We’ve been taught that in order to get what we desire, we need to either force our desires into being through hard work, sweat, and tears. Or we need to apply the Law Of Attraction, whereby we visualize what we desire, say affirmations that affirm that we already have what we desire, and “manifest” the desire into being. But what if there’s another way to deal with desire? In her book Outrageous Openness, a book which seriously changed my life, Tosha Silver teaches that the Law Of Attraction, improperly taught, is merely another way to push/strive/struggle in order to bring our desires into being. What if instead of making it happen, we acknowledge our desires, but then turn them over instantly to Divine Will?
Surrender in this way is also not about becoming a desireless zombie or getting rid of your desires. But it’s also not about handing a shopping list to God, filled with specifics about exactly what you want and when you want it with the expectation that God will fulfill all your desires. Tosha says, “God is not your Costco. God is not your bitch. God is not here to grant all of your specific wishes like some cosmic fairy godmother.” The Law Of Attraction implies that you know what’s best for you. God doesn’t. But what if it’s not about getting what your ego wants but instead, allowing Divine Will to lead your life? Tosha’s prayer is one of utter surrender. “TAKE ME OVER! USE ME! MAKE ME YOURS!”
Can You Trust?
Can you imagine letting go of attachment to all your desires, really trusting that living in Divine alignment will be more fulfilling and meaningful than anything your ego might conjure up? Can you dream of trusting that you will be shown your part in the cosmic orchestra in the perfect way, in the perfect time? If that feels impossible, if you can’t bear to trust that the Divine has a plan for you that might be better than your own, Tosha suggests saying a “Change Me” prayer. “Change me into someone who is ready to surrender.”
Here are some examples of variations on Tosha’s “Change Me” prayers, collected from Outrageous Openness.
When things aren’t going well at work:
I call Divine Order into my work. In the right time, in the right way, let my offering become available for the good of all, to all who need to be guided to me and to know.
When you’re looking for love:
The perfect partner is already selected. He/she is arriving in the right way at the right time. I am so grateful to receive him/her.
When something you want isn’t happening as fast as you wish:
My life is unfolding in Divine timing. All delays are beneficial. I’m always at the right place at the right time.
When you’re looking for clients:
I’m now available to receive anyone who can benefit from my teaching. Let all who need me find me. Let me help relieve suffering. The Divine is my complete Source for all prosperity and will provide.
When stressed about travel:
Let every aspect of this journey unfold in harmony. Let Divine Order arrange and show me every detail. The right airline connection, lodging, and all else are already selected and I’ll be guided to them easily. I’ll follow the leads as they are shown.
When you feel an impulse to be of service:
Wherever I can be a force for Love, please guide me. Take me wherever you wish me to go. Let me do your bidding.
When struggling to get over the painful loss of a relationship:
This entire relationship now belongs to Divine Order. It is in God’s hands and I am open to a miracle of completion The situation now unfolds in the perfect way for the good of all. I needn’t fear letting go; my needs are always met.
When trying to decide about whether to do something you can’t quite afford but wish to do:
Please show me if you wish me to go. If you do, please bring a sign, and a miracle. Please show your Divine Will in this matter and send a clear sign that gives the proper direction. And if for some reason I’m about to head the wrong way, please, please stop me.
When dealing with writer’s block:
I ask that if I can be of service, and I this be God’s will, that the perfect chances will arrive to pulverize this damn writer’s block once and for all.
When dealing with a customer service cluster f*ck:
With every fiber of my being I invoke God as my Source and cast the burden of this mess. I pray that the perfect people who intercede on my behalf will come at the right moment.
When struggling to find the perfect apartment or just the right parking spot:
I am now being guided to the right apartment [or parking spot] at the right time. It’s already handled.
When unclear about what’s next:
My perfect new path is already selected and will arrive at the right time. I’ll be shown the steps to receive it.
Then, after making these prayers of intercession, you have to let go and trust that it’s all handled, even if what shows up doesn’t look the way you hoped it will look.
Tosha teaches that surrender is hot. It’s about committing yourself- not just part of yourself but all of your self- to being available for use as a Divine vessel. The ego doesn’t like this one bit and will get very tricky, trying to manipulate you into thinking you need to be in control if you want to bring your desires into being. The ego cannot trust that Divine will is better than the ego’s will and so it will convince you that there is much to DO in order to bring your desire into being.
Surrender needn’t be misunderstood as passivity. Sometimes inspired actions are necessary, and Divine will appears as an instinct towards enlightened action. You can tell the difference between enlightened action and ego-driven striving based on how you feel in your body. Is it “spanda,” the rising shakti that leaps you to your feet and makes you say, with a full body YES, “I’m doing this!” Or are you exhausted just thinking about what it will take to force what you desire into being? Say yes to spanda, because it’s a Divine yes. Say no to dread because it’s an ego trap.
Here’s the “how to” version of what Tosha teaches, boiled down from what I learned in her book and her workshop:
1. Notice your desire or the problem you feel you need to solve.
2. The minute the desire or problem arises, offer it over to Divine Will. Say a prayer or set the intention, “If I am to have this or solve this, please send a sign. If not, please stop me.” The act of the offering is what creates the conduit for the Divine to allow the inspired actions that arise spontaneously from within your own body, thereby opening space for receiving, none of which can happen when you’re grasping. She uses the example of reaching for a feather. The very act of grasping for the feather generates a wind current that pushes the feather away, but if you just stand there and let it float, if it’s meant to come to you, it can.
3. Release attachment to outcomes. Once you’ve offered over the desire or problem, let it go. In this moment, your desires become merely preferences.
4. Look for signs. The signs may arise as inner knowing or as external feedback. Are you getting the “in the flow” green light or is Universal Intelligence trying to stop you with the cosmic red light? Do you just know what you’re supposed to do? Appreciate both “yes” and “no” guidance with equal openness and gratitude.
5. Pay attention to “spanda.” Surrendering to Divine Will doesn’t equal passivity. Sometimes you’ll be called to inspired action. Can’t tell whether or not to act? Then use your body as a compass. If you’re considering taking action, do you feel a full body YES that makes you leap up with enthusiasm? Or does your body feel exhausted at the mere thought of it? If an impulse to take action feels good to your body, do it. If not, keep waiting patiently, trusting that the impulse for inspired action will come when and if it’s time.
6. Follow the guidance. Guidance may appear as an exciting idea, an inner voice giving you instructions, a vision, or an external sign from the Universe. It’s okay to hesitate if you’re guided to do something you’re not ready to do. But if you get the same message ten times, try saying a “Change Me” prayer. “Change me into someone who is ready to take action.” Otherwise, you may remain at the mercy of the fearful small self indefinitely. If you perpetually avoid what you’ve been guided to do, you will not succeed in your Divine mission.
Are You In?
Will you commit to letting the Divine take the lead in your life? For inspiration, stories of how others have done this, and further guidance, read Tosha’s book Outrageous Openness, which you can order here. In my endorsement of Tosha’s book, I wrote, “The holy grail is right here in this gem of a book. Tosha Silver’s wisdom goes down as easy as a mint milkshake and leaves you feeling so free you’ll want to do cartwheels on the beach. But don’t be fooled by the simplicity of this message. Look no further for an easeful path to enlightenment infused with rapture and hope, which comes as much needed medicine for the soul.” I can’t recommend this book highly enough. Really, it changed my life…
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