“The past is a foreign country,” author L.P. Hartley famously wrote in his book The Go-Between. Perhaps that’s why we hold on to the postcards…
I wish I had come up with this phrase, but it isn’t mine. The Surrender Experiment is the title of an amazing book by Michael Singer. You should read it. It’s in my top 10.
What is mine is my own surrender experiment—the one I’ve been living for since the spring of 2017 when I moved to Topanga. I was happily living in a little cottage in the walk streets of Venice and looking for my next place in the same location, but the Universe had a different plan for me. Day after day, one thing or another kept preventing my next place in Venice from happening. I had only a couple days to find something when a dear friend called me. She had just bought her dream place in Topanga and was looking for a short term roommate to help with her new mortgage payments. I immediately said, “Thanks for thinking of me, but I really don’t want to live in Topanga. However, I’ll come see you for a cup of tea and celebrate your new place with you.”
As I was driving up the s-curves on Topanga Canyon Boulevard that day, I remember saying to myself with an air of annoyance, “I’m going to end up living up here somehow.” I look back on this and find it so funny because I fell in love with Topanga so quickly, and am still madly in love with this little town.
Sure enough, I moved in with her for a few months, and that one decision completely changed the course of my life. It created a path for many much bigger and more important surrender experiments that followed.
I decided that day (after my little grrrr moment of not getting my silly human wants met) that I would do as Michael Singer had suggested and I would run my own surrender experiment.
What exactly is a surrender experiment?
Well, the surrender experiment is when you put your silly human willfulness to the side, and you listen to and surrender to what the Universe/God/Higher Power is asking of you and do that instead. The guidance we receive from the Divine often doesn’t make any logical sense (to our little human brains at least), but if you do follow it, it will take you into completely magical places and situations you never, ever imagined you’d enter. It takes an enormous amount of courage and trust (and a slight feeling of insanity) to live the surrender experiment life. It is not for the faint of heart.
What we think we want and what is actually for our highest good are not always the same thoughts.
You see, there are two things at play here: 1. there is our personal level of conscious awareness and then there’s 2. the quantum field of all possibilities. We often spend our lives and thoughts in the first place and we make all our decisions on the limited amount of what we know in our own personal conscious awareness. In the second place—the quantum field—the game changes completely. When we are living from that space, we are in the Divine Unknown. It’s the wild card. It’s not as comfy. We often have no clue what’s going to happen there. And most people are completely frightened of the unknown. When we open that door, we don’t even know what we’re actually saying yes to. It could be epically fun or epically tragic. There’s no way to know. It’s an adventure.
Yet, there is one thing that is for certain when you say ‘yes’ to living a surrender experiment, and that is that you will enter that quantum field of all possibilities and when you do, you’ll tap into a magic that will be beyond the understanding of your limited human mind (no matter how smart you are). If you are brave enough to be open to that magical world, the things that will happen will take you down the most incredible paths. Those paths may not always be easy, but they will be perfect for you. They will be just the thing you needed to help you on the journey of your soul’s evolution. It will catapult you years ahead in your own growth and magic.
I lived that life for many years. I kept surrendering. I kept trusting. I kept just putting one foot ahead of the next, often not knowing where I was going. I would have days when I thought I was totally crazy. I would have days when I deeply knew how freaking mind-blowingly brilliant this surrender experiment really is. It’s a very different way of living. It’s wild and courageous, and feels a bit like you’ve lost your marbles. All traditional planning and logic goes out the window.
I exchanged logical plans for faith in divine surrender.
I write this today as a reminder to myself—and all of us—to get back the trust and faith of the surrender experiment. It opened the door to some of the most transformative, beautiful, painful, amazing experiences of my entire life. I had stopped trusting it for a while, and now I’m back. I’m back to that place of trusting in my own magic, trusting in the magic of the Divine Unknown, trusting that even when things don’t seem that great to my little human mind, there is a bigger plan, a plan much more elaborate and beautiful than I can even fathom.
All I have to do is say yes to the Divine Unknown and trust and surrender—again. There are infinite possibilities and if we believe the Universe is a kind, prosperous, and benevolent place, then it becomes that. We are such powerful creators. We just forget. I’m writing this today to remind us all of the magic that is in us and all around us. All we have to do is trust—and surrender.