22 June 2012

Embracing Uncertainty

Life is full of uncertainty.  The quality of one's life is directly proportionate to the amount of uncertainty one can live with. And yet, for me, uncertainty acts to bring up all the usual fears. Fear of the unknown causes me to waste valuable energy and over time puts a negative spin on my perceptions and life.  I know many people who correctly embrace uncertainty with excitement and take it on as a challenge.  My natural tendency is to focus on what I lack -- that special man, hair that cooperates the way I believe it should, a perfectly sculpted body (according to my ideal); blah, blah, blah -- instead of all that I do have right now.  I strive to change my perceptions to positive from negative.  I'm just saying...

My fears of all the uncertainties keep me stuck.  I might live a more secure, safer life, but how about its quality and richness?

I had planned my move to Italy for 4 or 5 years.  I did all the legwork -- tons of research, extra jobs to reduce debt, hours and hours of dreaming what my life would be like in Italy.  After a few years I had done the research and was debt-free, but I had excuses as to why that moment was not the right time to make the move.  Then one day after a series of incidents, I had a moment of clarity.  I would turn 50 the following year, and I got scared.  But this time I was scared into action.  I did not want to get to the end of my life and wonder what if.  What if I had moved to Italy?  What would it have been like?  How would my life have been different?  What if I went to Italy and changed my mind? What if I decided I prefer Italy as a vacation destination instead of a place to call home? What if I allowed my fears to keep me stuck in a place I didn't want to be? What if I lacked the courage to make the move?

In that moment of clarity, I realized that I did not want to be on my deathbed and look back with regret for not having followed my heart, my dream to live in Italy. Wherever you go, there you are.  So here I am two and a half years later.  Each new day brings with it new experiences. I still marvel over the beauty that surrounds me:  the art, the food, the culture, the people, the pazza ("crazy" -- I am being polite using the word for crazy) language.  Yet life in Florence, Italy, is far from perfect. Some of my experiences are not how I imagined they would be. There are many life lessons still to be learned. My work in Italy is not yet finished; therefore, I intend to stay.

Letting go of some control, I packed my bags and moved to Italy.  I had so many questions unanswered.  (Not the way I used to do anything.  I had to have everything figured out first.) I moved here with faith that, in time, everything would fall into place, doors would open, I would survive.  That faith in my future redeemed my decision many times over.  Of course, money remains scarce.  I wonder whether I will have the means to survive this month, or next month, but somehow I do. And then I go through that fear all over again the following month.  (Hmm, I wonder when I will  learn that lesson.)

My progress and growth are slow.  Sometimes so slow that I do not recognize my forward movement, that things do come together, doors do open, life here does work out.

I began to teach yoga classes two months ago.  Yoga is important to me and has been an integral part of my life for several years.  The teaching, though,  is new to me, and I am aware I have much to learn.  But this opportunity to share something about which I am passionate excites me. Even more than that is the precious gift of students who like my teaching style ... and return for the next class. Together we laugh, we sweat, we stretch, we build strength, we do partner poses, we open our hearts, we Om, we unite.  Two Sanskrit words come to mind when I reflect on the hour or so I teach: sangha ("community") and samadhi ("complete absorption, bliss"). I get lost in my teaching.  By "lost" I mean I get in a zone where my head shuts off, mostly, and I teach from my heart. I realize later when I reflect back that I have lost sense of time, I am completely absorbed and enraptured in something I love. During that brief hour or so, my world is perfect.  I have no problems.  I am completely full, fulfilled.  I am love.  I realize that what I experience is a state of WHOLENESS, a form of meditation, bliss.  Fully charged, not lacking a thing.

What surprises me is that had I not embraced the uncertainty and my fears -- leave the USA, come to Italy, settle in Florence, and reach out to everyone, friends and strangers alike -- this opportunity to find myself, to be happy never would be mine. So perhaps peace and serenity can be found in not controlling every last detail, instead letting go and embracing uncertainty.

1 comment:

  1. I dig the catharsis. You are an inspiration to us all Josslyn. Please write more about your life's findings, so I can read and learn.

    In the Best of Regards,