If you're not as effective in every area of life as you'd like to be, you might want to consider the
You can react in one of two ways to pretty much everything in your life. You can use FORCE
(willpower) to control it, or you can SURRENDER to it. Each has its place. One of my clients
brought this to my attention a few months ago. I noticed she seemed unable to do such a
simple thing as taking just 15-30 minutes each morning to "center" herself. On the other hand,
she was fighting furiously (and ineffectively) with her thoughts, with those parts of herself and her
life she doesn't like.
In other words, she was choosing to SURRENDER to laziness (a terrible enemy you never want
to surrender to, by the way). And on the other hand, she was using brute FORCE to fight against
her thoughts of inadequacy, fear, anxiety, loneliness and a host of others.
Like most of us, my client is in the habit of using FORCE and SURRENDER in exactly the wrong
We need to FORCE ourselves to lead a powerful life, rather than giving into to our tendency to
just let ourselves go. That takes determination. It always has and it always will.
And yet, we need to SURRENDER inwardly to the truth about where we're at NOW. That means
we stop RESISTING our neurotic tendencies - our fears, our poor self-image, our sharp edges
and the rest. Why? Because only by seeing reality as it REALLY IS can we overcome those
And we don't overcome them by FORCE, by repressing them. That's what created most of them
in the first place. When we calmly stare our uncomfortable aspects in the face in a
non-judgmental way, we find they begin to lose their hold on us.
There are lots of people who think RESILIENCE is about being tough. And yes, there’s a place
for that forceful “yang” approach. It really is vital to building a deliberate, powerful and
stress-free life. However…
Equally important and often ignored is the judicious use of surrender, the “yin” approach,
particularly on the more subtle emotional and spiritual levels... to the right things at the right
moments, of course. In fact, it’s the only way to become a fully functional human being.
Not surprisingly, the most effective tool for learning the proper way to surrender inwardly is the
process of meditation. Meditation puts you face to face with the very things you've been
repressing for years or decades, yet gives you the space and comfort to "create space" for
them and allow them to dissolve on their own. New meditators are often astonished at how
much emotional content they've been repressing and how neurotic it was making them.
If you're interested in learning more about the meditation process and how to transform every
moment of your life into a meditation that builds your health and calms your thoughts and
emotions, you can go to:
The irony is, you'll never learn how to surrender to the REAL, to relax deeply into the essence of
life and discover your true self, unless you know when to apply force. Every authentic ancient
tradition is built on this delicate balance between force and surrender.
Your friend in the "war for peace",
~ Dr. Symeon Rodger