From no place in particular, but perhaps everyplace in general, I have a certain feeling of unease, a sense that there might be a short time to do SOMETHING, but no clear idea of or opportunity to do whatever it is. As I listen and observe, it seems that rapid, sometimes upending change is now often the rule rather than the exception. The illusions of certainty and stability, whatever patterns they took, the familiarity upon which people used to depend, are becoming vaporized, for better or worse. Yet despite this, the expectations to remain calm and stable, to continue to do such daily things as bringing in income to support oneself and others, provide for housing, transportation, food, healthcare, and the like remain. In addition, I do not see that anyone has lost the need for beauty, inward time for reflection, loving relationships, and a certain level of comfort. The situation feels like riding a surfboard on an increasingly rapid surf. I wonder if anyone feels this as I do.
Once, in another time of transition, some words popped into my head. “Do not be afraid,” they said, “of the spaces between existences. It may feel like you are dying, but you are not.” I have been thinking of them again. They are encouraging words, which seem to suggest that there is calm after the storm, perhaps a calm as beautiful as the gorgeous sunrises that can follow the upheavals caused by major tempests, or the fresh, glowing greenery following a rain.
Many women may recognize a connection between the times of transition and childbirth. In transition, the energy contracts, pushing one out from the familiar into the unknown. The rhythmic contractions are spaced far apart at first, then closer and stronger until one emerges from what was familiar and supportive into a new structure or pattern or circumstance. Certainly, during parts of that process, a woman – and maybe her child – can feel as if they are dying. Those men who have met challenges bringing them close to the gate of passage from the physical to the ethereal may also find parallels in transition.
I know the key to negotiating a transition is to relax through the process and not resist it. However, it is human nature to resist the loss of the familiar. Perhaps the familiar will become a part of the new, but the process of transition clouds any certainty of that possibility. To resist, to become angry with self or others or circumstances simply prolongs the process and increases the discomfort. It also clouds the perception of opportunities that arise.
The alternative is not giving up or dropping out. It is the trickier task of relaxing into the situation, letting go of what is lost, and remaining alert in the present moment. It is remaining alert, even through discomfort, for opportunities which may present themselves. It is remaining relaxed enough to respond appropriately to such opportunities.
I think that to accomplish this there must be faith, faith that whatever may emerge will be good. For me, that means faith in a higher power that I call God. Some call it the Universe, the Force, the One, or many other names. The faith is central; without it one cannot relax, and without relaxing, one actually blocks whatever good may come.
To those of you who, like me, are feeling the energies of transition, my thoughts are with you and I wish you well. I welcome your prayers in return.