At the spiritual center I attend we partake in a “White Stone” ceremony every January. It’s a beautiful practice where one is, in essence, “renamed”. The ceremony itself is taken from a tradition as far back as the teachings of Jesus. During those times, when a man was released from prison he was given a white stone upon which he would write his new name. The past was in the past and he would move forward with a clean slate and a new name. In our more modern era we use this ceremony to summon forth a quality and/or and belief we desire to step into. This year mine was ALLOW. I have come to realize that I spend a lot of time organizing and orchestrating my life and the lives of those around me so that everything is the way I like it. It just feels better. I like everyone to be happy and in a good mood. I like everyone to process their drama and get over it quickly and I always like things to be smooth and easy. It dawned on me that perhaps I might be missing out on some of the rich gifts life has to offer with my constant need to have everything the way I like it! For lack of a better example, suppose you spent your entire life never eating ice cream. Someone told you once that it was no good and without trying it for yourself decided that they were right and ice cream was bad. Then one day you accidentally try this odd looking dessert and someone tells you its ice cream and you love it! How sad that you’d spent so many years not enjoying all the flavors and deliciousness this treat had to offer. You’d missed out on so much! Are you starting to get where I’m going with this…….? What if, behind the heartbreak, the trauma, career change (the list is endless) there were amazing opportunities awaiting us, but because we never “ALLOW” ourselves to go through those experiences we never receive the rich gifts on the other side? We also don’t “ALLOW” the universe to unfold the way it desires to. So that became my practice. To allow everyone to be and behave how he or she needed to be in that moment. To be ok with how people and myself showed up in the world in that moment and to ALLOW experiences to unfold in my life without trying to manipulate them in any way. Whewww! It was fascinating to navigate to say the least.
And then I stumbled on to a book that knocked my socks off! The Surrender Experiment, my journey into life’s perfection – by Michael Singer. You may wonder why the Author sounds so familiar….. he also wrote The Untethered Soul (a book that is often referenced and loved dearly by our own Glenda Satore). This is the story of how Michael came to be who he is today and how the book the Untethered Soul came to be. It is the story of what happened when he decided to let go of his personal preferences and simply let life call the shots. In a nutshell, he begins to say yes to the experiences and the situations that unfold before him! Here’s a little excerpt:
“We have been gifted the power of will. From deep inside, we can determine how we want something to be and apply the power of our minds, hearts and bodies in an attempt to make the outside world conform. But this puts us in a constant battle of our way versus the way it would be without our intervention. This battle between individual will and the reality of life unfolding around us ends up consuming our lives. When we win the battle, we are happy and relaxed; when we don’t, we are disturbed and stressed. Since most of us only feel good when things are going our way, we are constantly attempting to control everything in our lives. What we have here is the basis for an experiment. At the heart of the experiment is a simple question: Am I better off making up an alternate reality in my mind and then fighting with reality to make it be my way, or am I better off letting go of what I want and serving the same forces of reality that managed to create the entire perfection of the universe around me? This experiment would not be about dropping out of life, it would be about leaping into life to live in a place where we are no longer controlled by our personal fears and desires.
I have called this “the surrender experiment”, and to the best of my ability, I have devoted the last forty years of my life to seeing where the flow of life’s events would naturally take me.”
It’s been 5 months now, I’m not perfect at this practice by any means, but I can say it’s getting easier and easier all the time. The other morning when my husband woke up and I could sense something was a little off with him, I asked him about it – he shared where he was at and went about his morning. About 10 minutes later I came to him saying that I was worried about him, hoping that we could just fix this situation up quick and easy and then all of us could go back to being happy! He simply nodded, as I walked away a small voice said to me – worried about him or worried about you? And there it was, a little slip in my openness to allow all things to unfold exactly they way they need to. My husband worked through his stuff on his own time, everyone else in the house was happy and went about their day as normal and I’m still alive and breathing. The world didn’t end and the beautiful gift on the other side of this experience was that Daryn felt it was safe to be where he needed to be in that moment and our relationship is greater because of it. SWEET!
If you’re looking for something to awaken growth within or you’re looking to deepen your existing spiritual practice the events that transpire in this book will both challenge your deepest assumptions about life and inspire you to look at your own life in a radically different way! I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.