I’m hearing a number of reports lately of people getting stressed about the pressures of the Holiday Season. More than any other time of year, this can be a time when we most need to rely on our spiritual practices and tools to help us navigate situations and events with equanimity. One of the most important practices is to accept what is, AKA surrender practice.
This really came home to me when I was having a conversation with Eckhart Tolle about a challenging situation I was facing. He turned to me and asked, How is your surrender practice going? As usual, he got right to the heart of the matter. He was reminding me that if my internal state was one of acceptance, I would be able to handle whatever happened while maintaining a connection to my core of peace.
A surrender practice, as Eckhart suggested, involves internally accepting what happens, including your own reactions. The priority becomes attending to your inner state of being first, then responding appropriately to the outer circumstances. As he said a number of times, the process is to accept what is, then take the best action possible, from that surrendered state.
Catherine Ponder has a beautiful surrender pointer I really resonate with. She refers to accepting or surrendering as coming into agreement with what is. I love this because it makes surrender so accessible to us all. Once something has already happened, I can come into agreement with the fact that it has, and then see what the best response could be to the situation.
Eckhart refers to this as becoming friendly with the present moment. To come into agreement, to become friendly, automatically shifts any situation or experience, and helps increase the possibility that it will have a positive outcome. More importantly, it keeps our inner state open, clear and calm. Our experience then is one of peace, regardless of what is happening externally.
During the Holiday Season, many of us have ample opportunity to put our surrender practice into action. The holidays often find us in situations that can trigger us. I invite you to focus on your surrender practice this season and see how fully you can come into agreement with what is happening and thereby experience, at the very least, less stress and more ease. Perhaps you will be able to experience a fuller surrender that leads you to a deep, unshakable peace.
Aunt Helga’s condescending comments at the annual family gathering may just roll off your back this time as you recognize her words say nothing about you, unless you let them. Instead of becoming tense in long holiday lineups, maybe this year you will use those moments of waiting to come into agreement with the delay and thereby drop into the calm stillness of your center, instead of wasting that precious time by stressing out.
If you feel you need a little support getting through the season, I have a few suggestions of helpful resources. If you are sensitive and/or feeling yourself getting overly affected by people, you might want to check out my friend Dave Markowitz’s book Self Care for the Self Aware. This book is a great resource for helping to learn how to let things move through rather than sticking to you, how to release energies you may have taken on and how to strengthen your boundaries. I use his Return to Sender technique often in sessions, as it is so helpful.
Another resource is the Shift Into Freedom audio program by Loch Kelly, available through Sounds True. This program has many guided practices for awakening your deeper nature so you can have a greater experience of wholeness that also includes your human aspects. His Emotional Freedom practice is one of the best I’ve ever come across for dealing with difficult emotions such as anger, fear and sadness. It can help you disentangle from emotions and shift into acceptance and peace.
Finally, if you would like to get more rooted in your heart’s wisdom, and release painful emotions from the past, consider joining me for my Heart Alchemy online class starting Saturday, January 6. I’m also offering a new online workshop, Bringing the Shadow to Light, if you find yourself in the same reactive patterns and really want to get to the bottom of them so you don’t have to repeat them in future. This online workshop will also help you uncover more of your light and express it in your life and the greater world. Starts January 10. More details on both courses may be found on the Schedule page of my website.
Wishing you much peace this Holiday Season.