The sweetness of surrender
I had the lovely Alison Van De Pol from Surrender Story on my IG live last Thursday (catch it here, https://www.instagram.com/reel/ChIFdR0PCz6/ ) talking about her surrender story.
Which got me thinking about when my surrender story started. Even though I didn't know it until years later.
I had taken the kids to one of my favourite places, Hever Castle, for May Day celebrations. Which included a bird of prey exhibition.
I’ve always felt a pull towards birds of prey, especially hawks and eagles. Fast, majestic, fierce hunters – what’s not to like?!
We were sat in the middle of a big crowd, at least a hundred people, during the exhibition.
We’d seen the hawks and the owls.
The last bird brought out was the pièce de resistance.
A female Golden Eagle.
She was stunning. Wingspan of almost 4 feet. A big, powerful bird.
She gave us a gorgeous flight, disappearing off high before swooping back to her handler.
And then she decided to take a break.
On my head.
ON. MY. HEAD.
That’s 6.5 kg of bird rocking back and forth on my head, her long, sharp talons gently gripping my scalp every time she shifted her weight.
The handler headed my way, telling me very quietly not to move.
Everyone around me shifted a little bit further away. Grabbed their young kids and kept them close. A quiet murmur of excitement went around.
The handler walked up to me and, with a bit of persuasion, this beauty hopped off my head and onto his hand.
And that was the end of the display.
As everyone got up to walk away, a man who had been sitting behind us with his family stopped me to tell me he thought he had gotten some good pictures of the eagle on my head. He promised to send them to me.
The handler stopped me on our way out to make sure I was ok. He told me that he had been flying that bird for six years and he had never seen her go near a member of the audience before.
And the thing is, I was alright. I was perfectly fine.
I was a bit surprised when she landed on my head, but there was no fear or panic.
I felt honoured that this beautiful, powerful creature had chosen to grace me with her presence. She and I had a moment. One that I will carry with me all of my life.
The man in the audience eventually sent the pictures and there was the most amazing one of my daughter. Taken just as the bird had landed on me, she’s jumping up, blonde hair swirling, a look of shock and amazement on her face.
I instantly fell in love with this picture.
I still love it to this day for the way my daughter looks in it. But now, I also love it because I realise it captures a moment I can now clearly define as the universe reaching out to me.
That day at Hever, I was in a difficult period of my life.
I was struggling. I was drowning.
I was fighting everything, trying to stay in control of everything. I was the queen of overthinking, trying to foresee every possible eventuality to make sure I had a contingency plan in place.
I foolishly believed if I thought of all the bad things that could happen they magically wouldn't.
And the only way I could cope was by "being" in control.
The universe sent me a winged messenger to let me know it was there for me.
But I wasn't ready yet.
We fear surrender because we think it means we’re giving up control.
But the only ending that comes from surrender is the end to the fight.
Surrender allows you to rest. It gives your nervous system a chance to reset.
It allows your mind to quiet down. It means you can swap fear for curiosity, intrigue and excitement about where you’re heading.
All the energy that went to fighting what you have no control over, can be redirected to creating the life you want.
Learning to surrender was a bit of a battle. But it’s been the best gift I've ever given myself.
Over this last year, thanks to the work I’m doing with the amazing Caroline Britton, I’ve been learning to recognise and ask for signs from the universe. Signs of support, signs that I’m on the right track, making the right decisions.
Can you guess how they come to me?
They come on the wing.
Mostly in the form of red kites - I see them everywhere. Although I did have a heartbeat-skipping moment with another Golden Eagle a few months ago.
One of them even brought his kill into my residential back garden a couple of weeks ago.
Recently, I had a hard decision to make.
I headed up to one of my favourite walks with the dog Saturday morning. I’ve seen a kite out there before, he’s even flown down and landed a few feet in front of me, but he’s not been around for at least two months.
Walking into the field, I asked the universe for a sign of support. I asked to see the kite again.
Five minutes into my walk, there he was. Flying hunting circles over the field I was headed into. On the way back to my car, I found one of his feathers.
And felt instantly comforted.
If there’s one thing I know from my surrender story it’s this - the more I’ve learned to surrender, the more empowered I’ve become.
Because above everything else, surrender quiets the ego.
Which allows our soul to sing.
If you’re exhausted from the fight, dealing with burnout from the daily struggle, if your mind never stops imaging all the bad things that could be around the corner, let’s chat about how you can start your surrender story now.