The value of not knowing

“Being at ease with not knowing is crucial for answers to come to you” ~ Eckhart Tolle

I looked that quote up. It nicely reframes where I am at right now. There are a lot of parts moving in my world and a lot of things I… simply do not know. Yet. And that tends to freak me out. I am a somewhat recovering control freak, and have had to learn the art of not knowing. Well, that sounds nicer than it is. Let’s call it being reasonably okay with not knowing.

A part of me knows, I mean KNOWS, that everything will be alright, no matter what happens. And a part of me is terrified. I mean, with all my life travelling and soul searching I actually do not like change all that much. I think that is human. And yet, life is constant change. So learning skills that allow you to be somewhat okay with that, are, well, somewhat useful.

They say you teach what you have to learn. I have spent two years teaching teenagers the magic of not knowing. And sure, it comes up in my coaching too. I have said wise things such as: “when you can let go of what you know, there is space for new things to arise”. Sounds good huh. And yet, in practice, this practice kicks my butt as much as anyone else’s.

So I practise. I do let go of having to know. That experience can often be quite unpleasant, especially in my body; a sort of murky feeling, stuckness or anxiety. Sometimes it feels like I am in a swamp. Where I see no clear way out, or a direction.

And I remind myself that I am wiser than I know, that I am being guided, even though I have no idea right now where to. There are bigger forces than me at work. I do not know everything. And in that not knowing the magic really can arise. The magic of something new: a new perspective, a new way of being, a new idea.

And even a step further: this is something to be celebrated! A new perspective, a new idea! A step beyond what I have known up until now. Something new, that allows me to move forward, and actually closer to what I want.

And I remind myself these things take time. New perspectives take time to land. Our bodies need time to integrate, to rest, to assimilate, to metabolise. We are all moving so fast in today’s world.

So take a break. Allow yourself not to know. And let that new perspectve arise when it is ready. And trust that it will come.


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Coach, trainer & lover of all things human and relational. Supporting you in finding a deeper connection to yourself & others, so you can truly lead, wherever you are.

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