Tag Archives: Surrender

AWAKENING TO SPIRITUAL SURRENDER

“When one approaches any effort with the energy of reluctance or half-heartedness, the result will not be satisfying.  When you choose a spiritual path because your mind tells you that you should, you can expect to be disappointed.  When you practice a spiritual discipline begrudgingly, enduring the repetitions, rather than savoring them, the method will prove fruitless.  For the vibrancy of any approach is based not on the mechanics of the practice but upon one’s total surrender to the direction in which the practice leads you.”  Oneness

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How do you deal with your frustration when your meditation or other spiritual practice does not give you the peace you seek?  What expectations do you have about the spiritual path you follow?

Has your spiritual practice always led you in the direction you expected?  Mine hasn’t.  In fact, I would describe my spiritual journey as a spiral dance, often changing direction and going where I least expected.  At times, my life has felt stuck in an uncomfortable and unpleasant place, and it has taken me many years to understand that, in most instances, my resistance was keeping me stuck because I wanted the experience to be what I wanted it to be, not what it actually was.

Living  With Traditional “Shoulds” and Should Nots”

Growing up, my family attended a traditional Protestant church and I learned many “shoulds” and “should nots.”  That, along with my perfectionist tendencies, made me a person who was comfortable with a situation only when it was the way I thought it should be.  But as time went by, it seemed that too many things happened that shouldn’t have.  My brother shouldn’t have had polio.  I shouldn’t have had rheumatic fever.  We were good kids and our parents were good people.  Why was this happening?

Eventually, as a young adult, I realized this spiritual path wasn’t working for me.  I knew I was supposed to be religious, but I gave up and allowed myself to find the inspiration I sought in the fine arts where each creation I experienced was a glimpse into the artist’s soul.

Perfectionism Limits Freedom

I was so conditioned with “shoulds” that they continued to haunt me.  Early in my modern dance training, I was so focused on not falling and doing every movement perfectly that I was always tense.  As I became more confident and skilled, I finally surrendered and let myself become one with the movement, choosing the exhilaration over the perfection.  I felt free for the first time. That’s when I really began to dance and dance began to feed me spiritually.

Learning to Savor the Moment

When I learned to meditate, I tried so hard to do it correctly.  I judged myself for not being able to be calmer more quickly until my teacher finally said, “You don’t have to do it perfectly, you just need to sit there.  Just notice your thoughts and let them go.”  Eventually, I learned to “savor” the stillness and quiet of sitting.  I saw it as a vacation from my busy life.  Like lying on the beach listening to the ocean waves brush the shore, I let my thoughts flow through my mind without judging them.

Exploring Spiritual Practices

Exploring Spiritual Practices (Photo credit: robinsan)

Surrender Opens Us To A Spiritual Connection

As Oneness points out, the only way we can move forward with our spiritual practice is to “surrender to the direction in which the practice leads you.”  As we practice, a feeling of peace may come over us with guidance that helps us take a step forward in our life process.  It may seem strange, but we have to learn not to pay attention in order to notice what really matters.

Having Courage To Follow The Path

When the direction the practice leads us is one we like, we look forward to practicing because we envision a positive and refreshing experience.  But if we truly practice, we do not control what appears and it may be darker rather than light.  It is human to want to avoid the unpleasant; yet we cannot grow and expand without acknowledging the negative aspects of our thoughts.  These are often the moments when our fears appear, flooding us with despair or anger, and we have to acknowledge them and then let them go.

Often, in being able to see and feel the fear, we are able to understand what to do about the problem that created it.  It’s not unusual for so much clutter to be cleared out during mediation or other practices that we can finally see a solution that comes from our spiritual self rather than the ego that is so busy trying to be right.  The solutions that include the deeper aspects of a problem are the most satisfying ones, for they don’t just gloss over the problem, they expose it so it can be solved.

Savoring each repetition and moment of silence in our practice centers us and raises our vibration, allowing Spirit to guide us to what we most need to experience.

What is your most meaningful spiritual practice?

© 2013 Georganne Spruce                                                            ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related Articles:  Yoga, A Spiritual Path, Enlightened Beings: Secrets to Walking A Spiritual Path, Wayne Dyer – There Is a Solution, What Is the Meaning of Surrender in Spiritual Practice

AWAKENING TO OUR JOY WITHIN

“Find the place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.”  Joseph Campbell

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How do you create joy in your life? Do you feel it because something good happens to you or does it well up inside because of something you do?

External events Create Joy

For years, I experienced joy as a mysterious feeling that burst forth from within me because of an event in the outer world.  When I was in a play in college, I was given a role where I was the center of attention for a few minutes delivering a very funny monologue.  I was ecstatic when I discovered I could make an audience laugh.  Generally, I wasn’t a very funny person in my real life.

When I was chosen to dance with a modern dance company, I was filled with joy.  My dream had come true.  It’s true that my hard work took me to the place where I was good enough to be accepted, but it was someone else’s decision that stimulated my feeling of joy.

A man and a woman performing a modern dance.

A man and a woman performing a modern dance. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What if we could feel joy whenever we wanted to?  What would that feel like?

Internal Joy

It’s wonderful that we can feel joy about the good things that happen in life.  But there is a deeper practice and a deeper joy to be found within.  There are some days when I have no idea why I feel joy.  I just do.  Some mornings it just wells up from within the moment I rise to consciousness.  I don’t remember having a particularly good dream, and I don’t have any exciting plans for the day.  In fact, it may happen on days when I have to clean house and that isn’t a task I particularly enjoy.

Following Our Passion Creates Inner Joy

So, what causes the joy to appear?  I think there are two answers.  For some time now, I have been following my passion for writing.  When we are doing what we love to do on a regular basis, it raises our vibration and energy level.  We have something to look forward to.  We are doing something that is satisfying at the soul level and it connects our deeper self with our outer life.  We feel whole, we feel complete.  We feel confident we are on the right path.  Even ego feels peaceful.

If, despite the fact that we are following our passion, we are consumed with worry about whether we will succeed at this venture or doubt whether we deserve such good fortune, we need to understand that our negative thoughts will, no doubt, sabotage our success.  They will lower our energetic vibration.

Passion flower

Passion flower (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

Creating Temporary Joy

We can temporarily lift our vibration by doing things that make us feel better.  A little dark chocolate will usually give me a lift or going outside and listening to the birds sing.  Reading some inspirational quotes may help or reading from Oneness by Rasha.  Sometimes cooking a nice meal will do it because I’ve reached the point where eating healthy is an expression of self love.  But when we become mired in these negative feelings despite the good that is present in our lives, there is something missing at our core that we need to repair.

Creating Joy At Our Core

There is a deeper joy we can experience.  The joy that seems to well up from nowhere or for no reason comes from our connection with Spirit.  Only in the last few years have I come to understand this.  There were many steps on my journey to this place of comfort and wholeness.  First, I learned to release my psychological fears.  Through learning to meditate, I started to learn about mindfulness.  After I learned that our thoughts create our emotions, I learned I could decide what I wanted to feel about my experiences.

The Joy of Acceptance

But the greatest lesson was learning acceptance—to accept what is, to accept not knowing the answer, to accept that Spirit will guide me to my highest good.  I had to learn to surrender to Spirit what I could not solve, knowing that I would be guided to what was best.  And out of releasing my need to control everything, joy emerged.  It often wasn’t the joy of exuberance I felt at twenty-five or even at fifty-five.  But it was a soft, sweet, calm joy and it felt like love, and I realized that, in surrendering, I was stepping into a level of trust with Spirit and my deepest self that I had never known before.  This time, the joy I felt originated within me.  I could choose to feel joy regardless of the external events of my life.

It is this deeper joy that can heal all pain and create security when we feel uncertain.  It is part of the core of our spiritual selves.  May you find the path that will lead you to this place of joy.  It is within you.

What is the source of your joy today?

© 2013 Georganne Spruce

RELATED ARTICLES:  You Were Born for Joy – Wayne Dyer, 9 Tips For Finding Joy WithinPower of Positive Thinking: How to Find Joy Within