Our ability to experience happiness is often linked to our willingness to surrender to how life is unfolding.

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How do we surrender?

Just surrender’ is one of those aggravating phrases that we hear at the worst possible moment. Feeling stuck, depressed, lost, sad, lonely, lost your keys or run out of toilet paper? Oh just surrender. I have lost count of the times I have restrained myself from thumping someone who’s recommended this course of action. It can create a false impression that ‘everyone else has got their shit together except me’.

The truth is everyone is trying to figure out this thing called life.


What do I know about surrender?

It is not an action. Not something we ‘do’ but a state of being. Often in the depths of incomprehension, we come to a place where we are on our knees, feeling broken and bruised. Surrender is a release. A space. A pause. A gap. I seem to arrive at this place, unwillingly, through a mishap, shock, tragedy, illness, loss or experience of betrayal.  A throwing of hands in the air ensues (and maybe other objects). I have exhausted myself in a million ways to make something happen. Suddenly I stop. Stop trying to control the outcome and let go of wanting a specific result. Release the brakes and exhale. When I imagine what surrender looks like, I am lying on my back in a stream, floating and letting the current gently nudge me along. It feels effortless. 

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Reading the signs

One of the biggest moments of surrender I experienced was several years ago. My house of cards collapsed. During the space of a few weeks, I experienced a molar pregnancy miscarriage, my marriage disintegrated and I finished a work contract. I was seeing clients at my home-based energetic healing business, which coincided with my neighbours in the apartment below knocking down walls, turning two apartments into one. From early in the morning till late at night, constant drilling and banging, made it impossible to think clearly or see clients. I was also having tests at the cancer clinic. The cherry on the cake was an official notice that my driving licence had been suspended, accompanied by a huge fine. Apparently I had been speeding excessively along a stretch of road in the city. There was a temporary change in the speed limit and I had not seen the signs. The irony.


So there I was, suddenly spending large pockets of time alone, demented with the noise, no money coming in and recovering from unusual health symptoms. My foundations were literally demolished underneath me. Panic attacks started and sleep was impossible. Here I was living on the other side of the world, in a very expensive city. I felt unwell, trapped and vulnerable. I had no money in the bank and did have a clue what to do. How did I get here?


Asking for help

One morning as I was being deafened by drilling, something snapped inside me. Enough! I said a little prayer ‘Please universe, show me the way. Help me.  Reluctantly, I sent out an email to close friends explaining that I needed to move as soon as possible. Did anyone need a house-sitter? A friend replied immediately. She was off to India and I was welcome to stay at her house and look after her cat. Relief burst through me. I swallowed my pride, reached out and received help. Within half an hour I had accommodation for the next two months. Maybe I was not trapped or helpless after all.


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Another example of surrender occurred for me last year. I awoke early and went for a walk, connecting with nature and my intuition. A winding path clung to the side of the harbour. I stopped just before I reached the corner and took a photo. I chuckled, reflecting that it was a great metaphor, as we never know what is around the corner. So we are constantly being presented with the opportunity to learn to surrender. Seconds later I fell and rolled over on my left ankle, which made a horrible crunching sound. The pain made me nauseous and I saw stars. I lay on my back staring up at the sky. Was it broken? How would I walk home? Two kind ladies appeared immediately at my side, like angels.


One said ‘it’s your lucky day falling in front of a nurse and physiotherapist.’ Tears filled my eyes as one said ‘use me as a crutch and lean on me.’ They left me safely with instructions of how to treat my sprained (but unbroken) ankle, whilst I waited for my partner to collect me.


In those moments of panic and frustration, I invite you to be curious.


What could change if you asked yourself:


What opportunity could arise out of this?

Can I be okay with not knowing how this will turn out?

Is it possible that this could be the best thing that has ever happened to me?

What might this be showing me that I’ve been unable to see until now?


What if vulnerability and tapping into our emotional state is the key to receiving all of our feminine power within?

Maybe our ability to surrender to the flow of life is what happiness truly is.


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Michelle Marie McGrath is a Self-love Mentor, Intuitive Womb Guide, writer, aromatherapist and creator of Sacred Self alchemical oils range, alchemical mists and self-love cards. Fascinated with exploring the unique gifts and paths of women.

Her mission is to assist women in reconnecting to their own sacred self:  to live a life based on self-love, truth and freedom. Michelle mentors women who are ready to birth their soul gifts into the world and create a life true to their own values.

Michelle is the host of popular podcast Unclassified Woman which predominantly explores the lives of women who are childfree or childless, birthing alternative lives of purpose and meaning. Part myth-busting, part story-sharing, Michelle interviews amazing women, including authors, entrepreneurs, priestesses, speakers and creative mavens, who share their experiences and insights, while questioning the expectations of women everywhere. 

Sharing her passion and expertise about self-love, creativity, alchemical aromatherapy, the Divine Feminine and mysteries of the womb is both a pleasure and a privilege over at | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter