Quite often we don’t have a choice whether or not to step into a transition. Our lives are rolling along and we respond in the ways we’ve learned, which aren’t always the ways that serve us best. If someone wants “out” of a relationship, it ends; After decades of work, you may get laid-off; on the other hand if a marriage proposal is accepted, or university graduation is coming, another type of transition sets in. All life-changing.
Transition shows us we can do it.
As a yoga instructor, transition is super-important. Not just from the instructor’s perspective, but from the practitioner’s as well. Downward dog, walk your hands back to your feet, check in with your hamstrings, inhale, exhale, let your head drop…and RELAX. We physically move through the potentially taxing motions of transition with the full intention of leaving class upright and feeling great. We don’t always know how we got there and sometimes it doesn’t even matter! Life can be stressful on the road to bliss! In yoga, when we feel held back, stretching can be magnificent, If we feel strained or it hurts too much, we need to pull back. Just like life.
Transition reveals strength.
I’ve spent most of my life watching and learning to ‘let it go’ and get through some sort of transition. One of the best pieces of advice I received was from my Nana. She said, “Just hold your head up, stick to the truth, and keep going.” I hate hell. That’s what hard, crushing transition feels like to me. Our emotions jump onto a rollercoaster, and again, we stand upright and get off the ride, exhilarated. The way we change and grow stronger is slow, a breath at a time, negotiating and bargaining with the voices in our head, asking them to leave, trying to get rid of our reality. But making friends with all that hell and holding it lovingly takes strength. I live it, I teach it, and I give it.
Transition can be exciting and hopeful.
I read quotes on FaceBook every single day. Coaches, most of my friends there, are inevitably positive beings! I think they’re great, but after you read thousands, you know the deal. The quotes tell you all is well, you are fine, life is short, love is waiting, you are waiting, life is long, change is inevitable, walk beside me, worry won’t work, and stay calm…it’ll all be OK. Hang on, I’ll go there right now and grab the first three I find:
#1: Gratitude Changes Everything;
#2: To silence a woman is never happens in the best interest of the women;
#3: Be who you want to be, not who others want to see;
#4: The world is changing and I’m on the transition team. (I had to add #4 because… transition.)
Transition is a honor.
As I sit here, I’m watching a giant bumblebee wash its face. It’s really early spring and the bee seems half frozen, not well, doing calisthenics to get ready for her day. It’s cool and damp, maybe she’s sick? The bee is sitting on the large, dewy leaf of a rhododendron bush just on the cusp of blooming a flower. The sun is streaming through, and hitting a small spot on the leaf dead-on. The bee takes up that one warm spot of sunshine. It’s clear she’s there because of it. I watch her as she stretches one leg to the back, then the other…kind of like yoga, waking up the body. She’s less than a foot away from my gaze. She stretches the other leg to the back, wipes her face with her front legs, turns her head back and forth, then stretches the back legs again in a dance as I watch her wake up. She’s preparing for – whoosh! – off she goes! I thought she was dying.
Transition never ends.