Finding Balance Between Effort and Surrender

Something I practice in my own life and that I work with clients on is the idea of surrender.

You know when you get news about something you really don’t want to hear, or your pet gets sick, or you get sick, or you just burnt the toast when you didn’t want to?

Surrendering is opening to what is.

Here’s life happening. You can choose to fight it, resist it, wish it were different, wish they were different, or you can choose to open to what IS in this moment. Is it o.k. to get pissed first and resist, then surrender? Yes, you bet. I do it all the time.

You might ask: “Well, I don’t want to just give up and let life happen. That sounds awful!” I agree, and that’s where effort comes in.

In spiritual contexts it’s called “Wise Effort.”

Effort is putting attention on something. It might be creating an intention, or it might be showing compassion when you’re giving some difficult news to someone, or it might be sitting on your meditation cushion even when you don’t feel like it.

Effort is awareness. Effort is commitment. Effort is cultivation.

What effort is NOT is striving. Effort comes from a place of curiosity, a place of wonder, a place of wisdom, a place of knowing.

Striving comes from the ego. The ego of insecurities, and the beliefs and shoulds that I’ll be better off, I’ll be loved more, I’ll be accepted more, they will be better off… if I do these things. Striving feels like grasping or struggling, perhaps even proving.

Effort, on the other hand, feels like it’s in line with you or “good” for you. That it comes from a deeper place within you. There’s nothing to prove, nothing to grasp, yet a curiosity, a knowing that this effort will help you in some way.

Intentions are part of this effort. It is putting attention on what you want to create in your day, your life, or within yourself. This is equally as important as surrendering to what is. It’s a balance between the two. A balance being not static. A coming back to balance everyday between effort and surrender.

This is my daily practice.

Today, I’m thinking about effort in terms of the coming year (as it’s the start of 2014). And as I’ve done in the past (manifest and shine were the last two words/years), I’ve created a word to cultivate my intentions this year, which are:

  • To balance my business with play time
  • To cultivate my deeper feminine power through dance
  • To relax into ease with my business
  • To have deep connections with more people
  • To create a new home
  • To be present

When I look at what matters to me most in this coming year, and what one word comes to mind when I read my intentions, the word is: SENSUAL

Oh my, that’s a little scary to write. That’s how I know it’s the perfect word for this year. When I think of sensual, it’s not in a sexual context, but in an embracing of my feminine body and feminine energy, it’s play time with laughter and spontaneity, it’s powerful grace when dancing, it’s heart felt connections with others, and it’s dynamic movement and expression.

To create your own word of the year (which I highly recommend you do), read my blog post here for helpful instructions. Then write to me to tell me your word – I would love to hear!

Categories: Heart Centered Living

About the Author: Angela Patnode

My passion, my calling, is for you to be totally you. Through private coaching, in-depth retreats, and online group coaching programs, I help you tap into your intuition and clarify your desires and vision, I guide you to take active steps toward making your desires a reality.

4 comments to “Finding Balance Between Effort and Surrender

  1. Patrice

    Congratulations on another “home run” and a great word for 2014. Mine is “COURAGE” which feels even more appropriate after finding out today that the gallery I’m in in Waikiki is closing this Saturday.

    Oh My! The good news? I feel really great any way. I know that everything always works out for me and this is just one more thing that’s in the process of working out in a great new way.

    Aloha Angela and Mahalo nui loa for another great eZine!

  2. Angela Patnode

    I’m so excited for you and your word of the year Patrice! A great outlook on the gallery closing and the possibility of new doors opening. I look forward to witnessing how courage unfolds for you in your life!
    With love,

  3. Amy L Van brocklin

    I struggle. Alcoholism, depression. Want to learn to live and be happy with much less struggle.

    1. Angela Patnode

      Hello Amy, my heart is with you. Depression and alcohol can be very difficult, and I also believe there is a way to heal from both and experience joy again. Consider AA as a possible program to heal through and there are others if AA doesn’t resonate. A course in miracles is another outstanding program, keep looking until you land on the one that speaks to your soul. You can heal my dear friend, believe this. With love

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