Living With Uncertainty

It’s time to get comfortable with uncertainty.

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Get comfortable with uncertainty. That’s what my friend said to me last week when we were speaking on the phone about the upcoming retreat we’re planning in Aspen. She’s wise, my friend. She counsels people for a living, helping them to shift their energy and raise their vibration. And she said this is what we all must learn now… we need to get comfortable with uncertainty. She said it’s a very exciting time we’re in and uncertainty – not sure if something is going to happen or not, worried that plans we’ve put in motion are not going to come together, anxious about the future because we don’t know what’s going to happen – just means it hasn’t manifested yet. It doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen. As she said, “learn to get comfortable with a little uncertainty in your life.” Trust what you want will manifest. Easy, right? It all goes back to that idea that we need to let go and trust, trust life will unfold exactly as it should. Or as my other friend, Joel, told me recently, “make a big bowl of popcorn and sit back and watch the show, just enjoy the show that is life.”

Is it nature or nurture that keeps me uncomfortable with uncertainty? I’m prone to anxiety and worry. I worry that things won’t work out. I’m better now. I’m getting used to putting a project out there, working on it, having fun with it, and then walking away from the part of my mind that keeps me fretting it won’t happen as I would like. I guess it’s nurture. By nature, we’re fine with uncertainty. By nature, we’re happily living in the moment, catching as catch can. But by nurture, by raising ourselves in a way that keeps us in a state of watchful worry. We find uncertainty to be exceedingly uncomfortable.

But what if with any project I’m working on, I take away that worry about what’s next? What if I get comfortable with a little uncertainty? Let me breathe that in… wow, it feels good. It feels… like… ease. It feels supported. I feel I’m not alone, that things are working out for me, and that things always work out for me. When I breathe that in, a little comfort with not knowing what’s going to happen, I feel eager. Eager for what the future holds and how it will unfold. It’s a show I want to watch. I feel open to a little wonder. And that feels really good. But, but, but then I’m back to the details.

It’s in the details I rev my worry engine up, how’s it gonna work out, where will it happen, who’s gonna show up, what should I bring, how am I gonna spread the word, why should it work out for me? And then others ask me about it. They’re trying to be helpful. They’re telling me I need goals. And they want to support me by keeping me focussed on what’s going to happen next. But it just keeps that monkey mind whirring in a state of anxiety. I Don’t Know How It Will Work Out. I do know this. I know that anything I’ve ever planned, budgeted, worked for has turned out differently than I could ever have imagined. And it’s either happened way faster than I could have planned for or much slower. The point is I don’t what’s next. I only know what is NOW. And just because I don’t know what will happen tomorrow doesn’t mean tomorrow isn’t coming. So, I’m going to go back to breathing in that idea of comfort with uncertainty. And again, wow, it works. I feel clearer, happier. This work feels easier.

Our discomfort with uncertainty is most related to fear. And if we can’t move through it then let’s acknowledge that what we fear is not real. And honor that what we’re fearing is the bogeyman. An illusion.

As Pema Chodron movingly wrote, Times of chaos and challenge can be the most spiritually powerful . . . if we are brave enough to rest in their space of uncertainty. We could be there, feeling off guard, not knowing what to do, just hanging out there with the raw and tender energy of the moment. This is the place where we begin to learn the meaning behind the concepts and the words.”

The other thing I’ve learned is that setting intentions can be a great way to get comfortable with uncertainty. I set the intention. I work towards it, or I meditate on it, and it takes care of itself. From Therese J. Borchard, “I was surprised at the synchronicity between intention and events. Psychologist Elisha Goldstein writes in his book, The Now Effect: ‘Our intention is at the root of why we do anything and plays a fundamental role in helping us cultivate a life of happiness or unhappiness. If we set an intention for well-being and place it at the center of our life, we are more likely to be guided toward it.'”

What’s the takeaway here? Set an intention, work towards it, and leave the future to take care of itself. Get comfortable with a little or a lot uncertainty because this is where the great spiritual growth happens; this is where the fun part begins. And oftentimes the universe will unfold things much more beautifully than we could have ever planned or worried over.


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About the Author: Tania Van Pelt is the creator of Happiness Series. After working in film, she realized that creating content for an online world that moves and inspires people is where it's at. She loves the immediacy and the vibrancy of working online. Tania created Happiness Series because she wants to empower people to live healthier, longer, more joyful lives through fitness, nutrition, stress management and integrative wellness. After years of research and practical application, she is excited about the newest project, Ageless Diet™. Ageless Diet is a lifestyle that promotes an Ageless You. Because getting older doesn't have to mean aging, and losing weight doesn't have to be hard. Happiness Series and Ageless Diet are going in new directions, bringing people together in beautiful settings with retreats and conferences. Books and a cooking series are soon to follow. Tania also recently completed her sitcom web/TV series pilot Employees Only, at http://employeesonly.tv.