Written by therapist Treshana Lewis
Transition: the most common shared experience among mankind. We all have had an encounter with transition. Depending on the nature of our experiences, we may await transition with the eyes of dread or expectancy/anticipation. As humans, we are in a constant state of change. We exist in an ever changing world. And quite frankly we can’t escape it. Whether it’s from crawling to walking, schooling to working, living to dying; transition is woven into the very fabric of our lives.
Nothing says transition like the beginning of a new year. But here’s the thing, transitions can come with Pandora’s box of emotions. Joy, excitement, fear, anxiety, hope, sadness, and trust are just a few of the emotions you may experience when encountering change.
In today’s blog, I will share how mindfulness can support you in navigating transitions and all that it may bring.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is defined as, “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.” Mindfulness can be utilized as therapeutically, a form of relaxation, or a spiritual practice/technique. -Google Definition
How does one engage in mindfulness?
Mindfulness is considered to be an innate, trainable state of mind. Below are a few ways mindfulness can be cultivated.
- Meditation: Seated, walking, standing, moving, or laying down (may lead to sleep)
- Short Pauses: Deep breathing, contemplation, prayer
- Infused with Physical Activities: Yoga and sports
Mindfulness and Transitions
Operating out of a mindful state in the midst of transitions can help us navigate them with more clarity, insight and even compassion. Mindfulness isn’t just known as the practice of awareness, but it is also known for its curiosity and adaptability. Mindfulness can be infused with art, music, visualization, meditation, and an array of physical activities.
Mindful New Year Practice
- Sit or lay comfortably, relax your body, and close your eyes.
- Take slow, gentle, intentional breaths.
- Breathe in through your nose, and out through your mouth.
- As you are breathing in, reflect on 2020 and all that transpired.
- Contemplate your memories as they arise. Taking note of your highest and lowest moments.
- Allow yourself to feel the joy, sorrow, excitement, disappointment, and amazement of the year.
- Gratitude: offer praise and thanksgiving for everything that was given, received, and experienced this year.
- Feel the fullness of the year, then with a few long exhales, Let it go.
- Take a few deep inhales; visualize yourself making room for what is to come.
- Next, imagine a field of fresh snow, all around you, refreshing, anticipating, inviting.
- Allow your heart to bloom: What is speaking to your spirit/soul? Where does your heart long to go? What does your mind desire to create?
- When you are ready, gently open your eyes: Welcome to a new beginning.
Take a moment to take note and write down some of what was uncovered during your Mindful New Year Practice. What thoughts and memories resurfaced? What feelings visited you? What made your heart smile? What made you feel calm, safe, and nourished? What things do you desire to let go?
If you find yourself in the midst or on the cusp of transition and need support navigating in mindfully, please reach out. One of the therapists here at Optimum Joy will gladly support you along the way.