Life many times can be confusing and challenging. We may find we live life with the intention to grow our sense of self-awareness and well being with each new day but can be thrown off balance by events, thoughts, and emotions that loom before us large and unexpected. In this we may find we are often, if not always, unprepared for what comes our way, unprepared for being unprepared. Unprepared, to be thrown off balance, yet again. As if we can be prepared for being unprepared? Can we be? Perhaps we can be. Perhaps this is one of our tasks on this journey of life and growing wisdom day by day. Being prepared and becoming comfortable with being unprepared, becoming comfortable with the meeting of this moment as it rises up from the birth place of the dying of the last and dies a renewal into the birthplace of the next.
One of the speakers, at the recent Center for Mindfulness Conference outside Boston that I attended, very eloquently spoke about preparing to be unprepared. Bringing into the foreground the principle of beginner’s mind. Preparing to be unprepared in every moment. Befriending our capacity to be surprised anew as each moment arises. Not only surprised by and meeting the joyful, but also the decidedly ugly and unadorned moments of raw painful life.
So how can we prepare for being unprepared? In the teaching of mindful principles we speak about surprise and allowing beginner’s mind to inhabit our every moment. In learning to work with being completely open to being unprepared I find that I am more and more never really surprised anymore. That I deeply understand it be possible that everything and anything can happen and exist within this space we call life. The concept of ‘this too’ is fully realised. Nothing is surprising anymore. The confounding aspect, however, of letting go of surprise is that I find myself constantly amazed and in awe of what is possible, of what is present, of the unfolding nature of life itself. That every moment takes on a new possibility of being fully awake to all that unfolds, however unprepared for it I may feel. And there in lies the beauty, the raw power, the pain, the joy, and the full untethered capacity for love, compassion and being fully alive.
Try it. Open up to being completely unprepared for what may happen next. You may be surprised, or not.
This poem is worth repeating on this blog
Life by Juan Ramón Jiménez
What I used to regard as a glory shut in my face,
was a door, opening
toward this clarity:
Country without a name:
Nothing can destroy it, this road
of doors, opening, one after another,
always toward reality:
Life without calculation!