The people who are in your life right now are in your life to bring you to where you are supposed to be. The people who are leaving your life right now are leaving your life to bring you to where you are supposed to be. Where you are right now is a result of all the people in your life who have brought you exactly what you needed in every moment of every day, making sure you were always where you were supposed to be. Where you are right now is where you are supposed to be.
This insight came to me when I was struggling with the death of a loved one and the end of a romantic relationship. At the time, I had been working with a mediation practice I like to call the ‘reset meditation’. Have you ever wished that life was like a video game in which you could hit a reset button and re-start your life from a new and fresh perspective? I think this mediation comes pretty close to achieving that feeling. It works by training your brain to shift its focus of attention to the details of the current story (or problems) to the vastness of pure potential; to the possibilities of something new, and inspired.
The catch is embracing uncertainty. I realized that, as long as I try to predict the outcome of events in my life or hang onto how I think things should unfold, I am closing the door to something unexpected (and wonderful) to come along. What if the answer to my problem is something I have never been able to dream up? How can I be open to receiving something new if I am looking in the same place I always look? So, as I ‘reset’ myself, I noticed that my perspective shifted from the known to the unknown, and for a moment I was suspended in uncertainty.
The fear of change and uncertainty makes sense because it confronts the new and unknown. Who knows what could be lurking around that corner? Yet, I also realized that it was the exact state I needed to learn to embrace in order for positive change to be experienced. I realized that, if I was to hope something would change without first walking through the wall of uncertainty, then I would be forever repeating the same things over and over again. It was time for something new…
As I continued meditating to ‘reset’ myself, I realized that uncertainty is a similar energy to the state of chaos, which I have come to appreciate as a snapshot of the ‘breaking apart’ phase in a change cycle. To me, chaos is the space between states, like the shift between frequencies of sound, or the moment when water changes from liquid to ice crystal.
I started to see that my inner landscape was fluctuating between chaos and clarity. It wasn’t that one should be sought and the other rejected; the freedom was in being able to shift myself into the perspective of witnessing the dance of all states coming and going.
The snapshot of my life situation in that moment entailed people leaving my life, and I didn’t know where they were going, or why. But in watching the dance of clarity and chaos, observing the changing patterns like watching a kaleidoscope of moving shapes, I could see the beauty in this state of the unknown. As I continued to observe chaos and uncertainty as necessary states in the process of flow and change, I started to become aware that the people leaving my life were moving to where they needed to be. They were shifting to form another pattern, elsewhere.
There was a deep comfort in realizing that these people were exactly where they were supposed to be, and I was where I was supposed to be. As shaken and disoriented as I felt, this was an important state to embrace. I realized that, in embracing uncertainty and letting go of how I thought my life ‘should’ look, I opened the door to seeing the ever changing patterns and the beauty of life’s dance. In the return to clarity, a gentle calm fell over me, as well as the resulting insight that everything is always in the right place.
I hope this short meditation will empower you to embrace uncertainty, for even a few moments, and help you find the peace in seeing that everything is already in the right place. Feel free to record yourself reading this practice, and then play it back to yourself when you are in a relaxed state of mind and resting in a comfortable position.
- When we are too full of information, thoughts and ideas, it’s like our cup is full and we can’t take in any new ideas. Take a moment today to empty, and be open to something new and fresh coming in. Embracing uncertainty is the same as embracing pure potential.
- Close your eyes and relax your body. Take a few long, slow breaths. If it resonates with you, slowly repeat to yourself: “I don’t know what this means yet, I am open to be shown something new.”
- Imagine a kaleidoscope, and picture the beauty of its ever-changing patterns. Visualize that you are slowing down the images like a slow motion movie, and watch the patterns shift from one shape to the next. As the first pattern is breaking loose and the second pattern begins to take shape, notice how there is a moment in between shapes where there is a disorganized, shapeless chaos. How does it feel to enter, even for a very brief moment, the state of having no shape?
- Take some time to stay in that space of not knowing, and rest there until you begin to see a new pattern emerging. If you are not a visual person, practice with the kaleidoscope of feelings, thoughts, or sensations. Take time to watch for a new thought to form out of the space between thoughts. Or, pay attention to the feelings that are coming and going, noticing the space of pure potential between them.
- When you are ready, begin bringing your awareness back to the room. Notice what it is like to look around the room with fresh eyes. Pretend you are seeing this familiar space from a new viewpoint. What is this room like without any labels or words? What new possibilities await you as you return to your day with a fresh perspective?