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I think it's much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong. --Richard P. Feynman

The Wisdom of Forgetting Everything You Know

--by Gail Brenner, syndicated from aflourishinglife.com, Jan 29, 2013

“Right now, and in every now-moment, you are either closing or opening. You are either stressfully waiting for something – more money, security, affection – or you are living from your deep heart, opening as the entire moment, and giving what you most deeply desire to give, without waiting.”
~David Deida

Just for a minute, can we please stop frantically trying to control, plan, and delude ourselves into thinking we know what we don’t know? Do you spend your time preparing for every possible outcome and worrying about all the negative consequences that could befall you?

We are so afraid to let go, to just be, to allow the unfolding of this marvelous life without getting in the way. This fear keeps us paralyzed and stuck. And longing for the peace that is possible – if only we would put down all the efforts we make to know.

There is no greater gift you can give yourself than the invitation to enter the world of not knowing.

Why? If you are always going to know what you know now, things will always stay the same. How could they change? And by thinking you know what will happen, you are closing yourself off to the unimaginable – endless peace, unspeakable joy, awe and wonder.

If you cling to what is familiar and comfortable, that is where you will live. Until you decide to take the plunge and let yourself not know.

And consider this: Is the familiar and comfortable working for you? If you are happy, there is nothing to be done. Yay! But if you struggle with people and emotions, if you are frustrated when the world doesn’t go according to your plan, forget what you know and take a bold, brazen step into the unknown.

Getting Unstuck

Here is what not knowing looks like:

You wake up on a weekend morning without any plans, and you let your day unfold.

You stop saying the same unproductive statement to your partner and let yourself not know what will happen next.

You sit and take a breath rather than propelling yourself forward into the next activity.

You press pause on a habit without knowing what you will do or say next.

You let your routine fall away so you can be guided by the natural flow of things.

You let go of, “I have to…” and let yourself rest for a moment.

You tell yourself the truth about the motivation behind the things you do, and surrender to not knowing.

You forget who you think you are. Instead of same old, same old, you show up fresh, new, and unencumbered.

Just contemplating any of the examples on this list may make you gasp for air. How could you have no plans for a whole day or stop carrying out familiar routines?

How to Forget What You Know

Center yourself in the wisdom of not knowing:

You are aligned with the truth of things as they are.

You open to the possibility of freedom from habits that are limiting and painful.

You live in reality and not in your mind-constructed version of a false reality.

You are here, alive, embodied, available.

Then, from this space of your truest desire, simply stop. Have the courage to let life unfold. Put the mind aside and be receptive to what happens next. This is the sacred shift from doing to being.

Maybe you’re afraid you won’t get out of bed all day or you’ll end up like a slug on the couch. Maybe you fear not being able to contain joy or love. Maybe you wonder if your life circumstances will change dramatically.

It is natural to be afraid to let go of the known. Remember that life wants you to live fully and to express yourself in beautiful and amazing ways. But you can’t know what they are.

Be willing to forget everything you know – about yourself, others, and the way you think the world works. Stop, be quiet, and don’t know. You just might discover exactly what you have been looking for your whole life.

What is your experience with the unknown? Does fear keep you stuck? I’d love to hear…




This article is reprinted here with permission from the author. Gail Brenner, Ph.D. is a psychologist and blogger. Her blog, A Flourishing Life, offers practical wisdom for discovering the happiness, peace, and joy available in this very moment.


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