The world seems to be facing more uncertainty than ever. The political stage with various issues like Brexit, unjust laws being put in place in certain countries and the struggle of the world economy highlights the sense of disorder happening around us. Life used to have a feeling of stability and certainty around it but we’re entering a new phase on the planet and even though it’s often the last thing that we want, change brings growth and new life.
For many years I worked in what would be considered stable 9-5 jobs. I did the work I needed to do in exchange for a pay packet each month. It was regular and I knew what to expect. From a young age, I had been conditioned to believe that this was the way life worked. However very soon after starting my first job out of university, I asked myself whether this was what life was really about. I couldn’t believe that this routine of ‘eat, sleep, work’ was all we were meant to do on the planet.
Over the years I’ve seen these so-called stable jobs become very unstable. There’s no real guarantee that one will keep one’s job forever (not perhaps that we’d want to!). After 19 years working in the corporate world, I’ve seen many reorganisations which resulted in hundreds if not thousands of redundancies in an attempt to reduce costs and increase profit. This often created a lot of stress and worry in people who stayed in their jobs as they tried to avoid facing the same path as their colleagues.
Job and money worries plus issues like Brexit for example, has meant that people are facing very challenging situations. How are people meant to cope with all the possible scenarios that exist and make the best decision for themselves? How do we deal with life and all its uncertainties?
I think uncertainty has always been a part of life, however, it’s become more pronounced in recent years because of the different world events such as the financial crisis, ‘terrorist’ acts carried out under the cover of religion etc. We’ve been conditioned to believe that we need certainty (which equals safety) in order to be happy and that we need to do whatever we can to make sure we have it in our life.
But to live is to take a risk. We never know what might happen today, tomorrow nor in the future. The only thing that we can really trust in is ourselves, our ability to cope with whatever may happen in our lives; to know that we will deal with life’s challenges when they arise and succeed in making the most of it. Trying to control life only creates more stress and unhappiness because we can’t force our lives to turn out the way we want it to. Of course, this doesn’t mean not doing anything and waiting for things to happen but rather as much as we may want something, we also need to be able to let go of the attachment to having it.
In addition to learning to trust ourselves, we need to spend less time in the future and more of our time in the present moment. There’s nothing wrong with planning and having an idea of what we want in our lives but as I mentioned above being too attached to what we want is what causes us pain. Also, when we’re not living in the here and now, we’re dealing with imaginary situations which can be scary and perhaps will have no place in reality. So why waste time worrying about something that might happen?
I believe we’re moving into a new time space reality where love will be the guiding force. In the past we relied on our left brain (practical, logical aspects) or masculine energy to make decisions for ourselves. But this means that we’re only using a part of ourselves. Our intuition, gut instincts etc (essentially our feminine energy) are required in order to be ourselves fully. This means taking the time to really listen to ourselves as to how we’re feeling and our true desires. When we do this, we allow our hearts to provide us direction and then we can work with our minds to create the steps needed to move us there. In this way, we’re able to move forward in a balanced way. In the past, being more geared to our masculine side, we overused this part of ourselves. And as fears reside in our minds, often our decisions were fear based and perhaps led us to places we hadn’t really wanted to go.
So, to move through uncertainty, I’d encourage you to take up a practice that helps you to get more in touch with your true feelings; to listen, hear and be present for what is coming up for you. When you find yourself getting into a fearful space, this is a sign that you’re in your head and not being present in life. Take this as a signal to listen to what is happening within you. Initially it may feel a bit scary or uncomfortable but with anything new, this is to be expected. Over time and with commitment to your practice, I hope like me you’ll come to enjoy these moments where you can nurture and just be with yourself just as you are.
Some activities that you might want to try are:
• meditation where you spend 5 minutes just observing what your emotions and physical sensations (some might call this mindfulness) or any other types of meditation;
• taking a walk in nature which is very grounding. I find that it reminds me that I am more than just my physical body – I’m part of something bigger. Yoga and stretching is also a great activity for coming back into your body and the present moment;
• journaling. If you want a way to really get to know all parts of yourself, write in your journal everything that you’re experiencing without any filters. Let yourself really be who are in this space. Not only is it soothing but it’s a practice to really listening and being heard, perhaps something you’ve never experienced in life before;
• writing in a gratitude journal. Life can be really challenging at times but when we realise how much we actually have; it can change our perspective on what we’re currently experiencing. The really simple things in life such as being able to shower, sleep in a warm bed and eat and drink are invaluable. What would your life be like if you didn’t have these things?
With these tools by your side, I hope navigating life’s uncertainties will be a lot easier for you.