Surrender: Is It About Giving In…or About Gaining Control?

By Jahiel -yasha- Kamhi in Attention, attitude, Awareness, Beliefs, Inspiration, Learning, Life Purpose, Stress Reduction on February 27th, 2015 /  No Comments »

It was a question I asked people in my social surroundings, just to learn how they understood this term.

I was surprised at most of the answers:

“I do not want to give up; I am a fighter.”

“Surrender is a method of giving up.”

“I do not know how or why I need to surrender.”

My first impression was that some people don’t understand the real meaning of surrender. I don’t blame them. Just look at Merriam-Webster’sdefinition of surrender:to agree to stop fighting, hiding, resisting, etc., because you know that you will not win or succeed to someone else.”

I don’t know why this term has a mostly negative meaning.

If you accept the definition of surrender asacceptance of what is, you will save your energy, and most importantly, you will save your health.

In this article, I hope to help you see the positive meaning in surrender by  providing you with reasons why it is a good way to deal with reality and thereby reduce your stress, anxiety, anger, or unhappiness.

Spiritual people believe that surrender is not about defeat, giving up, or not believing in themselves, but that it is about trust in themselves and in the power of belief…in faith and joy. It’s not about ending the fight but about beginning a new approach to life. When you surrender, you don’t need to predict, prevent, or plan what is going to happen next, and most important—you do not need to control everything, which is a big problem for people with general anxiety disorder.

I hope that the surrendermethod of coping is a big help for people who are suffering unnecessarily and who are putting their energy into controlling and predicting. The irony is that when you’re controlling, you’re losing your energy; when you’re surrendering, you’re saving your mental, emotional, and physical energy.

The surrender method is the skill of knowing how to live in the present moment and to be in sync with the natural flow of things.

I understand: For some, it’s hard to make the shift from control to surrender. When you are in “control mode,” you believe that you have the power to protect yourself from disaster. Wrong! Stop thinking that something terrible will happen if you stop controlling your surroundings. No…the world will not stop revolving, and you will be perfectly okay.

If you still feel that surrender is equivalent to doing nothing, think again. Surrender will bust your action and energy, not just diminish it.

Think about your fears or uncertainties. Are they real?

They are creations of your own minds, the result of your perceptions and thoughts, and they could be distorted (altered or misrepresented). Are you ready to make your life unbearable with false and altered perceptions of reality? I don’t think so. If you want to enjoy an inner calmness, get rid of your negative emotions and perceptions.

Unfortunately, there is no magic pill for adopting surrender behaviour; it’s a skill that must be learned. What works for me might not work for you.

Try to live in the present moment, accept your feelings, and let them go. Trust yourself and feel the Higher Power within you. Find your guidance to the path of surrender. If you need help, talk to your good friend, therapist, or religious adviser. You’ll soon find that surrender isn’t about giving in but about gaining control…and achieving happiness.

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Positive Thinking: Can Positive Thinking Stop Someone From Having Empathy?

By Oliver JR Cooper in attitude, Awareness, Happiness, Life Purpose, Stress Reduction, Success on February 20th, 2015 /  No Comments »

If someone is into self-development, they are likely to be familiar with ‘positive thinking’. This is something that is generally encouraged when it comes to living a better life.

Here, one will need to create thoughts that are ‘positive’ and do to everything they can to stop themselves from having thoughts that are ‘negative’. Through this, one will have the chance to feel better and to behave in ways that are more fulfilling.

Two Options

One can come to believe that they either allow their mind to be consumed by negative thoughts, or they take control and make sure their mind is full of positive thoughts. There is then no middle ground; it is either one or the other.

This can mean that negative thoughts are seen as harmful and not as something that could assist them. It is then not possible for one to be guided by them and this is why they have to be removed.

Law of Attraction

If one has this outlook, they are likely to be validation when it comes to the Law of Attraction. Based on this law, people are often told that they attract what they think about.

It then makes perfect sense for one to only have thoughts that are positive. If one was to have negative thoughts (even for a short period of time), it would cause them to attract things they don’t want.

Obsession

What this will mean is that thinking positive is not something that one can do here and there, is it something they have to do all the time. At the back of their mind will be the fear of what they might attract if they allow their mind to wonder.

Guilt may also arise during those moments when they allow themselves to have negative thoughts. One is then unable to let go and to just be with their mind, they need to monitor it at all times.

Out of Balance

There is no doubt that one’s thoughts are having an effect on their life, but to say that one’s whole life is defined by their thoughts might be going a bit far. This doesn’t mean that one should completely ignore their mind and let it do whatever it wants to do, or that they are a victim.

But when one believes that their thoughts are in control of their life, they are creating an outlook that doesn’t reflect reality.  It is also another way for someone to harm themselves.

The Come Down

In the beginning, one could be inspired by positive thinking and/or the law of attraction and believe it is the answer to all their problems. Yet, as time passes, they could find that while some things have changed, a lot hasn’t.

However, instead of one realising that they have been sent down the wrong path, they could come to the conclusion that they are doing something wrong. One can then end up believing that they are the problem.

Denial

When it comes to positive thinking and the law of attraction, there is generally only one option. And because it is only the positive side of life that is embraced, it can cause one to end up living a life of denial.

What is ‘negative’ within them needs to be ignored and what is ‘negative’ without will also need to be ignored. And while one might think that this is the only way for them to experience they life they want, it is only going to create more problems.

The Dark Side

If one wants to live a fulfilling life, it doesn’t mean that they have to remove all that is ‘negative’. Just because one embraces a negative thought or feeling, it doesn’t mean that something bad will happen.

Instead of one denying certain thoughts and feelings, they can contain what is taking place within them. This means that one acknowledges what is taking place, without being consumed by it. And if they are consumed by it, they can reach out for support as opposed to trying to cover it up.

Empathy

When one is able to contain what is taking place within them and doesn’t feel the need to always be positive, it will allow them to experience empathy. If, on the other hand, one feels the need to always be positive, it is going to affect their ability to experience empathy.

If one was to allow themselves to experience another person’s pain, it will be seen as something that will have a negative effect on their own life. One then has to block out how other people feel.

Insensitive

Through their own need to remain positive, it could cause them to invalidate how others feel.  To empathise with what someone is going through could be seen as something that will stop them from attracting what they want.

They could end up telling someone to ‘get over it’ or to just ‘let go’. One might not only fear what they will attract into their life if they empathise with others, they might also fear what could be triggered within them.

Positive Thinking

When one has the need to be positive all the time it is not only going to set them up to be in denial, it is also going to have a negative effect on their relationships. And if one has identified with the law of attraction, they might tell others that they created what happened to them.

They could then tell the other person that they need to change what is taking place in their mind, and how this will enable them to attract what they want.

Awareness

While thinking positive is important, there will be times when one needs to embrace what is not positive. Through containing what is taking place within them as opposed to denying certain parts, it will allow them to be a whole human being.

Their ability to experience empathy won’t be effected either and this will have a positive effect on their relationships. If one is trying to avoid the pain that is within them through thinking positive, they might need to seek the assistance of a therapist, healer and/or a support group.

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Introversion, Gut Feelings, and Trust

By Lynette Crane in anxiety, Attention, attitude, Awareness, Happiness, Learning, Manifesting Dreams on January 30th, 2015 /  No Comments »

Maybe – just maybe – your gut-level feeling that you shouldn’t be doing something is right. But if you’re an introvert, you’ve probably had a lifetime of being told to ignore your feelings, and urged to act just the opposite.

Want to stay home and read? “What’s the matter with you, anyway?” It’s implied that you’re neurotic or even antisocial. Want to leave a party before it ends? “You’re a party-pooper.” Find large groups overwhelming? “Just get out there and have fun (said with incredulity)!” (Even though the event gives you a headache or even nausea.) Enjoying being quiet and listening when in a group? “You’re shy, aren’t you?” a shaming label if ever there was one.

We end up forcing ourselves to do things that aren’t bringing us any pleasure, and somehow berating ourselves for the demoralizing experiences we endure. Then we crawl back into our little cave.

It’s no wonder we have never learned to trust our feelings as guides to what will lead to success and happiness.

There is a caveat here: if you are an introvert, and haven’t had good guidance in developing your introversion in a confident way, your reluctance to participate in a given event may not be the result of intuition (“This isn’t for me”) but the result of anxiety, because you haven’t learned the social skills to cope successfully with such events.

How do you tell the difference between intuition and unwarranted, self-defeating anxiety?

The anxiety over not knowing what to do or say is simply a lack of social skills, common to many introverts who have learned to shrink away from social interaction. The self-consciousness we develop from feeling out of step with society, plus our increasing lack of practice in social skills are a part of what I call “introvert baggage,” not a necessary part of introversion, which merely calls us to manage our energy effectively.

Gaining confident social skills is simply a matter of finding good models, not the bright, energetic center-of-attention model, but the quiet, well-mannered helps-other-people-feel-comfortable model.

You can find these models through observation, reading (try an etiquette book), or coaching.
Simply acquiring social skills doesn’t mean you must get out there and go on a social binge. It does mean that you are able to do so when it’s important to you: to network, support friends, etc.

Why is socializing important? Nobody gets through a successful life alone. We all need a confidantes, support systems, and networks. If we are in business, and most of us working people are in some way or another, we need to be able to connect meaningfully with people who see value in our contributions.

It can be painful, however, and here’s where self-knowledge and your intuition can be an excellent guide.

Business coaches often urge me, and others, to go to every possible networking meeting in order to meet people who somehow, some time, might be able to help make our businesses go forward.

I reflected on this, and it occurred to me that this might be the equivalent of urging Kate Middleton to attend every possible party in England in the hopes that she would someday meet someone who could possibly introduce her to the future King of England. (Cue cynical laughter here.)

How do you know when it’s right to go? First, take some time to sit quietly with your wisdom and get very clear on what you want out of life. Banish the “shoulds” of society. Mentally practice your social skills: greeting people, appreciating them. Stop worrying about how good things are going to happen. Convince yourself that they can, and you are worthy.

Then, take a chance on going out somewhere, such as a meeting or a party, to check whether or not it’s in line with your vision. At the first sign of discomfort, ask yourself if it’s your lack of skill, or if there is really something going on here that is counter to your best interests.

If you’re still a little unclear, you sometimes need to allow a given event a second chance before you are clear as to whether you are responding to your intuition or simply to your “introvert baggage.” But don’t be afraid to draw yourself up proudly and say to yourself, “This simply isn’t for me. I will never be appreciated here for who I truly am.” Thank the host, hostess, or event organizer as you leave.

With enough Introvert Pride (yes, you can develop that), you can even say, as I have sometimes done at a pleasant event at which I’ve had enough, “I’m not leaving because I don’t like your event. I am an introvert, and I have had enough stimulation for one evening. Thank you very much.”

Some time ago, I was due to attend a networking meeting, but felt reluctant to do so. I hadn’t really gotten any meaningful connections at this group; furthermore, I often left feeling vaguely depressed, somehow assuming that there was something wrong with me.

But taking a furlough from life, I concentrated on who I was and what I wanted, no matter how crazy it sounded. Faced with yet another meeting of this group, I told myself bravely that I didn’t have to do that anymore – it was a go-nowhere situation for me. I fought back the voices of previous coaches who scolded me for being too passive.

So I skipped this next meeting, stayed home, and started looking at the internet for groups that might be more aligned with my interests. I found one quickly (my gut said “yes”), attended it the next day, was welcomed, connected immediately with interesting people, and set up a great relationship/partnership with two of the members.

These relationships and partnerships seem to flow into life easily, once you know who you are, and can handle it.

Until you’ve aligned your actions with your gut, you don’t know how really easy and sweet life can be.

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Depression: Can Repressed Anger Cause Depression?

By Oliver JR Cooper in Attention, attitude, Happiness, Learning, Stress Reduction on January 26th, 2015 /  No Comments »

One of the most common mental and emotional challenges that someone can face in today’s world is depression. This is likely to be something that most people experience at one point or another.

There are then going to be others who don’t experience it from time to time, they experience it on a regular basis. It could be that this has come to be a way of life for them and it is then normal.

Normal

So what is normal for one person is not necessarily going to be normal for another. And this means that some people will be used to living without depression and others will be used to living with it.

As a result of this, their experience on this planet is going to be radically different. There are also going to be people who reach out for support when they are depressed and others who keep it to themselves.

Support

If one was suffering from depression, it would be a good idea for them to reach out for support.  But while one might ask a friend how to cook a certain meal or go to their doctor if they have a physical problem, this doesn’t always take place when it comes to mental and emotional problems.

This comes down to the fact that one is unlikely to feel ashamed of asking for help when it relates to cooking a meal or going to see their doctor about a physical problem, but they can feel ashamed when it comes to an inner problem. And because of this, one can just put up with what is taking place within them and not reach out for support.

One Approach

If one was to go to their doctor, they might end up being put on some kind of medication. They are then likely to experience a shift in what is taking place within then, but this could also affect their ability to feel other emotions on the spectrum.

As a short-term solution and with additional therapy, this could assist one in being able to understand themselves better and to move forward. Yet, if one is just given drugs and that’s the end of it, they are not going to find out about themselves.

The Wrong Outlook

There are some people who look at mental and emotional problems in isolation, and this means they don’t look into the other factors that could be involved. What is taking place within them could then be seen as a ‘chemical imbalance’ or put down to genetics.

But as human beings are interdependent and are not separate from their environment, it means that their environment has to be taken into account. Without this factor being looked at, one can end up being taken down the wrong path and end up believing there is something inherently wrong with them.

Depression

When one is depressed, it could be a challenge for them to get out of bed and this can mean that each day is a struggle. They can feel as though they have no energy and this is naturally going to affect every part of their life.

It is then not possible for them to embrace each day and they might feel as though they have lost the will to live. So their experience on this earth is not going to be very pleasant and this could be something they have become accustomed to.

Possible Reasons

If one feels this way, it could mean that they are carrying trapped grief in their body. One may have experienced a loss or a number of losses, but as they haven’t been able to grieve, the pain has remained within them

It could be due the environment that one lives in and how where they live doesn’t meet thier needs. Perhaps they are around people who are abusive and who don’t respect their boundaries.

Anger

Another reason why one feels depressed could be due to the fact that they have disconnected from their anger. And this could be something they have done for so long, that they don’t even realise they are doing it.

Anger is often seen as being a ‘negative’ emotion and this can then stop people from being able to integrate it. One can then end up losing touch with their anger and when this happens, they are setting themselves up to suffer.

Guidance

For example, in order for one to have boundaries, to move forward in life and to speak up, they will need to be in touch with their anger. And to see it as something that has the potential to guide them and to move they forward.

It is neutral and not something that can be described as being either positive or negative. When one is out of touch with their anger, it is going to be normal for them to let others walk all over them, to stay silent or to say what others want to hear and to end up being passive.

Integration

Without it, one won’t have anything within them to let them know when they are being violated or when they are not fulfilling their needs. And when one has integrated their anger, it doesn’t mean they always feel angry, it means they will be aware of when something is not right in each moment of their life and their life as a whole.

At A Deeper Level

The reason one has disconnected from their anger will come down to what they believe will happen if they were to embrace their anger. These beliefs were probably formed during one’s younger years.

So if they were to get angry, they might believe that it would cause them to be abandoned and/or for them to be harmed. And if anger has built up within them, they might believe that they would harm others if they were to get in touch with it. One could also end up feeling guilty whenever they experience anger.

Awareness

The beliefs that one has around expressing their anger could be supported by how they feel in their body. And the reason they feel as they do could be because of the emotional experiences of the past that have remained within them.

It might then be necessary for them to seek the assistance of a therapist or a healer to enable them to process how they feel. Another approach would be for them to question their beliefs and to change their behaviour. It can all depend on what one feels they need in order to integrate their anger and to move forward.

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