In life, we will go through many transitions, and even transition within transitions. Some of these transitions will be joyous, some will be devastating, some will make us wonder how we got through and some will make us glad we had to change things. Hopefully though, we can see the beauty in any of these situations during or after, and that above all, we see the things that were required of us to transition and we marvel in our own personal strength.
We start life with the building blocks of our parents and loved ones taking care of us, and showing us the way. The people before us lay the foundation not only for the starting point of our lives, but the way in which we may go about and pursue life, even showing us what our possible expectations in life could be. As we grow, we see the things we like about those building blocks, that we want for ourselves, and other times, we realize there is opportunity for transitions to occur to change our lives or our expectations that differ from the previous generations for our own growth. Neither is wrong, neither is right, just one is different than the other. For some, this can cause great relief to make a different choice, to reach out and grab what is meant for them, and their life. On the flip side of that, it can also result in strained relationships of those that came before you, because it may feel insulting to them, even though you just seek different from what they know. One of the most important pieces of wisdom a lot of us have been told in our lives from elders and older generation loved ones, is to not forget our roots, ie, the building blocks. Sound and sage advice my father and grandmother gave me at different times in my life, and the way that they both told me was said with love and reverence and told to me in positive situations. Those words have gotten me through some rough transitions in life, because there is support, caring and love there I could rely on.
As we grow and mature, finding our way out in this life, we refer back to those building blocks but look to forging a new way for ourselves. We are eager to try new things, go on new adventures, we long for life to keep us on our toes possibly not knowing if we’ll fall or not…but that doesn’t keep us from having confidence in ourselves, finding some flexibility and rushing head long into new territory. For some of us, this could be marriage, children, moving away from our childhood homes and towns, embracing our true identities or maybe all of that and then some! Life transitions start with choices, forced or not, and we may be pleasantly surprised by what is yielded, either way.
We have made some choices, we have learned from the bad and relished the good, but we benefit from both. Good choices always look good at the time, and maybe they will always be determined as a good choice, time tells. We do however benefit from the bad as well as the good. Now, I can say that terrible things happen and sadly, we can’t do anything about that. We can’t alternately make any choices to change things that have already happened. We don’t always know why bad things happen. Sometimes we can see the choices that lead to the bad thing, but we simply cannot undo it and there isn’t a thing we can do about it. This is when we make do have the option to make another choice, do we attempt to move on, or do we collapse, fall and never recover enough to try anymore or ever?
Our transitions can be foretelling, they can look effortless, pitiful, awkward or down right crazy. They can look all of those ways, that all depends on perspective, to you and those observing your transition. New jobs, weddings, babies, new homes, new cars, accomplishing goals like graduation from all levels of education, are all great transitions that generally bring about joy for those personally experiencing it and to those that have been supportive and part of your journey. Even the folks not directly involved in these transitions are joyful when included in celebrating these happy types of life events. Unfortunately, not all transitions look pretty or are fun. Those on the outside may have an idea what has and is happening, and some of those people may hold space for us to travel along on our journey, helping us along the way in subtle or obvious ways. Some people have absolutely no idea what has occurred, how it has affected you and they only see you at a rough patch that is a result of a tough transition, coming or going, maybe in process. Ironically, nothing is permanent, so whether a good or bad transition, we should always provide space for people and keep our observations limited to what we see…seeing is believing, but don’t believe we see everything there is to see.
When things are good, things are great. When things are bad, well, that is STC, Subject to Change(thank you EJ Harris for reminding us of this, always). Things can look good on the surface, but be bad underneath. Things can look bad on the surface, but be healing underneath. Things can look effortless, but take a considerable amount of effort. Things can be easy today, rejoice, buy a lottery ticket perhaps. Maybe things are constant and stable, and you are itching for a change, or maybe you are thankful for the stability. The point is, have a good foundation for yourself, be flexible, give effort, celebrate the good things, be kind to yourself if you fall, and if you have to take a minute to breathe, steady yourself again and be ready for the next transition!
Thank you to my good friend Maria Murray for creatively collaborating with me on this post, for always providing me space to be me, for encouraging all of her students to breathe, to be kind to yourself and to love one another. If you would like to experience yoga transitions in Maria’s classes, you can find her at http://www.rainbowyogastudio.com