Finding your sense of direction through open exploration
I’ve been reflecting this week on the creative tension between having a clear sense of direction and goals, and of letting life emerge and evolve while sensing a way forward based on what is arising. They are sometimes seen as opposites, of convergence and divergence. I am not so sure this is the case.
As a spiritual traveller, and seasoned psychotherapist, I find it’s often the case that holding the premise ‘I don’t know yet’ is the most useful place to be. For reality is, we do not know. Ever. The future is not now. When we hold open, when we are curious, and we explore, nothing is closed off. We are able to notice, acknowledge and explore whatever it is that is here in the present, and there will be gems and gifts aplenty.
And yet, as well as being energy, we are matter. We are light, but not only light, we also have form and shape. We are able to sense what it is that is right for us, what it is that is good to do, all things considered. Openness is not an end in itself, it ebbs and flows like any experience. It’s presence or absence in itself gives important information about the rightness or otherwise of the path we are on.
While committed to exploring and learning continually, I’ve learned over the years that there is a slowly evolving combination of practices that keep me well. It’s different for everyone. Be it doing HIT sessions and boxing, taking long walks, taking care of what you eat and drink, having pets to care for, social contact, yoga, meditation, playing music, reading, creating art...there will be a mix and rhythm of activities that suit you, that hold you, and keep you well.
For having a sense of direction, and letting life emerge are not opposites. They are parts of a bigger whole. We can have intentions to move in directions that uplift and energise us, and yet stay open to the particulars of how that emerges. We can have commitments to change our work, to be in relationship, to create a life that is sustainable, without knowing the particular shape that that will take. It matters to have a sense of what our vow is, of what we are committed to for ourselves and of the way we wish to show up in the world. Commitment energises and gives a context to explorations.
So, when you feel its right to explore in an open ended way, celebrate that. And, ask yourself, for what purpose? What quality of experience is it that you seek to invite in, or to pass by? What is your intention? What do you want to bring into being, to evolve, or to end? Give your explorations the vibrance of a context, for without context, there is no meaning.