Life has an undertone of uncertainty. We are not given assurance of anything in this world. Yet we resist not knowing, we try and get ground under our feet and view knowledge and certainty as for the most powerful tools we can have.
When I was in high school I started to notice I had no idea what I wanted to do in my life. Most of my friends were going to college to become Doctors, Architects, and Lawyers. Me? Well, it depended on what day of the week you asked me. I wanted to be everything and study none of it.
I felt so much stress around not knowing and this has been a theme in my life and what I see my clients struggling with as well. The uncertainty of birth, motherhood, death or even ordering from a menu. Causes contraction, anxiety, and stress.
So what do we do about it? How do we embrace not knowing? Which is a principle that is deeply rooted in Buddhism.
My experience has been by not judging it or labeling it as something negative. I once told a teacher I wasn’t sure if I should continue studying with her and she answered “that’s ok. You don’t need to know. Just stay with that” I had never heard a positive response to my uncertainty before. The idea that “its ok to not know”, that we don’t need to have an answer to every situation made my heart lighter and eventually allowed me to make a decision from a place of peace and freedom.
This concept of "not knowing" is something I began to admire most in teachers. The idea that a highly knowledgeable person is aware that no amount of knowledge will grant them with all the answers and the humility it takes to recognize it.
It’s about cultivating don’t know mind as Frank Osterkaski wrote in The five invitations (I highly recommend this book) “This is not encouragement to avoid knowledge. Don’t know mind is one characterized by curiosity, surprise, and wonder. It is receptive, ready to meet whatever shows up as it is. Don’t know mind is an invitation to enter life with fresh eyes, to empty our minds and open our hearts”.
So we open up to the experience as it comes, like children encountering life. We learn more when we don’t know then when we think we know. Because in reality even if we think we know something it might not even be true.
As I personally continue to open myself to the practice of embracing not knowing. I have some changes coming my way. I’m going back to teaching a weekly Pilates/TRX class. I miss the physical practice, teaching in groups has always been a passion of mine. I moved away from this space because I wanted to help people in deeper ways and I’m moving back to this space because I underestimated the power of sweat, laughter and the awareness that comes from the physical practice. I will be teaching at Inhale Yoga in Del Mar Tuesdays at 5:30pm. So if you are in San Diego lets meet!
My Podcast Toolkit for Life will be hosting mostly interviews with incredible teachers some that might not even know are teachers and less of me talking. I want this to be a platform for people that are not necessarily spreading their word around social media to speak up and share their stories and messages. If there is anybody you know that you would like me to interview please, please send them my way.
My newsletters will probably start looking shorter. I don’t enjoy reading long articles so I won’t make you do that either. I will share with you what inspires me and some of the things I write along the way.
New Moon Circles I’m standing in the “don’t know”. What do you say?
I also have a couple of really exciting projects that I'm working on. I will share with you once everything is settled.