What Should You Do When You Don’t Know What to Do?

These are uncertain times, with disruptions and upheavals in all aspects of our personal, financial, social, economic, medical, political, and climate realities.  We fear how long this uncertainty will continue, and worry how bad it’s going to get before it gets better.  We’re anxious to know how soon our will lives go back to normal, and we fear what the new normal will be like when all the dust settles.

There are lots of highly paid talking heads bloviating 24/7, but nobody says anything that placates our anxiety.  Quite the opposite, in fact.  These are unprecedented times, and nobody really knows anything.  The stock market is up for “this reason” today, and then the stock market is down tomorrow for the same reason. 

The only thing that’s certain is uncertainty.  They only thing we know  is, “This too shall pass.”

The sages say there is opportunity in crisis.  And we are definitely a world in crisis, but what is the opportunity? 

Wise aphorisms aside, crises are scary, and when I’m anxious and afraid, my body experiences an increase in adrenaline and cortisol that urges me to “DO SOMETHING!” so I can get back to safety.

But what should I do when I don’t know what to do?  What can I do when the illusion of safety only exists in an unknown future?

Since I was a young boy, I’ve enjoyed playing chess.  And the secret to winning at chess is not so much about making great moves.  It’s  about not making bad moves, which happens when you move too quickly, or don’t see the whole board because of tunnel vision–both of which are biological impacts of adrenaline and cortisol!

Yeah, but what should I DO when I don’t know what to DO?

There’s a grove of ancient redwood trees near my house that I often visit when I’m feeling anxious.  For hundreds of years they’ve been turning carbon dioxide into oxygen, and growing slowly toward the sun.  They’ve weathered thunderstorms, drought, fire, insects.  When I listen for the wisdom they’ve gained through the ages they inevitably tell me: “If you don’t know what to do, don’t do anything.”

Hmmm.  So then, what should I do when I don’t know what to do?  Expand my field of vision and my capacity for patience, until I do know what to do. 

And how do I do that? 

Diving deeper into my daily meditation practice. 

If you don’t have a daily meditation practice, this is your opportunity in the crisis.  A mere two minutes per day is all it takes to start and make a noticeable difference.  And I can tell you from experience with my clients, those who don’t have a daily meditation practice get left in the dust by those that do.

I’ve been practicing meditation and breathwork for 35 years, and I’ve done and tried just about every method under the incense.  I’ve distilled what I’ve learned into a practice that’s simple, easy, and guaranteed to change your life.  I call it “Tuning to the Key of Me.”

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  If you have any questions or feedback, I’d love to hear it! Until next time, keep washing your hands, and keep turning oxygen into carbon dioxide underneath your mask!