Being at ease with not knowing is crucial for answers to come to you
~ Eckhart Tolle
Are you at ease with not knowing? Having been an accountant for more than 20 years and a planner, that is a tough one for me.
But, as I move into a new chapter of my life, entirely on my own without husband and daughter to come home to, not knowing will be my new way of life. This will be my second act and it will take a bit of acting, feeling my way forward, and living at the edge of discomfort in this new chapter.
Life coach, Brooke Castillo, says "Our future only exists in our brain so that means we can have any future we want". Hmmm...an interesting concept. Often when we think about our future, we're not sure what will happen. We say things like, "I don't know what the future will hold".
The thing is our future is created in our mind because it hasn't happened yet, and most of the time we imagine our future based on our past. But, really there are no limits to imagining our future. We can't be doing it wrong. So why not imagine the best case scenario. The sky is the limit when it comes to our future.
Brooke also says we have positive feelings only 50% of the time. What? Does that surprise you? Do you believe that? Do you even want to believe that?
At first, I did not want to believe. Who doesn't want to be happy all the time or at least 75% of the time? ME...I am putting my hand up!
But, when I step back and really think about all the feelings we have in a day, 50% seems like a realistic number. Half the time, we have positive emotions (not necessarily happy) but perhaps calm, patience, optimism, excitement, pride, and contentment; and the other half of the time, we have negative feelings like anger, frustration, impatience, sadness, fear, shame, envy, restlessness, and loneliness to name but a few.
When you think about it over the span of a day, it seems quite reasonable. And then, when you think about it over your lifetime, even more so. Consider all you have experienced in your life so far, the good times and bad, the ups and downs, the rewards and challenges, then 50% seems spot on.
If we can come to peace with or simply accept the 50% rule, I would like to be okay with feeling the negative emotions...the anger, the betrayal, the fear, the sadness, and the loneliness which will inevitably come.
Can I let these negative emotions wash over me and not push them away or try to get past them in a hurry? You know the saying, "What we resist, persists". I think this is true. We can bury the negative feelings by busying ourselves and getting on with life. But, they will always be there brewing under the surface and can easily re-surface at the drop of a hat, triggered by an incident or a word said, something that would normally be insignificant in the grand scheme of things.
If we can be okay with the negative emotions and experience them without judgement, without resistance, without hurry, then we can be okay 100% of the time.
We don't have to be afraid of experiencing any emotion. It's there. It will pass. One thing that is always true is no matter how bad something feels in the moment, it will pass. It is not forever. And when we know this, there is hope, there is optimism.
So as I look down the road untravelled, as a single mom and solo entrepreneur, not knowing where it will lead, I also see a window of possibilities, best case scenarios...well...that is 50% of the time.
Colleen Kanna is a recovered Chartered Accountant and breast cancer champion turned fashion designer. She is the creator of COKANNA Designs, a line of stylish bamboo Canadian-made clothing for women. Five percent of Vesna Cardigan sales are donated to Rethink's Metastatic Breast Cancer support, education & advocacy work with 5 percent of the rest of sales going to the Ottawa Integrative Cancer Centre's Head Start Program for women newly diagnosed with breast cancer.