No-thing is certain, the only certainty we have is life itself. Life is beyond all form, all shape or sense of control, it has no limits, it has no edges, it is like the sky itself.
“He took his hands off the oars and pulled in the mooring rope. If I make a couple of loops, he thought, I can strap the axe on to my back.
He had a mental picture of what could happen to a man who plunged into the cauldron below a waterfall with a sharp piece of metal attached to his body.
GOOD MORNING.Vimes blinked. A tall dark robed figure was now sitting in the boat.
‘Are you Death?’
IT’S THE SCYTHE, ISN’T IT? PEOPLE ALWAYS NOTICE THE SCYTHE.
‘I’m going to die?’
‘Possibly? You turn up when people are possibly going to die?’
OH, YES. IT’S QUITE THE NEW THING. IT’S BECAUSE OF THE UNCERTAINTY PRINCIPLE.
I’M NOT SURE.
‘That’s very helpful.”
― Terry Pratchett, The Fifth Elephant
My life has been filled with uncertainty for a very long time. After my year travelling around Australia life never felt as certain to me, even though any feeling of certainty before was an illusion. Once I returned from Australia I couldn’t settle for the longest time, I wanted my freedom to roam back again, but I eventually needed to ground myself back into the UK.
After working for some time I made the decision to leave my job after being guided in a dream. The first couple of years after I left were the most difficult. People often think if you are not working and choosing a different option you are living the life of Riley, but it’s not as easy as you think. I made the choice to have less money, but more freedom to explore my talents, but it was quite a ride and continues to be.
Leaving the 9-5 working life the ego screams at you to go back into the conventional life to fit in, to belong. I found people looking down on me for making my decision, some envious, but many just thinking I was a lazy bum who was lost. Not many people saw my decision as perfect for me in the moment, because I was following my inner guidance not an outer desire to fit in.
“As human beings, not only do we seek resolution, but we also feel that we deserve resolution. However, not only do we not deserve resolution, we suffer from resolution. We don’t deserve resolution; we deserve something better than that. We deserve our birthright, which is the middle way, an open state of mind that can relax with paradox and ambiguity.”
― Pema Chödrön
Over time I gradually began to accept my choice to leave the illusion of security given by a job and as I accepted my choice, others accepted my choice too. Although I feel many in my family never accepted my decision and this is something I also have had to accept. The hardest thing is meeting new people and when they ask what I do for a living it is hard to express what I do, but as I have gone on I am owning my work as a writer and embracing the fact that what I do is not who I am. I sometimes wonder if someone asked me what I do for a living what they would say if I replied ‘I live’
Life is all about learning to dance on the shifting carpet, if we struggle against the unknown we will suffer, but being more mindful helps ease the distress of what can feel a scary unknown.
The only thing that is constant is change. And who you really are always remains the same, that is where peace, joy and genuine happiness lie.
There is only one thing that makes uncertainty more an adventure than an experience of suffering and that is living more in the present, being more mindful.