Permission to Surrender

April 2021

By Matt Chavlovich, Keynote Speaker and Executive Coach


In 1927 Max Ehrmann wrote “Desiderata,” a famous prose poem that sounds more like a manifesto to living a fulfilling life. Within that piece, he suggests that “whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.” In this time of constant uncertainty and change, I encourage you to embrace this message and allow the idea that things are unfolding just as they should. There is a massive amount of suffering that is caused by denying and resisting this single concept.

Eckhart Tolle has written and spoken at length about how the amount of pain we experience is proportionate to the amount of resistance we commit to the present moment. We often make a habit out of creating opinions about how our lives and the world should be unfolding, and when anything different occurs, we panic, doubt, resist, retreat, and suffer. It doesn’t have to be this way.

What if you didn’t resist how the world was unfolding and instead surrendered to it? And to be clear, surrendering does not mean giving up and just existing. To surrender means accepting that where you are right now is where you are meant to be. It means trusting that you may not know the entire plan and that you still have more to learn, more to become, and more to do within the present circumstances.

If you rush out of where you are in this moment to get to where you were before the pandemic or where you think you should be after it, you may arrive before you are ready, and that will undoubtedly be more uncomfortable than the present moment.

Imagine traveling to a 5-star resort, and all you can think and talk about is how amazing life will be when you get there. Yet, as you travel, if you only focus on arriving, then you will miss all the stops along the way designed to prepare you to receive the magic that the resort has to offer. If you miss the preparation, for example, the towel store, the lotion store, and the food store, then when you arrive at what you have deemed the best resort in the world, unfortunately, you will likely feel inadequate and unprepared. No different than a kindergartener skipping to high school.

There is nothing to return to or re-build. There is only an opportunity to adjust, change and create, beginning right here and right now. Our only purpose in life is to learn, grow and develop into the highest version of ourselves, and we are facing one of the most significant opportunities to reassess and do just that. I understand the depth of how overwhelmed people are with confusion, frustration, and fear while also yearning for freedom, consistency, and connection. It’s in those moments, especially that I invite you to resist the urge to fantasize about one-day or back-when and embrace the lessons and opportunities to pivot that are right in front of you.

There has been incredible loss, as well as numerous unexpected and unpleasant changes that have occurred in people’s lives over the last year. But I am inviting you to explore your ability to

surrender and trust that this moment provides exactly what you need to become who you are meant to become and do what you are meant to do in this life.

All we are here to do is ascend, and unfortunately, that does not mean that everything feels good all the time. Often ascension requires some level of shedding patterns, people, or perspectives to make space to receive and become something even better. There is a massive invitation to completely hit the reset button on not only what and who you let into your life but also what you genuinely care about and deem a priority.

The next time you find yourself spiraling into energy-draining thoughts or activities, I invite you to ask yourself, “what if everything is unfolding just as designed?” Sit with the idea that everything is perfect in this moment and for your greatest good. And before you argue or decide that that is impossible, allow your definition of perfection to expand beyond “everything going as you planned or expected” and consider perfection as “the universe’s flawless and unconditional commitment to our highest ascension.”

Our challenges are not here just for us to learn how to endure but also for us to learn how to change. Change how we think, how we feel, how we speak, how we relate, how we act, how we are. In the last 12 months, it feels like, in one way or another, everything has changed. Have you allowed yourself to surrender to where you are now? If so, you will eventually find the level of peace, ‘groundedness’ and clarity to create something more beautiful and fulfilling than you have ever experienced. And at that moment, you will be set free. “Whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.” Trust yourself and this moment. You’ve got this.

Matt Chavlovich runs a boutique coaching practice that focuses on helping women flourish, cultivate positive relationships, and forge their own wealth and success. Matt is a former professional athlete, Vice President, and 2x Ironman. He has spent more than 25 years studying and teaching principles of leadership and high-performance. Today he is a speaker, writer, coach, and advisor to some of the most innovative and inspiring women globally and many up-and-coming young leaders.