“Give up all bad qualities in you, banish the ego and develop the spirit of surrender. You will then experience Bliss.” – Sri Sathya Sai Baba
That quote is nearly a non-starter, I know. Talk about a tall order… I am almost stumped at how to develop this, but it has spoken to me so strongly that I have to at least try. The past several weeks have led me to a place of surrender personally, professionally and spiritually. I believe life is a journey, and I’m enjoying the ride, especially in the last year. There is so much positive, so many prospects, so much light and love. Seriously.
On this journey, however, there have been many bumpy roads to navigate, decisions to make that have given me pause, and occasionally even stalled my progress. I’ve resisted, pushed and shoved to try to get thru some rough patches. I have learned that when I push and shove, life pushes back, and usually with much greater force than I’ve exerted. I am sure there is a law of physics (or, metaphysics?) that can explain this phenomenon.
Whatever it is, it is very real. When we resist, we waste a ton of energy, only to be pushed back by least two tons of resistance. Does it make sense to work this hard? I would argue that it does not. In this age of technology, we hear the phrase “work smarter, not harder.” I also use it with respect to physical exercise, so why not apply it to mental and spiritual exercises? What a great idea, but how are we supposed to work smarter when we might not even understand what it is that is holding us back? This is not an easy lesson, but it can be very simple, if you open your heart to it.
First, accept that life brings us what we need, and resistance is futile. I do not mean that you should throw your hands in the air and give up; quite the contrary. When we resist the lesson we are meant to learn, or an answer that has presented that we don’t like, we are making things harder for ourselves, and missing out on understanding the resistance itself, which could be one of our roadblocks to personal success. So, let go of the preconceived ideas of what you “should” do and try to go with the flow of life. You still have to work for what you want, but consider all the wonderful things in life that require effort, and if you go with the flow, you will work smarter, not harder.
For those who have not given birth or experienced another form of incredibly intense physical pain or exertion, this example might fall flat, but it should provide some insight. In the birthing process, there is a period of unbearable pain, and our natural inclination is to tense up and fight against it. But when we resist against the pain, particularly in the critical last moments, we lose a lot of muscle power because we’re using our strength to fight the pain, not to assist the task at hand. Try this exercise: hold your arm out to the side and have a friend push your arm down to your side. Take a deep breath and relax your body. See how how well you keep your arm up when you are relaxed. Now, clench your jaw and do it again. Notice that you lost a lot of strength.
When life presents a challenge, try to take a breath, relax your body, and flow into the solution. You will have to focus, have courage and faith that you have the strength and stamina to make it thru, whether it is giving birth, buying a home, ending a relationship or searching for a new job.
Next, visualize what you want for yourself. I’m not talking minute details, but the big picture of how you want your life to look. I have written my life vision in my intention journal, and this is more or less how it looks:
“Thriving children, thriving business and a life/marriage partner who is loving, present, supportive, strong in his own life, and we work together to integrate our lives and families.”
This is more simplified than I would recommend, but it is up to you to write your own picture into existence. Add to that a list of qualities that support your requirements; for example, for life and marriage partner: passion, romance, depth, connection, balance. Be honest with yourself. What do you really want? What is really important to you? If you are struggling financially, and you say that you want a mansion, fancy cars and expensive toys, then perhaps your expectations are skewed. What will really make you happy? For most, the simpler the idea, the better the reality. Be realistic, but aim high, and let go of the ego drivers – status, other people’s expectations, old messages and patterns. You can have it all if you open your heart to it.
It takes courage to let go and open be open. I love the idea that the more courageous we are, the greater the possibilities. Think about that. Taking risk requires strength and stamina, but even before strength and stamina, you must be courageous enough to take the risk. Consider another quote:
“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” – Anaïs Nin
Be courageous. This is where you really let go and believe that you deserve the life you want. It takes courage to change your mindset and go with the flow. I wrote an affirmation that might help you: “I am at peace with the flow of life.” We are not salmon making our way back upstream to spawn. We do not need to fight the current and expend so much energy fighting the inevitable: life happens, and it occasionally happens completely contrary to plan. It is up to you to release your rigidities, unrealistic expectations and fears, and allow yourself to be at peace with the flow of life.
When you commit to yourself to shed the old patterns, be open to all the possibilities and visualize your life the way you really want it, you free yourself to make better choices grounded in reality. With this peace, you can move forward and live your life.
Blessings. Gratitude. Love.