On Not Knowing

My husband and I are in the middle of a major relocation.  After twenty years in the same job and the same home, we are taking a leap of faith and putting our hats in the job search ring.  This process has allowed me to ramp up my mindfulness practice.  There are many aspects of being in limbo that can be used to foster mindfulness.  Just this morning alone I watched my thoughts land on excitement, gratitude, loving-kindness, judgement, and fear…. and this was all within thirty minutes of rolling out of bed!

The one mind-space I find most uncomfortable is simply not knowing where we will be next year at this time.

 There are many aspects of being in limbo that can be used as tools for your mindfulness practice.  Just this morning alone I watched my thoughts land on excitement, gratitude, loving-kindness, judgement, and fear.  And I only woke up about thirty minutes ago!

The one mind-space I find most uncomfortable, however, is simply not knowing where we will be next year at this time. Not knowing has always been a difficult emotional space for me.  I can list at least five major life decisions that I made out of haste just so I would “know” (or have a false sense of knowing) that I was back in control.  When I try to mindfully deconstruct my discomfort with not knowing I can see its many facets. Breaking down a difficult emotion in this way makes it more manageable. Within not knowing, for example, lives my old friend impatience.  I am by nature an impatient and impulsive person. I have learned that this is both a blessing and a curse.

Within not knowing live my old friends impatience and impulsivity.

Breathing, sitting, and watching my every-changing mind-states, helps me use my impulsive tendencies in ways that will foster well-being, rather than detracting from it.  Then there is the fear facet of not knowing.  “What if nobody hires us?  What if we move to a different part of the country and hate it?  What is our kids get hurt?  What if the Mayan calendar is right?….. you can see where I’m gong with this.  We’ve all been there.  Mindfulness can help gently put the breaks on the “what if” state of mind and allow us to make decisions based on facts not fear.

 Mindfulness can help gently put the breaks on the “what if” state of mind and help us make decisions based on facts not fear.

Sitting with uncomfortable emotions is tough stuff.  Mindfulness practices help us “train up” the muscles we need to be with these uncomfortable states -watching them come and go – without adding more discomfort into our lives.  With mindfulness we can experience just as many moments of gratitude, peace and hope as we do difficult emotions.

What does anyone know about the future anyway?  fostering patience, sitting with uncomfortable emotions, building trust, resiliency and acceptance.  These are the real outcomes of mindfulness.  I’m so grateful I have my mindfulness practice to help me through this journey.

We wish you twenty minutes of mindfulness every day!

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