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Archive for the ‘Surrender’ Category

Day 123

Affirmation:

I give gifts freely, without  strings attached.

Once I give a gift I let go completely.

What someone does with a gift I give is none of my business.


A true gift is the one given without the giver attached to it.  If we give someone a vase and do so expecting they will fill and display it, we are attaching ourselves and our expectations to the gift.  Under those circumstances we are not truly giving; we are sharing.  A true gift has no such strings.  It is not given with any expectation of being used, worn, displayed, or eaten.  There may hope, but no expectation, and certainly no disappointment if it is not.  A true gift originates in the desire to give, not in the desire to see one’s self or worth reflected in that gift’s use.  

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365 Days of Inspiration –  Daily Affirmations and Insights for Living a Joyful Life of Empowered Consciousness

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Day 117

Affirmation:

My spiritual path is my own and of my own choosing.

Wherever I am is where I am meant to be.

I am open to changing directions if it will bring me closer to my authentic nature.


The journey of inner spiritual growth is a distinctly personal one.  There is no one right way.  What works for one may not work for another.  Even individually, a path that has been helpful for a time may start to feel constrictive and ill-fitting, and need to be abandoned.  Just as we outgrow clothes and need new ones, sometimes we must seek a new path, one that allows for continued expansion.  Many of us are seekers whose spiritual weight goes up and down like a yo-yo requiring frequent navigational shifts.  While some have a certain discipline and fidelity that allows them to stay with the same practice for their entire lives, many of us are of the clothes-changing type.  Both can be equally beneficial and it is crucial to honor one’s uniquely individual needs and allow oneself the freedom to change course if change is beneficial.

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Day 106

Affirmation:

I am still.

I am present.

I am free of internal clutter.

I am still.

I am present.

I am free of internal congestion.

I am still.

I am present.

I am free.


As important as having simplicity in our personal spaces can be, transformative even, having it within ourselves is crucial. Simplifying one’s inner world is about finding stillness in the mind by eliminating the mental clutter, the extraneous thoughts that fill our waking lives with incessant chatter.  Meditation and yoga are helpful, losing oneself in a meditative act like painting or listening to music can also help quiet the mind.  Simplifying the inner world means pausing to be physically and mentally present in the moment.  It means physically leaving one location (like work) and taking our whole self (thoughts included) with us, not being mentally other than where our body is.  It means not living in yesterday nor worrying about tomorrow.  It means refusing to engage in the drama of others’ lives or allowing it to be part of ours. That may mean not tuning in to the news every day. It might mean choosing to watch television shows that promote well-being and inner peace instead of those that promote tension and discord. Simplifying the inner world means letting go of emotions and beliefs that don’t serve one’s life and well-being.  It means opening the closet of the heart and getting rid of what no longer fits, what never belonged to us in the first place, and what was given to us that we don’t want.  Simplifying internally means getting back to the basics of who we are and what we’re about.  It’s about finding that place within where love and hope and faith and happiness and peace have permanent residence.  It means embracing our feelings without judging ourselves for having them.  It means letting joy be joy and sorrow be sorrow.  Simplifying the inner world is about creating a quieter mind, an engaged sense of being, and a peaceful heart.

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Day 69

Affirmation:

I let go my resistance to life’s natural rhythms and allow myself to be carried through change and growth.

I surrender my need to control every outcome and circumstance and allow life to unfold naturally.

I  surrender to faith.

I live with trust.

I let go.


Surrendering is not giving in or giving up, it is letting life unfold in its mysterious unbridled way, accepting that some things simply can’t be controlled.  When we surrender to life, we let go of our resistance – which pushes against the natural flow of things – and allow ourselves to become a part of the harmonious rhythm of the universe.  When we surrender, we throw our oars in the river and let the current carry us, acknowledging that sometimes we truly do not know what is best, but having faith that something greater than us does.  Surrendering is accepting the unacceptable, when there is no other choice.  Surrendering is accepting the inevitable as part of life’s journey, even if we don’t really want to.  Observe a leaf floating downstream, a hawk gliding on an air current, or a child going down a slide, and you are observing surrender.  Let’s know when to be the leaf, the hawk, the child, and let life carry us for a while.

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Day 62

Affirmation:

I accept that all life is in a constant state of flux.

I accept impermanence as an inherent part of living in the natural world.

I do not cling to life, people, things or experiences.

I understand that everything is impermanent and eventually gives way to something else.

I deeply appreciate my life and its holdings while they are present, knowing they can change or cease to be at any time.


A core tenet of Buddhist philosophy is that humans suffer when they cling to that which is impermanent.   The Buddha taught that liberation from suffering can be found by living in a state of non-attachment, which is realized when impermanence is understood to the true nature of the phenomenal world.  Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike can benefit from this simple understanding.  Impermanence tells us that all things of the world are in a constant state of change and that anything that originates is subject to cessation.  Impermanence is easily understood when thinking in terms of death and decay, but circumstance and choice can also create endings.  I once witnessed a young mother become inconsolable when her toddler broke a glass bird she’d had since childhood.  The child was punished and made to suffer for his age-appropriate accident.  She cried for hours, and talked about the incident for weeks.  Everyone around her suffered for the loss of this little object.  The incident was extreme but a beautiful example of how we cling to objects.  We also cling – or attach ourselves – to situations, jobs, events, lifestyles, such that when they change or end, suffering ensues.  Perhaps the form of attachment that creates the most suffering is our attachment to each other.  Relationships are wrought with attachment.  Parents cling to children who must grow up and move on, and many a divorce lawyer has filled his coffer when one spouse clings to another who seeks change.  But when we embrace impermanence we understand that life has cycles, that relationships may end, and that items break or are lost.   Non-attachment does not mean de-tachment.  It means appreciating the thing, person and experience in the moment, with an acceptance of the reality that the only certainty is change.  Accepting impermanence has the ability to instill a deep and meaningful reverence for what exists now, a true presence in life’s moments and promote a greater passion for living life fully.  Just as the tree sheds its leaves seasonally and the caterpillar becomes the butterfly, so too are we and our lives a part of the natural reality of impermanence.

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Day 60

Affirmation:

I rise above opportunities to express fear and anger.

I choose to respond to life with and from love.

I choose to be better than the examples others set.

I grow and evolve with life’s experiences.

I am my own hero.


One of life’s great lessons is to rise above and be better for our circumstances and trials.  We learn, grow and evolve when we take every experience – not just the good ones – and become better and more loving for them.  It can be easy to repeat the bad choices and behaviour others have modeled for us but the desirable way is to be better than those examples and to let them inspire us to greatness.  The easy path is to react to life’s difficulties with negative resistance; the desirable way is to respond to challenges with hope, faith, courage and optimism.  Some of our greatest heroes are those we see as having overcome formidable circumstances in order to rise to their highest potential.   We can all be our own heroes and heroines, being better – always better – for what life offers us.

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Day 31

Affirmation:

I surrender all resistance and allow myself to be a natural part of the flow of life.


As a leaf upon the water… moving with the currents of the water and the wind, being connected to the flow but remaining above it.  There’s no need to paddle, anchor, fight the current, or resist the direction,  it’s much easier to move naturally along the path of least resistance. If we find ourselves stuck in a cove we can wait- knowing we’re there for a reason. If we bump into another leaf we can say hello- knowing our paths have crossed intentionally.  Without resistance we can flow through life with grace, faith and peace.

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Day 30

Affirmation:

I love beyond fear.

I love with the fullness of my being.

I love with a complete commitment to loving.

I love without expectation, comparison, or attachment.

I love with surrender, vulnerability and daring.

I love for the sake of loving.

I love in the present.

I love.


 

To love with only half of one’s heart is an incomplete act.  Refraining from complete surrender is usually meant to protect one’s emotions and sense of self from some sort of possible threat.  It is much like sending only half of one’s army to battle, leaving the other half to defend the kingdom.  It may make sense to those whose only goal is to protect the empire but to those who wish to win the battle, all must be committed to the cause.   To love is to risk pain, perhaps even in the most melodramatic sense, ruin.   Yet to love and be loved is the very ache every heart longs to fulfill.  Every soul desires that the arrow of love pierce and impale itself in our hearts.  We want to win the battle most of all but to have complete love we must commit our hearts to giving love completely, in spite of its risks and in favor of its infinite rewards.   Yes, love hurts but there is no more sweeter wound than that which befalls the soldier on the battlefield of love.  There is no cause more worthy of our commitment.   And there is no greater victory than conquering fear and living in the spoils of true love.

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Day 28

Affirmation:

Today I will do something completely and utterly pointless… just because.


It’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day have-to’s, need-to’s, and must-do’s.  Using time efficiently, making every moment count, making sure everything has a purpose behind it- these are rationales that create our lives in this modern world.  Being productive and practical has its place, but so does giving ourselves permission to do something that has absolutely no obvious merit.  Admittedly, even the pointless has a point.  It frees us from regimental, well-defined and ultimately limiting thinking.  It creates a space – if only for a few minutes – where we can be spontaneous, curious, adventurous, creative and fully present in the here and now, fully alive and fully experiencing life. And if anyone asks why you did it,  smile and say “Just because.”

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Day 20

Affirmation:

I am grateful for every blessing in my life, big or small.

I am grateful for every blessing disguised as a challenge.

I express my gratitude often, both silently and aloud.

I make feeling grateful a habit.


 

Running water and a running car, friends and family, clothes and comfort; a desk, a computer, a light to see by and fingers to type with; the re$ources needed to enjoy life, be safe, eat well and sleep in peace; time, space, soul and heart; love and longing, naysayers and roadblocks, clouds and sun and soil and rain; seed to feed to birds, ears to hear their songs, and a mouth to smile at the loveliness of it all…..

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Day 18

Affirmation:

Right now, right here, I am strong, determined and unwilling to let fear undermine my author-ity.

I refuse to allow fear to disable my creative potential.

I refuse to let fear dis-able me.

I choose to move beyond fear and into my potential.


 

Imagine a fear-full person preparing to skydive.  He stands in the doorway of the plane, holding on to whatever will keep him safely in the plane.  He’s rigid, rooted in place, unable to take that step out of the plane.  He is paralyzed by his fear, and in that moment, all potential is disabled.  All forward motion is stopped.  No progress can be made.  His fear has dis-abled him.  In the very same way, fear has the potential to dis-able us in our ordinary, day-to-day lives.  We are the authors, creators and inventors of our lives but when in fear, all potential is frozen.  We can not move forward.  We can not jump into life with enthusiasm.  We can not experience the abundant, joy-full, loving experiences that are waiting for us. But in spite of our fears, we have choices and we can choose to push ourselves beyond our fear and into our potential.

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Day 16

Affirmation:

I see miracles everywhere.

I see all miracles as created equal.

I am humbled and awed by the miracles of life and existence that are all around me.

I welcome all miracles into my experience.

I am grateful for the miracles in my life.


There are no small miracles.  There are no big miracles.  To the universal font of creation a life-saving healing is no bigger or greater an occurrence than a fortuitous encounter on the street.   Creation does not know the limits of more and less because creation It-self is limitless.  All creation is equally meaningful to its Creator.  Humans assign degrees of importance, worth, and value to acts of creation because we think in terms of judgment, limitation and duality.  The Universe does not.  From a non-physical perspective, every encounter, every birth, every happenstance, every synchronicity, every bit of support made manifest is just as grand and meaningful as every other.

We don’t have to limit ourselves and our thinking either. We can learn to think like the Universe.  The job, the relationship, the healing, the purpose, the resources, the human being, the ant, the quiet moment, the parking space up front, the coupon for free gas, the feather, and the cloud can all be embraced equally without measuring one against the other.  When we view our experiences and the world as independent of  all else – without comparing or thinking of bigger or smaller, lesser or greater- we see each as meaningful and miraculous- period.

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Day 15

Affirmation:

Today I will stop during my day to center myself in the *experience* of living.

Be-ing is important to me, and I make it a priority.

I am not just a participant of my life, I am an observer of the participant.


 

Thinking and doing are the inevitable result of being alive and human.  We are thinking and doing creatures.  We are also creatures that are capable of experiencing existence within stillness, awareness and presence, through a type of non-action called be-ing-ness.   Be-ing is the result of stopping thought and ceasing action long enough to surrender to the experience of experiencing, becoming an observer, and allowing life to happen without discomfort or resistance.   Be-ing is as important to our inner harmony and physical wellness as thinking and doing.   Be in awe.  Be in the moment.  Be in harmony.  Be in the presence of the Divine.  Be still.  Be at peace.  Be in your heart.  Be in love.  Just BE…

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Day 13

Affirmation: 

I will not let fear keep me from authentic relationships.

I will not make excuses, when fear is the real roadblock.

I have the courage I need to take a chance on love… and I will.


 

Stop thinking… just jump.

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Day 12

Affirmation:

I release my desire to control.

I release my desire to resist.

I live my life with flexibility.

I live my life with a willingness to bend.


A sapling only knows how to yield and bend in the wind.  It will continue to bend with the wind until it’s roots and trunk are strong enough to withstand.  We too must learn when it’s advantageous to bend and yield unto life and when we are sure and strong enough to stand against it.

oak-tree-sapling-main

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Day 11

Affirmation:

I am grateful for positive changes in my life.

I stay in balance through change by consciously making time to be still, to release anxiety, and to breathe.

 


 

Even the very best changes can be overwhelming and cause us anxiety, and when we’re anxious we forget to breathe, we forget to pause.  Unreleased chronic tension can take it’s toll, even manifesting as pain and illness. It’s important during any time of change, to step away from it occasionally, doing nothing but focusing on being still, present and breathing deeply.

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Day 9

Affirmation:

I already am the best version of myself I could ever be.

I have nothing to perfect; I am perfection by my nature.

I surrender my efforts to become someone so that who I AM may be revealed.

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It is so easy to become entangled in the belief that the spiritual journey is a journey toward perfecting one’s self.   After all, if we work hard enough at becoming good and just and tolerant and patient and loving and, and, and, then we’ll achieve something.  Then we’ll become our best selves.  Yes, the spiritual journey is about expressing humanely and lovingly but there is nothing to perfect.  The secret- the REAL secret- is that we are all already perfected.  We don’t have to work toward becoming anything because all we seek to be we already are.  The only work we have to do is to reveal our true natures.

The true essence of the spiritual journey is the peeling away of layers we’ve gathered around ourselves.  It’s the un-learning of who we think we are and who we think we ought to be so we can be who we’ve always been – the one who is buried underneath the judgments, taming, and expectations of the world.  It’s the disarming of ourselves- removing the emotional armor and dropping the ego-created shields we carry in order to expose our true selves.  We are eternal, Divine, and heart-centered beings by nature with nothing to strive for but often much to let go of.  We are whole, complete, and already perfected.  We’ve just forgotten.

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Day 8

Affirmation:

I am having fun with life!

I intend to enjoy the ride today!

I will stop taking myself so seriously.

I will have fun and find reasons to laugh.  Or laugh for no reason at all!

I will not work so hard at ‘being’ instead I will just BE the beautiful, joyous, spark of life I AM.

No matter how seriously life wants me to take it, I will not be deterred from being playful with it all.


 

When we ‘lighten up’ we actually do Light-en up because we raise our vibration to one that is closer to our Source.  So let’s have fun and enjoy the journey!

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Day 7

Affirmation:

I trust in a Higher Vision for me and my life.

I trust that all I experience is intended for my personal growth and my soul’s expansion.

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Where we are in the world and in our lives is exactly where we’re supposed to be for the expansion of our Soul, fulfillment of higher Purpose, and personal growth.  Where we are may not be where we want to be but we’re there because there is where we need to be.  It helps to remember that today’s struggles are the seeds of tomorrow’s strength and that today’s strength has grown from yesterday’s sorrow.  We may not always understand or appreciate what we’re going through, but there is a Divine Perfection that knows better than our limited selves what we need to experience in order to choose to live as the Luminous Flowers of Creation WE ARE.

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Day 2

Affirmation: 

This is not happening TO me, it is happening FOR me.


Life throws curves,  shows us pain, and sometimes – well, sometimes it just feels like a lousy deal, and during those really challenging times most of us will ask at least one “why?”

  • Why am I being tested? 
  • Why is this happening now?  
  • Why is this happening to me? 

But what if it isn’t…

What if it isn’t happening TO us?  What if the hardships and smack-downs aren’t happening TO anyone?  What if they are happening FOR us?  We – beautiful humans that we are – like to take and make circumstances deeply and singularly personal, all the while forgetting that the challenges we face in life have deeper purpose and always hold some kind of potential.  Our trials teach us, strengthen us, break us of our self-centeredness, and force us to create change.  In our distress we learn to reach out and experience inter-dependence, while giving others a chance to learn about compassion, empathy and consideration.  In the face of struggle we solidify faith and learn to let go of what we can’t control.  We become empowered, find our voices, straighten our spines and realize that we’re much stronger than we ever imagined.  In times of difficulty our souls expand, our hearts learn they’re resilient, and our minds become resourceful.

So how do we get from “Why?” to “Wow!” ?

We get there by shifting our perspective from that of one of life’s wounded to that of an empowered participant.  When we stop feeling like life is attacking, thwarting and punishing, and shift to believing that life is offering opportunities, everything changes. Finding gratitude – however small a morsel – in the face of even the most painful of situations shifts our perspective from hopelessness to possibility.  When we make the shift we move from feeling defeated to feeling capable, exhausted to determined, emotionally insolvent to functional problem solvers. And when the difficulty has resolved and we see how the shattered pieces of our world have rearranged themselves into a new and ever more beautiful mosaic, we reprogram ourselves to understand pain, sorrow, difficulty, and struggle from a beneficent spirit and a tolerant heart.

We are a lot like so many other beautiful things in the world – a little softer, a little wiser, a little mellowed, a little bolder,  and a lot more flavorful when we allow ourselves to be aged, ripened and gently loved by life.

old antique books worn used gently loved

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Day 1 

Affirmation:

I am born again in the life that was waiting for me.

I am the author of my life and I alone am responsible for how I live it.

I am true to myself.

I am not threatened by the fears of others.

I will never again let life tell me no.

I am free to live and I began today.

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Let this be the year for the birthing of our authentic natures.   Let each of us allow our true selves and  true potential  to come forth and express.   Let our gifts be shared, our passions blaze, our hearts love fully.  Let this be the year for breaking free from the fear, the doubt and the lack of self-worth that have crippled our genuine expressions.   Let’s not be concerned with the unaccepting opinions of others, for they speak through the filter of their own fears.    Or worry about going alone; love will always support and encourage, even when it doesn’t understand.    Let this be the year to surrender any notion of who we think we ought to be  so that who we are can flow freely forth from our inner to our outer beings.   Let’s commit to living as the unlimited and expanding expressions of LIFE that we are, beginning now, this first day of this new year.

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