3 self-care practices in an uncertain world

Esther Ekhart address the myth of control and shares three self-care practices to help us relax into this uncertainty.

The myth of control Esther Ekhart

We all long to know what happens next in our life, to have some certainty in our lives. But the truth of existence is that we know nothing about what comes next, and we never did. All we know is this moment and that everything changes constantly.

So yes, we may dream we are in control over our thoughts, situations, other people or how we feel 5 seconds from now. But deep down we know we are not because if we would have some sort of real control, we would only ever have positive thoughts, others would only ever be kind to us, and everything that happens would be just wonderful. This obviously is not the case.

The question then is how we choose to relate to this uncertainty? And in answering that question we may experience some sense of certainty again. This is because we have a choice as to how we respond to a situation that is out of our control and we possibly cannot change.

So even when we can’t change what is happening around us, we still have a choice how we respond to the uncertainty in this world. Choosing to respond consciously and wisely and regularly committing to practicing techniques that we know work to keep us relaxed, builds both your character and resilience.

Spirituality starts when we can relax into uncertainty and not knowing

Spirituality starts when we can relax into uncertainty and not knowing, out of that space we have a chance to find stillness and to reconnect with life as it is, as it presents itself to you. Not knowing can be a quiet and peaceful place. We only become anxious when we think it should be different when we think we should know. So be willing to not know, to feel uncertain, and see if you can relax into that space. Who knows, what happens then might surprise you, you may experience clarity as a result, or a deep connection to the moment, feeling peaceful and free.

3 practices to help you relax into uncertainty and not knowing

1. The sacred pause

Intentionally stop your rushing around and your mental activities, take a conscious deep breath in and out, and for a minute or two, simply pause and notice your inner experience. Recognise your inner experience of what is going on right now, and allow it. Ask yourself the question, can I be with it, or even can I let it be?
Do this several times a day, whenever you think about it.

When we pause, we possibly disrupt our habitual behaviors, and we automatically open to new ways of responding to our often unconscious wants and fears. Also when we pause we turn towards our experience, instead of running away from what we feel. the degree we can be with what is determines our ability to be at peace with the reality of the moment.

2. Acknowledge your fear

Distracting yourself is not going to work long term, we know that, we tried it most of our lives.  Acknowledging fear (or any emotion for that matter)  and being with the feeling of fear has the ability to bring you powerfully into the moment. When you turn up you are able to enter into the feeling you are experiencing. 

When you know what you feel (fear), you are in the same ground where you are able to feel love. So you become vulnerable to feel love, which as a result will disarm fear. The mechanism by which we feel love is the same mechanism by which we feel fear. Feeling love is the antidote to feeling fear.

The felt experience of love has the power to dismantle fear and cut right through it. It is not always easy to find that individually, but the knowledge that more people are facing their fears, if we do it together, we can lean on each other, and lean on feelings held by a community. 

Just say to yourself, I feel a little afraid right now, acknowledging, recognising as well you are not alone, that more people are feeling fearful right now, our shared humanity, and that we are all connected that way. This is how you feel love. Love is the refuge of fear. You can feel the fear and turn it into love. But you first have to feel it.

3. Be ok with not knowing

When I seem to be invested in an outcome or think something needs to go a certain way, I have the sentence “maybe yes, maybe no” ready to apply to the situation. Basically we just don’t know what is the right outcome or way, and It can be very liberating to acknowledge that we don’t know. Regularly say to yourself “I don’t know”. This way you keep your mind and heart open to all possibilities and you allow your life to unfold as it may, lead by a wisdom that goes beyond your mind.

I hope these little tips may be of help to you during uncertain times. 

With love from me to you,

Esther Ekhart

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Esther Ekhart
Esther EkhartEsther Ekhart, face and founder of EkhartYoga, brings years of personal yoga and meditation practice, therapy training and study of yoga philosophy into her teaching.