Cultivating Peace in Uncertain Times: Part One
As murmurs of yet another shift begin to circulate, a shift towards "a returning to normal", I remind myself that there is never a going back, always only a moving ahead. Not necessarily in the sense of progress, but rather, of change. Change is the only true constant. Sometimes change comes at a dizzying speed, sometimes imperceptibly slowly.
The more we seek to hold on to a feeling, a moment, an expectation, a "normalcy", the more we will suffer. In Buddhism, this is the heart of the Second Noble Truth. Acknowledging uncertainty, not just the obvious sort during times of rapid shifts but the uncertainty inherent all times, the uncertainly that is a primary condition of our existence, can be a first step away from frustration, irritability, panic and fear and towards peace, curiosity and acceptance.
After a deep acknowledgement of the uncertain nature of all existence, we can begin to build a relationship with uncertainty. Yes. It may sound funny, but your dance with uncertainty can deepen and grow in similar ways to any relationship you have with another person.
It needn't be overly mystical or spiritually aspirational; it can begin quite simply. Breath work, pranayama, is a lovely place to start. Using slow, mindful deep breaths to center yourself, allow yourself to consider the possibility that this is true: uncertainty is a constant. If you start to argue with that idea, notice the discomfort that is causing friction. As you breathe, as you sit with the discomfort, perhaps you consider the idea that is okay to be uncomfortable. And most importantly, you continue to breathe.