My mind likes to create islands of safety. It is quite happy in it (mistaken) belief that tomorrow will be another day, just like today. I will wake up, care for my family, work, sleep. Repeat. For many who work a 9-5 job, outside the home, you may feel like you’re on a gerbil wheel. Wake up, work, sleep… do it all over again tomorrow.
Occasionally a crack in the matrix appears. You get in a car crash – or become seriously ill. A job or relationship ends. You become aware of money, family, or home issues that blow your mind or heart wide open.
These jolts enable us to see: I’m making an assumption that there will be a tomorrow, that tomorrow will be like today, that I will keep living the way I have been living. A veil lifts between realities.
I was popped off my island of safety and awoken from my lull by some news about our finances. For a week or so, I felt breath-less, anxious, okay, amazed, grateful, confused.
I’m not used to living in an anxious fear-filled place so I was blown away by the low-grade agitation. What was up?? I was baffled by my inability to ease this sensation for more than a few hours. And believe me I tried all the tricks in my tool belt.
Then, as Shaman Guy and I were heading north to Bear Lodge, he was relaying a story about talking with a friend whose life is shifting. The friend is feeling a lot of anxiety as a result. (Sounded familiar.)
Shaman Guy told him, “My spiritual training can be summed up to this: I learned how to face the unknown.”
In that moment, I was transported beyond our speeding hunk of metal traveling down the interstate to an image of myself in front of vast, dark space. The unknown. But instead of standing and facing it, I was cowering, by back half-turned, hands covering my head. Bent over, cramped up.
Wow. Is this really how I want to face the unknown?
Pop. As soon as I had that image articulated to myself, I relaxed and let go. I took a deep breath for the first time in a week. I unfurled. I turned to squarely face the void.
Yes, the unknown can be perceived as a scary place. It’s UNKNOWN and our little monkey minds like to think it knows.
And yet, each day, we face the unknown -usually un-knowingly. We have no clue if we will be gifted with another day on this planet. We don’t know if we will see our loved ones again. Don’t know if we will win the lottery or be hit by a car. Don’t know if we’ll keep living in this house or have the same job tomorrow. WE DON’T KNOW.
How exciting! Such an invitation to be grateful and present NOW. How empowering to know that we can make a change at any time – we are not stuck in how life is today.
Shift. Shift. Shift.
I’m choosing to face the unknown openly. With wonder. With tenderness and gentleness for this body-mind that sometimes goes into fear. With courage. With love.
And you? What’s your choice?