Fortune-telling, ancient oracles and divination have all been a mainstay since the beginning of mankind. Priests, shamans and holy-men who practiced these modalities were well-respected and sought after for their wisdom. Their ethereal guidance was embraced with openness and devotion.
Today, people are much more skeptical about these ancient arts, and prefer to rely on science and reason for understanding any unexplainable phenomenon. Sooner or later, they realize that it is futile to make sense of something that is as mysterious as the unknown, using only our human sensibilities.
Our consciousness is limited in comparison to the vast and indomitable universal consciousness. Our decisions certainly do have a big influence on the trajectory of our life, however there is always going to be one component of the equation of fate that we cannot control.
I state this reality, not to disempower others, but to help them begin the process of making peace with it. I want them to realize that they don’t need to bear the entire burden of managing their future outcomes. They don’t need to feel like lonely pedestrians, staggering along their life path.
There was a time in my life when I felt alone on my path and I grew anxious about my future. My worries escalated during an emotionally difficult time in my relationships and career. During this rough patch, I felt like I was living in the grey zone, and had no idea about what could happen next.
I turned to psychics and astrologers to give me insights into the future. Even though their predictions fogged up my sense of logic and reason, it gave me an illusory sense of control over my shaky circumstances, and helped me make sense of the apparent messiness of my life.
Gnawing worries about the future plague all of us at some point in our lives. We may have tried soothing our worries with food, alcohol, drugs, smoking and anti-depressants, or other forms of escapism. We might have also driven ourselves crazy with obsessive thinking. For me it was psychic and astrology readings.
No matter which route we choose, whether it is to compulsively worry about the future or run away from it, both are major hindrances to our personal happiness. We need to move away from any form of dysfunctional behavior and adopt a balanced approach when it comes to planning for our future.
Needless worrying about the future will disturb our inner sanctum and make us miss out on the gift of living in the present moment. We don’t know when our last day on Earth will be, so it’s imperative to make the most of every single moment, no matter what our circumstances are.
Now, this does not mean that we should turn a blind eye to future possibilities. Instead, we should try to find ways that can allow us to plan and prepare for it, without us getting stressed and worried. Here are five effective ways that elaborate on how we can implement this approach:
- Examine the root cause of your anxiety: If we are to overcome our anxiety, we need to start with finding out what is specifically causing us to worry about the future. One of the best ways to do this is by asking ourselves well-framed questions. For example, if you are concerned that your creative work is not going to be appreciated by others, ask yourself, “What about not getting appreciated for my work bothers me?” You continue asking yourself questions until you get to the core issue, so that you can address it accordingly.
- Get comfortable with “not knowing”: Human beings are, by nature, uncomfortable with the unknown. Our species is wired to seek comfort in the familiar. The reality of a life with no guarantees is in direct conflict with our need for the familiar. We need to go against our basic nature and make a concerted effort to feel at ease with uncertainty and “not knowing”. Spiritual practices, such as prayer, meditation or reciting affirmations, can help with this.
- Focus on what you DO know and take action: Gather all the data and information that you do have about the situation that is concerning you and create a plan of action. It is important that you do your part in influencing the outcome of your situation by doing whatever is within the realm of your control. When you do this, you are sending the message to the Universe that you are serious about obtaining your desires, and that you are open to receiving its support to manifest it.
- Let go of what you can’t control: After we have done all that we can do within a given a situation, the next step is to let go of our attachment to the outcome and let a Higher Power take over. Letting go does not mean that we stop caring and that we withdraw our attention from the matter. It simply means that we are willing to release our mental grip on a situation in the spirit of faith, knowing that we have done all that we can to influence the outcome. The process of surrendering is not only good for our emotional wellbeing but it also gives us the opportunity to live in the here and now. Our energies are freed up so that we can enjoy the present moment and soak in all the goodness that it has to offer.
In my quest to overcome my fixation on the future, I found that one of the most effective ways to experience bliss in my present moment is by spending time with children. When I look into the eyes of my nephew and niece, I’m transported back to the golden era of my childhood – a time when I reveled in the simple pleasure of being alive.
And that is something that we should never take for granted. So take a deep breath – and be thankful that you are still here – awakened, happy and alive!
All my best on your journey,
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