Gratitude and Surrender – Three Thoughts for Thursday – November 2022

One of the parts of fall that I have come to appreciate is the inspiration to not only revel and stand in awe of the beauty of transformation and color but also the inspiration and impetus to slow down and appreciate the big things, the little things, all the things. I find myself feeling the change in the air, the crisp coolness that comes with autumn. I notice the change in the light, not only the shorter days but also the color of the light and the way it hits the trees, mountains, and lake I see from my kitchen window. I find myself taking note of the abundance and feeling gratitude for the year and this life I’m living, ups, downs, and sideways adventures alike.
These reflections this year have me also slowing down and appreciating how things have happened either outside of my control or, despite my desire to control and direct life, how the unplanned experiences have shaped and added dimension and depth to my story. I’ve been pondering the idea of surrendering.  Since I turned forty nearly two years ago, I have been aware of a sense of freedom I have chosen to claim to stop chasing.  Perhaps I might even go back as far as the stroke I had at 37 that woke me up to the fragility of life and the desire to live more fully and authentically.
I have since thought often of life as learning to ride the waves, of allowing for the ebb and flow, and forgiving myself for the occasions I feel pulled under as the surest way to rise back up. This year, there is a new layer of living I am considering; not only am I not in a position to control everything in my life but what happens if I surrender to the tide? If I stop struggling against the current but instead get a sense of it and work with the wave or allow myself to be carried by the wave?  What if I allow gratitude to become awe, to then become trust, and surrender? Not only then is there this freedom I’ve found to stop chasing, but there is also then this freedom of observing, joining the forces of nature directing the path, and feeling supported on this journey.  I have found myself working on surrendering to the moments of chaos, to the moments of sadness, anger, and joy; I have allowed myself to let go of the need to get work done to enjoy a snuggle or time at the beach with my kids, to listen to them, to heed their call or to take a call from a friend, to embrace the disruptions and interruptions that often are exactly what I need.
As we enter this season of thanksgiving this November, what are you grateful for in your life? What has surprised you, or what has provided a reason for gratitude that you may not have felt so grateful for in the beginning? What challenges in life have increased your sense of gratitude? How does gratitude connect to surrender? What does surrender mean to you? How might this gratitude for the unexpected allow you to embrace surrender more fully? If you surrender, what might you be making space for? What might you allow?

Quote I’m pondering:

If you surrender to the wind, then you can ride it.

~Toni Morrison ~

What I’m listening to:

Love & Lightning: A Heart-Centered Take on Work & Life with Jadah Sellner
The Good Life Project
Betting on creativity love, Jadah is a business coach, best-selling author, and poet and hosts the Lead with Love podcast.
Imagine, after years of struggling to find your way in different careers and trying out business ideas, you created something that exploded in the best of ways. A business serving thousands of people, a great living, security, possibility, and an amazing channel of expression. And, then, over time, you realized you’d bought into a way of doing things that went against the essence of who you were. And, you started to feel called to do something else?

Would you walk away from that success, trusting once again that joyful lightning could, in fact, strike twice without even knowing what your next move would be? That is exactly the question today’s guest, Jadah Sellner, faced. After co-founding and growing Simple Green Smoothies into a viral phenomenon and a flourishing 7-figure business in an astonishingly short period of time. She did the unthinkable. She exited the business, selling her interest, and bet on herself and her belief that she could figure out how to craft her living, once again, in a way that better fit her evolving values, lens on life, and approach to service. Leaving behind the never-stop-working hustle culture approach and betting on creativity and love.

Jadah Sellner is a bestselling author, business coach, international keynote speaker, poet, and host of the Lead with Love podcast. Her new book, She Builds: The Anti-Hustle Guide to Grow Your Business and Nourish Your Life, uncovers a framework for women entrepreneurs to create a business on their own terms.

And if you need a little extra listening as the holiday season begins, here is another great episode of The Good Life Project with Brene Brown – On Gratitude, Vulnerability and Courage

What I’m reading:

Thank you to a valued client for this book recommendation! Just in the first couple of chapters, I’ve underlined and re-read and found value in the author’s observations and words. Singer asks, “If life can manifest the DNA molecule on its own, not to mention create the human brain, how is it that we feel that we have to control everything on our own?” He goes on, “There must be another, more sane way to approach life.” “..what would happen if we respected the flow of life and used our free will to participate in what’s unfolding instead of fighting it?”

The Surrender Experiment: my journey into life’s perfection

by Michael A. Singer

What Amazon has to say:

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the author of The Untethered Soul and Living Untethered comes the astonishing true-life story about the spiritual harmony and personal happiness he found when he just let go.

“With his hallmark precision and clarity Michael Singer reveals how everyday life, doing business in the world, and spiritual practice can be synchronized to carry us into the heart of life’s unimaginable perfection.”—Jack Canfield, co-author of The Success Principles and co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul® series.
In The Surrender Experiment, Michael A. Singer tells the extraordinary story of what happened when, after a deep spiritual awakening, he decided to relinquish his personal fears and desires and simply let life unfold before him. Singer shares how this pivotal decision to embrace the flow of life led him to extraordinary success, sustained him through times of crisis and allowed him to cultivate profound inner peace—whether as a young man pursuing a life of solitude in the woods, the founder of a thriving spiritual community in Florida, or the CEO of a billion-dollar medical software company.
As he takes you through his grand experiment, Singer demonstrates how surrender is the key to a peaceful and harmonious life. His remarkable and unexpected personal experiences will challenge your deepest assumptions, teaching you how to stop making the outside world conform to your desires, let go of the need to control everything and place your trust in life’s perfection.
Thought-provoking and moving, The Surrender Experiment will inspire you to seek the calm and freedom that comes from letting go.

“May we all learn to appreciate our lives in this amazing universe – a little bit more each day.”

~Michael A. Singer

You can sign up to receive my Three Thoughts for Thursday post as an email on the third Thursday of every month by clicking here.
If you are interested or know someone who may be interested, I also offer leadership and emotional intelligence coaching and workshops. You can find more information on my website, or you can use this link to set up a free 30-minute introduction to coaching session.

On September 17th, I hosted my first local, in-person event here in the Seattle area,  Savor the Sweetness.  It was a fulfilling experience and event, and I look forward to hosting quarterly events for local women in 2023 – stay tuned and contact me for more information or to join the invite list!

Please check out my latest blog post, The Problem of Intentions,  Also check out my post, Be Careful, Recipes and Inspiration Yield Different Results! and my October Edition of Three Thoughts for Thursday, as well.  In light of my continued themes on process and habits, you may also be interested in my series, Lessons of the Run – Endurance, Resilience, Rest, and Grit. And if you could stand to hear more about processes and patterns, stay tuned for an upcoming expanded post on Examining the Process – Behind the Drive.
Beginning last year, in April 2021, I have had the privilege of hosting the Emotional Intelligence Special Interest Group for ICFLA.  Please join us for November’s session on Tuesday, the 29th of November, for an Ask Me Anything session with Amy Looper as she discusses her work using EI to teach leaders about maternal mental well-being and how to support working parents through this big life transition to parenthood, reducing costly turnover, and improving performance through coaching programs.  

In September, I completed a year-long, quarterly series entitled “EQ and WooWoo” with my colleague and Spiritual Coach, Katie Kay. If you are intrigued and would like to learn more about future events, please email me. This workshop series was designed to help you manifest action toward the year you want to live, the person you want to be, and the goals you want to achieve in 2022.  These quarterly sessions intertwined the use of Tarot (and other Woowoo tools) and Emotional Intelligence to help you and your clients step outside the box in order to take your coaching and personal work deeper. New and related sessions will begin in 2023.
If you are interested in joining and co-creating these learning communities, please use the links above to find out more about ICFLA’s Emotional Intelligence Special Interest Group and the EQ & WooWoo Workshops. I hope you will come along for the journey!
I’m always looking for new inspiration, new books to read, and new podcasts to listen to, so please send your suggestions my way or comment on this post to offer some new recommendations!
As always, thank you for your continued support and readership! Stay strong, stay brave, stay true to you!
Wishing you a season of surrender, gratitude, peace, and joy!