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Uncertainty and mystery are energies of life.  Don’t let them scare you unduly, for they keep boredom and bay and spark creativity.
R. I. Fitzhenry

What is your reaction to uncertainty?

Most people experience great discomfort in the face of uncertainty.  They make choices and take actions to relieve themselves of the anxiety generated by uncertainty, often at the cost of living their dreams.

About 30 years ago I was in a quandary, wondering – you guessed it! What do I do with the rest of my life?  This uncertainty was keeping me up at night.  I knew it was time for a change but I had no road map, no clear plan that would settle this question once and for all – ideally for the rest of my life!

One morning, during meditation, I asked, “How long will it take until I’m clear about my next chapter?”   The answer I heard was immediate – loud and clear, “One year.”  I opened my eyes feeling a sense of relief.  Now I felt certain that in one year I would have a plan for my life.

But, my relief was short-lived as anxiety and confusion took center stage.  A few days later as I was on my morning run in Central Park , during a moment of calm, I had this insight, after confusion comes clarity.  In that moment uncertainty transformed from being my enemy to being the open space in which I could inquire, explore and experiment.

Since that time I honor the gift of uncertainty.  Yes, there are still times that I don’t immediately like it – but generally after a few minutes or sometimes as much as a day, I remember that after confusion comes clarity – even though it may not occur as fast as I think it should!

Welcome your uncertainty – use the space it offers as an existential investigator.  Inquire about your next step, your next chapter, or the resolution to a conflict, allowing whatever time is necessary for clarity to emerge and be revealed.

Inspired Life Practice: Cultivating the Gift of Uncertainty

  • What are you currently uncertain about in your life?
  • Ask yourself, in a quiet moment (while meditating, writing in your journal, in nature, etc. . .):
    – What would certainty look like for me?
    – What is my next step on the path to certainty?
    – How long will it take for me to embody clarity?
    Remember:  Being clear that you are uncertain is a step toward clarity.
  • Play with your language – when you hear yourself saying, “I don’t know what to do?” or “I hate being uncertain.” Experiment with, “I’m exploring my next step.” or “I’m discovering the best way to approach this situation.”  What do you notice when you re-name uncertainty?

Today’s Power Statement:  I honor the gift of uncertainty – the space to inquire about my next chapter, my next step.  When I open-heartedly acknowledge my confusion I am on the clarity path