A conversation with my dad this week reminded me of how silly - and human - it is to think that once we have "a breakthrough," we've "made it." In other words, we can so naturally assume that our most recent breakthrough will stick, that we are "set," that we've discovered the "it" which we've been seeking. My dad laughed and reminded me that it's a mountain with no top, honey -- and you learn to love the climb.
Fundamentally, this is what it means to have a practice. There is no getting there, there is no end state, but it is in the process -- and the wins and setbacks and discoveries along the way -- that become the source of true joy and value. This is something you have to create. We seem to be wired to think in terms of end states and discrete milestones, as physicist Carlo Rovelli talks about so beautifully in his interview with Krista Tippett. At the risk of being prescriptive, I strongly encourage a listen.
I find that this less linear sense of time can create space for us -- and maybe a little less anxiety. Maybe there isn't somewhere to "get to" in a linear A-to-B fashion. Maybe easing into questions can help us move forward in a more present way, if we can tolerate the uncertainty of not always knowing, or trying to hypothesize, what comes next. There is strength in that practice, or raising our threshold for uncertainty...because after all, we don't really know, anyway, but we are wired to do our best to know. Practicing "not knowing," while moving forward with a dual openness and intentionality is another expression of Action + Faith.
Someone recently told me how if he thinks about the same thing more than three times, he takes that as a signal that he should act on that thing. Perhaps we would try this on for a little bit -- to see what sorts of things churn more than three times over and what new actions arise...