by Gabrielle Bernstein: Today I’m really excited to share a lesson from my book The Universe Has Your Back…
Let’s start with a passage from the book about how we can sometimes get in the way of receiving guidance. We often block our own divine guidance when we are:
- Highly goal oriented
- Focused on the future to the point that we’re future tripping
- Trying to make something happen
I taught on this topic in a Facebook Live session a little while ago and took questions! You can watch the video below or scroll to keep reading (or both)
Here’s the passage from The Universe Has Your Back. It begins with a Universal Lesson, which are sprinkled all throughout the book.
UNIVERSAL LESSON: GOALS OVERSHADOW GUIDANCE.
The part of me that wants to be in control doesn’t like the word hope. To my fearful mind, hope implies that there’s something I’m unable to make happen on my own. While I may not like that concept, it’s exactly what I needed. Hope helps us move through our problems and choose to perceive them in a new way. Hope is the conduit for miracles. For me to move past the sadness, shame and need to control, I had to surrender to hope and let go of my plans.
In this process, I was reminded of the need to turn inward for answers. Carl Jung said: “Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” When we look outside for our faith we get lost in the dreams of who we think we should be, what we think we need and when we think we need it. But when we turn inward we surrender to the one and only truth, which is love. When we surrender to love we can experience our darkest moment as the greatest catalyst for transformation.
The pathway back to hope is through surrender. It’s not something that comes naturally to us — it must be a daily practice.
This practice of surrender is what I want to talk about today. How can we look inside and awaken instead of looking outside only to dream?
We need to look inward and learn to rely on that presence of hope and faith much more. Our ego mind really wants to give up on that word, hope, because of the implication that we can’t make something happen on our own.
But the core message of The Universe Has Your Back is to stop trying to “make” things happen and start aligning with a greater sense of certainty and serenity. In that alignment, you’re tuned in to a power greater than yourself.
And that is when the Universe begins to co-create with you!
The practice of surrender is one of turning over your need to control, turning over your obsessiveness, turning over your belief system that you have to make everything happen.
This is something I’ve been working on in my own spiritual practice: accepting that the less I do, the more can happen around me. There’s a lot to be said for creating and showing up and putting your heart, soul and sweat into something. But that action has to be backed with alignment. It has to be backed with stillness, surrender and connection.
The more in tune with the Universe that you are, the easier your life will be. You’ll be more faithful and better at healing your fearful perceptions. You’ll live with more ease.
In the Facebook Live video, I answered some excellent questions from the folks who joined me and used their comments as jumping-off points. I’ve condensed them here….
Yes — this is a beautiful message! There is value in having clarity. Holding visions of where we want to go is a big part of how we manifest miracles in our lives.
There is nothing wrong with having goals as long as they are surrendered. Holding a vision and having clarity on what you want is beautiful as long as you have offered up your vision and you’re in alignment with the Universe.
Your goal should always end with this idea: It’s this or something better.
When we insist on achieving our goal in a specific way or on a certain timeline, we interfere with the Universe’s divine plan and we actually block guidance. Our neediness and sense of pushing keep us from manifesting.
So check in with yourself. Ask: Have I offered up my goals? (The book has tools to help you with figuring out whether you have.) If you see that you haven’t, or that you’re future tripping with your goals, the practices in The Universe Has Your Back will help you release your goals and get into alignment with the presence of the Universe.
See what happens when you actually let go — when you say, “It’s this or something better.” When you are in a place of surrender, your energy relaxes and you make space for guidance.
Sophia asked: “How do you distinguish between signs from the divine Universe and those from our ego?”
When you’re receiving a sign from the Universe, it often feels like a great surprise or a gift. When it’s a message from your ego, it’s usually something you’ve been hunting for. You may be subtly manipulating circumstances to deliver you this “sign.”
When a sign comes from the Universe you’ll likely be a little bit blindsided and be like, “Oh! There you are. How cool.”
Here’s an example: If you’ve read The Universe Has Your Back, you know that one of my signs is an owl. It’s a sign that guided my husband and me as we searched for and then found our Mountain House.
Well, recently we moved on from our Mountain House and bought a new house in the same town! After we’d closed, my broker mentioned he had a gift for us, something he saw and thought I’d like. When we walked in the door, I saw his gift and unwrapped it in the hallway. It was a beautiful bowl … with an owl print!
Now, my broker hadn’t read the book and I’d never talked to him about an owl being my sign. I was very content with the choice I’d made. The Universe just surprised me with it, saying, “Welcome to your new home! You’re on the right track.”
This is how you know it’s the Universe. When a sign is from the Universe it will be in your face. There will be no question.
If you haven’t read The Universe Has Your Back, the book includes a step-by-step practice on how to ask for and receive signs from the Universe.
Danielle asked, “How do you know you’ve surrendered?”
This is a great question. And the answer is very simple: You wake up without anxiety about your goal. You feel more ease. You feel more relief. You have the same experiences, but you feel very differently about them. When you surrender a goal to the Universe, you feel at peace when you think about it.
I hope this book serves you and gives you the greatest sense of certainty and safety in the midst of the chaos of the world. Thank you for reading and for being the light.