Inspiration

How can you tell if you’ve actually “let it go?”

skylineHow do you respond when someone tells you to, “let it go?”  I have been told, in many different contexts, to let something go, and often my response has been, “I will, but…” Which is to say, that I haven’t actually been letting go.  I’ve been learning that a true act of letting go contains far greater power than any reason not to ever could.

By letting go, you align yourself with the power of the universe.  You surrender to that unending stream of energy always flowing towards your highest potential.  So why don’t we let go more often?  Simply put, the thinking mind.  The mind needs thorough convincing to let go of anything.  To let go of a thought, an attachment, a grudge, or a question, the mind requires a foolproof argument to relinquish its firm grasp.  The thinking mind loses control over your life when you surrender and let go.  It doesn’t know a higher power will take the reigns; all the thinking mind sees is a life out of control, without any safety net.  Since the thinking mind is so bent on holding on, it is necessary to go beyond it to experience true surrender.  This means instead of convincing your mind to let go, you only need to convince your true self a more wondrous world is waiting for you on the other side of surrender.

How do you know if you’ve really let go?  When someone close to you has upset you and you decide to be the more conscious being and let it go, and think to yourself “Yes! I’ve let it go!” that is not surrender.  That is the thinking mind holding onto the concept of being more spiritually aware than others, and the idea of letting go.  You will know you’ve truly relinquished something when you feel a deep sense of peace, aliveness, and even joy that has nothing to do with your outer circumstance.

When you are having a disagreement with your partner, and no clear resolution has been found, but you feel completely at ease, you have surrendered.  This opens you up to being a vessel for solutions.  The universe has space to work through you to solve any problem you are experiencing, any dysfunction in the relationship.  Another sign that you have surrendered is that your compassion grows.  You can listen to your partner more deeply, without the voice in your head whispering internal judgments.  You can even understand a point of view you initially disagreed with.  Surrender offers unlimited potential for growth, expansion, peace, and love.

For me, writing this is a personal message to assist myself in surrender.  Although I am writing thoughts, they help to point me beyond my thinking mind to my true knowing.  There are many things in my life I can surrender to, like my work situation, my ideas about how my outer life should look, my opinions, and my ideas about how my loved ones should act.  And the only way to discover the miraculous consequences of surrender is to try it out.  What in your life can you let go of today?

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spirituality

Going, Going, Almost Gone

Katie and ChrisNext week I’m moving for the first time in five years. My boyfriend and I have loved living in this little studio apartment all these years, but several months ago (even before the bed bug incident) I began having a strong desire for something new. Something with a bedroom.

The last time I re-signed my current lease I had some doubts, the inkling that I might want to live somewhere new.  But I was comfortable living here, and the price was affordable for my boyfriend and I.  Then one day I watched an Oprah’s Next Chapter episode that took place in India and featured a family of five living in a studio apartment much smaller than ours, which I had previously considered tiny.  I took this as a sign that I should stay in the apartment, that it was relatively large, and more than enough for just the two of us.

One of the blessings of staying here for a fifth year, is that now moving feels like a gift.  I am infinitely grateful.  Yet, even as my dream is coming true before my eyes, I am still trying to figure out how it will be realized. I know come September 1st I’ll be sleeping in a different apartment, but I haven’t yet figured out how. There is a huge list of tasks that must be accomplished; I can’t keep track of them all.

Can you feel it? I’m right at that point where I can choose to react, or to allow. It would be easy to let the “how” take over the enjoyment of this highly anticipated change. This is a transition I have dreamt about for months, and I am grateful it is finally coming to pass. So no matter how impossible getting a dishwasher into a car and up a flight of stairs seems, I choose to let myself enjoy the experience.

Is there anything going on for you right now that you can surrender to? For me, moving is an experiment in letting go. The easiest way to tell if you’ve actually surrendered, and aligned yourself with your present experience, is to ask yourself if you feel peaceful or stressed out. If you’re feeling stressed, that is a compass letting you know you should turn around and go in a different direction. It gives you another chance to say, “I am going to allow this situation to be as it is,” and find out how life unfolds.

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consciousness, spirituality

The Difference Between Knowing The Truth and Feeling The Truth

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After the mind is convinced of something, it knows it as truth. For example, I know that my bus will arrive at 23 minutes past the hour every day. I have been convinced of that after riding the same bus day after day. Yet, even though I know that this is true, each morning before I leave I track the bus on my phone to see how many minutes there are until it arrives. It is as if I don’t really trust that the bus will show up, or trust my knowledge of the bus schedule. This is because I don’t really feel like the bus will always be there. Even though I know this truth, I don’t completely feel it, and end up checking to make sure the bus will arrive when I think it will.

This silly situation operates on a larger scale with universal and spiritual truths that I “know.” My mind is convinced that the universe teaches us the lessons that are most helpful to the evolution of our consciousness at any given moment. My mind has seen evidence of this principle through other people, and through personal experiences. I can see these lessons so clearly in hindsight. When I was around age 15 the boy I had been dating all year broke up with me, and I was completely beside myself. Now I can see how the thrust into introspection, self-doubt, reflection, and independence, played a necessary role in waking me up to my true nature. Through the unhappiness I experienced I was forced to look within to understand the root causes of pain, and developed a veracious need for peace undetermined by circumstance. I could go on and on looking at the circumstances of my life and seeing how they were teaching me lessons essential for my spiritual growth. And yet, even though I know the universe operates as teacher, I still don’t trust each moment I am in.

Although my mind is convinced of this spiritual principle, I don’t always ask why I am experiencing difficult moments. A lot of the time I end up frustrated or upset by situations that don’t work out in my favor, whether it is a tedious task I have to endure, an illness I have, or an unfriendly person I have to deal with. When such situations arise I don’t always feel like I’m learning a lesson. I don’t always feel like the moment I am experiencing is helpful to my spiritual growth. I don’t always feel like the universe is teaching me. Sometimes I feel like the situation just sucks.

The difference between knowing something to be true, and feeling like something is true is that feeling like something is true allows you to actually experience what your mind knows. When you feel like something is true, then that principle can genuinely operate in your life. When you feel like something is true, it becomes a reality for you.

When learning about different spiritual principles, knowledge is only one small step. After reading many books and engaging in countless discussions, there are a host of things about myself and the universe that my mind is convinced of. But until I feel like those things are true, they will not be real for me. Sometimes feeling like something is true arises because you’ve experienced that reality. For example, I feel like I am not my mind because I am constantly experiencing my true being which is beyond the mind. But if you know something is true and want to get to feeling like it is true, this requires surrender. If you know the truth but can’t feel it, there is a small part of the voice in the head that is doubtful and unconvinced. Through surrender you can say to yourself, “It is okay that I am experiencing this doubt, but I have decided to allow myself to let go of listening to all of those thoughts, and experience what I know to be true.” After surrendering to the truth that you know and want to feel, look around for evidence. Look about, come fully into the now, and watch for evidence of that which you know to be true. The truth will be presented to you, and that experience will be one step closer to feeling that truth. It will be one step closer to living it. Although, as in my case, the evidence does not always evoke the feeling, surrender and trust allow the truth to become real once again.

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