Conscious Cat Sunday: the power of surrender

cat_on_sunny_sofa

Surrender is faith that the power of love can accomplish anything…
even when you cannot foresee the outcome. – Deepak Chopra

I admit it: I’m a control freak. I like predictability, consistency, and routine. Maybe that’s one of the many reasons why I love cats so much. They tend to thrive on those things, too. I often waste time trying to control, plan and prevent things that I can’t possibly control, plan and prevent. My cats don’t do this. Despite the fact that they’re creatures of habit, they seem to be much better at going with the flow.

This was really brought home to me during our recent two-day power outage. While I was stressed about not having air conditioning, internet access and refrigerated or cooked food, Allegra and Ruby simply went about their usual business. They trusted that they would be fed, loved and cared for, whether the power was on or not.

Given that we live in a world that’s anything but predictable, wanting to be in control of the universe can be frustrating, not to mention futile. The desire to control is rooted in fear, and the only way to break this useless behavior pattern is to surrender.

The energy of surrender accomplishes much more than the energy of control. By surrendering, and allowing life to unfold instead of trying to control it, you’ll most likely find that things will go smoother, obstacles that previously seemed insurmountable may simply disappear, and you will feel more peaceful.

Surrender does not mean doing nothing. In fact, learning how to surrender can be hard work. It simply means taking action from a place of peace, rather than responding to stress.

The following tips can help you let go of control and surrender:

Become aware. Sometimes, it’s as simple as becoming aware that you’re trying to control the uncontrollable, and making a conscious choice to let go.

Breathe and take stock. Take a deep breath and step back from the situation. Ask yourself what would happen if you let go of control. Would it really be that terrible? Ask yourself why a certain situation or obstacle appeared in your path. What lesson can you learn from it? In the case of my recent power outage, I know there was a clear lesson in taking more time away from the computer. Would I have preferred to take that time in air conditioned comfort? Of course I would have. But the lesson still took, and I’m making adjustments to my schedule.

Leave room for change to occur naturally. When you give in to the energy of surrender, situations that seemed impossible may suddenly resolve.

Believe in a friendly  universe. Albert Einstein once said “The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe.” It helps to believe in a friendly  universe that supports you rather than thwarts your efforts at every turn.

I’d love to be able to tell you that I reached that place of surrender during our recent power outage, but I’d be lying. In fact, I was getting pretty whiny by the time our power finally came back on almost 48 hours after we lost it. But I am working on not letting something that I can’t control, such as the weather or power companies, affect me in ways that are detrimental to my mental well-being.

And I have to look no further than to my two feline teachers, Allegra and Ruby: they’ve purr-fected the art of surrender.

Do you have trouble letting go of control?

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18 Comments on Conscious Cat Sunday: the power of surrender

  1. Ronnie
    July 20, 2012 at 1:16 pm (7 years ago)

    Thank you Ingrid for another beautiful…and helpful post. Ahhhh, Surrender. One way I do it is to Stay in the Moment. This is giving up control. And worry, anxiety…all “controls.” Staying in the Moment is focusing on what you are doing at that time and extremely energizing. But takes practice. And reminders I need to do it 🙂

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      July 20, 2012 at 1:22 pm (7 years ago)

      Staying in the moment definitely helps, Ronnie. And aren’t our cats the best teachers of that!

      Reply
  2. Cam
    July 17, 2012 at 12:21 pm (7 years ago)

    Lovely post. Loved the statement about “taking action from a place of peace.” Words to live by for sure.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      July 17, 2012 at 12:57 pm (7 years ago)

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the post, Cam.

      Reply
  3. Christine Davis
    July 15, 2012 at 3:20 pm (7 years ago)

    A beautiful post, Ingrid – I face these same challenges! Eckhart Tolle says most suffering comes from judgment, attachment and resistance. I keep a sticky note with the word JAR on my desk to remind me of this.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      July 15, 2012 at 7:10 pm (7 years ago)

      What a great way to remind yourself, Chris. I’m going to make myself a sticky note, too.

      Reply
  4. Koti W.
    July 15, 2012 at 3:16 pm (7 years ago)

    I’m like this, too. I have a hard time surrendering, but it’s something I’m working on every day.

    I need to be more like my cats, lol

    Thanks for this, I’m going to share it on facebook 🙂

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      July 15, 2012 at 7:10 pm (7 years ago)

      I think we could all benefit from trying to be more like our cats, Koti! Thanks for sharing this post.

      Reply
  5. Layla Morgan Wilde
    July 15, 2012 at 10:51 am (7 years ago)

    We both experienced similar lessons in surrender recently. I found it a game changer and haven’t looked back. I’d like to add the importance of humor while surrendering. The more we resist change, the more painful it becomes.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      July 15, 2012 at 12:03 pm (7 years ago)

      Humor was a little hard to find as the temperature in my house rose to close to 90 degrees, Layla – but I found myself laughing as I tried to sleep in my hot bedroom, with Allegra and Ruby insisting to be as close to me as they possibly could. Two feline heaters was just what I needed – and of course, I didn’t have the heart to displace them. 🙂

      Reply
  6. Anna
    July 15, 2012 at 10:25 am (7 years ago)

    Thank you thank you THANK YOU so much, dear Ingrid!!!!!!!!! This is exactly what I needed today! A control freak myself, being amidst a terrible heatwave, having low blood pressure and not feeling able to accept that the time has come to surrender and to go back to my cool mountains. I had “planned” to stay the whole summer, although I perfectly know my health issues with extreme heat… and of course my body is telling me something else! I wasted so much precious energy trying to refuse reality, and this made me just feel worse! Now I’m starting to accept there is no-one to “blame”, it’s just the way things are… I won’t blame myself, my body or my boyfriend who lives here! And I already feel much better!

    Love and purrs from Rhodes, Greece 🙂

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      July 15, 2012 at 12:02 pm (7 years ago)

      I’m so glad this helped you today, Anna. How nice that you have choice between Rhodes and cool mountains. I’m sure both are beautiful in their own way.

      Reply
  7. toni / rctees
    July 15, 2012 at 10:07 am (7 years ago)

    Yet another post written just for me.
    Well written…thought provoking…and so very inspiring.

    Thank you again Ingrid!
    ♥toni

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      July 15, 2012 at 12:01 pm (7 years ago)

      I’m glad it was helfpul, Toni!

      Reply
  8. Caren Gittleman
    July 15, 2012 at 8:33 am (7 years ago)

    “Do I have trouble letting go of control????” ……lol……….I’m sorry, that’s funny….anyone that knows me knows that my maiden name initials of “CO” (my maiden name was Caren Osrin) stands for “COMMANDING OFFICER”….’nuff said…….but….here are some of my favorite quotes that are appropriate for this topic:

    “Let go and let God”

    “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”….John Lennon

    “We plan and God laughs”

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      July 15, 2012 at 12:01 pm (7 years ago)

      I love the John Lennon quote, Caren. I didn’t realize he was the one who said that!

      Reply
      • Caren Gittleman
        July 15, 2012 at 4:07 pm (7 years ago)

        to be completely candid I don’t think it did originate with him, however….it is in one of his songs from his “Starting Over” album which was the last that he recorded before he was killed.

        Everywhere I see that quote he is credited as saying it but I frankly don’t think the quote originated with him 🙂

        Reply

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  1. […] I ever learned, mostly from my cats, about living in the moment, the uselessness of worrying, and the power of surrender. And I was reminded again of how much I have to be grateful […]

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