18 May Staying resilient when things are uncertain
When things are in flux around us our tendency is to dig deep and hold things together, working through the challenge until things go back to ‘normal’ again.
Personally, during times of uncertainty, I notice I hold my breath a little more often, and I tense my muscles a little more frequently. It feels like battening down the hatches and hiding whilst the storm passes.
I’ve approached uncertainty in this way as far back as I can remember. As a child I didn’t much like the uncertainty of the classroom in school. I spent a lot of time (and I know I’m not alone!) waiting for the end of the day when I could relax, back in the knowledge that I wasn’t going to get asked questions and be thrown into the spotlight. I tensed up to work my way through the uncertainties that arose around me.
But what I’ve begun to realise more recently is that uncertainty is relentless. Unless you spend your life never leaving the house you will inevitably face some uncertainty in some way on a regular basis. Approaching uncertainty with an intense breath-holding energy doesn’t serve anyone. It leads to burn out, or ill health, or relationship breakdown.
Instead, we can choose to soften into uncertainty. This takes trust. Trust that we are resilient and able to deal with difficulties that come up. Trust that we are resourceful and have people and tools to help us be with and work through uncertainty, and trust that the universe is in fact a friendly place, and that we are supported on a deeper, more spiritual level.
I mentioned last week the power of Tonglen, which is perfect for being with uncertainty. It’s about breathing in and embracing challenge, and breathing out calm and peace. More information on the practice can be found by reading Pema Chodron’s book Comfortable with Uncertainty.
Uncertainty doesn’t have to be a scary, intense process, it can be an opportunity to rest into existence and learn just how resilient and resourceful we really are.
Sending love as always, Hannah