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Enjoy the Ride

Enjoy the Ride

In practical terms surrender means letting go. Although you don’t realize it, reality isn’t a given. Each of us inhabits a separate reality. Your mind maintains your personal version of reality by buttressing it with beliefs, expectations, and interpretations. Your mind blocks the free flow of the life force by saying, “This is how things must and should be.” Letting go releases you from this insistent grip, and when you let go, new forms of reality can enter.

You only have to take a ride on a roller coaster to see who gets more enjoyment out of the experience–those who clutch tight with white knuckles and clenched jaws or those who let go and allow themselves to be carried up and down without resistance.

Letting go is a process. You have to know when to apply it, what to let go of, and how to let go. Your mind is not going to show you any of these things; worse still, your ego is going to try to prevent you from making progress, since it believes that you have to hold on in order to survive. Your only ally in letting go is spirit, which sees reality as a whole and therefore has no need to create partial realities based on limitation.

The whole path to love could be described as learning to let go, but letting go all at once isn’t possible. This is a path of many small steps. At any given moment the steps are basically the same: Awareness begins to substitute for reactions. A reaction is automatic; it draws upon fixed beliefs and expectations, images of past pain and pleasure residing in memory, waiting to guide you in future situations. Memory has told you, in a fraction of a second, that your reaction to, say, a big dog, should be fear.

Overcoming this or any reaction requires an act of awareness. Awareness doesn’t resist the imprint of memory. It goes into it and questions whether you need it now. In the face of a big dog, awareness tells you that you aren’t a small child anymore and that not all big dogs bite. Being aware of this, you can ask if you need to hold on to fear. Whether you wind up petting the dog, ignoring it, or withdrawing is now a matter of choice. Reactions result in a closed set of options; awareness results in an open set of options.

Every time you are tempted to react in the same old way, ask if you want to be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the future. The past is closed and limited; the future is open and free.

Adapted from The Path to Love, by Deepak Chopra (Three Rivers Press, 1997).

Read more: Deepak Chopra's Tips, Spirit, , , ,

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Deepak Chopra

Acknowledged as one of the world's greatest leaders in the field of mind body medicine, Deepak Chopra, M.D. continues to transform our understanding of the meaning of health. Chopra is known as a prolific author of over 49 books with 12 best sellers on mind-body health, quantum mechanics, spirituality, and peace. A global force in the field of human empowerment, Dr. Chopra's books have been published in more than 35 languages with more than 20 million copies in print.

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56 comments

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3:04PM PDT on Sep 30, 2010

This is very timely for me. I am learning to really let go right now. I know for sure I will be have a career change soon and a relationship I am having is not one most would like but my intuition told me there is something through this door. So I decided to walk through and see what I find even if it ends up being nothing there I feel better letting my spirit run the ship for awhile. I have tried to control things for too long and am so ready.

8:55PM PDT on Aug 29, 2010

For me the analogy of swimming is closest to the process of allowing perceptions to sweep over you. Water is a natural element that allows one to flow along with it, but you can co-create the process of swimming by moving forward, backward, with or against the current. If life is a stream of water then you have a choice to create resistence or go with the flow. If you panic then you can be in danger of drowning, and if you surrender you can enjoy the feeling of being almost rebirthed. I think that swimming reminds me of the process of being in the birth canal and that is why it is so soothing. Water is a powerful element that can wear away the strongest rock over time, yet also one of the most forgiving.

12:30AM PDT on Aug 27, 2010

I had to read this again. With much appreciation, thank you!

9:21PM PDT on Aug 26, 2010

Thanks for the article.

6:27PM PDT on Aug 26, 2010

Thanks.

4:43PM PDT on Aug 26, 2010

"Each of us inhabits a separate reality." That's pretty neat. I love old truths said in uniquely different ways.

4:14PM PDT on Aug 26, 2010

Oh boy! I love this post...it's so full of great comments, I'll have to wait and read them all later, slowly and reverence. Thank you all so much for your heart gifts!

1:57PM PDT on Aug 26, 2010

Excellent thoughts!

12:13PM PDT on Aug 26, 2010

thanks!

10:16AM PDT on Aug 26, 2010

Wonderful thoughts... as always! Thanks!

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