When going through transition it can sometimes feel like we bring all of our old stuff into a new place. Kind of like moving houses. Our surroundings change, but we don’t.
I often feel resistant to change because it requires me to get uncomfortable. I sort of grin and bear it until I’m through the ickyness and back in my comfort zone.
When I approach change and transitions this way it feels as if I’m trying to walk through a door carrying five bags with me. Cumbersome, difficult, and frustrating. It’s much easier to walk through the door with one bag or no bags.
To truly transition is to “passage from one state, stage, subject, or place to another.”
It is to transform.
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When I find myself at the doorway of change, internal or external, I ask myself these three questions:
1) Where are you now?
Grounding into the present moment and into your reality, whatever that may be, is essential in order to move forward.
Transitions are uncomfortable, awkward, and make us feel vulnerable. Often all we want to do is get away from the discomfort. Yet sitting with our discomfort is one of the most courageous and transformational steps we can take.
David Whyte simplifies it in his poem Start Close In: “Start close in. Don’t take the second step or the third. Start with the first thing close in, the step you don’t want to take.”
2) What do you need here?
In a process of transition and change everything is in flux, including you. What serves you here, where you are now, may be very different from what served you a month ago or a year ago. Relationships that nourished you before may be draining now. This is your opportunity to mindfully clean house internally and create space for new opportunities and experiences to take root.
If it’s one of those five bags holding you back from crossing the threshold, leave it behind. If your glass is already overflowing there will be no room for you to receive more.
3) Where do you want to go?
In yoga there’s something called a drishti. It’s a gazing point one focuses on to stay grounded externally and aware internally. Sometimes it’s external, such as focusing on a spot on the ground in tree pose, and sometimes it’s internal. An internal drishti is when we draw our awareness inward so that we aren’t disturbed by external stimuli.
In order to stay balanced when moving in new and unknown directions the focus has to be internal because everything external is changing. Setting a soft focus on where we want to go while staying grounded in our reality enables us to step clearly in the direction of our choice.
Any transition we may be going through is fertile space to transform. Don’t just endure it. Don’t just survive it. Let it transform you. Let it ignite you. Let it deliver you to a new, unexplored place and a new, unexplored you.
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