Three Practices to Help Navigate Transition

a jumble of old family photos
going through old family photos is one of my anchors

Transitions can be discombobulating.

Whether you’re between dreams, creative projects, homes or relationships, it’s not always easy to navigate that space between where you’ve let go of something old, but aren’t quite sure what form the new will take yet.

It can be scary and frustrating to sit in this space between. It can also be insightful and restorative.

There are many effective practices to help us navigate transition. Though the following three may at first seem simplistic, they’ve been especially helpful to me this year and have served me well in the past.

I share them here in case they may serve you too.

Find your anchors.

Identify aspects of your life that are stable and bring you comfort. What grounds you? What soothes you? Who grounds you?

Think family, nature, cherished possessions, your morning yoga ritual, a creative practice, your home… When things get a little chaotic or distressing, seek out these touchstones and befriend them. Even better, seek them out proactively to help minimize distress in the first place.

Quiet your mind.

I believe that there is peace in the moment and that quieting the mind of its chatter is an effective way to access that peace.

Experiment with different ways of stilling the mind: meditation, breathing exercises, journaling, art-making, cooking, photography, writing, whatever works for you (see more suggestions here). When I start worrying too much about my current lack of goals and direction I usually journal it out or meditate – sometimes both, or I pull out my point & shoot for a little camera play.

When the mind is focused on the here & now it’s not ruminating or running off on multiple “what-if” tangents. In that moment, when the mind is quiet, all is well.

Be open.

Experiment with not having to figure things out.

Give yourself permission to stop searching and striving for a while and see what unfolds.

Be curious. Follow your joy. Sit with the unresolved. There will be time for specifics and to-do lists later. You might feel a little lost and uncomfortable at first, but once you get the hang of it, the absence of striving can feel incredibly freeing.

How do you approach transitional periods? Do you do anything differently?

Do you feel called to explore any of the three practices listed above?

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