Happy Summer! It always seems so strange to me that in mid-June we move toward the longest day and the shortest night and begin to transition to shorter days and longer nights. It seems too early in the summer season for this to be happening. When I was a kid, the days seemed to go on forever – we’d play outside until 9pm, and in my memory we had some bit of daylight. Funny that…
And just as we begin our official shift into the summer season and all that it brings, and we come to the end of another school year (can you tell I'm married to a school teacher?!), I am once again struck by how challenging and unsettling transitions are for me. Just when I think I’ve figured out a way to manage change, and that it won’t affect me nearly like it used to, I’ll catch myself rushing from thought to thought, not really focusing on any one thing or gaining any clarity; I’ll notice myself skimming articles and books, not really absorbing anything I’m reading because I’m too distracted with worry about the shifts that are going on; I’ll hear myself snapping at everyone around me because I’m a jumbling mess; I’ll find myself checking emails every 2 minutes for some sense of resolution and a potential plan. And I realize that I’m falling back into the same patterns of reacting to the stress of change that I always do.
When I’m in the middle of these big shifts, I also experience this deep sense of longing; of wistfulness: that somehow, some previous time (even as recent as 2 months ago) was happier, easier, clearer…better in some way. I’m now realizing that the simple act of knowing is very soothing to me. I know what my life was like 2 months ago, 6 months ago, 2 years ago, and I know how to do "then" now. But I don’t know how to do this moment and the next moment of my life, and that’s a little bit, or in my case, a-lot-a-bit scary.
And for some reason, when I look to my yoga practice, which is all about transitioning and shifting and changing, I can't find the comfort or the support that I'm looking for. The transitions from one pose to the next, a common thread in my vinyasa practice, seem somehow un-scary and unthreatening. Maybe because I’m in the driver’s seat of my practice, and maybe because I practice them every day.
I haven’t yet practiced saying goodbye to the kids I’ve taught for 2 years who are heading off to kindergarten…knowing that Maddie will be there herself in 2 years.
I haven’t yet dropped Maddie off at her new pre-school classroom or even really experienced her as a preschooler.
And, I haven’t yet done any of the events and projects that I’m just beginning to work on, and don’t know what the outcome for each might be.
And then there’s the waiting…the waiting for these shifts and transitions to take shape and the uncertainty and lack of clarity that the waiting brings up. My life could go in one direction or it could go in another direction, but who knows where it will go because some of it isn’t completely up to me.
While my mind knows that my yoga and meditation practices have given me the tools and the courage to stay with all the feelings and fears and butterflies that transitions bring up for me, my heart doesn’t know or want to know it – all it wants is to feel the longing for the known and the comfort it provides.
Nevertheless, I practice:
I continue to sit with my feelings to give them space to express themselves.
I continue to breathe through the feelings as they rise up and move through me.
I continue to move through my yoga practice as a way to let the asanas (poses) physically show me that I can handle the unsettling times and find a sense of balance throughout the shifts.
And all the while, I try to be kind and gentle with myself, and as patient as I can be as I wait for things to unravel and change and settle again, knowing that as soon as I feel settled into a new rhythm and routine, as soon as I feel like I have a plan, that that too will begin to shift and change and transition into something else.
I remind myself that nothing is certain, nothing is guaranteed – all we can do is show up, be present with what is, and see what happens and go from there.
Does this resonate at all with you? How do you respond to times of change? Drop us a line on our Facebook page and share your best practices!
Peace, Love, and Bliss,
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