It’s interesting to notice that when we are in a moment of struggle, we can take our focus off the struggle, and turn our attention towards gratitude.

Sometimes, I move between resistance and surrender all day long. If I can bring any amount of gratitude to what is right in front of me, then some opening and release is possible. If I can enjoy the fresh blueberries at breakfast, feel the hug my husband gives me before he walks out the door to catch the bus, or hear the laughter of the children where I work, then there is hope for light to break through the density. With each step, I can begin to surrender to what is before me.

It’s as though waking up to surrender, allows my life to be infused with more grace and gratitude.

I have experienced many moments in which I’ve made a conscious shift in my attitude and my experience, turning from struggle towards gratitude in the moment. It’s as though waking up to surrender, allows my life to be infused with more grace and gratitude.

I write about awakening to surrender in my book, Seeking Surrender. Here is an excerpt I’d like to share with you about living the way of surrender in everyday life.

On the weekends, my husband and I ride our bikes through Golden Gate Park near our house. Often, we put on our backpacks and head through the park to a local farmer’s market.

Today, while I am riding, I feel the fresh air brush against my cheeks, and my spirit comes alive as I pedal along the path. I ride past oak trees, eucalyptus trees, open fields of bright grass, blooming flowers, and rows of rose bushes. Shades of green flicker in the sunlight under a pure, blue sky.

All that is alive around me pulses through my blood.

Then, in a flash, a wave of hesitation comes over me. Riding along a dirt trail, I feel my tires bouncing over the bumpy and rocky surface. I become aware that I could hit a protruding rock or a fallen branch and lose my balance on the uneven terrain. I begin to tighten up. But is it possible, I wonder, to continue to be at ease and not to grip my handlebars, not to worry about the possibility of falling?

I recognize the fear, and I decide to focus my attention back to the joy and gratitude of riding my bike. I slow down a little and stay aware of my surroundings. In doing so, I move closer to the present moment, rather than further away into worrying about what might be. I feel my breath take in the cool air. I hear birds chirping. I notice the shadows of the trees dancing across the open field. I stay with what is really happening and do not get lost in the corners of my mind.

Ahead of me, I see my husband gliding down the trail. He turns back to see where I am. I smile. I open myself to the freedom of the wind and the beauty of the foliage around me. Surrender allows me to let go of fear, to open up and to receive what is offered in the moment—bringing love forward.

We must learn to walk the path of surrender, and seek ways to keep us inspired. Once we embrace surrender as a way to be in our lives–open, receptive, trusting, and grateful, then we can seek inspiration.

Here are five simple ways to stay inspired to continue living into surrendering:

  • Find prayers, poems, or books to encourage you.
  • Be in nature—look at the sky, breath in the fresh air, notice a flower or a tree.  
  • Share your soul with a trusted friend or companion.
  • Throughout the day, pause, take a few deeper breaths, and become more conscious of the presence and power of love within and around you
  • Remember what St. Benedict writes in his Rule: Always we begin again.

Colette Lafia

Colette Lafia

About the author

Colette Lafia is a San Francisco-based spiritual director, workshop leader, and writer. She is the author of Seeking Surrender: How a Trappist Monk Taught Me to Trust and Embrace Life, and Comfort & Joy: Simple Ways to Care for Ourselves and Others. Colette has a passion for helping people connect more deeply with the presence of the sacred in their daily lives and blogs about it at