Control & Surrender

Control & Surrender

by Andrea Pacini September 01, 2019

With Category 5 Hurricane Dorian looming in the Atlantic with sustained winds of 185 MPH, I am flooded with thoughts and feelings. I live in Jupiter - a smallish beach town on the Southeastern coast of Florida. Growing up here, we've been through many hurricanes and have our plan and supplies firmly in place. In 2004, four storms hit us (Charley, Frances, Jeanne & Wilma) within six weeks and any Floridian who went through that most likely has hurricane preparation down to a science.

We do what we can - put up shutters, make sure we have food, gas, water and batteries, ensure the generator works, procure medications (my husband is a Type 1 diabetic and needs insulin to survive), gather all important paperwork and pray. But the rest is really out of our hands. It's a very interesting exercise in control and surrender.

I didn't know what I was going to write about today as this week was extra hectic  with increased work load, a corroded pipe that led to an unscheduled kitchen demo, a sick kid & storm prep. But then I realized that this balance between control and surrender is such a strong metaphor for life and an important component of self-care that I couldn't write about anything else.

When co-creating with the Universe, we have to do our part. We can't manifest a strong, healthy body by spending all day on the couch eating ice cream. We have to examine how our actions and beliefs are affecting our current reality and adjust accordingly. We have to do all that we can to support our vision. In other words, it's up to us to make sure we have enough food, water, gas and cash to get where we want to go. We do this by making smart choices that benefit our well-being and that of those around us.

But there also comes a time when we have to let go - of attachments to outcomes or possessions, of relationships that no longer serve us, beliefs and behaviors that we've outgrown, friendships that have become toxic. We have to yield our attachment to unhealthy beliefs and relationships that have become comfortable to us over the years and surrender to the unknown. This can be a very painful process and usually occurs when there are no other options.

We can't get to where we want to be without proper planning and action. We also can't get to where the Universe wants us to be by holding on to what we are too scared or too comfortable to release. Both elements are equally important.

This exercise can be an incredibly informative form of self-care. Is there an area of your life in which you need to exert more control? For instance, if you want to increase your wealth - can you stop spending money shopping or going out to dinner? Can you start a side hustle which will generate additional income? Can you save more money out of each paycheck? It's up to us to devise a plan and stop the energy leakages so that we can send a new message of abundance to the Universe and, in turn, attract that vibration back.

Some questions to ask yourself or journal about can include:

1) Make a list of 5 things in your life that seem outside of your control (e.g. time, debt, relationship, work-life balance)

2) Brainstorm ways in which you think you can regain some control in these areas (don't bring work home, say no to events you really don't want to attend but feel obligated to, dedicate x amount of money per month to paying off debt etc)

3) Spend 10 minutes journaling about the word "control." What images  or emotions does this word conjure up for you?

4) Spend 10 minutes journaling about the phrase "out of control." What images and emotions does this phrase conjure up for you?

5) Note any recurring themes, emotions or beliefs you may have about control and write them all down. This can lead to clarity about why we make certain choices and,oftentimes, repeat the same patterns month after month and year after year.

This week some of us may have no choice but to examine our attachments and surrender our need for control. Taking this not-so-subtle queue from nature - is there an area of your life that you may need to back away from and relinquish control? Maybe you've been trying too long to make a doomed relationship work but are too scared to leave, maybe there is a false story you've been telling yourself over and over again that you believe has protected you but has really just kept you small. Maybe it's time to let go of an ego attachment or a constant need to be right. What can you find courage to release and surrender? The fear of the unknown is real but cultivating a trust that all things are working to our highest good can bring an immeasurable amount of peace, even in the bleakest circumstances.

Some questions to ask yourself or journal about can include:

1) What do I most want to let go of?

2) What keeps me clinging to this relationship, belief or thing?

3) What have I learned from this relationship, belief or thing?

4) How will relinquishing control of this help me evolve as a person?

5) What am I afraid will happen by letting go of this relationship, belief or thing?

6) What will I gain by letting this go?

Now is a perfect time to examine where we allocate our energy and adjust accordingly to bring our lives back into a healthier balance that not only benefits us, but those around us as well.

I wish all of my friends and family safety and peace during this trying time. My prayers and thoughts are with all of the people who are in this storm's path.


Andrea Pacini
Andrea Pacini


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