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  • Amina Aitsi-Selmi

The space between stories (don’t panic)

This week we saw frightening images of families driving through thick, dark smoke with raging forest fires either side of the road (California wildfires). The stuff of my apocalyptic nightmares. It reminded me of families all around the world who have to abandon their homes through no choice of their own to escape disasters - manmade and other. The data we have show that extreme weather events of this kind are going to increase in frequency and intensity as climate change proceeds. There’s a universal message here: we’re in a period of rapid change and uncertainty. And we’re all in it together. If you’re in a period of transition in your life (career, relationships, health, etc), you’ll know how it feels not to know what’s going to happen next. You may feel like you’re walking through dark fog and perhaps an intense discomfort that makes your mind race. MOVING THROUGH DARKNESS Living in a culture of fast facts and working in a knowledge economy where being an expert gives you identity and remuneration, not knowing can seem very unsafe. Not having an immediate answer to a question, whether at work or in your personal life, can trigger a state of anxiety, circular thinking and harsh inner-criticism. It can also cause you to make rash decisions, procrastinate or go looking for answers in all the wrong places. Charles Eisenstein calls it the space between stories. The old is crumbling and the new isn’t visible yet. And it can feel very dark and frightening. But just as if you were driving through a fire, the answer isn’t to think your way out. It’s not to give in to fear and stop either. You’re called to tap into your greatest courage and become very present to the situation. The answers come as you tune out any background noise and ramp up your ability to sense where to move towards and where to swerve. Your survival instincts will play a large part but also a deeper knowing of the right thing to do. “In order to know, first you have to not know” Eckhart Tolle SENSING NOT THINKING Change requires a period of messiness, uncertainty and not knowing. In today’s world, we’re in a constant state of flux, so there’s always a change of some kind happening. From a Buddhist perspective, it’s simply a fact of life: impermanence. Panicking and letting your mind get out of control won’t help. It’s a time to get very still inside and sense. This may be counterintuitive to your mind as it starts scrambling for answers and finding things to do - anything but the discomfort of not knowing. However, this aversion or resistance to the natural state of not knowing will prolong the dark discomfort beyond its natural duration. As we enter the last six weeks of the year, are you willing to stop the struggle and tune in at a deeper level? Will you cut out the noise - the distractions that drain your energy - and free up your schedule to be with what needs to be heard in the darkness? The answers you’re seeking will meet you there. Have a great week, Amina

It’s today! At 6pm UK: “What to do when you don’t know what to do” 60 minute webinar. Join me for this webinar conversation on balancing the equation of knowing (all the facts) versus doing (what it takes) when your career and life is changing. This is a small group event in which I'll share what I've learned through the evolution of my medical career and beyond with time for Q&A. See how others are coached through a sense of stuckness. We'll explore:

  • What “I don’t know what to do” really means and the real reason behind the sense of stuckness

  • The easiest way back to clarity

  • 3 preventive factors

Register here to receive the Zoom link:

Date: 14h of November, 6pm UK / 1pm EST / 10am PST. More info on past webinars here:

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