Well, I’m sorry for the use of the word “potty” in the title, but when you have a 2 1/2 year old in the house, “potty talk” is all the rage. My little girl, Annabella, just graduated to the big leagues: she’s out of diapers and into her brand-new “big girl” underwear and I cannot tell you the sheer relief I feel.

This process ranks right up there as one of the most challenging scenarios I’ve faced as a parent. My hubbie, Rob (the most talented and cutest man I know), and I spent many late nights lying in bed talking, trying to fend off total panic as to how to do this process “right.”

And I learned so much about myself, about my Inner Mean Girl and her Big Fat Lies, and about surrender.

Let me elaborate…

We have no control over anyone else. Really. Let me repeat with feeling: we don’t get to control anyone else. And for me, becoming a parent has been SO humbling – I kept thinking I could somehow control Annabella’s sleeping through the night, eating all her vegetables, and yes, doing #1 and #2 in the potty. My Inner Mean Girl kept saying things to me like:

If you just read the right book, said the right thing, used the right philosophy, all this would be sooo easy.

You’re doing it wrong.

You’re going to really screw her up this time.

You’re a horrible mom.

Ouch. The good news is that I keep using my Three Step Process to get out of the spin and tap into my Inner Wisdom’s Truth:

You’re doing the best you can.

This too shall pass.

Annabella is happy and thriving. (See picture for proof!)

My proud, happy daughter showing off a recent drawing!

My proud, happy daughter showing off a recent drawing!

Ahhhhh…that’s better.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I believe we influence, inspire and persuade people all the time. Throw in a good dose of leadership and we have some amazing power to help people “see the light.” But when it comes to potty training, I finally realized that the BEST thing I could do was surrender.  Surrendering the illusion of control meant that I could still teach, support, take advantage of “teachable moments” and set a good example, but it also meant handing over the ultimate control of the process to my smart, capable, amazing daughter (and The Universe) and telling her to go for it.

In other words, I had to get my own resistance to change, my own fears and anxieties and even my hopes out of the way and let go.

I literally said to Annabella, “Sweetie, I love you and am so proud of you. I know you’re going to get through this and use the potty every time. I trust you.”So there you have it. Surrender = potty trained 2 year old smiling and owning her accomplishment.

Now I keep investigating: where else can I surrender?

How can I simply release and let go of it all?

I can think of three projects I’m working on right now that could use a little surrender.

How about YOU?

( Please leave me your thoughts in the comments below!)