Surrender to Life

Surrender to Lifesurrender, life

I’ve been reading a great book by Mark Nepo called The Endless Practice. In Mark’s view, we never stop having challenges and opportunities to move into more alignment with life. Life keeps nudging us along, asking us to be more attuned to our “center of aliveness.” The place within that is connected to all life. He suggests it’s a tricky balance between being and doing, striving and surrendering, giving and receiving, over and over.

Mark explores many questions from his life as a writer, philosopher and cancer survivor. His perspectives really resonate for me. His core teaching is “what is in the way, is the way. Each of us carries wisdom waiting to be discovered at the center of our experience, and everything we meet, if faced and held, reveals a part of that wisdom.”

Another chapter that really hit home is about embracing all of our messy feelings. I think I’ve fallen into the camp that wants to be happy all the time. Interestingly, as I reread my own post on Chasing Happiness, I already know, agree, and have written about the same material as Mark. I’ve written about this topic several times, yet don’t seem to be finding the lesson and release from its grasp!

This paragraph from Mark really struck a chord with me. “The pursuit of happiness has become a cultural obsession, a right we feel entitled to and a refuge that we run to avoid the rest of the journey. Happiness is one of a thousand feelings, and under all the human feelings is the depth of being alive.” Being willing to embrace all our feelings is the way to keep close to our aliveness and spiritual center.

I’m certainly getting many opportunities for growth the last few years. I don’t talk about my challenges much. Not because I’m unwilling to be honest or vulnerable, but I thought I was helping myself by trying to focus on the good and what I want in life. It seems as though I might need to go the opposite direction, embracing my feelings and challenges more fully. Though the trick is to acknowledge my feelings without becoming lost in them.

I’ve only touched on a few of the many gems from Mark’s book. I highly encourage you to read and savor this treasure-filled book.

Meanwhile, I’m diving into my challenges. Keep the lifeboats handy!


35 thoughts on “Surrender to Life

  1. What gorgeous insights, Brad.

    I absolutely LOVE “what’s in the way, is the way.”

    Love it. Perfect.

    And as you get nuzzled up to your challenges we are all here on your side, my love.

    Dig deep. Get dirty. 😊

    Love and light,


    Liked by 1 person

  2. A very emotionally intelligent post, Brad. I love the self honesty you exude…this is a topic that I brushed up with some years back, myself. I think you will find the contentment you are looking for as you embrace the whole spectrum of emotion and let them inform you and guide you without resistance as to what the heavier ones want to show you πŸ’š great post!

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  3. It’s human nature to seek both comfort and happiness. The drive to achieve both keeps us growing and, on a bigger level, spurs societal change. But to be comfortable and happy all the time would be a prescription for boredom, methinks, and an end to growth. What a shame that is! (smile)

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  4. I’m with you my friend! I can assure you that your loving community here will be an incredible source of support for you. Know that you can always contact me! Much love and gentleness to you during your explorations ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “Though the trick is to acknowledge my feelings without becoming lost in them.”.. I am sure you will not need any life jackets Brad.. I am certain you were drawn to read that book and take on board what was needed and you will use the oar to row and the sails when the wind is in the right direction.. And you will also find times of calm where nothing moves and the ocean is still..Its often these times when we move the most.. πŸ™‚

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  6. Great book, wonderful wisdom and awesome post Brad! Embrace it all and trust that it is only your mind that creates the worry. Our feelings are a part of us, and there is much to learn from them. You are where you need to be right now… and I sense a different path ahead.

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  7. I understand the use of mindfulness to cope with feelings when overwhelmed, but when read this post, I suddenly realized how exhausting it can become to analyze, push away, or try to fix uncomfortable feelings over time. The busy mind has been sneaking up on me and engulfed me earlier this evening. Oh, well, maybe next time I’ll notice it and embrace the discomfort. Or maybe I’ll do that now. πŸ™‚

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    • Thanks for your honest sharing JoAnn. I get overwhelmed at times too. It seems that is when I let the thoughts and feelings become my whole focus. When I simply notice and allow them without over-identifying, things flow better. I’m not fixing, analyzing or changing. This week, simply noticing and writing about them, helped them flow and shift! I hope you reclaim your peaceful center. Hugs and blessings, Brad

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  8. Brad, I will have to check out this book as it seems to flow along with the way I view (or would like to view life on a more consistent basis). It is very similar in a sense to Daoist philosophy, that we follow the way and to do so take no action from our part (in the sense of forced work or effort), but to instead flow with what is right. How easy it is to be thrown from such a path with society the way it is ~ and the countless number of times during the week I feel pulled in one direction or the other with work or other self-created stress or crisis. Stepping back and acknowledging the feelings and thoughts we have seems to be an important step in letting go and allowing us to flow to ~ β€œwhat is in the way, is the way ~

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Randall. I found many good reminders in this book. It sounds like you’re well aware of “the way” with your Daoist perspective. Your photo stories have a beauty and grace that clearly speaks to and from the center of aliveness (or way) that connects to all. peace on the path brother. πŸ™‚


  9. A great write up brad and I’m sure your challenges are being overcome… Trusting the lifeboat is there but doubt you’ll need it… Trust your divine and loving self to know what is best for you and sometimes it’s dipping in some old shit… Sorry for the language but that’s all it is and it dissolves eventually… Barbara x

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