16 Tips on How to Navigate Uncertainty

About 18 months ago, I had the privilege of spending five days and four nights at Canyon Ranch in Tucson, Arizona. I was able to bring my 23 year old daughter with me. Canyon Ranch is a wellness facility. The array of health and wellness options are vast. The food is delicious and healthy. I was very interested in learning about wellness programs focusing on spirituality, mind/body and even 1:1 counseling. We shared our time together hiking, swimming, soaking in the sun, the spa amenities and tried some new cool jumping gadgets.

As I was looking for ideas to write about this week, I found my notes from a group class called “Spiritual Wisdom for Navigating Uncertainty” so I decided to share their tips and my experience.

Eight women were in attendance and many much older than me. Some were widows, some lost children, one dealing with forced retirement and a few suffering from personal, physical pain - but trying to grasp with newness of uncertainty.

The leader was a calm, gentle women with a nice manner - just what you would expect. She was someone who you immediately trusted and could pour your heart out to if given the chance. She started the session by giving us an equation:

Pain x Resistance = Suffering

If you are in pain and you resist the feeling, then your suffering is greater.

Here are the 16 Tips on How to Navigate Uncertainty:

  1. Reality Check: Change is the nature of life. We have a finite time.
  2. Ground Your Body: Slowing down and practicing attentive breathing, yoga, rhythmic dance helps to place your body in space and open your mind.
  3. Practice Curious, Open, Non-Judging Awareness: Don’t assume good or bad and trust yourself. No preconceived outcomes.
  4. Dedicate Yourself to Spiritual Practice: you need to have silence, solitude and stillness as you manage the uncertainty. Some examples were: Prayer, Mediation, Gardening and Journaling.
  5. Respond to Fear with Faith: Consciously decide to move towards the uncertainty trusting yourself that it will be okay and having faith in a higher power.
  6. Let Go of Control: Lean back and let it all fall apart - when in doubt - do less.
  7. Remember What You Don’t Know: Humility meaning you have absolutely no idea how to navigate this new situation. It’s ok - you can learn.
  8. Embrace Paradox: Even though it’s not clear and may be confusing, you should embrace it. Clarity will come with time.
  9. Have Compassion for Your Feelings: It’s okay to be angry even if it scares you.
  10. Have Compassion for Others: People in your life may not know how to react although they want to help. Understand it comes from a good place.
  11. Practice Forgiveness: Forgive from the heart.
  12. Seek Community and Belonging: Join a support group -connection is not dependency.
  13. Practice “Grateful Seeing”: Gratitude even in it’s barest form can lift you higher and provide a positive path.
  14. Be of Service: Give of yourself to others.
  15. Ask for Help: Surround yourself with those that can help you clear the clutter when you are unsure of where to turn.
  16. Make Meaning of Experiences: Learn from the uncertainty and view it as a chance to expand as a human being.

The session was very interesting. I believe that we all walk into our days with a bit of uncertainty. Life often continues to disappoint, satisfy and surprise us all at once.

She closed the session with a quote - “Shit Grows Flowers”. Yes it does!

Love your feedback via email to: alison@alisonaschneider.com

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