I’m going through what’s called a “major life transition.” (Are there “minor” life transitions?) Perhaps the hardest part is my impatience with the natural progression of said transition and my desire to get the next chapter going already. I tell myself things like “the only way out is through” and “the present moment is not a means to an end.” These adages serve as a kind of inner compass that keeps pointing me to my experience right now. “Drop in” is another one I keep telling myself; that is, feel what’s alive within me fully and notice my mind as it races away from the moments it doesn’t like and yearns for some future when it will be “all good.” Without judgment—that’s the tricky part I guess.
Another tactic of mine is simply to observe people I know that have experienced a similar transition. Their sheer existence is evidence that survival is possible. Those that appear to be thriving after the big change are particularly inspirational and hope-giving. (I try to ignore the people whose lives seem worse for the wear…) This isn’t an exercise in comparison; it’s more about assuring myself that life goes on even if it’s rarely if ever as we think it is supposed to go.
Last but certainly not least, I turn toward the teachers I make a living writing about. If they don’t work for me, they’re kinda hard to pitch to all of you smart folks out there. Two of my favorites when I’m finding myself in resistance to what is: Jack Kornfield’s A Lamp in the Darkness and Bodhipaksa’s Living As a River. Jack’s teachings always help me shift my perspective to one of deeper compassion and understanding. Bodhipaksa’s book offers a wonderful opportunity to practice embracing change aka impermanence. If we don’t we tend to make ourselves and those around us pretty miserable. If we do, we align with the flow of life and open the doorway to freedom. At least that’s how the teachings go…I’ll continue to test them in the days and weeks ahead…and I’ll let you all know how it goes!
If you’re also in the midst of transition, or on either end of one, and care to share you insights, I’m listening!