A Lifestyle Lesson for Navigating Uncertainty
Originally published on Nov 9, 2022.
I don’t know.
That phrase comes with a lot of bad consequences. Try saying it to your boss when they ask you about an important project. Say it to your spouse when they ask you where the kids are. Or say it to a family member over dinner when they ask you what you want to do with your life.
You’ll quickly see what I mean.
Most people prefer certainty, specificity, and confidence over uncertainty, and they’ll let you know it in one way or another. This is another byproduct of the survival mechanisms in our nervous system.
Our bodies like to know.
They like to know what’s going on now, where their next meal is coming from, and the events that are coming next.
So if you find yourself feeling a little uneasy in this political uncertainty, that’s why.
As of this writing, there are quite a few political races that haven’t been called yet – important ones that will decide the direction of our democracy.
We’re all sort of hanging here in the unknown.
Although your body isn’t a fan of the unknown, your human is actually a magician who uses the unknown to spontaneously create reality. It’s your clay, your paint, and your guitar.
The unknown is meant to work for you, not against you.
But when we fret over uncertainty, rushing ahead to reclaim our sense of I know, we lose all that magic.
You might not be able to decide the fate of democracy’s future, but you can learn to settle into uncertainty just a bit more. This has all kinds of health benefits like lowering our blood pressure, nurturing our immune system, and soothing our stress response. But it’s also important to master the unknown if you ever want to manifest something new.
After all, it’s not new if you already know it.
Here are three practices to soothe yourself during uncertain times.
SEE: Pay attention to what is.
When we encounter uncertainty, it’s normal and natural for the mind to rush ahead creating various scenarios and scripts. If it writes a script, at least it knows what’s next. Even if it’s a total bummer and let down, at least the story helps your mind grasp something seemingly concrete.
Instead of allowing your mind to make up its own reality, bring yourself back to your actual reality. Get into your body and trigger your five senses.
Take a look around (sight). Light incense or slather on essential oils (scent). Turn on soothing music (sound). Eat some citrus (taste). Or wrap yourself in a cozy blanket (touch).
Pay attention to what’s actually going on around you. This will ground your body in what it knows so that it can handle a bit more of the I don’t know.
STOP: Stop the script.
Even if you do get in touch with your body, it can be easy to follow your mind on the script toward certainty. This often manifests as worry, which is never helpful. When you find yourself creating a doomsday scenario or trying to forecast the future, simply stop. Catch yourself and come back to the present moment.
START: Recognize that you have what you need right now.
Part of the reason our body freaks out about uncertainty is because it doesn’t believe its needs will be met.
When we’re waiting for that next paycheck, we’re actually worried about our next meal. When we’re waiting for poll results, we’re actually worried that the sovereignty of our body is under threat.
For many of us, what we need is already with us. It just requires us to pay attention.
This can feel counterintuitive because the body will convince you that it’s not enough. What happens when the food I do have runs out? What will I do once the money runs out? What will happen if I can’t pay my electric bill next month?
Agree to allow those problems of the future to be placed in the capable hands of your future self.
In the meantime, reorient your attention to the reality that you already have everything you need right now.
I have food for dinner right now.
I have money in my bank account right now.
I have electricity right now.
I am safe right now.
Pull yourself into presence and acknowledge the abundance there. The more you pay attention to what you do have, the more you’ll actually enter the vibration needed to manifest more. If you constantly stay in a state of worry, preoccupation, and lack, that’s what you’ll be calling in instead.
MAGIC MANTRA: I have everything I need.