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Agency and Surrender

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, welcome back to your Daily Mindfulness. In today's session, I want to talk about the relationship between agency and surrender. Now, agency is essentially our capacity to feel like we can impact our life on a moment to moment basis. It can even be looked at as a form of feeling like we have control and influence over what is arising. This form of having influence and control over our experience can sometimes be poo-pooed in the mindfulness space because there's so much emphasis on letting go of control and holding a spacious relationship to what is arising and seeing that thoughts are arising, emotions are arising, sensations are arising, without much input from us.

And being able to get to a place of just holding all of it without trying to change it. And that's powerful. However, having some sense of agency over our experience, even an ability to direct our attention to a different aspect of our experience is fundamental to what it means to be human. Our brains are programmed and wired to want to feel a sense of agency. It's one of the biggest buffers against depression.

When we don't feel like we have choice, when we don't feel like we have influence over our experience, we fall into a learned helplessness response. And in fact, the new research on learned helplessness shows that it's not actually learned. Our default response to a difficult situation is to be helpless, is to stop trying, and to basically like curl up in a ball and go into a freeze response. You could think of an animal in a life-threatening situation. What we have that is unique though, is a wiring that Dr.

Marty Seligman calls the hope circuit that overrides that feeling of helplessness because it's telling us no, we can influence our situation, we can get out of it, we can change it. So that part of the brain is incredibly important and it is a big buffer against depression and anxiety. So I want to make sure we're, we're holding that. At the same time, though, all we can influence is what is arising in this moment, all we can influence is how we're showing up in each moment. What happens after that, in many ways, for lack of a better phrase, is God's business.

It's the universe's business. We don't really have control over it. And so one way to look at this, the relationship between agency and surrender is to see it as being committed to the process, but detached from the outcome. Committed to the process, but detach from the outcome. In this way, we're recognizing that we have influence over how we're going to relate to this moment.

That's agency. However, we don't have influence over what's going to happen next. That's surrender. And by holding those two, we can show up in a way that makes us feel empowered, but allow life to unfold in a way that allows us to feel ease. So see if you could take this into your day, commitment to the process, but detachment from the outcome.

Thank you for your practice. Let's settle in for today's meditation.

Cory Muscara

4.8

Agency and Surrender

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hi, welcome back to your Daily Mindfulness. In today's session, I want to talk about the relationship between agency and surrender. Now, agency is essentially our capacity to feel like we can impact our life on a moment to moment basis. It can even be looked at as a form of feeling like we have control and influence over what is arising. This form of having influence and control over our experience can sometimes be poo-pooed in the mindfulness space because there's so much emphasis on letting go of control and holding a spacious relationship to what is arising and seeing that thoughts are arising, emotions are arising, sensations are arising, without much input from us.

And being able to get to a place of just holding all of it without trying to change it. And that's powerful. However, having some sense of agency over our experience, even an ability to direct our attention to a different aspect of our experience is fundamental to what it means to be human. Our brains are programmed and wired to want to feel a sense of agency. It's one of the biggest buffers against depression.

When we don't feel like we have choice, when we don't feel like we have influence over our experience, we fall into a learned helplessness response. And in fact, the new research on learned helplessness shows that it's not actually learned. Our default response to a difficult situation is to be helpless, is to stop trying, and to basically like curl up in a ball and go into a freeze response. You could think of an animal in a life-threatening situation. What we have that is unique though, is a wiring that Dr.

Marty Seligman calls the hope circuit that overrides that feeling of helplessness because it's telling us no, we can influence our situation, we can get out of it, we can change it. So that part of the brain is incredibly important and it is a big buffer against depression and anxiety. So I want to make sure we're, we're holding that. At the same time, though, all we can influence is what is arising in this moment, all we can influence is how we're showing up in each moment. What happens after that, in many ways, for lack of a better phrase, is God's business.

It's the universe's business. We don't really have control over it. And so one way to look at this, the relationship between agency and surrender is to see it as being committed to the process, but detached from the outcome. Committed to the process, but detach from the outcome. In this way, we're recognizing that we have influence over how we're going to relate to this moment.

That's agency. However, we don't have influence over what's going to happen next. That's surrender. And by holding those two, we can show up in a way that makes us feel empowered, but allow life to unfold in a way that allows us to feel ease. So see if you could take this into your day, commitment to the process, but detachment from the outcome.

Thank you for your practice. Let's settle in for today's meditation.

Cory Muscara

4.8

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