Life Transitions

Life is a transition. Everything we do and everything we are – our state of being is in

constant flux. We experience the transition of thought, from one moment to the next. Our

minds jump from one topic to another seamlessly, as if we are on autopilot. We experience

transition when we wake up in the morning - from sleep to wakefulness. We shake off the

night's residue and rise to greet the day. We move from one task to the next until we are ready

for sleep. We experience transition in bigger segments, such as the transition from weekday to

weekend, or any longer period of work that transitions to rest.


More generally, transition is thought of in terms of major life events. Beginning a new

school year, being newly single or beginning a new relationship, grieving the loss of a loved one,

starting a new job. Often these are the types of transitions that have the biggest impact on us –

mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. When our bodies and minds become

accustomed to doing things a certain way, we form habits and routines. We consciously or

unconsciously form an assessment of our world and mentally prepare. This preparation

provides a type of safety, so our bodies and minds intuitively know how to react to predictable

changes in our environment. For example, when we are in a place in life without any large-scale

transition happening, we know what to expect from our environment. There aren’t a lot of

things that have the potential to surprise us because we’ve existed in static circumstances. If

you’ve been in your job for five years, have lived in the same neighborhood, and have been in

the same relationship, you know what to expect from your environment, and therefore don’t need to spend energy (mental, emotional, physical) on how you might handle unpredictable

events.


When you’re going through a transition however, your safety is threatened either

because you are mentally, emotionally, physically, or spiritually in a different place than you are

accustomed to. How do we make sure we are safe in times of transition? It can be helpful to

understand how a transition has impacted us. What aspect of our lives has this transition

affected? If it is an emotional aspect, for example, it will be helpful for us to identify the other

things in our life that require us to expend emotional energy. At the same time, we should ask

ourselves what gives us emotional energy. Because we are in a transition that is impacting our

emotional energy, we may need to adjust our normal balance and put more attention into the

things that give us emotional energy and avoid the things that cause us to expend it. This

practice can be applied to all aspects of our life. Becoming attuned to the specific ways that

transitions affect us will allow us to make adjustments in our life to balance ourselves and

ensure we stay healthy through times of transition.

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