Transitions are taking place in our lives all the time.
Maybe you hardly notice the small transitions … but the large ones can create upheaval and stress.
The more you bring mindful attention to your transitions, looking at the ways you experience and move through them, the more you’ll notice shifting patterns and changes in your energy flow.
Transitions begin by ending the old.
Losses and gains intertwine, advancing and receding in an ongoing tug-of-war. The arrival of spring is an excellent case-in-point! This pushing and pulling, with one season reluctantly giving way to the next, requires that you move forward in the face of uncertainty. Do I wear a winter coat today? A sweater? When do I put those mittens into storage? 😉
Because this is such an uncertain and demanding time, it’s helpful to understand how your own approach to transitions shapes your experience. The following brief exercise will help you place yourself into the “transition space” so you can see your patterns more clearly. Work quickly as you move through the exercise. This encourages what’s not fully conscious to surface. You can build later on the insights you gather.
Transitions-A Brief Exercise
Close your eyes, take a deep breath, then relax and repeat to yourself, “transition.” Let images come, then open your eyes and jot down the first 3 words that come to mind.
These 3 words reveal the “frame” of how you view transitions.
Next, take each word and quickly write a sentence about it. This extends your transition frame, and provides you with insights about how your approach shapes your efforts and results.
Now bring your awareness to the present. How does the current seasonal transition change your time and focus right now? Which activities recede, and which become most important?
Make a note of anything you discover, so you can put it to work for you.
Understanding the basic nature of transitions can also help you focus your efforts. Transitions are not a straight line forward. Still, they provide you with a path to follow that is rich with lessons.
Your path may circle, even double back. But as long as you open to the lessons, you will move forward. Even in the most challenging parts, there is always momentum. The movement may seem all too slow; you may not even feel it. Then, suddenly, the next step forward may jar you with its force.
No wonder flexibility and open-mindedness help you in times of change!
Each transition embodies a process. You will experience a beginning, a middle and an end. Understanding this rhythm of transition will help you schedule your activities in transitional times.
It helps to remember: While you may not have control over the transition itself, you have all the control over how you move through the transition.
So, what are your thoughts and experiences with transitions? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear!
© Copyright 2014 Paula Eder, Ph.D.