I know, I know. You’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover. However, the first time I saw the book cover for The Art of Surrender: A Practical Guide to Enlightened Happiness and Well-Being, by Eiman Al Zaabi, something resonated within me.
Quite often, when I take walks, I find bird feathers on my path. In fact, I have found and brought home so many feathers, that my son has felt the need to tell me it’s illegal to collect bird feathers without a license. Who knew?
Knowing this, if I’m the one who continues to find the same type of feather, on the same walking path, day-in and day-out, there must be something there for me.
There must be some kind of message buried in the “finding of the feathers.”
During the time of the feathers showing up, I’ve dealt with my own struggles of life. I have not been someone who has found surrender to be easy. I have had to learn little-by-little that after you’ve done everything you know to do, all that remains is to surrender.
Eiman Al Zaabi has also dealt with the difficulty of surrender. After years of suffering from anxiety and panic disorders, little-by-little she has come to understand that there is indeed an art to surrender.
By combining her Muslim faith and spirituality to heal, The Art of Surrender beautifully chronicles her journey of healing while also serving as a practical guidebook for others to do the same.
Now a life coach, energy healer and spiritual teacher who helps clients transform their relationships and careers, heal from past trauma, and live authentically, I had the pleasure to speak with Eiman about what it means to live a life of surrender:
BJB: What was the catalyst in your life that led to your surrender and inspired your book, The Art of Surrender?
EAZ: Surrender for me has been a life long journey. I suffered from anxiety and panic disorder and depression. It was very intense and I had it for about seven years of my life.
When you’re in a state of anxiety, you want to have control over your surroundings and what’s around you to make sure you’re safe. The whole experience taught me that you need to let go of your fear.
As soon as I learned how to do energy work, I started to open up a bit more. From there, I went on a path towards healing while doing energy work. However, this wasn’t an easy path. My family was against it. They didn’t like what I was doing because they felt I was crossing my faith.
One of the first stories I write about, in the book, is of me and my sister talking about how strongly she felt what I was doing was wrong. I believe in energy work, and I believe it helped take me out of depression but, I believe in my religion too.
The whole story of surrender was about bridging the two so the two truths could speak to each other in a way that would feel harmonious. This is the path that I’m on right now.
BJB: Could you describe your definition of what it means to surrender?
EAZ: Surrender is often looked at as a negative thing, we are encouraged to take charge of our lives and keep going whether we hit a wall or not. If you talk about surrender in the human sense on a human level, this is where you may feel weak surrendering to someone who is at your level. However, if you surrender to a a higher power, you bring that power into your life and allow it to consciously move you towards your goals, dreams and desires. It’s a surrender that is more harmonious balanced.
Surrender is the art of operating in a governed universe by stepping into the sacred circle with the Divine. This is where you give over, rather than let go.
You give over that which you cannot control and you do that through the act of prayer. You’re not letting go of anything. You’re giving over by surrendering your problems, anxieties, and fears to the creator of all; knowing and trusting the power, which operates the
Universe, has you in mind and can operate your life as well.
BJB: What’s the difference between surrender and letting go?
EAZ: With letting go, it’s an emotional state that we feel, and you can feel despondent or helpless at times.
With surrender, your desire is still active in you and you’re always thinking about it. It’s always there and you’re actively seeking it. You know it’s coming, and it’s just a matter of time. You put the action out there, you allow the results to come, allow things to merge into your experience and then you take the next step, and the next one.
BJB: Why do you think weakness is sometimes associated with surrender?
EAZ: I think it’s the ego in us that seeks control. If anything is outside of this control it feels like, “I am not self-sufficient. I cannot do it myself.” That feels like weakness. The minute you hand it over to anything, including a higher power, we start to feel weak. I think this is a misunderstanding in the way we understand our lives, the way we understand spirituality and the way reality is.
Life teaches us that nothing is in our control. Nothing.
What you are in control of are your actions, your thoughts, and emotions. That’s it. You can’t guarantee the results. There is always that element of unpredictability. This is one of the things I talk about in the book when I talk about Universal Laws.
You need to shift how you see the world to be able to understand how surrender operates and functions, instead of thinking everything must be in my control. Life teaches you you’re going to fail, things will get out of control, and your ego will be bruised.