We are always in transition; impermanence and the infinite potential of the universe teach us that. But, there are also times when transitions are clearer. Now is one of those times: We can see the explosion of life force demonstrating itself in the flora, the school year ending, and all of us shifting into the summer vibe.
This disturbance is easier to see in the big transitions like moving, or taking a new job. Most of us get stressed out around those things, even when it’s something we’ve chosen and are looking forward to. Grief is part of every transition, since we are leaving something behind and thus we are realizing the impermanence of things, including ourselves. This experience reflects the true nature of our existence: We long for freedom and creative possibility, yet we find comfort in structure and predictability.
In all transitions, including the daily activities of leaving the room, saying good-bye to a friend, finishing a meal and moving on to the next happening, there is some period of emotional disturbance. Depending on the event, it may lean in one direction or another, more joyful and exciting or more difficult and troubling. Either way, there is always some mix of emotions and a period of disorientation.
One way to navigate transition is to be mindful of its impact. Notice the mind preparing itself, guarding against the discomfort of grieving and the unknown by rehearsing transitions before they happen. Allow the gentle rain and the stormy bluster of emotions to wash through you when you are in transition. Just notice, you don’t have to do anything different, you don’t have to like it less or more or have some kind of big idea about it, just notice. Noticing frees the mind from its addiction to resolution. In the moment of simply watching, thoughts slow down or even stop and the forms we use to pack our experiences into fall away. That is the open-handed faith of a true sage.