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The Magic of Not Knowing – And New Year’s Book Giveaway!

December 18, 2018

Being at ease with not knowing is crucial for answers to come to you. – Eckhart Tolle

Miracles are like pimples, because once you start looking for them you find more than you ever dreamed you’d see. – Lemony Snicket, The Lump of Coal

Solstice is a time of transition, insight, and magic. This Solstice I wish you the magic of not knowing. As I contemplate the world and my own life this past year, I find that so much of the pain we experience and cause is rooted in our certainty that we know: Know what the world needs, know what someone else means, know what is possible, or know we are right. These might all sounds like good things to know, and I allow that sometimes they may be, but our addiction to knowing them can also blind us. When we know we are closed off – we are done listening, or inquiring, or really looking. And when we don’t listen, inquire, or look we don’t hear, realize, or see.

This kind of closed knowing I’m talking about is both conceptual and perceptual. It provides a framework for how we see the world, and how we react to it. Of course we actually need a framework like this to function in our daily lives –  we need to know that red means stop and green means go, that touching a hot stove will result in us getting hurt, that vegetables are good for us, and that 2+2=4. We spend a lot of our childhood accumulating this kind of knowledge. Gradually we add a lot more things to it, or in many cases, those around us imprint them upon us – our preferences, our beliefs, our values, our sense of our self, our way of interacting in the world. None of it is a problem, in and of itself, until it becomes solidified. At some point we forget that we’ve absorbed a lot of this unquestioningly, never examining it for ourselves. We forget we didn’t choose it.

So try an experiment – just for one day, choose. As thoughts arise in your mind, judgements and ideas, try questioning them, or letting go of them entirely. Experiment with not knowing.

Try not knowing:

what’s best for someone else

how a particular situation will turn out

your view on a political issue

what foods you like (or don’t)

what you are capable of

what someone else is capable of

what’s impossible

what you should do

that you are right

where you end and others begin

what’s true

what’s real

This kind of not knowing can be very scary. We rely on our knowings to prop us up – they are the support beams of our psyche. But life has a way of showing us this particular house is actually pretty rickety. Something unexpected or unwanted comes along like a big gust of wind and threatens to blow the entire thing down. When this happens, we have two choices – we can shut our eyes and cling ever tighter to one beam as the storm rages around us, or we can just let go and let it all collapse. When we do the latter, we often have the opportunity to connect with a lighter kind of knowing – kindness, inquisitiveness, humility, authenticity, clarity, creativity, energy. These kinds of knowings aren’t based on concepts, ideologies, or words, but they allow us to interact with the world directly – and often more effectively then that heavier kind of knowing.

I’m not advocating a kind of nihilism here, or paralyzing self-doubt. This isn’t about negating truth or hope. On the contrary, I think letting go opens the way to a deeper truth, miracles even. All sorts of things happen all the time that we can’t explain. You can call this grace, or spirit, or God/Goddess, or synchronicity – it doesn’t really matter. All of those words are often used to explain things we can’t explain any other way.

Embrace this not knowing as an opening, a starting over, a place from which you can look at everything anew, fresh, without any preconceptions. Maybe you’ll discover you like lima beans now, or that your teenage son actually does know what’s best for himself. Maybe you’ll discover a fresh approach to a problem, or realize that someone you used to dislike has changed. Maybe you’ll have a new idea for your life, or a new sense of what matters to you. Maybe you’ll be surprised by the world. Maybe you’ll realize you’re made of light. Maybe you’ll witness a miracle.

I hope you do, I wish that for you – I wish it for all of us.

I’d love for you to share what you wish – for yourself, for others, for the world – this solstice. As I’ve done in the past, as a gratitude gift, on New Year’s day I’ll enter everyone who does so into a drawing to win one of the following three books, all published this year, and all related to topics of this blog. All you need to do is enter your wish as a comment, and include an email address (which will not display) for me to contact you should you win. You will have the option of receiving the book you win as a hardcopy or on Kindle:

 

 

Wisdom Rising: Journey into the Mandala of the Empowered Feminine, Lama Tsultrim Allione

 

 

 

 

 

Raise Clairaudient Energy, Cyndi Dale

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trauma Sensitive Mindfulness: Practices for Safe and Transformative Healing, David Treleaven

 

 

 

Happy solstice, Christmas, New Year’s, and anything else you celebrate. I look forward to reading your wishes. XO – Lisa

 

19 Comments leave one →
  1. Kate permalink
    December 18, 2018 5:04 pm

    I wish for all of us, total surrender! ✨✨✨✨

  2. December 18, 2018 5:05 pm

    Reblogged this on Not Tomatoes.

  3. Emilia permalink
    December 18, 2018 6:09 pm

    I wish we were all more kind and gentle with ourselves first and then with the world.

  4. Susan permalink
    December 18, 2018 6:13 pm

    I’m glad you are doing this again and I really love this post. This year has been about letting go of pain from my past, and not knowing what the future holds has been both scary and freeing. So I wish that kind of freedom for everyone – the freedom to heal and change.

  5. December 18, 2018 6:21 pm

    Thank you for the reblog Alethea, and I downloaded Warrior or Light, so excited to read it myself and share with my kids (all tweens/teens now.)

  6. December 18, 2018 6:58 pm

    Thank you for the beautiful insights, Lisa. I wish for greater openness to the unknown aspects of myself and those around me; greater trust in what is unfolding within and without; and greater courage to dance ,sing, and serve in this space. Happy Solstice!

  7. Michelle Pereira permalink
    December 18, 2018 7:03 pm

    I wish for individuals all over to obtain respect, basic human rights, and a sense of courage and hope in order to fight all obstacles created to burden humanity. Through this individually we will be released from all that seeks to resist change and peace.

  8. Ana permalink
    December 18, 2018 9:24 pm

    I wish for self awareness and insight for us all and for feminine power to continue to rise in the world. Respectfully, Ana

  9. Themila permalink
    December 18, 2018 9:57 pm

    Hey Lisa!

    Thank you for sharing this article on the good side of not knowing! Lately I more dealt with the agony and confusion that results from it. I agree with the humbling aspect and how our views are softened and our heart more open by the big questions we cannot answer.
    Your publication just popped in when I was trying to making peace with doubt and inner confusion!

    Yes we don’t need to have all the explanations and answers to find peace. Sometimes life mysteries bring back the magic of living and doubt opens us to new possibilities.

    I too always feel the solstices as great energy shifts. This year paradoxically on summer solstice I let darkness eclipse my sun. I wish for this winter solstice to surprise me with understanding.

    I keep a visual image of a candle in the dark for weeks now as I persevere through hard times. I keep saying it takes a small sparkle to keep darkness away.

    But darkness is not the absence of light but the absence of hope to see the light at the end of the tunnel!

    So I wish for hope to keep carrying me until I find my inner compass again. Namaste

  10. Teri q permalink
    December 18, 2018 10:50 pm

    Reminds me of my favorite quote from zen teacher Shunryu Suzuki, “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few”
    I wish beginners mind for everyone.

  11. December 19, 2018 12:14 am

    Thank you for bringing this up, it is exactly what I needed to read.
    My wish is to embrace my present self and to let go of knowing my past, while staying grounded.
    I wish the same to all those who are in the same situation.

  12. Dora permalink
    December 19, 2018 2:11 pm

    For us all to find happiness and the root if happiness and be free from suffering and the root of suffering.

  13. Sigrun permalink
    December 19, 2018 3:28 pm

    May we all know ourselves through each other.

  14. December 19, 2018 9:46 pm

    A belief in magic, I think we could all use some right about now.

  15. Kristie permalink
    December 21, 2018 9:10 am

    I wish for each of us to rest in simplicity.

  16. December 21, 2018 5:51 pm

    What a wonderful and timely post, and so full of depth and truth. Thank you! I wish for everyone to deeply understand the interconnectedness of it all, that what we do for or against other beings has immediate ramifications for ourselves. I wish for more compassion and self-compassion, and for everyone to realize the importance of taking responsibility for one´s own actions and path of healing. E-Mail: mariaelenaknolle@gmail.com.

  17. Nikki D permalink
    December 22, 2018 1:06 am

    I wish for all of us to discover what truly brings us joy!

  18. Heidi Schepis permalink
    December 23, 2018 6:48 pm

    I wish to know Truth, and give up “knowing” who or what I am – to be a fluid stream in Eternity. ❤

  19. February 1, 2019 3:26 am

    A believe in magic. I think these article what Iam searching for from yesterday. Thank you for sharing! These article very very funtastic and amazing cause I am fans of harry potter so much and love about magic!. haptotherapieophetwater.nl/spanning-in-lichaam

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