Tag Archive | spirituality

Surrender

Until your knees hit the floor you’re just playing at life, and on some level you’re scared because you know you’re just playing. The moment of surrender is not when life is over, it’s when it begins. ~Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love

One warm, sunny weekend in early September, 2013, I found myself in my car, alone, headed for Asheville, North Carolina. I had a stack of CDs, my phone, a few changes of clothes, and a full tank of gas. I also had with me a full complement of amino acid and magnesium supplements that were going to replace the antidepressant and Xanax I’d been taking for the past five years. I left the prescriptions at home. At about hour six of the 14 hour drive, I started to cry. What the FUCK was I doing? I was driving 14 hours, alone, for a weekend, alone, in a place I knew little about that I had chosen randomly (or intuitively). And I would have another 14 hour drive back home. It was one of those really deep cries that turned into a prayer, simple and raw: I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing and I’m going to need your help.

Knees hit the floor.

I’d been through a lot the couple of years previous and was considering moving to another state, running away, really. I had been on an unfamiliar path. I had dreams for the future but had no idea how to get there. So I took off for a weekend with excitement which turned quickly into fear. Tears. Surrender. I ended up having a great weekend. Spending time with myself, getting to know myself. There would be, and will be, more tears, more surrender, and more joy as my path unfolds.

Surrender is one of the most powerful lessons I’ve learned on my path and something I’ve learned to do even when life isn’t so bad.

Surrender presupposes a belief in a higher power, who I’ll refer to as God. The creator, the divine energy that connects everyone and everything, with whom we are are all one. A higher power that can make things happen. An energy that is pure love.

Surrender is completely giving up control over the circumstances and trusting in a force more powerful that we are to make things happen, to fix the problem, to help us realize our dreams.

Surrender is complete faith that somehow, we don’t know how, but somehow things are going to work out for the better.

Surrender is the acknowledgement, without judgment, that this problem is bigger than we are, knowing that if we could fix it by ourselves we surely would have already, so please help me, God.

Surrender is not sitting on the couch doing nothing and waiting for life to happen, surrender is taking one step and trusting that we are going to be shown the next step. And the next.

This is more than prayer. If we’re honest with ourselves, we pray a lot more than we actually surrender. We go through the motions with good intention, but we like to control things most of the time and are not good at surrendering the details to someone else. It can take a real shit storm to get us actually down on our knees in surrender. Crying in the shower. Bawling in the parking lot of the rest area. Surrender isn’t poetic and it isn’t polite. The prayer of surrender usually goes something like: “I’ve really fucked this up, please help me.”

There’s real beauty in surrendering. Finding that peaceful place withing ourselves, finding our true strength. We connect with our higher selves, we find our connection with our Creator and with all of creation. This is Love.

What actually happens when we truly surrender is God really does take over. I’m talking magic, miracles, and synchronicity. You’re at peace. You don’t have to worry about this anymore, someone way smarter is taking over. Phew. You have a chance conversation with the neighbor you never talk to and the next thing you know, you’re in a job interview with his ex-wife’s brother’s best friend’s therapist’s daughter. You go to the mailbox and there’s a refund check you weren’t expecting. You win an all expense paid vacation. Really good ideas pop into your head. Somebody sees your artwork hanging on your mother’s wall and wants to buy it. A song inspires you to call somebody who leads you in a new direction. A conversation leads you to start your own business. You’re meeting the exact people you need to meet. You’re in the right place at the right time. Magic, miracles, and synchronicity.

This is not the first nor the last time you will surrender. You will go about your life and hit another rough patch and end up on your knees again. It’s called living. Eventually you’ll start to figure out that all the good stuff starts to happen when your knees hit the floor. You’re getting help and this is starting to feel good. Even fun.

When you’re living your life to the fullest, your knees need never leave the floor. You’re not only surrendering, you’re also in deep gratitude for the many blessings in your life.

You don’t have to wait for the shit to hit the fan to get down on your knees. You have dreams and desires, plans and goals. But when you don’t know how to get there, you let go of the dream. Or you get so attached to your plans of how you’re going to get there that you have no flexibility when life (or God) steps in and throws a wrench in the plans. We leave no room for magic. Sometimes God has a better plan, so when she throws a wrench in yours, it’s time to sit up and take notice. Or get down on your knees.

We limit ourselves when we attach rigidly to our plans. Sometimes you have to move forward without a plan. Stop, breathe, focus on your heart. What is your dream, your purpose, your passion? Feel it? Does it still feel good? Good. Now, how does this next step feel? If it doesn’t feel good, don’t do it. Listen. Is a different idea trying to get your attention? Take a break, go for a walk, get away for the weekend. Does something light up for you? Trust it. Start moving, but be flexible. Allow changes to your plan. Make room for magic.

Many of us learn about surrendering in our every day lives after our knees hit the floor in some dramatic way. Perhaps that’s the purpose of that moment, to get our attention. Once you’re down there, stay on your knees. Surrender. Gratitude. How is life working for you now?

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The Space in Between

“You’ve got to learn to leave the table when love’s no longer being served.” ~Nina Simone

One thing I love about the tarot: besides being an intuitive tool, a set of cards that can answer any question you can ask, each card in the tarot deck tells a story and offers universal wisdom. And each time you pick up the same card, you see different nuances to the story. So, with the 8 of Cups that I was drawn to today.

8ofcups

Left: Rider Waite Tort. Right: Tarot of the New Vision

The man is walking away, leaving everything behind. The moon up above has his eyes closed. Where he is going is uncertain, but it is important for him to leave. In the card on the right, you can see the sadness on the man’s face. He has crossed the river, there is no going back. What he is leaving behind was once joyful but is no longer.

There are times in our lives when it is necessary to leave a circumstance or person behind, to walk away without looking back. When there is no longer any joy or love in the situation. When what was once joyful and exciting has become painful and exhausting. When we feel the loss of leaving but we know there is no other choice.

What captured my attention in the picture this time is the space between two cups in the top row. The space between. In any journey there are times of walking away and times of walking toward and there is the space in between. That space in between can be the hardest space to be in and the most beautiful, if we allow it. There is grief, there is loneliness, uncertainty, fear.

But this space in between is opportunity, if we allow it. When we process the grief and go through the loneliness, we have the space to look into our soul, to get to know ourselves again. What was the gift in the situation? What did I learn? What do I really want?

The space in between is hope. This space is an empty canvas. What are you going to paint on the canvas? Let your imagination run wild.

A few years ago, I was unhappy with just about everything in my life. I had lost my passion for my health coaching business, I was unhappy in my job, some friends had gradually drifted away. I decided I was going to move, but when I started looking for jobs in other states, I got nowhere. I saw an intuitive coach for guidance and was told that I wasn’t going anywhere until I found happiness where I was. Not what I wanted to hear. But I sat with it. I looked around me for happiness. I put everything on hold and picked up one thread of something that I knew had given me happiness in the past: dance. I had stopped ballroom dancing and when I tried to pick it up again, I didn’t find a place that felt right to me. I came upon a Salsa and Latin studio when I was wandering around Meetup, a circuitous and synchronous path. It never showed up in my searches for ballroom dance. It took a little time, but I found there not only the joy of dancing, but the community that I had been missing.

I never moved, I didn’t change jobs. I’ve been inspired, learning and growing, making changes, loving my life. I’m still figuring a lot of stuff out. I’ve been in this space in between other times since, the dance and the community have been there for me. I’ll be in the space again and I’ll know what to do.

This space in between the leaving of one thing and the coming of the next, it is necessary. It is a constant in our journey. When you learn to be in it, it’s a beautiful space full of promise and opportunity. Allow it. Take it in. Paint the picture on the empty canvas of what you desire and let the synchronicity, the Universe, God do the rest.

 

 

What if it’s all Bullshit?

InPursuitofMagicThe thought has crossed my mind that all of my spiritual beliefs, the basis for how I live my life, could be complete and total bullshit. Baloney. Delusion. God, the Universe, the idea of a benevolent, loving, power much greater than I that wants to help me. Angels, spirit guides, fairies. Reiki, energy healing, being affected by the energy of the moon, humans continuing to evolve. Reading tarot, listening to my own intuition, messages from loved ones in spirit, the soul’s immortality, soul mates, reincarnation. Law of Attraction, the power of positive thinking. Magic. Miracles. What if it’s all a lie? What if I’m wrong about everything?

Not exactly a crisis of faith. More of a brutal questioning by my inner critics. Where’s the logic? What can you prove? Does this shit really work? How does this make sense? It may not be scientifically provable, but it does make sense to me. It’s a way of living my life that is working better than anything else did before.

For instance, while there may not be any scientific evidence of Angels, the fact that I have never set myself on fire, gotten hit by a car, drowned in my own kitchen, or fallen off of the rickety chair I stand on to change lightbulbs is evidence enough for me that I am protected by guardian angels. And they probably deserve a raise.

I’ve stood on a mountain in Sedona and it’s hard for me to believe there is not a higher power who created the beauty, the majesty, an energy I cannot describe. I’ve walked in the woods, been out in the middle of the ocean, watched the sun rise and set, and it’s hard for me to believe there is not a higher power. I’ve held a newborn baby and watched him grow into an adult and it’s hard for me to believe there is not a higher power.

I can go on. I have felt the power of reiki and other types of energy healing. I have focused on love, and let love guide me through fear, and experienced the transformation. I have created vision boards, made lists, set intentions, and repeated affirmations, and I’ve watched the magic and miracles occur. Soulmates? When you meet someone and you instantly connect and you feel like you’ve known them for a thousand years? Because you have. It just makes sense.

I believe in my own intuition, and that I am guided by loved ones in spirit, a higher power, angels, and fairies, because, let’s face it, left to my own devices, I royally fuck it all up. (Okay, I haven’t landed in jail, rehab, or homeless, but the mistakes felt pretty disastrous to me at the time) What’s saved me is paying attention to my intuition, being open to guidance from the unseen, being open to miracles,  and noticing synchronicity. When I follow the path that makes my heart sing, I am always, always successful. When I pay attention to my inner knowing, life just works. When I go in the direction of what lights up for me, what feels happy and sparkly, not only is that pursuit successful, but I end up finding other unexpected magic that keeps leading me in the direction of my dreams. I randomly meet people who can help me. Situations open up.

What I know for sure is, when I opened myself up to these ideas that were new to me, life just started making sense to me in a more meaningful way. I found more peace in my life, more happiness. Less anxiety, more love.

Maybe it IS all bullshit. Maybe I AM delusional. Maybe it’s all truth. Maybe there’s some truth and some baloney. Does it matter? It’s working for me.

Really, why would I want to live in a world where angels, fairies, and unicorns did not exist?

 

 

Day 30: Endings and New Beginnings


We made it!!! Thank you for hanging out with me the 30 day challenge, it’s been an amazing experience. I hope something I’ve said in the last 30 days has helped you, inspired you to take the first or next step in realizing your dreams. My deepest gratitude to the friends who have been with me every day of this journey, have kept me accountable, and supported me in this challenge.

I invite you to share with me in the comments or email to julie@julieannsorenson.com any subject that I’ve touched on that you’d like to hear more about on video, blog, in-person talk or workshop.

Day 6: Self-Love is the Foundation for any Positive Change


“You’ve been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” ~Louise Hay

This video challenge has been a struggle for me, battling my perfectionism every day. The purpose is not to turn out an Oscar-worthy performance, a beautiful piece of videography. The purpose is to share my message authentically, to show up as myself every day. As the days go by, I’m winning the battle with my inner critics and the videos become easier.

If one person is helped in some way by what I have to say, I’ve done my job and I’m happy.

Fear and Surrender

It’s a dark night. A man dressed in black walks confidently down the street, heading path toward a shining, yellow light. The path is lit right in front of him. He’s following the light, on step at a time, as it’s revealed to him. The Hermit, IX The Path in the Book of Shadows Tarot, Book 1, As Above. My inspiration for writing this week.

The literal meaning of the card was unhelpful for my present situation. But what I saw was somebody following the path one step at a time. Stepping in faith. And I heard “surrender.” A call for me to stop trying to control things and have faith in a higher power and my own intuitive guidance.

I thought writing my weekly blog post would get easier the more I wrote and it’s actually gotten harder. I procrastinate and face writer’s block. Not a single bit of inspiration all week.

So I started the Tibetan singing bowl music, G# for the throat chakra, and meditated.

In my meditation, I was faced with dinosaurs, dragons, and humongous, scary bug creatures. And I stood and faced each fear until it faded away.

The writer’s block, procrastination, it’s all about fear. Because I’ve made a commitment to write every week, I stand face-to-face with the bug creature until it melts away and I keep writing.

What is the fear about? The fear is about writing what the fear is about.

The fear is about coming out of the spiritual closet. The fear is about moving from the logical and safe world of a corporate job, technology, programming, project management and moving into more of myself as an intuitive, energy healer, coach/counselor, writer, speaker, teacher, spiritual leader.

  • what if I can’t make a living
  • what if the intuitive guidance I’m receiving and sharing is total crap
  • what if reiki doesn’t really do anything
  • what if people think I’m a whack job

This fear is not trusting in the journey that I have embarked upon. So I am being called to surrender, to follow the path as it is shown to me one step at a time. And the guidance I keep receiving is to keep writing. The evidence is in front of me, that surrender and faith is the way to go. A Higher Power and the wisdom of my own higher self have my back.

Here is what I know for sure:

  • The more I speak and live from my heart, as my authentic self, the more like-minded people I meet, and communities I find in which I can thrive. What people think matters less and less.
  • When I follow my own intuitive guidance, I make the best decisions. My mind alone gets me in trouble. I can cite examples of making decisions I felt excited about, against all logic, that turned out awesome.
  • Meditation, positive thinking, faith, and surrender have made me a kinder, more patient, less reactive, more compassionate person.
  • I’ve felt the healing power of various kinds of energy healing and witnessed the positive effects on my own clients.

Most importantly: wherever I end up, I know that, since I’ve been on this particular journey, following my path to being my most authentic self and where I am guided to be of service in the world, I have been happier on a more regular basis than I have in my life. For that, I will walk in faith.