“The only constant is change”. We have all heard of this saying before and yet when major changes happen in our life, many of us find ourselves unprepared and very much outside our comfort zones. Needless to say, uncertainties can be anxiety inducing. Is it really possible to become comfortable with uncertainties, with Not Knowing what will happen next?
”All conditioned things are impermanent; when one sees this with wisdom, one turns away from sufferingThe Buddha
Yes, indeed we can. How? You say… By training our ego mind.
Our ego mind likes to be in control and thinks that by creating stories and catastrophising the situation, maybe it might fear us into taking action. However, fear and uncertainties are energy draining and demobilising. Most of the time, these stories are fake news!
The truth is there are so many events and variables leading to an event or a person’s reaction that it is impossible for us to know for sure what will happen next.
The fundamental teachings of Buddha are the 4 Noble Truths. In simplified form, these are the 4 Noble Truths:
- Life has sufferings;
- The root of sufferings is our attachments, greed, ignorance and hatred;
- We have ability to release from our sufferings;
- This comes from following the 8 Fold Paths which are categorised under 3 training and discipline:
- Ethical conduct – right speech, right action, right livelihood
- Mental discipline – right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration
- Wisdom – Right Thought and right understanding
How does this help you manage change and uncertainties?
- We acknowledge and be very conscious of the fact that everything is impermanent and things can change without notice. When you are having a good time or a good relationship, don’t take anything or anyone for granted. Savour it .
- Accept when things change, don’t resist. Resistance is what makes it painful and where the sufferings stem from.
- When you are going through a hard time, know that this too shall pass and see it as an adventure and an opportunity for growth, try and find enjoy in the experience
- Contemplate and let go of your attachments and identification with:
- your body – accept that aging, falling sick is part of being human;
- your jobs, status or the roles you play in your community – contemplate how strongly you identify with these and how you would respond if these jobs, status and roles are taken away from you;
- your relationships – don’t take your loved ones for granted nor try to control them – let them be who they want to be;
- your beliefs and values – how strongly are you holding on to them? By holding on to them, are they causing conflicts with others or do you feel stuck?
In practising mindfulness, we become aware with loving kindness the torrents of thoughts our mind churns out, what emotions are triggered and where we feel these emotions. We can name the emotions, feel it in our body and allow it to pass. Emotions are a form of energy and all energy flows with intention, awareness and movement. Over time we learn to see that much of the fear or anxieties never actually eventuate and we become comfortable in not knowing. As Mark Twain once said, “I have many worries in my life, most of which did not happened.”