Not Knowing What to Do

The unknown is not a favorite choice, generally. We like to be prepared, have an advantage, use what we know. So, we pull from the past to anticipate the future. It is a proven formula, conditional and safe.

My best moments are when I step outside my comfort zone and tell the present, “Let’s see what this is all about.” In other words, what else might this mean. I’m freeing myself of conditions and calling upon my courage and creativity to see me through the situation.

The older I am, the more I choose the unknown, putting my head under my heart. Looking back upon my life, that has always been the better choice, which is not to say I made it often.st-marks-sunset-0216

Initially, every moment we have is free. We choose either the known— what we have always been— or what we have never been, the unknown. It is that basic, either the conditional or the curious response.

The conditional response is the one made with my head, safe and reasoned–odds in my favor. The curious response opens my heart to questions rather than answers–odds unknown.

The heart and head are not mutually exclusive but the ego chatters nonstop—or at least mine does–about what I know and what I think I know. As there is no satisfying the ego, I put my head under my heart.

Equanimity knows no enemies, not even the ego.

It is such a small step from the known to the unknown but what a leap of faith it is. I know I am more compassionate when I lead with my heart. Mindset confines me to conditions. Creativity and courage reside in the freedom of the unknown as does risk, the heartbeat of hope.

It may be that when we no longer know what to do

we have come to our real work and that when we no longer know

which way to go we have begun our real journey.

Wendell Berry, Standing by Words

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity in daily doses. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page. 

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