A Working Mom’s Surrender

Being an active mom of 2 little ones, a wife, and full-time ob-gyn didn’t leave much room on my already loaded schedule.  So when I added “blogger” to the list I had many people asking how I managed to do it all.


Good question.


This question is not new to me as I am not a person who can tolerate standing in one place doing nothing for too long…although I admit this long “Chiberian” winter has forced me to appreciate slowing down.   For instance, instead of feeling the need to fill my free days with museum trips and play dates…I became perfectly content to have pajama day Saturdays!

A piece of advice I once was given, and that has helped me along the way is:

you can be good at many things, but you can’t be good at all things all of the time”. 


In other words, some things gotta give…and they usually do.

The image that comes to mind is the circus clown whose job it is to balance all those plates on one stick grounded firmly on his hand.


The balancing act becomes an addiction:  the constant shift in the center of gravity is at times predictable and thrilling…though extremely tiring.  To keep the plates from falling requires quick, swift, precise movements so that the system maintains its balance. One wrong move and the entire operation comes down.


This is very similar to my day to day life….before the blog that is.


Starting dryepez.com had been a dream of mine for some time and I’m still so excited to have the opportunity to have even one reader learn something new about their body and take steps to improve their health.

Adding an additional task to my schedule has been, to say the least, overwhelming.


Plates were flying everywhere.


I went to yoga today as I usually do when I need more than just my usual strength training- I needed mind training as well.  The instructor did her teaching about the practice of Yoga. As we were in our first downward dog of the day, I listened as she spoke of Ishvara Pranidhana, or the power of “surrender.”



In Yoga, this is the final Sutra and means that only after total surrender to a higher being can you then find yourself through grace and peace.  It’s interesting that when we hear the word “surrender,” we think “giving up,” as if it is our last resort.


I chose to surrender myself to my yoga mat today. Not as a last resort.

I decided to wake up at 5:30am to make it to class.

It was my choice.  I surrendered.


So often we run around frantically trying to control our day-to-day as if we have such an impact on the outcome.  We do the same with our kids. Signing them up in endless classes and activities, hoping to change the score they will end up getting on “that” standardized test, and eventually the school they will get into, and the job they will end up landing.



Maybe it will change the outcome….Maybe it won’t….”But it MUST help” we tell ourselves.


Perhaps we need to surrender some of our desire to control and mold the world around us and release that energy to the Universe instead of into our body as the killer known as “stress.”
I know this sounds very new-age and all, but there is actually strong data from neuroscientists that shows brain changes that occur with meditation  that can help decrease stress, hypertension, anxiety, and depression.
Mindfulness refers to a meditation practice that cultivates present moment awareness.  It also has been applied in certain areas of medicine for its effects in lowering perception of pain, stress, and depression.
By decreasing level of cortisol in your body, practitioners say it makes people generally healthier and happier….so why not take a break!
Here is an article in JAMA that discusses mindfulness in medicine.
I downloaded an app called Headspace which gives you daily guided meditation in 10 minute, on-the-go portions.
It’s awesome.  I highly recommend it to get your meditation on, even if it is only once a week at the beginning.
And, you’ll have it in a convenient place when you start to realize you can let go of 5-10 minutes without major damage occurring in your day.
In short, realizing that we can’t control everything around us and taking the time to step outside of ourselves and just breathe, be in the moment, go for a walk, lay still—whatever that may be for just 5-10 minutes a day can make a big impact on your mindset and health.
Just the peace of knowing that you don’t have to control everything or have the answer to everything can be a big relief for us…
As my mom would say “Suelta las riendas!”…”Let go of the reins!”




For me, I took Ishvara Pranidhana outside of my yoga practice and into the practice of my daily life. Which is just that-practice.



I surrendered to the chaos, to the plates flying (and breaking) everywhere.  Sometimes in life you need a new starting point.


A new fulcrum from which to start balancing your plates all over again…slowly, and more selectively this time.


So, can you do it all? Absolutely.  But be prepared to break some plates along the way.
And, embrace the power of surrender, Ishvara Pranidhana!