Winding road, where do I go?
A destination I don’t yet know.
Step by step, hour by hour, I cling to faith with all my power.
With every twist, and every turn, a new experience is born.
How far until the end? How much time must I spend,
Walking along this winding road, through this journey of my own?
The uncertainty of life can be either thrilling or terrifying for us. Other times, both at the same time. Disliking this unknowingness, we often rush straight forward to the next chapter, and end up missing some of the best parts – the lessons, the reminders, and the magic in every single moment.
It’s okay to not know. In fact, there is beauty in that mystery. Imagine how boring life would be if you knew your entire story. That type of experience certainly wouldn’t equate to living.
Of course, most of us know this, but we find ourselves falling again and again into the trap of fear associated with the unknown. If just the mere thought of “not knowing” sounds overwhelming to you, you’re not alone.
Hell, I know first-hand.
Fortunately, there is a whole world of Eastern philosophy that has introduced us westerners to a more peaceful way of living. It’s called mindfulness.
Developing a “mindfulness” mindset can help you embrace the uncertainty. Type “mindfulness benefits” into a Google search, and you’ll find many lists from credible sources. Mindfulness techniques significantly affect our physical, mental and spiritual health in very positively powerful ways. If you’re battling depression, insomnia, chronic pain, or many other icky ailments, developing a mindful mindset can help! And if you are simply anxious about the uncertainty of life – like so many of us are – mindfulness can lead you to some peace of mind.
Here are a few tips to get you started (or “reminders” in case you’ve forgotten):
- Begin a daily log, documenting something that happened – in one sentence each day. Refer back to it through the year and notice the patterns, lessons, etc.
- Be aware of your five senses during seemingly mundane activities – such as doing the laundry or dishes, showering, walking your kids to school, etc.
- Practice “mindful breathing” (here you’ll find a helpful guide) right after you awake, and before you go to bed.
- Find an artistic activity that you enjoy. It can be as simple as coloring in a coloring book; or more involved, like painting on canvas or working on a craft.
- Spend time in nature. Even a ten minute walk counts!
This is a tiny list of big impact exercises that can lead you to a mindful mindset. Give ’em a try and see how they ease your anxieties of the unknown. If you want to reap even more goodness, start a daily five minute mediation practice and work your way to 20 minutes. Or start doing some yoga (moving mediation). Even better, try both.
Through more mindful living, you’ll learn to embrace the uncertainty. You’ll trust yourself enough to be okay with not knowing; listen to your heart, your soul; be aware of your surroundings; be okay with not knowing; stop rushing through it; and truly LIVE your life.
Personal Note: I know a lot of people who already practice this type of living. I have practiced it myself and seen it change my life. Sometimes, I get stuck in the roboticness of everyday living and this practice falls to the waist-side. I am writing about it today because I needed the reminder. Maybe you need the reminder, too.
__Photo taken at Clark County Wetlands Park by Gina Mizzoni. Exposure: F/11, 1/200 sec, ISO 125__
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