Subject: Confusion Is A State of Grace
Welcome to Celebrating the Journey!
Friday, March 15, 2002
Issue #78


1. Welcome Notes
2. Confusion Is A State of Grace
3. Coaching: Finding the Grace
4. Quotes for the Journey
5. Celebrating Out Loud!
6. Reading for the Journey
7. Resources for the Journey
8. Humor: Proverbs…According to First Graders

1. Welcome Notes

We’re back! It’s been a valuable four months of sabbatical
for me since the last issue of Celebrating the Journey. A time
of learning and growing and transitioning. That is
what the Journey is all about!

I write from Ben Lomond, California, a teeny town in the
Santa Cruz mountains where I am spending the winter. It is
a gorgeous, crisp spring day, and I am more delighted than I
can tell you to not be in the snow! I will be quite mobile
through the summer, then will relocate here permanently in
the fall.

Thanks to all of you who have checked in during the last
four months. It is lovely to know Celebrating the Journey
and I have not been forgotten. We are indeed a family, and I
cherish that connection. It’s good to be in touch again. I
invite you to email me at
with comments, questions, ideas, suggestions about how
Celebrating the Journey can be of even more value to you.

We’ve moved publication to Fridays. Most of us have more
time to truly celebrate our lives on the weekends. CTJ will
be a reminder at the beginning of that time to be grateful for
and celebrate YOUR life.

The celebration out loud of this journey called life we’re
all on enhances, deepens, and enriches our experience. By
now we’ve all heard how making a daily Gratitude List
changes people’s lives. (If you’re not making one, start
now! It really will change your life.) Taking that gratitude
a step further and celebrating the events of our lives with
others fires the gratitude like a kiln does a clay sculpture,
and the resulting joy becomes permanent.

Celebrate the events of your lives with this CTJ family.
We are all people on the path of living the lives we
REALLY want, and reading about the celebrations of
others motivates us when we’re tired, brightens up our
dark times, and deepens the bright ones. Just click to send the details
of your anniversary or birthday, of a win or shift or aha, of
a rainbow after a storm or a moment of peace watching a
sunset. Your own joy and learning will give to others in
ways you cannot imagine.

2. Confusion Is A State of Grace

After listening to my somewhat tormented circumlocutions
about a confusing issue in my life several months ago, a
friend calmly responded, “You know, confusion really is a
state of grace.” After making the wise choice to not hit him, I
asked him what he meant. We talked for a while, and
although I left the conversation not really convinced, he had
planted a seed that I’ve been thinking about ever since. I
have decided he’s right.

I can already hear the muttered comments:
Yeah, right!
Is she crazy?
Has her sabbatical melted her brain?
Maybe I better unsubscribe now

So where is the grace in being confused?

It lies in the possibilities. Being confused is the same as not
knowing. And the place of not knowing is a place of infinite
possibilities. It’s also a place where most of us are very
uncomfortable. The grace in confusion lies in getting
comfortable with not knowing. And that is simply making a
different choice.

Becoming comfortable with not knowing is simply a shift in
perspective. We can look at not knowing from two different
sides or windows: one is dark and scary and kind of frantic;
the other is calm and light and has lots of space. The
situation is the same; the experience of it totally different.
Which window we look through is simply a choice.

Yes, it’s simple. And not necessarily easy in this culture
which so values knowing, having information, being
educated, having the right answer.

My climbing mentor once told me that he enjoyed having
me on expeditions because I was willing to be a beginner. I
was willing to learn; I was willing to say, “I don’t know.” .
And because I was okay with not knowing, I could see many
more possibilities for solutions or options or choices. That is
as true for life as it is for climbing.

When we have a need to know, there is a sense of urgency
about finding answers, and we often overlook possibilities
that could be more appropriate than the what we choose.
We often can’t see the forest for the trees.

The forest of confusion is filled with possibilities. Stop for a
moment, look through a different window, and feel the

3. Coaching: Finding the Grace

What are you confused about in your life? What’s up that
you don’t know what to do about? What dilemma do you
have that is occupying a bunch of space in your head? It’s
likely you have more than one; just pick one for now. It can
be a big question or a small one. Sometimes the grace is
more visible in the small ones at first. If you’re confused
about which one to pick, take the one that you thought of

Now write down at least five possible answers or solutions
or options to your question. Yup, that’s right: 5. If you have
more, great. And before you protest … yes, there are five
possibilities. There always are. You may not like some of
them. That doesn’t mean they are not possible choices.

Going on welfare may not be what you’d choose if you
were laid off. It is a possibility, however. So add it to the list.
You get the point. (You might want to revisit the CTJ titled
Always A Choice from October 24, 2001. You can find it at

Making this list encourages you to look at your question
from different angles, in a different light, in different moods;
to try on different ideas that the circle of confusion might
have hidden from you. Confusion is like a hamster wheel,
we get caught up in it, and we run faster and faster and
faster, getting nowhere except more confused and very

Surrender to the feeling of confusion, surrender to not
knowing, and make your list of 5 possibilities. Making the
list stops the wheel, and you may be surprised at how
quickly the confusion resolves.

Acknowledge your confusion. Take a breath – or several.
List your 5 possibilities. Let your wisdom speak to you. That
is how to find the grace in your confusion.


Confusion is a state of grace.
Bob Gardner

Doubt is the beginning, not the end, of wisdom.
George Iles

I wanted a perfect ending… Now, I’ve learned, the hard way,
that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have
a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not
knowing, having to change, taking the moment, and
making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to
happen next. Delicious ambiguity.
Gilda Radner

Out of confusion comes new patterns.

5. Celebrating Out Loud

The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more
there is in life to celebrate.
Oprah Winfrey

I celebrate the enormous gifts of my four-month sabbatical.
I have been trained in Esalen massage, discovered and revel
in dance as my spiritual practice, and found a new home,
spiritual and physical, in the hills above Santa Cruz,
California. It was not an easy choice to be out of touch with
you for this long. And I return energized, more whole, with
a clearer commitment to being a resource for others to live
their dreams as I have been able to.

Know someone who’s celebrating a great occasion? Or a
small one? What better gift than to forward them a copy
of Celebrating the Journey with a celebratory wish in it.
Let’s spread the joy! To celebrate a friend’s birthday or aha
or win (or your own!) click and tell us the story.
We all gain in sharing one another’s celebrations.

6. Reading for the Journey

Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday
Life by Thich Nhat Hanh.

In this time of turmoil, fear, terrorism, and violence, this
book is a clear reminder of how important inner peace is in
creating peace in the world. The Dalai Lama said of this
book, “It can change individual lives and the life of our

Hanh’s commentaries, meditations, and personal anecdotes
begin where we are: in the kitchen, at the office, in a traffic
jam, on the telephone, and show us simple ways to stay
consciously alive and present whatever we are involved in.
We are encouraged to work for peace in the world as we
continue to work on sustaining inner peace by turning the
mindless into the mindful.

This is an important book for each of our individual
journeys and our planet’s journey to peace. Order it for
only $11.16 by clicking

7. Resources for the Journey

My dear friend Mia Valley sent me this website. I have
bookmarked it and visit it on a regular basis to be reminded
of how grateful I am for my life and to take a couple of
minutes of respite from the busyness of everyday life. We so
often don’t take the time on a daily basis to truly celebrate
this journey called life. This website is a lovely way to do just
that. The next time you take a stretch break, click on this
website. You’ll stretch your muscles and your heart both.
Click .
breathe deeply and enjoy.

8. Humor: Proverbs…According to First Graders

A first grade teacher collected well known proverbs. He
gave each kid in the class the first half of the proverb and
asked them to come up with the rest. Here is what the kids
came up with.

Better to be safe than……….punch a 5th grader.
Strike while the……….bug is close.
It’s always darkest before……….daylight savings time.
Never underestimate the power of……….termites.
You can lead a horse to water but……….how?
Don’t bite the hand that……….looks dirty.
No news is……….impossible.
A missis as good as a……….Mr.
You can’t teach an old dog……….math.
Love all, trust……….me.
The pen is mightier than……….the pigs.
an idle mind is……….the best way to relax.
Where there is smoke, there’s……….pollution.
Happy is the bride who……….gets all the presents.
A penny saved is……….not much.
Two is company, three’s……….The Musketeers.
Children should be seen and not……….spanked or grounded.
If at first you don’t succeed……….get new batteries.
There is no fool like……….Aunt Edie.
When the blind lead the blind……….get out of the way.

Give yourself the gift of grace this week, and as always, Celebrate Life!

Namaste, Margo

Hiring a Life Coach is a great way to be supported in taking
the steps that will lead you to your own dreams.
Margo has a few slots open for motivated clients who
want to shift from, “My life is good, but…” to “I have a
great life!” Visit our website at for additional resources
and tools. To schedule a consultation, send an e-mail to

If you received this copy of Celebrating the Journey from
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My purpose in publishing Celebrating the Journey is to
provide you with resources, motivation, inspiration and
energy for YOUR journey of creating success and freedom
in all areas of your life. CTJ will use stories from my life
and others, coaching tips and resources, quotes and
humor to deliver a learning experience that can enhance
your life. I am always looking for comments, ideas and
ways to improve CTJ. I welcome your e-mails at

Copyright © 2002, all rights reserved, by Margo

I invite you to share Celebrating the Journey with your
mailing list, friends, and associates. We ask only that the
entire e-mail with copyright and credits be included. The
author of this article is Margo Chisholm. You may contact
her at (831) 336-5364 or at

Come to the edge, life said.
They said: We are afraid.
Come to the edge, life said.
They came.
It pushed them…
And they flew.
Gulliaume Apollinaire

Margo Chisholm
Life Coach, Life Counselor
Partnering you in having success, freedom, and
joy in all areas of your life.

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