Note: If you missed the first two weeks of my meditation experience, scroll through the home page to review.
In Day 17 of the Meditation Experience, the Centering Thought is focused on turning unpredictability into creative possibility.
Some have a fear of the unknown. They want to control every aspect of their life to minimize any potential chaos that can occur. Some have a fear of being let down, as perhaps they used to get high expectations on things that were promised but were never delivered on, resulting in disappointment. Those that live in the fear of the unknown have a hard time accepting the true life that is waiting for them. They live by checking boxes, not collecting stories. They live in a “safe zone” that doesn’t allow them the freedom to “soar” until “it’s too late” (or so I’ve heard some say). I always say, “I was given one life to live and I’m gonna live it wisely… by not living by rules all the time!”
You ask anyone that knows me, I’m not a rule follower, I never play it safe, and I’ve taken a lot of risks in my life. Sure, I’ve had failures and disappointments along the way but I like being free. More often than not, people tell me that they live “vicariously through me” because they could never do/experience some of the things I do. I’ve picked up and moved to Seattle, I’ve picked up and moved to San Diego (twice!), I’ve left my corporate job to start my own company, I’ve invested in an app company that (unfortunately) didn’t pan out, I’ve taken gambles on startups, and I’ve pushed my own physical/mental boundaries by trying new things (no matter how nervous I was before it). This grew into pushing people to think differently on how to do things; motivating others to think freely; and accepting opportunities I might otherwise be too afraid to say yes to. While not all of it was roses, these are some of my greatest achievements in life. I’m proud to say, I am a disruptor and I embrace chaos.
I remember in the 80s and the first half of the 90s (before the dot.com era came to fruition), people did live in a “safer” world. People went to their jobs and they came home from their jobs. The majority of the population was married in their early 20s, taking a safe job that provided steady pay, came home at night for dinner and lived a balance life. This was the “thing” that society said you were supposed to do. In my own career, I had a hard time conforming. People called me ungrounded and unsure of my path in life. I was looked at as a liability because I wanted to make dramatic shifts in how things were done, opting for a less rigid work environment where instead, people were free to think and contribute. I wanted to be an ideas person because I could see the larger picture and connect the dots on how to get to the end goal.
With the launch of the internet, and in the next 15 years or so, younger generations were more on my level of thinking, leaving the older generations even more afraid of embracing creativity through chaos. Those safe processes that people conformed to were giving way (quite rapidly) to a million ways to do things with less structure behind it. These older generations weren’t attempting to embrace the unknown – they were pushing back or worse, retreating completely. And, as the years continue to fly by, chaos is becoming the new norm, just as is creative, rapid response.
Take a look at any innovative person who is a titan in their industry – each one of them persevered for the sake of their passion to get where they are today: by breaking rules, disrupting process, and thinking “outside the lines”. (Almost all of them also meditate!) While some have also been successful at playing it safe, the stories aren’t as numerous and aren’t as inspirational (it’s also not where society has been heading).
While this meditation didn’t really apply to me, it was nice to have an entirely new mental image pop into my head during it – watching myself meditate on the edge of an extremely tall cliff, over-looking a waterfall. These images are symbolic to me and the fact that it came so easily, tells me that I already do embrace how to turn that “unknown” and “fear” into creativity. So how do I do it? Well, aside from having always been like this, I also try to look at everyday as a “Christmas surprise”. I wake up everyday, excited to see what today will look like. Every minute of my life changes from the next and embracing that has been the best thing I have ever done.
For those that feel as though this is an impossible task, I suggest you take today’s meditation to help begin the process of allowing yourself a bit more freedom. I also suggest you network or go out and meet people who think more freely – push the boundaries with just this step. They are an incredible source of inspiration that will leave you feeling enlightened and empowered. Before you know it, you’ll be turning “I can’t(s)” into “I can(s)”.