Updated: 6 days ago
Do you procrastinate, or do you surrender to the present moment? This is a question that has come up for me many times in my life.
As I began to study yoga many years ago, I looked closely at the topic of surrender. I became somewhat intrigued to discover that in many instances in my life, I was surrendering to present moment awareness, not procrastinating like many people around me liked to point out.
Let's be clear though, life is not a battleground, and surrender is not losing the war! Surrendering is much more about understanding what is in your control and what is not. So before you decide to refuse to surrender, consider what your only alternative is when life deals you cards that you feel you are not ready to play.
The truth is that most of us unknowingly procrastinate, without even being aware of what we are doing. We become frozen by fear and put off changing our position because we feel more comfortable with our past ways.
If we are in a situation where we feel forced, sometimes we even procrastinate and hope that magically the future will look better. We know deep down inside that nothing will change without action.
However, fear can hold you trapped and ruminating for sometimes what can feel like and even result in a lifetime of procrastination.
Have you felt like this in your life? Like it feels impossible to step forward. Are you often scared, if not at times terrified by change?
It should make you feel a lot better to know that procrastination is actually a relatively common human behaviour. More common than you first might think. Procrastination can occur because we are frequently on auto-pilot mode, where we don't even realise that we are procrastinating in the first place.
Now the key is to understand the difference between surrendering to present moment awareness and procrastination. Because to outside observers, the two behaviours can look identical. If fact without enquiry your mind can easily trick even you to think the very same thing.
So how do you learn to tell them apart?
First, you need to change your viewpoint to the present moment. It seems obvious, yet when you become more aware through mindfulness, you begin to realise just how often you live your life either in the past or the future. Most of us find it incredibly difficult to stay present to the here and now, without the past or future distracting us. Yet this is exactly where to begin being aware.
Just like in meditation, awareness of what we do is the first step to changing behaviour. The key here is to not judge our behaviour, but simply observe it as if you are observing the behaviour of someone else.
A cool tactic to employ to trick the mind is to use your imagination. Imagine you are watching yourself in a movie. When you do this, you don't feel it is you at all, you are simply observing the behaviour as if it is someone else. It just becomes something you are watching on the big screen. This is the beautiful mindfulness practice of zooming out.
Once you learn to observe successfully, you begin to shed some light impartially on what you see. When you begin to see your behaviour with clarity, the bigger picture and potential for change become available to you.
Then through reflection, you can determine if you are procrastinating or surrendering. This is where you need to zoom in and feel where in your body the sensation is showing up when you are observing that you are not moving forward.
The sensation and location where you feel it in your physical body can indicate whether you are stuck in fear or not. Fear feels heavy and surrender feels light. We have all experienced these sick feelings in our stomachs or tightness in our chest when feelings of fear and panic strike.
It is also possible that you don't yet have all the information you need to make a decision. Fear is procrastination, and lack of information is the potential to surrender. Surrender is an opportunity for you to become present in the here and now. It is here where the answers to all your questions exist. Awareness will help you to recognise them when they show up.
Do you want to know more about how mindfulness can help you win the battle between procrastination and surrender?
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