When Things Fall Apart Are You Surprised?
Embracing uncertainty is one of life’s big challenges. To expect the unexpected is a sign of flexible maturity. Often we try to organize our lives to avoid surprises. Because our brains are wired to always anticipate threat first, we forget that the unexpected can bring us some of life's most wonderful experiences as well. We worry and plan and micromanage ourselves to keep uncertainty at bay. Has this ever really worked for you? In hindsight, it was never the things I wasted my time worrying about that blindsided me. My life’s most painful challenges came in ways I never in a million years would have imagined. But the most amazing and wonderful things also arrived in equally unexpected ways!
Getting Comfortable with Uncertainty
I highly recommend Pema Chodron's: When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times [Audiobook] when you are weathering difficult or unexpected challenges in life. Those times are part of every life. Our lives after those events will be determined by how we embraced the uncertainty.
“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.”
- Gilda Radner
But there are other times when our biggest challenge is that we are stuck in a stifling rut of our own creation. Are you suffocating in the predictability of the life you have created?
Stop the Glorification of Busy
To leave room for life to spontaneously surprise us requires us to let go of over-controlling habits. We need to leave room in our schedule for life to surprise us with something unexpected, new and refreshing. Embracing creative uncertainty means you have to make room for it in your life. Some easy ways to do that are:
- Schedule unscheduled time into your schedule.
- Give yourself room to allow new thoughts and perceptions to surface by learning to meditate.
- Expose yourself to new sights, sounds and experiences.
Have you read my post on Interrupting Thyself lately? It has many other suggestions.
Life is Like a Box of Chocolates
I play with printmaking. I’m not an expert, but printmaking gives me an opportunity to invite synchronicity and spontaneous play into my life. What I like the most about it is the element of surprise. Monoprints in particular invite you to embrace and expect the unexpected. The other day, just because I felt like it, I took the liner from a box of chocolates, inked it, and ran it through the press. Here is the unexpected spontaneous result: