August riles me.
What about you?
What’s your relationship to late summer?
Early August begins stirring the pot of my anticipatory anxiety, hinting that summer’s demise is sneakily approaching. Late August triggers my once-a-teacher-always-a-teacher-going- back-to-school-response, which can be summarized in this single vocalization; ghaaaaa. Toss that August delight called ragweed into the mix and I am a sneezy and headachy mess, never wanting summer to be over while passionately praying for the ragweed-free-first frost and the ease it offers.
Is there a subgroup emerging?
Have you noticed the darker mornings, the evening coming on so much sooner?
Everybody’s favorite—transition time!
The season shifts as September hovers.
Actually, I do love the Fall. Being a good New Englander, the crisp days, corduroy jeans, snuggly wool socks, soft sweaters—these are all initially positive things in my world. How odd these new beginnings emerge out of the dread and inevitability of summer’s loss.
How very odd, transition calls us forth into new beginnings, rooted, always rooted in endings. What cosmic irony life offers us, time and time again, that, to begin again, we must let go of what is.
Whose idea was that?
William Bridges, author, speaker and organizational consultant describes transitions as a psychological process of adopting to change and divides it into three phases; the letting go of the past, the inhabiting the neutral zone where the past is gone but the present hasn’t fully landed, and the making of a new beginning.
How can we, as mindful people, skillfully navigate through transition, to struggle less, to savor more, and to reap the most positive lessons from change? Here are some simple guidelines for navigating transition with mindfulness:
- Letting go of the past
Staying as present as you can with what is, as best you can.
Noticing the different iterations of change.
Filling yourself with breath, as feelings arise.
- Relaxing into the neutral zone between the past and the new present
Letting go of the old trapeze bar, softening into the void.
Utilizing self-care to maximize your connection to the flow state.
Drawing on spiritual support—prayer, mantra, yoga, practice, watching, breathing. Whatever.
- Forging the new beginning
Putting one foot down at a time, heading toward the next best, thing to do
Partnering with life as you follow the signs it offers, taking collaborative action with it
And so we practice; we don’t get it right, we allow ourselves full permission to be human, to notice and to lean away from self-judgment.
I sit as the morning light approaches so much more quietly, with a delayed enthusiasm in the creation of this new September day.
I sit as the morning light shifts, as the birds come and go in different patterns, as the wild geese soar with more intention, higher in the sky.
I sit, as best as I can, and pray that my life, that our lives unfold with grace and ease, guided by our hearts’ intentions.
I sit, as I hear the deep, silent whisper of this 12 Step prayer. From my heart to yours, I offer it to you, as August leaves us, as September lands quietly.
Thank you for everything you’ve taken from me.
Thank you for everything that’s left.
Dear Reader-Folk, what change is coming toward you? In the book, Warriors of the Heart, Danaan Parry says change, “…is my next step, my growth, my aliveness coming to get me.” What is coming to get you? What aliveness is calling your name? Please keep me posted. I am firstname.lastname@example.org.