Befriending Uncertainty

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Befriending Uncertainty

by Martin Klabunde

© 2020 by Martin Klabunde / Collective Awakening LLC

The only thing certain in life is that there will be uncertainty. We experience uncertainty when there are opportunities for growth. It’s fair to say that most of us want to grow, change and transform. Can you imagine of we never grew into the person we came here to be? Life would be static, unchanging and boring. Beyond that, if we are not growing, we are usually dying. Change is a dynamic energy and is always moving in and out of our lives. An integral part of change is uncertainty. We experience uncertainty with change and resisting that change results in a blockage of energy and ultimately deterioration on all levels, physical, metal, emotional and spiritual. 

“As for the future, your task is not to foresee it but to enable it.”
-Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

Growth, change and uncertainty is a crucial part of growth. The challenge resides in our willingness and ability to adapt, be flexible with our options and enjoy the process of becoming. Things will always change and sometimes our plans for the future are thwarted. Sometimes we get what we planned for and realize it’s not what we really wanted or we see the reality of the experience of what we wanted is much different from what we thought it would be.

Our ability to adapt and be flexible has its foundation in humility. We must be humble enough to recognize that we are simply players in the game of life. We do not control life and life does not revolve around us. Our power lies in the ability to dance with life; to see clearly the opportunities and then negotiate those opportunities. We have the ability to make our best choices when we look for the opportunities with and embrace the adventure of uncertainty.

I will illustrate my own experience with uncertainty in a story. When I was a teenager I had the dream of playing drums for a living. My goal at that time was to become successful in the music industry playing drums within a popular band. I worked hard at not only improving my skills on the instrument, but I wanted to also manage the bands I was in as well. I wanted to make sure I was doing everything I could to reach my goal. I moved to Seattle, Wa. in 1991. The music scene was ramping up and there was a lot of attention from music industry executives. Within a couple years and a couple different bands I had found my niche. We formed a three piece ensemble and created some very unique and catchy acoustic pop-punk songs.

We worked hard at writing songs and putting together a set list and I worked hard at getting us good gigs. I developed a strategy to start and built upon it as we moved forward. Eventually, we were playing the premier venues in town and doing well with attendance, but I knew that if I didn’t do something now, then the time would pass and we would be just another local act. I managed to get us on a live radio show that featured up and coming local bands. This was a widely listened to show. You could go to many fo the music scene parties on any given weekend and hear this show in the background. I made it my mission to promote our live show fur weeks in advance by putting up posters in record and music shops. I also went to those scene parties and handed out flyers.

It worked! After we played that live radio show our attendance skyrocketed. We started selling out shows and it seemed we were on our way. We adjusted our playing schedule and reduced the amount of gigs to maintain sellout shows. A couple months later we were competing in a battle of the bands contest. We had made it to the finals and were competing against one other band. That show changed my life. There was an incident involving violence and alcohol that I was not able or willing to tolerate any longer. You see, my dream had clouded my judgment and I was tolerating things I did not enjoy being around. I was tired of watching people, very creative and inspiring people slowly or quickly kill themselves with drugs and alcohol. I was telling myself I could keep my integrity while allowing others to lose theirs. I won’t go into the details, as they are not important here. The point is that I woke up to what I had been tolerating and realized I could no longer tolerate it. I wasn’t willing to continue playing music with this band or any band unless it was on my terms moving forward.

I played that last show angry, upset and disillusioned. This was a departure from my normal mental space that always saw music as an oasis away from any problems I was experiencing in my life. I just couldn’t shake it. Abut halfway through the show I realized I was done for good. No more trying to make it in the music industry; it was out of alignment with who I am and what my path was supposed to be. I made a decision right there to quit that band and walk away from the industry and my dream.

After the we finished our last song a guy came up to me and asked who the manager was. I told him that I was. He handed me a manilla envelope and told me to meet him tomorrow to get the contract signed. I felt confused. I didn’t know who ti was with or how much the contract was worth and I didn’t need to know. I had made up my mind. You see, I had always reminded myself not to “sell out” when negotiating contracts or the industry in general. I awakened that night to another level of that. I realized going back on my decision because I was going to get what I had initially wanted would have been selling out and where does that stop? When do I stop tolerating things I am out of alignment with? My values and priorities have to mean something and I have to be willing to stand with them even when I am being offered something that sounded great in the past.

I called him the next day, thanked him for the offer and told him I was leaving the industry. Of course I called my bandmates as well. Some of the hardest calls I ever made at that time of my life.

As I sit there in my apartment thinking about what I just did i experienced this strange sense of adventure and opportunity. Initially I expected to feel terrified. I heard the naysayers telling me that I should not have put all my eggs into that basket and asking me… “now what are you going to do?” That was the question… now what? I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t afraid, I was. One half of me was asking if I was crazy. Did I have some sort of self sabotage issue happening here? I quickly eliminated that, I never sabotaged myself in the past so I couldn’t see it happening then either.

I decided to look forward. I began to think in terms of unlimited possibilities. I could do anything I wanted. I had been so committed to that one gaol that I was not able to see anytime else. I still couldn’t see much, but I was willing to move forward and open up to all the possibilities. I still wanted to make my living playing music. Getting a job was one of those things I never wanted long term. The thought of having a corporate career was terrifying only because I felt like my soul would die in the process.

Soon after I moved to Tucson and started over. I realized I could not make the same kind of money in Tucson as I could in Seattle doing the same job, so I jumped again and decided to work for myself, doing what I love. Some said to wait, get a job and get settled, then start. I said, if I don’t start now I may never. I was filled with the excitement of uncertainty and change. I wanted what life was offering me and I was willing to take risks to achieve it.

I began to teach West African percussion in my home with two students. I built that to over 50 students attending weekly classes and I managed to get myself embedded in a liberal arts college and teach to the students there as well Later, I formed a youth mentorship non-profit organization and thought music, song and dance from east and west Africa in the schools for over 15 years. Below are a video taken at a student performance and another one from my 2011-2012 US Tour.

Residency at Rincon / University High 2005
Sedona, AZ 1.14.2010

I lived the life I wanted and created the life I lived and it was far more fulfilling than playing drums in a working band. However, if I wasn’t willing to embrace change and uncertainty I am certain I would not have been able to make clear choices and move forward in a way that ensures that I had a shot at living a life I designed.

“When you become comfortable with uncertainty,
Infinite Possibilities open up in your life.”
– Eckhart Tolle

I had no idea what my next step was that night of my last show. I had no idea what my options were before I made the commitment to change. I believe it was my inner wisdom speaking to me that night. I closed one door so that I could see others, eventually. It’s not enough to close a door part way, leaving one foot on the door crack incase things don’t work out. We must commit to change. We must commit to uncertainty and we must trust ourselves and our inner wisdom. We must know that as long as we are true to ourselves, we will be taken care of. I have live my life with this philosophy and I can tell you, it works!

Uncertainty is what keeps life interesting and exciting, as long as you embrace it. Uncertainty holds your future! I encourage you to be brave, courageous and determined to listen to your inner wisdom and follow what its telling you, no matter what your mind has said in the past. You know who you are, you know you have your answers. You are the captain of your ship. It’s time to step up, embrace uncertainty, have fun and experience the adventure that life can be!

– Martin Klabunde

If you want support on your journey, please reach out to me. As a transformational coach, my role is to support you on your journey of inner transformation by providing you reflections, tools and resources that will help you utilize your experiences in a way that allows you to raise your consciousness, expand your awareness, release any inner or outer blocks and create a strategy to move forward.

Transformational coaching is a philosophy that embodies the whole being of the client. It rests on the idea that we have all the answers we are looking for within us and when we tap into that vast pool of inner wisdom, we develop an inner knowing (our intuition) that guides us on our journey. It facilitates an internal energetic process that supports the client in developing greater self-awareness and overcome inner and outer blocks by examining their values, beliefs, thoughts, perceptions and actions.

© 2020 by Martin Klabunde / Collective Awakening LLC

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