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  • Writer's pictureBara Vaida

Coping with uncertainty

A favorite book from my yoga teacher training remains Comfortable with Uncertainty: 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassionby Buddhist monk Pema Chodron. Each of the 108 chapters are quite short and can be read as mini lessons, all on their own.

There is actually no such thing as ‘comfort’ when it comes to uncertainty. Our brains don’t like it, which is why we try so hard to create certainty in our lives, though it is elusive.

On a particularly challenging day, I sometimes read just one chapter from her book to help me process whatever upsetting situation may be happening in the world. Chodron offers the idea that part of coping with uncertainty is to see it as an ongoing opportunity to connect with whatever matters most to us and to have compassion for ourselves.

The yoga practice can help too by teaching us to sit with discomfort and connect with the unchanging essence of life that is in all of us.

This week, I also offer you 2-minute tips for self-compassion by Kristin Neff, whose latest book is called Fierce Self-Compassion. She is an associate professor at the University of Texas, Austin’s department of educational psychology. She and Emma Seppala, a professor at Stanford University, have conducted a ton of research around the positive benefits of self-compassion.


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