will set you
but first it will piss you off."
... Gloria Steinem
will set you
but first you'll be unsettled by it."
... Laurence Platt
was conceived at the same time as
Being engaged in
means a lot of things, a lot of different things to a lot
people, each of whom arguably has a unique way of expressing what their
is for them, and what it isn't. For me, it's certainly a lot of things,
the most basic of which is the opportunity to inquire into, examine,
and then choose to let go of deadening patterns of behavior, no longer
workableways of being which keep me stuck. What I call a
in being happens when I distinguish (sometimes for the first
time), isolate, then give up these tired old ways of being.
When I give up a way of being, particularly a way of being with which
I've been stuck for years (perhaps since my early
childhood), there's a palpable new found sense of freedom and joy, to
be sure. Yet before that, which is to say immediately
but before the onset of the sense of freedom and joy, there's something
else: there's an emerging
of something unknown, something uncertain, something unsettled.
Some of these unsettled moments are predictably unpredictable.
They happen immediately following a
That's the predictable part. But when do
happen? When they do. That's the unpredictable part.
Then there are those unsettled moments which are predictably
predictable. Predictably these happen after publishing new
a coming up with something which is unlike anything I
know. Once I click
to distribute each essay's announcement, there's an instantaneous onset
of being unsettled. All the balls are now independently in the air. All
the irons are now independently in the fire. Now,
what will come up will
Now, what will happen will happen. It's too late to turn back.
myself. And I notice I'm unsettled.
When I've been being a particular way for a long time, for years maybe,
for most of my life in some cases, and then I'm no longer
that way because I've seen through it as unworkable and
therefore not what I'm
it results in joy, freedom, and this sense of being unsettled, a sense
of occupying an unfamiliar space (unfamiliar because it's
new), and a sense of not quite knowing how to proceed in and into this
new space. Again, it's not unpleasant. It's just unsettled.
So on those occasions when I know I'm going to be up to
something which will result in a
I'll make sure to set time to be with this new emerging space soon
afterwards. I'll schedule time off in advance - or simply set aside the
day (or at least the morning) to be by ... my ...
with whatever's going on, with
whatever comes up,
with whatever happens. These are rich opportunities to look at
given the new freedom at hand, given the dropping off, given the
sloughing off (if you will) of an old way of being, indeed
of an old, inauthentic way of being which until then has
served no purpose except its own self-interest and the impediment of my
And even if the time I take to be by my
isn't applied to looking at
then it's time to simply enjoy, to
this new freedom, the first indication of which is the unlikely
experience of being unsettled, of being startled by newness, or
even of being startled into newness, if you will.