The Freedom in the Not-Knowing

“Think Less. Relax More. Listen More. Then, new knowing will begin to flow into your mind.” Erich Schiffmann

I like to remind myself often that I don’t know what I don’t know. How could I? The moment we get stuck and attached to needing to know (or even worse, in thinking that we do know!), we become righteous and unteachable, and greatly limit our potential.

Have you ever noticed how desperately attached we are to ‘knowledge’ in our society, and more specifically to ‘needing to know’? (I am talking here about knowing beyond what is one’s own ‘truth’ in any given moment)

We like to know the answers. We like to know where we are going. We desperately fear not knowing how something will go by worrying a lot about it! We like to think we know best. My way or my perspective is the right one.

We judge a person’s value and worth on how much they know (or at least should know based on all the training and research and studies they’ve done!). Doctors get paid a lot more that intuitive healers, for instance!! (wink)

It is such a part of our conditioning and value system that often it goes unnoticed and unquestioned.

Don’t get me wrong. The quest for knowing more (and especially the acceptance that we don’t know A LOT) is a major positive driving force in our evolution.

Have you ever reflected honestly, though, on how much of your tension, anxiety and stress is created from desperately trying to KNOW? We grasp for it and hold on to it for dear life as a form of control, to avoid the predicament of our very real vulnerability.

Not-knowing is painful, even terrifying!

If I know more I AM more (worthy of love). The more I know the more I can avoid or minimise the painful feelings of shame, not being good enough, and of being a vulnerably mortal being.

Sitting in meditation recently (on an airplane as it happened), I caught myself feeling very confused and perplexed. Confused about how I was showing up, what I was doing, what I was valuing and what I wanted in the bigger picture of a life-time. There was such a muddle in my head, I was feeling lost and out of control.

As I tuned into my body, I felt tension in my muscles and an energy of resistance or struggle in relation to this confusion. I could feel how tiring that was on my whole system to be in constant fight-mode, and what a waste of energy!

I noticed some thoughts – What is wrong with me? I should have it all worked out by now. Am I heading toward breakdown? At an emotional level I noticed I was down on myself and feeling some shame about being in this place. And of course with all that chatter, I could feel that I was vibrating pretty low.

I sat with it, curious about all these feelings.

Little by little I invited my body to relax, layer by layer, like butter melting in the oven. As I started to let go of the tension I noticed my body breathing more freely. I continued to enjoy the process of relaxing and feeling myself opening. What a relief to let go of the effort and struggle around not-knowing. The effort of trying to KNOW or to be something that some part of me thought I needed to be.

Then, with an internal chuckle and a note of glee across my face and in my heart, I remembered……a higher “knowing” flowed into me…….

The acceptance of not-knowing….

….. invites me to be fully present here and NOW.
….. means that I am open to the real truth in this NOW experience. 
….. is a humble and awake state of being.
….. is way more advanced than thinking that I know.
….. is FREEDOM!! 

Aha! I’m not having a breakdown. I am having a breakthrough!

Youpee! I felt so much joy as I just let it all go. I was home again in myself, riding the wave of life, the great unknown mystery. This type of ‘knowing’ was visceral and trustworthy.

Now, why oh why do I keep forgetting?!! I guess it is so that I experience the joy of remembering again and again.

When you sit to meditate you drop into the NOW experience and that guides you to whatever the truth happens to be in this NOW. 

It is such an exquisite feeling to be totally present to the feeling of letting go and opening up energetically. In yoga we speak of a thousand-petaled lotus on the crown of the head blossoming open.

crown-chakra lotus

Meditation (or sitting relaxation if the word and idea of meditation scares you) is for me a very special private moment where I get completely honest with myself by ‘listening’ and ‘feeling’ what is really going on with me. It is humbling too to sit in the not-knowing.

As we relax and open to listen, wisdom starts to flow and the fog clears. In this ‘knowing’ we can trust. The challenge is just to trust ourselves enough that the knowing will always come, in any situation, when we dare to get present, vulnerably present, listen to our body and watch out for the signs through all our senses.

Meditation is such an essential part of conscious joyful living.

I invite you to sit and relax into not-knowing and experience the lightness, joy and freedom it brings. You may just be amazed at how wise you become too!!

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