The theme for this episode is uncertainty.
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My Haiku & Reflections
A massage brings news
The news changes everything
I started the first season of The Haiku Pond to share the lessons I had learned from the pandemic. Well, I’m still learning lessons as the world transitions into a post-pandemic state of being.
The one thing I’ve struggled with the most lately over the last several months is uncertainty. I suppose uncertainty has always been around, but the pandemic put it in the spotlight. It highlighted just how uncertain and random things in life can be.
I type these thoughts on a technological device my paleolithic ancestors probably could only dream of (if at all), but the emotions of those ancestors still swirl around in my mind as I attempt to process the uncertainty of a 21st Century pandemic and the uncertainty that’s been highlighted because of it.
Some days, I’m not sure how to step forward. I try to remind myself to be mindful and grateful. Especially, when I think about the uncertainty our ancestors must have faced. They had to deal with diseases, famine, weather, and many more dangers all without the modern technological knowledge and power we have today.
To them, I must live the life of a deity — perched up high in my climate controlled apartment — able to fend off diseases with an injection of a vaccine, able to order meals with the tap of a screen (no hunting required).
And yet, there are days where those paleolithic, primal emotions bubble up inside of me. Adrenaline and cortisol pump through my veins. Fear puts me on defense. What was that rumbling noise? A saber-tooth tiger on the balcony or a motorcycle on the street? What about that loud banging noise? Thunder of an approaching storm or the slamming of an apartment door?
Some of these questions have obvious answers, but others do not. Will I still have my job in six months? Will my partner still be around in a year? Will my parents make it past their next birthday? Will a covid variant cause another global shutdown?
The uncertainty of life is ever present, but we must find a way to cope with it. For if we don’t, we live in an unhealthy state of primal fear that puts us in a paleolithic place unable to deal with the problems right in front of us.
For me, I’ve been approaching my emotions by remembering the acronym RAIN. It stands for Recognize the emotion, Allow them to come to fruition (don’t fight, block, or ignore them), Investigate where you feel them in the body, and Nurture yourself when it’s over. I first heard this from Dr. Maya Shankar on an episode of the podcast A Slight Change of Plans. If you’re looking to learn from an insightful behavioral scientist to explain how to cope with change, her podcast is a great place to start.
I’ve only been practicing this RAIN style of mindfulness for a short time so it’s still new to me, but I can see the effect of it. Before when I would bottle emotions up or ignore them all together, they found a way to come out — either through poor eating choices or a snarky remark to a loved one.
You see, we can’t change everything in the external world, but we can change our inner world. It starts with accepting the uncertainty that’s ever-present, and practicing mindfulness when it comes to our emotions, thoughts, and feelings.
That’s the lesson I’m still learning from this haiku and the world we live in. If you have a strategy for dealing with uncertainty, send an email to thehaikupond (at) gmail (dot) com. I’d love to hear what’s working for you.
Featured Haiku & Poets
From David Thorndale on IG as davidthorndale:
which is farther —
my lover or the Milky Way
From Zahra Mughis on on TW as ZahraScribbles & IG as instalogbyzahra:
on last year’s hero
From Mona Bedi:
now I see you
now I don’t
From Lisbeth Ho on FB as Elisabeth Holidaya:
fall onto the seashore
From huwanahoy on TW & IG as huwanahoy:
Misread all the signs
Now wand’ring this path in blur
The end uncertain
From Haiku Nocturnal on TW as haikunocturnal:
Time to leave the nest,
Fledgling doesn’t get to choose
When they are ready
From Linda Sacco on TW as LindaSacco1:
Mirrored lips and faint smiles
Lies beneath the mask
From aquaholic_anon on Twitter:
A deft touch of grass
Lamenting in the pasture
I hope this will pass
From Charissa Hooyman on TW as CharissaHooyman:
An approaching storm
The captain’s tension rises
For the correct course
From Christina Chin at haikuzyg.blogspot.com:
… adjusting to
the new norm
From Charlotte Reynolds on TW as violetvicinity:
my thoughts hang
on the washing line
From Mark Hitri on TW as HitriMark & IG as the_cellopoet:
we seek mystery
when we embrace the unknown
all will be revealed
From Linda M. Crate on Twitter as thysilverdoe & on IG as authorlindamcrate:
arriving at sea
diving into the water
sharks or mermaids sing.
From Foal Poetry on IG as foalpoetry:
Lack of direction
Unsure about moving on
From Melody Wang on Twitter & Instagram as MelodyofMusings:
the sea motivates
with salt-purged waves:
gentle lulls and agitation
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