The Practice of “I Don’t Know”. Leaning into Uncertainty

The Practice of “I Don’t Know”. Leaning into Uncertainty

The Practice of “I Don’t Know”. Leaning into Uncertainty


For me, this is a time of confusion and uncertainty. Exhausted by politics, but compelled by love of humanity and the planet to show up and at the very least, not contribute to more suffering.

The practice now is one of sitting and allowing space for confusion and uncertainty while being grounded in love and truth. Living and leaning into questions. Some of these are very basic. What really matters? Some of this is observation. If I am creating from a place of love, there is a boundless reservoir of vitality that is also grounded. If I create from ego, I end up tired and wired. The basics are where I have to go. It seems like the first two yamas, ahimsa (non harming) and  Satya (truth) are where I am anchored and for the time being setting up camp. My heart feels raw and open in a world where millions of children starve in the Sudan, innocents are targetted by chemical warfare in Syria, and in my own hometown heroin and gun violence are looking to drain hope from young people who are increasingly drawn to this life. Really, how can this be? How have we permitted this to happen?

It is confusing to be here now. I am also reminded that it is also a privilege to be here, to have the gift of one’s own life. To be able to pursue and engage in what gives my life meaning, to freely and safely navigate in my environment and to seek peace. When I think of all else I have been given, the ability to wake up in a home with electricity, running water. An abundance of food. Enthusiastic pets! I have access to information. I have been able to access higher education and beyond.

For me, with this awareness comes responsibility. If I have been given this much, how am I giving back? How am I showing up in the midst of suffering caused by power and oppression? How can I be sustainable in my showing up? In this world with worship of power and money. In this world with institutionalized racism and “othering” of people who don’t fit into dominant culture. In this world that dismisses the value of lives that are addicted, lives that live in poverty, lives that have brown skin, etc….

I don’t have answers, just a striving for authenticity. A striving for the spaciousness of both a heart broken wide open by the cruelties of the world and a refusal to turn away from this and a heart that opens in joy to morning birdsong, a smile from my daughter,a warm embrace from my husband and early morning dance parties!

Leaning into life, moving beyond in our culture from the narrative of the individual and it’s self centered focus to the narrative of the collective and being in relationship in community in simple, ordinary yet extraordinary ways. I don’t know how this will work out.  I don’t carry the narrative of the typical American Dream. So I don’t know. And from this place of not knowing, I feel the sun on my face, I feel the breath in my body, I feel my feet on the earth and I move forward into the uncertainty of the day with great love in my heart.


Rachel Allen

Rachel Allen, B.A. Political Science/Sociology, is a Certified Music Practitioner, Sound Healer, Reiki Master, and Registered Yoga Teacher with a trauma informed/social justice framework. She has 20 years experience of working with some of the most amazing people on the planet; hospice patients and their families, patients in a variety of health conditions, survivors of sexual abuse, adults with mental illness and most recently, incarcerated women. Rachel is also passionate about supporting and working with caregivers to reduce burnout and compassion fatigue. Locally, Rachel teaches Creative Movement at Saint Francis University in Loretto, PA. Regionally and nationally, she teaches and presents at conferences and retreats, weaving live music, yoga, and creative movement into themes of compassion, self acceptance, and transformation. Rachel is committed to engaging people from all walks of life in the healing arts to create healthy, diverse, and joyful communities.