Updated: Sep 6, 2019
Over the past few weeks, I experienced different times of uncertainty. For some people, it is defined as anxiety or stress and for others an indescribable feeling of not knowing what happens next.
As I write this my son just went off to his new adventure: Kindergarten. Leading up to this event some parents have described their worries, hopes, and excitement. As we move through an array of emotions for moments such as a new challenge, it is undeniable that we are on a rollercoaster of feelings. The interesting thing is that no matter how prepared we are or how we imagined the final situation is going to turn out, we never get a confirmation ahead of time of what is going to happen.
Just a couple weeks ago, I held a staff workshop for 50+ people and prepared myself as much as I thought was useful. I knew what I wanted to talk about and I had a game plan. Once I entered the room, I let go of everything I planned and just remembered what really mattered to talk about mindfulness. My goal was to connect with the people in the room, stay in the present moment, and guiding them on how mindfulness can be accessed in their daily lives. I left the workshop accomplished and at the same time had uncertainty if how I felt matched the experience of the staff and directors. My feeling of the unknown wasn't leading up to the event but once the event was completed. The only way I was able to let go, was to talk to the director and asking her feedback.
It doesn't matter what situation we are in, feelings come and go. Some emotions feel good and some are more challenging. One thing I learned through mindfulness is that there are no wrong feelings, it is more of a question on how we handle them and how much we hold on to them. The more we hold on to our feelings the harder it is for us to move on and experience the full variety of emotions. And remember, we are not the emotion.
If we let ourselves feel an emotion, just breathe and stay with it, we will notice that by staying with the breath and focusing on our inhale and exhale, the emotion gets less and less. It might take a couple of days, it might take a conversation we are avoiding, or it might go away as fast as it came, however realizing by just identifying an emotion we are able to get out of our fight-flight-freeze mode and are able to make better choices on how to move on.