Journey 360: Pajama Day

My intended journey today was to a galaxy far, far away. For the second time in three days I had planned to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Thursday my day became full and I made the decision to forgo the movie, so as not to create stress later as I scrambled to get everything done before Christmas. Today, the decision was made for me. All afternoon showings of the movie, on all screens, sold out. 

 

One thing I’ve learned as I’ve journeyed these past two years is to go with the flow. If a first didn’t work out last year, another always showed up to take its place. This year if the journey takes me down another path, I follow it, and I’m always grateful that I did. I’ll see the new Star Wars movie another time. With thunderstorm after thunderstorm moving through the area, accompanied by heavy rainfall, I declared today pajama day. 
 

That meant I had no where I had to be, other than within my cozy home. The Christmas tree and decorations are still up for me to enjoy. I have plenty of left overs, hot tea, snacks. From my favorite chair, swaddled in warm flannel and fleecy socks, I can watch the lightning through the window and hear the steady patter of rain and the rumbling boom of thunder. 

I enjoyed reading in my new leather bound Tolkien dictionary, a Christmas gift from my grandson Dayan. I love the feel of the book in my hands and the detailed sketches on the pages. I looked up various characters, such as Aragorn, Arwen and Thorin Oakenshield and read about them. Then I opened the book at random and learned about the Noldor, the mightiest elves in Middle-earth from ancient times. The name Noldor means “knowledge”, and these elves, above all others, desired to possess it. 

  
One of the Noldor

  A very lovely map of Middle-earth that includes the Undying Lands. 

And I colored today, in The Time Chamber coloring book by Daria Song. My free time has been very limited the past two weeks and I have not been able to color. What a treat this afternoon, to open this beautiful book and try out another Christmas gift, from Greg…a new box of Staedtler colored pencils. 

 

I’ve done fine with my inexpensive Crayola colored pencils. And, I’ve also wanted to try some of the other, more expensive brands of pencils available. I am loving these and the smooth way they lay color onto the page. 

 
I had started this two page spread with my Crayola pencils and completed the girl in the basket with my new Staedtlers. I like the way the picture is turning out. I’ll finish this project and start in Johanna Basford’s newest book, Lost Ocean. 

 

Taking a break from coloring, I re-read the first three chapters in The Surrender Experiment. My word for 2016 is “surrender” and Michael Singer’s book inspires me to let go of attempting to control life and trust the life that is unfolding for me. I’m excited to enter into 2016 and I’ll have more to share about the Year of Surrender in January. 

Today’s experience was the perfect reminder that the Divine gives me exactly what I need. I would have enjoyed the Star Wars movie, and I still will. But sitting in a crowded theater this afternoon wasn’t what was best for me. How do I know? That’s not what happened. What was perfect for me, after weeks of being busy, was a quiet, peaceful afternoon of down time, doing activities that I love, listening to the storms outside. I’m content and happy, and oh so comfy, as I enjoy Pajama Day. 

  
  

Journey 176: The Surrender Experiment

My life, my journey, has been deeply impacted by the writing of Michael A. Singer. I first discovered him through his book, The Untethered Soul, released in 2007. I have read this book and listened to the audio of it so many times, and every single time, it stirs my heart and soul and raises my awareness, while beckoning me onward. I desire that untethered life of peacefulness, of unbridled joy, where the day’s events don’t unsettled me at all.

surrender experiment

The book club I am part of is currently reading through The Untethered Soul and I was very excited to learn one evening, from my friend Cate, that Michael was releasing a new book, The Surrender Experiment. The subtitle of this book is “My journey into life’s perfection”. I have wanted to read Michael’s story, and understand the path his journey took. It has been a delight to read this book, which I finished tonight, and I am once again encouraged in my own journey.

The Surrender Experiment is the account of Michael’s personal journey, beginning with an awakening in his early 20’s. Determined not to be controlled by his fears or allow his likes and dislikes to dictate his life, Michael began an experiment. He opened to opportunities and possibilities, responding to the situations life brought to him by doing the very best he could and offering the result back to the world, as a gift. If he found himself resisting an idea or an opportunity, he learned to let go…and flow with, rather than against, life.

The flow of life, the guidance of the Divine, took him from being a young man living alone in the woods, meditating and practicing yoga, to acquiring hundreds of additional acres and creating a community of like hearted souls to share the journey with, to becoming the CEO of a huge, successful computer software corporation, to a raid by the FBI because of unfounded accusations by a former employee who embezzled company funds. In this amazing journey, Michael discovered the perfection of allowing his life and his growth to be directed by all that was unfolding in the present moment.

There are a few books that I have read that so resonate with me that a deep sense of stillness comes over me, just reading the words within. The Surrender Experiment is one of those books. In the past few years, I too have experienced the exciting and profound growth that takes place as I stay in life’s flow, guided by the Divine. I’ve come to see myself as immersed in a great river that takes me exactly where I need to go, so long as I stay in the middle of it, in the flow. I can try resisting the flow, by swimming upstream, which drains my energy, wearing me out physically and emotionally and spiritually. Or I can remove myself from the flow and become stagnant, watching as life and opportunities pass by…an observer of life rather than a participant. I choose to stay in the flow.

This is what Michael’s newest book is about….surrendering to that flow….being engaged with what comes to him or where he is swept off to. His level of surrender was so inspiring to me. There is such a deep element of trust and faith involved, when I can’t see beyond the bend in the river, can’t know for sure, or at all, where the flow of life is taking me. However, I am learning that it is all for my good, all for my growth, all to help me release old energy and old habits so that I am, truly, free, untethered, moving beyond. Anything the flow of life takes me to, it will also take me beyond, if I will stay in that flow.

There was an experience in Michael’s life that shifted everything for him. He understood that he was holding himself back in his spiritual journey by thinking of parts of himself as the enemy that needed to be destroyed. In his mind, he kept that struggling person with his restless energies and chattering thoughts locked in a room. The day he opened the door to that mental room, and accepted himself, saying “You can come out now”, was the day his heart broke open and wholeness began.

I was there, four years ago. The day I threw open the locked door to a fiercely guarded room in my heart and told my intuitive self, my weird side, my feared side, “It’s okay, I accept you”, and embraced her, was the day wholeness started for me. There has been no looking back. And now, my journey, the flow of my life, has brought me to this author, this book, this time of growth, at this precise time, which is all perfect.

“Eventually, even the mind stops resisting, and the heart loses the tendency to close. The joy, excitement, and freedom are simply too beautiful to give up. Once you are ready to let go of yourself, life becomes your friend, your teacher, your secret lover. When life’s way becomes your way, all the noise stops, and there is a great peace.”

                                                                        Michael A. Singer, The Surrender Experiment

I am excited to see where the flow of life, the guidance of the Divine, takes me next.

surrender experiment michael a singer

Michael A Singer