Are you longing for your life to be easier and more fun? Would you like to stop pushing, micromanaging, and forcing things so you can relax? What if you could enjoy what you have instead of always lusting for “more”? What if you could live in “the zone,” propelled by powerful currents toward the right people and opportunities? What if you could stop worrying about money and live with more emotional ease in the moment? If you answer “yes” to all these questions and desire lasting positive change, then prepare to experience the ecstasy of surrender.
The art of letting go, Dr. Judith Orloff explains, is the secret key to manifesting power and success in all areas of life, including work, relationships, sexuality, radiant aging, and health and healing. In our superconnected world where emails and text messages constantly interrupt us, it’s easier to let go than you think. Once embraced, surrendering removes roadblocks and the exhaustion that comes from “trying too hard”—and it helps you achieve goals more effortlessly and brings ongoing happiness.
With her stunning gift for storytelling coupled with her unique, results-oriented approach to physical, emotional, and spiritual health—marrying neuroscience, psychiatry, intuitive medicine, energy techniques, and more—Judith provides a powerful, practical, and accessible map for anyone who is longing to be happier but who feels stuck, burned-out, tense, worried, or afraid to let go.
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Q&A with Dr. Judith OrloffThe Ecstasy of Surrender Q&A with Dr. Judith Orloff
Let’s get this out in the open. Your new book is about surrender. A lot of people, especially in the United States, think of surrendering as something negative. We don’t give up! We preserve! We don’t surrender. We fight! What do you mean by surrender and how can it benefit us on a day-to-day basis?
I am so passionate about writing a book about surrender because, as a physician with more than twenty years of medical practice, I’ve seen that it is the missing part of the equation to happiness and health. I’m intrigued with the idea of surrender, not as defeat or loss—as it is frequently thought of—but as a positive, intuitive way of living. Contrary to common stereotypes that equate surrender with weakness, I’m presenting it as a way to gain mastery of your life. People don’t think surrender will work because they fear giving up power. In this book I want readers to experience the elegant balance of knowing when to exert control in their lives and when to let go. This is the secret to success and bliss.
Lots of people strive to keep all aspects of their life in control at all times, but when a crisis hits, such as job loss, relationship difficulties, or problems with a child, they spiral into anxiety or depression. What would be the first thing you would suggest they do to start healing and relieve stress?
The first step to healing is to realize: As much as we might like to control everything, everything cannot always be controlled. Accepting this will lead to inner peace. Of course, it’s natural to feel depressed and anxious when adversity hits, but the art of surrender allows you to exhale instead of clench. It’s important to surrender to the love that is around you for support. Mighty forces can come to your aid when you humbly surrender to life. This doesn’t mean giving up or giving in—it means accepting what is and trying to do your best with as much faith and hope that you can muster. And above all else, shower yourself with compassion. Know that life goes through cycles of change, and you can ride through like a surfer navigating a magnificent wave. Accepting life on life’s terms—learning to flow through joy and adversity—is the gorgeous dance of life.
Over the years you say you have personally learned to trust the process and surrender to those things you resist or fear. What have you learned and gained by surrendering? Are you always successful? What if I try to surrender, do so for a day, but then feel myself creeping back to my old ways? What can I do?
Surrender is my lifelong meditation! It keeps all of us healthy, younger, playful, more passionate, and flexible. I have only touched the surface of surrender. It’s natural to slip back to your old ways of overcontrolling. But be happy with baby steps. In this book I celebrate small changes. Don’t worry if you slip! Just pick yourself up and keep moving! Be grateful that you are making progress at all. Surrender is a journey that continues to awaken you. When I began the holy journey of writing this book, I longed to experience surrender more than anything else. Now, as my writing has concluded, I see how generous this book has been to me, how much I’ve softened and learned to let go. Surrendering has been the catalyst for my growth, even when it was terribly inconvenient and unsettling. This is where faith and trust come in. When you can flow with change, the results are incredible. I am in the midst of radical change—a great blossoming for which I am profoundly grateful.
We live in a fast-paced world and let’s face it: sometimes we get caught up in emotional traffic jams. You say that people can be blocked in different areas of their lives. Relationships. Money. Health. Sexuality. Does the modern world and pace set us up to struggle with letting go? Is there a way to embrace the modern world and the surrender at the same time?
When you choose to practice surrender, you are being a revolutionary, a path forger who is willing to challenge cultural norms. Western culture’s habits of overintellectualizing, overcontrolling, and pushing so hard that you sabotage and exhaust yourself do not work. In this book, I invite you to live life in extraordinary terms and to devote to your practice of letting go. Every moment of life is so precious—the modern world, your inner world, your soul’s journey. In this book, I urge you to surrender to it all. I encourage you to give yourself some time away from mundane reality (even five minutes each day!) so you can replenish your energy and faith and grow stronger. You need to be strong to function in the world. When you can spiritually, emotionally, and physically surrender it takes so much pressure off! And you can feel bliss. Yes, bliss!! Everyone is capable of it if you can surrender to the magnificent mystery of life and to your magnificent self!About the Author:
JUDITH ORLOFF, M.D., assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at UCLA, has helped patients practice the art of surrender to achieve emotional freedom for more than two decades. She is the author of the New York Times bestseller Emotional Freedom and the bestsellers Positive Energy, Judith Orloff’s Guide to Intuitive Healing, and Second Sight. She has appeared on The Dr. Oz Show, the Today show, PBS, CNN, and NPR, and her TED talk debut of this book has over a half million views on YouTube. Find more information and inspiration at www.drjudithorloff.com.
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