How strange that the nature of life is change, yet the nature of human beings is to resist change. And how ironic that the difficult times we fear might ruin us, are the very ones that can break us open and help us blossom into who we were meant to be ~Elizabeth Lesser
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Well hello, September! It’s hard to believe that the summer is winding down, and that school will soon be back in session. I know it may sound cliché, but wow, where did the time go this summer? It seems like only yesterday it began. Now, here we are, getting ready for “back to school” and fall.
I can vividly remember being a kid, and dreading the end of summer vacation – trying hard to enjoy those final precious days of freedom, riding bikes, and playing all day, before the inevitable school year reared its head. Having to get adjusted to a whole new schedule felt so burdensome. I had to go to bed earlier, wake up earlier, ride “the cheese” (also known as, “the school bus,” back in my day), shuffle along from one class to the next, lug heavy books from room to room, and finally go home, only to have just enough time to do homework, eat dinner, and maybe fit in some time for hanging out with friends if I was lucky. Then repeat the next day…and the day after that…and the day after that…and so on. Now, don’t get me wrong – I enjoyed school plenty. It was simply that I struggled with making the “transition” of being on the vacation that summer was for me, to going back to a structured schedule.
Transition isn’t easy. In simplest terms, transition is change. In a broader sense however, transition is life’s way of asking us to re-examine our present way of being. Every transition we experience has one thing in common – it forces us to make changes to our existing life. With change, often comes resistance. A transition closes one chapter of our life, and starts a new one, putting us in a new place and direction. It is often a difficult adjustment as we experience feelings of fear, doubt, and uncertainty.
We experience this on our yoga mat as well. Can you recall the very first time you made a transition on your mat from say attempting crow pose, to actually getting your feet off the ground? Or, the very first time you made the transition up onto your head or onto your hands with your legs actually landing above you? The feelings that come with such transitions often evoke resistance, trepidation, and fear. But, it is when the feet coming off the ground and the legs landing above the head move from being a transition to a part of our “routine,” that we finally relax into it and experience ease.
My husband and I are about to embark on a very big first-time transition in our family, of all three of our children being in school. Our daughter is entering second grade, our middle son is entering kindergarten, and our baby boy is entering preschool. As parents, this transition is definitely bittersweet, but we keep reminding ourselves that it is an exciting one as well, as we witness of children mature and skyrocket into the abundant possibilities that lie before them as human beings. While this transition tugs at our heartstrings, we know it is a part of life and that we can do this. It’s a closing of a chapter in a sense and the beginning of a new one.
While it sounds like a cliché, the next step after an end is a new beginning, a new chapter, and keeping this in mind can give you a sense of a fresh start. And while the particular circumstances are new, the process itself is familiar. You have, after-all, made transitions before – whether it was changing neighborhoods, homes, relationships, jobs. You know the terrain of transition better than you believe – you’ve acquired experience and skills along the way. You can do this.
Transitions are those unique times when we toss off the old and are stepping into the new. While the circumstances are always different, the skills and attitudes needed to successfully move ahead are always the same – being positive, patient, and proactive. A new journey awaits.
So, as children go off to school, work schedules return to the norm, warm weather turns to cool weather, and days of extended sunlight turn into days that are more dark…may we approach the transition with ease and surrender to what is. May we embrace it with arms wide open and an open heart – like Extended Mountain Pose. You just might find that there is indeed joy in the transition – joy in the process.