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The Magic of NOT Knowing

Natalie —  October 26, 2011 — 6 Comments

True creation requires stepping into undefined space where our question stays open, unknown.  When we latch onto an answer too soon we limit our potential to see.  We shut down the magic that comes from wonder and curiosity.  We engage the analytical mind without allowing space for our intuition.

This empty space full of potential “the void,” can only exist if we allow it to.  The void is an exceptionally challenging place to live.  It’s counter to our survival instinct, that wants to feel safe by having answers. Yet allowing space for the unknown is where we experience breakthroughs in awareness.

Breakthroughs are precious moments where our consciousness shifts and we see from a new perspective.  Unless forced by circumstances, most of us don’t intentionally make time in our lives for the creative void.  When life wants to get our attention, we find ourselves in a challenge that requires we wait, pause, slow down and NOT know.

Our analytical mind wants to have the answer and move on.   It gets frustrated by delay.  It is compelled to solve whatever dilemma or puzzle is before it.  It doesn’t like to be put on-hold while we allow ourselves to be in the unknown, waiting for new possibilities to be reveal.

Our intuitive mind has a more gentle approach.  It gives us signals, hints, opportunities to notice the contribution it can provide.  It doesn’t bark at us but calls to us.

The analytical mind harasses us for explanations, justification and evidence before we act on our intuition.  The  intuitive mind invites us to trust the creative zone of questions that have no pre-defined answer. It leads us, one awareness at a time, in a direction we might never have imagined, to places we never knew existed.

The magic of creation expands when we honor the gifts of both our capacity to look at what we experience with logic as well as trust our intuitive observations.  We are culturally taught to let the analytical mind direct our lives.  By doing so, we miss many opportunities to get out of a rut and onto a new path.  We repeat the same old annoying patterns in our lives.

To cultivate a juicier life, we can intentionally create spaces of NOT knowing.  Instead of jumping to the way we’ve always done it or repeating what we see others do, we pause in the void to allow room for a new creation.  It is uncomfortable to hold this undefined space. Yet it is critical to choose to NOT know long enough to deeply listen to our intuitive signals.  When we do, we hear spiritual direction that guides us on a path less predictable, more magical.

This blog post was inspired by a speech given by Ron Walters at a technology conference in Boise on the importance of boldness, curiosity and nothing/allowing space for the unknown in the design process.