Wholehearted living is about engaging with our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion and connection to wake up in the morning and think, ‘No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough.’ It’s going to bed at night thinking, ‘Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.
Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection
This is the 5th in a series as we explore the 10 Guideposts for Wholehearted Living as found in the research of Brené Brown.
These are intentionally designed as simple, direct, two-minute reads that I hope bring you insight, value, and immediately practical application. Given the current state of the world and the unease that you may be experiencing as a result, I hope you find this timely. And at a minimum, I hope you find them food for thought.
Guidepost 5 Cultivating Intuition and Trusting Faith: Letting Go of the Need For Certainty
I don’t know many humans who love to live in uncertainty. We all seem to have a need for some sense of control. Which makes getting through each day tricky right now, right? Living during a global health crisis is no joke and being part of the change necessary to dismantle systemic racism means living with uncertainty and vulnerability. Getting straight on what we can control and what we cannot control is critical.
Which is why intuition and faith are so helpful. They’re powerful tools for navigating uncertain environments. As Brown says, “Intuition is not a single way of knowing…it’s our ability to hold space for uncertainty and our willingness to trust the many ways we have developed knowledge and insight, including instinct, experience, faith, and reason.”
For most of us the feeling of vulnerability gets triggered when we are living in uncertainty, a feeling we constantly try to avoid. We are uncertain right now about jobs, schools, how long stay at home orders will last, the health of loved ones. These things can suck so much energy from us. Shifting this cycle can take practice.
Here are a few suggestions:
1. When you find too much energy going to uncertainty, check in and consider what your gut is telling you to do? What would you do if you had no fear?
Example: Wondering when I will be able to work face to face with clients again has my gut telling me to PANIC and engage in all the “What ifs”
When I ask myself what I would do if I had no fear about work, money and clients I realize that I have a gift of time to “serve the work” differently. I have a pause to create and engage differently. It frees space for me to find a new purpose.
2. Next, as a way to create a new way of thinking, make a T Chart. On the left list all of the things that are causing uncertainty. On the right, next to each uncertainty entry, list something that you can shift your energy to that is in your control.
Example: Left-When will I be able to see family and friends again? I miss being connected. Right- I could organize a virtual happy hour to catch up with my friends.
3. No matter what your faith practice is, this exercise is powerful in shifting your energy from the need to have certainty to a willingness to trust the many ways we have developed knowledge and insight, including instinct, experience, faith, and reason.
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