When are we not stepping into the unknown? How do we approach that, with enthusiasm or dread? Sometimes we find not knowing an adventure, exciting even. Sometimes we’re filled with anxiety. The truth is, we wake every morning to the unknown day ahead, and yet we live in the illusion that we know. Yes, we lay out our plans for the day. Our calendars are filled with appointments and meetings, the things we think we know are going to happen. And then, things change. Life happens and we adapt, or not. This is the law of impermanence and the practice of not grasping onto outcomes. How do we remain flexible and adaptable enough to keep putting one foot in front of the other, not knowing. We’re going to have our ups and downs, life is like that, it’s messy. And, it’s full of beauty. Can we approach each day as intrepid explorers, maintaining our sense of curiosity and awe as we move forward through the messiness? Like these photos of Mary while traveling in Scotland and Ireland, we were always stepping through an opening or around a corner, just beyond what we knew to be, what we could see right in front of us. Yes, it was a vacation, an adventure. And along the way we made adjustments, like stumbling upon a lovely castle tucked away in the woods of Invergarry that served lunch, the Queen’s coronation chicken sandwich, when we hadn’t planned to stop. Or changing hotels on the spot when we found the one we’d booked was not acceptable, which then lead to a boat tour we had all but decided not to do. How do we carry that relaxed adaptability into our day-to-day being-ness. As I sit at my desk writing this, the cat at my elbow patiently waiting for the opening to slink onto my lap, I have just one thing on my calendar for the day, lunch downtown with a friend. At any moment that could change, something could come up. So my hope is that I will walk downtown at the prescribed meeting time to the designated lunch spot, for a lovely meal with someone I haven’t seen in a while. If we can stay open to the mystery of what’s coming next it can help us reduce the suffering caused by our illusion of being in control. Just a thought as we come closer to crossing the threshold into the new year.
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