Its been a while since my last post, and I truly miss connecting with you. Once again, we are in the middle of a cold spell, yet I am convinced that spring is just around the corner. I promise to celebrate with you when that day finally arrives.
Last year we introduced a concept – Brooklyn Legends Inspirations. As we read articles we feel you might enjoy, we add them to our Inspirations file and share them with you in our blog posts. In the November 2013 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine, there was an article by one of my favorite authors – Brene Brown, PhD. Dr. Brown is a highly sought-after speaker, writer and regular contributor to O magazine. I addition to being a fan of Dr. Brown’s sage advice, I was drawn to the title – Dare to Not Know. For me, the concept of not knowing is one that I constantly struggle with. I have spent the past 20+ years as a special event fundraiser, and my life has been mired in a world filled with meetings, details, lists plans and more contingencies. With so much at stake, constant uncertainty would not bode well for me or my career. However once I picked up the article, and substituted my career hat for my creative one, I was all in.
As my family and friends will attest, I have spent the past year brimming with ideas for future projects. In the process, I discovered that I am a huge dreamer. Hopefully, out of these dreams will come great things. In the present moment, the process of being creative has left me feeling several emotions. There are days when I am exhilarated yet exhausted, as I am constantly strategizing how to get everything in place by the time I reach 60 years old. This internal dialogue sounds somewhat like this: Who will benefit? What impact will I have? Where will the support that I need come from? Is this all relevant? What form will my finished plan take? Am I doing enough? And, my all-time favorite how long will this take?
Despite these questions, and others I am bound to come up with, I am having the time of my life dreaming and considering the possibilities. There are times when I could benefit from a healthy dose of patience. So, for me, Dr. Brown’s advice was quite poignant, “if you don’t have all the answers, learn to live in the question.” I got a lot of encouragement from this article. I hope that it will enlighten you as well. When you have a moment, please let us know what you think.
Dare to Not Know
Brene Brown, PhD
Uncertainty makes us feel vulnerable, so we try to escape it any way we can. Sometimes we even settle for misinformation or bad news over not knowing. Have you ever ended up in an Internet rabbit hole of terror while waiting for test results?
Yet it really is possible to thrive amid uncertainty. It’s not about getting advice you can trust; it’s about faith and self-trust—believing that whatever happens, you’ll find a way through it. Without uncertainty, we’d never start a business or risk loving someone new. There are no guarantees when we step into the unknown. But these periods of discomfort can give rise to life’s most important adventures.
Pay attention to what makes you feel better (and worse). The unknown can bring out the worst in us. When I’m deep in uncertainty about work, I can get impatient and snappy with the people who mean the most to me—and that feels terrible. I’ve learned that sleep, exercise and eating healthy make me more patient and calm.
Create an emotional clearing.
Fear tends to drown out our intuition, so it’s essential to carve out moments of quiet—time for meditation, prayer or just a long walk—to reconnect with our gut. I’m still learning to meditate (and it’s not going well), but you can bet that when I have a big talk coming up, I’m out walking near my house, rain or shine, listening for the sound of my inner voice.
Instead of begging everyone in your address book for answers, ask one or two loved ones to remind you that it’s normal to feel vulnerable when you’re in a period of change. As my husband often tells me, “It’s supposed to suck right now. Go walk!” Uncertainty is a necessary part of getting where we want to go.
O, The Oprah Magazine, Nov. 2013