Inspired by change, challenge and creativity



“I wonder if pain comes from surrendering or resisting?”  ~Donna Lynn Hope



I have been taking stock recently of my life.  This journey in retirement has been interesting, and has taught me many things so far.  With a year into this journey, I am not sure sometimes if I am where I am supposed to be.  I have long controlled my life.  Planned, over planned and tried to wrap it up in a nice, neat bundle doing what I think I should be doing.  Many times not listening to that little voice to guide me.



And in those times, life was hard, unhappy and full of pitfalls into which I fell hard.  I would get up, and control things even more, resisting the path being shown usually because of fear.  And inevitably pain would be a big part of my life.  Along with the feeling that life was unhappy, and I would never find real joy.



DSCN3355And of course life is anything but nice and neat many times.  I am never sure what it will bring me next.  But I have noticed since I stopped controlling my life and its journey, I have been happier.  It is not easy to drop what you had been doing for over 30 years, and strike out on a new path.  A path not even defined, with very little direction.  Just showing up each day and wondering what it is I am supposed to do, and where I am supposed to go.



I do feel like I have been drifting lately.  And that drifting is okay when you need time to heal yourself.  But it seems it is time now, to start contemplating what is next.  And instead of trying to take control and orchestrate the life I think I am supposed to live, I have instead surrendered to the Universe.  I am looking for those signs that will show me what is next…listening for that inner voice to talk with me again.



It take’s patience to surrender…another lesson I am learning.  Living each day in the moment, exploring and taking a few risks.  These are scary steps, but oh so much better than giving into boredom and complacency, where I tend to reside when I am afraid to move out of my comfort zone.



One of the most important lessons I have learned in surrendering, is that there is great freedom when I loosen my grip.  When I let slip those tight reins I have on my life, I open my heart to joy, wonder, and infinite possibilities.



I did say this was my year to soarflowing with and following a path DSCN5360shown to me in small steps.  And recently I have been taking a few test flights to try out my new wings.  But I think it might be time to step out a bit further, and maybe from a higher branch.  To fly from this place of surrender, and have faith that I am doing the right thing.  Knowing that these wings will lift me up to new places, new challenges and wonderful adventures.  After all if I don’t,  look what I might be missing.  A whole wonderful world just waiting for me.




Note:   In the Language of Flowers, grass represents submission; a synonym for surrender.  These wonderful tall ornamental grasses grow in my garden every summer and bloom in the fall, finally surrendering in winter to the snow.






I leave you with another thought about surrender.  Feel free to download this photo and share.


All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2015.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

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  1. April 9, 2015    

    Surrendering takes immense courage – and the rewards are infinite (or so I believe – surrender is something I find difficult).

    • April 9, 2015    

      It is a difficult thing to do Soosie and I agree takes courage. Still working on this new concept myself. Thanks for your support!

  2. April 9, 2015    

    In martial arts there is the action to yield – not the same as surrender Donna – more deliberate and active without the connotations of being overwhelmed – like your lovely grasses yielding their soft stems to the force of the wind – and so you become airborne 🙂

    • April 9, 2015    

      I like that idea Laura because in surrendering my control I am yielding….feels so peaceful actually. Thanks for sharing this with me.

  3. April 9, 2015    

    Interesting distinction between surrender and yielding. I agree “surrender” carries emotional connotations of being overwhelmed, of not being in a situation intentionally but being there despite best efforts to avoid it. And at times, the decision to relinquish the fantasy of control feels just like that.

    • April 9, 2015    

      Perhaps as I shift my perspective to one of more yielding in the surrendering like the plants blowing in the wind, it may be easier.

  4. April 9, 2015    

    This helped me today, a tough day.

    • April 9, 2015    

      I am so pleased that my lesson could help you Susan, and my heart is singing! Thank you!

  5. April 9, 2015    

    Your opening image is stunning 🙂 I think often we are too hard and demanding on ourselves when we should perhaps be surrendering to find more freedom for ourselves. But that takes a leap of faith…

    • April 9, 2015    

      Thanks Cherie. I couldn’t agree more. We need to give ourselves a break and lots more love….I am taking that leap of faith these days. 🙂

  6. April 10, 2015    

    “I think it might be time to step out a bit further, and maybe from a higher branch.” The first thing I thought of, Donna, is that I need to put the saddle of my exercise bike one notch down to make my new knee bend more. While you go up higher, I’ll go down lower and see if we both can accomplish something new for the days ahead. It may be the perfect step for TODAY! Thanks for sharing this Journey with us….

    • April 10, 2015    

      Deal! And thanks for joining in Ginnie. You do continue to inspire me forward on my journey and challenge myself.

  7. April 10, 2015    

    I love the tall grasses, Donna, so soothing as they surrender to the wind. I needed to read this today as a reminder to let go and let things happen as they are meant to be. It is so true that resisting and controlling brings pain at times. But surrendering can be so freeing and healing. A wonderful post! Have a lovely weekend 🙂

    • April 11, 2015    

      I am so glad this was a help to you Loredana….writing out my lessons helps to remind me too as this is a day by day journey. Hope you have a wonderful, warm, sunny weekend!

  8. April 10, 2015    

    This is so beautifully written – and very peaceful in its shared recognition of something experienced by all productive people. My personal challenge is to simply enjoy a day where nothing is accomplished. I need and deserve those hours, but just won’t give them to myself without a fight!

    • April 11, 2015    

      I know what you mean Joyce. I am so busy in retirement, that I am not taking time to just be many weeks. I had set aside one day, and have not kept that promise to myself. You remind me I need to get back to it again….a day to just be and to do nothing!

  9. A beautiful post. Surrending sounds easy in theory but it is quite hard !! As soon as I do it, I generally pick what I surrended right back up within the hour mostly unconsciously until I catch myself at it ( yet again! )

    • April 11, 2015    

      I know what you mean Deb….but each time I allow it is a good moment and hopefully with practice we will be able to continue surrendering longer. So glad you enjoyed the post.

  10. April 10, 2015    

    This is a lovely, though-provoking post that spoke to me today, Donna! I love the idea of surrendering making us open…

    • April 11, 2015    

      Oh I am so glad this spoke to you Linda!

  11. April 10, 2015    

    I really hope your life takes a turn for the better in your retirement. It would be hard always questioning life and trying to learn a better way to live it. Each day is a gift and that is the way I approach it.

    • April 11, 2015    

      Actually I am really enjoying my retirement Donna. I love learning about life and being on this new journey even on those days where life and circumstances may challenge me…..and I love sharing the lessons I am learning. It is just part of me to be philosophical…a subject I also enjoy. And I couldn’t agree more with you, that our lives are a gift to be enjoyed each day.

  12. April 10, 2015    

    I just celebrated one year of retirement. I am still figuring it out, I take it one day at a time. Relax and enjoy!!:)

    • April 11, 2015    

      Oh I am very relaxed, and enjoying my retirement which is also one year on now….I enjoy it because I am learning with each step on this new journey. Happy Retirement to you!

  13. April 10, 2015    

    The concept of surrendering to what life brings is an interesting one. I think what I am trying to achieve is more of a balance between surrender and control — having a plan and taking action to get where I want to go, but also being able to go with the flow when those plans don’t work out or being flexible enough to take advantage of unforeseen opportunities. I’ve long embraced the philosophy of the serenity prayer: Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change (which seems similar to your concept of serenity), the courage to change the things I can (which seems to me to be about agency and action), and the wisdom to know the difference (which is the part I have most trouble with and always need to work on).

    • April 10, 2015    

      Oops! Make “your concept of serenity” “your concept of surrender.”

      • April 11, 2015    

        My mother used to recite that prayer often Jean, and I agree it is similar to my idea of surrender. I Love the idea of balancing surrender with control…it makes sense….and I think on some level that may be exactly what I am trying to do. Thanks Jean!

  14. April 10, 2015    

    Visiting from “My Day Friday”. I’m going to peruse your blog over the weekend.

  15. April 11, 2015    

    What a beautiful and thoughtful post.

  16. April 11, 2015    

    Control is a very difficult thing to give up. It gives us a false sense of security, but the universe has a wonderful plan for you. What fun you will have on your road to discovery. xo Laura

    • April 11, 2015    

      Indeed it does give us that false sense Laura….and your positive words here really made my day.

  17. April 12, 2015    

    Interesting post! I’m one of those controller people who want it all done in an orderly fashion. But I learned a long time ago that I’m not really in charge and, since moving to New Zealand, have learned that it’s ok not to be in charge. Surrender has many facets but I think most of them lead to a more peaceful life.

    • April 12, 2015    

      I do agree with you wholeheartedly….I am so much more peaceful when I surrender.

  18. April 12, 2015    

    A thoughtful and thought provoking post, Donna! Thank you for visiting my blog and commenting on my tree(s). The sun is shining and I think spring, which has finally arrived, is rocketing by, propelling us into summer this year, though doubtless there will be some returns to winter (icy mornings!) along the way!

    • April 12, 2015    

      Thanks Caroline….here’s to a lovely spring that moves into a glorious summer!

  19. April 12, 2015    

    I too have been living through some big changes in my life and feeling adrift. I think it’s not a slam dunk. Each day is like a single footstep down an unknown path. However, that is part of the fun of it don’t you think? We will figure it out. I have faith that we will.

    Big Texas Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

    • April 12, 2015    

      I agree Susan…the fun is in the journey…I too have faith we will figure it all out…thanks for the encouragement! Big Hugs to you too!

  20. April 13, 2015    

    Beautiful. I will meditate on the word surrender for a while.

Favorite Quote This Week:

“Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.” ~ Aristotle


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