“Most of us are afraid of the unknown. Yet if we look deeply we will see that this is an illusion. We cannot really be afraid of something if we don’t know what it is. “What we are actually afraid of is that the unknown is something that we already know and don’t like.” David Frawley
One of my yoga teachers, Sylvie Gouin, reminded me of this quote recently and it really struck a cord with the work I do around change and transition.
When we are confronted by change, either of our own accord or by circumstances outside of our control, we are physically, mentally and emotionally (and spiritually) impacted by it. Whether we like it or not, change is external.
“It isn’t the changes that do you in, it’s the transitions. Change is situational, transition is the psychological process people go through to come to terms with the new situation. Change is external, transition is internal.” William Bridges
The impact of this change then immediately leads us into a period of transition that often contains a myriad of overwhelming emotions.
I find meeting and working with people in transition fascinating. Whether the transition is happening in life or work, the underlying emotion that drives our decisions quite often is Fear. We have all heard and said things like, “It’s too late”, “I can’t do that because I’m too old (or too young)”, or “that won’t pay the bills”. If we were to really get to the heart of the matter, these are all constructions of “What if” centred around our fears. This fear permeates self-development work as if the mere exploration of ourselves is what scares us most.
A Buddhist teacher once said after a meditation retreat, “what I have learned over the past 30 years is that life is random and I don’t have control over anything, really. What I do have control over is the way that I react.”
It’s so important to do the self-development work that will get us to the authentic spot where we shine. This is where yoga can be so powerful. It helps us stay grounded and centred while at the same time facilitating the ‘letting go of what no longer serves us’ so that we can move into the New with a renewed sense of energy and excitement. It is from this place that we soar in our personal and professional lives.
What I am witnessing these days is that everyone simply wants to BE…who they are, in the raw, drop the personas and the masks, live authentically, and really Get Real. People want to go back to simplicity, get focused, feel valued, and most importantly feel loved. It’s really this simple. Steve Jobs put it well by saying, “simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”
To get to this place takes a lot of courage, compassion, and comfort with the unknown — with not having all of the answers. We must acknowledge that in any given moment, things are perfect just the way they are. We must find comfort in this to arrive at a place of ‘being’ not doing; to quiet the mind or get out of the day-to-day, whether that’s surrounding ourselves with nature or relaxing in a tranquil setting or simply finding small moments of gratitude. We’re surrounded by beauty; all it takes to discover it is to look with a new lens and celebrate what’s right.
Out of these moments come greater clarity, creativity, inspiration, and excitement. Arising out of this, is where the soul speaks and vibrates. It is not something that can be forced or pushed but needs kindness, nourishing, gratitude, quiet, and restoration of the mind-body-soul. From here, we flourish with the natural flow of nature, and the cycles of beginnings, middles, and endings – how we react to this is our choice and making. But, we come back to this thing called transition, the unknown, and we welcome it.
Embrace it. It’s never too late…
Love and light,
Photo source: Paula Pyne.