The Unfolding


When we talk about mindfulness, many of us who are steeped in the practice and the literature also talk about an unfolding.

The unfolding feels like a slow opening that seems to have no end, like a flower that blooms to infinity. There’s always another petal to unfurl, another space to create, another way to expand.

The unfolding doesn’t seem to be especially organized, either. Awareness grows exponentially in one area of life for a period of time and then slows, only to move unpredictably to some other area of life.

Looking back on the unfolding can reveal patterns of growth and change–but, since we are always right in the middle of it, the unknown is ever present.

Where will my life open up next? How will my awareness change now? Where is this curiosity leading me?

Depending on how you feel about uncertainty, the constant unknown that comes with the unfolding can be stressful, frightening, exhilarating, or a combination of all three.

It can also be reassuring to know that life is changing. We aren’t static beings in a static world. This is especially true if current circumstances are challenging. But even if life is fabulous right now, it can be exciting to know that more good is to come.

When we resist the unfolding, we hold tightly onto something in the present instead of allowing the natural rhythms of growth and change to do their work. This doesn’t mean that change isn’t actually and truly scary; it may very well be the most difficult change of your life. Resisting it makes it even more so.

So, what to do?

Allow it. Make room for the resistance, the fear, the joy, the excitement,  and the unfolding.

And breathe.

Return to the breath, which will bring you into your body, which will bring you into this moment where everything is as it should be.