Insistence Creates Resistance

September 12, 2012

Have you ever observed the battle of wills between a parent and a child? The parent insists that the kid should eat his vegetables. The child, in his fury, resists. The more the parent demands a certain action, the more the child refuses to deliver that action.

The Universe is like that too.

When we insist upon something, stomping our feet like little children, we are creating a wall of energy against the very thing we demand. It is universal law.

And what we resist persists. Have you ever noticed that too? When we are in fear about something, we automatically show resistance, which sets up the same wall of energy that sustains the thing we wish to repulse. We become attractor points for that which we push away.

Insistence is the pull. Resistance is the push. In both cases, we don’t get what we want. And we feel horrible in the process.

I have learned a great deal about letting go this past summer. When we spend all our energy hoping to avert the worst case scenario, we are placing all our attention on that which we don’t want to happen. And because we have fed it so much of our power, we are left drained and the fear grows. We then create the very circumstances we wanted to circumvent by our sheer level of concern.

Someone once said worrying is like praying for what you don’t want.

The next time you find yourself insisting on something (whether to a child, your partner or even God), remember this: what you insist resists and what you resist persists. You can shift a great deal of energy by simply taking a different action. Divert your attention to something else. Move forward without concern. Have confidence that your choice is the right one for you.

Surrender, my friends. And do it with all the grace you can muster. In one simple act of loving release, you will be set free.

Dare to Surrender

August 25, 2012

At the very beginning of this marvelous summer (or winter, for you Southern Hemisphere readers), I wrote of surrender. As any writer will tell you, we mostly write about the things we need to learn most.

And so it is with this blog.

A lot of the advice, truths and ideas I have set forth have been lessons I have learned and/or am in the process of learning. I’m walking the same path as you. While being an expert is somehow praised in our society, I am only an expert of my own life, as you are with yours. What I can say is surrender is by far the hardest, and perhaps most important, lesson we can learn.

So often we want things that are just beyond our grasp. We place great effort into it, such as writing that book proposal or convincing a client that your counsel is warranted, but what happens is what happens. And we can only do so much to influence the outcome of events.

When we enter the Surrender Room, we access a power far greater than ourselves. We are able to be highly involved with what we are doing without the attachment to the outcome. We liberate ourselves from the dependency on other people’s responses. Our truth remains, no matter the circumstances. We simply do what we need to do, then move on.

Instead of wasting our energy on things that are beyond your control, focus on the things you can.

How you choose to spend your time is one of the things you can do a lot about. You may feel trapped in a job you hate or in a relationship that needs to change, but all told, you can decide how to deal with it.

It’s not that some people have better lives than others. It is how you cope with the challenges at hand that determine the quality of your days.

I dare to surrender to the All Knowing Force. As scary as it may be, I see it as the most empowering choice we can make as human beings.

Will you join me?

 

Where Surrender Lives

May 24, 2012

The story of these flowers defies natural law. Now I’m not a botanist, but it is my understanding that non-blooming bulbs aka widows do not just up and decide to bloom on a whim. If they are widows, they remain as such.

These flowers are different. After four years, they decided to surrender to the beauty of themselves this year. They showed up in a completely different form. And for that, I am most grateful.

We can learn a lot from nature.

The axis of our power lies in our surrender. How often have we pushed things to the limit, only to be left depleted, exhausted and burned? While our culture rewards those who go faster, higher and longer, it isn’t healthy. It’s a lie to live that way. We have limits and it’s time we recognize them.

When we surrender to any given moment, to the “What Is” in our lives, we become fuller, richer and more available to possibility. The amazing thing is that when we surrender to what is, we expand to limitless possibilities. So the very thing that keeps us from experiencing no limitations is the thing we attempt to apply to reach that state.

It is a paradox. I know. And it is the truth.

Imagine your life without all that pushing, striving, hunting and gathering. Consider a world in which you plant a seed, then watch it grow. Dip, bend, plant, rise up. That is the motion that informs effortlessness.

Surrender is a beautiful word. It implies totally release to the tensions of our days. It allows us to soar to higher ground by the sheer act of letting go. Surrender also indicates acceptance, no matter what is happening now. Getting into that empowered head space may not come naturally to you, but it is possible.

Start by asking yourself what you are withholding? Is it your love for another? Is it your anger, frustration, fear? We all hold on to things at times, whether it is a grudge, resentment or the fear of imperfection.

Surrender yourselves to all those levels of emotion. When you do, you will find an expanse so rich that you will be liberated to receive the very things you were striving for. Only this time, you need do nothing at all.

The phrase “Go for it” gets lifted from your vocabulary because there is nowhere to go. You need not hasten to the next thing. It will come to you.

Since life, like the planet, moves in circular motion, what you put out there will return ~ perhaps in a new form, but it will be there for you to embrace with all your might.

What is required is trust in its simplest form.

How will you surrender today?

 

In our device-driven world, we are not only connected with our families and friends at the touch of a button, we are also sincerely disconnected when we misplace the tools that let us connect in the first place.

Original Photo at MindfulBalance.org

Take my iPhone, that went missing for eleven hours and 26 minutes this weekend. Yes, I counted. Someone had mistaken it for his and had tucked it into his pocket before leaving my friend’s house. At the time I did not know what had happened. I just knew it was one of those “now you see it, now you don’t” scenarios. I tried calling it, but it was late. And on mute. So I was forced to go to bed, fretting that all my contacts had gone adrift in the blink of an eye.

We got down to the bottom of it by the morning and my iPhone was returned. But it got me to thinking about what happens when the tools upon which we so rely suddenly disappear.

For some it feels as if we’ve disappeared too.

Who are you without your smartphone? An avatar? A shadow of your true self?

It’s problematic, and can be life-threatening when taken too far. On the flight back from Berlin to Munich, my seatmate was fiddling with his phone as we were in a holding pattern just outside our landing zone (can you say iPhone addiction?). I strained to see whether it was in flight mode and think it may not have been. The flight was just over an hour. Couldn’t it wait?

I recalled the panic I had felt just the day before when I thought my phone was gone forever. We are so dependent on our machines. And I question whether that’s really a good thing.

Then another gadget took leave without saying goodbye: my pulse watch that measures the caloric burn during my spinning class. I had to borrow one at the gym because I couldn’t find mine. I felt the now-familiar iPhone fret hover over me. Then I stopped myself and said, “It’s just time to let go.”

In the moment I uttered those words, I looked down to see it lying on the table in the washroom where I had upturned most everything else.

Letting go is a great lesson to learn. Life keeps trying to teach me that one. How about you?

Slow Release

November 23, 2009

Rituals are a part of our existence. Whether it is turkey at Thanksgiving or wearing red around the holidays, we all observe some type of ritual in our lives.

Recently, I developed a new ritual to take care of those things that get misplaced that would otherwise drive me into a tizzy as I upend the entire house to find them. I engage in a ritual of letting go. It’s a Blessing Way of sorts to the item that’s gone missing.

You may have read about my lost cell phone that showed up a week later in my eye glass case. It was as if the Universe were telling me to see with different eyes. After my initial shock, I blessed the missing cell phone and thanked it for having been in my life. Then I released it to the ethers with full acceptance that it’s journey with me had ended.

My daughter didn’t quite believe the effectiveness of this ritual until she came home one day with a long face. She had misplaced her new jacket that she loved dearly.

“Do the slow release,” I advised her with a motherly grin. For once, she actually stopped herself from rolling her eyes.

“I release you to the Universe. Thank you, jacket!” And, of course, a few days later she came back with it in hand. She had left it in the science lab. By some miracle (or perhaps it had been her blessing?), no one had taken it.

The slow release says things are just as they should be. So if you’re stridently looking for those missing keys, try saying a gratitude prayer instead. Chances are they’ll resurface the moment you let go of how things should be.

Patience is a virtue

June 9, 2009

What we see is sometimes not what is. Yesterday I learned a valuable lesson about letting go and acceptance.

Dad and Ruth's visit 016Waiting is not my favorite pastime. In fact, patience is a characteristic I have had to painstakingly acquire. The truth is I like action, but sometimes life offers you more waiting just to test out how patient you can really be.

Yesterday I waited for seven hours on set before the director finally placed us in a few scenes. He was filming a made for TV romantic comedy, and he needed a few faces to fill the space.  As an extra you are typically booked for an entire day. It only starts to get expensive when overtime hits, which almost always does. My major concern was not so much filling the time reading a really good book, but parking. They refused to pay for it, so I was obliged to toss in as many coins as I had. The trouble was there was a limit. I spent the better part of the day fretting about something I couldn’t really control.

Then, around the eleventh hour (literally), it hit me. “Give in. Give it up. Let. It. Go.” So I giggled as the time on my meter ran out and said how fun it will be to see if the Parking Gods are with me (they usually are). Time suddenly seemed to race by. We got three hours of overtime and praise for our patience from the assistant director. All in all it was a great day.

As I hurried to my car, I prayed I hadn’t gotten a ticket. After all, I had tossed in ten hours of parking fees already. As I approached, I thought I saw something under one of the wipers. Could it be that the Parking Gods had failed me — after all, I had been so patient. When I got closer, I saw it was a leaf.

Nothing’s true but thinking makes it so. Thanks, Shakespeare. I’ll remember that.