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  • Julia Stolk

Resting with Uncertainty

Updated: Apr 29

Can I Rest with Uncertainty?

A million ways to say no.

A million ways for the mind to show me why.

Uncertainty is just that – the not knowing. And when asked, can I rest with uncertainty, there is an immediate response heard that says no. And a felt sense of tightening in the body that says there is an agreement with the mind. Many of us, if not most of us, have experienced traumas in our childhood. Some traumas too horrific for re-telling, and others, almost too small to believe they could affect the system as they did. But…the body senses/interprets the world of form in such a different way than the mind. It holds the story, it keeps it all locked away, in both safe keeping and protection for us and from us. So, when we arrive to the experience of Covid, a time where most of the world is in some form of lockdown, and no one can tell us when a sense of normalcy can return, there lies uncertainty.

This uncertainty may be for some a long overdue period of rest, an opportunity to slow down. Others, an intense period of anxiety, fear, loss. And there may be a time, those in the state of rest and recovery, may also enter this anxiety, fear and loss. As days turn into weeks, and weeks turn into months, and… Is it possible that this could turn into a year? More? As I sit here writing this, I notice a stirring in the body. It has noticed every word I’ve put on this page. A level of anxiety in response to the time frame in particular. I hear myself say, I can do this for my fellow beings. I can shelter in place. I can maintain physical distance. I can spend almost every day, all day at home. And what I notice is that there is a “no” creeping in. It’s that tightening in the belly again. A tightening and lifting of the shoulders. A tightening in the brow. There is a feeling of becoming braced – braced for the unknown. And that is the response of our body to trauma. The noticing of what is going on in our external world, whether in our immediate or external reality. Our bodies and mind are constantly determining the level of safety in our environment, all mostly unconscious, and all mostly informed by our past. This past is both our own, and that of our family (epigenetics) and our ancestors, but that is for another day.

Here. In this moment, is the offering of an invitation, to arrive to this present moment in our lives. How you arrive to the present moment does not have to be prescriptive, we each have our own way. Some of us use breath, some use mantra, others find stillness in movement. And whatever your dropping in is, or arrival to this present moment looks, this is the place from which to notice. What are your thoughts that come in response to, “can you rest in uncertainty”, noticing without judging, labelling, or interpreting. And if a thought or many thoughts pull you away, can you invite yourself back to this moment? Again, without judgement. All is allowed here. What if the mind was simply doing what it is asked, and curiosity simply just wanted to follow? For me, there is a softening that comes with that, an allowance to come back to present. Of course, there are times when I get completely lost in the landscape of questions, sometimes for hours before I realize I have moved away from present.

And now, as you arrive back to present, and you rest in your place of stillness, can you also include the body? Notice what it is telling you. Like the noticing of my tightening belly, shoulders, and brow. Again, inviting the possibility to sit without judging, labeling or interpreting, but simply allowing. This place of allowance takes practice. It can be incredibly uncomfortable, it can be incredibly provoking, it can be incredibly informing. I leave you with this invitation.

Find a quiet place.

Whether it’s on your cushion, in your car, on your bed, at your kitchen sink.

If only for a few minutes, invite your attention to be with you exactly where you are.

And notice.

Your thoughts.

Your body’s talk.

Notice if you can allow the thoughts, images and feeling sensations to just be here,

In this exact moment.

And there is no getting it right.

No getting it perfect.

Simply just an exploration to notice what is here in this space,

Speaking to us when we listen

Sending you all so much love and light. Holding you in the place of the heart. As we navigate in this time of uncertainty, may you be reminded you matter, you belong.

©Julia Stolk

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