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The Secret to Embracing the Unknown

photo: Stephen Wolfe on flickr

photo: Stephen Wolfe on flickr

How comfortable are you with not knowing?

Do you hate it? Or do you embrace the Unknown, bursting forth into its wide, expansive horizon?

Actually, it might not be a wide, expansive horizon. It could be. But it could also be a tiny cave with killer bats and a drooling cave monster.

That’s why they call it the Unknown. Because it’s, like, Un-known.

Perhaps you can you tell where I stand on the subject.

When I was a kid, I would sneak into my parent’s closet to find out what I was getting for Christmas. (Sorry, mom.) I’m the kind of person who peeks at the last page of a book to find out how it’s going to end.

To say that I’m not a big fan of the Unknown would be an understatement. If I could gather up signatures and present a petition to the Divine, asking for a ban on the Unknown, I would.

photo: Bernard Pollack on flickr

photo: Bernard Pollack on flickr

Despite this fact, I am someone who has continually positioned myself in situations where the Unknown was a primary factor.

When I graduated from college, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. None of the seemingly-solid options felt appealing to me. So instead of making any definite plans, and even though it stressed me out not to know what was going to happen, I allowed myself to go where I was guided to be.

I worked on a farm.

I started meditating.

As it turned out, it was pretty awesome.

At age thirty, I moved to California from Massachusetts, even though I knew no one in California and had no idea if a cross-county move was really a good idea.

Turns out it was.

At age forty-eight, I took early retirement from my job with Sonoma County. I hadn’t planned on leaving my job so early and I wasn’t absolutely-one-hundred-percent-sure it was really the right decision.

But once again, something inside was urging me to face the Unknown.

photo: Salim Al-Harthy on flickr

photo: Salim Al-Harthy on flickr

When Melissa and I were about to graduate from ministerial school, we had no idea what we were doing.

We had a good idea of what we didn’t want to do. We didn’t want to be pulpit ministers. We didn’t want to have a traditional spiritual center where everyone gathers on Sunday mornings.

We had ideas about what we want did want to do. Creative stuff, like raps and songs and blogs. We had a plan to start a website where all this groovy stuff could happen.

But we didn’t really know what it was going to look like. We don’t really know how it was all going to come together.

Yes, I know that the whole point of going to ministerial school is to dedicate your life to the Divine. That’s all well and good.

But I still wanted to know what it was going to look like.

I still wanted to sneak into my parent’s closet and find out what the presents were. I still wanted to turn to the last page and find out how it was going to end.

But I didn’t. I couldn’t.

I just had to take the next step forward, in faith.

The title of this post boasts that I have an iron-clad method for facing the Unknown. It’s what I call the Nike approach:

Just do it.  

Just be willing to move into uncharted territory. Just be willing to trust your hunches, even if they make no sense. Just be willing to try something new.

photo: Jenn Durfey on flickr

photo: Jenn Durfey on flickr

But there’s more.

­­­In this case, the more involves quantum physics. (If you weren’t scared of the Unknown already, now is the time to start trembling.)

For ages, metaphysicians have been saying that the Universe consists of both the seen and the unseen. There’s material reality, and there’s spiritual reality. Both are valid. Both are important.

Along comes quantum physics to back this up. Quantum physics says that there’s material reality, made up of particles, and there’s the quantum field, made up of waves.

Unlike material reality, which consists of particles we can see and taste and touch, the quantum field consists of waves of infinite possibilities.

Do you see how amazing this is?

Infinite. Possibilities.

photo: Ronald Repolona on flickr

photo: Ronald Repolona on flickr

Now, here’s something really cool.

In terms of the Known and the Unknown, material reality is the Known. And the quantum field is the Unknown.

And here’s something even cooler:

By embracing the Unknown, we’re opening a door to infinite possibilities. Infinite good. Infinite fun. Infinite love.

Yes, it could also be infinite blech, but the beautiful thing about possibilities is they’re just that. Possibilities. We get to make them into whatever we want.

As I graduated from school, I was stressing out about not being able to turn to the last page of the ministry that Melissa and I were creating, but I couldn’t do that – because it hadn’t been created yet. It was still a possibility. We were still shaping it into what it was going to be.

The secret to embracing the Unknown is remembering that there are way more possibilities in the Unknown than the Known. Indeed, possibilities are what the Unknown is made of.

You get to shape it. You get to choose from those infinite possibilities, forming them into a life that’s uniquely yours.

photo: Greg Westfall on flickr

photo: Greg Westfall on flickr

And you don’t have to do it alone. Waiting in all those possibilities are helpers of all shapes and stripes. Friends and books and teachers and the Divine itself.

Maybe that “drooling cave monster” is actually your greatest ally. Maybe those “killer bats” will allow the release of everything that no longer serves you. Maybe that “tiny cave” is an infinite palace of fun and pleasure.

Who knows? At this point, they’re still possibilities. And possibilities can be anything. Anything at all.

How totally groovy is that?

When you catch the power and potential of the Unknown, it’s hard to see it as anything but Infinitely Incredible.

Who knows, I might even stop peeking at the last page of the book.

Anything is possible.

photo: David Sim on flickr

photo: David Sim on flickr

How do you respond to the Unknown? Share your comments below!

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13 Responses to The Secret to Embracing the Unknown

  1. Natasha April 15, 2014 at 10:19 am #

    Hi Z:

    I love your article. I recently wrote a song called My Journey Today and the first line is….on a journey through the unknown, it doesn’t seem familiar to me.

    Thought I shared this with you. hummmmmm we are on same wave length!

    hugs and many blessings to your adventures

    • Z Egloff April 15, 2014 at 10:57 am #

      Hi Natasha,

      I didn’t know that you were writing songs – how cool! And how interesting that it’s about the unknown. It’s a powerful place to be, isn’t it?!

      Happy trails to you as well! :)


  2. Sherry April 15, 2014 at 2:35 pm #

    Oh, Z…

    I’ve always been and continue to be afraid of the unknown. Which is pretty silly because if I knew how everything would turn out, well, how boring would that be?

    • Aloha Lani April 16, 2014 at 12:26 am #

      Hello Sherry;
      I soooo relate!

      What is ironic to me is that in the moments I do relax & follow those inner nudges, lovely, magical things happen.

      And living in worry about the future gets me sick.

      Yet, I feel too caught up in the habit of misunderstanding the unknown, fearing it, believing my fears.

      I want to see the unknown for the possibilities it brings!
      And no longer be afraid…


    • Z Egloff April 16, 2014 at 8:15 am #

      Hi Sherry,

      I know, right?! It really is a lot more fun and a lot more exciting to be living in the unknown. That’s a great way to look at it. :)


  3. Michelle April 15, 2014 at 2:39 pm #

    You hit another one out of the park Z! I was thinking as I was reading that perhaps the wrapped gifts are the ending…and the beginning…that the gift is the journey and not the destination. When my son was about three he looked at me with his baby blues and in a very serious awe-filled voice said, “You know what Mom. You never know what you never know.” I was dumb-struck by my little sage. I think of that often when I’m doing something that makes no sense to me at the time…which as I get older seems to be on a regular basis :). I think it is like you said…it IS like something inside me is pulling me forward into the unknown…I love that! And it scares the hell out of me. And those watching me who don’t understand the process might think I’m slightly erratic and going through a mid-life crisis. It used to bother me…what other people thought…but as I learn to trust the process more it becomes more exhilarating and less terrifying (although I admit, sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference). All that to say…whatever you and Melissa do with your newly polished ministries, it is going to be f****** awesome and you will know when you know! Love and hugs to you courageous traveler!

    • Aloha Lani April 16, 2014 at 12:29 am #

      Hello Michelle;
      I agree that Z’s & Melissa’s ministries will be f’in awesome!

      And in the moments I have followed the inner urgings, others have thought of me as quite erratic, flaky, etc.

      Cool your son expresses his wisdom!

      Thanks… More inspiration to follow the inner pulls… <3

    • Z Egloff April 16, 2014 at 8:14 am #

      Hi Michelle,

      Oooooh – this is great! “You never known what you never know.” Truer words were never spoken. Little kids have that direct pipeline to Source going on, so I definitely bow to their wisdom.

      I love that you are letting go of worrying about what other people are thinking. Yeah!!! The older I get, the more I do this as well and it is SO freeing.

      And thank you for all you do and all the support that you are giving Melissa and I in moving forward with our f****** awesome ministry!! :)


  4. Karen April 15, 2014 at 6:29 pm #

    One of my favorite mantras, a la Abraham, is “Things are always working out for me.” The more I believe that, the more life shows me evidence of it, and the more I trust things to continue to pan out in really nice ways.

    • Z Egloff April 16, 2014 at 8:09 am #

      Hi Karen,

      I love that one too! And I love that it can help us shape the unknown into something that is always awesome and always, well, working out for us! And so it is. :)


  5. Aloha Lani April 16, 2014 at 12:30 am #

    Hello Karen,
    Thank you so much for sharing that mantra…

    I will start using it, in hopes it will support freeing me from the fear of the unknown & also increase my trust in the Universe…

    Thanks… <3

  6. Bonnie Gordon May 16, 2014 at 9:36 am #

    Hi Z:
    I decided to catch up on a few of your blogs and they were balm to my soul today. I love the way you and Melissa have carved out your own unique ministry and it is exciting to watch. I struggle daily with not knowing and trusting that I’m in the right relationship, heading towards the right new profession and letting things be what they are while trusting that I will be guided, that I don’t have to know how it turns out and that Nothing Is Wrong (your other blog.)
    I wish you and Melissa continued success and plan on being at your graduation in June. It will be my honor to watch the two of you graduate.Keep on doing what you’re doing…it is magical!

    • Z Egloff May 21, 2014 at 11:26 am #

      Hi Bonnie!

      I’m grateful for your comment today, because it’s yet another reminder to me to continue to stay open and trusting. Step by step, we are guided, but it’s still easy for me to get impatient at times! I really do like being able to know how everything’s gonna turn out! 😉

      And I’m so happy that you’ll be there on June 14th. We can hardly wait!!


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