Does surrender equal trust?

I have always believed that becoming a parent is the greatest act of letting go, second to death.  This might sound morbid to some, and yet to me it is truth.  The greatest acts of surrender.

For many spiritual practices, death is the ending and the beginning. It is the absorption into the infinite. It is the full release of this individual life, though equally a part of the whole, into the Oneness of all things. It is the return from which we are born.  

When I looked at my daughter recently, I had an interesting moment.  She was finally dressed in her envisioned purple leotard, purple skirt, pink tights, and ‘ballet pink’ ballet shoes.  Her dream had come true and she began twirling, pointing, and leaping across the living room floor. (See the picture!)

She is getting ready to start her first ballet classes today!  

A friend of mine asked me what felt “interesting” about watching her do as I had been doing, or I should say ‘dancing’, at that age?  What a great question.  Because it made me really reflect. 

My answer:

“It feels like an ability to see all things, including time; a life timeline. I see my mom buying my leotard, and now I have become the mother. And, I see my daughter excited, as I was, and so I see myself as the daughter. And, I see my mom aging, and so I see myself as the one who will eventually die. 
It feels like space in my body, a sort of floating. It’s somewhat lacking in emotion, and yet, if I float one way or another, I know all the emotions will come in.”

I was just witnessing it all. It felt like equanimity.  I was letting go in the sense that I was unattached to any feeling; I was noticing, surrendering, and in a flow of watchfulness. 

As I continue to witness moments like this I am humbled. I am in awe. And then, as I come out of the flow of watchfulness, I notice feelings that are sad and happy. I am grateful. It’s all there, and I hold the capacity to hold it all; even all at once. 

You do too. You have the capacity to hold it all. And you hold the capacity to let go and trust, to surrender!

What I had not realized is that when I specifically trust others, I am trusting the innate goodness in them.  I am trusting That in them that is divine. That which they are made of, same as me, same as the stars. 

This happened as I let go of my daughter. Kissing her and letting her walk down the hallway with the child specialist, one of the anesthesiologists, and a nurse, to her operating room last Wednesday morning.   Surgery to her right thumb, trigger thumb. 

And this is why I do feel, especially in this story and circumstance, that letting go is equivalent to trust and trusting.  (And maybe I should add faith here too!)

And I had no idea the brevity of this moment until continually processing it. Allowing myself to revisit the moment with my whole body, heart, mind, and spirit.

It was through processing the events that deeper insights were revealed.*(Read in the P.S.)

I was letting go of Quinn, and in the same moment I trusted. I trusted the team around her, and I trusted Quinn.

What I hadn’t expected is that I was also trusting myself.

I was trusting myself in the act of letting go, and letting her go. It’s never easy for a parent to let go of their child. The moment they’re born and the life-giving umbilical cord is cut. It does not cut our bond, but it does separate us.

Quinn walking away separated us and it did not cut the bond that we have.

Ishvara pranidhana, surrender to that which is greater than Oneself, is such a practice. It requires trust. At times it will require trust without an ability to see or know.  At other times it will require trust and faith in our actions and our words.

In that pre-op room, trust of Quinn, of myself, of the team that would be working on her right hand, and trust in the universal energies that live in us all, were present.  And this is when it hit me, through reflection and processing:

I was trusting the innate goodness of each of those team members. Wow!

Without knowing them intimately, I was trusting the divine qualities in each of these human beings. I was trusting that pure quality within Quinn. I was trusting that we were all held and guided and working and moving from a place of positive intent, of our innate goodness, of That which lives in each of us. 


Quinn in her surgery room
To trust in the innate goodness of others without deeply knowing them feels profound.

I sit now with contemplation of asking myself if I can trust the innate goodness in others who I know have done harm?  And if I can’t find a place in me that can trust and see the innate goodness in them, may I lean into all of my practices that invite me to realize that I am them and they are me.  

I am them and they are me. And that I don’t need to like what they have done, and I can create healthy boundaries, and I can send them love.  I can offer forgiveness. And inside that forgiveness is my own freedom. 

I know I did not end up writing those blogs on forgiveness and innate goodness, but processing them with you all in our weekly classes and time together has been deeply healing for me. I thank you all for that. And, a little quality of their essences lives in this blog.

I truly hope something has resonated. Perhaps you’ve experienced or realized something like this in your life?

One question:

What do you need in order to trust?  What does it take to trust?

I found myself wondering this question in this past Saturday’s gentle and restorative yoga class.  I asked. I wonder what my students were thinking. 🙂


In trust,


Breathe and Believe.


P.S.  * When we invite ourselves and our hearts in a way of looking at ourselves, so many insights come. Our hearts can open an experience. More compassion for ourselves and for others. I invite you into this practice of witnessing. And I invite you into it inside a space where you will be held, nurtured, and guided to look beyond the realm of what only the thinking mind knows.  Information coming out this week!