Surrendering VS. Giving UP! (ttc style) - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 91 Old 06-01-2004, 09:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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"Just Surrender:" There seems to be a lot of this advice going around lately and it's something I've been struggling intensely with since my last m/c (almost 2 months ago.)

I've always been of the train of thought that "surrendering" seems like "giving up." So, in light of this -- I've given up charting, temping, checking cm and inspecting tp. But I must admit that my secret hope is that by giving all this up, conceiving will happen naturally on it's own (but it BETTER not take too long!)

I think I've "given up" some ttc activities, but I definitely haven't surrendered to the unknown. How DO you DO that? And really -- what's the difference?

I've always believed that we created our own reality -- and that belief has gotten me happily through my life. But how do you create your own reality and surrender at the same time??? Is it just a bunch of hooey???

I admit I'm in my head WAY too much. I'm very introspective and analytical about every single thing -- I don't think this is such a good thing.

Anyway, I thought I'd sound off here (rather than pay a psychiatrist!) and see what you ladies think.

Here are my questions:
1. Do you think surrendering and giving up are two different things?
2. How DO you surrender?
3. Is surrendering all a bunch of hooey?
4. Any words of wisdom you'd like to share?

Thanks for taking the time to read this...

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#2 of 91 Old 06-01-2004, 10:47 PM
 
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Kate, I'm really stoked you started this thread ( my friend Heather will be proud she spurrned this conversation!! ) I'd love to reply, but I've got to go help a laboring friend! I'll spend some time thinking of it as I rub her back and help her breathe. Maybe I'll learn something about surrender there!!

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#3 of 91 Old 06-01-2004, 11:54 PM
 
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Hmmm... my first thoughts are... yes, we do create our own reality. But manifestation in the physical plane takes much longer than manifestation in the emotional/spiritual plane. If you create a thought, or vision, and hold onto that vision long enough, and nurture it, it will happen. Maybe not as fast as you would like, but it will happen! And, to me, that is where the surrender comes in. To me, surrender is not waiting for the expected outcome, even while holding the vision and doing the things that are necessary to make the vision reality in the physical plane. Sorta like waiting for the water to boil. You could stand over the pot, willing it to boil, and get frustrated when it doesn't boil instantaneously. Or you could simply know that it will boil, do the things you need to do to make it happen (like put the pot on the hot stove), go do something else, and before you know it, the water is boiling.

Maybe that didn't answer your questions, but that is what came to mind!

Good questions!

gotta go POAS now, and see if it is positive yet!!! ...
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#4 of 91 Old 06-02-2004, 01:43 AM
 
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I personally do not see this in terms of "surrender" b/c to me that seems like a cop-out. But it may be semantics...

I personally subscribe to the mindfulness theory of life. I am mindful of what is happening -- what I am feeling/ doing/ being. If I am feeling upset, I let myself feel upset. If I am feeling happy, I let myself feel happy.

The reason why this seems like a good alternative to "surrendering" to me is that I am fully aware of my thoughts and I am not trying to cover them up by saying "It's up to someone else, I'm not dealing with this anymore." In my belief system, that isn't what the goal is.

My goal, during this process is to not lose my mind and become bitter and upset and freaked out *all* the time. I can honestly say I don't think there's anyway that I could not be upset, bitter, and freaked out *some* of the time, though. I just don't want this to ruin my entire life...

Did that even touch this topic? I don't know!
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#5 of 91 Old 06-02-2004, 01:55 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KateSt.
...I've always believed that we created our own reality -- and that belief has gotten me happily through my life. But how do you create your own reality and surrender at the same time??? Is it just a bunch of hooey???...
Do you believe you create only the happy stuff? Or the pain too? Because I don't believe I've created my infertility. It happened to me. It's not fair. I don't think war victims create that reality. It happens to them. It's not fair. (I'm not comparing my infertility with being the innocent victim of a war, it's just what came to mind)

I think a lot life is out of our control. I believe that more firmly the older I get. But the choice comes in how we react to it. For a long time I was very bitter and angry about my infertility. I'm slowly, slowly, slowly moving to a place of letting that go. But it's a process.
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#6 of 91 Old 06-02-2004, 02:26 AM
 
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I don't believe we create our reality all the time. Sometimes (by our choices) we do, but a lot of happens without us causing it, imo.

Our choices determine what we make of our life, given our circumstances. For me, choosing to feel exactly what I'm feeling and not deny it means that I can feel it and let it go. I guess that is why it feels somewhat akin to "surrendering" to me.... b/c I can feel the pain of the moment and then let it go when I am done feeling it.

This has worked for the traumas in my life.... when I was held hostage at work, for example. I felt afraid, very afraid. And I felt angry at my workplace for not giving us more safety (I worked in a grocery store). And it took me awhile to process all that and move on, but I did eventually. Which is not to say it doesn't define me, b/c in a lot of ways it does. But, I am not held hostage anymore by that fear or anger. (I've had other traumas, and they have similarly been dealt with this way.)
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#7 of 91 Old 06-02-2004, 12:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow -- thank you ladies SO much for these responses. It's really given me a lot to think about.

Patti -- your post really spoke to me. (Have you, by any chance, read the "Seth Material?") After reading your post I realized that the things I've envisioned happening in my life HAVE happened, but not right away (as you said) and not in the time frame I wish they would. I'll hold onto that...

Alexis -- Thank you for your feedback too. Makes A LOT of sense. (I can't believe you were held hostage! yikes!)

Pugmadmama -- I WISH we only created the happy stuff. If that were true I probably wouldn't be struggling with this so much right now. I had a conversation with someone one week after my last m/c who also believes that we "create our own reality" and that because of that there was probably something I was doing or thinking subconsciously that may have "allowed my m/c to happen." That thought scared the SH*T out of me because I felt I was doing everything "right."

I think maybe we're all right -- we create our own realites (or at least our reactions!) and sometimes sh*t happens!

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#8 of 91 Old 06-02-2004, 01:17 PM
 
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I had to think of Eli Weisel(sp?) when I think of what is caused by us and what is our responsibility(for a lack of a better word)....he was a survivor of the haulicost(spelling is not my bag obviously and I am too lazy to look things up today..). His message was similar to the idea that he could be held prisoner but they could not break his spirit or take away his faith..........in his case reality was forced upon him but only given a physical impact....his mind was still his own and all its reactions were HIS.... He is a great person to look to for some inspiration IMHO.
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#9 of 91 Old 06-02-2004, 03:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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LeShea -- I think I know the book you're speaking of -- is it "Man's Search for Meaning" by Victor Frankl??? You're right, it is very inspirational...thanks.

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#10 of 91 Old 06-02-2004, 03:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KateSt.
...Pugmadmama -- I WISH we only created the happy stuff. If that were true I probably wouldn't be struggling with this so much right now. I had a conversation with someone one week after my last m/c who also believes that we "create our own reality" and that because of that there was probably something I was doing or thinking subconsciously that may have "allowed my m/c to happen." That thought scared the SH*T out of me because I felt I was doing everything "right."...
Thank you for explaining the concept further.

Personally, I would have had a hard time not slapping that "friend". Really, really hard. Plus, it just doesn't make sense to me. Did the Rwanda genocide victims "create that reality"? All 800,000 of them? Or, as someone else mentioned, the Holocaust?

I simply do not believe I have that much control over my life. I don't think anyone does. My only place of control is over my reactions. Which is scary. I'd love to believe I can "create my reality" but I've seen way too much in the world that is grossly unfair to believe that.
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#11 of 91 Old 06-02-2004, 03:55 PM
 
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I'm really struggling with this concept of "surrender" right now. I don't think it's the same as giving up. In fact in some ways, I think it's easier to give up. When we decided to adopt, it was relatively easy to "give up" ttc. (I kind of hate that word because it wasn't like we were giving up with no hope left, we were just moving on to what felt right, and what was right, for our family.) I threw all my charts away. I actually wanted to have a little ceremony and burn them. We completely stopped "trying" and put all our focus into adoption. It was the most wonderful, freeing feeling.

Well now, we are ttc again. We know it is the right thing to do at this time, and I feel like I need to travel the road to the end this time, for healing and closure (as well as for possible pg!). I"m working with a naturopath, so charting is part of the game, and so is remembering to take herbs/supplements 6-7 times a day. It has only been two months and I find I am already having such a hard time staying sane and not becoming totally obsessed. I want to be able to surrender emotionally, and to be at peace with whatever outcome there is, but it is so HARD when there are so many daily reminders of the ways you are trying to control the process. KWIM? I really think the hardest thing is to keep on with whatever treatment you're doing and still try to be in that place of calm acceptance. It is so hard when it's not either/or, but both at once.

I loved what someone said about mindfulness. I have a hard time accepting the difficult emotions. It's partly because I know where they can lead and how bad they can get and I am SO afraid of being in that place again. I find I strive for just as much control over my emotions as I do over getting pg, and I need to learn to allow myself feelings again and trust that it doesn't mean I'm destined to depression.

I just have to take "surrender" on a daily basis. For me, the good in surrendering is more for my own emotional growth/peace during the process--I am not entirely sure how much impact it actually has on getting pg or not.
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#12 of 91 Old 06-02-2004, 08:31 PM
 
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Laurel --

for me, depression happens when I'm not owning my own emotional state. You know, when I try to pretend everything's OK, and I eat my anger and it gets turned inward... And then I find I just don't have the energy to think about it anymore, and I feel numb instead.

And yeah, Kate, I can understand that it is shocking that I was held hostage. It was a big deal at the time (small town community, natural foods co-op grocery store. the police weren't really equipped to deal with 6 employees being taken hostage in a botched robbery. The gunmen used us as human sheilds and crossed over a railroad track while we were in front of them and jumped a fence and got away... the police later said they caught one of them, but none of the 6 of us ever identified him. He was convicted on police testimony alone.)
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#13 of 91 Old 06-02-2004, 09:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by alexisyael
Laurel --

for me, depression happens when I'm not owning my own emotional state. You know, when I try to pretend everything's OK, and I eat my anger and it gets turned inward...
Yeah, depression wasn't really the word I was looking for. I know exactly what you're talking about and have been there too. Sometimes though when I indulge the painful, miserable feelings it has snowballed and spiralled and there have been a few too many days spent sobbing on the couch. It's different from the anger depression.
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#14 of 91 Old 06-02-2004, 09:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Laurel
Yeah, depression wasn't really the word I was looking for. I know exactly what you're talking about and have been there too. Sometimes though when I indulge the painful, miserable feelings it has snowballed and spiralled and there have been a few too many days spent sobbing on the couch. It's different from the anger depression.
I'd call this one melencholy (sp?) A state which I know all too well, unfortunately. Pretty much for that I need to let myself feel sad and then do something active with my feelings -- sing along to sad music, dance, do yoga. Activity seems to prevent slipping into days spent crying on the sofa -- though I do think it is good to give myself some time for crying on the sofa, cause sometimes you just have to get it out!

This is a good thread. I am really loving the responses, and engaging in discussing this is healthy, imo. Kate, you are as always the wisest of us!
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#15 of 91 Old 06-02-2004, 10:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by pugmadmama

Personally, I would have had a hard time not slapping that "friend". Really, really hard.
:LOL Yeah, maybe you're right pugmadmama!!

Laurel and Alexis -- great posts. This is so thought-provoking!!! I can relate to so much that's being said and I do feel like I'm learning. This IS better than a psychiatrist!!

Alexis...your words brought tears to my eyes...(I'm a softy.) Thank you!

I hope others feel free to participate!!!

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#16 of 91 Old 06-03-2004, 02:39 AM
 
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Actually, I forgot to mention, but I was with pugmadmama about that "friend" -- oy! You really learn a lot about how people process hard stuff happening when you go through TTC for awhile -- some of my friends just say the ubiquitous, "Oh it will happen when you least expect it" (huh? How's that gonna happen???) and then others are kind and generous, and even if they sometimes stick their feet in their mouths, they apologize. And most of all, their reaction just reflects their character...

Anyway, I'm in a melencholy philosophical state of mind tonight... an on-line friend asked whether I was pregnant in an email (she's been out of touch for awhile) and said something to the effect of, "normally I wouldn't ask, but you have such a good attitude towards life' which is true, but sh*t I wish I didn't have to be that person, you know? The one that gets dumped on by the Universe and takes it and comes back for more... but I am, I guess.

Another friend (more irritating) said to me recently, "Oh, that's funny, you don't seem almost 30. I'd have said you were early twenties..." and then instead of it being a compliment, she said, "Yeah, you don't seem like you've been through a lot yet...you haven't been through the wringer." Um, yeah. Well, I straightened her out some about that! Cause I don't know if I can count the traumas on one hand anymore... and they have made me who I am, but no, I try not to be bitter or upset. And I try not to take it personally.

I guess that's at the heart of how I stay upbeat - I try not to take it personally. But it is difficult, and for some reason, tonight it does feel a little personal, ya know?

And Kate, I'm glad my words touched you I'm sensitive, too and cry at the drop of a hat!
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#17 of 91 Old 06-03-2004, 01:59 PM
 
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Alexis, sounds like the life experiences you've had have indeed made you the person you are; which seems to be a very wise woman indeed.

This is a wonderful thread.
I practice buddhism which would say that we do all create our reality in terms of how we relate to events with our minds. One person can be traumatised and turn it into rage and revenge; another may turn it into positive energy and action. I think of all the Tibetan Buddhist nuns who've been imprisoned by the Chinese and raped and tortured and they practice loving kindness toward their torturers. Wow.

I've learned through two m/c's that I cannot control this process. Conception, pregnancy, birth...the whole thing is so huge I feel all I can do is set up the right circumstances and then try and keep a mindful (as you said Alexis) attitude toward it all. Even about the losses, which were just as important in my life as my son's birth. All life changing events in their own way.

But as I said in a thread I started, I just had a major falling out with a friend who said (after telling me she was pg and I told her it's hard for me to hear because of the m/c), "A baby will come when it's the right time". On the one hand I guess I believe that, you know it was just the shittiest thing to hear at that moment. She could justify her comment in all sorts of well meaning ways but it still hurt like hell, because I truly don't think she got what I was saying at all. I've stopped talking to everyone but my closest friend and Dh about TTC.

Thank maude for these boards
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#18 of 91 Old 06-03-2004, 02:17 PM
 
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Muse, I'm a philosophical buddhist at heart Which is to say, I read a lot of Buddhist books, practice mindfullness and meditation (and yoga) and yet don't consider myself religiously Buddhist...

And thankyou I do feel that I've learned a lot from all my life-experiences, too! I've never understood the desire to appear younger than one's age -- since to me, aging is a gift. Everyday I learn something new!

Belly Blessings!
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#19 of 91 Old 06-03-2004, 02:43 PM
 
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Sorry that it has taken me so long to get back to this thread!

Kate - No, I have not read the Seth Material, although it does sound familiar. It may be one of those books that I bought but never got around to reading!

This is a good thread, and I have more thoughts... but I am not feeling very inspired to write anything that would benefit anybody right now. In fact, I'm in kind of a pissy mood! :

Alexis, I can totally relate to your mindfulness. Whatever I feel, I feel fully. I just didn't know that that was what mindfullness was!

So I'm gonna go feel really : right now!
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#20 of 91 Old 06-03-2004, 02:54 PM
 
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I'm really enjoying reading all your thoughts... I'm hoping to recover from the birth I witnessed yesterday.. so that i can join in... for now, i'm so tired.. and I have relatives in town... actually going to see a movie with my BIL on my lunch break (troy... yummy brad pitt) .
Anyway... I hope to join you in a day or so when I've had some sleep. Peace and blessings to you all.

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#21 of 91 Old 06-03-2004, 03:06 PM
 
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Brad Pitt really is yummy in Troy I may have to go see it again for his backside!

Shakti - mindfullness is actually a little more involved than what I've described. I recommend reading Thich Nhat Hanh's books if you want to know more... basically, mindfullness is about noticing what you are doing/feeling and then letting it go... like a stream passing over you. I indulge my emotions a little more than that, but I try to stay aware of what I am doing...

It's a tightrope act for me, b/c I don't want to spiral into depression (like we were saying earlier) but I don't want to diss my own feelings, either... anyway.

I am loving this thread!
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#22 of 91 Old 06-03-2004, 06:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am loving this thread, too! Korin, I'm looking forward to your wise words after a very long, restful sleep.

Alexis -- I'd have to fully agree that I'm also a "philosophical buddhist at heart." I think I'll check out those books you mentioned (I'm looking for something inspiring to read.)

Muse, I loved your post. It was my second m/c, as well, that has me questioning such things. I fully agree that losses are very life-changing. And I think this also pertains to women who haven't m/c'd but are struggling with the loss of their belief that conceiving would be easy. Someone close to me had to mourn the loss of motherhood after she agreed to marry a man who didn't want children -- there are so many kinds of losses, aren't there.
My losses have definitely made me more empathetic to others people's losses -- and that is a gift in a way.

I feel very cradled and comforted in this thread. Feeling warm and fuzzy...

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#23 of 91 Old 06-04-2004, 02:00 AM
 
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Kate -- perhaps an even more pertinent book would be by Pema Chodron (a Tibetian Buddhist Nun): When Things fall Apart (see her web site at: http://www.shambhala.org/teachers/pema/) She has other books as well, that's just the only one I've read (and now I want to read the new one, after seeing her website).

I think you put it very succintly -- I too am struggling with the loss of beliving TTC would be easy. I also struggled a lot with the loss of my first baby (through the abortion I had when I was 22). Even though it was a choice I made knowing exactly how hard it would be, that didn't make it any easier. And between then and Mike's deciding he was ready, I struggled with the uncertainty of whether he would ever be ready to be a dad. (He always said he would be, but I could not be sure).

As we struggle with our losses, may we be comforted by one another!

Belly Blessings, my dear friends
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#24 of 91 Old 06-04-2004, 03:55 AM
 
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All you philosophical buddhists, come and joinin my meditatin' mamas thread in spirituality! (for non buddhists too)

Alexis, Pema has been one of my key teachers. And that book is a great recommendation.

Kate, absolutely, people go through loss on so many different levels. Turning your own loss into compassion and empathy for others is a beautiful and powerful thing.
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#25 of 91 Old 06-04-2004, 04:04 AM
 
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Will do, muse Thanks for the invite!
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#26 of 91 Old 06-04-2004, 02:38 PM
 
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Sorry it took me some time to get to this thread. One thing is really sticking out to me though, the whole "do we create our own reality or not thing".
Pugmadmama, I totally see what you're saying, in that sufferers of war and such do not create the curcumstances that brought on their suffering. However, if you look at say Victor Frankyl's writing, I think where we create our reality is in how we react and how we perceive these things that are out of our control.
If you read Man's Search for Meaning, what Dr. Frankyl found was that in the same conditions some woud simply die, others would survive and thrive (in as much as they can thrive in those environments) Does this make sense, I don't feel like I'm expressing what is in my brain very well.
Basically though that you can have 2 men, both provided with only one slice of bread and some dirty water to live on. One man may say, someone cannot live on this and allow themselves to die--because afterall, a man cannot survive on that anyway--why continue to fight to live. Another man may decide that is the best bread he's ever had and be thankful for the fact that his tummy feels satisfied even for 10 minutes a day. Its been proven that even if they both die, the man with the positive fighting attitude will live longer and be healthier longer.
In writing this, I now wonder, if we talk surrender, in what way would these men be surrendering, I believe they are both surrendering, just in completely different ways. The first man surrenders to the fact that he will die and allows himself to do that. The second man, surrenders to his situation and then attempts to make the best of it.
So I suppose this brings us back to Shakti's take, if we surrender to the fact that we will never have kids--that is giving up. If we surrender to the fact that we will have kids, but that we have no control of when we haven't given up, we're just letting the pot boil unattended.
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#27 of 91 Old 06-04-2004, 04:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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absolutely Shannon. Very well said -- that makes so much sense to me, and that's exactly what I'm trying to do. Thanks so much for your thoughts on this!!!!

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#28 of 91 Old 06-08-2004, 07:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Last night in my yoga class my instructor talked about the need of "effort and surrender at the same time." I thought it was quite poignant -- and it made me happy. Sort of gives you permission to do all you can, and then just let it happen....

Dh is taking me to a tarot card reader for my bday this weekend. It's something I've always been interested in, but never really wanted to do. Well, I feel like I'm at a place NOW where I do what to know some things. Perhaps if my reader says something like "I'll have two kids eventually," I'd find great comfort in that and be able to "relax" a little. Course, I don't want to put any expectations on the reading but...oops, too late.

Just plugging along....

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#29 of 91 Old 06-09-2004, 01:10 AM
 
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Oh, yeah! That's yoga all over, baby! You gotta put in effort, and you gotta surrender to the pose, too! That's it! (I'm on a post-yoga high right now... I have gathered some excercise buddies where we'll all be accountable to one in order to meet our goals -- mine is to do yoga and/or dance every day!)

In terms of tarot (which I read, too): Tarot is a tool, that's it. Basically, it takes a snapshot of the current moment for you -- sometimes a skilled reader can see patterns in the future (or the unskilled can pretend to) but what it really comes down to is that the future is always changing... tarot is best when used as a system for advice and snapshots of the past/present/future that might be.

Have fun! I love getting my cards read by a good reader I've been thinking of getting one myself from a lady who reads on my street - she's very nice, with good vibes, and we've chatted about tarot a few times!

(My step-MIL did a distance-reading recently for me that has me wondering what a "professional" might catch that she didn't, b/c she knows me too well...)

Belly Blessings!
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#30 of 91 Old 06-09-2004, 04:00 AM
 
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I'm so grateful for this thread right now, since AF is here and I'm back in rebooting/surrendering (?) mode.

kate, I never "believed" in tarot, exactly, but went along to see a tarot reader with a friend once yrs ago. It was definitely nothing to do with seeing the future, but he was quite incredible in what he identified about what was going on in my life right then, and giving some advice as to how to handle it. I was very impressed, and it was advice I've held onto for yrs.

I was going through a divorce (from my life long love who I am now remarried to after yrs apart ), getting involved with an intense soul mate, and overall felt like the ground had been pulled out from under me. I got the "falling towers" cards or whatever they are; and he told me the stability and certainty I had had in my life was crumbling and I was trying to find new ground. The change brought with it a ton of creative energy but I was not at all grounded, and maybe a little crazy , and he told me, "At this point you need to let go and fly a little, but keep the ground in sight, and don't get others caught up in it all". It was very sage advice, and maybe meant I shouldn't have got into the other relationship which ended up begin incredibly complicated and painful.

Anyway, all that without me telling him a single thing! I was impressed. Maybe it's time to do it again. I feel at a similar junction in my life, not with Dh this time, but with so many other things, I feel like I'm just spinning sometimes.
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