I’ve decided on three practices as a holiday theme this year: gratitude, surrender and peace. I feel the need to dig deeper into my spiritual tool kit to see me through this coming season. All spiritual traditions remind us of the importance of self-reliance and positivity. While the holidays bring joy and togetherness, they also carry emotional baggage that put many of us off-balance. It’s immensely helpful to have a formula that keeps us centered.
“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
— Melody Beattie
First, an attitude of gratitude is key to our health and happiness. When we lose sight of what there is to be grateful for, resentment and despair take over. The best way to counteract this is to literally “count your blessings.” Create a gratitude journal. Make a daily habit of jotting down three to five things for which you are most grateful. Studies show this practice reduces depression. Gratitude dispels emotional toxicity, promotes harmonious relationships and overall well-being. Moreover, it shifts our negative experiences and situations into a positive perspective.
“Be thankful for the difficult times. During those times, you grow. Be thankful for your limitations, because they give you opportunities for improvement. Be thankful for each new challenge, because it will build your strength and character. Be thankful for your mistakes. They will teach you valuable lessons.” — Troy Amdahl
A second supportive tool is the mindset of surrender. Not the “giving up” type of surrender, when you feel defeated, disempowered and at a loss. This contracts and restricts us energetically. Spiritual surrender, on the other hand, is a space of “letting go” which empowers you. This expands our horizons. Spiritual surrender is relinquishing the struggle to control and possess. It’s a giving up of that which no longer serves and supports you. It’s a way of being that partners you with: your God, Higher Power, or Source. While we may make plans and have goals, it’s liberating to let go of the attachment to them. It’s doing our work and living our lives while trusting the outcome to the omnipotence of Divine Will.
“Something amazing happens when we surrender and just love. We melt into another world, a realm of power already within us. The world changes when we change. The world softens when we soften. The world loves us when we choose to love the world.” — Marianne Williamson
Four ways to cultivate spiritual surrender:
- Have faith – Anchor yourself continually to your higher power.
- Be patient – Live in the beauty of accepting each moment as it is.
- Cultivate awareness – Watch your feelings, thoughts and words.
- Practice mindfulness – Meditate daily in any form and anytime.
“Don’t look for peace. Don’t look for any other state than the one you are in now; otherwise, you will set up inner conflict and unconscious resistance. Forgive yourself for not being at peace. The moment you completely accept your non-peace, your non-peace becomes transmuted into peace. Anything you accept fully will get you there, will take you into peace. This is the miracle of surrender.” — Eckhart Tolle
Finally, the third component of the formula is peace – something we all want. Gurus teach it is inherent to our nature to be at peace and yet so many of us struggle to realize it. It’s not something to attain from the outside, but rather a process of self-discovery. There any number of ways that can lead us to this peaceful state within ourselves. For me, a daily and continual dose of gratitude and spiritual surrender leads to mine. Discover what works for you. Above all, the key is to maintain our faith, be patient and continually practice that which we wish to be.
Oil of the Season: Frankincense. Considered “King of the Oils” because of its versatility, the use of frankincense for healing and ritual has an ancient history. Derived from the Boswellia tree, it has a woodsy and spicy aroma and is used as an anti-inflammatory, a digest aid, for better breathing and oral health. It is grounding and energizing. One of the gifts brought by the Three Wise Men to the infant Jesus, Frankincense symbolized the acknowledgement of his priesthood. For more information, instruction on use, and to order, I recommend dōTERRA and Young Living products.
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