. I put my future in God’s hands. When I look back now, I see that it had nothing to do with weakness.

Surrendering was the strongest moment of my life.

Choosing surrender as a lifestyle is about letting go of shoulds and musts and embracing life as it unfolds. It’s about living in the present and accepting ambiguity as part of a divine process. Trusting in a greater power to teach, guide, and reveal opportunity for good works when the time is right. Accepting that each of us is a Helper Bee, not the Queen. The moment I stopped controlling outcomes and threw away the almighty checklist was the moment magic, grace, and profound peace found their way back into my days.

It’s difficult to let go of cultural expectations. From a very young age we’re taught, consciously and subconsciously, what happiness is supposed to look like. Surrender demands that we push our hand, palm out and fingers spread wide, against the seductive pull of a materialistic culture that promises a deep, lasting peace it cannot provide. Letting go of these limiting cultural myths and norms allows us the freedom to reach within ourselves and find out who we’re meant to be.

– Susan Pohlman

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