As part or our early morning ritual, my late husband Richard and I would have our coffee, meditate, and repeat this prayer: “Divine love, play me as an instrument in your finely tuned orchestra of life.” Hence, the Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff book series came from that prayer and the chapters of our life together.

By asking to be an instrument or vehicle, I surrender my ego to divine love.

Letting go of my problems to divine guidance sure makes life feel easier. When I can release my worries and stress, I can then return to the moment where life is happening now.

When I bump up against a problem that nags at me, there is one question I ask myself: “Can I change this situation?” If the answer is “not at the moment,” then I pray.

To ask is to open the door to receive.

It takes a certain amount of humility to acknowledge that we don’t have all of the answers to our questions and concerns. The power of any request or prayer is truly in the act of surrendering.

The five-pointed path of the S.T.A.R.R. mantra for life—Surrender, Trust, Accept, Release, and Receive—applies to everything, including love, loss, and even traffic.

(When you find a mantra that has that kind of bandwidth, you know it’s a really good one.)

The practice of repeating a phrase or mantra has a powerful way of penetrating your consciousness and creating a pathway for clarity, wisdom, creativity, and new direction.

Surrendering control can be a little daunting because we live under the illusion that we have control over our life plans. Joseph Campbell said it beautifully: “We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” So much of our lives, and the mega success Richard and I enjoyed and the happiness we experienced together, was because we learned how to release and listen to divine direction.

The act of surrender and trust is a portal that opens you to the myriad possibilities that exist, and the universe begins to conspire on your behalf with unlimited momentum to bring the best plan of action to your attention at the right time. Often our thoughts and fears about our problems are far worse than our actual problems, and much of the time, we are just one thought away from shifting from fear to love, from anger to forgiveness, or from sadness to happiness.

Practicing “let go, let god” helps you get out of your own way and shift your whole way of being from stress and worry into more peace and serenity and the present moment.

This process of asking is also like fishing. You cast out your line (your concern, worry, or intent), trusting that it will land in the right place at the right time. As you release it to the sea, you simply gather your bearings and wait. As you release your troubles into divine love through prayer or meditation, the pressure is off of you for now. But the answers will surely come, like the line that’s been cast, because you have let go and are open to receiving guidance that may come in the form of a new opportunity, a friend that connects you to their network, or any number of small or large miracles. And, it’s really okay not to know sometimes; you’ll know when you know.

To completely let go is to be free of attachment. This, like most things, is easier said than done. I can clearly see that when I’m attached to a specific outcome because it causes me internal discord. I can alleviate much of my suffering and angst by lowering my preferences and expectations. Once I let go, I feel more inner peace, and it’s far easier to access my inner wisdom. As you release, there’s always a gift to receive, and it happens in divine time and form. It’s up to you whether or not you accept the gift that comes in the package that it’s delivered.

No matter who you are, life is not always going be easy. However, we can choose to minimize our struggles and save the swimming upstream for the salmon. When I live in a natural state of flow, remember to offer myself as the vehicle of love, and cast out my desires and worries and let go, I am free. Free to be me; free to be happy no matter what. The more I surrender, trust, and let go, the more peace and contentment I receive, and there are really no problems that are insurmountable—only some to catch and release.

Kristine Carlson captivated readers worldwide with her first three bestsellers Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff in LoveDon’t Sweat the Small Stuff for Women and An Hour to Live, An Hour to Love: The True Story of the Best Gift Ever Given of her life with her late husband, Dr. Richard Carlson. In the first new book in the Don’t Sweat series since Richard’s passing, Kristine shares her wisdom with moms, offering tried-and-true advice that will empower them to find greater peace, joy, and harmony within themselves and their homes. Check out the new book, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff  for Moms. For more on Kristine, please visit her website, or on Facebook or Twitter.

*Photo by nataliej.