In your resistance you get tired, and so, you need rest. And so, you go from resistance to rest to resistance to rest.
But what about rest to eagerness, rest to passion, rest to alignment, rest to clarity, rest to brilliance?
You can get this Energy moving within you and when you are up to speed with that Energy, you are clever; you are fun; you are full of vitality; your timing is good! Then you are living life as you intended!
—Abraham, via Esther Hicks
Back in the spring, I published my first novel, Secrets of People With Extraordinary Willpower. At the time, I had one corporate freelance client so I could stay afloat financially while I wrote my book. After I published the book, while the royalties were nice, they weren’t closing the gap in terms of the kind of money I needed to feel comfortable.
I felt stuck, unable to afford the home improvement projects I longed to do. I felt the weight of my daughter’s eventual college tuition, and our lack of savings. I couldn’t quit my day job. Not only that, I came to the realization that I needed more work—day job type stuff—in order to bring in more money.
I was drifting even further from my dream of becoming a novelist fulltime. I wanted to keep writing books, and I knew if I could just keep going, that I would eventually earn more money, but it was too dangerous to wait. We needed more money right now.
And besides, there’s only a slim chance that anyone will hit it big when it comes to creative endeavors. Whether that’s actually true or not is highly debatable—but it’s something that’s been grilled into me my whole life, and that was the skeptical mindset that thrummed inside me, discouraging me from trying any longer.
I had to put aside my fantasies of being a full-time novelist for the time being, bite the bullet and get more “real” work so we could pay our bills.
The answer to my money problem came quickly, and unexpectedly.
The Money Struggle
So many times in the past, the answer would have been to complain and fight and struggle, and to always feel like it—whatever it was: money, time, peace of mind—was never enough. We’ve been taught that…if only we would work harder, try harder, and worry and struggle more…then things will work out.
But I’d been doing that for years. And it wasn’t working. So it was time to drop the struggle, to lay down my resistance, and to surrender.
Signs From the Universe
I am a spiritual person. I believe the Universe is constantly dropping clues at our feet. The angels are whispering in our ears, if only we would be still and listen. When we silence the inner chatter, when we let go of the opinions of our egos and our childhood conditioning, then we can hear the best steps to take that will lead us to our life’s destiny: the evolution of our souls.
Back around the time I published my novel, I kept stumbling upon the same book, over and over again. It was called The Surrender Experiment: My Journey Into Life’s Perfection.
I kept thinking, “Oh, I really ought to read that book. It keeps popping up for me, in my Facebook feed, on web sites, in conversations with friends…I should just take the hint and read it.”
But when I looked up The Surrender Experiment in my library’s catalogue, it wasn’t there. And I really didn’t want to spend money on books. So I kept putting it off, thinking if the Universe really wanted me to read it, then it would get the book to me somehow.
The same day I looked at the book on Amazon and closed the browser window, determined to save money, I went to the library. When I walked in the door, I browsed the wall of librarian’s picks in front of me: autobiographies, new books, intriguing fiction…I always wondered how they curated these few choices to display among the hundreds of thousands of books owned by the library.
And then, my breath caught in my throat. There it was: The Surrender Experiment, sitting there on the wall in front of me. Even though the catalogue had said the book didn’t exist in this library, there it sat, right in front of my face. Okay. Message received.
Sometimes, signs from the Universe simply can’t be ignored, no matter how hard we try.
I took the book home and read it in a matter of days, each moment of spare time used in soaking up the book’s unorthodox wisdom.
The Surrender Experiment Summary
In a nutshell, this guy moves into the woods to get away from people, meditate, and get some peace—to experience Divinity. But what he learns is that he needs to live life, to surrender to the flow, and to accept what the Universe lays at his feet: to simply do the work that comes to him.
So based on circumstances life brought to him, he started a construction business. Then he started a software programming company. During all of this, he established a temple on his land where people came for meditation services.
Most of the time, while all these people came and went on his land, the hermit part of him bristled. (Although, with practice, the bristling and inner tantrums certainly died down over the years.) By surrendering, over and over again—by ignoring that petty, complaining, opinionated voice of the ego—his life unfolded in an astonishing way.
The guy ended up with more money than he knew what to do with.
He even lived my dream: he talked to Oprah and his book was a best-seller.
The Importance of Trusting the Universe
Before I tell you what happened with my own surrender experiment, let me tell you what happened when I didn’t surrender…When I didn’t trust that life was rigged in my favor, when I thought, just maybe I was living in a hostile or indifferent Universe, rather than a friendly one.
Turks & Caicos: December, 2013
Let me start by saying, anyone who winds up in Turks & Caicos in December—and does not automatically think the Universe is friendly—needs their head examined. But that’s where I was, feeling sorry for myself.
Why? I had just been smacked with the realization I was in the wrong career, and I was bewildered.
Years before, I’d left behind a lucrative corporate career because I wanted to strike out on my own as entrepreneur. I had a promising start as a freelance writer and life coach, but then around the holidays that year, my coaching business hit the skids. People just weren’t signing up for my classes in the numbers I’d hoped for.
I could have kept going, could have marketed harder, struggled some more…but the nail in the coffin came when I realized that coaching wasn’t my calling.
Writing novels is my calling. I know—deep in my bones—my purpose in life is to be a novelist.
But now, here I was at a crossroads. I knew I couldn’t go back to coaching. My heart had left the building, and I owed it to my clients to wrap it up and get out.
But I couldn’t move forward with novel writing and expect to make a living at it right away. First of all, it takes months (at least) to write a decent book. Then even once you publish it, you aren’t guaranteed to make a living off it. Not off a debut novel. That would be a crazy bet.
My heart was breaking. I was nowhere near surrender. I was in full-on struggle, angst, grieving-the-mess-that-was-my-life mode.
How the heck was I supposed to make a living?
I Was Saved From Myself
Even though I was busy being a whiner, the Universe stepped in to save me from myself. I had totally given up at that point. This wasn’t a graceful surrender; this was much closer to walking the plank.
I had purchased a black suit and was going on interviews for a full-time job at a horrible company that forced its employees to work very long, full-time, butts-in-seats hours every day in their very grey and cluttered old offices, with very little time off. And the job itself that I was applying for wasn’t at all creative; it had to do with data. My idea of hell and prison rolled into one. Sigh. I was miserable at the mere prospect.
I had given up on everything I cared about in the world, because I was on my knees. I couldn’t see a way out. I was going to throw my daughter into fulltime daycare, and put myself into fulltime prison. Just throw away the key on both of us. We were doomed.
I didn’t get the job. Thank GOD. I had six interviews in one day, and every person I met acted like I was a shoe-in for the position, except for one guy—the last interview of the day—and this guy hated my guts deeply and thoroughly from the moment I stepped into his office. He spent our whole interview grilling me and clearly loathing every answer I gave him.
I was so, so lucky.
And yet, my ego was so offended at this guy’s treatment of me and his level of disdain towards me. I spent many hours in the aftermath of that rejection telling him off in my head.
I had just been lifted from the jaws of oppression—I was handed the gift of my continued freedom—yet my main concern was that some jerk was rude to me. Really?
There’s a lesson in A Course in Miracles that states:
“God’s Will for me is perfect happiness.
God’s Will is perfect happiness for me.
And I can suffer but from the belief
there is another will apart from His.
I share God’s Will for happiness for me.
I share my Father’s Will for me, His Son.
What He has given me is all I want.
What He has given me is all there is.”
We are so conditioned to believe that we must suffer in life that we thwart the perfect happiness that God is trying to thrust into our hands.
The Universe to the Rescue
Soon after that, I was given a freelance writing job. It was just enough to make ends meet and to keep me at home with my daughter, and away from fulltime office work. I took it.
And so I shuffled along like that. I started writing my book, slowly. And I worked this freelance job.
Fast forward to May of 2015. I published the book. But I was in pretty much the same place. Limping along with this single freelance job. Working too much for too little money. Feeling sorry for myself. Wishing I could write full time.
Not much had changed in a year and a half. It was time to surrender, but for real this time. No more of this mopey, begrudging, walking-the-plank crap. I’m talking: head back, arms out, “God, make my will Your will. I surrender to You.”
And it worked.
My Surrender Experiment
After I read the book, The Surrender Experiment, I knew it was time. I wanted money. I mean, I wanted MONEY. I was sick of the trickle that was coming in. I wanted to see what God could do. I told the Universe I was ready to accept the flow of abundance. I would say “YES” to any work that came in the door.
The Universe’s abundance was like a fire hose to the face. Clients came at me left and right. I decided I would say yes to everything, and figure it out later. (And that’s why I stopped blogging, in case anyone is wondering.)
By this past fall, I was looking ahead at a banner year, with the potential to bring in more money than I’d ever made. I would call that a successful experiment.
Except for one thing…what about this whole “novelist” calling?
The Cherry on Top
One of my latest clients to walk in the door helps their customers:
- Write their books.
- Publish their books.
- Market their books so they become best-selling authors.
And so, as a part of my JOB…which I surrendered to…I get to write my next novel. And launch it using my client’s best-seller program.
Trust the Universe: Stop Suffering
I just need to reiterate something. When I was on the wrong path, working as a life coach, and I was pushed, ever so gently off that path…I stopped trusting God for a period of time. I felt so wronged. Oh my goodness, I can’t even tell you the amount of grief that I put myself through. It’s just ridiculous. And pretty pathetic.
But when I look at the big picture, and I see all the times I was disappointed in my life, how many times did that failure or loss lead me to something better? Every. Single. Time. And yet—I wasted a lot of energy on suffering through negative emotions. Something “bad” happened, and I let it bring me down.
I could have skipped the part where I lost my trust, and trusted that something better was coming.
I was dumped by the wrong guy. (I wasted a lot of time feeling sad.) I married the right guy.
I left my corporate job. (I wasted a lot of time struggling and feeling lost.) I finally surrendered, and asked for help—and now I make more money, working from home.
I kept wondering how I was going to write novels for a living. (I wasted a lot of time wondering instead of writing.) And here I am, finally getting to write novels as part of my work.
How to Conduct Your Own Surrender Experiment
- Trust that the Universe is friendly and wants to help you.
- Know that whatever you’re going through is temporary.
- Watch your emotions from a distance. Don’t get tangled up and dragged down.
- Ask for help: the Universe wants you to be happy, but it won’t step in and help unless you ask. (You have free will. So ask if you want the Universe to run interference.)
- Listen for the answer. Don’t struggle. Be still. Follow the clues.
- Sometimes we still aren’t sure what the right answer is. Ask for signs from the Universe.
- Try an action. Observe the results, quietly, from a detached distance. Again, don’t get tangled up in emotions. Try to withhold the preferences of your ego, and see what the Universe would give you.
- Be grateful. Always be grateful for what the Universe offers. We can’t see the big picture yet. Know that what’s best for you is coming to you.
- Watch the perfect unfolding. We grow and develop organically. We don’t just shoot up from a seed to a redwood tree overnight. We would collapse under growth that fast. Everything comes in right timing. Don’t rush it. Sit back and watch. Enjoy yourself.
- Trust that if you’re struggling, the Universe wants you to let something go. Don’t be afraid to take action and make decisions if you think it will make you happy. It’ll all work out. We get endless chances for as long as we live.
There’s one thing I know for sure: trusting God and listening and watching for signs from the Universe is a lot easier than struggling and trying to do everything by myself.
Surrender, accept God’s will of perfect happiness for you, and see what comes through the door.
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