You Are Not a Fish
I'm thinking today about the phrase "not knowing." If you're wondering what this has to do with fish, stay with me.
When I use these words, I think I'm referring to the experience of being present, trusting the process, moving slowly, paying attention, and doing the next thing, whatever that may be in any given moment.
(Note: These are all nice-sounding, easy-to-write things. In real life, they are often challenging, scary, shaky, disorienting. In other words, invitations to practice being good to yourself in the unfolding.)
Not knowing does not mean being passive. In fact, it requires a very active and conscious engagement with life, a choosing of how we want to show up.
And then there is the shadow side of not knowing, which for me is usually some variation on the theme of "I don't know what I'm doing."
The shadow side has strong muscle memory. Given the right conditions, this belief is quick to pop up. I realized this last night while Mani and I were talking. I heard that voice, clear as a bell, and knew enough to question its validity. You know the one -- the impostor syndrome one that loves to bait you.
BUT WAIT, I thought.
YOU ARE NOT A FISH.
YOU DO NOT HAVE TO TAKE THE BAIT.
And so I will stay in "not knowing" without throwing myself under the bus. Again, this might sound like a simple declaration.
But it's more than that. Why? Because declarations can be powerful invitations to the things we most need and want to practice.
What bait are you not willing to take today?
What do you want to declare?
Set a timer for 10 minutes. Begin with this line: “I will not take the bait.” Then keep your hand moving, no matter where the writing goes and without stopping to edit or going back to delete. Tell the judges to take a coffee break.
Join me for a week of writing prompts and practice, August 5-9. So much is out of our hands; sitting down to write doesn’t have to be. Learn more and register today.