england life

Musings from the Eurostar on Uncertainty and Commitment

I’ve been about as non-committal as a person can be lately, hardly ever knowing my plans more than a few days out. It started with trying to figure out when I would officially vacate my home for the summer and when I would leave the town I live in, and continues to the present, where I’ve found myself in London without a lot of clarity with my plans. Life is unfolding as it will, and in a way, I like the dynamic nature of allowing the truth of spontaneity to arise in the moment. I can’t even begin to imagine taking on a long trip and having any sort of itinerary lasting any extended length of time. It’s a two edged sword, however, because with a lack of commitment to a plan/future, my life is constantly uncertain, which imbues my experience with some anxiety. Living simply in the moment seems to elude me some.

The interesting thing in all of this to me, and one which is spurring me to write here, is that despite my generally noncommittal nature, the more committed I am to plans and a specific future agenda, the happier I seem to be. Anxiety wanes with commitment, and I can relax more into the moment rather than always trying to figure out the future. So it’s a bit of a dance I seem to do in my life – enduring anxiety while waiting for clarity to appear, following the ease and direction of clarity as it arises until time gobbles up the future and spits me back out on the porch of uncertainty. Is there another way? Can I learn to trust more in commitment to plans and future? It certainly seems to bring me ease and capacity.

So far on this trip, I’ve spent a couple of days with my friend Sonia whom I met at the Buddhafield Festival here in England a couple of years ago. Last night we went to an “Om” circle, sponsored by the Theosophical Society in London. What pray tell? Om Circle: Two concentric circles of chairs, one on the outside facing in, and the other (1/3rd the size) on the inside facing out. Everyone chants an Om chant continuously for 45 minutes, fingers in Heart Mudra, with each person spending 1/4th the time in the center receiving the energy of the chant. It was lovely, and certainly part of what I needed to begin to re-energize and come back to myself (which seems to be what is needed at the moment). Afterward we went to the home of some friends of hers where we shared food/drink and played/sang music together. Ah, the wonders of travel magically reappeared – meeting new people, making new friends, having new experiences. How quickly I had lost sight of that particular beauty of travel, and how quickly I was reminded.

The other interesting thing about uncertainty as it relates to travel for me is that although I wallow in it some, I’ve actually been craving certainty lately. As I’ve written recently, I just haven’t had it in me to go off on a completely new adventure, so I’m coming to a place I know with people here whom I care about and connect with. Something about being in the familiar, with supportive, loving and spacious people, helps me greatly and is much more palatable than venturing off completely on my own.

As I write this, I’m experiencing something I’ve been looking forward to: riding the Eurostar train from London to Brussels (Bruxelles), Belgium to meet up with my dear friend Guy (he was born there) and his family. They are traveling there from their home back in Oakland to visit with Guy’s family and friends. He is such a good man, and I am so pleased to have the opportunity to meet up with him and his wonderful family and meet other people important in their lives. I love being on trains in Europe. It’s such a comfortable way to travel, often social, but also a place which provides an opportunity for reflection on the transition to where we are going from where we have been. This morning, I am feeling good as we submerge under the English Channel. My jet lag feels done and I feel like I am taking steps towards having a more unflagging and sure-footed constitution.

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