“I am scared Mommy.”
“I know sweetie. You feel uncertain.”
We were in the car on the way to my daughter’s first day of summer camp. In the mind of a 6-year-old this ranked high on the list of most stressful life situations. Just two weeks prior she had finished her first year of school as a kindergartner and was in a groove. She had friends that she sat with each day. A teacher she adored and greeted with a big hug every morning. Her days were predictable. And it felt safe.
Now on the way to camp she had no clue what was in store for her. It occurred to me that this was her first real summer. The first time for her to understand what summer meant–no school for 10 weeks and a chance to play every single day!
So while I knew that camp would bring her pure joy, in this moment, she sat in the back seat filled with fear of the unknown.
We pulled up to the new location. We walked to the registration table outside the main entrance. She clung on to my leg tight as I checked her in. Tears started to flow down her face. The cheerful camp volunteer gave her a huge smile and outstretched his hand.
She clung my leg tighter.
“You can do it. Be brave.” I looked her in the eyes and told her.
She hesitantly let go of my leg, timidly grabbed his hand and slowly started walking. When she turned back around to look at me I gave her an encouraging nod. I needed to give her faith that everything would be okay. I imagined her tiny little heart beating fast as she walked the short 25 yards to open the door.
The truth is — I knew exactly what my daughter was feeling in that moment. Uncertainty and fear of the unknown have been overwhelming emotions for me as I have adjusted to my new single life post-divorce. For so many years I was in a groove and things were predictable. I was comfortable. I felt safe.
Today my life is in total flux. So many unknowns. Where will I live after my lease runs out? Where will my kids go to school? Where will my career take me? What will happen with this blog? Will I find a partner to share my life or will I be going solo? The list goes on and on.
I hate uncertainty. It’s unsettling. It’s uncomfortable. It’s scary. But it’s really a transition feeling. It’s that moment my daughter had walking the short distance before opening the door to enter camp. It’s not knowing if the future will bring joy or if it will bring sadness. Will an endeavor be a success or failure?
The A-type in me gets pre-occupied with trying to solve uncertainty and quickly move through it in order to find out the answer. While clinging on to my comforts of routine and planning to help me feel secure.
But uncertainty is not something I can solve.
Yoga teaches us to find the space between ease and discomfort. I took a Yin class this morning to remind me of this principle. For those not familiar with yoga, Yin is a slow paced class where poses are held for longer periods of time – typically 5 minutes or longer. Yin is extremely mental because holding a pose for that long is uncomfortable and kind of sucks at first. When I got into the first pose this morning my monkey mind went wild trying to figure out how to relax. I wondered when the teacher was going to call time. I wanted to get out of the pose as quickly as possible.
But then something happened.
I allowed myself to just BE in the pose. I focused on my breath. I had faith that my body was not going to break and I would be okay. I focused on the present and found the ease in the discomfort.
And that’s all I can do with the uncertainty that is going on in my life. I can make myself aware of the feeling and allow myself to just be in it. Get comfortable being uncomfortable. Give my own self an encouraging nod as I go through a life transition. Have faith that no matter what happens it will be okay.
I will be okay.
If you are depressed you are living in the past.
If you are anxious you are living in the future.
If you are at peace you are living in the present.
― Lao Tzu