The Grace that Comes with Letting Go

None of us make it through life without experiencing a few big bumps. Try as we might to keep our ducks in a row, life occasionally has some unforeseen loops in store for us. An unexpected change can be frightening and leave us feeling clueless about how to handle the crumbling pieces of a once seemingly stable situation.

Challenges that are difficult can also be wonderful periods of growth, which afford opportunities for us to take a quantum-leap into new and expanded worlds.

How we deal with a situation is the crucial element in determining our experience of the outcome. If we leave it up to our personal, conditioned and limited mind, the outcome will usually be relatively limited growth.

But expanding and opening our minds to the unlimited force that animates us and surrendering the outcome with an intention for it to create the highest purpose for all involved, can lead us to an experience of great freedom. Sincerely letting go and asking Existence to show the way, changes us forever. The results are usually far greater than anything we could have imagined.

My first and most profound experience of surrender occurred during an emotional crisis. My marriage was falling apart, it was clear we had to separate, but I had no idea what to do. I didn’t know who would leave, where we’d go or how we’d handle it financially. What would my daughter do? How could I stand the dissolution of my sweet family that I was so attached to and loved so much? My mind went blank by the shock and sheer sadness, absolute fear and utter not-knowing-ness. In a moment, I threw my hands up and said, “ Existence, I give up, put me where I’m suppose to be and guide me.” It was a literal and deeply sincere, “thy will, not mine, be done!” experience.

The relief that came over me in that moment was sublime. I realized that I didn’t even have to think about it. It was not for me to decide, create or even concern myself with. This surrender was an abandonment of all strategies and a request for guidance. I knew my job was to relax, trust and follow the directions I would be given and have faith that the highest purpose would unfold.

What happened seemed truly miraculous to me. A few days following the experience, I received a phone call that set in motion unfathomable changes. I could have never been able to personally orchestrate the events that needed to happen in order for this ‘miracle’ to unfold. It was as if all the balls on a pool table smoothly glided into the pockets and I wasn’t even holding a cue stick! I watched as things fell into place and astonishingly complex details took care of themselves. Dozens of people were relocated, things were closed down, others opened. The ripples went far and wide. And whatever I wanted seemed to be the decree of the Universe.

Though it seemed I had no choice, I was very grateful that the surrender was so deep and that I was effortlessly able to stay out of the way and allow the grace to come in and shower me in love.

It’s ironic that we strive to demonstrate our ability to control our environment and circumstances and avoid appearing clueless, like the plague. And yet our greatest blessing may just be our ability to open to, accept, and surrender our limited knowing so we can…

Experience the magic!

Allowing Magic in Your Life

Life shows up in unexpected ways even when I am busy making plans and believing I am personally holding it together. There’s nothing wrong with pretending I’m in control of my life, as long as I’m not blinded by my own pretense.

It was a wise person indeed who suggested that the way we make God laugh is to make plans. I may be able to laugh right along with God if I’m not too attached to my ideas about what should and shouldn’t be happening.

If I live my life doing what I think I need to do and at the same time seek to maintain a level of curiosity and stay open to spontaneity, life feels endlessly interesting and enjoyable to me. However, if I think it has to look just the way I think it should, I am in for a lot of suffering.

I had a profound experience, which I now see as extremely fortunate. At one point in my life, I was at a complete loss. I had no idea what I should do. The situation required that I do something, but I had no idea how to proceed.

I threw my hands up in the air and said, “Universe show me what to do, I have no clue!” It was an authentic surrender, a complete letting go of trying to hold on to control. What took place after I tossed my fate to the winds was an unbelievable chain of events I could never have imagined myself.

The experience felt like being gently carried down the river of life on a raft of pure grace. It changed me forever. I still try to organize my mornings, days and months, but I know that existence may have other things planned for me.

The surrender experience taught me that there are amazing and remarkable possibilities that I can’t even see.

  • Now I don’t get too attached to my plans:
  • I accept as a certainty that, when I open enthusiastically to life as it is showing up and accept it as perfect for that moment, I free myself from the suffering that my own resistance brings.
  • I try do this even when what shows up doesn’t look or feel agreeable.
  • I know from experience that I am probably not seeing the big picture and, even if something feels uncomfortable at a particular moment, there is one constant in life and that constant is change.

Life is like the weather in Kauai, if you don’t like the way it is now, wait five minutes. If, in that five minutes, you are moved to do something to alter the situation, that’s perfect too.

Jarl Forsman

3 Techniques to Improve Your Life Now

If you want to make a radical improvement in the quality of your life, there are techniques that can help. They’re simple but not necessarily easy, because they involve breaking habits, and habits can be hard to break. But, breaking them is crucial because you can’t keep doing the same thing and expect a different result. I know from experience that the effort you put into it will make a huge, positive difference in your life:

1) Refrain from complaining about anything in your life, including pain in your body, your work, the weather, the government, politicians, and anything else you may have a habit of not liking and talking about. Try for just one day and notice the difference.

When you complain, you energize whatever is bothering you. Confirming it over and over with your attention expands its significance in your consciousness and feeds the situation. It’s a sure-fire way to keep it alive and bugging you.

Exercise to Expand your Mind:

When you feel like complaining about something, imagine that your mind is an enormous field and that this annoyance is just one, tiny speck in that expanse. You are bigger than it, a lot bigger. Imagine that your consciousness is so vast that this one, little annoyance is hardly noticeable. The real you is so large that when put in proper perspective, this issue, circumstance, or problem is barely discernible.

2) Never talk or think negatively about other people.

Because when you do, they feel the quality of your thoughts at some level. Whether or not you’re aware of it, we’re all connected to one another energetically. Negative thoughts and speech aggravate disharmony and make matters worse. Even if you don’t believe in connectivity, thinking negatively predisposes you to keeping your posture and not healing the divide.

Exercise to Open your Heart: 

When you notice yourself thinking or speaking negatively about someone or some thing, stop immediately and say, “I’m sorry, forgive me, thank you, I love you.” You may not mean it at first, but try.  Then take a minute to sit down, imagine the person sitting in front of you and visualize a white light shining down on both of you, aligning you with truth, love and harmony. Even if you are certain of your position, try to remember that neither of you is necessarily wrong, you just have polarized positions or opinions. If you have difficulty truly wanting harmony, you are withholding love from yourself. Don’t so mean to yourself! Try to feel the truth of that and repeat the process.

3) Focus on what you want and stop feeding what you don’t want with your attention.

A strategy to figure out what you want is to know what you don’t want. But all too often the mind gets stuck on the “don’t want” part of the equation. Focusing on the problem or dissatisfaction only energizes it in your own mind and makes it worse. You have to create something new in order to get something new!

Exercise to Strengthen your Vision:

If you feel you lack something or have a problem, rather than dwelling on the absence or difficulty, shift your focus quickly to creating. Use the situation to inspire and guide you to focus your attention and imagination on what you do want. If you don’t know exactly what that is, sit down, close your eyes and visualize yourself beaming with gratitude that the situation has shifted and you are now happy with the results. You don’t have to actually know the details. As a matter of fact, it’s better to avoid thinking about the process or how the desired results are going to manifest because doubts may arise. Your limited linear mind does not have all the information. Just try to feel what you think you’d feel if the situation were to your liking. Your inner resources will then begin to align you with whatever that is.

Out of Reaction and Into Creation
  • Does life seem to offer you a series of problems to be solved?
  • Do you feel that external circumstances put you in reaction anddictate your choices?


  • Do you think about what you want and focus on the results that you’d like to create?
  • Do you use existing circumstances simply as a motivation to help you create what you want?

In The Path of Least Resistance, Robert Fritz states that when you try to solve a problem you are taking action to have something go away, the problem. Once the problem is gone, then what do you have? “No matter what your problems are, for the most part, solving them won’t rid you of problems.

You will always have a new problem if you don’t know how to create what you want.” The reactive-responsive style contains the basic presumption of powerlessness. You might be able to correct conditions that aren’t to your liking, but it is ultimately circumstance that is the all-powerful, predominant force in your life.

Approaching life from a perspective of creation, on the other hand, is truly empowering. If you’re in the habit of reacting to life, it may seem like circumstances are facts that must be dealt with as such. Creators see it differently. “Perhaps our true nature is that of creators who can bring forth new life out of any set of circumstances.” Carl Jung.

Creators consciously choose what they want to see and focus on the results rather than on the process that they believe would bring the results.

Consciously choosing results sets up what Fritz calls structural tension. This structural tension then mobilizes the inner resources of body, mind and spirit to create the desired results. This is not to say that you will lose 20 pounds tomorrow if you focus on being thin today. But once you make the choice to be in great shape, your inner resources will choose the right foods and exercises to bring about your desired results. He makes the distinction that deciding to eat healthy so you will drop pounds is focusing on the process and will not create the structural tension that focusing on the result of your perfect physique would.

I’ve experienced this mobilization of inner resources and witnessed the creation of results I wouldn’t have thought possible. Many times what I’ve wanted to create seemed out of the realm of possibility given the circumstances. Because the goal appeared so unlikely, I didn’t even know where to begin in terms of thinking about how to create it. When I first tried this approach, I thought each success was a fluke. Although I can’t explain the mechanics of how this happens, I’ve now had decades of positive results. I’ve found that keeping my mind focused on the results rather than the process brings the desired outcome, regardless of the external circumstances. The results may not look exactly like I imagined them, but they are almost always even better.

If you are a reactor-responder type and feel like life is just not giving you what you want, try creating instead. It takes practice, but the shift from a powerless victim of circumstance to feeling empowered and creative is worth the effort.

Don’t let circumstances be the predominantly creative force in your life, think of how you want your life to be, focus on it, and let your inner resources align to make it happen while you stay present enjoying the moment!

Jarl Forsman