This is part one in a three-part series on witnessing nature move through fall, and allowing her to guide us along the way. Read part two here.
Fall is an inherently transitional season. Winter and summer have their own unique intensity, while fall and spring have a transitional quality.
One of the things I’ve noticed over years of teaching and facilitating is how difficult it is for most people to stay present during transitions. We want to be here or there, but in between is uncomfortable.
People can drop into a practice, or even build the capacity to stay connected far beyond what they might previously have been comfortable with when they’re held within a defined process. But the moment they shift from one partner to another or they’re on break, all their old social habits jump right to the surface again: they can’t hold eye contact, want to smile and laugh as an escape valve for the intensity of the emotions they feel, or begin to talk non-stop just to fill the space.
I see this in yoga class also. People will put beautiful effort into the actual poses but flop out of the asanas, or slouch in between.
This is true in life too. We may be present when we are on a client call, or when we pick our kids up from school, but the in-between time – the transition – that’s filled with habitual Facebook scrolling, news-checking, and menial to-do-list managing.
Because it’s a transition, we don’t have to be present or feel anything– the ‘real’ thing is what came before, or what’s going to come next.
Transitions are inherently uncertain, and it takes a particular strength to stay embodied and present, not only with ourselves but with another in the transitions. This means fall is a time we can consciously cultivate our capacity to be present in uncertainty.
Can you stay present, even in the transition, this fall?
Here are 4 ways to bring awareness to the moments of transition in your life.
- Notice where your mind is when you drive from one place to next.
- Consciously choose your posture as you stand in line at the grocery store.
- Pause and breathe in the in-between moments.
- Allow yourself to sit with the questions, rather than jumping immediately to find answers.
Pay attention to what opens up when you relate to transitional space in this way.
“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke
Watch the full video here:
P.s Feel free to leave any questions, comments or practices you’ve found helpful for building awareness during transitions in the comments below.