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The Surrender Experiment – Michael A. Singer

Several weeks ago, I sent an email to Bob Proctor asking him to update us on what he is reading at the moment so that I could have some ideas for new books to look at. I was directed to his blog where he has some great ideas: http://www.proctorgallagherinstitute.com/6483/six-books-to-read-this-year, but I had already read most of them.

So then, I asked clients and friends to share what they are reading. This presented many great options, and I’m going to share two of them in this post and the next.

I have a special friend who lives in Atlanta who has been on an incredible journey of self-discovery over the past year and it has been a privilege to watch him! He told me that he had come across Michael A. Singer through Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday’s http://original.livestream.com/supersoulsunday/video?clipId=pla_013d598c-fe7c-4671-8eca-5a37074e5825. Oprah discusses one of his books, The Untethered Soul on the clip – but when I went to Chapters, the book that pulled me was the book that followed called The Surrender Experiment. Here are some of my favourite quotes from this book – the pieces that were “aha’s” for me.

His book is all about his experiment to fully surrender to the universal flow of life – “to always be present in the current moment and do my best to not allow my personal preferences to make decisions for me.” (129) “My formula for success was very simple: Do whatever is put in front of you with all your heart and soul without regard for personal results. Do the work as though it was given to you by the universe itself – because it was.” (133) Whenever he experienced any resistance to his experiment, “I simply stopped for a moment, took a breath, and recognized all the negativity as my mind’s initial resistance to change.” (140) Sound familiar? “I had already learned time and again that it didn’t matter if I understood what was happening; it was sufficient to devote myself to the present moment and trust that the flow of life knew what it was doing.” (172)

He realized that “there were two very distinct aspects of what we call mind. There was the logical, thought-driven mind that links together what we already know into complex patterns of thought in order to come up with logical solutions. Then there was the intuitive, inspiration-driven mind that can look at a problem and instantly see a creative solution. As it turned out, the years of spiritual work I had done to quiet that voice in my head had opened the door for almost constant inspiration. It seemed that the quieter the mind, the more the solutions became self-evident.” (150)

On change – “Perhaps change only takes place when there is sufficient reason to overcome the inertia of everyday life. Challenging situations create the force needed to bring about change. The problem is that we generally use all that stirred-up energy intended to bring about change, to resist change. I was learning to sit quietly in the midst of the howling winds and wait to see what constructive action was being asked of me.” (160)

More on the inner voice – “the more I was willing to let go of the inner voice created by my personal likes and dislikes, the more I could see synchronicities in what was unfolding around me. These unexpected concurrences of events were like messages from life gently nudging me in the direction she was going. I listened to the subtle nudges instead of listening to the not-so-subtle mental and emotional reactions caused by my personal preferences. this is how I practiced surrender in everyday life.” (168)

“What I saw was that no matter who we are, life is going to put us through the changes we need to go through. The question is: Are we willing to use this force for our transformation?” (185) He found that “letting go … left me in a state of profound inner peace. I was not in charge, life was in charge, and there was an underlying sense of enthusiasm and excitement about getting to see what would happen next.” (189) In fact, “the constant act of letting go of one’s self-centered thoughts and emotions was all that was needed for profound personal, professional, and spiritual growth. All I did was my very best to serve what was put in front of me and let go of what it stirred up within me. It was not my responsibility to find what was binding me; that was life’s job. My responsibility was to willingly let go of whatever was brought up within me.” (252)

I hope that these insights stir you to delve deeper. I certainly found them powerful winds of change!

After reading Michael’s book, one of my clients brought into my office the audiobook of The Work of Byron Katie. What a perfect transition to a tool that supports letting go of our painful thoughts.

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