There is so much power and freedom in those three little words, “I don’t know” – and yet so many of us, so much of the time, avoid saying them if we can possibly help it. We prefer to pretend we know, or to demand that we know, or to cling to our illusions and opinions of what we “know.” We worry about not being taken seriously if we don’t know something – of looking stupid, ignorant, less than, or out of the loop. We worry we’ll lose our footing in an argument or negotiation if, (heaven forbid) we admit to not knowing something (or everything!).
“I don’t know” is actually a key that can free us from the prisons of our own minds and our rigid ideas and our oh-so-limiting sense of self if we allow it to. Today, I led a meditation for a group of people exploring the concept of “I don’t know.” I’ve written it down and recorded it – and I want to share it with you here. Enjoy! And if you feel so moved, I would love to hear your thoughts, feelings, and insights in the comments.
Here is the meditation of “I Don’t Know”:
Take a deep breath. You can close your eyes if that’s comfortable – or just gently shift them to something peaceful – like looking outside at a tree or the sky or flowers.
Another deep breath and relax your shoulders. Did they drop when you thought about relaxing them? Were they up around your ears? Just notice … and keep breathing gently, in and out.
Relax your shoulders again. Feel the tension leaving your body. Breathe in and out. Relax your body, relax your mind.
What if you didn’t have to know anything?
What if it were okay for you to just BE … and breathe?
What if you didn’t have to have all of the answers? What if you didn’t have to figure anything out – or fix anything? Just breathe.
What if you didn’t have to hold so tightly to the thoughts of who you think you are? Or to the thoughts of who you think anyone else is?
What if you could just let go of all of the endless chatter in your brain? Let go of all of the judgments, criticisms, irritations, worries, anger at yourself and others. Just breathe and be at peace.
What if the parade of justifications and defenses and accusations would stop marching through your thoughts … and you could just relax and be at peace?
What if you stopped feeling like you had to explain yourself or justify yourself or prove yourself? What if you could just breathe and relax and enjoy this moment, this day, feeling loved and connected? Just breathe.
What if your thoughts just floated on by and you didn’t feel like you needed to grab onto them and cling to them to provide you with an identity?
What if you let the edges of your identity blur a little bit and create more flexibility and expansiveness in what is possible for you? That can feel really threatening for many of us. Just breathe.
What if you could choose in each moment who and how to be, what to create in your life? That can also feel scary to us. So many of us cling to our fixed identities, an illusion of “safety” in the world.
Who would we be if we didn’t KNOW who we are? And yet, here we are, just breathing, sitting in the not knowing. Sitting in some big questions about Life. And still breathing. Relaxing. Drop your shoulders again. Relax your belly. Wiggle your jaw. You are still here. Alive. Breathing. You.
We don’t disappear or lose ourselves just because we question our own thoughts. One of my favorite bumper stickers is, “Don’t believe everything you think.”
If our thoughts and minds aren’t completely running the show, then who is? Who are we? Do our thoughts matter? Are you feeling resistance to this questioning? Just relax and breathe. Just notice.
There is nothing to fix or to change. There is only the breath. Breathe in and out. Allow yourself to connect and feel that inner sense of Self – beyond thought. That presence within that is you.
Don’t worry if you don’t feel anything. You aren’t wrong. This isn’t a test. You are not failing. What if you KNEW that in every moment of life, you were feeling/thinking/living/ experiencing the EXACT thing you were meant to be in each moment?
What if you KNEW that you could not make a mistake – that you could not mess it up? And if you feel resistance to that thought, then can you welcome that resistance? If you could let go of fighting and just breathe.
What if you could be in a space of deep self-love and acceptance – and just relax into that … and breathe?
Nothing to prove.
Nowhere else to be.
Nothing else to do.
Your mind gets a break from thinking and planning and strategizing and explaining.
You get to just be present in this moment, relaxed and breathing.
You can carry this inner peace with you. You can return to it at any time you wish. Just call it to you. Just let go into it.
Take another deep breath, and you can open your eyes if they were closed. Come back into the room and let’s share, let’s explore, let’s ponder without worrying about what we know or don’t know, whether we are “right” or even about who we think we are. Play with being present. Play with how you think. Play with letting go and just Be-ing and breathing. You are loved.
And here is the recording: