Surrender = smart living

“There is no medicine for it. Sleep and drink a lot of water are what you can do so your body can do its best to fight the virus and heal”.


It took me a while to understand what the doctor was telling me. I had just returned from Asia. My temperature was 39.5 Celsius and she had just told me I had Dengue Fever. 

No medicine, are you serious? My already clouded mind went in a spin. Dengue Fever is known as the “Break-bone fever” for a reason. It causes grave pains all over your muscles and joints. No kidding!

Dengue fever taught me something profound though. It taught me what surrender means.


Like a lot of us, I associated surrendering with being passive, and to a large degree with being irresponsible. 

I grew up believing that working hard was a way to achieve what I aimed for. Being focused, persistent, resilient, responsible, and resourceful were the ingredients to being successful. 

This formula worked for years, until I had dengue fever, of which after I realized, there is an additional ingredient to add to this formula. It’s called surrender.


What does surrender mean?

In a personal development context, I think of surrender as a mode of acceptance. 

Accept what, you may ask?

Surrender is a conscious decision to accept that:

  1. You can control what you have power over, which is your mind ; 
  2. You are the designer of everything you want to have in your life;
  3. You are interdependent with others to manifest what you want;
  4. Others you are interdependent with are doing their best to fulfill their parts as you are doing yours;
  5. And lastly, you always get the best POSSIBLE outcome at that time when all the decisions above are honored.

Let me refer back to my experience with dengue fever to bring to life what surrender could look like.

When I returned home from the doctor, I made a decision that I wanted to get healthy as soon as POSSIBLE.

I asked myself, what would it take for me to get well, and the answer was straightforward: sleep and drink water. Just as the doctor prescribed.

I asked myself the next question: what would it take for me to sleep deeply?

I’ve read a few articles a few years back that deep sleep  is required for our body to heal itself.

The answers were profound:

Let go of stress.

To be completely open, I was scared and in pain. I classified dengue fever to be a life threatening disease. I had heard many horrific stories about it of which a lot of people had died or not fully recovered. These ideas in my mind stressed me out big time. The fact that I could not work, as I run my own company, added even more stress.

My mind was clear though – I intended to recover fully. This was my end goal.

To let go of the stress, I asked for help. I handed over all of my work to my colleague, switched off my working brain, switched off my phone, and did my best to sleep.


Handover the rest of the healing process to my body faithfully.

I took a leap of faith (yes, it was a leap of faith for me). I chose to trust that my body was going to do its best to heal without medicine.

I was praying for the best. Never had I been in a situation like this before. In the past, when I had a serious illness, I ALWAYS took medicine.

For 2 weeks, I slept for 18 hours per day and drank a lot of water in my waking hours. I had 2 additional resting weeks before I went back to work. 


Surrender is often misunderstood as “giving up” on the situation we’re in. It is NOT that. Yes, surrender entails a level of giving up, but not on the situation itself.

It is giving up the belief that we, alone, need and can change what is.

It is giving up to a fixed idea of that there is only one way of doing things (which is the way we have done things in the past) and it is only “I” who can do it.

It is giving up the idea that we are here alone and separated from others, even from our own body.

It is about choosing to hand over the next step to something beyond and larger outside of our “physical comprehension”, and very often it is unseen.


Very often, a crisis in our lives brings us face-to-face with this concept; when it feels like there is nowhere else to be, apart from giving up and handing over to something else beyond our (limited) cognizance.


Surrendering feels like a moment in our lives when we realised that we have been swimming against the currents without realising and stopping it.

All of a sudden, the perspective changes. It changes because at the moment of surrendering, we are swimming with the currents towards our true destination. We are no longer trying too hard. We are no longer holding on to what was, to how we did things in the past. We just go with what is.

In other words, in the moment of surrendering, we are changing the direction from holding on to the past/comfort zone/how we have been doing things into the present, and the present continues to change with every movement that we make.


The gist of what I am sharing with you now is applicable to many situations we face everyday and not only in a crisis situation.

It is relevant for ANYTHING that entails uncertainty, from wanting to get promoted to moving houses to having children to getting a divorce and many more.

We need to integrate surrender as a habit so it becomes an integral part of our lives. Just like having a healthy and fit body, the habits of eating healthily, doing sports and regular emotional de-cluttering are pre-requisites for it.


How to surrender:

  1. Start your day and any of your activities with a clear intention.


“I intend to fill my day with love and kindness”

“I intend to participate in this meeting with respect so the best fitting solutions for our project are in place”

“I intend to provide my clients with the best solutions for them in a way that is uplifting for me”


  1. Do your best in going about your activities; fuelled by your intention.
  2. When doubts, fears or struggle creep up (because they will), breathe deeply.

Do this for 3 minutes. Inhale in for 5 counts, and exhale out for 5 counts. For 3 minutes straight.

Gregg Braden in his documentary called “The Missing Links” explains that deep breathing sends a signal to our brain that the situation is safe. Such signals allow your brain that is in flight or fight mode (due to the fears) to shift.

This shift gets the right hemisphere of your brain to work again. This hemisphere of the brain is in charge of creative thinking.


  1. As you are becoming calmer, give your mind a focus of attention that leads to opening up possibilities, entailing positive feelings.

It is very important that the mind has the right focus.

Christie Marie Sheldon, an  Intuitive Life Coach that I respect, has a fantastic phrase that I use in my life: “What would it take for… (fill in the blank with what you want)?” instead of “What can I do to …?”.

Notice the difference – of these 2 questions – the first question is encompassing more than just you. This is what surrender is about.

Repeat this question 10-15 times; to get your mind to understand that this is the focus you want it to have.


  1. Open your heart and mind to receive the answers, as they will come through from many directions.

Your intuition is one way for the answer to come through, but it is not limited to only that. You may have a friend or a stranger out of the blue telling you something that is on point with what you are asking. You may see a poster on the bus stop that speaks to you. Anything may bring the answer to you.

TRUST these answers and follow it with an ACTION


Surrender is about opening up yourself to everything outside of your self, allowing for help to come to you.

Do these steps everyday. Make it a habit. I am convinced that your day, your work, your health, your relationship; basically your life will be uplifted.


You will know that surrendering is an integral part of your life when you feel:

  • Present and focused;
  • Optimistic;
  • More resilient;
  • More peaceful within;

regardless of how challenging the experience you are in is.


Wishing you the joy in surrendering.