I’m a can-do, take the beaches, I’ve just begun to fight, task/achievement oriented kind of guy. The concept of surrender is the antithesis of my personality. And yet…. As the years wind on, I’ve learned the incredible importance of picking my battles and the value of learning to ride the waves and use the prevailing wind to my advantage. Not exactly surrender but certainly a heighten awareness to others and surrounding circumstances and a willingness to take them into account.
Judith Orloff’s new book, “The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your Life”, speaks to the power of letting go appropriately. Post Great Recession (even more importantly, post becoming a 1st time Dad at 55) I’ve certainly redefined success in my own mind; letting go of certain goals, enthusiastically embracing others.
Counter intuitively, surrender can be a way of taking back control. By releasing the illusion of total control, we free our energy to focus on what we can control. It is a delicate balance point. Often we do not know what we can do until we try, try fully, try hard, try repeatedly. The adages “Think you can, think you can’t, you are right” and “You fail at 100% of what you don’t try” contain a great deal of truth.
At the same time, having flexibility around your path opens up tremendous opportunities. Why do you want that new car, job, house, relationship? Generally out of a desire to create a certain internal state of mind/emotion. Is there another way to create that feeling? And in the past, when you have achieved a given goal, has it gotten you the feeling, peace of mind, sense of satisfaction you desired? And if so, for how long? Change your mind, change your life.
You have to release what isn’t working, move toward that which is working.
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”– Serenity Prayer
“I’ve shed layers of fear and limitations that kept me locked in a life that was no longer large enough for me. My attraction was to the concept of surrender: the ability to be fluid, to bend like a willow in the wind during life’s climaxes and lows. I want to be increasingly able to not clench, grasp, obsess, overthink, over control, fight with my life, or let my stubborn streak obstruct my spiritual expansion.” – Judith Orloff, The Ecstasy of Surrender
“To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.” – Lao Tzu
From an Amazon Review:
“The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your Life” presents 12 ways to surrender in the domains of power, money, people, communication, relationships, love, sensuality, mortality, and immortality, including:
- Redefining true success, power, and happiness
- Four vital insights into power and letting go
- Manifesting the heart of money: Seeing beyond material seduction and fear
- Learning the art of reading people
- Cultivating impeccable communication
- Honoring soul mates, soul friends, and animal companions
- Exploring the divinity of your body and sexuality
- Igniting your sexual power
- Discovering the essence of the natural world
- Harmonizing with illness and pain
- Experiencing radiant aging: The secret of slowing down time
- Making peace with death and the afterlife