Song by Carrie Newcomer, Reflection by Alan Seale

Over the last few days, my morning exercise companion has been the Carrie Newcomer playlist on my phone. Her songs always speak to me – different ones at different times, depending on what is going on in and around me. This week, I found myself playing her 2019 song “Learning to Sit with Not Knowing” over and over again. The message in the title resonates deeply for me right now. Perhaps for you, too. You can listen to the song below.

Singer-songwriter Carrie Newcomer may never have heard of Transformational Presence. Yet she fully embodies what Transformational Presence is about. Her soulful, reflective, folk-bluegrass musical style washes over me like a healing balm.

Her lyrics seem to be rooted in the same principles upon which our work is based. Practical, real, yet appealingly poetic, they speak of the everyday human experience. Many of her songs mirror the passions, longings, and honest realities so many of us are walking with in these unsettled times. And as with Transformational Presence, she has a way of being fully present with deep feelings and experiences, and at the same time, holding them lightly and gently.

While every verse of “Learning to Sit with Not Knowing” gives me breathing space, as I sit down to write, it’s the words of the chorus that get my attention:

Here’s a clear space I’ve chosen
Where the denseness of this world opens
Where there’s something holding steady and true
Regardless of me or you

These words call me to affirm for myself what it is that I can hold onto or lean into, no matter what is going on. It was actually the last two lines that first got my attention.

Something holding steady and true. Something I can count on. Something that will not go away. Solid ground, at least metaphorically.

And then, Regardless of me or you. It’s bigger than me or you. What that actually is may be something different for each of us. Yet it’s up to us to find what that is for ourselves, and allow ourselves to lean in when we need it.

Maybe for you it’s a faith or a trust or a core belief. Whatever it is, the key is to know where it lives inside of you. In your body. It’s a space inside of you that is one with something bigger than you – a space you consciously choose to stand in when the going gets rough.

You carry that space within you wherever you go. That place inside you becomes an anchor, a centerpoint – your ground zero for assurance and trust.

Choosing that space and making it your anchor or centerpoint is a practice. Start today. Practice when times are good and life is flowing; practice when it’s hard. In other words, practice all the time. Learning to sit with not knowing is like building a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger the muscle gets.

As you listen to Carrie Newcomer, let the song and her rich sound wash over you. Let it work on you and help you learn to sit with not knowing.

 

Learning to Sit with Not Knowing

Words and Music by Carrie Newcomer
©2019 Carrie Newcomer Music (BMI), BMG Chrysalis

I’m learning to sit with not knowing.
When I don’t see where it’s going
Cool my heels and start slowing
I’m learning to sit with not knowing

I’m learning to sit with what’s next
What if and my best guess
Be kinder when it’s a process
I’m learning to live with what’s next

Chorus: Here’s a clear space I’ve chosen
Where the denseness of this world opens
Where there’s something holding steady and true
Regardless of me or you

I’m learning to live with the high stakes
Befriending my mistakes
Lay my hand where my heart aches
I’m learning to live with the high stakes

Chorus: Here’s a clear space I’ve chosen
Where the denseness of this world opens
Where there’s something holding steady and true
Regardless of me or you

I’m learning to live with what takes time 
No ribbon across some finish line
Stop feeling I’m always a day behind
I’m learning to live with what takes time

I’m learning to sit with not knowing.
When I don’t see where it’s going

Cool my heels and start slowing
I am learning to sit with not knowing

~ ~ ~

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