Tales from Surrender Avenue

Last year, after making heart-wrenching decisions to close down a family business and allow all our “stuff” to go away (house, reputation, etc.), my wife and I moved to Austin, TX with our three children.

We didn’t have jobs and we didn’t have a house lined up. It was a total leap of faith–and we weren’t even sure why we were doing it except that we had clear inner “knowing” that it was important for some reason.

We arrived in Austin just as school was starting for the children. This was our first experience of public schools–previously, we had always kept our kids in private schools. We quickly learned that, without jobs it was difficult to get housing…without a permanent address, it wasn’t possible to enroll the children in schools.

On the second day after we arrived like visitors from a different planet, we were driving around trying to come up with some kind of answer to the “Gordian Knot” in which we found ourselves tied.

I’ll never forget taking a deep breath and speaking silently to my Higher Self: “…you directed us to this place for reasons we still can’t see. I don’t have enough light for the path right now but I surrender to your wisdom and ask for guidance in this moment.”

The next side street off the main road came up on the left and I felt that I should turn in. Just around the corner was a little rental house that seemed perfect. I called the out-of-state number on the sign out front and explained our situation honestly to the landlord.

He agreed to work with us and we moved in the next day.

As I pulled the moving truck back into the little side street that led to our new neighborhood, I looked up at the green street sign.

You want to guess what the name of the street is? (I am NOT making this up!)


click here to visit Jacob Nordby on Facebook

I turn out of Surrender avenue every day now as I drive to work and am reminded that I can trust the wisdom and love of the Universe–even when times are frightening.
Jacob Nordby

PS…do you have your own Tale of Surrender or some thoughts on this?Β  Please post a comment below!


20 Responses

  1. Awesome post! I’ve moved many times with no job an no place to live line up. It is a crash course in surrender – but also lots of fun once you get used to it.

    Well done!

  2. Sarah! thank you. I’ve always hoped we could connect a bit more. Seems like you really are “preaching the gospel” of fearless, inspired living.

    thanks for commenting!

    what a ride Life is, yes??

    carpe diem πŸ™‚

  3. Jacob – Thanks for sharing your story. I too closed a business after 12 years. It’s humbling in that I felt friends, business associates and family somehow viewed me differently. In fact I have felt nothing but compassion.

    It’s amazing, I have maintained a trust that the universe will provide for my needs. I have been close to out of money a number of times, but what I need keeps showing up to provide for my family and I.

    I have now accepted a job (I begin next week). As a former business owner, I didn’t see myself on another companies payroll. I don’t understand it, but I’m along for the ride and enjoying it.

    • Alan

      Thank you SO much for sharing your experience. It is wonderful to see that there are many paths to follow. Not all require painful humiliation πŸ™‚ I have a hunch that I needed to learn some big lessons about Who I Really Am in the absence of the approval from others. You probably already learned this and didn’t need the big smack on the head…hehe

      You are an example and and inspiration of moving through life with grace, too. Thank you for opening up about what you’re experiencing right now. That’s wonderful. I can’t wait to hear more from you.

  4. Dude you never mentioned that before. That’s awesome!

  5. Jacob, I am sitting in the Charlotte, some state airport, awaiting my flight home, and to my own Surrender Ave.

    This is one of the most awesome stories I have ever read…thank you.

    This is not the first time we have been on the corner of this street, actually we have been there many times.

    I needed this today, my friend, and I trust you will link it to facebook and the forums, etc, that you may be a blessing to more….

    When I have time, and if I remember, I want to share a miracle story with you… so remind me, if you want πŸ™‚ .


    • David

      I can’t wait to hear your story. It is amazing and wonderful that you and I can communicate across our differences (whatever they may be). You are a spirit-brother!

      big hug


  6. Jacob, old friend, you’re weird! I like that in a guy.

    On the other hand, you’ve created a unique thought-shift for me. I have long been convinced that the idea that I can pray and get bennies from heaven was far-fetched. The idea that I can “pray” to my higher self or that the “universe” will take care of me has topped the previous in bizarre quotient. For me…for you…for me, that just wasn’t da bomb. You know what I’m saying, yo?

    • sweet! I out-weirded Joe. nice.

      so, did you object to prayer? to calling God some name other than God? It’s not about “bennies”, dude πŸ™‚ If you’re saying you don’t believe in divine guidance/intuition, then that’s OK. Yo? love ya’, man. It’s been too long.

      • ‘Object’ doesn’t resonate. I’d say I just don’t get what you’re talking about. You probably suspect from some of our previous conversations in earlier days (when dinosaurs roamed the earth and the land was young) that I’m not hung up on “proper” names for the divine. On the other hand, I don’t feel the “divineness”of intuition, guidance of any kind from any external source, nor do I identify with the idea of “communing” with a “Higher Self”. I don’t deny the possibility of such mystical energies, I just have no basis on which to conclude that anything other than biology and serendipity is at work in life. It isn’t a cheerful thought, but I don’t see much difference between hyping myself up on the love of the universe and going back to the emotionally fomented Egypt of intellectual atrophy from which we emerged.


      • hello, Joe…my brother philosopher and friend.

        I’m glad to get your extended version, director’s cut edition of those thoughts.

        So, if I understand your comment, would you perhaps express life in this simple equation: biology + chance = life ?

        Please feel free to correct or add nuance to this if I misunderstand you.

        Looking at the pieces, we can more or less quantify biology. Chance is far too murky to analyze much. The big variable–the One in which the mystery dwells–is Life.

        My own path has given me personal bases on which to conclude that connections with the more mystical energies are not only possible–they are happening all the time.

        In my experience, the equation looks like this: All That Is = Life. That’s a pretty irreducible equation, as I come to think about it. I am not trying to “sell” you on my way of thinking, so you are naturally free to use your own equations πŸ™‚

        You might have read the little piece I wrote called “Vanishing Fungus“? If not, it may expand how I think on this subject a bit more. Having said that, I don’t imagine that it will chance your position much.

        Albert Einstein is said to have said “There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.” I have chosen the latter.

        When I see Life in that way, I can’t help but start experiencing connections and observing patterns in the Cosmic soup that would appear to others as nothing more than chaos.

        So, I’m not even sure if we’re disagreeing here. Are we? now I’m confused (a very common state of affairs!).

        and…namaste` to you

  7. Ah…what is disagreement, but seeing the reflections on a bubble from a different angle?

    I have no quibble with the equation biology + chance = life, although I don’t insist that the chance is utterly random. Biology may be quantifiable and more susceptible to scrutiny, but the element of chance that placed me in Detroit in one family and Ahmed in Baghdad in another can either be viewed as inexplicable randomness or inexplicable plan. I lean toward the former. If I wish to embrace the blessing of my ‘placement’ I must struggle with the curse of another’s. If being born in a family of vagrants and farmed out to prostitution is ‘a miracle’, I’m content to live without them.

    I do not equate randomness with chaos. Sometimes it is chaotic, sometimes it’s not. I feel no compulsion to brand one the work of a mystical energy and the other a failure to seize the power of All that is. I see no equity in the serendipity that blesses me with good things and leaves others with no hope. Doesn’t it all really boil down to the shuffled cards that fall to your hand like so many leaves from an autumn tree and what you do with them?

    I liked your Fungus piece and I’m all about living in the moment without the burden of fabricated visions of divine retribution for failures to comprehend the grand scheme, implement the proper regimen, burp the approved credenda, etc.

    Peace be with you!

    • this is good. it reminds me of some of the rollicking chats we used to have back when the Ex-BMC forum was worth visiting every few hours just to see what was new. πŸ™‚

      thanks for engaging me, Joe. You’re a thought-provoking person–both your thoughts and your approach.


      just a thought on duality (good/bad, rich/poor, privileged/poverty-stricken, etc.): I submit for your consideration that we limit the scope of the earth-experience as a classroom when we view it from a horizontal perspective (or perhaps just in 3-D).

      I’m responding to your point about the element of chance that “…placed (you) in Detroit in one family and Ahmed in Baghdad”, etc.

      What if…(I’m only asking you to imagine this as a possibility–not to entertain that it’s Truth) you and I and everyone actually agrees to show up here on-purpose. In other words, pre-incarnation we choose the particular DNA-set in which we’ll appear. What if?

      I was challenged to consider this when I read Carolyn Myss’s “Sacred Contracts” book before I left the BMC. It was far to much for me to imagine at the time, but I allowed the idea to un-pack itself slowly. Even back then I thought: “…OK, I can’t know whether or not this is the case, but what IF it were? Would I live differently? How would I see the events and people in my life?”

      I find that this isn’t inconsistent with my research and experience as I have ranged pretty far afield from where I started. Now, to be clear, I’m not suggesting that we are in some way pre-destining our every step on earth, but if I can suppose that I came here on-purpose and with some design as to what learnings I wanted to experience…it allows me to observe the world as a mandala of glory and magic.

      This will likely be repugnant to you, but it’s interesting to let the mind go there if you’re willing.



  8. No, it’s not repugnant. I don’t find it a useful or desireable framework for my own thoughts, but it’s at least as interesting as any other theory of inscrutable mysteries. My chief objection to the idea you propose here, is that my task as a would-be recipient of this idea is no more cognitive or rational than when I was asked to embrace the “faith once delivered to the saints” which, being interpreted, is the urgency of sloughing off the carnal nature and living in delusionary holiness.

    I can’t find it in myself to seek, much less embrace, a new mythology, old friend. In leaving behind a tangled legacy of unfounded, untestable lore, I’m not interested in pondering new fantasies upon which to hang my old hopes and dreams. I feel a sort of familial joy for you that you’ve found meaning in something, but literally in the same sense that I would feel it if you told me that you’d seen the error of your wanderings, prayed through at an old-fashioned altar, died like a yellow dog, made peace with Jarrett and Moyer, and accepted a pastorate of 3 old ladies at the BMC in Plum Fork, Missouri. You’re bliss in that serenity that comes from being surrendered to an idea would surely be preferable to wallowing in misery and depression. Movement from one fable to another is, I suppose, still progress (at least not regression to the same pile of canine bile) but I fail to see any better reason for pondering the answer you propose than that it’s another way to make meaning of nothing.

    Although I understand the desire to find meaning in some tale of origins, I don’t feel the romance in it at all. I involuntarily smile at myself at the mere attempt to wrap my mind around the idea that I had something to do with the process by which I wound up here. What if? If I entertain myself long enough with the idea, I can only conclude that the answer to that question is that such decisions were made in a vacuum of knowledge in much the same way that you might decide that you want to live in Poznan rather than Krosno, Poland without bothering to look up anything about the cities in question. In other words, I imagine a rather twisted variation on pure chance, that pretends to be better than pure chance because the victims or beneficiaries (as the case may be) chose their destiny. If they actually knew enough to evaluate and choose their destinies, one must conclude that even pre-incarnation mankind was predominantly a motley collection of simpletons or that they made highly counter-intuitive decisions on the basis of some much nobler rationale. I can’t muster enough faith to buy that. I just can’t imagine even somewhat enlightened beings deciding that they’d like to endure a life as a sweat-shop slave or an utterly ignored second-class woman in a patriarchal society, so that they might learn from the hellish experience.

    I can observe much of the world as a mandala of glory and magic without concocting myths to embellish my story. I feel an Intelligence and a Wisdom in my environment, but stop short of trying to define It or run It through the gauntlet of my expectations. I don’t pretend to know if It created me, implemented the process by which I was born, or even acknowledges my existence. I feel that I can engage or rather unite with Wisdom and accomplish and experience greater things or ignore Wisdom and pay the consequences in mediocrity or worse.

    Some choose to anthropomorphize and name this Wisdom. Some wish to find greater validity by thinking of ways in which they may have influenced Wisdom themselves. Maybe it happens. Maybe it doesn’t. I sincerely and contentedly don’t know.

  9. […] Tales from SurrenderΒ Avenue […]

  10. Jacob,

    I have goosebumps. What an incredible story. And I’m speaking for all of Texas when I say, “We’re so glad to have ya here, darlin’.”

  11. Jacob reading this post reminds me of the times spirit has spoken and I surrendered with soulful happy outcomes.
    Your magic and miracle is you. My life became even more enriched the moment you joined my Twitter stream of joy. Thank you for being so perfectly you.

    • Ah, DJ…

      I’m just delighted to make your acquaintance in this “field of all possibilities”. Many blessings to you, my friend. I look so forward to reading your work on the new Dragonfly blog…



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