Life is the bridge between you and everything. ~ Rumi
Yesterday, a great tree fell next to the building where I live, leaving me with a huge sense of sadness, almost like a hole in my chest, similar to what I felt a few weeks back when I stood in front of the burnt down building where our healing center used to be in Berkeley Springs, WV. There was just a hole; nothing left. As great trees are falling, so are too many great souls, leaving me with an acute sense of the passing of time and of the intensity of our lives. Deaths and (re)births, intense pains and joys, despairs and hopes…
We all know that the only certainty in this life is change. We have all read it or heard it or even said it. We also know that, in the possibility of metamorphosis that every transition holds, there is not only a grieving of what was and will no longer be but also a fear of the unknown – of what the new might be and of what that transition will ask of us. One particular aspect that I see as a specific challenge these days is the rhythms of our transitions. We want big shifts and only small ones come; we feel desperately stuck. Or we face everything upside down in our life and we don’t know how to stop the crazy truck rushing over us, crashing everything on its way. Too slow, too fast, not enough, too much… If things don’t enfold exactly as we may think we want or even need them, we become frustrated. This is a huge thematic for many of us these days.
Here is what I have learned about those rhythms and how you can better ease into them:
1. Get familiar with the inner rhythms or your own soul
Soul rhythm can be very different from the immediacy we are used to. Soul-work demands patience and loyalty, virtue not in vogue in our fast-changing times. At times, the soul may need to revisit untouched fertile material from past events. Other times, it may push us at high speed into unchartered territories. Either way, things seem to follow a rhythm completely independent of us. I recently witnessed that struggle first hand in the ultimate transitioning of a dear friend of mine. But I also see it in all types of transitions: we all tend to struggle with not knowing the “when” of things. As if it would somewhat compensate the frustration coming from not knowing the “what”. By learning to listen to your own soul rhythm, you learn to develop the trust that your soul knows, even if you don’t. To a certain extent, you let your soul be the captain of your boat and you trust that the captain is the person who has the highest chance to know what to do, no matter what.
2. Create your own transition rituals in your daily life
If you look at your day-to-day life, there is always a transition of some sort happening – whether it is leaving the office and traveling home, or finishing one project and starting the next, but too often we are crazed and rushing from one to the other. Learn to create pauses and small transitions in-between your ordinary tasks. Develop an awareness of how you feel in each of those moments. It is a great way to get more familiar and at ease with the very nature of life that is to be impermanent and transitional, and to learn how you react to it. This will help you in larger transitions.
3. Keep the doors open: Watch where your resistances are and acknowledge the feelings associated with them
Life transitions can sometimes feel awful. They carry with them their share of grief, sorrow and pain. There is no denying them. Acknowledging that those feelings exist, with as less self-judgment as possible, is what will keep the doors open for you. Look for what triggers the fear that makes you close the doors, look for the resistances, acknowledge the feelings, and then breathe through them. Don’t resist to the resistances – this is often where we constrict. Give them space to be, with each breath, and you will find their grip progressively loosening.
4. Approach each transition as a gift: Life does not happen to you but for you
Transitions are the gateway into the next moment and uncertainty is a crucial part of that cycle. It can’t be skipped, wished away or avoided. The new cycle you’re about to enter is tied to how you handle that crossover so don’t turn this point in time into an enemy. Instead, try to approach each moment as it paves the way for the next one to expand. And approach it as a gift, a new opportunity to start over again. I know first hand that it can be hard to trust that it is the case when the past has been paved with traumas of all sorts. But you and I can always choose to experience and approach the next moment slightly differently from what has been. We can choose to step out of our victim mode and decide that life is for us, not against us. When you feel overwhelmed, pause, close your eyes and rest; allow all notions of being and non-being, creator and creature, mind and spirit, right and wrong… to fade away into just breathing through this moment. Open your eyes and look at the first thing you see. This is the gift. This is life and you are part of it.
5. Choose love over fear as the ultimate letting go
In the last few weeks of her life, my dear friend had a choice to make over and over. She – as other people I have had the privilege to be with during the course of their ultimate transition – had a clear choice to make: no matter what was going to happen, she had to choose how she wanted to spend what was remaining of her life. She had to choose where she wanted to put the little energy she still had. She consciously chose love, over and over. Watch your thoughts: Where do you put your energy? Do you give as much energy to your dreams as you do to your fears? To your wellbeing as you do to your diseases? To your like and love as you do to your dislikes? To your life as you do to your fear of death? I truly believe that this is how we ultimate become actors of our lives again: by choosing love and life, over and over again. This is where the ultimate letting go is.
Béatrice | Contemporary Shamanic Healer
Allowing The Light