Transitions

Last week, a friend of mine said, “I hope you enjoyed Costa Rica.  Was it bittersweet to leave?”

I replied, “All sweet, no bitter.”

She said, “Kurt, I think you have taken a bit too much tea.  How can you not have regrets about leaving?”

At the end of my yoga teacher training in India, we had a graduation ceremony and tears were shed by all including me.  Our teacher looked at the sobbing group and explained that the end of the course is really just the beginning of our learning experience.  He said, “When your ego begins to pat you on the back, instead of settling into complacency, use it as a reminder that you are a student for life and to resume learning.”

Another of my fellow students followed up by saying, “We are all on a train of life and some get off at certain stations, some rejoin the train, and some never leave.  It is a constant state of transitions.”

Life is nothing more that a series of inevitable changes.  The moment that you have life licked, the transition gods remind you that they are in control.  Whether you are looking at a new job, downsizing a home, having a child, or facing your inner demons, life is always pushing our buttons to grow.  The transition deities refuse to accept stagnant locations.   When complacency appears, the cosmic 2 x 4 usually gives a sharp smack to the ass to get us back on the intended path.

A common way to deal with change is to employ resistance.  Instead of viewing each change as a new beginning, many people experience great stress and become paralyzed by fear of the unknown.  The more productive route is to view each change as and adventure.

The beginning of this process begins with breaking up routines.  Start with simple ones like driving a new route to work.  The freshness of a new perspective brings energy, creativity, and new ideas to mundane tasks.  A daily dose of adventure shatters the comfort zones and allow us to truly learn about ourselves.  Accepting and embracing change permits us to redesign life’s natural transitions.  Reframing these moments as adventures allows us to feel like we have some say in the game instead of feeling like life happens to us.

Clinging to the way things were is not a good plan for a healthy life.  We are all in the vibrant rapids of life and grasping for rocks in the middle of the river is not a strategy for harmonizing with  the universal flows.