Transitions are everywhere. In nature, night transitions to day in the form of dawn, midday brings a second transition, and dusk brings the onset of night. Among the interplay of light and dark, other celestial bodies like the moon, the stars in their various constellations and the planets have their own various transitions in space and time. Closer to earth, some of these transitions manifest as solstices and equinoxes, solar and lunar eclipses, and the seasons.
One common message conveyed by all these transitions is the sense of motion and change felt by our senses when we open up to nature. As we observe nature and her transitions, we can get a sense that even though the boat of personal life may be sailing in ‘smooth waters’ for now, the wind and waves can change at any given moment. In our daily lives, transitions are felt in a job change, a home move, a health challenge, a relationship shift, our taking on of a caregiver role for elderly parents, and much more. The extent (of success) with which we handle these personal transitions can often depend on our level of preparation for them.
How do we prepare for the transitions in our lives which are bound to happen in time? The breadth and depth of our preparation is reflected in our daily practice. We are using our physical, emotional, financial and spiritual energy on a daily basis. Awareness of the rate at which we are depleting our energy reserves can provide guidance on which areas of energy need replenishment. If we do not replenish our energy reserves consistently, we may find ourselves facing a transition with an empty cup of life energy. The more our lack of awareness, our lack of regular ‘stock-taking’, the emptier our cup, and the greater the effort to refill it during a transition. The impact of transitions on us is non-linear, if we are not prepared for them.
One great example of this non-linearity, this disproportionate impact of a transition on our lives when we neglect our daily practice, comes from nature. In my recent daily walks in a parkway, I have noticed many giant oak trees simply fallen over into the river which flows through the park. On closer observation, these trees have not been felled, as if with an axe, but seemingly uprooted clean out of the ground, roots and all. My speculation is that over time, the current of the water eroded the soft soil around the roots of these trees, and the trees, being unable to take corrective action, eventually succumbed to the transitional force of the river. There was no mighty axe or bolt of lightning (even though I have seen many trees felled by those too) – in their case, it was the work of the current.
The good news is that we are not like trees. We do have the ability, the consciousness, the awareness to take action, through our daily practice, to pay attention to these transients which bring transitions to our lives. The good news is that we have active, vibrant, giving, sharing communities who can help us navigate these transitions. We simply need to be open to connecting with them, sharing with them our life experiences, our transitions and how we navigated them, and what we learnt from them along the way.
In closing, I invite you to share some of your stories of transition with the #SpiritChat community – in the comments here, and on twitter, in our weekly gathering Sunday, September 27th at 9amET/1pmUTC. From where I sit, there is a slight chill in the breeze that comes through the window, heralding the transition to autumn, on her wings that glisten in the sunlight filtering through the soon to be falling leaves in the backyard… Autumn has arrived, and it will bring us a glorious lunar eclipse in its wake. I am ready. Are you?