As 2021 comes to an end it has been a big year of learning and growing in our household. The last two years have been so unexpected personally and professionally that a great deal of fear, anxiety and sometimes turmoil would at times surface. At times I, like all of you have been working with big emotions and learning how to stay steady in the midst of uncertainty.
We tend to live our lives with an inherent sense of predictability, whether it is about our job, relationships or wellbeing. We neglect to remember that the nature of life is ever changing and in ways that we can not control.
Impermanance lies at the very heart of the human experience. Some days, like today as I sit here to write I gaze out the window to the many tall trees that surround my house. The trees, the rocks, the rivers, they have been in existence before my conception and arrival in this world. And when I take my final breaths I hope that they will bear witness to my passing. My life, its direction, and the ultimate time that I no longer walk on this earth are not of my choosing. Sometimes that realisation is accompanied by a great deal of fear.
Uncertainty makes us deeply uncomfortable because of the existential threat that uncertainty contains. We spend so much time seeking to control our experience, to control the outside world and other people. The comforting notion that we may choose or manifest our destiny is negated and we may feel deeply, existentially adrift. When everything changes and the sense that we are no longer in control emerges we can feel deeply unsettled. Trusting in life is a challenging practice. Why? Because:
To trust in life is to embrace that all things change and sometimes they change in an instant.
Life necessarily includes difficulty and suffering, without this there would be no joy and beauty. We need to understand that the whole of life balances these opposite energies and experiences. Our work, which unfolds over a lifetime, is to hold it all in loving awareness.
How do we do this? For me finding a daily rhythm of practice is the only way to get comfortable with and soften the edges of fear that arises with uncertainty. To find my way back to my breath in stillness, Then explore being anchored in a breath through movement (vinyasa). Then returning once more to stillness. I practice not to escape how I am feeling but to acquaint myself with all that changes.
Having cultivated this rhythm now for 26 years the experience of impermanence is immanent. I feel it, know what it requires of me to loosen my grip, to release control into the flow of my breath, into the flow of life. There is so much resistance at times. Being with what is, well it is not always pleasant.
Embracing the uncertainty has opened my eyes to immense joy. It gives me the opportunity to see other people as they truly are and celebrate them. It has allowed me to soften into myself, into my relationships. Trusting in life is a gift that a rhythm of daily practice has given me.
It ebbs and flows and parenting, work, and health sometimes undermine that trust. Yet, a commitment to being steady in practice means that we don’t become completely untethered and ungrounded.
There’s not much more to say. Practice is calling me. In the summer holidays, this is on the deck with the birds, crickets, and trees. Children stopping by with requests or cuddles. Moments of exhilaration and lightness, days of heaviness and lethargy. Little bit, by little bit allowing. The rhythm of daily practice is the safe container in which we can explore what it might mean to trust in life, to trust in each other, to trust in the beauty of impermanence.
How to begin to trust in life?
- Develop a rhythm, daily.
- Arrive and feel your body in space.
- Find your breath, soften the shoulders and face
- Allow – feel what it is you are feeling
If you need a gentle place to begin, join us on Friday, January 7th, and “Rest with Rosie.” You can book this nourishing class here. If you need some support in arriving our video library is replete with Yoga Nidra, Talks & practices to nourish you.
Memberships start from just $22/week and include daily live stream classes and video library access. More info here.