We mark the transition of so many things in our lives - celebrations, achievements, losses, sickness, endings - yet we don’t always take the time to honour what was and then consciously participate in the creation of what will be.
We often think of transition as being monumental. Life altering. And sure, it can be this at times. But in truth, we are transitioning EVERY moment, of every day.
This knowing carries with it both peace and possibility. Knowing that we change naturally from moment to moment means that there really isn’t anything to do. And understanding that this moment is always new means that we are not bound to the experience of our past.
Waking Up to Transition
Sometimes, we move through transition with our head down, desperately trying to avoid the fear and feelings of instability that often accompany change. This head-in-the-sand approach may seem to work for a while, but the emotions and the memories soon catch up to us, begging for attention.
The good news is that at any moment we can wake up to the change that we are in. Looking through the eyes of awareness we see that we are actually safe. That in this present moment, we are EXACTLY where we are meant to be.
When we wake up to change, it is helpful to first determine where we are in the natural cycle of transition. Then, we can inquire more deeply into the experience and ultimately feel at peace with the past and excited about creation moving forward.
The Natural Cycle of Transition
When we understand that transition is a natural process in our lives, we find an ease in the experience of change. The process reveals many truths and gifts to us and we find that what we may have once seen as loss is actually a gift.
Let’s look at the 3 stages of Transition:
Stage 1 - Ending
We sure do like to try to skip over this one, or pretend that all is ok. But coming to terms with what has ended is the first part of transition and is necessary to fully processing the experience.
Ending is often marked by the experience of grief. This means that the process of ending can be a fairly long one in the case of extended grieving or quite short if we process the emotions of grief more rapidly.
There is no magic formula for moving through grief. Grief is a naturally personal process and depends largely on how far away from your true Self you have travelled.
I can share personally that for me, coming to terms with what I feel I’ve lost is pretty much the most important component of this process of transition. And the more that I’ve loved, the more that I’ve connected with and poured my hopes and dreams into something, the more grief I experience.
You will know that you’ve moved through this stage when you can think on the experience without feeling weighed down by the emotions of it. You have effectively come to terms with what was and perhaps come to appreciate how the change has served you in some way.
Stage 2 - Middle Zone
I like to think of this stage as very similar to the ‘gap’ that we experience in Meditation. It is the pause. The space between.
The beautiful thing about this space is that there is no story. The dust begins to settle and what was once clouded slowly starts to come into focus, but without any labels or history attached to it.
If you find that you strongly feel the need for a firm foundation, this stage can be a bit disorienting. You’ve let go of what was and at this point, there really isn’t a lot of scaffolding to support your new experience with.
But as practitioners of Meditation, we know that this is really where the rubber hits the road. This gap, this space between, is where we find truth once again. It is the space of remembering and the source of all creation.
We may find it difficult to be patient with ourselves during this time. Wondering why we can’t just light a fire under our butt to get moving again.
There is a natural process at work here. Things are happening that are far beyond our control. So the key to moving through this stage is compassion and patience. Know that all is taking shape. And the more present we are with the process, the more consciously we will enter the next stage of new beginning.
Stage 3 - New Beginnings
You may not be fully aware of the shift into this third stage as it is quite a fluid experience. From the space of Universal possibility, also known as the Quantum Field, all is created. The same is true of transition - creation arises out of the middle zone, the gap.
In this final stage of transition, it is so helpful to look back on the change that has occurred and to process the shift through inquiry. We can absolutely inquire into our experience earlier in the transition process, but I find that inquiry is most effective once we’ve moved through much of the grief and are in a state of openness.
Inquiring Into Transition
Begin by reflecting on the transition you have been going through. Bring up the experience, the emotions and your current understandings. It can be helpful to write this down, along with the next steps that involve inquiring into the experience.
Either in silent Meditation, guided practice, or journalling, ask yourself these 3 questions:
How did this transition affect my body, mind and perception of life?
What do I feel is unresolved from this transition?
What did I learn/gain from this transition?
After you feel that you have fully answered these questions of inquiry, I suggest sitting with your realizations and connecting into your heart. Out of this space of inquiry, I often find a clear path forward shows itself and taking the time to listen to your heart’s guidance is how it is revealed.
Embracing the New
I truly believe that life happens for us and not to us. It is such a beautiful gift of exploration and learning. Now, I don’t always remember this essential truth. In fact, when I’m deep in the experience of suffering, I may even curse the same thing that I am now praising.
What I’ve come to realize is that by honouring that which has happened and reflecting upon the events in my life that have brought me to this point, that I am able to see the beauty and truth in these gifts and open to the magic ready to be discovered in EVERY SINGLE MOMENT.