Permission for Transitions

We all know how we generally “are” in the world. There are some aspects of our personalities that we consider strengths, others as weaknesses. Sometimes we put effort into trying to grow. But what happens during transitions? Do we know how to adapt our expectations appropriately for these times?

Recently, I had a piece published on the Mindful Word. It’s called The Art of Compassionate Editing, and I’d love it if you wanted to check it out. It applies mindfulness to the act of editing, much like a previous blog post. Most of my writing on this blog has to do with applying mindfulness to daily things that we may not otherwise think about.

The reason I take this approach is because for years, I worked as a therapeutic counselor at a place called Windhorse in Northampton, Massachusetts. It was my favorite job because it involved being mindful, being with interesting people, and having authentic relationships as a way to be a part of their recovery process from extreme states of mind and addiction.

And now, I am part of a therapeutic team starting in Texas. It has only just begun, and the journey is going to be something that I can hardly even imagine at this time.

I am excited, joyful, and rising up from the inside. I am leaving my job as a basic content writer, putting some of the freelance writing on pause, and embarking on this journey with my whole heart and mind.

This is quite a transition, and I notice that my expectations of myself are no longer something that I can take for granted. How much time I spend a day reading, writing, meditating, cleaning, walking the dog, and cooking are all up in the air. Things are altering, changing, adapting. My routines aren’t going to hold, most of them are going to disappear all together and new ones and old ones are going to rush in to take their places.

It makes me realize how many people I know are in transition, or have been in the past. How often do we expect people to be the same as they were last week, or last year? How often do we expect this of ourselves? How often is unnecessary pain and suffering happening because of these expectations?

It’s just something to think about in terms of how we speak to and work with ourselves during transitions of all kinds. Going to and from work, moving physically, even taking a walk. The transitions are always happening and sometimes they are tiny, and yet we can still get in a pattern of harsh judgement. “Why am I not as attentive as I should be? Why am I not getting enough exercise? Why am I not as happy?” Sometimes, the state of being is temporary. It may only last a few minutes or days if we didn’t hold onto the expectations and judge ourselves or another when we noticed they weren’t being met.

But all too often, we do hold on. Tight. And then we judge. Harshly. Then the problems can turn into a nagging presence that gets us down instead of just passing through.

These are just a few things to think about, especially as this new job may lead to changes in my writing on this blog. I think that they will be for the best, and things will undoubtedly get interesting. The focus will be the same, but it may shift away from writing a little since I’ll be doing less of it, and go more towards how we relate with each other and ourselves in an authentic way.

I hope you all are well, and enjoying various experiences of your daily, weekly, seasonal and yearly transitions!

Please feel free to share your thoughts below about transitions and how you relate to them!


13 thoughts on “Permission for Transitions

  1. Thank you for shedding light on something so important. I have been aware with this for my children – making sure my transitions for them are not rushed, that they have time to process, but I have not given myself the grace to this on a daily basis.

    Our family is preparing for a transition and your blog has helped me continue through this process, enjoying the transitions, instead of cursing them.

    Good luck in your new transition and I hope you can pop into the blog world to share a word or two!

    • I am so glad that this helps with your transition! I am definitely going to be in the blog world, probably sharing more than I used to even, as there will be so much of the mindfulness aspect in my world and less of the writing-for-a-job aspect.
      I think that just paying attention to how transitions effect your children is more than so many parents do, I’m sure you are doing a great job of caring for them during it and that they will process everything accordingly πŸ™‚ Reading your words makes me realize that space is a funny thing- giving your kids enough space can take so many shapes and forms- “more” is not always “better” because sometimes when given too much space, it’s really easy to get lost! I hope your transitions are as enjoyable as possible πŸ™‚ I’ll definitely be here!

  2. Lately I’ve had an Ursula LeGuin poem, “Please bring strange things,” stuck in my head (at least the last few lines of it), and now I know why! I think it was meant for you as you make this transition.

    “Walk carefully, well loved one,
    walk mindfully, well loved one,
    walk fearlessly, well loved one.
    Return with us, return to us,
    be always coming home.”

    Perhaps every transition is a sort of homecoming….

    • Awwwww Vicki πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ I thought of this several times today (I saw it on my phone before I came online to comment) and it is so beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing this here- it is absolutely perfect. I will be always coming home to this blog- that is for SURE! πŸ™‚

  3. Good luck with your transition! It sounds interesting. I’m inclined to think most of the time the state of being is temporary and that’s fine as long as you can move along with it…?

    • I’m inclined to feel the same way πŸ™‚ Thank you for coming by! It will be interesting for sure, and I’m sure it will inspire some posts that will relate to everyone in one way or another!

  4. Cursing change, I suppose, is like spitting into the wind. Thanks for the encouragement and reminder to stop spitting and to fly. Many happy landings for you, Jennifer.

    • Hahaha you are very right! I’m always happy to provide such a reminder, as you often provide for me with your words. Thanks for the kind wishes, I’m excited to see what the posts start turning into as time passes!

  5. I see this 2013 as a year of growth for me as a writer and I am struggling to replace the old ways with the new without having to endure a total reboot and crash my momentum

    As humans, we are in a permanent state of transition, I feel. Every day our experiences, desires, thoughts and regrets conspire to change us – and not always for the better. Our moral compass strives to hold us to our course of being a better person, but often, the winds of misfortune can edge us from our ideal track.

    • It is so interesting to get into new ways, isn’t it? Best of luck to you, I agree that we are always in transition. Sometimes I feel like the more mindfulness practices I do, the more I am actually “there” to be aware of the things that are impacting me, and to choose which ones end up making their mark and which ones end up just gently falling away. Good thing there are always changes, that way, we can always change πŸ™‚

  6. Jennifer, this is really a thoughtful wonderful post. Really enjoyed reading it. First, congrats on your new job. I hope it proves very fulfilling for you. Thinking now about transition times and how they can put us in that Zen place of don’t-know. We’ll probably feel fear and trepidation, but also excitement and possibility. Just relaxing into that don’t-know place deeply seems the best way to go. Although that can be very hard to do at times.

    • YES very true! VERY hard! Haha it also is so interesting when it comes to other people, and having jobs that relate to them. My other job was so not-therapeutic, and having this one feels like it would be a disaster if I make a single mistake but the truth is that there is always enough room for the forgiveness, and the letting go, and the making a choice. Thank you for your words and attention, they are helping me re-connect with the blog world after a long weekend of training! πŸ™‚

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