Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Book Review: The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your Life

I was sent a galley to read, and provide a review. As always, serendipity is a tried and true revelation. Synchronicity, also reared its unicorned head.
My faithful readers know we've had some trials and tribulations this year. I believe that they are all lessons, and we must determine what it is we can learn from each experience, and each person who crosses out path.

The author is a trained clinical psychiatrist, who firmly believes in the power of meditation, goal-setting, and the difference between fighting for your goals, positive empowerment, when to fold 'em and when to hold 'em. I must say, that I can see where I have fought too hard for goals. I burned out caring for my parents, fighting for recognition as an educator, while being a single mother.

'Retiring' (with a financial penalty) in 2006, late into the workforce, early leaving, I felt I had failed in achieving my dreams. My caregiving responsibilities overwhelmed me. I gave up. Longing to be a principal (I finished the course), or teaching at the university, I realized that that dream was over. I did teach at uOttawa for one semester, but the politics of higher education are terrible, with the power going to the students and their evaluations of profs. I wanted it too much. I fought every battle I needed to fight, but this left me without any mentors.
This book is comforting.

Many of us fight, become angry, and seek to lay blame when things go wrong. The author gives us permission to leave those shrill screams behind, the "It's not fair!" or "Why am I being punished?" messages we allow ourselves to believe. Dr. Orloff gives a different viewpoint, whereby our surrender, explaining that our laying down of our arms gives us space to breathe, and open up to intuition, synchronicity and unexpected gifts.

There are excellent insights, tools to find balance between control and letting go, quizzes, 'how-to' exercises to put these concepts into practice. It's the kind of self-help book that is incredibly illuminating. It's important to think about what we are doing, if it is working for us, and, if not, to make a change.

Judith Orloff MD, assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at UCLA, is the New York Times bestselling author of Emotional Freedom and a new book, The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your Life(Random House, April 2014). Dr. Orloff teaches workshops nationwide, has given a TED talk on her new book, and has appeared on The Dr. Oz Show, Today, PBS, CNN, NPR, and many others.


1 comment:

Red said...

This philosophy fits me well. Don't sweat the small stuff. Now it sounds like don't sweat the big stuff is ion too. It sounds like they are giving us a better way to do things.