The Stability of Uncertainty

Dear Toby,

I wrote the article below at the beginning of December, as the new year comes in I would like to wish you all the gift of the stability of uncertainty. If you have it, then whatever sort of year you have in store ahead of you, you will be fine.

Thanks for reading in 2014, I look forward to connecting with you all in 2015!

Toby



The Stability of Uncertainty

I seem to be going through a whole lot of difficult changes right now in both my personal and professional life. One thing that I’m observing as I do so is my ability to adapt to change and get over setbacks seems to be pretty good, I can feel nervous and lost one morning, but be through it by the afternoon. I can feel panicked by all the things that are not done and not fixed, and process that without falling apart. More than this, whilst I am not enjoying myself in the sense of laughing and cracking jokes, I do seem to be genuinely enjoying myself in the sense of welcoming the challenges and quietly and cautiously enjoying the process of putting solutions together, or at least accepting that there are no solutions when there are none.

I was reflecting last night on what it is that has made this recent process of change easier for me, despite it being in relative terms really quite difficult. The answer that came back to me was that my philosophy of life really seems to have become embedded in the perspective of uncertainty, in a good way. To know uncertainty is a part of your reality means that:

  • You are never expecting things to stay the same
  • You know you can never afford to ‘switch off’ (though you may choose of course to consciously relax and/or rest for periods!)
  • You accept striving to adapt and change with each day as normal and healthy
  • Failing, feeling bewildered, experiencing nervousness and fear are not shocking to you, they are just part of the process, not problems in themselves
  • You are aware that the solutions that you created today will be obsolete tomorrow, and you are expecting to have to be creative in life
  • When you really relax into uncertainty you also become aware that as many good things come from it as bad things, if you can open to then and see them!

When you have an attitude that resists change that wants things to always be the same, this attitude rubs against the natural processes of reality, creates a lot of friction and upset simply because we want and desire things to be one way (certain and fixed) when in reality they are fluid and changeable.
So, ironically I am led to the conclusion that my relative resilience, and speed in bouncing back from the obstacles and challenges in my life is due to my ability to rest in the solidity of uncertainty; the capacity to rest in a view of the world that is compatible with the reality of the world itself, and therefore creates an inner experience of confidence in my ability to cope and thrive in the face of what is going on.
To rest confidently in the solidity of uncertainty I also realize that my most valuable asset is my mind, my ability to think my way clearly things through to the best of my ability. What is the best way to optimize my mind? To be mindful, that is to bring a high degree of conscious awareness to each moment of the uncertainty of my life.

© Toby Ouvry 2014, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com 


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