Creating Mantras to Stop the Control Freak within You

The farther down my spiritual path I go, the more I’m finding the importance of surrender. As a recovering control freak, it hasn’t been a necessarily fun or easy process. In fact, I used to reject the idea completely. I mean, the definition of word is “to cease resistance to an enemy or opponent and submit to their authority.” Oh hell no!!!! Back in the day, that just sounded weak and I wanted absolutely nothing to do with it. I’m a strong powerful woman, I don’t surrender to anything, right?

But then a few things happened. First, I started Ziva Meditation. Now I meditate twice a day, every day for 20 minutes. I absolutely love it and feel so many benefits from the practice. In Ziva, you choose a mantra for your meditations. Not one that you repeat incessantly throughout, but rather just to use when you catch yourself going down a thought train. It’s a gentle reminder to return to a still mind.

The mantra I choose was “Swaha”, the Sanskrit word for surrender. With a cross-country move and company launch ahead of me, it felt like the thing to do. “Swaha” (or svaha) literally means “offer it up to the sacred fire” or “so be it.” In other words, control what you can, and surrender the rest. Throw it into the fire and let it go (thanks to Tracey Toomey McQuade for help with the translation). I realized my wanting to control everything was not serving me at all and instead was causing me a whole lotta stress.

For months, I repeated that mantra. And then I found the book, “The Surrender Experiment” by Michael A. Singer. Talk about a game-changer! In the book, Michael (author of the best-selling “The Untethered Soul”) details how his life unfolded after he surrendered control to life and stopped trying to control everything. I won’t spoil it for you, but it was pretty frickin’ magical! Everything from his dream home being built for him to creating a billion dollar company from his hideout in the woods.

While reading, I was reminded of all the miracles that have happened in my life when I’ve let go and let life take the wheel. I’ve seen wondrous places, met incredible people, attracted high-vibe investors - things I never could’ve imagined on my own. Most importantly, looking back reminded me that the Universe always has my back. It’s this knowing (or remembering) that means the most to me, because when things get rough, I can always look back and know from experience that everything will work out just fine.

So I think a more appropriate definition for “surrender” is just a shorter version of the dictionary’s - “to cease resistance”. Resistance shows up in many ways. It can be negative thoughts or emotions, or crappy things happening in our daily lives. But all resistance has this in common - it’s the result of us looking at something differently than the way God/Source is looking at it. That’s all.

For example, in the early days of Shift Bars, I decided to part ways with an investor. The fit wasn’t right and even though we needed money desperately, I knew that the relationship would cause bigger issues in the long-run. Needless to say, I felt a whole lotta fear and anxiety about giving back the money we had and starting from scratch. Those emotions were my sign that I was resisting the solution coming in. So I surrendered the fear and within a few weeks, I had new investors on board that were much better fits - um, can you say Jason Mraz (who by the way has a new album coming out)?!?!

I’ve found the best way to deal with resistance is not to try to make myself see something differently in the moment I’m feeling bad about it. That’s usually too big a leap to make. Rather, I change the subject. I find something to focus on that feels good, whether it’s taking a walk and petting some cute dogs or having a dance break in my living room. Something to snap me out of the funk as soon as possible and raise my vibe.

In order to do that, I have to tap into my trust that things are always working out for me. I remind myself of all the times that things looked bleak and how they actually turned out better than I could’ve imagined. And that makes it easier to surrender into the knowing that the Universe will somehow knock my socks off if I just get out of Her way.

Think to yourself, what’s one situation that got so bad you had no choice but to surrender and then something amazing happened? I know you have at least one example in your life (if not many). Well, if it happened once, I believe it can and will happen again. As my mom always says, “Let go, let God.” This surrender sh*! really works.

Believing in you,

Emily